Hey there my fellow fishing enthusiasts and welcome to my post covering my 3 best fish filleting knives to slice up with this year. Fish filleting is one of those things that for those who can do it well, looks like a simple process. And for those who are not as skillful in this area, at least you can turn your mangled fillets into fish cakes I guess hey.
One thing I have learned however is that if you have yourself a good, sharp filleting knife, then the whole process just works that little bit easier and in most cases, you can at least come out of it with fillet worthy of the hotplate. So what is the best fish filleting knife can we use? Let’s check them out below…
My 3 recommended fish filleting knives
I will review these in more detail below but if you just want to get moving without all the carry on, my 3 are listed here for your convenience:
|Filleting Knife||Price||Get it|
|KastKing Fillet Knife||$||CURRENT PRICE|
|The Serious Catch Fish Fillet Knife||$$||CURRENT PRICE|
|DALSTRONG Fillet Knife||$$$||CURRENT PRICE|
What is a fish filleting knife?
In reality, you could effectively use any decent kitchen knife to fillet a fish. However, in this case we are discussing options that are made for the single purpose of removing the fillet from a fish in preparation for cooking and eating. These are generally long and slender with sharp, flexible blades and needle like points on the end allowing you to slide your knife along the spine taking the flesh only (good filleters never cut bone with their filleting knives).
Now here is the problem. Many of us (see my experience below) buy ourselves a good filleting knife and then use it as a tool for general fishing needs as well – you know, for cutting bait, line, fish (especially through bone), seaweed and so on. This WILL ruin your nice filleting knife and is why I always recommend that at the very least you carry two knives, 1 for filleting (and nothing else) and general fishing knife for everything else that you may need it for when fishing.
So, let’s now have a look at what we need to consider when discussing knives for filleting fish below…
What should you be looking for?
Again, the function here is pretty simple in that you are looking for something that will allow you to fillet your catch in an efficient and effective manner that doesn’t leave you with ‘fish mince’ at the end. Even within this simplicity however, there are some influences to consider prior to purchase as follows:
Composition – As with everything, the better quality of material that your knife blade is made of, the better it should work. Base models are usually made of stainless steel (a must at a minimum if working in or near salt water) with increased carbon inclusion in the better models.
Look for good quality stainless steel as a minimum and high carbon options if you can.
Shape – As mentioned above, most fish filleting knives are long and slender and lead to a needle like point. However, it really depends on the type of knife you like and the fish you are filleting. I watched a guy on YouTube the other day who was filleting fish with what looked like a long, flat bread knife. Others like the curved blade based on the Japanese Teppanyaki knives as well.
Flexibility – In general, the longer the knife, the more flexible it will be. Flexible knives will allow you to slide down the spine and manoeuvre around any curves with ease without damage to the flesh or cutting into the bone (which can dent or blunt the knife).
Length – This is a matter of preference however generally the larger the fish you will be filleting, the longer the knife you will need. As a rule of thumb, you want to make sure that the blade is long enough to be able to cover the entire width of the fillet (weight of the fish) in one cut.
Sharpness – This probably has a lot to do with the quality of the blade material however it needs to be sharp. Sharpness is often measured by degrees and my research indicates that you look for something around the 12-17 degree mark. Oh, and always check the recommended sharpening options for the knife when you purchase it.
Handle – Much like a fishing rod, a knife handle is generally either a matter of personal preference, or in most cases simply what you get with it. Handles can be made of wood, rubber or plastic and will definitely be dependent upon the price paid for the knife. That said, most fishing knives come with plastic or rubber handles as they handle salty, wet conditions better than wood.
Again, at the end of the day you need something that is big and sharp enough to fillet the type of fish that you catch without too much effort.
What do I use?
Ok, so I got given a really nice fish filleting knife as a gift a few years back. It is a mid range brand (Buck) with an 8.6 inch blade made of high quality stainless steel. It has a durable plastic handle and sheath. In the early days, it was amazing. I sharpened it properly and it filleted like a dream.
Then I lost my general fishing knife and out of laziness, started using this one out on the water as well. In time, I am sad to say that I have effectively ruined it. Don’t get me wrong, it still fillets, but certainly not as well as it used to. It is however time to keep it for the fishing and purchase myself a good one just for filleting.
My three recommendations broken down
There is quite a large range of filleting knives available online so I have chosen the following three in an attempt to give you options taking into consideration the information above. Based on this, I recommend the following options:
1. KastKing Fillet Knife
This first one is a basic option for those who just want something quick and easy to use for filleting fishing at a decent price. It is manufactured from good quality materials and sharp enough to handle most general fish filleting needs. Specifications as follows:
- Composition: Premium, razor sharp G4116 German Stainless-Steel
- Length: 5″ – 9″
- Sharpness: Razor edge
- Handle: Slip proof Super-Polymer
- Protective Sheath
Why have I chosen it?
I like this one purely for its attributes for the price with a great review rating. With a number of length options there is one to cover almost all fish species as well. You could do a lot worse than this one for the price
2. The Serious Catch Fish Fillet Knife
Our next knife is made in the more traditional kitchen or chef style which is again a good one for simple general filleting use across a number of species. It is high quality and will provide great precision for filleting both fish and other meats as well. Its specifications include:
- Composition: 55-57 HRC premium grade German steel
- Length: 7″
- Sharpness: 16 degree razor sharp edge
- Handle: Three-rivet Pakkawood handle
- Protective Leather Sheath
- Perfectly balanced
Why have I chosen it?
This is a great one for those looking for a bit more quality for a good price. It is large enough to handle most species with ease. And for those who do want to do their filleting at the water’s edge, this option is highly corrosion resistant as well.
3. DALSTRONG Fillet Knife
The third option I have chosen is a well-known brand offering a great option for those who really want to do their best work whilst filleting. It offers the highest quality in manufacturing craftsmanship without costing the earth. Specifications as follows:
- Composition: HC German ThyssenKrupp High Carbon Stainless Steel
- Length: 7″
- Sharpness: 16 – 18 degree razor sharp edge
- Handle: Three-rivet G10 handle
- Protective leather sheath
- Strong sheath for outdoor protection
- Perfectly balanced
- Heat-treated & hand sharpened
Why have I chosen it?
Again, this is another great one for those looking for quality over price and high flexibility in action. Dalstrong is a well-known brand used by professionals the world over (check out their full range here) and this model will assist even the most inexperienced filleter work with ease. It is easily sharpened and corrosion and stain resistant too.
And there they are – my 3 best fish filleting knives to slice up with in 2021. I hope it has been helpful and as usual, please let me know of your experiences with them.
Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, corrections or would like me to check anything else out for you.
Until next time