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10 Best Fish Fillet Knives of 2020 – Review and Buying Guide

Best Overall Choice
DALSTRONG Gladiator Series

DALSTRONG Gladiator Series

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Shun Cutlery

Shun Cutlery

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Best Budget Choice
Kershaw Clearwater Fillet Knife

Kershaw Clearwater Fillet Knife

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 by Updated on October 15, 2020. In Fishing

Cleaning and filleting a fish is not the same as chopping through hard bones and meat. It requires a special fillet knife. Of course, you know this already, and that’s why you’re here in search of the best fish fillet knife that can give you the results you want.

Although there are tons of fillet knives out there, you need to choose carefully if you want to get the best. Thankfully, you don’t have to shop blindly for a fillet knife because this guide will not only show you the top 10 best types on the market but also give you a few pointers to consider when choosing a one.

Let’s get started and fish for some knives, shall we?

1. Morakniv Fishing Comfort

Morakniv Fishing Comfort

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What better place to start fishing for a good fillet knife than a veteran Swedish knife company that has been in the business for well over a century! From Moravkniv come the smallish but classic Morakniv Fishing Comfort that doubles as a fillet knife and bait knife.

The fillet knife comes in two lengths of 3.5 and 6.1, giving you the option of choosing a short or medium length knife for small-sized fish and larger ones. It features a razor-sharp 1.9mm thick Sandvik 12C27 stainless-steel blade with a rubberized handle. It also has a plastic sheath for safety.

If you’re scouting for a fish fillet knife that is also suitable for cutting herbs, fruits, veggies, and raw meat, look no further than the Morakniv Fishing Comfort.

Pros

• Easy to use, clean, and maintain
• High-friction, non-slip handle
• Includes plastic sheath
• Comes with two belt clips for the 6.1-inch model and one belt clip for the 3.5-inch version

Cons

• The blade is not as flexible as some other fillet knives

2. Rada Cutlery Fillet Knife

Rada Cutlery Fillet Knife

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China comes to mind when most people think of an affordable knife, but not the Rada Cutlery Fillet Knife. This affordable knife is made in the United States. However, that’s not why it is included in this list of the best fish fillet knife.

The Rada Cutlery has a surgical grade-steel flexible blade with a chamfered edge that makes it incredibly sharp. The slender knife is slightly curved and lightweight. The soft rubber handle offers a non-slip grip, making it suitable for use in wet and dry conditions. You can conveniently carry it about as you go fishing in its stylish black leather sheath.

Pros

• More affordable than most knives in the same range
• Incredible lightweight
• Ergonomic handle design
• Soft rubber grip
• Comes with leather sheath

Cons

• The leather sheath doesn’t offer adequate protection.

Best Overall Choice

3. DALSTRONG Gladiator Series

DALSTRONG Gladiator Series

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If fishing is something you take seriously, then you should consider getting a fish fillet knife with an award-winning design. The “strong” in DALSTRONG Gladiator Series is not just a name. Instead, it is a proof of the knife’s durability! It is made with high-carbon German steel that gives the fillet knife its outstanding strength, plus the blade can retain its sharp edge for a considerably long time.

At exactly 7 inches long and 1.5mm thick, this fillet knife is ideal for skinning and removing bones from large fishes. The ergonomically designed handle aids precision and maneuverability. For extra protection, the fillet knife comes complete with two leather sheaths, one to offer protection during outdoor adventures, and the other for safely storing it away in your drawer.

Pros

• Easy to clean and low maintenance knife
• The blade is made from high-carbon steel
• Ergonomically designed handle for firm and comfortable grip
• Includes a leather sheath

Cons

• The blade tip can break easily
• The blade is not very flexible due to high carbon steel

4. Bubba Tapered Flex

Bubba Tapered Flex

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When you’ve handled the Bubba Tapered Flex fish fillet knife, it is easy to understand why anglers fall head over heels for it. It is hard not to notice the convenience and ease of maneuvering that this piece of razor-sharp tactical knife offers due to its trigger-style grip. With this fillet knife, you don’t have any worry about using it in wet conditions because it won’t easily slip out of your hands if you don’t let go.

