Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Food For Thought: Misen Knife Cuts It

Nancy Leson
Nancy Thought it was over-packaged. I agree but it sure looked cool.

About a year ago, I read's J.Kenji Lopez-Alt's rapturous review of a new Kickstarter-funded knife project.  At $65, Kenji called the Misen "the holy grail of knives."  As I toldNancy Leson, "When Kenji says it, I think it."

So we both threw 55 bucks at Kickstarter and awaited our knives.

And waited.  And waited, as the delivery date moved further and further away.  But I really didn't mind as the Misen guys were very good about keeping their investors up to date on what was happening.  Then, about a month ago, our knives arrived. So...

Real value or Hipster Ginsu?

I'd say value.  So would Nancy.  We both like the Misen's shape.  And we both appreciate the sloped bolster between the blade and handle which promotes the "pinch grip" for good control.  Nancy says it's the most comfortable knife she's ever held.  I'd say the same.

The Misen's edge is ground symmetrically to 15 degrees instead of the more common 25.  This more acute angle, Misen says, makes for "a noticeably sharper cutting face."  This is true.  I noticed it was sharper after I didn't notice that I'd cut myself with it.

Still, not everyone likes the knife as well as Kenji, me, and Nancy.  In his review in Wired magazine, Seattle chef Joe Ray was underwhelmed.

If, after sifting the reviews, you decide that you do want a Misen, be ready to wait. Their original Kickstarter  goal was something like $13,000 and they raised over $1 million.  So now there's a wait list.

Have you gotten a Misen? Nancy and I would love to hear what you think.  Tell us and the world in the comments section below.

"Fidelis was not a religious man except when it came to his knives." – Louise Erdrich

Dick Stein joined KNKX in January 1992. He retired in 2020 after three decades on air. During his storied radio career, he hosted the morning jazz show, co-hosted and produced "Food for Thought" with Nancy Leson and wrote and directed the Jimmy Jazzoid live radio musical comedies and 100 episodes of Jazz Kitchen.