Want to try your hand at making sushi or clean-cut pan-fried salmon fillets from the comfort of your home? You most certainly want to invest in filleting knives.
Using the best fish fillet knife allows you to achieve clean fish cuts to prepare restaurant-worthy meals. These knives integrate an articulate trailing point blade.
Using them allows you to cut deep into the skin of the fish so you can produce clean cuts, pulling the meat out without tearing it.
So, before you whip out the sushi wrappers or cast iron skillet, make sure you have a good fillet knife in hand.
To help you do the latter, I have shared the 12 best fish fillet knives you should have in your kitchen!
01. Dalstrong 7-inch Flexible Fillet Knife
The Dalstrong Gladiator Series fillet knife integrates cutting-edge technology to produce an excellent handcrafted knife for small and large-scale tasks.
Thanks to its uniquely sharp and versatile design, the filleting knife works great for deboning, descaling, filleting, skinning, trimming, and butterflying.
Thanks to this multifunctional design, you can use the knife for both fish and poultry. The knife features a 1.5mm thickness from the spine to enhance its flexibility and maneuverability.
This design lets you seamlessly cut through the flesh and sinew. On the other hand, its scalpel-like sharpness extends to a 16 to 18-degree angle on each side to give a balance between blade sharpness and resilience.
The blade’s tapered design prevents slicing resistance while providing non-stick properties for any food type.
The tall blade height offers a layer of safety, giving more knuckle clearance for easy food prep and chopping.
02. Wüsthof Classic IKON 7-inch Fillet Knife
If you are not on a restrictive budget, the Wüsthof Classic IKON Fillet Knife is worth the investment. The high-end fish fillet knife integrates superior and classic craftsmanship to deliver impressive performance.
It features a chef-style sleek finish with a sophisticated black handle. Furthermore, the knife features a double bolster design for optimal safety, balance, beauty, and the ultimate cutting experience.
One can say the knife offers a balance between style, performance, and comfort. Its precision-forged single block high carbon stainless steel blade undergoes a tempering at 58 degrees.
It provides 20% more sharpness with double-edge retention than standard fillet knives combined with precision edge technology.
Yet, it remains ultra-thin to make it an excellent tool for deboning and filleting fish. Its narrow and long blade design, on the other hand, allows the knife to move smoothly along the backbone of the fish for easy skinning.
03. Shun DM-0743 Classic 6-inch Boning Fillet Knife
If you want to enjoy close and controlled cutting and filleting, the Shun DM-0743 fillet knife is an excellent choice.
However, performance is not all you get from this classic boning and fillet knife for fish. The hand-crafted Japanese knife features a luxurious and flawless look.
The knife integrates a Damascus-clad blade style which allows for close and easy cutting. Its narrow build makes boning and filleting seamless, while its VG-Max steel material helps improve edge retention.
Furthermore, the blade combines an ultra-sharp finish and the knife’s 6-inch length to smoothly glide through the body for quicker boning.
The stellar sharpness also cuts through the skin neatly without tearing off any fillet. In fact, its curved blade design allows the knife to move closer to the bone while the sharp edge trims skins seamlessly off the body.
The knife is then fitted with a D-shaped handle made from Pakkawood to improve its grip and appearance.
04. Global Flexible 8-inch Japanese Fillet Knife
The Global Flexible 8-inch Japanese fillet knife features an ultra-sharp tip to enhance its versatility.
This allows you to use the knife for deboning not only fish. You can also use it on soft white meat like a chicken.
The Swedish knife integrates a Cromova 18 stainless steel blade to enhance its lightweight finish, corrosion resistance, and sharpness.
Furthermore, the single-piece stainless steel blade features a convex edge for improved and easier slicing.
The knife’s blade goes through an ice-hardening process, reaching a Rockwell degree of C-56-58. In turn, the process helps to reinforce its strength.
Additionally, the blade features a thin and flexible finish, making it easier to get under the skin and cut around the bone.
Its hollowed handle and compact design give the knife an ergonomic finish for added grip and comfort.
05. Mercer Culinary Genesis 7-inch Flexible Fillet Knife
The Mercer Culinary Genesis knife is designed to offer optimal stability. The fish-cutting knife integrates a taper ground edge that gives it stability.
