Regarding the ‘EASY TO USE’ image – it looks like the product has been superimposed on a stock image of a wooden table and actually looks like it is floating in the air. Also, the product looks perfect and the perspective looks strange to me which makes me think it is a render of the product. Perhaps it’s not a render but has been overly photoshopped. The hand holding the knife looks good (even though the hand has been blurred at the back by photoshop)
Also, I just realised you and I were talking about different photos when we said “real photo” in earlier comments. I meant the ‘Easy to use’ one with the hand and you meant 1.2.jpg. 1.2.jpg looks OK but not special. A “real photo” taken by a professional photographer could look much better if they did it well.
Obviously the last 2 photos you sent are of a real product. I can see the minor imperfections in the wood and the shrinkwrap on the block. Some real details like imperfections can sometimes make it look like a real product that the buyer can almost touch. Designers tend to smooth those details out with photoshop and lose the character.
Your current main image does not look totally real (same applies to many competitors too). The edges and corners are clinically sharp, straight and well-defined. The product is sitting at an impossible angle that makes no visual sense to me.
I know I’m being picky but I’m thinking that a professional photo of a real product would work better than asking the designer to do more photoshop magic with the same original images. To prepare a brief for a photographer, you take some draft photos yourself. I’d take it from multiple angles, e.g. from looking down on it at the angle you would be looking at it if you were sharpening a knife or try holding the camera very low so that it is almost level with the whetstone. Also try taking photos from different distances away. Most competitors images are taken from quite along way away. If the photo is taken very close to the product then the perspective changes dramatically. It’s all about experimentation to find the a good photo angle that stands out from the others.
Your original question was about “differentiate ourselves in this search page”. Having a different style of image may well do that.
by the way. some of the photos show a checked pattern on the end of the wood and some images do not show that. Which is correct?