If you’re not practicing catch and release, then you’ve got some work on your hands that needs to get done. You’ve got to clean and prepare that fish so that it can be consumed. The best way to do that is to use a fillet knife that has been perfectly designed for the task at hand. Ignore the sites that say the best fillet knife is sharp, curved, and has an ergonomic grip. This guide will help you find the best fillet knife so you can prepare your fish.
Here Is the Best Chart for Fillet Knives
Want to get started right away? Then here is our chart on the best fish filleting knives that are available right now. This way you can find the best fillet knife, purchase it, and move on with the rest of your day.
Here Are the Salty Dog’s Favorite Fish Filleting Knives
Rapala Fish’n Fillet Knife
Although a rubber handle is preferable, the wood handle on this fillet knife isn’t too bad since it has a full tang. The varnish gives it a little extra grip, which is nice, and there’s a single stage sharpener that is included with the purchase of this knife. It’s a 7-inch blade that has progressive tapering and the edge does maintain a relatively good level of sharpness. For the occasional cleaning chore, this fillet knife is incredibly affordable, yet still durable, and that helps to make it one of the best fillet knives that are available today.
Higo no Kami Daidai, Nagaokoma
One of the biggest irritations that many have for a fish filleting knife is that they can be difficult to transport. If you don’t have a sheath, then there’s no really good place to put the knife without ruining something. This knife from Japan has solved this problem in a rather ingenious way. It is completely handmade, so no two knives are the same. It features a folding design that is razor sharp and honing the edge is a simple process. It’s elegant in its simplicity and the slight curve of the blade makes it the perfect shape for a fast fillet.
- Made by the last remaining manufacturer of this trademarked knife, Nagao Seisakusho
- Blade approximately 3", handle approximately 4"
- Warikomi steel
- Brass satin handle
- Specifications and appearance may differ slightly due to the handmade nature of this product
American Angler Pro Electric Fillet Knife with Glove
Why invest in a bunch of different knives when with one purchase, you could get everything that you need to clean and fillet virtually any fish? For about $100 on Amazon right now, this electrical filleting knife offers 2x the torque of the average electric knife and it comes with 5 different blades and safety equipment. With an improved ergonomic design, users will even find that the experience of slicing is almost fatigue free. Spring for the Pro series to get the resin and metal gears and you’ll have one of the best electric knives you’ve ever owned.
Buck 0225BLS Silver Creek Large Fixed Blade Filet Knife
This fixed fillet blade offers a 9+ inch titanium coated steel blade, made from 420J2 steel – one of the few knives that actually name the material. Users will love the injected molded sheath and the belt clip that comes for easy transportation of this knife. The titanium surface helps this knife stand up to some tough environments and it has a forever warranty associated with it. The rubber grip is fantastic, there’s a stainless steel finger guard in place, and it’s got a strong back. At this price point, you can’t go wrong with this knife.
- CORROSION RESISTANT - Flexible 9-5/8" Titanium coated 420HC Steel Blade is easily sharpened, and delivers Excellent Strength, Edge Retention, and Corrosion Resistance. Overall Length 14-3/8", Weight 5.3 oz.
- FLEXIBLE FILLET - Available in two blade lengths (6-3/8" and 9-5/8"). Either way, this knife is versatile enough for most sizes of fish …
Rada Cutlery R200 Fillet Knife
Made from T420 surgical grade high carbon stainless steel, this fillet knife is fantastic because it is hand sharpened after being hollow ground. This gives it a real personalized touch that has been in place since 1948. The blade itself is just over 7 inches long and the rubber handle has a good drip, though it doesn’t necessarily like a prolonged cleaning process. It’s ridiculously sharp out of the box and will allow for a perfect fillet cut with just a single slice. A leather scabbard is included to maintain the edge while in storage too.
- GREAT FISHING KNIFE – All fishermen should have this fillet knife in their tackle box. It is lightweight and flexible. The blade measures 7-1/8 inches and has an overall length of 12-1/4 inches.
- FLEXIBLE STEEL BLADE – The blade on the fillet knife is made from surgical grade, T420 high carbon stainless steel that is hand sharpened. It is also flexible for cutting meat away from the bones …
What Are the Basics of the Best Fillet Knives?
It must not be forgotten that the fillet knife is a specialized tool. It’s designed for the task at hand. If you use it for other food purposes or twig cutting, you’re going to ruin the knife. When you’re shopping around for a good fillet knife, there are four specific characteristics that you’ll want to evaluate so that all of your needs can be met.
- The blade must be flexible. The blade on the best fillet knife needs to be more than just sharp. It also needs to be flexible so that it will move around the bones of the fish easily. There needs to be a certain strength to the knife so it can move through a bone if necessary as well.
- It must have a non-slip handle. Cleaning a fish is a messy business. If the knife handle gets slick when it hits the fish slime it is bound to encounter, you’ve got the recipe for a lost finger. A handle should be non-slip and easy to grab.
- The blade should be easy to sharpen. Although you’re not going to be sharpening a fillet knife very often, a good edge is necessary for a good experience. A carbon steel is easier to sharpen, but a stainless steel blade can be effectively honed. What you choose will probably depend on how much salt exposure you expect.
- A good length of blade is necessary. The best fillet knife is going to match the size of the fish. If you are going after larger fish, like salmon or steelhead, then you are going to want at least a 9-inch fillet knife. Otherwise most fish can be effectively cleaned with a 6 or 7-inch fillet knife. Some smaller fish may even be cleaned with a 5-inch knife in some instances.
The best fillet knife makes filleting a fish a simple, easy process. When you keep these basics in mind, then finding the best one isn’t a difficult process at all. You’ve just got to know how to start the shopping process.
How To Find the Best Fillet Knives For Me
Finding the best fillet knives means having accurate information about the knife you’re thinking about. One of the best ways to do that is to go over our reviews on each knife so that you can see if it will meet your needs. Pay attention to information about the grip, how well it maintains its edge, and how strong the backbone of the knife happens to be so that you can get the best experience possible.
Once you start looking at the reviews, however, you may just find that many of the fillet knives you’re thinking about have some very similar features. This is where the flexibility of the knife becomes one of the most important aspects of its design. A flexible cut is critical to achieving an optimal level of slicing and cutting. A sharp, flexible knife will give you a clean cut that won’t waste any meat. Flexibility is based mostly on how thick a blade happens to be, so look for thinner blades at your preferred length to meet our needs.
If you need to clean a lot of fish on a regular basis, then an electric fish filleting knife might be a better option. Look for a blade that is easy to clean and remove, but won’t wear out too quickly at the locking mechanism for the best results.
The final consideration to look at is how the construction of the handle works with the knife itself. Wood is the standby option for all fillet knives, but there are better options available on the market today. Wood can get slippery when it gets wet and after awhile, you just can’t get the fish smell out of the handle. Rubber gives the best grip, especially since it can be squeezed, and it provides the same traction as plastic.
What Are the Prices of the Best Fillet Knives Today?
The price of the fish filleting knives that you’ll find today depends on the materials that are used to make it. Wood handle blades that offer a full tang can be found for less than $20 and some even include a leather sheath at this price. Electric knives can easily reach $100 for a high quality blade that stands up to commercial production needs. Rubber and plastic handled knifes start at the same price point as wood, but better quality handles bring higher prices.
The best fillet knife doesn’t have to be expensive. It doesn’t have to be made from fancy materials. It just needs to be long enough, sharp enough, and flexible enough. By evaluating our reviews and using these tips to find a fish filleting knife that meets your needs, you’ll be able to save time and energy every time you need to fillet a fish in the future with a purchase today.