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Best Fish Fillet Knife

Last Updated: January 24, 2020
Nancy Reagan
Product Review by Nancy Reagan

Removing skin, bones, entrails, and fins from fish is safe and efficient when you find the best fish fillet knife for your catch.

Fish fillet knives have a thin, bendy blade that provides the perfect combination of maneuverability and control.

Here’s a warning, remember to choose with care!

There are many fillet knives available that differ in size, design, materials, and quality. Some fillet knives are corrosion resistant, while others must not be exposed to saltwater.

The wrong knife makes fish-cleaning a slow and dangerous process. Consequently, the fish slime increases the risk of you slipping and slicing your skin, which leaves you susceptible to infection.

I’ve experienced the inevitable trials and tribulations that have equipped me with the knowledge to provide you with the best fish fillet knife review.

As always, this round-up will include my top 5 picks from the current market. Beneath my picks is my extensive guide to picking your knife.

At the bottom of this page, I’ll tell you why I picked my winner. Whether you love it or hate it, don’t forget to tell me why in the comments!

Our Reviews
1

Morakniv Fishing Comfort Fillet Knife

The Morakniv Fishing Comfort Fillet knife has a Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel blade and a patterned, high-friction handle which is available in 3.5″ or 6.1″ blade lengths.

The 3.5″ blade is ideal for removing bones and filleting smaller panfish. The 6.1″ blade is better for cleaning and filleting larger gamefish.

The patterned, high friction grip handle allows anglers to maintain a steady grip while cleaning slimy fish. For added security, the 6.1″ knife comes with two interchangeable clips for users to either clip or loop through their belt. The sheath on the 3.5″ inch Morakniv knife includes a single belt clip.

The Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel is recognizable for its razor sharpness, high hardness, exceptional toughness, and excellent corrosion resistance.

The Fishing Comfort’s blade is razor-sharp out of the box and has just the right amount of flex to cut through fish skin seamlessly. The mirror finish is a nice touch for skinning fillets. The blade cleans up a little easier than a standard finish, and the handle doesn’t hold odors.

The Morakiv Fishing Comfort Fillet knife can not only process smaller fish but can also handle bigger species like Mahi and Kingfish.

Pros

  • Versatile for most sizes of fish
  • Razor sharp straight out of the box
  • High-friction and odour resistant handle
  • Includes sheath and belt clips

Cons

  • Not suitable for saltwater use
2

KastKing Fillet Knife

KastKing utilizes razor-sharp G4116 German stainless-steel blades with a sleek matte black finish. These knives remain sharp and perform excellently in both fresh and saltwater environments.

The KastKing Fillet Knife easily slices through baits, steaks large game fish, fillets fish of all sizes and trims fish from the bone effortlessly. Plus, the stainless steel blade is flexible and has a nice small tip for intricate work around and in between the bones.

The non-slip super polymer grip provides comfort and slip-resistance for a handle that feels secure in the hand. Hate mess? These handles clean up quickly and look good-as-new after every use.

These knives are available in sizes 6″, 7″ and 9″ including a protective knife sheath to protect the blade and keep you safe inbetween jobs. The sheath’s unique design locks the handle for safety, and the open slots allow water to drain easily, so your knives remain sharp and dry.

The budget-friendly price tag makes this a knife that’s hard to beat. The construction and characteristics of the blade hold an edge well and are easy to sharpen with a few glides over a straight edge.

Pros

  • Suitable for use in fresh and saltwater
  • Flexible stainless steel blade
  • Non-slip handle
  • Easy to clean
  • Excellent value
  • Includes protective sheath

Cons

  • Needs sharpening on arrival
3

Dalstrong Fillet Knife

Dalstrong created the Series 7″ Fillet Knife to help you efficiently de-bones, de-scale, fillet, skin, trim and butterfly your favorite fish. The 1.5mm width from the spine allows this knife to be highly flexible and ultra maneuverable between flesh, meat, and bone.

The flexible blade technology is designed for professional use, allowing the preparation of your favorite meats to be easy, efficient, and satisfying. This is achievable and has been perfectly executed by creating a tall blade height that gives knuckle clearance to assist with food preparation and chopping.

