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Misono Knives: A Review of the Premium Brand

By trk

Last Updated: January 22, 2024

best kitchen knives, Japanese knives, kitchen knives, Misono knives

Misono is a brand of Japanese knives gaining popularity in the US. The Western handles with thin Japanese blades gives Misono a huge appeal in the American market. The brand is used mostly by professional chefs, but they can be a good choice for home cooks, too.

Learn all about Misono knives in our detailed review. We talk about steel, handle material, design, pros and cons, who Misono knives are good for, and more. 

Misono Knives at a Glance

Here's the Misono knife lineup. Our favorites are asterisked and we do detailed reviews of them below.

All Misono knives are made in Seki, Japan.

Misono Knife

Features

Misono 440 Series gyuto

-16% chromium molybdenum vanadium stainless steel

-HRC 58-59 (stay sharper than other knives w/same rating like Wusthof)

-Full tang, partial bolster

-Mirror convex grind

-70/30 bevel (for right handed users)

-Rounded spine for comfort

-Spine is 1.9mm thick at heel

-Stainless steel bolster

-Black pakka wood Western style handle.

Misono EU Carbon Steel chef knife

-Forged high carbon steel (not stainless)

-HRC 60

-Full tang, partial bolster

-Mirror convex grind

-70/30 degree bevel for right handed users

-240mm (9in.) gyuto weighs 8.2 oz/235g

-Spine is 2.1mm at heel

-Black pakka wood Western style handle.

Misono Handmade Molybdenum chef knife

-Forged AUS8 high carbon stainless steel 

-Entry level series

-Most affordable line of Misono knives

-HRC 57 

-Full tang, partial bolster

-Mirror convex grind

-70/30 degree bevel for right handed users

-Less polished spine than the 440 Series

-195mm/7.7" weighs 5.5oz/155g

-7.7" blade spine is 2.2mm thick at heel

-Black pakka wood Western style handle.

Misono UX10 chef's knife

-Stamped Swedish stainless steel (Sandvik 19C27), cold treated for durability

-HRC 60

-10/20 degree bevel (for right handed users)

-Full tang, partial bolster

-70/30 degree bevel for right handed users

-210mm chef knife spine is 1.8mm thick at heel

-Squarish spine (not polished smooth)

-210mm chef knife weighs 5.7 oz (163g)

-Nickel silver bolster

-Black pakka wood Western style handle.

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How We Tested

Bess Sharpness Tester

Edge-On-Up sharpness tester.

We tested the 8-inch chef's knives/gyutos in all four Misono lines. The first thing we did was measure out-of-box sharpness with this professional edge tester. This test is tricky to do correctly, so to ensure we get the most accurate results, we use pre-tensioned test clips so we have the same tension for every test. We push the knife down at the same rate, and repeat the test at least three times (more if we get widely varying results). We think it's better than the paper cutting test because it quantifies sharpness--but it has to be done carefully.

The lower the number, the sharper the knife. For reference, we're looking for a sharpness below 400 grams, per this table of sharpness standards:

Bess C knife sharpness scale

We tested each knife three times to make sure we got an accurate reading. Here are the results:

Misono 440 Series 210mm gyuto: 245g (new high end cutlery)

Misono EU/Swedish Steel Series 210mm gyuto: 210g (razor sharp)

Misono Handmade Molybdenum Series 8-inch chef's knife: 270g (new high end cutlery)

Misono UX10 Series 210mm chef's knife: 180g (razor sharp)

After sharpness testing, we used the knives in the kitchen for about 8 weeks. Several testers used the chef's knives as any cook would, cutting onions, garlic, herbs, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, apples and other fruits, plus cheeses, meats (cooked and raw), and more. 

We avoided hard foods like squashes and chicken bones because Misono blades aren't designed for use on hard foods, so though they are extremely sharp knives and great to use, they aren't as versatile as harder, heavier German blades. 

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About Misono

Misono is one of the oldest Western-style knife makers in Japan. Their knives are made in Seki City, the "city of blades" where many Japanese knife makers are located. Misono was founded in 1935. The company started out making vegetable peelers and began making knives in the 1960s.

Today, they are still a small, family-run company with about 50 employees. They make all their knives in the traditional Japanese style. This means hand forging, hand grinding, and hand sharpening. Not all their knives are forged (the UX10 is a stamped knife), but all are hand ground and sharpened. All Misono blades are cold- and heat-treated for optimal sharpness and edge retention. Each knife undergoes several inspections before leaving the company.

Interestingly, Misono does not alow visitors inside the company, so their processes are largely secret. We know the standard procedures that produce Japanese knives, but we do not know the "tricks of the trade" Misono uses to produce exceptionally light, sharp blades with long-lasting edge retention. 

Misono produces about 150,000 knives annually. 

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Steel Used in Misono Knives

Misono makes four lines of knives. They are all very similar in design and have similar buying options (no sets). There are a few minor design differences, such as handle width and number of rivets. The main difference between the lines is the steel used. So understanding the different types of steel they use is crucial to getting the right Misono for you.

440 Series: 16 Cr Molybdenum Vanadium Stainless Steel

This is a high carbon stainless steel with 16-18% chromium for excellent corrosion and rust resistance, plus molybdenum and vanadium for increased toughness and to resist chipping. The difference between this steel and the steel used in the Handmade series is the higher chromium content, which makes it a more durable and more expensive steel. This is a great knife, but the higher chromium content may not be necessary for home cooks.

EU/Swedish Carbon Steel Series: Swedish Carbon Steel

Formerly called the Swedish Steel series and now called the EU Steel series--though the steel used has not changed--this line uses Swedish carbon steel. Note that this is a true carbon steel blade, not high carbon stainless steel. This means that the steel is prone to rusting, so it requires different care than stainless steel blades. For example, the blade must be towel dried after every wash so it won't rust. 

Misono does not disclose a lot of details about the specific Swedish carbon steel they use--and it could be several--so we are basing our recommendations primarily on performance. It's hardened to HRC 60 for this series, yet despite the hardness it's a fairly tough steel, meaning it resists chipping as well as holding an edge well. It sharpens easily for carbon steel, but it won't hold an edge as long as some other carbon steels, so it requires regular steeling and more frequent sharpening. 

This steel discolors upon use (this is oxidation, standard for carbon steel blades). It eventually develops a patina that protects the blade from more oxidation (i.e., rust). Even so, it still needs to be washed and dried after use. If the steel develops rust spots, you can remove them with a fine grit sandpaper. 

Handmade Molybdenum Series: AUS 8 

AUS8 is a high carbon, 13% chromium and molybdenum stainless steel that has excellent corrosion resistance, durability, great cutting performance, and is easy to sharpen (or would be, if the blade wasn't asymmetrical). According to knifebasics.com, "Knife makers highly favor it as it provides excellent balance in edge retention, corrosion resistance, and price. It is an easy steel to work on, and with good heat treatment, it can get up to the 60HRC mark." AUS 8 is a budget steel, but has a lot of good qualities. It can dull if used frequently, but overall is a good steel for an entry level line like the Handmade Molybdenum Series, and it helps to keep the price down.

