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I have the Tojiro DP that was the standard recommendation. I also got my Mom the Fibrox, which is good but I didn't love it.
I actually got the Mercer Genesis as something I could take with my if I was cooking somewhere else and wouldn't be heartbroken if I left it. I actually really like it and find myself reaching for it more than anything else.
Thirding this. I have all Mercer steel and I really like them. Here's the knife we're talking about. Not hugely expensive either, which is a big plus. (Like the Swedish flag but more slicy.)
Victorinox is fine. Wusthof is awesome but Mercer (same steel as Wusthof, but less thrills on the finish) is my first choice at a reasonable price.
If you want the price of the Victorinox but the sturdier forged blade of the Wusthof consider getting a Mercer. It is German steel and it seems to be a good blade. I have a couple of Wusthof chef knives and I have a 10" Victorinox chef's knife and I wish I had known about the Mercer when I bought the Victorinox. I did end up buying the Mercer for my brother this past Christmas and I enjoyed the weight and feel of the knife and so did he. That would be my top recommendation for a good knife for a good price.
I have a set of these Mercer knives and they are awesome. Apparently they are common culinary student knives, typically sold in restaurant supply stores not consumer stores. Not under $25 but a great knife for the price.
I've used Victorinox at work and they're really light, and the blade is thin. Its great if you're gonna be using it for hours, but for a home cook I'd recommend something with a little more heft.
I've used a Mercer 8" chef's knife for the past year and love it. It doesn't feel like its going to slip out of my hand and lay open my palm when I'm cutting something thick.
I bought a Mercer Genesis on the recommendations of Serious Eats and really like it so far. They tested the short bolster one, but it was sold out when I was ready to buy so I bought the full bolster one instead. [link]
They also rave about the Misen knives as well.
This is the smaller version of the knife I used in culinary school. I still have the 10in version. it's a quality knife, if not as well known as some other brands.
like this :) [link]