Misen Chef Knife Review

A Tough Capable Chef Knife That Almost Lives Up To The Marketing Hype

Direct to consumer knife company marketing tends to be fairly hyperbolic. I assume this is because they can not depend on the promotional efforts of their resellers, so they really talk the knives up in the limited marketing real-estate available to them.

It was with this in mind that I began the Misen chef knife review with more than a little bit of skepticism. For the most part my skepticism was unfounded. Overall, it is a good chef knife. It did fall a little short of the higher end knives it is meant to compete with from a performance standpoint, but it held up surprisingly well from a toughness and durability standpoint.

2023 Update – We have received a lot of feedback from Misen chef knife owners reporting poor customer service and terrible wait times on sharpening. We have also reviewed several chef knives in the two years since we posted this review that are superior to the Misen in almost every way. With that in mind, I recommend skipping down to the Comparison and Alternatives section of this article to find a better chef knife.

A Misen chef knife on a small scale.


Overall Length:13.5″
Blade Length:8″
Style:Gyuto Chef
Handle Length:5.25″
Handle MaterialTPE
Blade Steel:AUS-10
Blade Grind:Flat
Blade Angle:15 °
HRC Rating:58
Weight:8.9 oz


Good fit and finish
Good steel with decent heat treatment
Lifetime warranty
Unique look
Lifetime free sharpening
Full tang


A little too thick behind the edge
Sub par at dicing
Blade is stamped rather than forged.

A Tale of Two Knives

Two Misen 8 inch chef knives on an end grain Walnut cutting board.

Misen contacted us a few months back, and asked if we would be interested in reviewing the new version of their 8 inch chef knife. It was on our very long list of chef knives to review, so we said yes. Unfortunately the knife I received was quite dull and had water spots. A quick perusing of existing reviews told me this was an aberration, so I ordered a second Misen chef knife. The one I ordered was sharp right out of the box and totally free of water spots. I am not sure what happened with the first knife we received, but I assume that is a very rare occurrence based on the mostly positive reviews of this chef knife I have read or watched. I only mention it for the sake of transparency.

The up side of having to order a knife rather than doing the review on the subpar version I first received is that I can say from experience that Misen’s site is easy to navigate, and the checkout experience was quick and easy.  This is especially important for direct to consumer companies like Misen.

Fit An Finish

The fit and finish of the 2nd version of the Misen chef knife is pretty good for the price point.

The fit and finish of the Misen chef knife was pretty good for a sub $100 chef knife. The blade grind was even, there were no glaring gaps between the handle and bolster and the handle scales were flush with the tang of the knife. The handle chamfering was also really even which is not always the case on knives at this price point. Overall I was pretty happy with the look and feel of the knife right out of the box.

Overall Performance

The Misen chef knife slicing through a red onion on a wood cutting board.

For the sake of comparison I decided to test the Misen chef knife against the more expensive chef knives Misen mentioned in their marketing – The Global G-2, The Wusthof Classic and Shun Classic 8 inch chef knives – along with the more moderately priced  Tojiro DP, Nexus BD1N  and Shun Sora 8 inch chef knives. From a straight slicing standpoint, the Global G-2, Shun Classic, Wusthof Classic, Nexus BD1N and Tojiro DP chef knives were far better. It wasn’t even close. The Misen just required more pressure to make the same cuts through the same materials. The Misen chef knife’s performance was comparable to the Shun Sora chef knife which is impressive, because the Sora is popular and costs about $15 more than the Misen.

I think it is safe to say that from a performance standpoint the Misen’s marketing may have overstated its capability in their advertising material, but their new chef knife holds up well against most sub $100 chef knives not named Tojiro DP. I still maintain the Tojiro DP F808 is the best sub $100 chef knife on the market.

Pinch Grip On The Misen Chef Knife

The main reason the Misen came up short against the higher end knives I tested it against was that it is thicker behind the edge. Misen touts their 15 degree edge in all of their marketing material, but the performance that generally accompanies a 15 degree edge is absent with the Misen due it the fact that after the 15 degree edge, the blade gets thick really quick. 

Measuring behind the edge of the Misen 8 inch chef knife.