This design also makes honing much easier while prolonging its sharpness and increasing cutting and chopping efficiency.
Its Santoprene handle offers great comfort and a safe grip. In fact, the handle withstands both hot and cold conditions. It is also complemented with a stainless steel bolster for added balance and safety.
On the other hand, its German high-carbon forged steel gives it a heavy-duty finish. Its metal coatings allow it to resist corrosion, rust, and discoloration. Furthermore, the knife integrates a full tang design for even better balance.
06. Victorinox Cutlery 8-inch Straight Fishing Fillet Knife
The Victorinox 8-inch Straight Fishing Fillet Knife comes with excellent value to make it a superb fillet knife for fish.
The knife features a longer blade length to make deboning and skinning efforts easier and cleaner. On the other hand, its flexibility also allows for easier and more efficient filleting.
The fish fillet knife features a straight blade to give it a perfect taper along the blade. This blade design makes cutting your fish easier without tearing or shredding your meat.
However, what makes this particular knife unique is its stamped blade design. This gives the blade a lighter and narrower blade to increase cutting speed and reduce hand fatigue.
On the other end of the knife, you will find a patented Fibrox handle, which improves the knife’s grip and comfort.
The ergonomic, non-slip thermoplastic handle helps enhance the agility and cutting power during filleting, deboning, and skinning jobs.
07. Rapala ‘N Budget-Friendly Fillet Knife
The Rapala Fish ‘N Fillet Knife is an excellent choice if you are on a strict budget. The knife features a stylish tribal design with a carved wooden handle and engraved blade.
It also comes with a stylish genuine leather sheath and a single-stage sharpener. This complete set makes the knife ideal for multipurpose use, whether at home or out fishing in the wilderness.
The classic knife is fitted with a progressively tapered and full tang blade to improve its balance, control, and safety.
Its stainless steel construction gives it an ultra-sharp edge and long-lasting corrosion resistance.
It is also fitted with a safety notch to prevent unwanted injuries. Yet, even with its impressive performance, the knife comes with a super low price tag.
Difference Between Fillet Knife vs. Boning Knife
A fillet knife and a boning knife pretty much have a similar task. However, the details of their tasks and design slightly vary. A fillet knife is ideally designed to remove the skin and bones of fish.
These knives typically have a flexible, ultra-sharp, and long blade. Additionally, filleting knives are usually thin with blade lengths of around 5 to 9 inches.
Furthermore, the blade integrates an upward curve with a sharp curved tip. This ultra-thin and sharp design make it easier to trail through the body of the delicate fish.
This design also allows a fillet knife to easily remove fish scales while contouring the body without damaging the fish fillet.
On the other hand, a boning knife is designed for removing bones from the flesh of meat or poultry. Typically, a boning knife has a narrow, flat, and semi-stiff blade with a sharp point. However, the blade also has a straight and slightly curved tip.
Additionally, the blade length for boning knives falls around 5 to 7 inches. This design makes it easier to cut through ligaments and connective tissues, to easily remove meat from heavy bones without tearing it.
Furthermore, to deal with the thicker and heavier bones from different animal meat, boning knives tend to be thicker and stiffer than fillet knives.
Things You Need to Know Before Buying
Different people have different needs when it comes to picking kitchen equipment, including fish filleting knives.
Therefore, before choosing the best fish fillet knife, you need to know which features to look for to pick the right option. Here are the common features to examine when choosing a suitable filleting knife for fish.
A good quality filet knife should be made from carbon steel or stainless steel. These materials stand out for their sharpness and edge retention along with their corrosion resistance.
However, stainless steel may be a little difficult to sharpen, although it retains sharpness for longer. On the other hand, carbon steel knives are better for people who want a lighter option.
Handle Materials and Comfort
Most fillet knife handles are made from wood, rubber, or plastic. While both materials offer great performance, each has its selling point and drawback.
Rubber offers a high grip even in wet conditions. On the other hand, wooden handles provide great aesthetics and durability. However, they get quite slippery in wet conditions.
When it comes to fish filleting knives, flexibility is an important feature. This is because every part of the task incorporates the need for a flexible blade.
This makes it easier to get closer to the bones to remove flesh and even thin skin without tearing the meat.
