An update 12/27/09....The week before Christmas I received a replacement knife. After Henkle examining the knife, it was determined to be a manufacturing issue. Excess pressure on rivet caused a fisure crack allowing moisture to slowly migrate into handle ultimatly causing failure. I am glad to have the knife, however it did cost me $40 bucks to buy a replacement to use while I waited for the determination.
Original post.......I purchased this knife in March of 2005. I have taken exceptional care of this knife. It's always been hand washed, professionally shapened and cared for. It's a $50 knife afterall...not cheap. The handle literally fell off of each side of the knife while slicing vegetables. I wasn't injured but could have been. The interior steel had rusted and corroded screws that held the handle together. I thought it was riveted. It wasn't properly done.. I contacted J.A. Henckels, via email, sending a copy of Amazon's invoice, detailed photos and copy of product description. First I got an Out-of-Office response directing me to email a different address. Both times, I requested a replacement, or a pre paid label so that I might return the knife. They responded with a computer generated pre-formed email: "Thank you for your recent e-mail inquiry concerning Zwilling J.A. Henckels products. You will be pleased to know that all of our products are fully guaranteed against manufacturer's defects in materials and / or craftsmanship. The warranty does not cover wear from normal use, bends, nicks, dents, chips, or any damage resulting from use other than the intended purpose of the item. Wood products, including wood handled knives, are not covered by the Zwilling JA Henckels warranty, as wood is a natural element and thus cannot be guaranteed. We will evaluate your product and should it be under warranty, we will gladly replace the product at no charge. We cannot guarantee that the same line or size will be available therefore it will be replaced under our discretion, with a comparable item or an upgrade." ....verbatum of the warranty statement on their website. It would be nice to actually work with a real person about this issue instead of a computer generated response. I don't think I was asking too much for contact from a person and a pre-paid label sent to me, as I have to package, go to post office and wait in line, mail, and then wait another 4-6 weeks for them to decide my fate with this knife.
If you want this knife, buy local so that you can work with an actual person to resolve your problems otherwise, be prepared to wait should it have a manufacturer defect.