As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more

9 Best Fish Fillet Knives In 2021

Why you should choose the best fish fillet knife? Because it will give you only delicate and boneless fish. People love fish-related foods because it’s a great source to get protein. But no one wants to spend hours to fillet a fish on the cutting table.

But if you think you’ll go to the restaurants to eat your favorite menu, of course, it will empty your pocket. Rather than it would be better if you fillet your fish at home to make your most favorite dishes.

Best Fish Fillet Knife Reviews

If you think you need a knife for filleting and are interested in buying a new one so of course, you should know how to choose a fillet knife for the best performance. But if you don’t know how to choose it, here I will help you in this review.

In this review, I have explained 9 different fishing fillet knives from the most popular brands that can use professional chefs and home cooks. They’re budget and user-friendly even an enthusiast or beginner can start their culinary job with it.

Even I have explained in-depth how to use them properly and what thing you should consider before buying. I hope this comprehensive review and guide will help you a lot if you can’t choose the best one. Let’s get started!

01. Dalstrong Gladiator Series – Best Overall

Blade Materials & Durability

This is a 7-inch super-sharp flexible blade from Dalstrong which is only 1.5mm thick. This is really a top-grade knife for filleting that you can use in your own ways. This award-winning design, beautiful fillet knife is made from premium-quality materials.

For the best performance, Dalstrong used high-carbon German steel with a hand-polished edge which is between 14 and 16 degrees per slide. This wicked sharp blade will really help you in effortless filleting, trimming and boning, skinning, and butterflying all your favorite fish or chicken selections.

Handle Design & Usability

This curved fish cleaning knife has a very beautiful-looking black Pakkawood handle for excellent comfort and balance. Its full tang construction and triple rivets make it very durable.

And the stainless steel endcap adds more beauty and balance. Even its smooth, polished finger protective bolster ensures your finger won’t get cut. And according to the reviews, it is one of the most comfortable handles ever that ensure always effortless filleting.

The knife comes with two different covers, one for the drawer and another one for outdoor adventures. The protective cover ensures your safety and that it maintains a nice sharpness when not in use.

Final Verdict

If you love fresh seafood or other fish-related foods, then this fish cleaning knife should be a staple in your kitchen. It would even be a great gift for someone else who loves cooking or meals featuring fresh fish.

Pros
  • Award-winning design
  • Beautiful hand-polished satin finished blade
  • Low maintenance and very easy to clean
  • Ergonomic handle design for a comfortable grip
  • Comes with BPA Perfect Fit sheath
Cons
  • Do not use it for frozen meat, the blade tip can break

02. Buck 0220BLS Folding Fillet Knife

Blade Materials & Durability

It is really the best-sized fillet knife from Buck which is only 6 inches long that will easily fit in a big or small size hand. This folding fishing knife might be an ideal choice for professionals.

Especially it’s made for heavy-duty jobs, they used titanium-coated stainless steel to prevent rust and corrosion; it can be used in fresh or saltwater. This lightweight razor-sharp blade will give you a satisfying professional filleting experience anywhere.

Handle Design & Usability

This folding fish cleaning knife comes with a very durable and comfortable handle which is made from blue glass non-slip reinforced polypropylene with high-quality rubberized TPE to ensure the best grip and comfort.

This premium-grade knife handle and the blade are separated by stainless steel with a special safety guard. This feature ensures it will never open and close accidentally. And due to its special finger grip, it will never slip from your hand whether you use it in water or ashore.

Final Verdict

If you have very counter space then it would be a great collection for you. Because it’s a real space-saving tool that you can put in your backpack or tackle box.

And there’s no need for any extra carrying sheath or protector to carry it. Because it features a folding blade that you can simply put in your pocket or backpack.

Read More: 7 Best Fillet Knives For Catfish in 2021

Pros
  • Made in the USA
  • Folding system for easy carrying
  • Comfortable non-slip grip
Cons
  • It would be hard to sharpen

03. Shun DM-0743 Classic 6″ Japanese Boning Knife

Blade Materials & Durability

This Shun 6-inch classic Japanese razor-sharp knife is specially designed for meat boning and filleting. It is a strong fishing knife with a super sharp blade and has an elegant shape. That makes it very easy to use; it efficiently cuts the meat from bones and joints.

