8 Best Fish Fillet Knifes


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Filleting fish is an important skill for any well-trained chef to have, and when you know how to do this job yourself, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment.

If you’re an angler, or if you enjoy purchasing fresh fish from the market, then a great fish fillet knife will be among your greatest allies in preparing the fish you’ve caught or bought! Here, we’ll take a look at five of the best fish fillet knives available, and provide you with useful tips for choosing a fillet knife that best suits your unique purposes.

Our Top Picks:

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Reasonable cost
  • Versatile knife
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  • Very comfortable grip
  • Great flexibility
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  • Excellent reliability
  • Very good quality to price ratio
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  • Exceptionally sharp edge; knife retains edge very well
  • Useful for a variety of boning and filleting tasks
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  • Very flexible and very sharp, classic fillet knife
  • Excellent bolster design
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  • Compatible with all American Angler replacement blades
  • Comfortable grip
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  • Plenty of power
  • Batteries last a long time
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  • Razor sharp blade; holds its edge very well
  • Very easy cleanup
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#1 Dalstrong Gladiator Series Fillet Knife

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Made with high-carbon German stainless steel for longevity and performance, the Dalstrong Gladiator Series 7” Fillet Knife features an attractive pakkawood handle with triple rivets holding its full tang securely in place.

A pleasing contour provides visual appeal as well as a comfortable grip, and an endcap of stainless steel adds to its classic appearance.

Well-polished and laminated for sanitary use, this fillet knife provides an appealing combination of attractive looks and reliable performance. Two sheaths are included: One in leather for outdoor use, and one for protection during storage.

Pros

  • Reasonable cost
  • Versatile knife, sheaths add to its usefulness

Cons

  • Could be sharper on arrival, does sharpen well
  • Two users reported bent blades; potential manufacturing defect

This Knife is Ideal For:

Offering a blend of moderate pricing and good quality components, the Dalstrong Gladiator Series Fillet knife is likely to satisfy most people who find themselves filleting fish on a fairly regular basis.

Many  users also mention using the knife on beef and chicken, and most are satisfied with it although a few mention that it needs to be sharpened more frequently than some other knives.

The inclusion of a sheath for outdoor use is a very nice touch, as is the included edge guard for safe, practical storage. If you are looking for a combination of value and quality, then this may be the best fillet knife for your purposes.

#2 Mercer Culinary Millennia 8-Inch Narrow Fillet Knife

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Made with one-piece of high-carbon, stainless Japanese steel, the Mercer Culinary Millennia 8-Inch Narrow Fillet Knife features an ergonomic handle of santoprene and polypropylene, which offers a combination of sanitary handling and comfort.

A finger guard provides some protection from accidents, as do the built-in textured finger points. With a razor-sharp edge straight out of the box, this knife is meant for demanding institutional settings, and has been NSF certified for use in commercial kitchens. A limited lifetime warranty is included.

Pros

  • Very comfortable grip
  • Great flexibility

Cons

  • No blade cover included
  • Not as aesthetically pleasing as some other fillet knives

This Knife is Ideal For:

If aesthetics are not important, and you have lots of fish to fillet, then you are likely to enjoy everything that the Mercer Culinary Millennia narrow fillet knife has to offer.

It makes an affordable yet useful addition to the kitchen, particularly if you are working in a professional or industrial setting. Note that you will need to have a block available, or look for a compatible edge guard since none is included.

#3 Rapala Fish n Fillet Superflex Knife

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With a razor-sharp blade crafted of handground stainless steel and coated in non-stick PTFE, the Rapala Fish n Fillet Superflex Knife features an attractive handle of baked birch wood. A hand-rubbed finish and fine texture add to the knife’s overall appearance, and its contours provide a comfortable, reliable grip.

A contrasting brass-toned bolster makes for a very nice finishing touch while providing some distance between your hand and the sharp blade. A tooled leather sheath is included.

Pros

  • Excellent reliability
  • Very good quality to price ratio

Cons

  • Could arrive a bit sharper out of the box
  • End users may want to re-finish the handle with clear protective satin gloss

This Knife is Ideal For:

Thanks to the inclusion of a leather sheath, the Rapala Fish n Fillet Superflex knife is an excellent choice for serious anglers who want a good, all-purpose fillet knife that can be taken along on fishing trips and used for tasks including skinning, boning, and filleting fish.

Most folks are thrilled with the level of sharpness as well as the flexibility this knife offers, and many mention that it gets even better with at least one professional sharpening. If you like to fish and you want to stick to a budget while enjoying a knife that offers reliable performance, than the Rapala Fish n Fillet Superflex Knife is well worth considering.

