Best Fillet Knives

If you’ve ever found yourself struggling with the art of filleting fish, trust me, you’re not alone. We’ve all been there – trying to slice through fish with a less-than-cooperative knife, only to end up with mangled fillets that hardly resemble the delicious cuts we had in mind.

I know exactly how frustrating this can be, especially after a long day out on the water. I remember one particular fishing trip where I managed to reel in six impressive Chum Salmon. Excitement quickly turned to dismay as I realized my fillet knife was not up to the task. The struggle was real, and the process was far from efficient. That’s when I decided it was time for a change.

Upgrading my fillet knife was a game-changer. Suddenly, the chore of filleting fish turned into a much smoother and more enjoyable process. Not only did I save time, but I also minimized the amount of wasted meat – something every angler can appreciate. The improved results were enough to put a smile on my face and make me wonder why I hadn’t made the switch sooner.

I know that choosing the right fillet knife can seem overwhelming, especially with so many options out there. From classic knives with wooden or plastic handles to the more modern electric ones that promise lightning-fast filleting, the choices can leave your head spinning. But fear not! I’ve taken the guesswork out of the equation by personally testing and comparing a range of fillet knives. My goal was simple: to find the best fillet knives that cater to beginners and make fish cleaning a breeze.

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In Hurry? Check out this comparison chart?

Image Model Prices
WÜSTHOF Classic 7 WÜSTHOF Classic 7″ Fillet Knife
ZWILLING Professional S 7-inch Razor-Sharp German Fillet Knife ZWILLING Professional S 7-inch Razor-Sharp German Fillet Knife
Dexter Russell SOFGRIP Fillet Knives Dexter Russell SOFGRIP Fillet Knives
Kershaw 7.5 Kershaw 7.5″ Narrow Fish Fillet Knife
KastKing Fillet Knife KastKing Fillet Knife

Deciding Between Manual and Electric Fillet Knives: Which One’s Right for You?

Alright, let’s dive into the exciting world of fillet knives! When you’re on the hunt for the perfect knife to make those delicious fish fillets, you’ll come across two main types: manual and electric. Don’t worry, I’m here to break it down in simple terms, so you can choose the one that suits you best.

Manual Fillet Knife

Imagine holding a traditional fillet knife in your hand. These knives are like precision artists. They’re great for gently getting all the tasty meat from different kinds of fish, like trout, panfish, catfish, and walleyes. They’re also superheroes when it comes to removing those tricky Y-bones from fish like northern pike.

Using a manual fillet knife is like creating a beautiful piece of art. You get to feel every movement and really connect with the fish. If you enjoy taking your time and appreciating the process, a manual fillet knife is your go-to sidekick.

Electric Fillet Knife

Now, let’s switch gears to electric fillet knives. These knives are all about speed and getting the job done easily. They’re like the speedy chefs of the knife world. Electric knives are awesome when you have lots of fish to fillet or you want to finish quickly.

Here’s the deal though: electric knives are a bit bigger and heavier than manual ones. They also tend to cost a bit more. And remember, they need power – either a rechargeable battery or an outlet – to work their magic.

Which Knife is Your Perfect Match?

So, which one is right for you? Well, it depends on your style. If you’re a hands-on kind of person who loves taking your time and enjoying the process, a manual fillet knife might be your perfect match. But if you want to get the job done quickly and easily, especially when you have a bunch of fish to fillet, an electric fillet knife could be your best buddy.

No matter which knife you choose, just remember that you’re not just getting a tool – you’re getting a way to turn your fish into amazing meals. So, go ahead and pick the one that makes you excited to start filleting!

Best Fillet Knives of 2023 – Reviews

WÜSTHOF Classic 7

WÜSTHOF Classic 7″ Fillet Knife

WÜSTHOF Classic 7

What’s really cool about this knife is its thin and flexible blade. It’s like a superhero for delicate fish, such as salmon or tuna. You can easily cut through bones without any trouble, and there’s no fear of getting stuck in between them. That’s a big deal because it means I get top-notch fillets without any mess. Plus, using it for deboning helps keep the meat just the way it should be.

In a nutshell, the WÜSTHOF Classic 7″ Fillet Knife is a game-changer for anyone who loves preparing fish. It’s sturdy, sharp, and feels amazing in your hand. I’m totally in love with it, and I think you will be too!