Don’t be fooled by its casual appearance, though. This fillet knife from Bubba Company can work some magic in the kitchen. And with a 9-inch blade, it is perfect for cleaning out very large fishes.

In terms of quality, this is one of the best knives you can get for filleting. The blade is made from high-carbon stainless-steel coated with Ti-Nitrate. Additionally, the blade features an incredibly sharp and pointy tip that can make the cutting and cleaning process a breeze. So, whether you’re heading out to water or camping, you will find this knife particularly handy.

Pros

• Rust-resistant blades due to Titanium-Nitrate coating
• Extra sharp tip
• Includes a synthetic sheath with belt loop for safe carrying
• Non-slip textured handle with trigger grip.

Cons

• The belt loop in the sheath might not be suitable for anglers who prefer not to carry on a belt

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5. Shun Cutlery

Shun Cutlery

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Knowing Shun as a force to reckon with in the knife industry, it is not surprising to find Shun Cutlery on this list. This knife can easily pass as the best fish fillet knife ever! You’ll have to pay top dollar, though, if you’re eyeing this piece of high-quality art from Japan, but it will be money well spent!

The Damascus-clad fillet knife features a 6 inches high-performance razor-sharp blade made from VG-Max steel that glides through fish and bone like butter. The D-shaped Pakkawood handle with a slight ridge fits perfectly into the hand and allows for a secure grip.

Whether you are an aspiring chef, a pro fisherman, or a beginner, Shun Cutlery fish fillet knife will give you the type of result you’ve always wanted.

Pros

• Excellent for filleting and boning
• Easy to make precision cuts due to D-shaped handle
• Excellent edge retention
• Highly flexible

Cons

• A bit pricey

6. TUO Cutlery Boning Knife

TUO Cutlery Boning Knife

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TUO Cutlery Boning Knife is a great piece of a gorgeous-looking fish fillet knife that cuts effortlessly through fish, fruits, veggies, and even small chops of meat. It is one of the best budget-friendly fillet knives on the market.

The 7-inch blade is exceptionally sharp, providing unmatched efficiency. You’ll have no reason to spend so much time in the kitchen boning and cleaning out your catch. All you need to do is keep the blades sharpened, and you’ll always get precise cuts.

The design of the handle is luxurious and beautiful and will suit most kitchens. But most importantly, it fits into your hand comfortably without causing strain.

Pros

• Rust and corrosion-resistant German stainless-steel blade
• Very sharp blade
• Affordable
• Narrow blade offers maximum maneuverability
• Ergonomic handle design

Cons

• No sheath to cover the sharp blade

7. Rapala Fish n Fillet Superflex Knife

Rapala Fish n Fillet Superflex Knife

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If you are in the market for a fish fillet knife that offers great flexibility, consider the Rapala Fish n Fillet Superflex Knife. Even the name implies super flexibility! The fillet knife is designed to give the maximum level of maneuverability.

This fillet knife is available in three options of 4-inch, 6-inch, and 7.5-inch blade length. Each of these blades is coated in non-stick PTFE that enhances filleting.

The knife has an exceptional finishing of polished wood handle and a polished brass ferrule, giving it a cool outdoor appearance. So, you know what to look for if you want a great outdoor fillet knife instead of one that sits in the kitchen.

Pros

• Extremely flexible blade
• PTFE non-stick coating improves precision cuts
• Great woodsy design
• Comes with a tooled leather sheath

Cons

• The sheath is not lockable
• Only suitable for small scale use

8. Mercer Culinary Millennia

Mercer Culinary Millennia

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If there’s one thing Mercer Culinary Millennia is famous for, it is its exceptionally razor-sharp 8.5-inch blade. Made from the highest quality carbon-based Japanese steel, the blades can slice seamlessly through virtually any fish and even slab of meat.