The Series 7″ Fillet Knife is laminated and polished for sanitation which is perfect for outdoor usage, and the handle has been tapered for flexibility and minimal slicing resistance.

Right out of the box, you can feel the quality and sharpness.

The flexibility is fantastic. The weight of the handle offers precision and slicing control while the blade is long enough to skin a King Salmon and filet a Bluegill.

Dalstrong is a reputable company that aims for 100% customer satisfaction, and this series of agile and efficient fillet knives are no exception.

Pros

  • Designed for professional use
  • Sharpens easily
  • Stain resistant
  • Great edge retention
  • Sheath included

Cons

  • Not suitable for use around water
4

Dalstrong Shogun Series Fillet Knife

The curved Dalstrong Shogun Fillet Knife works excellently for filleting, skinning, de-boning, trimming, de-scaling and butterflying.

The narrow blade curves up towards the tip to efficiently work around the bone, joints, and in-between skin with minimal drag. The blade glides through meat and fat, providing clean the separation of tissue from bone and skin.

Chefs seeking the best knife to fillet fish should purchase the Shogun Fillet Knife. Dalstrong combined ancient Japanese sword making methods with the latest technology to create this kitchen powerhouse staple.

The premium G-10 handle is heat, cold and moisture resistant, providing military-grade life-long durability. Also, the ergonomic handle shape is engineered for remarkable hand control, comfort, and agility.

Finally, the sharp AUS-10V Japanese super steel cutting core offers superb performance and edge retention. The high-carbon stainless steel provides exceptional stain resistance, strength, and durability.

Pros

  • Non-slip Military grade handle
  • Easy to clean
  • Tapered blade provides minimal slicing resistance and non-stick properties
  • Corrosion resistance
  • Protective sheath included
  • Professional chef standard

Cons

  • Protective sheath is slightly too big for the knife
  • Not budget friendly
5

Rapala Fish N Fillet

The Rapala Fish N Fillet is a trustworthy staple for anglers across America.

This series by Rapala includes four different blade sizes for completing separate chores. The tapered blades of European stainless steel hold an ultra-sharp edge. Also, the Rapala Fish N Fillet includes an easy-to-use sharpener to keep your blades razor-sharp.

It’s easy to remove fish meat from the bone without any waste. I used this knife to fillet a couple of salmons and it slices through like butter.

The sheath is made from great quality leather and there’s also a polymer insert to provide an extra layer of protection to prevent the blade from poking through the sheath.

Although this knife is designed for filleting, it’s incredibly sharp and if used carefully, is suitable for cutting just about anything!

The Finnish manufacturer, Rapala, has an excellent reputation for creating A* products. The Fish N Fillet is no exception. Each Fish N Fillet features a Swedish stainless steel blade with the classic Rapala reinforced birch varnished handle.

Pros

  • Easy-to-use
  • Razor sharp
  • Excellent value for money
  • Quality leather sheath included
  • Single-stage sharpener included
  • Beautiful reinforced birch varnished handle
  • Suitable for fresh and saltwater use

Cons

  • Handle may be small for larger hands

What is the Best Fillet Knife for Fish?

That depends.

There are various styles. Folding knives save space, multi-purpose knives perform different functions, and electric knives make light work of hefty gamefish.

Here are the features you should consider.

 How to Choose the Best Fish Fillet Knife

The design, materials, purpose, size, flexibility, and sharpness must to examined before you settle on a decision.

The material composite of your new knife affects its durability, flexibility, strength, and how it maneuvers.

Blade Design

  • Straight-edge blades are perfect for filleting because they make precise cuts and clean slices.
  • Serrated blades cut through tough scales to expose the meat.
  • Tapered tips provide accessibility to hard to reach areas.

Blade Size

The ease of filleting specific species depends on the size of the blade. Blade sizes range from 4-9 inches long. Different lengths are suitable for particular types and sizes of fish. 

  • 4-5 inch blades work great for delicate tasks and tricky boning. Shorter blades offer flexibility and control to achieve high precision. These blades are perfect for crappie, bluegills, panfish, and walleye.
  • 6-7.5 inch blades are versatile and make for excellent all-purpose fillet knives. Use a 6-7.5 inch blade for medium fish like trout or bass.
  • 8-9 inch blades offer stiffness and length for tough filleting tasks. Larger blades are perfect for offshore saltwater fishing and are popular amongst chefs. Use your large knife for salmon, tuna, and steelhead.

