Date Thursday, 23 June 2022, at 3:56 p.m.
The biggest reality for me is the wood itself. If I only cut today's pine, I could use blister pack chisels. I work with mostly cherry, beech and walnut that I cut myself. O1 is all I ever need. I tell the embarrassing story of making a plane blade that I did the heat treating outside in winter. Most of the blades cracked, one made it to a plane. It cut fine, and then I hit a knot in a 2x4 at some future date, and was surprised to see that I bent the edge. I don't know how hard it was, and that is the point.
If I worked mostly tropical woods like ebony, coco, I would probably prefer something else again.
I bought my first blue steel tools, and everything else, in the early 80s, and started seriously into making tools around 2000. That is earlier than most. There is no question people overthink this stuff. Back in the 80s, you couldn't get good tools, so there was some point to looking in esoteric directions for unfamiliar tools, as per Japan. Now you can take a wad of cash and buy everything from one supplier. It's mainly silly at this point to be thinking about it much. There was a point in the 90s when due to one thing or another (certainly not what they wanted) when LV didn't sell any dovetail saws, or (even setting the bar low), any professional grade planes or chisels. That world is long gone. I don't remember when that was, but it would have been around the time FWW did that article on how to make your own dovetail saw, from a gent's saw, by recutting the teeth so they were twice as coarse.