UX10: Swedish Steel

Sandvik 19C27 steel is high carbon stainless steel manufactured by Sandvik Materials Technology in Sweden. 19C27 is also referred to as Swedish steel (although there are many other types of Swedish steel). Sandvik 19C27 is often used on Japanese knives. It offers high wear resistance because of its coarse-grained structure. It can be hardened to 58-63 HRC and holds an edge for a long time. It is also surprisingly tough for such a hard steel and resists chipping and breaking pretty well. The downside is that because of the coarse grain, it can be hard to get a really fine edge. Read more about Swedish steel at this site.

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Handles of Misono Knives

All Misono handles are made of pakka wood. Pakka wood is a wood-resin composite engineered for durability. It is resistant to heat and moisture, which makes it ideal for kitchen utensils. It is used in many Japanese kitchen knife brands.

Pakka wood is made by process called thermosetting: immersing thin wood veneers in resin, then heating to fuse the layers together. Woods used include beech, birch, and other hardwoods.

Traditional wood handles are beautiful, but pakka wood is more durable. Pakka wood is also a more environmentally conscious choice because it uses smaller amounts of natural wood resources and is processed at low temperatures, which eliminates toxic gas emissions.

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Interesting Features of Misono Knives

Misono knives are simple and rather minimalist in design, but even so, they have a few interesting features.

Mirror Convex Grind

The bevel is the part of the blade that narrows to form the cutting edge. It is done by grinding the blade, which is why this area is called a grind. The grind can range from extremely thin (like a razor blade) to thick and almost blunt-edged (like an axe).

This diagram (from knivesandtools.com) shows the most popular knife grinds (not just on kitchen knives, but on all knives):

Knife Grinds

Most kitchen knives have a flat grind. A flat grind looks like a "V" in cross section (or a partial v, depending on the variation) and can create a very sharp cutting edge. It's a simple grind and easy for home cooks to sharpen on a whetstone.

A convex grind is much less common, especially among kitchen knives. As you can see in the cross section above, a convex grind bows out sightly rather than having flatly sloping sides (like a flat grind). A convex grind produces an extremely strong blade with excellent edge retention, but it is harder to sharpen, so it is not a common grind. Misono likely uses a convex grind to strengthen their light, thin blades--and they do seem to be more durable than many other Japanese knives.

We talk more about sharpening a convex grind below (though we recommend getting some professional training before attempting it yourself, especially on an expensive blade like a Misono).

70/30 Bevel

Most Misono knives have an asymmetrical 70/30 bevel, which seems to be a bit of a compromise between a single bevel blade, which is the traditional Japanese style, and a double-edged blade, which is the traditional Western style. Single bevel knives can produce extremely thin, precise cuts; much more so than a double bevel (Western style) knife. The 70/30 bevel can produce extremely thin, precise cuts yet are easier to work with (for Western users, at least) and more versatile than single bevel knives.

At one time, all Japanese blades were single bevel, but to be sold in the Western market, most Japanese knife makers now produce several symmetrical, double-bevel knives. Gyutos, pettys, santokus, and nakiris sold in Western markets nearly all have a symmetrical double cutting bevel, often thinner than those on most Western style knives (e.g., Miyabi knives have a 9-12 degree symmetrical double bevel, while most Western blades have a 15 degree symmetrical double bevel).

The 70/30 asymmetrical bevel is uncommon in the Western market. Misono is probably not the only brand, but it's the only one we currently know that uses this design. As far as we can tell, all Misono knives (at least all sold in the Western market) have this 70/30 bevel.

Made for Right Handed People

The asymmetrical bevel has another important implication: it is designed for right-handed users only. The thicker, more rounded grind is to the right, while the thinner, flatter grind is on the left side of a right handed knife. This configuration helps food to fall away from the blade in the desired way.

This was also the case with single bevel Japanese knives, which were also made for right-handed users.

If you're left handed, worry not: you can custom order a left-handed knife from Misono. No, not from Amazon, but there are several sellers who offer this service at a reasonable price, usually about $20 for common blades like gyuto, santoku, and petty. We've linked to Korin, a popular Japanese knife website, if you want to order a left-handed Misono knife.

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Who Are Misono Knives Best For?

Misono knives are marketed to professional chefs and serious home cooks. All Misono knives are sold individually rather than in sets, which is how professionals tend to buy knives. 

This doesn't mean home cooks wouldn't like a Misono knive. If you appreciate light, nimble design and want a knife for prepping or doing very thin slices, a Misono is a great choice. Just don't get one for an all-purpose kitchen chef knife because they're not meant for hard foods and bone.

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Types of Japanese Knives

Here are the most common Japanese knives seen in the Western market. Misono doesn't sell all these types of knives; they sell gyutos, santokus, hankotsus, honesukis, petty knives, and sujihikis (as far as we know), though they don't use the Japanese names for all the knives. For example, they call the sujihiki a slicing knife. 

Deba 

Deba knife

It looks a little bit like a santoku, but the blade is thicker and heavier and the spine curves down to the tip rather than being straight, which helps with certain carving jobs. A deba knife is designed for cutting meat, and fish in particular, although you can use it for other meats. It's heavy enough to cut through fish and chicken bones, but anything harder may damage the blade. Debas are traditionally single bevel, and not super popular in the Western market. But you can find double beveled debas, which you'll need if you're left handed (or else have one custom made). See a deba knife on Amazon

Gyuto

Misono EU:Swedish gyuto with dragon

The gyuto is the Japanese equivalent of the Western chef's knife. It's an all-purpose knife used for veggie prepping, slicing meat and fish, mincing herbs, and more. A gyuto is usually thinner and lighter than a Western chef's knife, and it's made with harder steel, which is more prone to chipping than softer German steel. This means that most gyutos aren't meant to be used for hard foods, frozen foods, or bone. Gyutos are also narrower and have a flatter belly, so they're great for push and pull cutting, but not great for rock chopping. This isn't true for all gyutos, as some are very similar in shape to Western chef's knives, but is true for most of them.

See a gyuto knife on Amazon

Hankotsu

Hankotsu knife

The hankotsu knife is designed for separating meat from bones, traditionally used to butcher hanging carcasses and cutting up fish and chicken. It is held with the blade edge facing downwards in a reverse grip. It's a thick, durable blade, but even still should not be used for bone.

The first third of the blade is not sharpened to help prevent cutting your hand when you're using the knife in a reverse grip (such as to slice downward through a carcass). The hantsoku is popular in Western kitchens for Frenching racks, cutting chops, and boning out strips.