While it is true that thickness of the Misen’s blade behind the edge diminishes it’s slicing ability it does increase it’s durability. This is especially true considering the blade is made of AUS-10 steel which is tough enough to be used in a variety of survival knives and hard use pocket knives . It is interesting that Misen does not spend more time promoting this chef knife’s durability in its marketing descriptions, because that really is the thing that sets it apart.

A close-up of a drumbstick being removed from a chicken with the Misen 8 inch chef knife.

The Misen chef knife did a good job carving up this chicken. We were not gentle or easy on the knife during this process. We purposely hit bone and cut quickly to see if the knife sustained any damage, but the knife came through unscathed.

Removing a chicken breast from a whole chicken with the Misen chef knife.

The Misen chef knife has a rockwell hardness of around 58. This is harder than many budget chef knives, but a bit softer from most higher end knives. I actually think this is a sweet spot for a kitchen knife that was designed for multiple tasks. The steel is not so soft that it needs to be sharpened all the time, but it is not hard enough to easily chip.

The Tojiro DP chef knife I mentioned earlier is much better than the Misen from a performance standpoint, but it is also less durable. This is because the Tojiro DP is thinner behind the edge and has a harder steel.

A close-up of the Misen chef knife dicing a carrot on a cutting board.

I found the TPE handle of the Misen chef knife to be pretty comfortable when using the knife for extended periods. The sloped bolster made the pinch grip feel natural and the fact that it is a half half bolster makes sharpening the entire cutting edge of the blade easy.

The handle felt a little too smooth when I first began using this knife, and I was worried it would be too slick if it got wet. I ran some water over my hand and the knife handle in order to test this theory. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the handle remained quite grippy even when it was wet.

The Gyuto style blade of the chef knife is a great option for a jack of all trades style blade. The idea behind a gyuto style blade is that is curves enough to be decent at rock chopping, but it is straight enough to be decent at push cuts. The down side is that it does not excel at either type of cutting. The Misen is less curved than most other Gyutos I have tested, so if rock chopping is your thing, you may want to look elsewhere. It was much easier to push cut with the Misen.

I am a big fan of AUS-10 steel. I think it was a great choice for this knife, because toughness is its best attribute. AUS-10 takes a great edge, and it is easy to sharpen. It is also less likely to chip than a lot of the more brittle steels used by other kitchen knife companies.

Comparison and Alternatives

This image show two alternatives to the misen chef knife. The Tojiro DP is on top and the Nexus is on bottom.
The Tojiro DP F808 chef knife (top image) and the Nexus chef knife (bottom image) are both similarly priced comparisons to the Misen chef knife.

I have mentioned the Tojiro DP 8 inch chef knife throughout this article. We consider it it the gold standard for sub $100 chef knives here at Nothing But Knives. It costs about $12 more than the Misen, but it offers a slightly more comfortable handle and better overall slicing, dicing and cutting performance. It also has a slight edge (pun intended) over the Misen from an edge retention standpoint. However, the Misen chef knife is tougher. The blade is less likely to chip from hitting bone or other hard objects. It is also a little easier to sharpen. But that won’t be necessary, because Misen offers free sharpening.

The Vosteed Morgan is a high performing budget chef, and it is a good option for anyone who likes modern styling.
The Vosteed Morgan beats the Misen chef knife from both a performance and price standpoint.

Another alternative to the Misen chef knife is the Vosteed Morgan. It beats the Misen from a performance standpoint by a large margin, and it almost matches the Misen from a toughness standpoint. It is the only two chef knife under $100 that I keep in my kitchen, and it has quickly become one of my most recommended budget chef knives.

The Cutluxe Artisan chef knife is another good alternative to the Misen. It is a far better slicer, and it is also a bit cheaper. The handles are a little on the thick side, so it may not be ideal for small hands, but I recommend it over the Misen to anyone with average to large sized hands.

If you are looking for a chef knife alternative to the Misen that also has AUS10 steel check out the Shun Kanso Chef’s Knife. It offers much better performance and a retro look, but it does cost a bit more.

Cangshan Helena knives are also worth a look. They offer better performance, but worse corrosion resistance.


The Misen 8 inch chef knife dicing onions. This is the header image for the conclusion of our in-depth review. It shows this knife's capabilities in-spite of it's shortcomings.