This eye-catching, attractive, beautiful VG-10 stainless-steel classic blade has 16 layers of SUS410 high-carbon stainless steel on each side.

And 33 layers of Damascus stainless steel premium materials protect the blade from rust and corrosion. After any heavy use, you can use a sharpening stone to make it razor sharp again for your next job.

Handle Design & Usability

The knife is sleek and has great performance and balance due to the handle. The D-shaped user-friendly handle design ensures a comfortable grip and luxurious look including its beautiful Pakkawood handle!

Of course, it will catch your attention immediately upon opening the box. The unique luxury Pakkawood handle consists of a fused blend of hardwoods. And the handle endcap steel is both attractive and balanced.

Final Verdict

Furthermore, this Japanese fishing knife can be used by all professional chefs for commercial use! Because it is a versatile tool, you can use it for filleting fish or boning meat and chicken.

Maybe the price is a little bit higher than other knives, but its outstanding features and ultra-performance will impress you! You can even give it as a wedding, anniversary, or birthday gift.

Pros
  • Perfect for boning and filleting
  • Blade core consists of high-carbon VG-10
  • Made in Japan
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Luxurious Pakkawood handle for a comfortable grip
Cons
  • Little bit expensive

04. Morakniv Fillet Knife – Best For Small Hand

Blade Materials & Durability

This professional Mora knife is available in two different models – the 6.1-inch for filleting and another 3.5-inch for removing bones. Both models are really excellent for filleting, and they come at a very reasonable price range.

It is extremely sharp out of the box, if you really fear it, you can use safety gloves. For the razor sharpness and performance, they used Sandvik hardcore 12C27 stainless steel. And the blade shape is really amazing for multiple tasks. For example, it can be used for dicing veggies, herbs, fruits, and raw meat, including filleting and de-boning.

Handle Design & Usability

This impressive Morakniv fishing comfort fillet knife comes with a high-friction rubbery handle. That ensures it will never slip from your hand even when wet. For safe and secure carrying, it has two interchangeable belt clips for the 6.1-inch blade.

So, you can attach it by either clip or loop. And the shorter 3.5-inch knife has a plastic sheath with a single belt clip which is very easy to clean.

Final Verdict

If you are interested in learning new recipes and need to do some filleting, then you will enjoy your job with this knife. But first, you should choose the right one that will fit you and your selected meat.

However, it’s really quite exciting when you are getting the best knife for filleting fish under 100 dollars. So why you’ll spend more money on expensive knives?

Pros
  • Made from Mora, Sweden
  • Available in two different models
  • High-friction grippy handle
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Includes two belt clips
Cons
  • Not very flexible

05. Bubba Tapered Flex Fishing Fillet Knife

Blade Materials & Durability

Here is another tapered flex fishing knife from Bubba. It is a perfect choice for a small or large fish even it would be ideal for meat slicing. The Bubba fishing knife comes with a 7-inch blade that is made of 8Cr13MoV stainless steel.

Also, another good side of this knife is that it has a Ti-Nitride coating to prevent rust and corrosion. So never feel worried about the blade sharpness and performance! And its official logo and brand name give it an attractive look!

This knife is really super thin and allows for effortless maneuvering during filleting. This tapered edge performs very well for any panfish as well as any other fresh and saltwater fish.

This high-quality stainless steel blade ensures long-lasting durability and great performance. It can be used by any professional fisherman or home chef.

Handle Design & Usability

It has a very beautiful red handle with safety features. The Bubba carefully engineered the signature textured handle for a non-slip grip. It features a special safety trigger to ensure safe filleting while working on a busy day.

Final Verdict

This knife’s overall design, features, and price range might a good choice for any outdoor fishing or home use. It has some user-friendly safety features which make it a little bit different than other commercial fish fillet knives.