The hankotsu provides little to no knuckle clearance, so it's good for cutting up meats, but not good for use on a cutting board. Though seen in Western markets, this knife is often called a bone knife or puncture knife rather than by its Japanese name. See a hankotsu knife on Amazon

Honesuki

Honesuki knife

The honesuki knife is a boning knife, designed specifically for cutting up poultry, but also usable for other meats. It is a fairly durable blade, but is not meant to cut through bones, including poultry bones. The sharp, narrow tip is great for puncturing skin and doing precise cuts in small areas. Some honesukis are single bevel; the Misono honesuki has a 70/30 asymmetrical bevel (like all Misonos). See a honesuki knife on Amazon

Nakiri

Shun Premier Nakiri Knife

A nakiri is a traditional Japanese vegetable knife. The edge is very thin and sharp for precise cuts. The flat design allows you to use the whole blade. Nakiris are typically double-beveled. See a nakiri knife on Amazon

Petty

A petty knife is the Japanese equivalent of a paring knife: great for peeling veggies and fruit and smaller cutting jobs. The blade is shorter than a gyuto, though it comes in different sizes. See a petty knife on Amazon

Santoku 

Mercer Culinary MX3 santoku knife

Santokus are one of the most popular Japanese knives in the Western market. They are most used for chopping, dicing, and mincing. They were originally meant for vegetables, but today they're treated much like a gyuto/chef's knife because the blade is great for so many things. If you are more of a push-pull cutting and not a rock chopper, you may prefer a santoku to a chef's knife for general purpose cutting. 

The blade is flatter and a bit taller than a gyuto, so it usually has more knuckle clearance. The blade is also a bit shorter, with the standard length being 7 inches/178mm, but available in shorter and longer lengths as well. Santokus are so popular today in the Western market that many Western makers sell santokus, including Victorinox, Mercer, Messermeister, Wusthof, and Zwillling-Henckels.

See a santoku knife on Amazon

Sujihiki  

Misono Sujihiki slicer knife

The sujihiki is a slicing knife. The long, narrow blade is great for trimming sinew and fat from meat, skinning and filleting fish, and slicing meat or fish into extremely thin, precise cuts. The long blade allows you to cut in one motion from heel to tip, while doing the least amount of damage to food. The sujihiki is similar to a yanagiba except it has a double bevel, while the yanagiba has a single bevel. See a sujihiki knife on Amazon

Usuba

Usuba knife

A usuba knife looks like a nakiri, and both are designed to cut vegetables. The main difference is that the nakiri has a double bevel and the usuba has a single bevel. The single bevel allows for extremely thin, precise cuts and is popular with sushi chefs. Usubas can also sometimes come to point rather than have a rectangular blade, but will still have a flat cutting edge. Usubas are harder to find in the Western market than nakiris, and some knives listed as usubas are actually nakiris because they have a double bevel. There's really no reason for a Western chef to have a usuba, but if you want one, know that the standard usuba is made for right-handed users; if you're left-handed, you'll have to get a usuba custom made. See usuba knives at japanesechefsknives.com

Yanagiba

Yanagiba knife

The yanagiba is a slicing knife similar to the sujihiki (above), but typically has a single bevel for extremely thin, precise cuts. Yanagibas are popular with sushi chefs, but generally such precision is not required in Western cooking. See yanagiba knife on Amazon

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Chef's Knife Vs.Gyuto: What's the Difference?

Misono 440 Series gyuto

Gyuto: narrower, flatter blade.

Western chef knife: wider, more curved blade.

As we said in the previous section, a gyuto is the Japanese version of the western chef's knife. Blades are available in similar lengths, with the 8-inch/210mm blade also the most common gyuto length. 

Gyutos are typically narrower in height and have a flatter blade/belly than a Western chef's knife, although some Japanese gyutos sold here have a very Western design. Gyuto blades are also usually thinner and lighter, so they're not a great choice for an all-purpose kitchen knife: they're too delicate to cut through hard foods and bones, though they are excellent for most other tasks. 

Because gyutos typically have a narrower blade, they may not have as much knuckle clearance as a wider Western chef's knife. The flatter blade with less belly also may not do well at the rock chop cut, which is a Western cutting style; most Japanese chefs use a push-pull cut. 

Some gyutos will perform much like Western chef's knives, but you have to try them out to be sure. Misono gyutos have a more Japanese design, with a thin, narrow blade and a flattish cutting edge. This makes them not great for Western style rock chop cutting.

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Caring For Misono Knives

Because misono knife series are all made with different steels, caring for them will depend on which Misono you own. But in general, you should hand wash all your kitchen knives. Towel drying is also a good idea, and if the blade is carbon steel (not high carbon stainless steel), then drying is essential to prevent rusting.

Misono handles are pakka wood, which requires no maintenance; it's durable and will hold up even if you put your knives in the dishwasher (but please wash by hand).

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Sharpening Misono Knives

Most kitchen knives have a flat grind and a symmetrical bevel, making them fairly easy to sharpen: you can use anything from a whetstone to an electric pull-through sharpener.

Misono knives have a convex, asymmetrical grind, which poses some difficulties for sharpening at home. You have to make sure you grind the right side to the right angle, and you can ruin the convex grind if you use anything other than a whetstone or a belt grinder (which is typically how a convex grind is achieved). 

Some users say they just changed their Misono blades to a 50/50 flat grind, but this would be a mistake. Misono makes their knives this way for a reason: the convex grind gives the edge more strength, and the asymmetrical bevel allows the knife to make precise cuts, and for the food to release from the knife in the most ideal way. If you change the cutting edge on a Misono, you will ruin what makes a Misono special.

We don't recommend practicing the grind on a Misono if you're inexperienced using a whetstone. Rather, you should send your Misonos out for professional sharpening, or you should practice on less expensive knives to get the hang of it. You can use a whetstone on a Misono, but you really have to know what you're doing.

Here's a good article about sharpening convex grind knives. It's not a substitute for experience, but it will give you an idea of what's involved.

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Misono Knife Pros and Cons

Pros
  • High quality
  • Light, nimble blades
  • Durable pakka wood handles
  • Simple, but beautiful design
  • Excellent for light vegetable work and precise slices.
Cons
  • No sets available
  • Too thin and hard to be an all-purpose chef's knife
  • Convex, asymmetrical grind can be hard to sharpen
  • Not great for rock chop cutting.

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Misono Vs. Shun

Misono EU:Swedish gyuto with dragon

Misono EU Steel gyuto.

Shun Premier Chef's Knife, Grey

Shun Premier chef's knife.

Shun is a better known brand that offers more Westernized Japanese knives, although with Japanese "wa" style handles. Shun offers more variety in handle materials and also sells knives in several set sizes, including storage blocks. 

The steel used in Shun knives is probably a little higher quality than steel used in Misono knives, but Misonos have special heat treatment that makes the very most of less expensive steels. 

Some shuns also use Damascus steel and other types of overlays, while Misono blades are all made from one steel. So Shuns are a little showier.

