Igm45 I’m guessing you’ve not spent time around professional kitchens or commercial restaurant supply houses.
A few examples: Dean & Deluca, under the original owners for most of the 1990s, when it was by far the best gourmet store in the Americas, had a huge kitchen downstairs and a smaller one on the main floor for prepared foods and catering. No copper to be seen; they used Paderno bonded aluminum / steel from Italy . At the same time, two Michelin three-star restaurants, Jean-Georges and Bouley only used All-Clad, another bi-metal product, and no copper to be found. All had exquisite food.
Most Western restaurants either use good and built-to-last knives from Wustof or similar, or good but very inexpensive ones from Dexter Russell or similar. The ones that have locking draws at each station are the ones with Wustof. I’ve never been in a Western restaurant kitchen where hand-made knives were used by any staff member. What would be the point (intentional pun).
In Japan, no matter how highly rated the restaurant, most knives are very inexpensive, because it is disrespectful to have a knife as good or better than your superior, so the head chef’s choice sets the ceiling, and the levels trickle down from there..
I knew two American chefs, one classical with two Michelin stars, the other a Modernist with several books to his credit, who had both been given knives very like the one in my posting. They both said these were the most amazing knives they had ever seen; both said they were unusable curiosities because the required techniques and the results obtained were so far away from the requirements of Western cooking.
Note, all brands mentioned are good – but none are great. That stuff is for collectors and amateur enthusiasts with large disposable incomes. Restaurants are businesses. They must control cost and purchase for value and reliability. I have yet to meet one chef who said that not having hand-hammered copper vessels reduced the level of his / her cooking.
So back to my post – once a minimum level of quality in gear is attained, the limits are the person using it and the quality of ingredients..