ZWILLING Professional S 7-inch Razor-Sharp German Fillet Knife

ZWILLING Professional S 7-inch Razor-Sharp German Fillet Knife

ZWILLING Professional S 7-inch Razor-Sharp German Fillet Knife
The knife looks fantastic and, guess what? It’s super sharp right out of the box. Plus, they’ve got our backs with a lifetime warranty, so it feels like this knife is going to be my kitchen buddy for a long, long time as long as I treat it right.

Zwilling means business when it comes to sharpness. Seriously, the blade is so sharp, it’s like a superhero’s tool. The edge was flawless, I wouldn’t be surprised if it could do minor surgery – that’s how sharp it is!

When I tried it on fish, the results were impressive. Skin, bones, and filleting – this knife handled it all with ease. Even those big shrimp and shellfish didn’t stand a chance. And you know what’s cool? It works just as well in my left hand as it does in my right.

The magic is in the steel – these knives are crafted from a single piece that’s like super-duper sharp thanks to their Precision Edge Technology. It’s also great at keeping its sharpness, so I don’t need to sharpen it as often. The blade’s got this perfect blend of flexibility and strength, which is a big deal in my book. The handle is made from polypropylene, it’s comfy to grip and won’t hold onto any smells from the kitchen.

Dexter Russell SOFGRIP Fillet Knives

Dexter Russell SOFGRIP Fillet Knives

Dexter Russell SOFGRIP Fillet Knives
Dexter knives are known for being used in big kitchens, and guess what? They’re also catching on at home, just like mine.

What I really love about these knives is how easy they are to take care of. The blades are tough and easy to sharpen, so they’re ready for action whenever I need them. The handles are pretty cool too – they’re made to grip well and are super simple to keep clean.

Now, let’s talk about the Dexter SG142-8TEEG, aka the legendary Tiger Edge knife. This thing is a superstar! It can handle anything from fresh bait to frozen stuff. It’s like a fish-filleting magician – scales, bones, you name it, it can do it. Plus, it’s got this comfy handle that’s soft and gives me amazing control – no slipping here! The blade is made from some special stuff called DEXSTEEL that stays sharp for ages.

And you know what else is neat? This knife comes with a cool protector thingy, so the blade stays safe and sound.

Kershaw 7.5

Kershaw 7.5″ Narrow Fish Fillet Knife

Kershaw 7.5
The stainless steel blade is strong and stays sharp, but what’s even cooler is that it’s easy to sharpen again. This blade has a trick up its sleeve – it’s flexible enough to get the meat off the bone and slide right between the fillet and skin.

The grip on this knife is the real MVP. It’s got this K-Texture rubberized thing going on that’s both firm and comfy. Even when my hands are slippery from fish, this grip holds on like a champ. And guess what? They thought of everything – there’s a protector for the blade that slides on, keeping it safe and sharp.

The handle is super soft and has a cool texture for a great grip, even when things get wet. And don’t get me started on the sheath – it’s got a spot to hook onto your belt, perfect for when you’re out and about. Oh, and those neon highlights are a bonus – they make sure you can spot it even in dim light.

People really love how comfy the handle is and how sharp this knife stays. And guess what? It doesn’t need a lot of resharpening. For the price, this knife is a winner. It might look simple, but it’s the quality and the awesome price that make it stand out from the rest.

KastKing Fillet Knife

KastKing Fillet Knife

KastKing Fillet Knife
This knife is a steal – it’s affordable but doesn’t compromise on quality. Fresh fish or salty ones, it’s got you covered, all without breaking the bank. Oh, and guess what? You can choose from different sizes, from 5 to 12 inches.

When I held this knife, it felt just right – balanced and ready for action and it is sharp! The handle might be a tad thick for some, but the grip is amazing, making it easy to slice and fillet just the way you want. I’ve used it for filleting fish and even trimming brisket. It aced both jobs, giving me the perfect cuts I needed.

Let me tell you about the handle – it’s so comfy to hold! The non-slip feature and those big grips make it easy to control. But here’s the thing – even if I tell you, you won’t feel how awesome it is until you hold it yourself.

