In this in-depth review of the Misen 8-Inch chef’s knife, you’ll learn:
- What it’s made of and how it’s made
- How it looks and feels (with lots of pictures)
- How it performs
- What I like and dislike
- How much it costs
- And much more
So, if you’re shopping for a quality kitchen knife and considering the Misen 8-inch chef’s knife, keep reading.
Use the links below to navigate this review:
- Misen Chef’s Knife Key Facts
- What Others Are Saying
- Pros, Cons, and the Bottom Line
Misen Chef’s Knife Key Facts
Before we dive into the details, let’s review some key facts about the Misen 8-Inch chef’s knife.
Materials and Construction: The full-tang stamped blade (steel from butt to tip) is made from premium Japanese AICHI AUS-10 steel. The high carbon content provides excellent sharpness and durability. The synthetic handles are made from thermoplastic elastomers or TPEs, a durable, hygienic choice.
Sharpness: At 15 degrees per side, the blade boasts an ultra-sharp 50/50 symmetrical grind.
Rockwell Hardness: The Rockwell score is 58 with a +/- tolerance, meaning the blade’s hardness can fluctuate slightly based on the production run.
Where It’s Made: The Misen 8-Inch Chef’s Knife is made in China, near Shanghai.
Warranty: All Misen knives come with a Lifetime Guarantee. Misen will replace defective knives at no cost to you.
Lifetime Sharpening: Misen offers Lifetime Free Sharpening. When your blade dulls, ship it to Misen, and the company will sharpen it and ship it back. It takes about two weeks, and you only have to pay for the shipping.
Return Policy: You can return the knife, no questions asked, within the 60-day free home trial period. This does not apply to any clearance-priced items, which may not be returned or exchanged.
Where to Buy: Misen started as a direct-to-consumer brand, meaning you could buy the 8-Inch Chef’s Knife only at Misen.com. However, they recently started selling a limited selection of products, including the Chef’s knife, on Amazon, too. Since Misen sells most of its products direct and doesn’t go through middlemen in the selling process, it can offer much lower prices than the competition.
Other Knives: Misen also produces a Utility Knife, Serrated Knife, Short Chef’s Knife (6.8-inch), Santoku Knife, Paring Knife, and Steak Knives. They also offer a 3-Piece Essentials Knife Set, which includes the 8-inch Chef’s Knife, Serrated Knife, and Paring Knife, and a 5-Piece Essentials Set, which includes everything in the 3-piece set plus the Santoku and Utility knives.
Company Background: Misen launched in 2018 with a Kickstarter campaign for the 8-Inch Chef’s Knife. The campaign raised over $1.2 million from 13,000 supporters. Since then, Misen’s popularity and offerings have been growing — they’ve added cookware (check out my review of Misen cookware) and kitchen accessories — thanks to its quality construction, modern design, and affordable price tag.
The Misen 8-inch chef’s knife’s design makes a statement. It’s sleek, modern-looking, and highlights a mix of German and Japanese influence.
It’s classy, functional, and will look good in any kitchen.
Let’s take a closer look.
The blade showcases a curved edge. It’s subtle and not as pronounced as German models like Wüsthof or Zwilling. In that regard, you can get some rock and chop action, but it’s more suited to the push cut.
The blade isn’t overly wide, which makes precise cuts easier but scooping chopped ingredients more difficult.
The half bolster design (the thick part of the blade that tapers into the handle) allows you to use and sharpen the entire edge, but it doesn’t act as a finger guard like the full-bostlers you’ll find on Wüsthof Classic knives do (check out my review of Wüsthof Classic knives to learn more).
The Misen logo is prominently displayed on the blade’s top half near the handle.
The handle is sturdy and properly balanced. It features a slightly grippy texture to prevent your hand from slipping.
This knife boasts a full tang construction, meaning the steel extends through the handle, limiting the risk of the blade and handle separating. This type of construction is typical in high-end kitchen knives.
The synthetic handle material is attached firmly to the tang by two exposed steel rivets — another feature common among quality knives.
