2.0 Blade Design
For 15 years, we have used and tested many of the finest European and Asian style blades. We have gotten feedback from world class and journeyman chefs as well as thousands of home users. We have consulted and worked with many of the top custom knife makers in the world and manufactured knives both in the USA and Japan. All of this knowledge and experience has been synthesized to create our 2.0 blade design.
Blade design and steel performance have many contradictions. For example, two qualities most people like in a knife are heft in the hand combined with a very thin blade. Another contradiction occurs with steel selection. In traditionally wrought steel there are trade off’s: the harder the steel (which correlates with edge holding and sharpness) the more brittle it is (likely to break if dropped or the edge to chip.) The 2.0 Blade design addresses all of these contradictions through our grinding method and steel selection.
Basically, in the search for a more perfect knife, we've gone thin to win.
For many years we made very thin Damascus steel blades in Japan. What we learned from making those knives was that with all things being equal, a thinner blade cuts better and easier than a thicker blade. A thinner blade is also easier to put a razor sharp edge on.
The challenge with a thin blade is twofold
1. A thin blade, specially made from hard, good edge holding steel, can be dangerously brittle. This means it is susceptible to edge chipping and even breaking if dropped. Damascus clad steel, like Shun knives and our original Phoenix line, addressed the concern about breakage by cladding the hard steel with soft steel on either side. Unfortunately, the cutting edge is still very susceptible to chipping. Our 2.0 design addresses both chipping and breaking. The secret is in the steel. The exceptional quality of 52100 carbon steel and CPM S35VN steel allows us to put an unprecedented, razor-sharp, thin edge on the blade without chipping. These 'super' steels are designed to withstand the high impact and pressure required of tool steels and can be safely deployed to make a knife with excellent edge holding, extreme toughness, and awesome sharpenability
2 . Another traditional drawback of a thin knife has been that it doesn’t always feel right in the hand. When you use a pinch grip (where your thumb and index finger pinch the blade in the area of the knife bolster), a very thin blade can feel insubstantial in the hand. To counteract this feeling, we start with a very thick piece of steel and plunge grind the blade making it very thin in the cutting area where it counts. This leaves a more substantial blade thickness in the area just in front of the handle where you would be pinching the blade. However, this extra thicknes results in a lot of weight in the handle due to the thick tang, moving the balance point of the knife back into the handle. If we were to stop there, the knife would feel "heavy" in the hand. So, to create the proper balance, we do two things; first, we taper the tang. The tang is the part of the knife blade which extends back through the handle giving you a strong, durable knife. Second, we laser cut pockets in the tang which are subsequently covered by the knife handle. Using these two techniques we are able to move the balance point forward to just in front of the handle where it belongs without sacrificing any of the durability and performance that comes from a full tang construction. Using these advanced techniques, the 2.0 design resolves the traditional contradictions of knife design, giving you a well balanced knife with a razor-sharp, thin blade that still feels substantial yet agile in the hand.
Pinch grip Comfort
Say goodbye to your callous
Virtually all chefs and most experienced users hold their knives using a pinch grip, where the knife blade is squeezed between thumb and index finger in front of the handle. It is common for chefs to develop a large callous at the base of their index finger from where the top of the blade rubs against their finger. The 2.0 grind leaves the thickest part of the blade right in front of the handle to create the most comfortable grip.
For 15 years, we have been refining the shape and profile of the blades to fit the myriad of users and uses for a chef knife. Across our line there is a perfect knife for nearly every job and user in the kitchen.