Brock Decker, Green Bay, WI
After discovering your website, well designed with beautiful knives and good descriptions, it took me a fair while before I could convince myself to invest in your knives. My first purchase was your Fusionwood Chef 8" and Phoenix The 9. I had a previous poor experience with 'superhard' steels in the Henckel's Cermax M66 line. It was not sharpenable to anywhere near its factory grind with a triple whetstone and polish. I was hesitant to spend $150 and $200 respectivly, but was intrigued by both blades.
I fully expected to love 'The 9' - the Damascus finish is beautiful, the slope of the blade is elegant, and the website's description just makes you want to cut something with it. I was less excited about the Fusionwood blade, but the handle looked nifty, so how bad could things be?
I was on my way to work the morning I received the blades, brought them in for the rest of the kitchen to ogle. Visually stunning - both blades were beautiful. Still, the Chef 8" blade, thick, wide... Looked clunky. 'The 9' was thin, agile and sharp as hell. It was my blade of choice for the next week.
'The 9' was great for cleaning fish or some meats, fine dices on shallots or onions, anything where a slim, sharp and agile blade would be useful. Due to the thin blade, cuts that provided more resistance wore on the calluses with repetition. Cheese wasn't a good cut, hard sausages, solid root vegetables and the like were less than ideal.
I turned to the Fusionwood Chef 8", and haven't turned back since. The wide blade, thick throughout, gives a wonderful heft to chopping motions, has a light enough tip to clean meat from veal bone, goes through heavy resistance objects well and has the most all around utility. The clunkyness I felt about it dissolved once I understood the width of the blade and how to maneuver the tip. I still use 'The 9' for cleaning tenderloins and walleye, but by and large the Chef 8" is my chef knife of choice.
Both are easy to sharpen with a little love and affection, to a wicked sharpness that has kept me from losing a number of digits that I love.
I recently purchased the Fusionwood Bread knife and Phoenix Sashimi slicer. Both are nice knives, though again I am impressed more with the less expensive Fusionwood. Not a fair comparison in this case as each is a (different) specialty knife. Still, the uniqueness of the Fusionwood's 'wave' blade turned out to be incredibly effective in all kinds of tough slicing - eggplant, tomato, watermelon, etc., allowing precision, sculpting cuts, not the 'tear and slice' you would expect from a serrated edge.
I am hoping to be able to purchase the Paring knives from both sets in a few months. The design seems to offer parallel benefits to each line's chef knives.