Pros
  • Super thin blade for effortless filleting
  • Synthetic sheath for safe carrying
  • Ti-Nitride coated to prevent rust
  • Features a trigger grip and safety guards
  • Non-slip handle with a lanyard hole
Cons
  • The knife gets dull too fast

06. Rapala4 Soft Grip Fillet Knife

Blade Materials & Durability

If you don’t know how to sharpen the fillet knife, then this soft-grip high-quality fishing knife would be an ideal choice for you! This is because it comes with a beautiful black sheath with a single-stage knife sharpener to keep your knife sharp.

It is really easy to use compared to other sharpeners. Within 2 minutes, you can make your knife razor-sharp for your next filleting job. This is the most affordable filleting knife from Rapala. If you are a traveler or fishing lover, it would be a perfect choice for you!

You can easily carry it along with your other traveling accessories. On the other hand, Rapala makes very high-quality electric fillet knives you should check. You can use an electric knife for filleting as it is a great time-saving machine.

Handle Design & Usability

This best-budget stainless steel knife is combined with a perfect non-slip soft-grip molded textured handle. That means this knife will never slip from your hand if you fillet in a wet situation. And its finger protective bolster will save your finger from the blade or spines of a fish.

Final Verdict

Hopefully, you will enjoy that the knife is available in different sizes from 4 inches to 9 inches. So, you can choose the ideal size according to your needs. Especially the shorter blade offers the best cutting job in the home kitchen, just as it would professionally.

Pros
  • The non-slip soft handle grip for better control
  • It has a small single-stage sharpener
  • Very easy to use in any situation
Cons
  • The grip is too small

07. Mercer Culinary 8.5″ Narrow Fillet Knife

Blade Materials & Durability

This is an 8-inch super flexible long knife for filleting fish from Mercer Culinary which is made with high-carbon Japanese steel for painless cutting, slicing, and filleting. And the blade is very easy to sharpen.

This narrow fishing knife’s premium material and unique design make it very durable and long-lasting. And it is the first choice of all professional chefs, home cooks, and food enthusiasts.

The non-staining high-quality Japanese steel ensures it will prevent rust or corrosion. That means with this knife, you can easily do any work from filleting to deboning and it would even be a smart choice for cutting bread.

Handle Design & Usability

This knife handle has a blend of Santoprene, which makes it more comfortable to hold, and polypropylene, which gives it longer stability. And the knife’s textured finger points provide slip resistance for an excellent grip.

Also, its protective safety finger guard ensures a safe and fast filleting session. So, if you really want to invest money in a top-quality knife for filleting fish, then this one would be a smart purchase.

Final Verdict

Having achieved all certifications, there are more than eight thousand people who are happy with it. If you need an affordable, beautiful, flexible, and versatile knife you can go for it. Because you can use it for other several slicing jobs, and its all certification means it’s very safe to use.

Pros
  • Approved by the NSF & America’s Test Kitchen
  • Lightweight for maximum control
  • Wicked sharp blade for smooth cutting
  • Top-rated fish filleting knife
  • Has a Santoprene rubber handle
Cons
  • This blade is very sharp but doesn’t come with a knife guard.

08. Rada Cutlery 12-1/4″ Professional Fillet Knife

Blade Materials & Durability

The Rada Cutlery R200 fish cutting knife is the first choice of all professional fishermen. It is very lightweight and easy to fillet due to its curved blade. This knife blade is 7 and 1/8 inches long and its overall length is 12 and 1/4 inches.

However, this high-quality fish knife is specially designed with a non-slip function that you can use safely in any situation, in the kitchen, or outdoors. It’s made from surgical grade, T420 high carbon stainless steel.

And it comes hand-sharpened for the best razor-sharp edge. The reason using a premium material is important is so that the knife never gets rust and anyone can easily clean it. This hollow-ground blade ensures a superior concave surface to extend the edge retention.

Handle Design & Usability

This knife handle is made from black non-slip rubber that will feel very comfortable and secure in your hands. For instance, it features finger grooves so you can hold it confidently. This knife also can be used to remove meat bones or fish skin.