Misen offers three handle colors in matte shades of light blue, black, and gray. I love the blue handle, but the black and gray might better match some of your other cookware.
One element I’m not as fond of is the handle’s edges. In my opinion, they’re too squared off, especially near the butt.
After a while, the edges start digging into your hand.
Because the handle is longer than most 8-inch chef’s knives, Misen is an excellent choice if you have large hands. But if your hands are small, consider the Misen Short Chef’s Knife to get better control.
The Misen chef’s knife looks and feels good, but how does it perform?
This knife can cut through just about anything, and I’ve yet to come across a task that it couldn’t handle.
I’ve used it to cut squash, watermelons, heads of lettuce; you name it. It handles bulky foods with ease, and I also like the way it slices and dices.
It’s razor-sharp out of the box and holds its edge well. It’s so durable, in fact, that I’ve found it doesn’t need sharpening until around the 90-day mark.
To benchmark its performance, I recently compared the Misen Chef’s Knife versus the Made In Chef’s Knife.
Though the Made In knife was slightly sharper, cut through ingredients with a little less effort, and stayed sharp longer, the performance differences were minimal. Both performed exceptionally well.
Overall, this knife gets the job done. It’s sharp and easy to clean, maintain, and sharpen. And if you don’t want to sharpen it yourself, Misen offers lifetime free sharpening.
Here’s the bottom line — I have no complaints about the Misen 8-inch Chef’s Knife’s performance. Sure, you may find knives that are slightly sharper or retain their edge a bit longer, but Misen holds its own against even the most established cutlery competition.
Unproven brand: Misen is still new to the kitchen cutlery scene. Although all indications are that it’s an ultra-durable knife, only time will tell how it holds up.
Limited options: If you’re specifically looking to buy a chef’s knife, Misen has you covered with two options (8-inch and 6.8-inch chef’s knives). But, if you’re looking for a complete knife set and several design options, you’ll need to shop a more established cutlery brand like Wüsthof, Zwilling, or Shun.
Made in China: Misen manufactures its knives in China, which can be a deal-breaker for some cooks. Furthermore, Misen doesn’t provide much transparency about exactly where and how their knives are made. It’d be helpful to see their knife-making process and the standards of production (other brands like Made In provide more insight into the manufacturing process).
Square handle edges: The squared edges on the handle provide superior control, but, in my opinion, they make the knife feel a bit uncomfortable. If you have a quick prep project, you might not notice, but you definitely will if you’ve been cutting for 15 minutes or more.
Long handle: This will be an issue for those with smaller hands. This knife has one of the longest handles I’ve seen on an 8-inch blade. The blade and handle combined are 13.5 inches total.
No fingerguard: I would love a finger guard between the bolster and blade, but that is the sacrifice made for having more surface area for the cutting edge. While you have to be careful using a sharp knife in general, having no finger guard means you need to take an extra bit of caution.
Simply put, the Misen 8-inch chef’s knife, and all Misen products, for that matter, boast an excellent value.
Currently, it costs only $65. Premium knives made with similar materials typically cost around $150 or $200.
Here’s a quick look at the cost of Misen’s full knife line up with links to view more details on Misen.com.
*Prices are subject to change. Check Misen.com for the current prices.
|Knife / Set||Price||View Details|
|8-Inch Chef’s Knife||$65||Misen.com|
|Short Chef’s Knife (6.8-inch)||$55||Misen.com|
|Steak Knife Set (4-piece)||$80||Misen.com|
|3-Piece Essentials Knife Set||$130||Misen.com|
|5-Piece Essentials Knife Set||$200||Misen.com|
How are Misen knives so affordable? There’s got to be a catch, right?
Well, not exactly. Misen offers an affordable line-up of quality knives because they maintain a direct-to-consumer model that eliminates additional costs due to middlemen and third-party sellers.
Additionally, Misen manufactures its knives in China, which traditionally has lower manufacturing costs.
Lastly, the knives aren’t fitted with fancy add-ons. Rare wood handles or specialized blade work such as hand hammering or Granton edges aren’t part of Misen’s portfolio. The collections are designed for quality performance and a sleek and stylish design.
