Is a $75 Misen Knife Worth the Investment?
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Any way you slice it, a good quality chef's knife is a kitchen must. We tried the Misen knife at home to see how it performs over time.
For home cooks, a dependable chef’s knife is the most important kitchen tool. After all, a chef’s knife is the workhouse of meal prep. You need something strong enough to chop onions and fine enough to chiffonade fresh basil. Handle comfort, weight and price are also major factors when knife shopping.
After doing some research, I decided to give my cheap ceramic knife set a rest and upgrade to a high-carbon stainless steel chef’s knife—the Misen chef’s knife to be exact.
What is a Misen Knife?
Misen was created on Kickstarter by restaurant chefs who saw an opening in the knife market for a more affordable knife that delivers on design, geometry, weight and balance points. The team consulted with a metal specialist and industrial designer to get it right. And to keep prices down, Misen manufactures the knives themselves and uses a direct-to-consumer internet model.
The Misen chef’s knife is a hybrid-style knife. It has a traditional German-style curved blade and the thin profile and light weight of a Japanese-style knife. The handle features a forged bolster for superior balance and control. It’s also comfortable to hold, even during precise cuts.
Materials are another advantage. The handle is made of a very dense plastic composite and the blade is made of premium AUS-10 Stainless steel. Like a Japanese knife, the blade is sharpened at 15 degrees, for a steep angle that gives a sharp edge.
Psst! Misen also makes a super strong set of kitchen shears.
How I Tested a Misen Chef’s Knife at Home
Courtesy Megan Wood (2)
Straight out of the box, I could see and feel the quality of the Misen knife. The blue handle felt solid in my grip, and the weight of the blade was evident. I asked Taste of Home’s Executive Culinary Director, Sarah Farmer, what to look for in a knife. Sarah explained, “A good all-purpose chef’s knife, which you’ll use all the time, is like an extension of your own hands and should be comfortable. I always tell people to be like Goldilocks—make sure you find the right fit. Not too heavy, not too light.”
To thoroughly test the knife, I used it for all of my cooking and meal prep tasks that required cutting over the last few months. Slicing onions, zucchini and bell peppers for vegetarian chili was the first task. I immediately noticed that cutting thin slices was so easy due to the razor sharp blade. There’s enough clearance on the down cut where I don’t rap my knuckles on the cutting board.
One cutting chore I absolutely dread is slicing up whole butternut squash. The Misen knife made quick work of getting through the tough peel (no microwaving required) and dicing the flesh into cubes. Other cutting chores made easy? Dicing fresh herbs without bruising the delicate leaves, cutting up raw chicken breast and thinly slicing garlic. It’s my go-to knife for slicing apples for a snack and creating perfect tomato and mozzarella rounds for caprese salad.
Seventy five dollars might sound like a big price tag for one knife. But Sarah explained that a good quality, high-end knife can cost anywhere between $150 to $400. At $75, the Misen knife is a steal. Find out if ceramic cookware is worth the investment, too.
Misen Knife Pros
- Comfortable to hold without digging into the hand
- Eight-inch blade is just the right length
- Hybrid shape allows for numerous cuts
- $75 is an affordable price tag for a high-quality chef’s knife
- Blade sharpened at 15 degrees for precision cutting
- Chef’s knife works for a variety of cut needs, from meat to herbs to veggies
- Handle comes in four color options
Misen Knife Cons
- Depending on how much you budget for knives, $75 might be steep
- Softer than alloy, requires regular sharpening
How to Care for a Misen Knife
Like most knives, a Misen knife should never see the inside of a dishwasher. (Make sure you’re not abusing your knives!) Wash the knife by hand with soap and hot water, and dry it before putting away in a knife holder. While you’re at it, don’t forget to clean your knife block.
What Other Reviewers Have to Say
Since the Misen chef’s knife launched in 2019, it’s drawn a cult following among home chefs. The knife has a 4.9 star rating with over 8300 reviews. Here are some five star raves from verified buyers.
Dorothy S. says, “This knife is amazing! The blade is so well honed, it cuts with little to no effort. Comfortable to handle.”
Jacob G. writes, “The knife is incredibly thin and I really like how light it feels in the hand compared to some other knives that were thicker toward the top. It handles really nicely and also arrived incredibly sharp!”
OldGuyToo L. said, “This chef ‘s knife is awesome. It is sharp and handy, and fits my hand like it was made for it. I was helping at a church dinner, and ended up chopping vegetables for two-and-a-half hours. The knife was so comfortable my hand didn’t even feel tired at the end (though the rest of me certainly did). Great knife at a fantastic price considering what you get.”
The Final Verdict
No matter how you slice it, I love the Misen chef’s knife. It’s my first “professional” knife and now that I know how much a quality knife has improved my cutting and cooking skills, I’m not going back to my old ceramic set. After multiple months of consistent use, I can tell that the blade will need to be sharpened soon.
Where to Buy a Misen Knife
A Misen chef’s knife is only available directly through Misen’s website. The chef’s knife costs $75. You can also find an essentials knife set, singular knives, cookware like a Dutch oven and prep cook tools. Returns are free and each product comes with a lifetime guarantee.
And once you have your knife, make sure you know how to hold it correctly.