Another good side of this knife is that it has a beautiful black leather scabbard. As a result, you can safely carry it anywhere in your backpack or tackle box.

Final Verdict

Use this knife to fillet all sizes of fish like trout, blackfish, Tilapia, and many others. It’s really a perfect knife for effortless filleting. But if you’re a beginner I wouldn’t recommend this knife for you because it’s very sharp and not flexible.

Pros
  • Made in the USA
  • Comes at an affordable price
  • Super thin and versatile
  • Very lightweight and easy to carry
  • Very soft rubber grip and ergonomic handle design
Cons
  • Not very flexible

09. Kershaw Clearwater 7’’ Fillet Knife

Kershaw Clearwater 7’’ Fillet Knife

Blade Materials & Durability

The Kershaw Clearwater fishing knife is a perfect choice for filleting while on the water or in the kitchen. Everywhere, it will serve you with the best performance! It is a 7-inch flexible knife with a comfortable handle to fillet any fish, small or big.

This high-quality knife is made from Japanese 420J2 stainless steel to prevent rust or corrosion. And its user can bend the blade without it breaking. It’s really flexible and easy to sharpen.

Sometimes perhaps you have faced a problem while filleting a large salmon in the past. But the Kershaw Clearwater fish cleaning knife is the best choice for filleting large salmon or other large-sized fish.

Handle Design & Usability

For the best grip and comfort, this knife has been crafted with a Black textured Co-Polymer handle. This comfortable rubbery-textured handle ensures it will never slip from your hand and it is easy to maneuver.

And when not in use, this knife’s ABS sheath protects the blade and ensures a safe carrying opportunity.

Final Verdict

Its price, quality, performance, and overall features make it the best knife for cleaning fish for the money. Without investing a hundred dollars, you will get a perfect knife for saving your time while filleting. If you fillet very large-sized fish most of the time, then it would be an ideal tool for you.

Pros
  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • The knife comes with its own durable sheath
  • Durable and rust-resistant construction
  • Comfortable Handle for a non-slip grip
Cons
  • Needs sharpening very quickly

What Is a Fillet Knife?

What Is a Fillet Knife

A fillet knife is a regular kitchen knife that is specially made for filleting fish. It is a member of the boning knife family but not the same. Because it is around 15 to 28 cm long with a very flexible blade and its thinner blade design is only for handling small or large fish.

Some fillet knives come with a folding design, it would be a great collection for the fisherman or professional but not ideal for beginners. Because they’re not very flexible and not available in better safety features. For home cooks or starters, small and flexible fillet knives are recommended.

What Is a Fillet Knife Used For?

When it comes to removing the skin and bones from fish, a regular knife might not be a good choice because it is not flexible nor thin enough. On the other hand, this knife is perfect for the job of preparing fish for eating, as it can be maneuvered closely around bones and organs. Due to its lightweight design, it is perfect for such delicate work.

Additionally, this tool can be used with chicken or other raw meat to remove ligaments and fat, prepare herbs, or even to cut vegetables, especially into more intricate shapes and forms, perhaps for centerpieces or displays.

Whether you are preparing a fish at home, at a campsite, or elsewhere, a fish cleaning knife would be a great choice for tasks that require precision.

How To Fillet a Fish?

If you are filleting the first time you should follow some instructions for getting a piece of delicate meat without unnecessary bones or skin. There are these;

Step 1: First, choose a table where you will fillet, it’s important because in other places you won’t feel comfortable filleting.

Step 2: Before filleting your fish you should sharpen your knife and clean it properly. It will give you very effortless filleting without spending much time.

Step 3: It would be better if you use gloves for safety reasons. First, start with behind the ear all the way to the bone and just one side of his spine. Make a very small incision all the way down at the end let your knife do the work.

You don’t need to apply a lot of pressure if you have a sharp knife. You’ll feel your knife running down the bones of the spine, that the knife do the work. And that fill it will just pull itself away. It is really very simple.

How to Sharpen a Fillet Knife?