Misonos also have an asymmetrical blade grind of 70/30, while Shuns have a symmetrical 15 degree double bevel. So though Shuns have Japanese handles, the blades are pretty Westernized. 

Both brands are good quality, so it depends what you're looking for. If you want a light, nimble blade in the true Japanese tradition, Misono is probably the best choice. If you want fancier looking knives or want a set, Shun is the better choice. They're both good options.

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Misono Vs. Miyabi

Misono EU:Swedish gyuto with dragon

Misono EU Steel gyuto.

Miyabi Birchwood chef's knife

Miyabi Birchwood chef's knife/gyuto.

Miyabi is owned by German knife maker Zwilling, but the knives are all made the traditional Japanese way in Seki, Japan. They have traditional Japanese "wa" handles made of various materials. The cutting angle is symmetrical and is about 9-12 degrees, making this a fairly traditional Japanese design. 

Miyabis are high quality knives and the steel is higher quality than that on the Misonos. However, most Miyabi lines are more expensive than the Misonos. They are also geared to different customers, with Misonos being marketed primarily to professional chefs and Miyabis marketed to home cooks. You can get Miyabis in sets, but not Misonos.

They are both good Japanese knives, so it really depends on what you're looking for and how much you want to spend.

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Misono Vs. Wusthof

Misono UX10 chef's knife

Misono UX10 chef's knife/gyuto.

Miyabi Birchwood chef's knife

Wusthof Crafter chef's knife.

Wusthof is a German knife maker and makes a very different product than Misono. German knives are heavy, with thick blades and softer steel; Japanese knives like Misono are thinner and lighter. They are both good quality, but geared to different uses. Wusthof chef's knives are all-purpose kitchen workhorses that can do everything from mincing herbs to cutting through chicken bones. Misono knives are light, nimble, and more flexible, meant for lighter tasks in the kitchen. It's kind of the difference between a Ferrari and a pickup truck: you don't need the Ferrari, but for what it's good at, it's exceptional. The pickup, on the other hand, can do everything, but it won't be as much fun.

If you need an all-purpose knife, go with Wusthof. If you want a lighter knife you can have fun with, go with the Misono (or other Japanese brand--but Misono knives are some of the lightest we've tested).

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Kitchen Knife Buying Guide

Parts of a Knife

Here are our recommendations of what to think about before you buy kitchen knives.

Sets Vs. Individual Knives: Which Is Better?

This really depends on your situation, but there are pros and cons to both. If you need a lot of knives, a set is a good way to get them economically. On the other hand, you can't pick the knives you get in a set, and you may get a knife or two that you won't use. 

Since Misono doesn't sell any sets, this is a moot issue if you're going with Misono. But if you go with a different brand and want a set, we recommend a small set with just the basics--plus steak knives, if you want them--rather than a huge set with blades you don't want. All most cooks need is a chef's knife, a serrated blade for bread, and a paring knife. Not that you won't get any use out of other knives, but these are what you really need to cover all the basic kitchen tasks. Rather than getting a set with 5-7 different kinds of knives, you may be better off getting the three basics, then maybe getting a second chef's knife in a smaller or larger size, or a santoku, nakiri, or whatever blades you want (rather than what you're stuck with in a set).

Which Knives Do You Need?

The most important knife in any kitchen is a chef's knife or gyuto; or, some people prefer a santoku for their all-purpose tasker. You can do almost everything you need to do with a chef's knife. 

A serrated knife is essential for bread because you can crush bread even with a very sharp smooth blade. And a paring knife is nice to have for small jobs and peeling fruits and veggies. 

With these three, you can do everything you need to do. Other knives can be nice to have, but they aren't as essential.

Overall Fit and Finish

Before anything else, look at the overall fit and finish to determine a knife's quality. Is the blade polished smooth, without sharp spots or un-polished edges? Is the handle comfortable, with no protruding rivets or scales? Are the bolster, blade, and handle tight and seamless?

Inexpensive knives in particular can have odd finishing or poor quality rivets, meaning the knife may be uncomfortable to use and also may not last very long. Such knives are not a bargain at any price.

Look for these features:

  • Smoothness of handle and bolster: no protruding rivets or unfinished spots that dig into your hand.
  • Smoothness of spine: the best quality knives have a rounded, polished spine that feels smooth in your hand.
  • No crevices or looseness where the blade meets the handle, so the knife is solid throughout and there are no spots to collect food and other particles, and no loose pieces.

What to Look for in a Blade

A blade is the most important part of a knife. These are the important considerations for a blade.

Forged Vs. Stamped

Wusthof Ikon Blackwood Chef's Knife

Forged knife: note the bolster.

Victorinox Swiss Classic chef's knife

Stamped knife: no bolster.

The first thing to look at is if a blade is forged or stamped. Forged blades are made from steel heated under pressure and then pounded or pressed into shape. Forged knives have a bolster, the area of thicker steel where the blade meets the handle. The bolster adds weight, improves balance, and protects fingers.

Forging improves strength and can help a knife hold an edge longer than a stamped blade--this is certainly true with the forged Misono knives.

Stamped knives are cut (often marketed as "laser cut") out of a sheet of steel. They have a uniform thickness throughout (except where the edge is ground, of course), and usually do not have a bolster--or, the bolster is added as a separate piece of steel or handle material. 

Stamped knives tend to be lighter than forged knives (because, less steel) and are usually not as well balanced, with most of the weight in the blade. However, the lightness of a stamped knife can compensate for a lack of balance, so it is rarely a problem for home cooks, who usually use their knives only a few minutes per day. 

At one time, forged knives were always considered superior to stamped knives. But technology has come far, and some stamped knives today are very high quality. Forged knives can be cheaply made, and stamped knives can be well made. 

There are several reasons to go with a stamped blade now, including lightness, comfort, and price. If you like how a knife feels and performs, then it's the right knife for you, regardless of whether it's forged or stamped.

Misono makes both forged and stamped knives. Their UX10 line, one of their highest end lines, is stamped. So Misono is a good example of a brand that makes both types of knives that are both high quality options.

Type of Steel

We discussed Misono steel above because it's an important aspect of choosing a knife. Knowing the types of steel a maker uses should be a deciding factor in whether or not to purchase a knife.

There's a lot to learn about knife steel and you can spend hours learning about it. We're just going to look at the basics. 

First, there are three types of steel used in kitchen knives: stainless steel, carbon steel, and high carbon stainless steel.

Stainless steel is soft to and doesn't hold an edge well, so you see it primarily on cheap knives. (Not all cheap knives are made with stainless steel, but many are.)

Carbon steel is the opposite: very hard. It is often the choice of professional chefs because it holds an edge extremely well, which saves time (less sharpening). But carbon steel rusts easily, so you have to keep carbon steel knives dry between uses or they will rust.

