Are you experienced at catching your own fish or are you looking to learn? Either way, it's not just catching the fish that is important as you have to know to correctly prepare your catch, too! The right fillet knife can ensure you navigate through scales and around bones to get all of the delicious meat from your catch.
Choosing the best fillet knife for fish can be confusing considering the variety available. Luckily, we’ve done the research for you and picked the Flexible Blade Fillet Knife by Dalstrong as our favorite fillet knife for fish. It's flexible, sharp, and is lightweight. We’ve also put together a top 10 list for you to consider and created a handy buying guide to help you make your choice!
Jim Quast (JQ) is a lifelong professional restaurant and corporate R&D chef that loves everything food-related and the tools both big and small to make those great food memories. He's a super huge BBQ, grill, and kitchen gadget fanatic. JQ has spent the last 30+ years trying to figure out what works to make your kitchen life easier and fun. If you can use it to slice it, dice it, cook it, smoke it or store it, he's been there checking it out. Food = Life! https://www.linkedin.com/in/jim-quast-59769011/
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Table of Contents
Before buying a fillet knife for fish, there are a few points you should take into consideration, such as its size, flexibility, and handle. To help you with this, we’ve put together this handy buying guide!
The length of the blade depends on the length of the fish that you are going to fillet. The general rule is that the blade should be a little bit longer than the widest point of the fish you will prepare.
This means that for small-sized fish, such as perch and mackerel, you should look at blades that are four to six inches long. Medium-sized fish, like salmon, are best served by blades that are seven to eight inches. Large fish, like tuna and halibut, need a blade that is over eight inches.
If you’re looking to work with fish of several different sizes, then the best option is to get several knives with different blade lengths. However, if you don’t want to purchase several fillet knives, we suggest buying one with a medium-sized blade around seven to eight inches. These will be the easiest to use with a wide range of fish.
The higher the quality of the blade, the more flexible yet hard it will be. Fillet blades need to be flexible as this will help the knife maneuver along the fish as you work. This flexibility will give you more flesh and less waste.
How hard the blade is will tell you how well it will keep its sharpness. You can judge a blade's hardness by looking at its Rockwell scale value (if it has one). This scale tells you the hardness of a material, and it also correlates to how much stress the metal can take before it snaps. The higher the number, the harder and stronger it is.
High-end fillet knife blades are made from stainless steel and usually have a value of between 55 to 61. Lower-end blades are often made from carbon steel and offer flexibility without the lasting hardness and sharpness you would get from a stainless steel blade with a Rockwell scale value.
Fillet knives with straight-edged blades are best for clean slices and precise cuts. You should use this type of blade with fish that have thin and easy-to-cut skin. Serrated blades are the better choice for any fish with hard scales that you need to cut through.
However, if you’re going to be preparing large quantities of fish, you might want to consider an electric fillet knife. This is the quickest and lowest energy way to fillet fish and should be considered if you will be preparing fish commercially or frequently.
The handles of fillet knives come in three different materials: plastic, rubber, and wood. The best choice for you depends on how you will be using the knife.
Plastic handles are very durable and hard-wearing. They won’t rot no matter how bad the conditions they’re used in are, and they don’t absorb any odors. However, plastic handles might not be as comfortable as rubber or wooden ones, and they can get slippery in wet conditions unless they have anti-slip features.
If you need a good grip, look for a fillet knife with a rubber handle. This type of handle is especially effective if you’re working in slippery or wet conditions. Plus, it's the safest option.
Wooden handles are best for work indoors as they can become damaged or rot if exposed to wet and salty conditions for long periods of time. Wooden handles are comfortable to use and might be more familiar due to so many other types of knives having wooden handles.
You might also find a mix of materials, especially where wood is involved. Wood can be pinned and reinforced with bits of metal. Pakkawood is a common material for knife handles. Pakkawood is an engineered mix of wood and plastic often used for items that see heavy wear. It is usually made to look like natural wood.
Using knives always carries a degree of risk, but there are some features you can look for on your fillet knife to make it safer. Make sure that the handle, no matter what material it is made from, has finger grooves. These will improve your grip and lower the chance of the knife slipping as you use it.
Many knives will also have a raised portion at the end of the handle that acts as a barrier separating the handle from the blade. With this, even if your hand does slip, it’s unlikely to slip onto the blade.
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Flexible Blade Fillet Knife
Flexible Knife That Cuts Close to the Bone
Flexible Boning Knife
Thin and Flexible Blade for Filleting and Deboning
Gladiator Series Fillet & Boning Knife
Well-Balanced Knife With a Hard Blade
Millennia Narrow Fillet Knife
Ergonomic Handle and Flexible Blade
Heavy Duty Electric Fillet Knife
Strong Electric Motor and Sharp Blades
Sofgrip Tiger Edge Slicer｜SG142-8TE
Sharp Knife Suitable for Many Purposes
Tapered Flex Fillet Knife
Non-Slip Handle That's Suitable for Wet Conditions
Filet Knife With Sheath and Sharpener
Fillet Knife That Comes With a Safety Sheath and Sharpener
Li-Ion Cordless Electric Fillet Knife
Electric Knife With Many Blades
High-Performance Stainless Steel Blade with Satin Finish｜1259X
Easy to Use and Becomes Sharp Easily
This knife features a seven-inch blade that is finely tapered so that you can fillet, debone, and descale fish as you please. The blade is made from high-carbon steel that has a Rockwell hardness of 56. If the blade's edge does dull, it can be sharpened easily, and the knife comes with a leather travel sheath.