Blade Material

Stainless steel is the standard material for fillet knife blades. Stainless steel is strong, durable, and corrosion-resistant. Also, it doesn’t stain, and it’s easy to sharpen.

Stainless steel handles blood and scales excellently. Because it’s an erosion-resistant material, you can put your stainless steel knife to use on saltwater fish without the fear of imminent rusting.

Some blades are constructed of a high carbon stainless steel for exceptional resilience and razor sharpness.

The blade’s ability to flex under pressure is dependant by its construction and density. Flex is essential for following contours while skinning or trimming around bones.

Some knives will offer less flex, which is perfect for making precise cuts on smaller species.

Handle

Choosing a comfortable ergonomic handle will allow you to control the blade with a solid grip even when your hand is covered in fish blood and slime.

The risk of suffering from repetitive strain injury is reduced during extended cleaning sessions IF you choose a knife that offers a firm grip.

Wood 

Wood is a popular choice because it offers the blade agility while maintaining its strength and power.

However, wood can become slippery. If you choose a wood handle, keep your knife away from the dishwasher to avoid drying and cracking.

Wood is infamous for soaking up smelly odors. If you prioritize comfort over functionality, it’s worth considering a different handle.

Rubber

Rubber grips are less prone to slippage and odors, but they lack rigidity, which is crucial for maintaining total control over the blade.

Combination

Some knives are constructed from a combination of components to offer a professional and innovative approach to fish scaling.

For example, the Dalstrong Shogun Series Fillet Knife that I selected in my top 5 has a G-10 handle that includes a fiberglass resin for added durability.

Purpose

You should judge your knife depending on the size and type of fish you’re preparing.

  • Medium blades are great for freshwater fishing in rivers and lakes.
  • Long, stiff knives work well when handling large fish in saltwater environments.
  • Small, flexible blades work best on little fish.

Larger fish require dense, sharp and stiffer blades to conquer tougher filleting challenges.

Safety

Fish fillet knives are dangerous with their sharp blades and constant contact with bacteria.

Protective finger guards and grooves are essential because the handle gets slippery when coming in to contact with slimy fish

A handle that’s held and adequately sealed around the blade is crucial for maintaining sanitary hygiene. Space between the handle and blade is the perfect nesting area for odor and harmful bacteria to grow.

Thick handle edges prevent bacteria from reaching your hands.

Sheath

The sheath is important because it prevents your blade from coming in contact with your skin while it’s attached to your belt.

Sheaths are commonly available in nylon, leather, and plastic.

Although they’re popular, the drawback to leather and nylon sheaths is that they can retain moisture.

Quick-drying molded plastic is a great choice before they contain ventilation and drain ports. However, leather and nylon are durable fabrics for long-lasting use.

Recap

Time to share my best knife to fillet fish!

The razor-sharp KastKing Fillet Knife is my top pick from a list of tough contenders.

The KastKing knife is available in three sizes, and it’s capable of slicing, filleting, trimming and steaking fish of all sizes.

Also, G4116 German stainless-steel blade has a small tip for intricate in between the bones.

The polymer slip-resistant handle is safe-to-use on the gooey-ist of fish, AND the handle cleans up beautifully to prevent bacteria from harvesting in hard-to-reach areas.

I’ve chosen the KastKing over the Dalstrong knives because the KastKing series is robust and durable, which is perfect for long days on the water.

Although the Dalstrong knives are superb, their premium price tags tempt me to keep them safe in my kitchen.

The KastKing offers fantastic performance for a reasonable price. Also, out of the bunch, this knife is the best fillet knife for saltwater fish.

The Rapala Fish N Fillet is respected and highly sought after choice amongst anglers. I agree it’s an exceptional choice. My only reservation is the wooden handle that is susceptible to holding odor.

The Morakniv Fishing Comfort Elite gets an honorary shout out. The Morakniv provides the same excellent functionality as the KastKing, but its only drawback is that it’s not suitable for use around saltwater.

Which do you rank as the best fish fillet knife from my bunch? I always enjoy hearing which products you guys go for.

Share this article and tell me your pick in the comments below!

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