I'm currently using a set of 3 Farberware knives (chefs, slicer/utility, paring) that I bought a few years ago at Walmart for $8. I'm wondering if it would be worth it to upgrade to something nicer, such as the Henckels Pro S series.
The main issue I notice about my Farberware knives is that they don't seem to hold an edge very well. I can get them to newspaper slicing sharp using my Spyderco Sharpmaker, but it seems that the knives lose their edge again within a few weeks, particularly the chef's knife (although that probably makes sense since I use it quite a bit more than the other two and use it to chop a lot of hard foods such as sweet potatoes). Would a nice set hold their edge better?
I guess the other advantages I could think of would be: nicer construction/longer useful life, and maybe better balanced. Are there any others?
I'd be open to recommendations of other good knife brands, but I won't buy anything that I can't pick up and hold in a store first. I mentioned the Pro S because it was the top-rated knife set by Consumer Reports and I was actually able to hold them at the local BBB and thought they were pretty nice. They certainly felt better than the Four Star series, although that might just be personal preference. Obviously I wasn't able to practice cutting anything in the store, so I can't say how much better they would perform than my Farberwares in that regard.
Also I would probably just get the same 3 knives I own now as opposed to one of those giant knife box sets. Those 3 knifes seem to cover everything I do in the kitchen.