The knife features an ergonomic handle designed consisting of Polypropylene for durability and Santoprene for comfortable handling. It also features slip-resistant textured points where the finger can grip firmly for safety in dry and wet settings.

This knife does way more than cleaning fish. It is great for cutting bread, hard fruit, and even chopping veggies, too, making it a handy tool in professional and home kitchens.

Pros

• Japanese stainless-steel blade
• Extremely sharp blade
• Narrow and incredibly lightweight
• Santoprene rubble handle design
• Versatile

Cons

• No sheath provided for the extremely sharp blade

Best Budget Choice

9. Kershaw Clearwater Fillet Knife

Kershaw Clearwater Fillet Knife

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You can’t go wrong with Kershaw Clearwater Fillet Knife if you want to chop down tilapia, tuna, catfish, salmon, and any other large fresh or salt-water fish. With a 7-inch high-performance stainless steel blade, the knife is flexible enough to glide through large fish smoothly and bending at various angles without breaking.

The soft, textured grip makes this fillet knife excellent for use in wet conditions. Unlike many other manufacturers that focus only on the knife, Kershaw goes a step further to produce a durable ABS sheath for their fillet knife. The knife tends to click into the sheath and stays put without accidentally slipping off.

If you want to get the advantages of the best fish fillet knife at a very affordable price, Kershaw’s knife is your best bet. There’s no point in spending hundreds of dollars if you can get the same quality for a lesser price, right?

Pros

• Very affordable for all its advantages
• Ergonomic handle offers excellent grip
• Neon highlights for easy spotting, especially in the dark
• Includes durable sheath

Cons

• The blade might become slighter shorter with continuous sharpening, but that is to be expected

10. Dexter-Russell S131F-6PCP Boning Knife

Dexter-Russell S131F-6PCP Boning Knife

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If you’re looking for a workhorse fillet knife that will go from hand to hand in a commercial kitchen such as restaurants and professional kitchen, you might want to take a look at Dexter-Russell’s boning knife.

This is definitely not the best fish fillet knife on the market, and it certainly is not made from the highest quality materials. But here’s the thing, if you want a knife with a low price that can deliver fair results in the meantime, you won’t be throwing away your cash with this one.

Similar to other high-quality fish fillet knives, this one has a Gript-Tex handle that makes it is easy to hold without causing strains or fatigue to the hand. It features a 6-inch high-carbon stainless steel blade that is flexible. The fillet knife has a simple white design and a curved shape allowing the user to have a great level of control.

Pros

• Easy to grip handle
• Low price
• Great for filleting and boning

Cons

• Handle material is of low quality
• Lack of rivets for strengthening the knife
• Might require frequent sharpening if used in a commercial setting

Choosing the Best Fish Fillet Knife – Buying Guide

Do you remember at the beginning where we promised you a few pointers to consider? Right here is where we get to that important part! Keep the following in mind, and you’ll be sure to find a fillet knife that’ll suit your purpose.

Blade Material

Whether you are a pro angler all kitted up for a day on the water or fishing is something you do once in a while, enjoying what you catch is one of the best parts of fishing. And for that, you need a fillet knife with a good quality blade.

The blade material is a huge contributing factor in pricing, making it quite important. No one would want to buy a knife that can’t cut regardless of its fanciful looks. The slightest corrosion will affect the performance of a fillet knife. So, you want to choose a knife with a blade material that is durable.

One of the popular blade materials is stainless steel, and that’s a good choice if you fish occasionally. Stainless-steel blades are generally durable and quite easy to sharpen. Besides, they are not too expensive. But if you are a pro angler, a chef, or you enjoy preparing a lot of freshly caught fish, consider going for chromium or high-carbon infused blades.

Here’s the thing, even the best fish fillet knife needs a little more protection from corrosion beyond the regular stainless steel because it is frequently wet. A high-carbon infused stainless-steel blade provides extra resistance against corrosion and prevents pitting that can make a blade difficult to clean.

