You don’t have to be a professional cook to own a fillet knife. Every kitchen should contain a decent set of knives and if you eat fish in your diet then a fillet knife gives you the option to buy whole fish and be able to prepare it yourself for the freshest fish possible. There are quite a few different types of fillet knives on the market and it can be quite confusing deciding which is the best for your needs. We have made this task easier for you by looking out the most highly-rated fillet knives and outlining why we think they would make a worthy investment for your kitchen.
The Best Fillet Knife
KastKing Fillet Knife
This bait and fillet knife is our Best Choice for many different reasons. Firstly, look at the price! We feel that you get amazing value for money with this particular purchase and it would make a great knife for chefs, amateur cooks, and those who enjoy fishing. This knife has been manufactured from the finest German stainless steel and the blades are that sharp that you get a protective knife sheath to keep the razor-like blades from causing damage to your fingers whilst in storage. This super shape knife can handle fresh and saltwater and is suitable for cutting frozen and fresh bait, filleting fish, and can even handle big game fish such as tuna and salmon. The blade is strong and stiff and has a serrated edge which makes it perfect for filleting. A knife should feel comfortable in the hand and this particular model has a non-slip polymer grip for comfort and safety.
Razor-sharp stainless steel blade
5-inch bait knife
Comfortable polymer grip non-slip handle
Protective blade sheath
- Weight6.4 Oz
Rapala Heavy Duty Electric Fillet Knife
Sometimes you need a little help in life when it comes to kitchen tools. Manual fillet knives can be tough for those who do not have the strength, grip, and flexibility in their hands to maneuver the blade. This electric fish fillet knife provides an alternative solution for those that find manual knives tricky. This particular model has been created using heavy-duty materials and can easily cut through tough materials such as ribs and backbones; ideal for big fish such as salmon and tuna. The 7.5-inch blade is suitable for most filleting jobs and the powerful motor promises minimal vibration. Couple that with a soft grip and this will give you a comfortable filleting experience.
8ft power cord
- Weight4.8 Oz
Morakniv Fishing Comfort Fillet Knife
This fish knife has been manufactured from Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel, which for those who do not know, is a material that is known for its sharpness and hardness. This stainless steel blade is also very resistant to corrosion which is a good quality to look out for in a knife that will be used with fish that may be covered in saltwater. The blade itself is just 6.1 inches, which we have found to be a good length to prepare most types of fish. The handle has a textured grip for safety and comfort and it doesn’t absorb odors. This fillet knife also comes with a protective plastic sheath with slotted sections to allow the blade to dry. Perfect for the amateur cook or chef!
6.1 Inch Sandvik stainless steel blade
High-friction odorless handle
Belt clips included
Protective sheath included
- Weight3.52 Oz
Rapala Fish ‘N Fillet Knife
Can we just take a moment to appreciate the beauty of this boning knife? Even if you never used this, wouldn’t it just look pretty in your kitchen? As you know, we’re not just about looks here though and that’s why this gorgeous knife made it to our list…because it’s super functional too. This fish fillet knife has a classic reinforced birch handle and a full-tang blade which progressively tapers. The stainless steel blade is fully flexible and has a razor-sharp edge that can be kept sharp through the use of the single-stage sharpener which is also included. To top this product off, it comes in a stunning leather sheath which has been decoratively tooled.
Full tang blade
Classic birch handle
Protective fine-tooled leather sheath
Single-stage sharpener included
- Model(ASIN) B07DNG97VM
DALSTRONG Fillet Knife
This filleting knife really means business. If James Bond was into fishing then he would definitely own this model! First, let’s look at the blade – this fillet knife has a razor-sharp full tang blade which has been made from high carbon German steel with a hand-polished edge. The flexible blade technology means that it is easier to de-bone, fillet, trim, and prepare meat and fish. The seven inches allow you to maneuver the blade easily and the luxury handle is triple-riveted to ensure comfort too. Two covers are included with this blade; one for your kitchen drawer and one purely for outdoor adventure. All in all, we think that this is a versatile product and possibly the best fillet knife we have seen for this price. Easy to use, and it looks sleek too.
Full tang high carbon blade
Two covers included
Suitable for: de-boning, filleting, skinning, trimming, butterflying and cleaning fish
- Weight6 Oz
American Angler PRO Electric Fillet Knife
Filleting is much easier when you have a bit of electricity to help it along the way! This Pro Series knife has a powerful motor that has twice the amount of torque than many of its competitor knives. The knife has been designed with a special airflow design which means that the handle will stay cool during use. It’s also compatible with all variations of American Angler replacement blades should you wish to use smaller or larger blades for different fish.
