Fillet knives have been used for generations as a small, flexible tool for perfecting delicate pieces of meat.
They are curved towards the end which allows them to easily separate bone and skin. If you like to fish and then eat whatever you catch, a fillet knife is an incredible tool to separate the meat from your fish.
Similarly, if you’re a cook who likes to purchase whole fish to make great dishes out of, a fillet knife is a vital piece of equipment for you.
So you’re looking to buy a fillet knife – but there are so many options! There are different kinds of steel, different kinds of handles, different shapes and sizes that are used for different things.
Sometimes, looking over the array of different knives available can be overwhelming!
If this sounds like you, don’t panic! We are here to help you.
Below is a guide that will take you through 5 of the best fillet knives on the market.
We’ve separated them into those that are best suited for fishing and for chefs, and we’ve also included a list of pros and cons to highlight specific features of the products.
As well as this, we have included an extensive buyers guide that will outline for you some of the most important things to consider when shopping online or in stores; ending finally with a short FAQ section to walk you through some common questions.
Let’s start searching for the perfect knife!
Best For Fishing
The knives below have been selected as tools that you can take out with you on a fishing trip.
Sometimes you will want to fillet the fish right away after catching it, and in this case, you’ll want a knife that you can take out with you, without worrying that it will break at the slightest difficulty.
Below are some of the best filleting knives we could find for fishing, camping trips, or general outdoor cooking.
First up is a handy, rubble-handled knife that makes a great companion to any fishing trip you might be embarking on. This knife is made of stainless steel with a flexible, curved blade that makes boning and filleting fish easily.
It’s perfect for both saltwater and freshwater fish. Something worth noting is that Rhinoreto gives you the choice between three different sizes – the 5 inches, 6.5 inches, or 8-inch blade.
The one you buy will very much depend on the kind of fish you’re needing to fillet – please check out the buyers’ guide below for further information on blade sizes.
This knife comes with a vented, lightweight sheath that has been included to ensure safe storage over long periods of time, as well as a small, portable sharpener.
Although the sharpener wasn’t the best quality, it was great to be included and means you don’t have to buy any additional accessories to maintain and use your knife.
We were particularly impressed with the sturdiness of the handle and blade, and think it would be a great little tool if you’re looking for something to bring with you on various trips.
- Rubber handle – means that you can grip it easily without fear of slipping.
- Choice of different blade sizes – this means you can decide depending on the kind of fish you’re looking to tackle.
- Sheath – comes with a lightweight, vented sheath for easy storage.
- Included sharpener is not the highest quality, but it is an included item.
- Flexible, Curved Blade for our fish fillet knifes. The non-stick coating of the fillet knife for fish helps the meat slide off easily. The boning knife can be used for filleting freshwater and saltwater fish.
- Non-Slip, Safe, Rubber Handle. The handle is large enough to fit all hand sizes and can be used by both left and right-handed persons.
- Vented, Lightweight Sheath. The ported design helps reduce weight and offers the perfect blade protection when storing the filet knife or traveling with it.
- Easy to use Sharpener for the best filleting. The double-sided, safe sharpener uses angled ceramic plates to help you keep a sharp blade every time you use the fish fillet knife.
- Giftable - the black elegant box makes the fillet knife a perfect gift for your love ones. Great for a passionate fisherman or chef. A complete set that makes a perfect gift.
This 7inch Fillet knife from Dalstrong is slightly more of a specialized knife than the one above and is for if you’re looking for something delicate rather than sturdy.
It is from their gladiator series and it is NSF certified and it comes with a lifetime warranty against defects.
The idea of the gladiator series was to make knives that are made with high-carbon german steel that will stand the test of time.
This fillet knife is made from a single piece of high-carbon ThyssenKrupp German steel, which means your knife is bound to have a sharp edge. We found this knife to be impressively sharp, with a handle that felt easy to hold and strong.
This blade also comes with a sheath, so if you’re looking for something a little more impressive to take on fishing trips, this would be a great blade.
It is more of a specialized tool though, so if you’re in need of something that will be worn down by nature and constant transport, there might be lower maintenance knives out there you could bring with you instead.
- Steel – great high-carbon steel for durability and a sharp edge.
- Design – easy to use and hold.
- Sheath – great sheath that allows for easy portability
- Size options – only 7inch available, though the gladiator series from Dalstrong does have a lot of different knives
Also available here
- Outstanding craftsmanship, cutting-edge technology, stunning design elements, and materials. Peak performance has never looked so good. A must have for any butcher or fish monger, expertly handcrafted to handle both the small and large every-day demands of the professional kitchen with precision and efficiency
- Incredibly razor sharp, full-tang, imported high-carbon German steel with a hand polished edge at 16-18 degrees per side. The narrow blade shape and slightly flexible design allow you to glide smoothly along the contours of bones, effortlessly separating meat without tearing, while the tapered tip maneuvers around smaller bones & cartilage
- With heft, materials and quality feel. black G10 Garolite handle is triple-riveted with a grip that ensures comfort and maneuverability. Laminated and polished for a sanitary build, perfect for busy kitchens"
- Engineered to perfection at 56+ Rockwell hardness and hand polished to a satin finish. Carefully tapered for improved hardness, flexibility, and minimal slicing resistance. The extra blade length limits wrist and hand fatigue by acting as an extension of the arm, performing long, single slices, on even the largest cuts of meat, effortlessly. National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) certified
This is by far one of the most sturdy and suitable for fishing trips, or going out in the wild. It is 7 inches with a tapered flex in the blade, and 13 inches in total with the handle.