#4 Shun DM0743 Classic Gokujo Boning and Fillet Knife

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With a precision-forged blade featuring 33 layers of stainless steel, the Shun DM0743 Classic Gokujo Boning and Fillet Knife makes a beautiful – and very useful – addition to the demanding chef’s kitchen.

A 6-inch blade provides just the right amount of length and flexibility for a variety of tasks, and the Damascus detailing provides a smooth, drag-free cutting experience. The classic Japanese D-shaped Pakkawood handle offers a sanitary and comfortable grip, while the stainless steel end cap provides an appealing finishing touch. A limited lifetime warranty is included.

Pros

  • Exceptionally sharp edge; knife retains edge very well
  • Useful for a variety of boning and filleting tasks; ideal for meat as well as fish

Cons

  • A little stiffer than some other fillet knives
  • Delicate tip; user must take care to employ proper cutting techniques

This Knife is Ideal For:

Demanding chefs with good, solid knife technique will appreciate the Shun DM0743 Classic Gokujo Boning and Fillet knife for its sharpness and versatility.

Those who have not quite honed their techniques are likely to require more frequent sharpening, and all users should be aware that this knife is a delicate one that is specifically meant for delicate tasks.

While it does represent a larger investment than some other fillet knives, it is truly one of the best in its class. With proper care and maintenance, it will provide you with exceptional service for years to come.

#5 Wusthof Classic Ikon Fillet Knife with Sheath

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Made in Solingen, Germany with high carbon stainless German steel, the Wusthof Classic Ikon Fillet knife features a comfortably contoured handle with a partial bolster that provides protection while allowing for full use of the entire blade.

The blade features a full tang and compound taper, and has been laser-tested to assure sharpness and the proper cutting angle. A leather sheath is included, allowing you to take this knife out into the field if desired.

Pros

  • Very flexible and very sharp, classic fillet knife
  • Excellent bolster design

Cons

  • Costs quite a bit more than some other knives
  • Very thin tip, users need to be careful when cutting

This Knife is Ideal For:

While the Wusthof Classic Ikon fillet knife comes at a higher price point than many others on the market, it offers impressive flexibility and sharpness in an attractive, very well-designed package. Meant to pass the test of time while allowing users to take advantage of its many features both in the kitchen and out in the field, it is a fast favorite with users of different types.

If your budget can handle it, then this may very well be the best fillet knife for you. It’s among the best-rated on the market, and deservedly so.

#6 American Angler Classic Heavy Duty Electric Fillet Knife

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Like other American Angler electric fish fillet knives, the Classic Heavy-Duty Electric Fillet Knife is built by anglers for anglers. Designed to skin and process even tough fish species, it offers 110 volts for reliable power.

The classic handle design is meant for a combination of comfort and safety, and has been upgraded with a forced airflow ventilation system for cooler performance and less odor. It features 1.5 times the torque of competing high power electric fish fillet knives, and twice the lifespan of its competitors. This electric fillet knife is compatible with all American Angler replacement blades and is backed by a one-year warranty.

Pros

  • Compatible with all American Angler replacement blades
  • Comfortable grip

Cons

  • Top blade release button can be depressed accidentally during use
  • No carrying case

This Knife is Ideal For:

If you’re looking for a combination of comfortable operation and reliability, then you’ll probably like this electric fish fillet knife from American Angler.

It is less powerful than knives from the company’s PRO series, but offers enough torque to process a variety of average-sized sport fish. Compatibility with the company’s replacement blades is an added bonus.

#7 Rapala RRFNSC Lithium Ion Cordless Fish Fillet Knife Combo

 

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The Rapala RRFNSC Lithium Ion Cordless Fish Fillet Knife Combo comes with everything you need to get started, including a 6” blade and a 7 ½” blade.

Two lithium ion batteries are included, so you can charge one while working with the other; each battery provides an average of 80 minutes of run time.

A contoured handle offers safety and comfort, and an EVA padded case makes for easy, safe storage between uses. Spare blades and batteries are available for purchase.

Pros

  • Plenty of power
  • Batteries last a long time

Cons

  • Priced a little higher than corded models
  • Battery is a little hard to remove

This Knife is Ideal For:

If you’re looking for a good-quality cordless fish fillet knife, then you’re likely to appreciate the Rapala RRFNSC lithium ion cordless fish fillet knife combo. Two blades provide you with options for cutting different size fish, and a spare battery means you can charge one up while working with the other one.

This is an excellent choice for camping and other areas where you’d like to use an electric fish knife but don’t have immediate access to an electrical outlet, and it’s rated better than its competition. Most users are highly satisfied and report that they’d definitely make the purchase again if given the option.

