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best fillet knife

What Is Best Fillet Knife In 2020? (And What To Look For)

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Fillet knives are specialized boning knives that allow you to fillet a fish cleanly. They are sharp and flexible, making it easy to separate the flesh from the bones neatly. If you want to keep some of the fish you catch, you’ll need a top filleting knife. But with so many options, how can you tell which are the best fish filleting knives?

Don’t worry! We’ve put together this detailed buyer’s guide to the best fish fillet knives, so you can easily find a knife that will get the job done well. We’ll go over what makes a suitable filleting knife, then get onto the reviews! Read on to find out all about fillet knives.

Top Pick
Victorinox Cutlery 8-Inch Straight Fillet Fishing...
Longest Blade
Fillet Knife 9 inch Razor Sharp Stainless Steel...
For Chefs
Wusthof Pro Flex Fillet Knife, 8-Inch
Victorinox Cutlery 8-Inch Straight Fillet Fishing…
Fillet Knife 9 inch Razor Sharp Stainless Steel…
Wusthof Pro Flex Fillet Knife, 8-Inch
8 Inch
9 Inch
8 inch
Made in Switzerland
Included Sheath
Commercial Kitchen Ready
Lifetime Warranty
1 Year Warranty
1 Year Warranty
Top Pick
Victorinox Cutlery 8-Inch Straight Fillet Fishing...
Victorinox Cutlery 8-Inch Straight Fillet Fishing…
8 Inch
Made in Switzerland
Lifetime Warranty
Longest Blade
Fillet Knife 9 inch Razor Sharp Stainless Steel...
Fillet Knife 9 inch Razor Sharp Stainless Steel…
9 Inch
Included Sheath
1 Year Warranty
For Chefs
Wusthof Pro Flex Fillet Knife, 8-Inch
Wusthof Pro Flex Fillet Knife, 8-Inch
8 inch
Commercial Kitchen Ready
1 Year Warranty

What to Look for in a Fish Fillet Knife

So, what should you look for when shopping for a new fillet knife? There are a few important factors to keep in mind before you buy:

Blade

With a sharp fish knife, filleting is easy. That’s why the blade sharpness and material is so critical. You need a blade that is both flexible and thin, while keeping its edge so that you don’t have to sharpen it regularly. A full tang blade is a good feature to look for, as it will provide extra strength and balance the knife out well.

A stainless steel blade is best because then you have the added advantage of it being corrosion-resistant. [1] Fillet knives are in contact with water frequently, so you don’t want your knife to rust away. Another alternative to a stainless steel blade is to look for a blade that has a titanium coating to protect it from rust.

Handle Grip & Comfort

An ergonomic handle is an essential feature of a good boning knife. You want to be able to hold it comfortably, especially if you have a big batch of fish to work your way through. Another critical factor to look for is a non-slip handle so that you can get a firm grip on the knife and reduce the risk of slips and injuries.

Size of the Knife

The size of the knife needs to match the size of the fish that you will be filleting. The best fillet knife shouldn’t be more than 2 inches longer or shorter than the fish for safety and ease of use.

Strength & Durability

You want a fillet knife that’s durable, strong, and built to last for years. The more flexible the blade is, the less likely it will be to break during use. Look for a knife that seems sturdy and is made from high-quality materials. Some brands even offer a warranty, which is an added bonus.

The Rockwell hardness scale is useful for gauging how strong the steel is. [2] The strongest steels will rank high on the Rockwell hardness scale, with high carbon stainless steel right at the top. So, if you find a knife made from high carbon stainless steel, you’ll know you’ve got a winner.

best fillet knife for fish

Best Fillet Knife Reviews

Now you know what to look for, let’s get onto the reviews. Here are our recommendations for the best fillet knife on the market!

Victorinox Cutlery 8-Inch Straight Fillet Fishing Knife

Vitorinox Cutlery Fillet Fishing Knife

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The Vitorinox Cultery fillet knife is an excellent choice, as it’s strong, sharp, and offers outstanding cutting precision. It’s made to the highest standards from cold-rolled stainless steel, which is both hardwearing and anti-rust. It’s easy to use this knife, and sharpening it is straightforward. But with such a sharp edge, you shouldn’t need to do frequent maintenance.

The handle is textured, so you can get a firm grip on it without slipping. We love the ergonomic shape, which makes it easy to fillet lots of fish in one go with no discomfort.

Vitorinox is so sure of the high quality and effectiveness of this knife that they offer a lifetime warranty. This is a fantastic addition – in the rare case that your knife does break, they will replace it for you. The only drawback is that they recommend you handwash this knife only.

Pros:

  • Non-slip, ergonomic handle
  • Super-sharp stainless steel blade
  • The blade has just the right amount of flex
  • Lifetime warranty included

Cons:

  • Not recommended to go in the dishwasher
  • No finger guard on this model
  • It’s not a full tang blade

dpnao Fillet Knife

dpnao Fillet Knife

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This striking knife works wonders on fish and looks cool, too. With its sharp stainless steel blade and red and black design, you’ll feel like a pro filleting fish with this knife. Meticulous care has been shown in designing every single detail of this knife, from the high-quality blade to the non-slip rubber handle.

The blade is made from rust-resistant stainless steel that’s super sharp, with just the right amount of blade flexibility and curvature. But we all know that a knife blade can become dull over time, but not to worry. You get a blade sharpener included with the dpnao knives, so you can fix that quickly.

The dpnao fillet knife is among the best fillet knives on the market right now. Buy this, and you’ll be all set to prepare your next catch for the dinner table!