As expected, though, the quality of high-carbon stainless-steel blades makes them more expensive than the common stainless steel blades found in most consumer-grade fish fillet knives. But the superb quality makes it worth spending the extra cash.

Blade Flexibility

Fish filleting is an art. It requires a blade that is flexible enough to bend but difficult to break. For this reason, you want to avoid buying a fillet knife that feels like a kitchen knife. Since fish is not steak, you are less likely to need excessive force in cutting and cleaning it out. It would be best if you had a flexible blade that delivers precision strokes instead of a heavy blade designed for cutting through meat slabs.

Blade Length

Most blade lengths fall within the range of 4 inches to 11 inches, with a few special types that are as long as one foot. The length you need to buy depends on the species and size of the fish you primarily catch. However, aim for something between the range of 7 and 8 inches if you want a knife that fits almost any fish size.

But if you want to get a more specific knife for the type of fish you catch mostly, consider making your buying decision based on the following:

  • Short blades (4 to 5 inches): These fish fillet knives are best suited for smaller fish species such as sunfish, yellow perch, and crappies. Short blade fillet knives are easy to maneuver and handy to take with you.
  • Medium blades (7 to 8 inches): If your fishing venture focuses on species such as bass, walleyes, trout, and other large fishes, your best bet would be to go for fillet knives with medium blades.
  • Long blades (9 inches and more): Fillet knives with long blades are a bit awkward to carry around, but they give you greater control and save you a lot of time if you want to prepare a broad-shouldered pike, large salmon, and any other bigger fish.

Bottom line: the bigger the size of the fish you want to prepare, the longer is the length of the fillet knife to buy. But come to think of it, there’s nothing stopping you from getting several fish fillet knives of different lengths, especially if you like catching everything that moves in the water!

Knife Handle

The best fish fillet knife should have a good grip to prevent too much exertion. Of course, you may not have the chance to physically handle the product if you are buying online, but you can check to be sure it has an ergonomic handle that offers maximum comfort.

Most fillet knives have handles made from plastic, wood, or laminate. Plastic handles are very light and easy to maintain, but they tend to wear out easily because of their fragile nature. Using plastic-handle knives near fire or high temperatures can easily cause damage.

Compared to other handle materials, wood has a great and natural feel when handled. However, it is not as durable as the other types and is more likely to hide bacteria.

Laminate handles are made from a mix of wood and plastic but look more like plastic. It is more durable and easier to clean and care for.

Regardless of the material, though, you want to choose a fish fillet knife that feels right in your hand. Remember that fishes are naturally slippery, so it is important to use a knife that you can grip firmly. You don’t ever want a fillet knife to slip off your hand while you are skinning or chopping fish!

Knife Color

Although knife color is not a requirement for excellent performance, it sure does make a small difference. Choosing a knife that matches your kitchen décor or one that goes with the color of your cutlery set can provide a little bit of motivation to use it. You are less likely to use a red knife if the color puts you off, right? The good news is that fillet knives come in a wide range of colors, so you are sure to find one that works for you.

Price Point

You don’t have to pay through the nose to get a good quality fish fillet knife. You can get a good knife with as little as $20. But as with everything else, getting the best quality would likely require spending a little extra cash. However, don’t throw away money just to buy a brand name. Instead, consider the other factors listed above.

Investing a few hundred bucks for an electric fish fillet knife might be a bit steep but could be worth it considering its performance, quality, durability, and finish. In a nutshell, keep things in perspective. It is best not to sacrifice quality for cheaper products.

Final Thoughts

Any of the knives on this list will do a great job, depending on the size and species of fish you catch. These fish fillet knives will give you the level of maneuverability and flex you need to cut through all the tiny tissues and bones packed right next to the delicious flesh want to reach.

But keep in mind that buying the best fish fillet knife is only one part of the equation. Knowing how to use it is a different ball game entirely. The task is as tricky as it is fairly dangerous. So, while you’re here, you can check out the detailed steps for cleaning out a fish and prepare your fillet.

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