In this case, when choosing the right knife, go for one with a longer and thinner blade to achieve optimal flexibility.
Furthermore, a longer and thinner blade helps mitigate the risk of hand fatigue and pain. However, if you plan on using the knife for smaller fish, you are better off with a medium to shorter blade.
Size and Weight
Kitchen knives will come in different blade sizes. However, for a filleting fish knife, you want to go for a certain size range. Of course, the blade size choice depends on the type of fish you plan on working on.
If you typically plan on filleting small fish, a 4-inch to 6-inch blade is ideal. However, for bigger fish, you want to go for a 9-inch blade.
Nonetheless, many people opt for a compromise between small and big fish. Thus, you will find most fillet knives with 6-inch to 8-inch blades.
Advanced Safety Features
The safety your knife offers is crucial, especially when dealing with tricky tasks like filleting fish. So, when choosing the suitable knife option, make sure it offers ideal safety features.
Among the key features, you want to look out for is a safety bolster or finger guard to protect your fingers from cutting accidents. You also want to make sure the knife handle offers adequate grip.
Full vs. Partial Tang
When choosing a knife, you will have the choice between full and partial tang. A full tang means that the blade is fully attached to the handle.
This design gives the knife added durability and balance. It also prevents the blade from snapping from the handle. However, it makes the knife a little heavy.
On the other hand, a partial tang means that the blade is partially attached to the handle. While this design isn’t very durable, it makes the knife significantly lighter. Thus, it is an ideal option for beginners.
However, due to the risk of snapping, it is advised against using a partial tang knife for bigger fish that require more work and strength.
The price for fillet knives for fish varies. It all depends on the features you are looking for and the knife’s quality. Generally, you should expect to pay anywhere between $20 on the low end and $200 on the high end.
When shopping for fillet knives, you will find dishwasher-safe and hand-wash-only options. No doubt, dishwashing your kitchen items enhance convenience.
However, you are advised to hand wash your knife, even if it’s advertised as being dishwasher safe. This is because frequently washing your knife in the washer will ultimately compromise the blade quality and increase the risks of corrosion and rust.
With a good-quality fish fillet knife, you can truly improve the taste and look of your food. After all, as the saying goes, you first eat with your eyes!
So, the next time you want to host friends over for sushi or a nice salmon dinner, a fish filleting knife is an essential tool to have.
To help you prep accordingly, check out any of the 7 best fish fillet knife options above to pick a model that fits your needs!
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of knife is best for filleting fish?
In my long years of cooking experience, I can tell you that the most effective knife for filleting fish must have a sharp blade, durability to withstand repeated use, and the flexibility to bend without losing its accuracy. The grip is also a crucial factor since it needs to remain firm when dealing with the most slippery fish. The knife that has all these features is the Wusthof’s 7-inch fish fillet knife. Crafted by a company with over two centuries of knife-making experience, this tool will make the chore of filleting feel like a breeze.
What is the best size fillet knife for all around?
Over the years, I’ve noted that having a set of two to three fillet knives of different lengths can be helpful in dealing with varying filleting situations. However, if you want a one-size-fits-all solution, either because it’s your first purchase or you are limited on packing space for a trip, I’d recommend a fillet knife that’s 7 inches long. This size is a sweet spot that is not too long to handle smaller fish but also not too short to fillet the big ones.
What’s the best fillet knife for salmon?
Salmon is unique because of its size and its rich, fatty flesh that can be easily damaged if not handled correctly. After some trials and errors, I’ve found that the BUBBA 9” Stiff Fillet knife is perfect for tasks like cutting off a salmon’s head or dividing it into steaks. The blade is 2 mm thick, composed of titanium-nitride-coated high-carbon stainless steel that can deftly handle the robust nature of the larger, more abundant salmon.
What is the best budget fillet knife?
If you are on a tight budget and yet want a knife that does the job well, then don’t hesitate to go for the Rapala Fish ‘n Fillet. It has a wax-finished birch handle that provides comfortable gripping, and a flexible 6-inch stainless steel blade that seems made to fillet fish. The knife also comes with a bonus – a leather stealth to safegaurd your knife and a SH1 pull through sharpener to ensure the blade always remains sharp. It’s an excellent value-for-money purchase if you ask me.
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