Many people prefer to use a whetstone over an electric sharpener for their fillet knife maintenance. When using a whetstone to sharpen your knife, the first step is to soak the whetstone in water. As you proceed, you should not soak it again, but rather apply more water by just sprinkling some drops on the whetstone.

Because the buildup of particles called the slurry is actually very effective and vital to the sharpening process. The second thing to consider is what angle you are intending to produce for the edge.

Most fishing knives are typically sharpened to 12-15 degrees, for example. Some people estimate by tilting their knife first halfway down from a 90-degree angle, and then halfway down from 45, and then a little less than halfway down through 22.5 which would be about 12.

Full Guide: How to Sharpen Fillet Knife? (Here’s How You Can Do It)

Difference Between Fillet Knife Vs. Boning Knife

The boning knife and fillet knife don’t have a big difference. But a filleting knife means a flexible and super-sharp long blade. It smoothly cuts any small or large-sized fish like salmon, tuna, and catfish. Because its flexible blade helps in getting delicate fish meat from bones.

The boning knife is for separating meat from bones, but it doesn’t have a flexible blade. They’re very short compared to a fillet knife. A professional boning knife features a semi-stiff and short blade to handle any chicken, beef, and poultry.

Only some aspects of boning and fillet knives are similar. That’s why you can use a fish filleting knife for cutting meat or separating bones. For example, there is the Shun Cutlery boning knife. This special model you can use to fillet fish or cut meat.

Best Fish Fillet Knife – Buyer’s Guide

best fish fillet knife for the money

If you are interested in buying a new fish filleting knife, you should consider some features. Investing money in a fish-cutting knife would be a good decision if you get a user-friendly knife. So let’s discuss how you should choose the best knife for filleting fish before making a purchasing decision.

Blade Material and Sharpness

Most fillet knives are made from carbon steel or stainless steel. And those premium materials ensure a high-quality, wicked sharp blade. There are many fish cleaning knives that contain different materials to build superior blades for maximum sharpness and performance.

In the market right now most fillet knives are specially made from stainless steel. This material is very tough, and hard to sharpen. But surprisingly, the blade edge retains for a long time!

On the other hand, carbon steel is a common material for fillet knives. But, high carbon stainless steel is very easy to sharpen and it is totally rust and corrosion-resistant. And obviously, carbon blades are usually lightweight and very durable.

Handle Material and Comfort

A perfect handle ensures the best grip, comfort, and balance. A good quality handle would be wood, plastic, or rubber. But actually, which one you like will depend on your personal preference and work type. But usually, wooden handles look great and are lightweight.

While very sturdy, sometimes wooden handles may get slippery, especially when wet. And water might cause damage to the handle. But plastic and other handles you can soak in water, as well as being comfortable, too.

But if you carefully check above, then you’ll find some knives that have a very high-quality handle for the best comfort and grip, for example, the Rapala Soft Grip filleting knife.

Flexibility

Flexibility is very important when you’re going to buy a knife for cleaning fish. Flexible blades ensure they will bend easily without breaking. It helps you to fillet any large-sized fish such as salmon or catfish.

However, there are many knives that offer better flexibility. But actually thinner and long blades are more flexible than shorter ones. And Dalstrong is one of the best flexible fillet knives.

Flexibility depends on blade size and materials. A short blade might be a great choice if you clean small fish in your home. Also, you should choose a flexible blade only for filleting jobs. Because it will give you the best filleting experience. And it will allow you to fillet for a long time without any hand pain.

Size and Weight

You will find many different sizes of knives for filleting fish, from a 4-inch blade to a 9-inch. But actually, it will depend on what size of fish you actually want to fillet. A small blade is not ideal for filleting a big fish. But usually, 6- to 7-inch blades are perfect for all sizes of fish.

And a lightweight knife can help you when speed is very important. If your knife is heavy, you can’t perform well on the cutting table. For fast and effortless filleting, a flexible, lightweight blade is an excellent choice.

Advanced Safety Features

A fishing knife is a little bit dangerous. Because it has a very flexible and super sharp blade that easily cuts any size of fish bones. You should look out for your safety while you fillet.