2 x More torque than many other brands
- BrandAmerican Angler
- Weight2.6 Lbs
Buck Knives Silver Creek Folding Fillet Knife
This Silver Creek fillet knife is incredibly handy for camping and fishing trips where space and storage are limited. Buck knives have a fantastic reputation as the company has over 100 years’ experience in making knives. This folding knife features a 6.5-inch blade which is both flexible and titanium coated to protect it against corrosion. The handle is made from glass reinforced polypropylene with TPE rubber and stainless steel guard for comfort and durability.
Silver Creek folding knife with 6.5-inch blade
Titanium coated for corrosion protection
Comfortable glass reinforced polypropylene with TPE rubberized handle*
*Please read the legal disclaimer in the link regarding the chemicals used in the manufacturing process
- Weight5.9 Oz
Kershaw Clearwater Fillet Knife
Could this be the Samurai sword of fillet knives? At under $20 this high-performance fillet knife provides incredible value for money. It features a Japanese stainless steel blade that is weather-proof and resistant to corrosion. The handle has been manufactured using a soft, textured co-polymer grip which is not only super comfortable and easy to use but non-slip too, so you’re less likely to have accidents. The knife comes in an ABS sheath with a belt holster so it’s easily accessible and protected. A great kitchen or tackle box item: this knife is perfect for use with a variety of fish including tuna, eel, catfish, salmon, and snapper.
7-Inch Japanese blade
Soft grip handle
ABS sheath & belt holster included
- Weight3.84 Oz
Bubba Li-Ion Cordless Electric Fillet Knife
If you’re looking for a longer handle then this fillet knife is likely to suit your needs. One of the biggest blades in this set has an 8.5-inch blade which has been coated in TiN stainless steel and has an ergonomic trigger, making it comfortable and easy to use. Tough and durable, if you are searching for a strong fillet knife that can handle filleting a variety of fish then this could be the choice for you. Easy to clean too, just simply remove the blades to wash and store them in the storage case which is included to keep them safe.
4 x Blades included (E-FLEX, 9” E-FLEX, 9” E-STIFF and 12” E-STIFF)
Cordless fillet knife
Trigger guard for safety
EVA storage case included
- Weight3 Lbs
Rhinoreto Fish Fillet Knife
Another fillet knife offering very good value for money, this particular model has a 6.5-inch blade that is curved and flexible. This is the ultimate boning knife; both easy to use and durable. Designed for use with saltwater and freshwater fish, this knife will last a long time. As with every fillet knife, it’s always important to have a knife that has a decent handle. This model offers no exception and provides a non-slip rubber handle that is large enough to fit in all hand sizes and can be used in the left or right hand. It comes with a vented sheath and easy to use sharpener to keep the blade super-sharp at all times.
6.6-Inch curved blade
Non-slip rubber handle
Left or right-handed use
Vented sheath included
- Weight6.7 Oz
Best Fillet Knife Buying Guide & FAQ
If you're serious about cooking and often like to prepare fresh fish then buying a fillet knife is a no-brainer. But what should you look for when you buy a fillet knife? Why should you use one and how does it differ from a boning knife? We will answer these questions and many more below. Keep reading to find out more...
Why You Should Use a Fillet Knife For Fish
It might be tempting to try and fillet a piece of fish with a normal sharp knife...but really, don't! There are reasons why fillet knives exist. A normal sharp knife is usually very firm and stiff - which is not a quality that is desirable in a fillet knife. The best fillet knife is durable and flexible, it needs to be both of these things so it can easily move along the backbone of the fish and underneath the skin of the meat. The blades are usually around 6-11-inches long, which again, helps with the movement of the knife, in around the fish. A fillet knife has a special handle that gives you a better grip, something that you will need as you will be likely working with wet fish and your hand could easily slip. Using a special fillet knife ensures that you will be able to use it for all of the more "fiddly" delicate work and its blade will be specially designed to resist corrosion - also an important feature when using it to cut both freshwater fish and fish from the sea.
Things to Consider When Buying a Fish Fillet Knife
There are a few things to consider when looking for the perfect fillet knife.