What Others Are Saying
Since the beginning, investors have been behind this brand, evidenced by the wild success of the Misen 8-Inch Chef’s Knife and its $1 million+ Kickstarter campaign. This initial capital investment echoes belief in the brand. Furthermore, Misen has high ratings and praise from thousands of verified buyers on its site.
You’ll also find Misen as a contender on top consumer product review sites such as Good Housekeeping and CNET. Here is a shortlist of the brand’s recent accolades:
- Good Housekeeping named the Misen 8-Inch Chef’s Knife as Best Multi-Purpose Chef’s Knife. They gave it high marks for sharpness, durability, balance, and comfort.
- CNET called the Misen’s knife offerings the Best Looking Direct-to-Consumer Kitchen Knives of 2020. The reviewers highlighted the price as a key benefit but were also impressed with the knife’s durability, comfort, look, and feel.
- Epicurious tested several chef’s knives, and the Misen 8-Inch Chef’s Knife was awarded as the Best Heavy Chef’s Knife. Testers remarked on the value, design, and comfort.
- The Strategist named the Misen 8-Inch Chef’s Knife as the Best No-Fuss, Direct-to-Consumer Chef’s Knife. It was praised for its weight, sharpness, and comfort.
Clearly, Misen users and product testers are impressed with this knife. With a 60-day home trial period, it is easy to try it out to decide if it’s the right knife for you.
Pros, Cons, and the Bottom Line
You’ve had a look at the design of the Misen 8-Inch Chef’s Knife and know where it is made, how the company started, its performance, and the cost.
So, should you buy the Misen chef’s knife?
Before I give my recommendation, let’s run through the pros and cons:
- It performs at the same level as its higher-end counterparts like Wüsthof.
- With a total cutting edge angle of 30 degrees (15 degrees on each side), the knife is extremely sharp out of the box and stays sharp. Even with heavy use and cutting bulky items, I didn’t need to sharpen it for three months.
- The blade is made from AUS-10 steel, a high-carbon Japanese steel touted for durability and edge retention.
- The full-tang construction, double-riveted handle, and weight ensure a steady, well-balanced knife.
- It comes in three colors, so you have a choice of options to fit your kitchen decor.
- Misen offers a 60-day in-home trial with a no questions asked return policy.
- Misen offers a lifetime guarantee on all knives.
- Misen has a lifetime knife sharpening program at no cost to you. Just mail it in using their prepaid postage labels and wait for it to return. Easy.
- For the price, it’s hard to beat. It is more affordable than comparable premium knife brands such as Wüsthof, Global, and Zwilling. (check the current price on Misen.com).
- It’s still a new brand (founded in 2018), so it doesn’t have the benefit of a long track record to stand on.
- The direct to consumer model keeps prices low, but it limits where you can purchase Misen knives. Currently, they’re only available on Misen.com and Amazon.
- The Misen portfolio is limited to six knives and a steak knife set. So there’s not a ton of variety if you like to browse multiple collections and styles.
- Misen manufactures its knives in China and doesn’t share a lot about the manufacturing process and standards. If you want to guarantee production standards, you’re better off with German, Japanese or American forged knives.
- The handle design could use some work in terms of comfort. The flat sides, squared edges, and length isn’t optimal for lengthy prep tasks.
- No finger guard on the blade means you need to be extra careful while you work.
So…should you buy it?
Yes! Even though the knife doesn’t meet every standard like the highest-end chef’s knives, it’s still a great buy. It looks, feels, and performs superbly at a fraction of the cost.
If you want a quality knife that won’t break the bank, buy the Misen 8-Inch Chef’s Knife. And, with their generous 60-day return policy, you can try it out risk-free.
If any of the cons are deal-breakers for you and you have a little extra to spend, the Made In 8-inch chef’s knife is a good alternative. It’s made in France with verified production standards, has a rounder handle, wider blade, and, although costs more, is still an excellent value.
You can learn more about Made In’s knife in my in-depth review.
To learn more about Misen, and get details on their full lineup of knives and cookware, visit Misen.com.
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