If you carefully choose a knife for filleting that has a special safety bolster or finger guard, and the blade will never cut your fingers.

A safety bolster ensures your fingers will keep away from the blade and fish spine. And the safety guard features of a knife can be found on many of the most popular knives for filleting. Even most professional chefs and fishermen recommended it!

Full vs. Partial Tang

A full tang knife means it has a full blade from tip to tang which is extremely durable. It’s a little bit heavier than other knives, but ideal for heavy-duty jobs. Even it ensures accurate balance which is highly important for filleting.

On the other hand,  partial tang doesn’t come with a full blade and it’s not very durable. It has an extra joint inside the handle, and knives are very lightweight. It might be ideal for beginners who do not like a heavy knife and recommend only for small fish.

Price Range

A good quality fillet knife might be a little bit expensive, but it can be worth buying. Because with that you can do everything that you want like the Dalstrong fillet knife. But in general terms, most fillet knives come with a $20 to $100 price range.

Now it will depend on you for what knife you are looking for. But if you choose a good model that comes from a popular brand, that means you can use it for a long time.

Cleaning Ease

Perhaps, it is a crucial part of every knife that you should consider. Cleaning might be a difficult job if your knife isn’t dishwasher safe. Because this process will save you time and effort. But most professional fishermen, recommend only hand wash which can extend the blade sharpness and performance. But some knives are rust and corrosion resistant that will never damage easily even if you wash them with soap and detergent.

Frequently Asked Questions

best fillet knife for saltwater fish

Which Is the Best Fillet Knife for Saltwater Fish?

The Buck 0220BLS silver creek and the Bubba 7-Inch tapered flex are ideal for saltwater fish. Because they’re super sharp even for the maximum performance, they both are rust and corrosion-resistant. I hope now you know which is the best fillet knife for saltwater fish.

What Is the Best Fillet Knife for Salmon?

The Kershaw clearwater and the Dalstrong Gladiator Series are the best fillet knives for salmon and other large fishes.

The Dalstrong fish cleaning knife has a very long and flexible, super sharp blade that you can use for filleting big salmon can catfish. And the Kershaw has a very strong tip point on its super durable, rust-resistant blade.

What Size of Fillet Knife Should You Buy?

The 8-inch to 12-inch is the best size for filleting a large catfish or salmon. Because a long and flexible blade will help you with filleting. You can easily bend a large knife during filleting.

Knives under 8 inches are not very flexible, but they’re very durable and have a strong tip point. These can be the best choice for gutting and cleaning fish.

Are Boning and Fillet Knives the Same?

No, they are not quite the same. A fillet fishing knife is more flexible than a boning knife; and the boning knife has a tough blade that is used for cutting and slicing meat, chicken, and beef.

They both have narrow blades, and both have pointed tips. They can serve the same purpose of removing bones from a fish if you choose only some particular knives that are made for either boning and filleting.

What Does a Fillet Knife Look Like?

Typically, a fish filleting knife appears to have a long, thin, and more flexible blade than other knives of this category, which tend to be a little stiffer regarding their blades. Made of stainless steel generally, its blade isn’t very susceptible to corrosion, unlike blades made from high carbon steel.

While the handle materials will vary, the blade of a fishing knife features a sharp, very pointed tip. Often the blade may curve too, which is handy for maneuvering around bones and skin. Also, the blade has a 12- to 15-degree bevel along the edge.

Final Thought

People want effortless filleting and boneless meat. This will be possible when you have a good fish cleaning knife. Because it’s very flexible, lightweight, razor-sharp, and very easy to use, you can even carry it anywhere.

This knife is very helpful for professional fishermen, who fillet tons of fish. There are many choices of knives to remove fish bones or skin. But you have to find the right one that you actually need.

It might take some thinking to figure out which knife is best for filleting fish. That’s why I have reviewed some top-quality knives so that you can find the best one that will perfectly fit your needs. I hope now you understand which knife would be best for filleting a large or small fish.