- Fish Type/Blade Size
It makes a lot of sense to know what type of fish you will generally be preparing. If it is relatively small and light fish then you will unlikely need a blade length size larger than 6 - 6.5 inches. If you are a keen angler and sometimes catch big fish then you'll want a longer blade that can handle more meat, bones, and tougher skin. Generally speaking, fillet knives are long and thin with a flexible blade. No matter the size of the fish, it's always wise to look for a knife that has a sharp end for de-boning and cleaning fish.
The handle is an important aspect of a fillet knife. It needs to feel comfortable in the hand and have enough grip to allow flexibility of movement - always look out for handles that have a comfortable grip. Generally speaking, you will find older knives have wooden handles whereas the newer types tend to be made from rubber and plastic. Wooden handles can absorb odors, whereas rubber and metal tend to repel fishy odors - just another point worth noting!
Fillet knife blades are normally made from stainless steel, reinforced steel, high carbon, or other strong, flexible, and durable materials. High carbon and titanium coated steel are likely to cost more than stainless steel. A full tang fillet knife means that the blade runs the full length of the knife with the handle covering part of it. This allows for maximum strength. It's always preferable to purchase a full tang or skeletal tang knife as they tend to last longer.
Don't underestimate the importance of a knife sheath! Whether this knife is for your home or tackle box, it's important that it is protected and safe. A knife sheath will prevent you from having accidents whilst keeping the blade protected too.
Some fillet knives come with a sharpener included. This is a neat little feature as it means that you can keep the blade razor-sharp at all times and really take care of your culinary equipment.
Types of Fillet Knives
Japanese: These types of fillet knives have an even-width blade and a curve of approximately 45%. This type of knife is flexible and very sharp.
Scandinavian: These are flexible blades that have a mildly curved, pointed end.
Electric: Corded or cordless, an electric fillet knife uses an electric motor to assist in cutting.
Portable: Foldable fillet knives are often used by anglers and people on camping trips.
Fillet Knife Vs Boning Knife
You would normally use a boning knife to remove the bones from meat and a fillet knife to remove the bones and skin from the meat. A fillet knife is usually more flexible and it often has a thinner blade. This special kind of blade has been designed to achieve precise cutting and is perfect for delicate pieces of meat and fish. The shape and size of the blade of a fillet knife allows for a lot of maneuverability whilst removing fish skin.
The blade of a boning knife isn't normally as thin as a fillet knife and also isn't always flexible. You will often find that these types of knives have straight blades that are more suitable for tougher meats like chicken, beef, and pork.
Best Fillet Knife FAQ:
Q: What size fillet knife do I need?
A: This completely depends on the type of meat or fish that you plan to prepare. Fillet knives have blades from around 6 inches to 9 inches. How large is the fish that you normally catch or buy? Trout, perch, or fish of a similar size will only need a blade size of around 6 inches. Larger fish may require a larger blade between 7 inches and 9 inches.
Q: How do I sharpen the knife?
A: There are several different methods of knife sharpening and the way in which you would sharpen a knife depends on the type of sharpener that you choose to use. Some people like to use an electric sharpener which makes the job easy for you as you just allow the machine to do its job. A sharpening stone can also be used; this is a type of stone that is used with oil or water. If you have a water stone then you will need to soak it under water first for around 5 minutes and then slowly move the blade from side to side across the stone on both sides with your hands flat against the "safe" part of the blade. There are lots of YouTube videos that demonstrate this beautifully. You can also use a sharpening rod which is used slightly differently. Again, YouTube is a useful source for these videos.
Q: Can I wash the fillet knife in a dishwasher?
A: Some blades are dishwasher safe but that doesn't mean that you should ever wash them in the dishwasher. Dishwasher detergent is super abrasive and they are likely to get damaged in the machine. The best way to take care of a fillet knife is to hand wash it in hot soapy water, taking care not to cut your hands.
Our Top Pick
Our favorite knife by far was the KastKing Fillet Knife, 5 Inch Bait Knife which is ideal for cutting bait and filleting. The knife provides excellent value for money and has been manufactured from tough German stainless steel. The knife comes with a protective sheath which is always a plus for us as not only does this protect your fingers whilst the knife is in storage but it also protects the blade from damage. This knife can handle tough bait, whether frozen or fresh as well as a variety of fish such as tuna and salmon. The soft polymer handle ensures that you have a comfortable experience whilst giving you plenty of textured grip so your hand doesn't slip.