The best steel for most home cooks is high carbon stainless steel. As its name implies, this is stainless steel with a high percentage of carbon (higher than cookware steel, for instance), which makes it this steel great for knives: it's a hard, durable steel that also resists corrosion. 

Hundreds of different types of high carbon stainless steels are used in kitchen knives. All you really need to know is that there are two main types: German steel and Japanese steel. 

German steel is softer and more durable, but needs more frequent sharpening. Japanese steel is harder and holds an edge longer, but can chip due to its brittleness. 

For most cooks, German high carbon stainless steel is the best choice, especially for your first knives. Japanese knives are better for more advanced cooks and require more care, but they are exquisite tools when used them for the right tasks.  

Steel Hardness and Finishing

Steel hardness in knives is measured by the Rockwell Scale. The units of measurement are "Hardness Rockwell C," or HRC, where C is the scale used for knives. Kitchen knife hardness can varies from about 50 HRC seen in inexpensive blades, up to 65 HRC for high-end Japanese super steel. 

Good German knives have a hardness of about 55-58 HRC. This is hard enough to be durable, but soft enough to be easy to sharpen. 

Japanese knives range from about 58-65 HRC. This hardness means these blades will hold an edge longer, but the higher you go above 60 HRC, the easier a blade can chip, so you have to be careful how you use such a sharp knife: avoid hard foods, frozen foods, and bone, and be careful not to twist the blade or drag it across the cutting board. (If you see reviewers complaining about a Japanese knife chipping or the tip breaking off, it's almost always because they were using the knife in a way it wasn't meant to be used.)

Sharpness

When a knife is new, sharpness should be a given, so if a new knife feels dull, you should probably return it. 

But sharpness alone is not an indication of quality. Any piece of steel can be made razor sharp with the right sharpening tools and techniques. So when considering sharpness, you want to think about more than how sharp a new blade is; you want to think about how long a blade will hold its edge. 

Softer steel will naturally need to be sharpened more frequently, so if you go with steel that's too soft, you may be sharpening your knife more often than you want to. (This is why we recommend not buying a knife with a Rockwell rating below about 56 HRC.)

However, if you go with too hard steel, it might be too delicate to use as an all-purpose knife. 

Most home cooks are happy with a steel hardness of 56-60 HRC. This is hard enough to hold an edge well but not so hard that you have to worry about the blade chipping.

How long should a knife stay sharp? It depends on many factors, but a knife with a hardness rating of 57-58 HRC should hold an edge for at least a few months of regular before needing to be sharpened. A lot of hoe cooks can get away with sharpening their 56-59 HRC knives a few times a year, if they're using the honing steel on them regularly, which is key to sharpening as infrequently as possible.

Cutting Angle

The cutting angle is the angle to which the blade is sharpened. Today, the most common angle for kitchen 15 degrees each side, called "15 degrees double bevel" (30 degrees total).  Up until the 1990s, the most common cutting angle was 20-25 degrees/40-50 degrees total). The change is probably due to the introduction of Japanese knives to the Western market, which tend to have much thinner blades (some as small as 9 degrees/18 total). That, and the fact that people found they preferred a thinner blade because it felt sharper and moved through food more easily.  Lamson is an old school company, and the cutting angle on their knives is 20 degrees/40 degrees total. Some people prefer this angle because it's more durable (and probably because it's what they've been using all their lives).   If you like Lamson knives but want a thinner cutting angle, it's pretty simple to put a new grind on a knife, either by yourself, or by sending it out to a knife sharpening service. So don't let the wider angle scare you off.  Also: it's not necessary to know a knife's cutting angle before you buy it, and it won't matter all that much to daily use. But when sharpening time rolls around, you should know how you want to proceed.

A cutting angle diagram.

The cutting angle, or bevel, is the angle at which a knife edge is sharpened. Common angles for kitchen knives are right around 15 degrees each side, also called "15 degree double bevel" or "30 degrees inclusive."

In general, German or Western knives have a wider cutting angle of 14-20 degrees double bevel. Japanese knives have a narrower cutting angle of 9-15 degrees double bevel. Japanese knives can also have more interesting cutting angle designs, such as single bevel knives that are flat on one side: these can make extremely thin, precise cuts and are used for sushi and other tasks that require a great deal of precision. Such precision is generally not needed in Western cooking.

Misono knives have a unique, asymmetrical cutting angle of 70/30 degrees. This asymmetrical angle is sort of meant to mimic a single bevel knife but be more versatile. It allows for thin, precise cuts that release food well, but the blade is more durable and more versatile.

It is probably not necessary to know a knife's cutting angle before you buy it, and it won't matter all that much during daily use. But when it's time to sharpen a knife, knowing the cutting angle is important. This is especially true for a knife like Misono, because if you sharpen it like a standard double bevel knife, you'll ruin what makes the knife special.

Spine Taper (Grind)

Grind is also helpful to know, not so much when buying, but when sharpening. We discussed grind above: most kitchen knives have a flat grind, which is a straight taper from the spine to the edge. This is the easiest blade shape to sharpen. 

Misono knives have a convex grind, which means they arch outward as they taper from spine to edge. This type of grind increases a knife's durability, but is harder to sharpen. The best way to sharpen a convex grind is with a belt grinder, but you can use a whetstone if you know what you're doing. This article discusses sharpening a convex ground knife, but we recommend practicing on cheap knives before trying it yourself on a Misono knife.

Like cutting angle, knowing the grind isn't so important when buying, but you need to know the grind for sharpening if you want to keep the shape the maker intended. There's a reason Misono gave their knives a convex grind, so we recommend keeping it. 

Shape, Size, Balance and Weight

How a knife feels in your hand is determined mainly by shape, size, weight, and balance. Different knives can have a vastly different feel, so you should try a lot of knives to decide the shape, size, weight, and balance you prefer. 

Chef's knives are the most crucial knife to test, since this is the knife you'll be using for most of your cutting tasks. The standard chef's knife--both German and Japanese--have an 8-inch blade, but they can be as short as 4 inches or as long as 12 inches. And different length means different shape, weight, and balance--so try a few different sizes. There are pros and cons to different blade lengths, so in the end it's a personal decision.

Think about these features before buying:

  • Blade height: A blade should be tall enough to provide knuckle clearance (the space between your fingers and the cutting board). Japanese gyutos tend to be narrower than Western chef's knives, so blade height can be particularly important if you're looking at gyutos.
  • Belly: The belly of the knife--this is where the cutting edge curves to the tip--can be steeply curved, like a Western chef's knife, or flattish, like a gyuto. Which you prefer will have a lot to do with your cutting style: if you like a rock chop, go for a curved belly. If you like push-pull cutting, go for a flatter blade, possibly even a santoku or nakiri.
  • Spine thickness: You want a blade that's thin enough to be nimble, but you might also want durability. There is a wide range of spine thickness among chef's knives, from 1.5mm up to about 3.5mm, with the thinner blades tending to be Japanese and the thicker blades being Western chef's knives. 
  • Balance: Balance isn't as important for home cooks because they don't use their knives for hours on end like pro chefs do. Even so, good balance can make or break how a knife feels when you're using it. A knife's center of gravity should be right where the blade meets the handle; for most users, this feels the most balanced--and balance makes a knife easier to use. If the balance is off, especially if it's a bit more toward the blade (as it tends to be with stamped knives), it's not necessarily a hard no, but if the balance is way off, it can cause hand strain and fatigue, especially during long cutting sessions.