It has a non-slip handle that is thick and has been created with an added trigger grip for extra security.
This fillet knife would be ideal for if you’re looking for a knife you can leave out of its sheath for long periods without worrying.
A bit of care is needed with the blade, as it wasn’t the most well-crafted that we’ve seen. That said if you’re looking for something that doesn’t have many of the frills of other knives
- Handle – Thick, sturdy handle.
- Durability – Great for taking on long, difficult fishing trips.
- Quality – not the best quality of the blade, might not be suitable for removing bones and more difficult filleting.
- DIMENSIONS: 13” overall length with 7” blade
- EASE OF USE: Non-Slip Grip handle for outstanding grip security providing ultimate knife control with trigger grip for added security
- RELIABLE: Features safety guards for protection from the blade and spines of fish
- DURABLE: Ideal for detailed precision cutting, a super thin 8Cr13MoV blade allows for effortless maneuvering to easily remove meat without loss, making it the ideal fishing knife
- CONVENIENT: The Ti-Nitride coated, rust resistant blade cuts through scales easily and features an extra sharp tip to make starting your cut a breeze and a sheath with a belt loop for close, hands free carry
Best For Kitchen
This section is for when you get that perfect fish home. Fillet knives for your kitchen differ mostly in the materials used for their handle and blade.
A knife you take out with you on a fishing trip should be strong, easily transportable, and have accessories so that you can keep it clean and sharp, but a knife for your kitchen can usually be treated a lot more delicately.
Below are two of the best knives you can buy for your kitchen – one with Damascus Steel and the other with standard high-carbon.
Perhaps you’re looking for something more artisan, something that has been crafted to be used for a long time, then look no further than this Damascus Steel Fillet Knife from Master Maison.
It features an olive-wood handle and a Damascus Steel blade.
The important thing to know about Damascus Steel is that it is a lot more complex to forge than regular, with 67 layers of steel. This creates a much stronger and sharper blade, with much more retention of sharpness than other metals.
We found the blade to be the most impressive part of the knife and much higher quality than some of the other
Mater Maison was founded by two cooks who were trying to find a way to get hold of well-crafted knives without the insane price tags. They have a whole selection of different Damascus steel knives that are available for purchase.
Almost all of them come with their case and extra accessories, as you might find with more up-market, hand-crafted knives.
If you’re not sure whether or not this knife will be the kind of quality you’re looking for, then you can rest easy with a 1-year warranty against defects.
- Damascan steel – for great retention and durability.
- Case – it comes with a wooden caste to store it in.
- Wooden handle – whilst the wooden handle is gorgeous and looks great, it’s not as comfortable to use as some of the other knives on the market.
- PREMIUM DAMASCUS KNIFE SET - Each blade is meticulously crafted by condensing 67 layers of stainless steel to achieve true Damascus authenticity and quality, and then hand-finished for ultimate sharpness, hardness (62 HRC), performance, and durability. This knife set includes a Supreme Series 6 inch Damascus stainless steel fillet knife with a full-tang natural wood handle, edge guard cover, sharpening stone, embroidered drying cloth, and wooden storage box.
- PROFESSIONAL QUALITY AT AN AFFORDABLE PRICE - Master Maison was founded by 2 lifelong cooks who struggled to find professional-quality knives at everyday prices. Our Californian founders partnered with dozens of professional chefs to design stain-resistant and rust-resistant knife sets at an affordable price point.
- SUPERIOR EDGE RETENTION: This Damascus knife is forged from the highest quality, rare Japanese stainless steel. It offers remarkable sharpness, superior edge retention (stays sharp for longer) and rust and corrosion resistance that will last you a lifetime. Perfect for filleting and boning any fish.
- BEAUTIFUL DESIGN WITH EASY STORAGE - An intricate, mosaic design is rooted in rich history and sets the Damascus knife apart. The included storage box reduces clutter from the counter and protects your one-of-a-kind knife for years to come.
- EASY CARE AND UNLIMITED 1-YEAR WARRANTY: Our knives carry an unlimited 1-year warranty. We recommend hand washing and promptly drying your knives after usage to protect their sharpness and glossiness. If you ever have an issue, reach out to our customer service team.
