I've recently started my migration from European knives to Japanese. I like and am accustomed to western styles but prefer the harder steel, lighter weight and geometry of the Japanese versions (moreso than just the fact that they're made in Japan). I'm in the process of replacing the holy knife trinity (chef, bread and paring) and I've acquired a Tojiro DP 240mm gyuto as well as a MAC Superior bread knife. Neither are super-high end but I don't think I'll outgrow them too quickly either. I'm looking for a 3"-3-1/2" parer to complete the set. The parer will be used mainly for fruit/vegetables in-hand and off the cutting board. My budget is about $50 and here's what I'm considering, in no particular order:
* Richmond Artifex 80mm from CKTG
- A chefknivestogo housebrand, this one uses arguably the best steel and blade construction (AEB-L monosteel) but lacks a bolster, which might be uncomfortable. Made by Lamson, there were some complaints about the grind early on, but I think it's been addressed.
* Shun Classic 3-1/2" from SLT
- I'm not necessarily a fan of Shun but the handle fits my hand very well (it's the only one I've been able to hold in person) and I can get it for 40% off. Steel is VG-10 core sandwiched between something softer and more stain-resistant (can't remember). Some people complain that the edge is chippy.
* Sab Nogent 3" from TBT
- I've never owned a Nogent and I'm curious to try it out. I'm unsure about the partial-tang but everyone seems to love these knives. The carbon steel could be an issue since, while I have many for personal use, this knife would be accessible to the rest of my family and stern warnings about throwing precious cutlery into the sink only go so far.
I'm open to additional choices. Thanks in advance.