If you enjoy fishing and intend to keep at least a few of the fish you catch each trip, your trips likely end the same way every time – filleting fish. To properly fillet a fish, you need to have a quality filleting knife; without one, the filleting process becomes slow and dangerous, not to mention tedious.
If you’re looking to purchase the best fish fillet knife, you might be in need of a few suggestions. Luckily, we’ve got you covered! We’ve searched the internet and put together a list of a few of our favorite fish fillet knives that are guaranteed to make your life a little easier.
Top 10 Fish Fillet Knives:
1. Dalstrong Fillet Knife
The Dalstrong Gladiator Series 7 fillet knife is a knife that’s made to last. With a 7-inch flexible blade that is made from high carbon German steel and has been hand-sharpened on both sides, the knife is ideal for de-boning, de-scaling, filleting, and butterflying even the largest catches.
The blade rates at a 55+ on the Rockwell hardness scale and is resistant to wear, with a polished spine that makes it easy to get a secure pinch grip. In addition, it showcases the brand logo and wipe’s clean with ease.
It can be transported safely thanks to the included leather travel sheath and can be professionally sharpened when it gets dull, giving you years of use.
To aid in both safety and durability, the knife’s handle is made of pakkawood that has been imported from Spain. The shape of the handle is ergonomic and smooth, while still being easy to grip and hold onto. It has been laminated to ensure that it remains in good condition and avoid injury.
2. Bubba Electric Fillet Knife
The Bubba Electric Fillet Knife has been designed with top-quality ergonomics in mind. It fits in the hand perfectly and is easy to grip thanks to the non-slip handle, which allows you to get a stable grip and reduces injuries that result from the knife slipping.
The knife is fully electric, with the longest run time of any electric fillet knife on the market. Then the knife has superior ventilation to the motor, which gives it the maximum amount of torque and transmission output.
In addition, the knife comes with four-blade styles. Each is crafted from carbon stainless steel and titanium nitride, making them resistant to corrosion and damage. The knife is also equipped with a safety lock and trigger system to keep you and your family safe.
To further aid in your security, each knife comes with an EVA molded carrying case. It also comes with an extra battery and a charging cord. The replacement battery comes equipped with a battery life indicator to help you ensure that you never run out of battery power.
3. KastKing Fillet Knife
KastKing has taken its knife game one step further than most companies, offering its traditional fillet knife in a variety of blade sizes. This vibrant orange knife comes with a 6, 7, or 9-inch blade, with an additional option to purchase the 9-inch blade with a “super strong” composition. Regardless of which size you choose, each KastKing’s blade is resistant to corrosion and flexible.
The handle of the knife is ergonomically designed. It fits perfectly in the hand and has gentle curves and slopes in its shape, which make it ideal for gripping. This handle is also made with a non-slip polymer grip that protects the knife from slipping from the user’s hand.
To protect both the delicate, German stainless steel blade and the user of the knife, ever knife comes with a high-quality sheath. The sheath is snug and won’t slip off and, in addition, it’s also incredibly lightweight and sleek in its design. For draining purposes, the sheath also features small slots.
4. Imarku Boning Knife
Manufactured by Imarku, this 6-inch fish filleting knife is both high-quality and reliable. Its handle is made of real pakkawood and is smooth, slip-resistant, and easy to clean. The handle, in addition to being extremely durable, is also pleasing on the eyes as it has a naturalistic appearance.
The blade, on the other hand, has been made of German stainless steel that is resistant to corrosion and damage. It has a 56+2 Rockwell hardness, which makes it ideal for long term use as it maintains its sharpness and balance for long periods of time. It has been hand-sharpened and polished with care.
When it comes to versatility, this knife can do just about anything; it’s efficient for de-boning, filleting, skinning, butterflying, and preparing both thick and thin cuts of fish with minimal effort.
To protect your knife, each one comes in a hard-backed case that has been cushioned to prevent damage to the blade and/or handle. This case is also a great way to ensure personal safety, too.
5. Rhinoreto Fillet Knife
Using a specialized combination of ergonomic design and quality materials, the Rhinoreto fillet knives are perfect for regular use. Available in a 5-inch and 8-inch option, the blades of these knives have a gentle curve to them and a pointed, extra-sharp tip. They are resistant to corrosion and have a significant amount of flexibility, which makes them great for cutting thick cuts of meat.