Now, let’s talk about that sharpness. It’s outstanding! Thanks to the top-notch German stainless steel, it keeps its edge for ages. And to top it off, they throw in a snug sheath with slots, perfect for camping or fishing trips. Isn’t that cool?

How to Choose a Fillet Knife

1. Size

Size matters – but it’s not just a cliché. When it comes to fillet knives, the dimensions of the blade hold immense significance. Depending on the fish species you frequently encounter, the size of your fillet knife should be tailored accordingly.

For most table fish, a blade ranging from 6 to 9 inches (150mm – 230mm) is your versatile companion. However, for the behemoths like yellowfin tuna that can tip the scales at 40 – 50kgs, a more substantial 12-inch blade (300mm) becomes essential. If you’re up for even bigger challenges with hefty game fish, an ultra-rigid 15-inch (380mm) blade or beyond is your go-to choice.

2. Flexibility and Rigidity

One of the primary concerns when selecting a fillet knife is ensuring the blade cooperates with your guidance. It’s a delicate balance – the blade must possess the right amount of flex while maintaining a crucial degree of rigidity. Excessive flex can lead to the blade bouncing off bones or accidentally piercing flesh. As much as fish filleting is an art, preserving your fingers is a priority.

3. Width and Weight

The width of the blade plays a pivotal role in the efficiency of filleting. In Western-style knives, a blade width of up to an inch (25mm) is common, with slightly wider blades reserved for skinning tasks. On the other hand, Japanese-style filleting embraces wider and heavier blades, elevating the technique to an art form.

Moreover, the weight of the knife is no trivial matter. A knife that feels comfortable in your hand ensures prolonged precision without causing undue strain during those extended filleting sessions.

4. Edge Retention

The type of steel employed in crafting your fillet knife directly impacts its sharpness retention and overall longevity. Stainless steel emerges as a reliable contender, offering various compositions and characteristics. Blades with higher carbon content tend to hold their sharp edge longer, but sharpening them might require more specialized equipment.

5. Sharpness

A good fillet knife should retain its sharpness over numerous filleting sessions. Generally, you should be able to fillet about 20 average-sized fish before sharpening is necessary. A ceramic rod provides quick maintenance during the process, while a Japanese water stone grants meticulous restoration of the blade’s edge.

For those tackling formidable fish like yellowfin tuna, a single large catch should be manageable before sharpening is required. As for the sharpening process, a range from 1000 to 6000 grit Japanese water stones should suffice for most enthusiasts.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is a fillet knife only for fish?

No, a fillet knife is not only for fish. While designed for fish filleting, its precision makes it useful for deboning poultry, trimming meat, slicing vegetables, fruits, delicate baking tasks, and fine culinary work.

What can you use a fillet knife for besides fish?

A fillet knife can be utilized for tasks beyond fish, including deboning poultry, trimming meat, precise vegetable and fruit slicing, delicate baking tasks, and intricate culinary work. Its precision and sharpness make it versatile in various kitchen activities.

What are the most common knives used in fish?

When it comes to preparing and filleting fish, several knives are commonly used due to their specialized designs. These knives include:

  1. Fillet Knife: Specifically designed for filleting, this knife has a thin, flexible blade that allows for precise cuts along the bones of the fish, minimizing wastage.
  2. Boning Knife: Used for removing bones from larger cuts of fish, the boning knife has a narrower and stiffer blade compared to a fillet knife, making it suitable for working around joints and thicker sections.
  3. Chef’s Knife: While not fish-specific, a chef’s knife can be useful for various fish-related tasks, such as cutting through the fish’s head, tail, and larger bones.
  4. Serrated Knife: This knife with a serrated edge is handy for cutting through the tougher skin of fish, as well as for sectioning larger fish into manageable portions.
  5. Paring Knife: Useful for smaller, detailed tasks like removing scales or making precise cuts, a paring knife can be handy when working with smaller fish or performing delicate tasks.


So there you have it, the best fillet knives are like super helpers for cutting fish just right! They come in all shapes and sizes, but they all want to make your fishy cooking adventure super fun and easy. Remember, some knives are better for big fish, while others are awesome for the tiny ones. Just pick the one that feels like the perfect fit for you, and soon you’ll be a fish-cutting superstar in the kitchen!

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