This knife arrives amazingly sharp. I put my well maintained, $175 Shun knife against the Alcok by doing the tomato and raw chicken cut test. The Alcok performed just as good as my Shun. The handle forms a nice grip in your hand and overall the blade feels strong and sturdy. The weight feels evenly distributed between the blade and handle. I will revise my review from 4 stars to 5 stars based on longevity. I've had my Shun for 5 years and still performs as it did the day it arrived-with routine maintenance of course.