Although the blade makes cutting through flesh easy, the handle has a hand in this, as well. It is made of non-slip rubber. It also features a handguard that separates the handle from the blade and ensures the safety of the user, protecting their hands against accidental slips. These guards go all the way around the knife, offering 360-degree protection.
Moreover, the knife comes with an electric blue sharpener that is specifically designed for this specific knife. To go along with the sharpener, the knife also comes with a sheath. The sheath is vented and made from solid plastic that is resistant to bending and flexing.
6. Rapala Fish N’ Fillet Knife
This knife has been sold over 40 million times to the likes of a professional fisherman, amateurs, and fishing enthusiasts around the globe. Its blade has been carefully crafted from European-style stainless-steel that slowly tapers as it moves from handle to blade tip, ending in a fine, extra-sharp point. The blade is resistant to wear and tear and has a level of flexibility that is unmatched by other knives on the market.
The knife’s handle is made of durable birch wood that holds the blade securely in place and prevents the hand from slipping – even when it’s wet or slimy. Both the blade and handle are protected by a leather sheath. The sheath, to further aid in protection, uses a free-swing method where the belt loops on tinwork to ensure that the blade tip never swings toward the body of the wearer.
Each knife comes with a complimentary blade sharpener that ensures the blade is always just as sharp as it was on arrival.
7. Mercer Millenia Fillet Knife
Available in 9 color options, this 8.5-inch bladed knife is a go-to for many hobbyists. The knife is noticeably narrower than most of its competitors, which gives it a bit of a leg up when it comes to how easy it is to wield.
The blade has been made from a single piece of Japanese high-carbon steel. This steel has been designed to resist rust, flexing and bending, corrosion, and discoloration. The handles of the knives have been created to be ergonomically pleasing, fitting in the hand with ease and reducing discomfort while providing a textured surface for users to grip onto.
Each knife offers a ridge at the connection point of the blade and handle; this is used to protect the fingers should they slip, preventing them from slipping onto the blade’s edge. The knives are also NSF certified and have met a strict standard for safety, performance, and quality.
8. Hammer Stahl Fillet Knife
Packaged in a classy box and boasting a brilliant shine, the Hammer Stahl fillet knife is a great knife to impress friends and fishing associates with. The sheen that this knife has is courtesy of the German high-carbon stainless steel from which the blade is made, as well as the careful hand polishing that takes place after each blade has been crafted.
The blade has a Rockwell hardness of 55-57, giving it a superior lifespan and maximum hardness that cuts through virtually any meat with ease. Attached to the blade, the handle is made from solid pakkawood and the same steel that’s used for the blade. Together, these two elements make the knife durable and pleasant to look at.
Every Hammer Stahl knife comes packaged in a sleek black box that has been lined with soft foam. The box features a hinged, magnetic lid, ensuring that it can be used more than once.
9. Sea Strike Fillet Kit
The Sea Striker fillet kit is one of the best multi-purpose kits to bring on fishing trips. Using the tools in the kit, you can expertly prepare fish with ease. Each kit is available in a variety of eye-catching colors and comes packaged in a hard, plastic case for both your protection and the protection of the tools inside.
The kit includes several fillet knives of different sizes, a pair of scissors, gloves, and a cutting board to prevent unnecessary mess. Each of the knife blades have been sharpened prior to packaging and can be sharpened at home with the use of a standard knife sharpener. The included gloves offer an added bit of grip, which is ideal for when handling the super-sharp knives.
To make handling even easier, the knife handles are textured and crafted from non-slip plastic that is easy to wield and lightweight to boot. Each handle also includes a stopper to protect the user’s fingers from accidents and slipping.
10. Calamus Fishing Fillet Knife
With a unique blue blade and sturdy weight, the Calamus filleting knives are highly trusted among fishermen. The knife comes with a protective plastic sheath that has specially designed slats for water drainage, as well as a clearly printed brand logo.
The blades, which are made from durable German stainless-steel, have both a smooth edge and a serrated edge. They also have a carefully placed gut hook and blue Teflon finish that makes them stand out from others on the market.
To ensure that users get the best knife for them, these knives come in a variety of blade sizes, as well as in either flexible or hard options. The golf-style handles of each knife help ensure the safety of the user, as well as their ultimate comfort during use. The handles are slip-resistant and textured but are also incredibly easy to clean and sanitize. They are 40% lighter than most modern handles.