#8 Global G-7 7-inch, 18cm Oriental Style Deba Knife

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Like other knives in the Global product line, this one features a blade made with Cromova 18 stainless steel, which includes a high-tech blend of molybdenum and vanadium for lasting quality.

The stainless steel handle is designed for sanitary use as well as a safe, comfortable grip; its textured surface also adds a unique, contemporary appearance. The 7-inch blade has a single bevel; it easily works its way through small to medium size fish as well as a variety of popular vegetables.

Pros

  • Razor sharp blade; holds its edge very well
  • Very easy cleanup

Cons

  • Utilitarian appearance
  • Handle feels very lightweight

This Knife is Ideal For:

If you’re not terribly concerned about knives having a traditional appearance and you’re interested in easy cleanup and maintenance, then you are likely to appreciate everything about the Global G-7 knife. Besides being among the best Japanese knives for filleting fish, it lends itself to a variety of uses in the kitchen; users often state that it’s one of their favorite knives.

Key Considerations:

Fish fillet knives tend to be heavily tapered, with sharp points and a lighter feel than many of the other knives you may be accustomed to using. Their shape is essential to your success, allowing you to easily work your way through the delicate, easily torn flesh of fish without causing damage. Here are some factors to look for in a fish fillet knife:

  • Sharpness – The best fish fillet knife is going to be extremely sharp, so it slices right through fish without causing any tearing or leaving any jagged edges behind. Remember to hone and sharpen your knife regularly as part of its maintenance; without regular upkeep, even the sharpest fillet knife will eventually lose its edge.
  • Stain Resistance – Filleting fish is messy work. While looks aren’t everything, a stain-free knife is definitely an asset: It looks cleaner, both while you’re working and during storage. Look for a knife made with stain resistant alloy if you’re concerned about this, and be sure that you maintain it well. Even the best knives can be subject to staining when they aren’t washed and dried immediately after use.
  • Handle Type – Like other types of knives, fillet knives come in a variety of configurations. Look for a handle that offers a good, comfortable grip. Popular options include wood, rubber, and plastic.
  • Tang– If possible, choose a fish fillet knife with a full tang rather than a partial one. A full tang will allow you to enjoy greater control during the delicate process of filleting fish, and it will give you better leverage, as well.
  • Thin Blade – A thin blade is among the characteristics to look for when shopping for the best fillet knife to meet your needs. Thinness matters since thicker blades have a hard time working their way between the fish’s flesh and bones, and have a tendency to waste meat.
  • Flexibility – Like thickness, blade flexibility makes a difference. Too much can lead to a flimsy feel, while too little can make it difficult to bone fish properly. In general, a thin, small blade will be a bit more flexible than a thicker, longer blade.
  • Blade Size – Most fish fillet knives come in sizes between 4 and 9.5 inches. The size you choose should depend on the size of the fish you typically work with. If you tend to fillet different-sized fish, then it stands to reason that you might need more than one knife. If you’re looking for just one good all-purpose fillet knife, consider one in the medium range; 6 to 8 inches should suffice.

Tips for Using a Fish Fillet Knife

Not only is it important to choose the best fish fillet knife for the important job of preparing your catch to be cooked, it’s also important to use it the right way. Besides providing pleasing results, the following tips for using a fish fillet knife will help you keep your knife in good condition, protecting your investment and ensuring that you can continue to enjoy it for many years to come.

  • Make smooth, clean cuts along the length of the fish. You can find how-to videos on YouTube, and if you’re lucky, you may know an experienced chef or angler who can provide you with an in-person demonstration.
  • Learn the anatomy of the fish species you are working on. Knowing where the bones are located will help you get good fillets and prevent you from wasting meat.
  • Practice cutting at a slight angle so the knife glides through the fish’s flesh.
  • Work slowly and be patient, particularly when you are first starting out. Fish are slippery, so you’ll want to avoid the accidents that can happen when you move too quickly.
  • Consider wearing a cutting glove. It will help you keep your grip on the fish and provide protection for your hand.
  • Consider using a cleaning board to help hold your fish in place.
  • Be sure to keep your fillet knife sharp.

Finally, be sure to treat your knife with care – even a less expensive model will benefit from prompt handwashing and hand-drying, which should be done as soon as you are finished with your fish preparation. Be sure to handle it well, too; its shape is delicate and damage can happen if you’re too rough. With just a little care and careful, considerate storage, the best fish fillet knife for your kitchen today may very well continue to serve you well into the future. We wish you success in your fishing endeavors – as well as in your kitchen!