From a straight performance standpoint we did not find that the Misen chef knife held up to the higher end chef knives from Wusthof and Shun that are mentioned in Misen’s marketing material. It did not even match the top chef knives under $100 from a performance standpoint. However, it offers a pretty good compromise between performance and toughness which makes it a good option if it is going to be your only chef knife. Also Misen’s lifetime free sharpening policy makes this chef knife a great for folks who hate sharpening knives.

2023 Update – We have received a lot of feedback from customers letting us know that the current turnaround time on sharpening takes several weeks or even months, and Misen is not responding to customer service emails. With this new information you may be better served looking elsewhere for a good chef knife.

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Avatar of Ben North

Ben started a twenty year commercial photography career after a blurry stint in the navy. He spent a lot of time losing and breaking knives and other EDC gear on location shoots before starting Nothing But Knives. He has reviewed and tested hundreds of both outdoor and kitchen knives over the course of the last six years, and he was mostly sober while testing and reviewing.

19 thoughts on “Misen Chef Knife Review”

  1. this is a very well written review. i have one in route and I’m curious if it’s going to live up to the hype as well. Thanks for read.

  2. Great review while also being educational!
    I have a bias that leads me to prefer items not made in China. I was disappointed to see Made in China stamped on a set of knives by Zwilling so I returned them. (Not all their sets are Made in China.)
    I would be interested in knowing how place of manufacture varies quality. (We guitarists discuss that question frequently.)

    • A lot of the time quality is varied more by how much quality control a maker is willing to go through. Even good factories in China can only make things to specifications. A company that really wants a knife to come out well goes through a lot of prototypes before pulling the trigger on full production.
      As for Zwilling knives, they’re all made in Germany or Japan. They make J.A. Henkel’s knives in China, Spain, and India, though (we go into this in our Zwilling Knife Guide, but look for the twin strongmen stamped on the blade). For what it’s worth, sets like the Henkel’s International are pretty solid budget kitchen knives.

  3. Thanks for writing up this thorough review! I wanted an opinion outside the glowing reviews on Misen’s site.

    My question is, yes the knife is sharp out of the box alright, but will it stay that sharp through years of use, given proper care and maintenance?

    Is it the kind of knife you can buy for life? A good kitchen tool that you can pass on to the next generation?

    • The Misen chef knife is the type of knife that could last a lifetime of moderate use with proper care and maintenance, but I personally don’t think of it in terms of multi generational use. It is more of a tough beater chef knife that is nice to have on hand if you are tackling a task that might chip a more premium chef knife with harder steel and a thinner edge. If I were looking for a lifetime type knife to pass down I would buy a custom knife from Bob Kramer or Neil Kamimura. However, neither of those options would be very affordable for most folks. The Zwilling By Kramer knife series includes a few different chef knives that would be a more affordable option for a great multi-generational knife. If you like Japanese style chef knives, Myobi has some great models that look awesome and perform well if properly cared for.

      • Thank you for the recommendations! I will look into all of those knives you suggested.
        I’m always on the look out for good kitchen knives that are worth the investment.

  4. I was lucky—I got to borrow my son’s Misen, so I could try before buying–and I’m not buying. $85 for a Chinese-made stamped steel blade?—way too high, in my opinion. Stamping is how you make license plates, and the price should reflect that. Forged blades are tapered two ways—bolster to tip and spine to edge. That takes work. That’s why they’re lighter and nimbler than stamped blades. Uncomfortably skinny handle. Blade too narrow for scooping. Back end of the blade slopes forward—should be vertical. FYI, Misen claims to have originated that soft, smooth transition between blade and handle. Not true. My Zwilling Pro Line 8 has it and it’s 10 years old. If you can’t do better than the Mise for that price you’re just nit trying. Apart from all that, I confess to a dee-seated suspicion of all these new companies—Misen, Made In, Milk Street and some others—that come out of nowhere to announce that they’ve got the greatest thing since sliced bread and the greatest price since the free lunch. They always claim they’ve spent YEARS researching and refining the design, have brought in experts to consult with, then bingo, they’ve got a world-beating product. The truth more likely is that they’ve spotted a possible opening the market, found a manufacturer, tweaked the mfr’s product a bit here and there, then bingo—they’re off to market with inflated and unsupportable claims. In the end, North sums up by calling the Misen and sturdy ‘beater.’ Well if you’re willing to pay that price for a beater, knock yourself out—or buy a Brandless, which I think goers for $15. But you can’t sell one to me.