Pros:

  • Non-slip handle for extra control when cutting
  • One-year warranty included
  • You get a sharpener and a knife sheath to store your knife safely when not in use
  • Perfectly balanced steel blade makes short work of any fish

Cons:

  • At 9 inches long, it may be too big for smaller fish
  • The sheath is on the cheap side

Wusthof Pro Flex Fillet Knife

Wusthof Pro Flex Fillet Knife

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Wusthof designed their products for use in busy hotel and restaurant kitchens, so they need to be durable, easy to clean, and effective. This knife certainly meets these requirements and is a good choice for any angler who wants to prepare their catches to eat.

It’s made from NSF-approved German steel, so you can feel safe knowing that it meets high safety and health standards. However, it is a softer steel, which means you’ll need to sharpen it more often to keep that edge nice and sharp.

We love the ergonomic design of the handle – it fits perfectly in your hand. The flexible, 8-inch blade makes this a great all-rounder filleting knife that can handle any kind of filleting.

Pros:

  • Quality German steel blade construction
  • The comfortable handle ensures you get a good grip
  • It’s a good all-rounder size at 8 inches long

Cons:

  • Doesn’t keep the sharp blade edge for long
  • You’ll need to sharpen the blade often – frequent maintenance required

Rada Cutlery Fillet Knife

Rada Cutlery Fillet Knife

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This knife by Rada has been designed to tick all the boxes for the perfect fishing knife. The blade is made from robust, high carbon stainless steel that is sharpened meticulously by hand. It has the right amount of flesh to allow you to get around the rib cage in a neat, smooth cut. Plus, the handle is made from non-slip rubber, allowing you to use it safely, even with wet hands.

Rada backs up this impressive design with an incredible lifetime guarantee. When it comes to fillet knives, you won’t go wrong with this fishing knife. It stands out as the ideal option for any angler.

Pros:

  • Ergonomic, textured rubber handle
  • Designed especially for anglers
  • The knife is covered by an amazing lifetime guarantee
  • Made in America to the highest standards

Cons:

  • The leather sheath is of lower quality than we’d like

Havalon Talon Fish Fillet Knife

Havalon Talon Fish Fillet Knife

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If you’re looking for a versatile fillet knife set, check out this product from Havalon. You get several different blades of varying lengths, so you’ll be prepared to clean and fillet anything that you catch! The blades are razor-sharp, so you’ll need to take extreme care when swapping them out for another one. As well as two 7-inch blades, you get a 5-inch fillet blade and a 3.5-inch serrated blade. This set truly kits you out for any situation.

The knife is easy to use, with a textured, non-slip pad on the handle for increased control. You’ll have no problem using this knife, even with wet hands. Plus, you can store everything in the compact roll-pack until you need it. The Havalon Talon is a fantastic fishing knife for use on the river.

Pros:

  • Great, portable set for use out on the river or lake
  • You can select the right blade for any size of fish
  • There’s a nylon roll-pack included to store the knife safely

Cons:

  • It can be fiddly to swap blades
  • Doesn’t have the same power that a full tang knife offers

Mister Twister Fishing Filet Knife

Mister Twister Fishing Filet Knife

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This Mister Twister knife differs from the others because it is powered by an electric motor, saving you energy and time. If you’ve been looking for an affordable alternative to a manual fillet knife, this electric knife is a great option. It works quickly and quietly and can handle all sorts of fish. You can use this knife to cut meats as well as fish, making it a versatile tool for your kitchen. The handle also has a great shape that fits snugly in hand.

Check out our top pick for the best electric fillet knife here.

The main drawback is that you’ll need to be able to plug it in. If you prefer to prepare your fish while out on the water, check out the other options on this list!

Pros:

  • You don’t have to put as much manpower into the cutting
  • Powerful motor for efficient filleting
  • Sharp blades can cut through tougher fish easily
  • Comfortable handle and one-button operation

Cons:

  • It’s not cordless so you’ll need somewhere to plug it in
  • Not a portable option
Best Fish Fillet Knife

Fish Fillet Knife FAQ

What knife do you use for fish?

To fillet fish, you need a specialized fillet knife. These knives differ because they have a thin, flexible blade that is perfect for the precise cuts you need to make when filleting fish.

What is the best steel for a fillet knife?

The best steel for a fillet knife is high carbon stainless steel, as it’s both hard and rust-resistant. The higher it measures on the Rockwell scale, the better, as that means that the knife will be extra-strong. Plus, it will keep a sharp edge, reducing the need for regular maintenance.

What is the best cordless fillet knife?

There are some great cordless fillet knives out there. When it comes to the best cordless electric fillet knife, the Rapala Lithium-Ion knife comes highly recommended. It’s sturdy, robust, and sharp, and you can charge it up and take it anywhere with you.

What size fillet knife should I buy?

When it comes to choosing the right size fillet knife, you need to consider which fish you will be filleting. The blade should not be more than 2 inches longer or shorter than fish to allow you to cut cleanly and safely. Generally, a 7-inch knife makes a good all-rounder for all types of fish. But if you catch very small or larger fish, you may need to size up or down.

The Wrap Up

Investing in a fish boning knife makes the process so much easier and quicker. You need a high-quality knife that is flexible, sharp, and thin to be able to around the ribcage of the fish. Not all knives are made equally, so we searched carefully to find the best fillet knives on the market. Go for any of the recommended products above, and you won’t be disappointed!

Interested in reading more detailed reviews on fishing gear or articles on everything fishing related? Head over to Fly Fisher Pro and sign up to the newsletter, so you stay in the loop!

References

[1] https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-doesnt-stainless-stee/

[2] https://www.offgridweb.com/preparation/understanding-steel-the-rockwell-hardness-scale/

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