What to Look for in a Handle

Handles are also an important consideration because if the handle isn't comfortable or doesn't fit your hand well, you won't want to use the knife, no matter how great the blade is.

Shape and Size

This may sound obvious, but it's important, so we'll say it: a handle should fit your hand comfortably. Knife handles are made to fit a range of hand sizes, but if your hand size is above or below average, you may have to try a few different handles before you find the right one for you. If a handle doesn't fit your hand well, using the knife may cause fatigue, strain, blisters, and more.

A handle should be thick enough that you can wrap your hand around it easily and long enough that your hand doesn't hang over the edge. 

Western knife handles tend to be contoured, with a swell on the under side that provides a slight "belly" for your fingers to wrap around. Japanese handles come in different shapes, including round, D-shaped, and octagonal. Some Japanese knives, including Misono, have German-style handles, as well.

Most shapes are comfortable, but you have to try a few different styles to decide what you like best.

Material

Handle material tend to be either wood or synthetic, although there are several varieties in both categories. Wood handles can be made from cheap woods or expensive woods, but all wood handles have an organic feel and traditional appearance that most people like. Wood handles can be durable, but they harbor bacteria more than synthetics do.

Synthetics vary from soft and grippy to hard and smooth. Cheaper synthetics like polypropylene are soft and not very durable, which means they can melt or crack when exposed to too hot or too cold temps. Higher end synthetics, like POM, are quite hard and durable, and won't melt, crack, or discolor over time.

All synthetics make good, comfortable, durable handles. You should try a few different ones to decide what you prefer.

Finally, there are wood/synthetic composites like pakka wood and fabric/resin composites like micarta and G10. These all make excellent handles that can have an organic look-and-feel, yet extreme durability.

All Misono knives have pakka wood handles, which are both beautiful and durable. 

Knuckle Clearance

Knuckle clearance

Knuckle clearance.

Knuckle clearance is important to think about, especially if you have large hands. Good knuckle clearance means that you can wrap your hand comfortably around the handle with clearance between your knuckles and the cutting board. 

Knuckle clearance can be an issue with narrow (short) blades, because the handle will be closer to the cutting board. Since gyutos tend to be narrower than Western chef's knives, be especially aware of knuckle clearance when shopping for gyutos.

Warranty

Most good quality knives have a lifetime warranty. It shouldn't be a huge issue, but some reviewers complained that when they had issues with a Misono knife, the company was unresponsive or weren't willing to honor the warranty or take returns. This may be because the company is located in Japan and there's a definite language barrier to contend with; it's certainly not because Misono knives are poor quality.

We had no problem returning a Misono knife to Amazon, so our recommendation on Misono is to buy from a retailer who takes returns--and don't let a lot of time pass deciding if you want to keep a knife.

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Review: Misono 440 Series

Misono 440 Series gyuto

See the 440 gyutos on Amazon

See all 440 knives on Amazon

See Misono knives at Korin

About $105 for 210mm gyuto

Knife tested: 210mm/8.2-inch chef's knife/gyuto

Out-of-the-box sharpness: 245g (new high end cutlery) 

Hardness: 58-59 HRC

Weight: 5.6oz/159g

Spine thickness at heel: 1.7mm

What we like: The Misono 440 series is a gorgeous knife. It's got no fancy Damascus layers or distinguishing handle material; it's quite minimalist in design. In fact, the gyuto looks like a standard German chef knife, except for the slightly thinner blade. However, this knife is super light, with a thin, super sharp blade that's great for so many tasks, from basic veggie prepping to ultra thin meat slices for sushi, carpaccio, or pho.

The blade shape is designed primarily for push- and pull-cutting (Japanese style cutting), and the tip is easy to use for smaller, more detailed tasks like slicing tips off of garlic cloves or coring tomatoes (yes, you can do this with a gyuto).

The 70/30 bevel (on all Misono knives) is a joy to use because it allows food to release more easily without pulling to one side, as single-beveled blades can do. This bevel gives the knife an incredibly sharp feel and helps with edge retention.

The knife's center of balance is at the bolster, which gives it nearly perfect balance, especially if you use a pinch grip:

Pinch Grip w:Misono

Good balance makes the knife feel extremely light in your hand, almost like an extension of your hand. For professional chefs, the light weight and excellent balance make this knife easy to use for hours on end.

The high-chromium blade holds an edge extremely well. One reviewer estimates that home users won't have to sharpen the knife for 4-6 months of steady use. This is great as the 70/30 bevel is tricky to sharpen if you're not experienced using a whetstone (and we recommend keeping this bevel as it's part of what makes this knife special).

The pakka wood handle is in a traditional German shape and very comfortable. The 440 Series has a slightly wider swell on the bottom, which gives it good grip for most hands. It's a great width and length and nearly all users should find it more than acceptable, whatever they plan to do with the knife.

What we don't like: This is not an all-purpose knife. Like all Misonos, the blade is light and thin, designed for basic prep work and slicing but not for hard foods and bones. If you try to use it on hard foods, you will likely end up with a chipped blade. You also have to be careful to not twist or bend the blade while cutting, or use the blade to scrape food off a cutting board. If you want a knife you can use this way, buy a German brand like Wusthof (see our Wusthof review) or Zwilling (see our Zwilling review).

The 70/30 bevel cuts beautifully, allowing food to release from the blade without feeling like the knife is pulling, as single-bevel blades can do. But unless you're experienced with a whetstone, you'll want to send your Misono knives out for sharpening. You really want to keep the asymmetrical bevel because it's part of what makes Misono knives great--don't put a 50/50 bevel on the knife just because that's what you know how to do. 

The asymmetrical bevel also means this knife, like all Misonos, is designed for right-handed users. If you're left handed, you can have a blade custom made for a fee of about $20. But we don't recommend trying to use a standard Misono if you're left-handed. To get a custom Misono knife, click the Korin button below or the link above--do note that the prices may be higher on this site than on Amazon.

The flatter, thinner gyuto blade makes this knife not great for the rock chop; it is designed for push-pull cutting. You may be able to do a rock chop with it, but our testers found the blade shape awkward for this type of cutting.

Buying Options: Misono doesn't sell sets. Here are the buying options:

Recommendation: The Misono 440 is a high carbon stainless steel knife that's great for home cooks. The high chromium percentage provides excellent corrosion resistance. They're thin and delicate, so as great as they are for veggie prepping and slicing fish and meat, they're not all-around kitchen workhorses, but this is true for most Japanese chef knives. 