When sharp, this knife is very effective, but some reviewers found that the blade lost its edge after only a few uses. But, most reviewers praise its flexibility, saying that it can cut close to the bone to ensure that all meat is removed. They also note that the knife looks great and is lightweight.
The blade is made from one piece of stainless steel, and its hardness and strength are shown by its Rockwell scale value of 57. The handle is shaped to make it easy to grip and protect you from the blade's sharpness. The knife is dishwasher-safe, and the steel is formulated so it won't stain.
The blade wasn't as sharp out of the box as some reviewers wanted, but they were happy with their purchase after a quick sharpen. They say the knife is thin and flexible, which makes it ideal for filleting fish. Reviewers also used the knife to debone meat, such as chicken and venison.
The six-inch blade on this knife has a polished edge and a Rockwell scale value of 55 to confirm its hardness. It's both narrow and curved and has a medium flex that allows it to easily fillet fish. A sheath is included to cover the blade when it's not in use.
The protective sheath receives some criticism from reviewers as they say it is easily cracked and falls off the knife. Overall, however, reviewers say the blade is sharp and hard, and it keeps its edge well. They also praise the maneuverability of the knife and the balance between handle and blade.
This knife is available in two blade lengths. Its made from high-carbon and stain-resistant steel, and it should be hand-washed to keep the blade's edge sharp. The handle is shaped to make it easy to grip, and it has a protective shield to keep your fingers safe.
Some reviewers say that the blade doesn't hold its edge for long and needs to be frequently resharpened. However, they like that it does sharpen well and can become very sharp. Reviewers also appreciate the ergonomic handle and the flexibility of the blade.
This electric fillet knife has an eight-foot-long power cord, so you'll have plenty of room to move while using this knife. It has a quiet motor, and the vibrations are lessened by the airflow through the handle. The blade is seven and a half inches long and is dishwasher-safe.
The blade is tricky to remove, according to some reviewers. They are pleased that the knife has an effective safety button, but some say that it's in an awkward place that's easy to press by accident. However, many reviewers praise the sharpness of the blade and the fast and strong motor.
This serrated blade is made from high-carbon steel. The blade is stiff but has enough flexibility to allow the knife to move over bones and ensure you don't miss any fish. The handle is soft and is contoured to make it easier to grip without the risk of your hand slipping.
There are a few reports of this knife rusting or being damaged by the elements, so make sure you clean and dry it thoroughly after each use. Otherwise, reviewers say it feels good in your hand, and the blade is sharp. It has been used for many different purposes by reviewers, from fish to vegetables!
The first feature you will notice about this knife is the heavy-duty handle. It's non-slip and has additional grip pads, a trigger grip, and safety guards to ensure your hand doesn't slip and your fingers are protected. The blade is flexible and is made from high-carbon stainless steel that is coated to make it rust-resistant.
There are a few reports of the blade snapping or rusting in salt water, and some reviewers say that the blade isn't flexible enough for their preferences. However, many reviewers say that the blade keeps its edge and is easily cleaned. They also like the grip of the handle and say it's easy to hold when wet.
The blade on this knife comes in three different lengths. It's flexible and curved, and it's coated so that meat doesn't stick. The knife includes a sheath to keep the blade covered and safe when not in use, and you also get a sharpener to ensure your blade is always at its best.
Some reviewers say that the knife they received was blunt. However, most reviewers say that it was effective at filleting fish and also preparing other meats. Several reviewers have used this knife for years without problems!
If you need a little more power or your arms are hurting from filleting too much fish, then this electric knife might be a good choice. It's cordless and has an indicator light so you can see how much battery you have left. The knife comes with a variety of blades of different lengths and a case to keep everything together.
A trigger mechanism operates the knife, and some reviewers say that this can stick. There are also a few reports that the blades aren't sharp enough or the motor isn't powerful enough to fillet every type of fish. But, reviewers love the case and variety of blades. They also say that battery lasts for a long time and can fillet a lot of fish before running out.
Available in two lengths, this blade is made from stainless steel and has a long and curved design. The handle is a soft-textured rubber and is ergonomically designed to be easy to hold. The knife comes with a sheath that covers the blade and has a belt holster.
The knife didn't arrive with a sharp edge, according to some reviewers, but they say that it is easy to sharpen it. They note that this knife can get very sharp, so be careful when handling it! Overall, reviewers like the grip of the handle and say this knife is easy to use.
Picking the right knife can help you fillet fish more quickly and effectively, but a few other products can help you with this, too. Thankfully, we have some more product recommendations for you!
This expert reviewed the contents of the buying guide for accuracy and provided factual corrections when necessary. They did not participate in the product selection process, nor are they affiliated with any of our choices unless explicitly stated so.
No. 1: Dalstrong｜Flexible Blade Fillet Knife
No. 2: Henckels｜Flexible Boning Knife
No. 3: Dalstrong｜Gladiator Series Fillet & Boning Knife
No. 4: Mercer Culinary｜Millennia Narrow Fillet Knife
No. 5: Rapala｜Heavy Duty Electric Fillet Knife
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