Best Fish Fillet Knife: Buying Guide
Blade size and material
In general, fish fillet knives have blades that range from 4 and 9 inches in length. The standard sizes are 4, 6, 7.5, and 9-inches respectively. There is quite a variety when it comes to blade sizes and the reason is because fish vary a lot.
So, when buying a fillet knife, you need to have an idea of what type of fish you plan to be using the knife on in order to determine the appropriate blade length. Bigger fish require the use of a longer blade due to the wide girth and large surface area, while smaller fish can be filled with a shorter bladed knife.
For target fish like crappie and bluegill, 6-inch blades are ideal. Bass and small trout have an ideal blade length of 7.5 inches and fish like pike and salmon usually need a 9-inch blade.
Related: interested in trout fishing? Check our articles below!
To get the most out of your fillet knife, you could opt for a “general” blade size which is usually 7.5 inches. This size blade will allow you to fillet both small and large fish with minimal struggle.
In terms of blade material, most knives are made using stainless steel. This being said, not all stainless-steels are the same when it comes to quality. Most companies don’t specify which type of stainless-steel is used, but, if you can, try to find a blade that has been made from high-carbon stainless-steel or from a reputable manufacturer.
Although the blade is the star of the show, the handles of knives are important also. Grip, comfort, and ease of use are all derived from a well-constructed, durable handle. A good handle ensures that you can wield the knife with ease and reduces the chance of injury.
Wood, plastic, and rubber are the most popular materials that handles are from, with wood being the most traditional option. Wood is durable and easy to clean but has a tendency to get slippery when wet. It can also trap the smell of fish within it.
Both rubber and plastic are easy to clean and resistant to corrosion. Plastic, like wood, can get slippery, while rubber is the best option if you’re looking for the best grip possible.
In addition, a good handle will have a beveled area between the blade and the handle. This serves as an extra layer of protection against slippage, while also providing the user with extra leverage.
Hardness and flexibility
You’ve probably noticed the range of prices among fillet knives. Price is generally based upon the quality of the blade. Blade quality is how hard or soft the blade is.
A quality blade should be flexible and made from a hard, sturdy metal. The metal should allow enough flex and bend for you to maneuver your knife around bones and inside the various portions of meat without breaking.
It should also be made of a metal that’s hard enough to maintain its edge. On the Rockwell scale, which is used to determine the hardness, knives with a rating of 55-61 are considered to be the hardest.
Blade sharpness is another factor to consider. How sharp the blade is will determine how clean your cuts are.
The best blades will come pre-sharpened and ready to go, as well as hold their edge well. They will also be easy to sharpen and might even come with their own sharpener.
Fillet Knife Styles: Japanese vs. German
There are two main knife styles: Japanese and German (also known as Scandinavian). They are relatively similar but have minor differences that are worth noting.
Japanese style knives tend to have a single-beveled blade that is both thinner and more lightweight. They are ideal for making clean, straight cuts since the blade have a less severe angle. The stainless steel used is known for being harder than most other types of knives, making it sharper.
German knives are often graced with double-beveled blades – these are blades that have been sharpened on both the left and right sides. The blade usually has a severe angle, making it great for chopping. The blade is often heavier than the Japanese-style blades, making the knife generally heavier. However, steel is often a bit softer.
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
What knife do you use for fish?
You should use a fillet knife for preparing fish.
What size fish fillet knife is best?
As a rule of thumb, longer blades are best for large fish and smaller blades are best for small fish. A 7.5-inch blade is considered to be multi-purpose.
What is the difference between a fillet knife and a boning knife?
Fillet knives are used for removing both skin and bones while boning knives are used specifically for removing bones.
What can you use a fillet knife for?
Fillet knives are used for filleting fish.
How do you use a fillet knife?
Fillet knives are used with the blade sloped on an angle.
Can I wash fillet knives in the dishwasher?
Yes. This can, however, damage both the blade and handle over time.
What angle is a fillet knife?
Most fillet knives are angled at somewhere between 12 and 17 degrees.
What is the best steel for a fillet knife?
The best steel that can e used for a fillet knife is high-carbon stainless-steel.
Now that we’ve gone over the ins and outs of fillet knives and their purposes, we hope you feel confident enough to choose the best fish fillet knife for your unique circumstances.
As a reminder, be sure to look for a knife that has a sharp, flexible blade and an easy-to-grip handle. Also, pay attention to your uses and choose a blade length based on what you’ll be using it for rather than its price or overall appearance.
If you choose to try any of our recommended knives, you won’t be disappointed.
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