If you're looking for a light, nimble Japanese blade with a Western handle, the Misono 440 is a great choice. You may not need the super high chromium percentage (the Handmade series below is less expensive yet identical except for the lower chromium content), but the added toughness is a nice feature.

Misono 440 Series gyuto

buy misono 440 series knives:

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About Misono Knives: An Overview

Misono knives have a simple design, which is basically a thin blade and a Western style pakka wood handle. There are a few small differences between handle designs and blade designs, but your basic choice is about which type of steel you want for the blade. (And if you want the dragon on the handle, you have to go with the EU/Swedish carbon steel.)

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Review: Misono EU/Swedish Steel Series

Misono EU Carbon Steel chef knife

See the EU/Swedish gyutos on Amazon

See all EU/Swedish knives on Amazon

See Misono knives at Korin

About $105 for 210mm (8.2") gyuto

Knife tested: 210m/8.2-inch chef's knife/gyuto

Out of box sharpness: 210g (razor sharp)

Hardness: 60 HRC

Weight: 5.8oz/165g

Spine thickness at heel: 2mm

What we like: The EU Steel series, formerly called the Swedish Steel series, is a light, nimble knife, like all Misonos. It's sharp out of the box (or should be) and great for most kitchen jobs, but because it's such a thin knife, it's not designed for hard foods, frozen foods, or bone. 

The blade is carbon steel, so it holds an edge well: after several weeks of regular use, it needed just a bit of steeling to achieve optimal performance. 

It's beautifully balanced, with the center right at the bolster. The bolster is perfectly designed for a pinch grip, which achieves perfect balance. (If you hold the knife a different way, it won't feel as balanced.) The knife feels great in your hand and cuts beautifully.

The pakka wood handle is comfortable and durable, designed to fit all hand sizes. 

Despite its hardness, it takes an edge fairly easily (though the asymmetrical edge is tricky, so we recommend a professional sharpener unless you know what you're doing).

Misono EU:Swedish gyuto with dragon

If you get a gyuto 240mm or longer, or a slicer knife, there is a dragon etched on the blade. This is not a reason in itself to get a knife--especially an extra long one--but it's pretty cool. 

The knife is carbon steel, so it oxidizes very easily. The good part of this is that eventually it forms a patina that protects the blade from further rusting and corrosion (but you still have to wash and dry the knife after use).

Overall, this is a light, maneuverable, beautiful knife.

What we don't like: Carbon steel is a great choice for pro chefs, who use their knives all the time: it's easier to wash and dry a knife than to sharpen it frequently. But for home cooks, carbon steel can be a pain because it rusts so easily. Most home cooks are probably better off with a high carbon stainless steel knife, unless they know what carbon steel is and why they want it.

The blade is thin and light, so it's designed for all-purpose kitchen use. It excels at most prep work and thin slicing, but you can't use this knife for hard foods or bones because these can chip the blade. You must also be careful not to twist or bend the blade while cutting, or use the blade to scrape food off a cutting board. We suspect that reviewers who complained about the blade or tip chipping were handling the knife in the wrong way (if you're accustomed to thicker, heavier blades, this is easy to do--you have to train yourself to use a thin Japanese blade correctly).

Our tester knife was razor sharp out of the box, but some buyers complained that their blade was not sharp. Since the knife has an asymmetrical 70/30 grind, it isn't the easiest blade to sharpen, so this could be a real problem: if your knife arrives dull and you aren't skilled with a whetstone, you'll have to send it out for sharpening (or return it). 

The asymmetrical grind is made for right handed users, so if you're left handed, you need to have a knife custom made: if you want this, click the Korin button below, who will handle the custom order for about $20.

The gyuto blade is flat compared to Western chef's knives, so this knife isn't great if you like to use the rock chop. It's great for push- and pull-cutting, but you may struggle to get a good rock chop going with it.

Buying options: There are no sets for the Misono EU series. Here are the buying options:

  • Chef's knife/gyuto: 5 sizes: 195/210/240/270/360mm, about $100-$280 (note: you may find more sizes on other sites)
  • Dimpled gyuto ("salmon" or "muscle"): 2 sizes, 240/270mm, about $150-$190.
  • Santoku knife: 3 sizes: 140/160/180mm, about $75-$110
  • Petty knife: 3 sizes: 120/130/150mm, about $60-$80
  • Narrow petty knife: 120mm, about $90
  • Honesuki (boning knife): 2 sizes: 140/180mm, about $170 (may be more sizes on other sites)
  • Deba (fish knife): 165mm, about $135 (may be more sizes on other sites)
  • Sujihiki (slicer): 3 sizes: 240/270/300mm, about $100-$230.

Recommendation: The EU/Swedish Steel knife isn't fancy-unless you get a long blade with a dragon etching--but it's a sharp, dependable knife that is a pleasure to use. Don't use it for hard foods or bone, and it should serve you well for a long time. Beware the carbon steel, which rusts easily and must be washed and dried after use. It's a great knife for professional chefs, but may not be the right choice for home cooks unless you're specifically looking for carbon steel.

Misono EU Carbon Steel chef knife

BUY MISONO EU/Swedish Steel SERIES KNIVES:

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Review: Misono Handmade Molybdenum Series

Misono Handmade Molybdenum chef knife

See Handmade gyutos/chef knives on Amazon

See all Handmade knives on Amazon

See Misono knives at Korin

About $100 for 8-inch chef's knife/gyuto

Knife tested: 8-inch chef's knife/gyuto

Out of box sharpness: 270g (new high end cutlery)

Hardness: 57 HRC

Weight: 5.5oz/156g

Spine thickness at heel: 2mm

What we like: The Handmade line is an affordable, entry level Japanese knife with a Western handle. It's as light as more expensive Misono lines and performs similarly, making it one of the lightest chef's knives we've tested.

It is super sharp out of the box and held an edge well. After a few weeks of steady use it needed steeling before use, but we didn't sharpen it at all in the 8 weeks of testing.

The pakka wood handle is comfortable and durable. The finish wasn't quite as good as on more expensive Misono lines, but for the price, this is a beautiful, nicely finished knife.

What we don't like: The finishing isn't quite as fine as on the UX10. The tang is a little bit rough in the hand, but not so much that the knife is unusable.

Like all the Misonos, the blade is thin and light, so as great as it is for most jobs, it's not the right knife for hard foods or bone, so it's not an all-purpose kitchen knife. You also have to be careful not to twist or bend the blade while cutting, or use the blade to scrape food off of a cutting board. If you're looking for a knife that can do these things, consider Western brands like Wusthof or Zwilling. Japanese knives are not designed to be used this way. (How do you the heavier work in Asian cooking? Debas or cleavers.)

The asymmetrical 70/30 bevel provides great cutting, enhancing the sharp feel of the knife, but unless you are experienced with a whetstone, you need to have this knife professionally sharpened. You don't want to risk ruining the 70/30 bevel, which is part of the knife's appeal.