    • Couple of things: There are plenty of really good stamped-blade knives out there. Stamped vs. forged isn’t really the quality indicator for knives that it used to be thanks to the rapid progress of things like CNC machines and metallurgy in general.
      And while you’re right about Misen knives being rough and overpriced, your description of their secret plan to “spot an opening in the market” and take advantage of it with a tweaked product isn’t so much a description of a nefarious plot to steal our money as it is a summary of how a free market works.
      Still, though, Misen is far from our first recommendation for any price point, and we appreciate you reading, Bill.

  5. Thanks, Andrew. Yes, I agree that that’s how a free market works. What I object to is the ridiculous marketing: telling considers they’ve been struggling for decades with second-rate knives but now we come to the rescue with an affordable product that’s the equal of . . .etc, etc. I used to see a lot of the same thing when I was a wine writer. At least once a week I have some vintner crowing about his “great wine at a great price.” Well, not really: somehow the laws of physics don’t accept stuffing two greats ito one bottle. OK, yes, better than average inexpensive wine and yes, a good if not great price. (So glad to be out of THAT.)
    As for the plague of “famous” chefs wildly endorsing products (such as the Misen) in order to generate sales commissions, I call it hyping. They call it ‘monetizing.’

    • Fair enough. The Misen knife is definitely overhyped (or was when this review was written), but I think we’ve become a bit numb to that over the years. I mostly took exception to calling out stamped, Chinese-made blades, because the range of quality in knives along that manufacturing path is a lot wider than most people seem to think.
      But Misen seems to have settled into their roll as the pretty but overpriced workhorse knife, and, for some, that sub-$100 range is low budget. At the risk of defending Misen too much (because ultimately I agree with you), there’s a certain point that personal taste overrides any kind of quantifiable quality. You say you can’t stuff too greats into a bottle, but sometimes you just like a cheap wine. Some people really latch onto the look and feel of Misen knives. Maybe the edge sucks, but when a handle works for you it makes up for a lot of other faults.

  6. Their policy of free sharpening for life is a complete waste of time. I sent my knife back 60 days ago and have still not received it even after numerous emails to the company. All I get is it is delayed because the sharpener is backlogged – what BS- I paid roundtrip shipping costs -it would be faster and less expensive to go to a local knife sharpener!

    • We haven’t tried their knife sharpening service, but definitely agree it’s generally better to go to a local sharpener for any of your knives.

    • Hi Mark. You are the 2nd person we have heard this from. We are going to send our Misen in for sharpening. Then we will share update this article with your feedback and our experience.
      Thanks for letting us know.

    • I am having the exact same problem! Sent my knife in early September, 2023 and getting the exact response as you. I’ve been aggressive but polite with emails with no responses. I have no knife, no replies to repeated questions like, where is my knife and when can I expect it? Nothing! I too spent the required shipping fees both ways and am feeling like maybe my knife will never be returned to me? I even labeled the box it originally came in, the knife itself and not a word except due to a backlog your order has been delayed, Am now wondering if it was sent back to China? Not a happy customer!

  7. I am experiencing the same problem as Marc LoGiurato is having and about the same time period. I have gotten the same response and no concert answers to my repeated email requests. any suggestions?

    • Hi Sarah. We have updated this article with the poor customer service information we have received from you and others. We have also reached out to Misen to see if they can shed some light on the subject. I will let you know if we hear anything.

      If it is any consolation, your feedback along with feedback we have received from other customers will result in many readers choosing different knife brands due to the fact that we updated the article. Hopefully Misen will realize they have a problem, and improve their customer service.

  8. I have a pairing knife and the small chef, and am very fond of both. They’re excellent workhorses, and the finish is exceptional. I don’t think Misen is misrepresenting these on their site, or that the knife is overhyped. The whole listing is essentially about the knife’s durability.

    I think Misen hit the nail on the head by producing an attractive knife that feels good in hand, holds up to abuse, and will do the majority of kitchen tasks well.


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