Serious Eats: Talk

Advice for the beginning of a knife collection

Fellow foodies,

I'm looking to purchase the beginnings of a high quality knife collection. I've spent a good amount of time reading reviews and the like on individual knives and I read Kenji's excellent knife guide. However, I'm not quite sure where to start for a collection and I would love some advice.

A little about me/what I'll be doing. I'm not a chef and I don't plan on working as one. However, I cook pretty much any time I have spare time.

I typically cook a lot of French food and southern American food.

I have freakishly large hands, so I'm thinking bigger, heavier knives.

I occasionally travel internationally for extended amounts of time for work and would like to be able to take my knives with me. I'm thinking a knife roll to carry them around. However, not sure if that's a good idea for the life of the knives. Advice here would also be greatly appreciated.

My budget is around $600 but that's not set in stone.

What I'm thinking so far:
-10" chef's knife (Wusthof classic, Shun Premier, or something else of top quality)
-Santoku? (Is this worth having with a chef's knife?)
-Pairing knife (good but, not same quality as the chef's knife).
-Bread knife (is this worth spending a lot on?)
-Knife roll
-Honing steel (do I need a 12" for a 10" blade?)
-Whet stone(s)

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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