The asymmetrical bevel also means that the knife is made for right-handed users. If you're left handed, you can custom order a left-handed knife from Korin (button below) for a small fee (usually $20).

Like other Misonos, the heel is a little sharp, which isn't a problem if you use a pinch grip. Other grips may not be comfortable.

Some people think this knife is too soft and needs to be sharpened frequently. It's not a great choice for professionals, but for home cooks, it should be fine.

Buying options: There are no set options for the Handmade Series. Here are the buying options:

The Handmade Molybdenum line also has some dimpled blades:

Misono Handmade Molybdenum dimpled gyuto

Recommendation: The Handmade series is an affordable entry Japanese knife line. The steel is good quality and will hold an edge fairly well for the price. The knives are light, thin, and nimble, great for most kitchen tasks, though don't use them for hard foods and bone or they may chip.

If you're looking for an entry level Japanese knife with a Western style handle, the Handmade series is a good option.

Misono Handmade Molybdenum chef knife

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Review: Misono UX10 Series

Misono UX10 chef's knife

See UX10 gyutos/chef's knives on Amazon

See all UX10 knives on Amazon

See Misono knives at Korin

8-inch chef's knife/gyuto about $150 (210mm)

Knife Tested: 210mm gyuto

Out of box sharpness: 180g

Hardness: 59-60 HRC

Weight: 5.5 ounces/156g

Spine thickness at heel: 1.8mm

What we like: The Misono UX10 gyuto (chef's knife) is one of the lightest full-sized chef's knife we've tested. It almost feels like you're holding nothing and the knife is an extension of your hand. It holds its sharpness well, barely even needing steeling after a few weeks of regular use. The knife is beautifully balanced and easy to maneuver. 

This knife cut through everything we tested with ease. The Swedish steel holds an edge quite well. The thin blade powered through foods like everything was warm butter. All in all it's a fantastic chef knife that's excellent for most food prep--but don't use it for hard foods or bone, and be careful not to twist the blade while cutting. Doing these things can cause the blade to chip or break.

The Western-style pakka wood handle is comfortable and worked well for various hand sizes. It has a feel similar to a Wusthof or Zwilling handle. Pakka wood makes a great handle that looks like wood but is as durable as hard plastic.

Some reviewers on Amazon complained about the squared edges of the exposed tang, but we found the knife to have a highly polished fit and finish--the exposed tang did not bother any of our testers. 

There's nothing fancy about this knife: it's stamped, it's one steel, and it doesn't have any fancy finishing. But it's a remarkable blade that holds an edge and does the job it's supposed to do.

What we don't like: Like most Japanese knives, these blades are thin and light, and not intended for use on hard foods, so this isn't the most versatile knife. If you're looking for a kitchen workhorse that you can use on anything, go with a German brand (we like Wusthof and Zwilling).

The heel of the knife feels a little sharp, probably due to how thin the blade is. If you use a standard pinch grip, you won't notice this, but if you grip the knife further down the handle, you fingers may get uncomfortable if they're jammed up against that heel.

Japanese chef's knives tend to have a flatter blade than Western chef's knives, and the UX10 is no exception. If you like to use a rock chop cut, this flattish blade isn't the best choice. It excels at push and pull cutting, but is a bit awkward for rock chopping.

Japanese chef's knives also tend to be a little thinner than Western chef's knives, so if you have large hands, be sure you have enough knuckle clearance when using this knife.

The Swedish steel is easier to sharpen than VG10 or SG2, but the asymmetrical 70/30 cutting angle adds complexity to the process: unless you're an experienced whetstone user, we recommend having this knife professionally sharpened.

Also because of the asymmetrical cutting angle, this knife is designed for right-handed users. For a small fee, you can have a knife custom made if you're left-handed: click the Korin button below to see the custom-made option (it's about $20).

Buying options: There are no set options for the UX10, probably because it's made primarily for professional chefs. Here are the buying options:

The UX10 line also has some knives with dimpled blades:

Misono UX10 Dimpled Santoku

We're not sure what the difference is between the different gyutos/salmon slicers (different links on different pages), but they have different model numbers and prices. 

These are great knives, but the dimples are large and extend down nearly to the blade, so we're not sure how that would work for sharpening (you could run out of blade to sharpen sooner rather than later). We also haven't found that dimples make much difference in how the blade releases food (so we recommend the non-dimpled blades).

Recommendation: The Misono UX10 is an excellent Japanese knife, light and nimble yet surprisingly durable. The thin blade makes it super light, but not a good choice for hard foods and bones. For veggie prep and uber-thin meat slicing, this knife is an absolute pleasure to use. But it's expensive, so it's not a good choice if you're looking for a versatile kitchen work horse knife. 

The UX10 is marketed to professional chefs, who greatly benefit from the lightness and long edge retention. Home cooks can probably find a knife they like just as much for less, but if you love this knife, you won't regret buying it.

Misono UX10 chef's knife

BUY MISONO UX10 SERIES KNIVES:

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Misono Knives FAQs

Here are some common questions about Misono knives.

Are Misono Knives Good Quality?

Yes, Misono is a quality Japanese knife maker and makes knives prized by professional chefs and home cooks alike.

Where Are Misono Knives Made?

All Misono knives are made in Seki, Japan.

Are Misono Knives Dishwasher Safe?

No, Misono knives are not dishwasher safe. They have to be washed by hand.

How Do Misono Knives Compare to Shun Knives?

Misono and Shun appeal to different buyers. Misono knives are geared more to professional chefs, while Shun knives are geared more to home cooks. Both are good quality, so it really depends what you're looking for.

What Is the Cutting Angle of Misono Knives?

All Misono knives have an asymmetrical 70/30 cutting angle with a convex grind. These are unusual choices for kitchen knives, but they make Misonos durable and great to use.

Do Misono Knives Rust?

Yes, Misono, like all other brands of knives, can rust. This is especially true for the EU series, which is carbon steel (carbon steel is less rust resistant than high carbon stainless steel).

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Final Thoughts on Misono Knives

Misono makes interesting knives. They are a high quality mix of Western handles and Japanese blades, with some features you won't find anywhere else, such as the 70/30 asymmetrical cutting angle and convex grind, both of which add to the performance and durability of the blade. They are also some of the lightest knives we've tested, which makes them excellent for long cutting sessions without hand strain or fatigue.

Misonos are mostly marketed to professional chefs (no sets available), but they're also quite popular among serious home cooks. 

Which Misono line you buy really depends on your preferences. They are all good choices, with the Handmade line the most economical and great for anyone looking for an entry level Japanese knife. The EU knife is carbon steel and designed for professional chefs. Both the UX10 and the 440 are great high carbon steel knives, with the UX10 being the higher quality and more expensive option. They're all good performers.

Thanks for reading!

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