Kitchn Love Letters

The Chef’s Knife I’m Gifting to My Entire Family This Christmas

published Dec 17, 2021
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Credit: Misen

Despite my mom, brother, and myself all being avid home cooks, we each rarely treat ourselves to new tools or cookware — my mom has pots and pans older than I am! This Christmas, I decided I wanted to gift them something that would make their lives in the kitchen easier that’s also a little bit splurge-worthy. I realized a chef’s knife would be the perfect pick, especially since they’re guaranteed to get a ton of use out of it.

In my search for the right knife, I turned to editor-favorite brand Misen because of their reputation for carrying impressive blades that aren’t extremely expensive. Their versatile Chef’s Knife made it on Kitchn’s list of the best chef’s knives according to our editors and carries tons of enthusiastic reviews, which made my decision pretty simple. I managed to take advantage of a previous Amazon sale to buy three knives for $150 (naturally I had to buy myself one too).

When I first opened the knife, I was a little intimidated — I hadn’t realized how large an eight-inch blade would be! The handle, however, is so comfortable that it quickly calmed my nerves as it felt quite natural in my hand. There’s a curve at the base that’s the perfect space for your thumb to rest, giving you greater control. (They also sell a six-inch Short Chef’s Knife if you have smaller hands or want to start with a shorter knife!). The blade itself has a nice weight to it that isn’t too light or heavy, which helps when doing both small dicing or cutting through tough root veggies. And, not only is the blade made from high-carbon stainless steel that is known for staying both durable and sharp, but Misen also offers free sharpening for life — simply send them your blade when it starts to dull and they’ll restore its sharpness free of charge!

The first time I used this knife, it slid so seamlessly into the tomato I was cutting, slicing right through without getting stuck on the skin and squishing it. I was so blown away that I called my roommate in to the kitchen to show her. When I mentioned this to my mom, she echoed this testament saying, “I cut a tomato slice so thin that I could read through it if I wanted to!” She also raved about chopping pecans without making a mess. The sharp knife cut right through the nuts instead of breaking them apart and spreading the pieces all over the place.

Credit: Erin Cavoto

I also recently split an acorn squash in half, which required little effort on my part. I put just a little weight on the handle and it sliced right through the middle. I now am far more likely to purchase acorn, delicata, and spaghetti squash knowing how easy this knife makes cutting into them! And while it’s clearly useful for the bigger, heavy duty tasks in the kitchen, it’s also versatile enough for smaller knife work. The comfortable grip and sharp blade allowed my brother to deftly mince garlic without worrying about cutting himself.

Credit: Erin Cavoto

It’s important to wash it and dry the knife immediately after using, so you can’t just toss it in the sink and leave it (as I tend to do with my knives). However, I get so excited to use it that I bring it out even if I’m just performing one task like cutting an apple, lemons, or limes.

If you’re looking to buy this knife for Christmas, you’re not too late — Misen suggests shopping by December 20 for it to arrive on time using priority shipping. It’s also available on Amazon if you have Prime for an even quicker delivery. Essentially, if you’re stumped on what to get someone who says they don’t need anything (ahem, my mom!), then investing in this Misen Chef’s Knife is the perfect gift. It’ll seriously improve the way just about anyone on your list cooks!