A beautiful and high performance chef's knife at a great price! This size is just right for most home users, and even many pro users now prefer a knife of this size instead of the old-school 10". A Japanese knife performs so well that it really doesn't feel "small" at all. These knives really are very sharp, with excellent construction quality and they just look spectacular with the layered steel, hammered finish and gorgeous wood-grain handle (NOT plastic or molded like so many low-cost knives you'll see in stores). The handle is made of Spanish mahogany pakkawood, which has that nice wooden feel and look, but it is impregnated with resin/epoxy so it's very strong and is very water resistant to avoid absorbing water or warping or cracking -- an excellent material!
If you like the damascus layered steel look but don't like the artificially high prices by domestic knives and kitchen stores, this is a truly excellent choice. You get a super sharp and long-lasting VG-10 steel cutting core (this is a very hard steel and high quality knife steel, with a Rockwell hardness of approximately 60), with a 33-layer hammered stainless steel surface and a beautifully finished handle. This makes an excellent choice as an all-around knife. Approx. weight: 192g I'd recommend the fine ceramic hone (see below) for regular/daily maintenance of the edge. As with any knife, use the hone regularly and you'll keep the edge in good shape for a LONG time before you need to think about doing any serious "re-sharpening" or real grinding and refinishing of the edge.
NOTE: This knife is sharpened 50/50 (equally on the right and left side), so it's easy to maintain and fine for right or left hand use. If you look carefully at the edge, you'll see a slight right-side bias, this is just because the final edge is so tiny and because of the way they finish the edge; it has NO bearing on right- or left-hand use, sharpening or maintenance and can be ignored, so you should treat the edge just like any standard 50/50 edge.