Is the Misen knife from Kickstarter worth $65

# Is the Misen knife from Kickstarter worth $65?
By Marshall King on November 16, 2016

The reviews of the Misen chef’s knife range from being called the “Holy Grail of Knives” from food expert J.
Misen chef's knife is $65 and touted as performing as good as a knife selling for $100 or more. Marshall V. King photo

Misen chef’s knife is $65 and touted as performing as good as a knife selling for $100 or more. Marshall V. King photo

Kenji Lopez-Alt to essentially a “meh” from Wired magazine.

So which are we to believe?

Actually, the answer is both.

A company put a $65 chef’s knife on Kickstarter touting that it was as good as knives costing more than $100.

That sort of claim opens it to debate and that’s what has ensued.

After chopping with it for several weeks in my own kitchen (after getting a review copy like a cookbook but somehow more novel), I can say that it’s the knife I’ve been reaching for instead of a Japanese santoku, but I wonder how long it will last.

The knife has details that make it comfortable to use.

    The handle is thermoplastic, which makes it feel less cheap than ones with just a soft plastic handle.
    The bolster, or thick part just off the handle where your hands rests, is thick and easy to gasp.
    The balance of the handle and 8-inch blade make it feel natural in the hand.
    It’s sharp, as new knives should be, and does a fine job chopping and slicing.

But, and there is a but, the blade is already scratched, which makes me wonder about the hardness of the metal and the knife’s long-term durability.

The Wired magazine review put the hardness to the test and questions the company’s claims of hardness. If you geek out on science, it’s worth reading.

Simply put, a softer knife will need sharpening more often. A dull knife is more likely to result in you cutting yourself. The company claims free knife sharpening for life, but the prospect of sending off a key kitchen tool for any period of time isn’t appealing. I want a knife that is easy to maintain with a steel and occasional sharpening. The jury’s out on whether Misen can be that over time.

I wish the knife had a more pronounced curve on its belly so that it would be easier to rock when you chop herbs.Yet, the research and prototyping by these former restaurant chefs results in a knife that can handle slicing and chopping. And again, using the knife is comfortable, even when undertaking breaking down a tough butternut squash.

Will the knife last the way a Shun will? Time will tell, but I’m dubious.

Will it continue to be worth the $65 cost? It’s possible.

Will it remain my go-to knife? I hope so, but it depends on the first two.


Marshall King