Looking for something simple that will be an easy addition to your kitchen? Maybe you don’t want something with Damascus Steel, or something that is going to be too complex.
If this sounds like you, then this filleting knife from Taylors Eye Witness is going to be great for you.
It walks the line between professional design and simplicity, made of high carbon, stainless steel, and a very sharp cutting blade.
We found the handle to be exceptionally sturdy and easy to grip, great for cutting more difficult pieces of meat. We would recommend this knife if you are looking for something with a lot of versatility.
It will not only be able to fillet fish, but also work with other meat. Having those options is a great addition to the tools of your kitchen, so this knife is great for that.
We did however find the pointed blade more difficult to use than some of the other knives on this list.
This is a great knife for more all-around use, but not the best if you are looking for something for delicate filleting.
- Study – a large, sturdy blade that can be used on tougher pieces of meat.
- Handle – Easy grip handle for that we found nice to grip and work with.
- Blade Steel – good quality steel that we found to be strong and sharp.
- Pointed Blade – different from conventional fillet knives because of its pointed blade. We found this to not be as effective as other, curved blades.
- Accessories – doesn’t come with any additional accessories, so you’ll have to buy sharpening tools and
- ✅ FLEXIBLE AND SHARP: This specialized preparation knife, designed to fillet fish, has a thin, bendable blade and an extremely sharp cutting edge. The blade edge will slice away skin with ease and the shallow angle of the long bevel gives maneuverability around or over intricate back and rib bone without damage so they can be removed later. A perfect choice for skinning and preparing seafood, to be used by chefs/cooks in every commercial or home kitchen.
- ✅ AWARD WINNING DESIGN: A classic design and winner of The Design Council Award for ‘An Outstanding British Product’, this is our Professional Series, made in our Sheffield factory by skilled craftsmen. The range is perfect for home kitchen use or strong enough to perform well in a commercial environment such as a restaurant, cafe or hotel. The range consists of 14 speciality knives, each one designed for a special purpose. This knife range won’t let you down.
- ✅ EXTREME SHARPNESS: Made in our factory in Sheffield, UK we can say with confidence that this will be one of the sharpest knives you will ever use. The blade has an ultra fine edge that has been precision ground and honed by hand for perfect edge retention. Buy any knife from our ‘Professional Series’ and compare it to your old ones, you’ll notice an instant improvement.
- ✅ EASY GRIP HANDLE: The material for this handle has been carefully chosen and tested for its quality and longevity. It is a special blend of ABS and Fibreglass, which has excellent properties of water resistance, texture for grip and non-shrinkage. The shape fits perfectly in the hand, keeping fatigue away and helping prevent accidents caused by slipping off the handle grip.
- ✅ LIFETIME GUARANTEE: We are so confident that this knife is the sharpest knife you will ever use that we will refund the purchase price if you do not agree. The knife is covered by our no quibble lifetime guarantee. Any item found defective under normal kitchen use will be repaired or replaced without charge.
Now that we’ve gone through some of the best filleting knives on the market, we must examine why we made out choices. When buying a filleting knife there are a few key factors that you’ll need to consider.
You can check these out either online in product descriptions, or stores by checking how the knife looks and feels. There are vast differences when it comes to the quality of knives.
This is the first thing you need to consider when shopping for fillet knives. What is the knife going to be used for?
For example, if you’re looking for something to fillet small pieces of fish, then there is no point in getting a long blade – the size of your knife will dictate the kind of filleting you’ll be able to do.
More than this, it’s important to decide where the knife will be used.
If you’ll be taking it out with you on fishing trips then you will want to make sure you get something that has a tight sheath and a strong, durable handle.
We recommend rubber handles for fishing trips as they are easy on your hand and less likely to break if you are using the knife under difficult conditions.
If you’re looking for something for your kitchen, you will be able to buy a blade with much more maintenance and care required to use.
One of the most important features of a good filleting knife is the handle. Depending on how you are using your knife, the handle can be the make or break to how effectively it is able to fillet or bonefish.
Different handles are for different things, and often it is more important to choose a handle that is for utility rather than decoration.
Generally, wooden handles are more uncomfortable to use than rubber or aluminum – depending on how well it has been crafted.
The creation of a blade is a long process, and how much work has been put into fashioning the handle shows.
You should consider the comfortability of the handle too – consider that you will have to be using it for long time periods, particularly on difficult sessions of filleting.
We found rubber handles to be great for fishing trips, as they are much more comfortable, especially when removing bones from recently caught fish.
The other vital thing you will have to consider when shopping for your perfect fillet knife is the blade.
The metal and techniques used to craft a blade will be one of the most noticeable differences between a good knife and a bad one.
You want to try and find high-carbon steel, this means steel that has been forged to be strong and to retain its sharpness. How strong your blade is will determine how long it will last as well as how easy it is to work with.
Blade length is another thing to consider. How long will your blade need to be? This is the question you should answer yourself before committing to a purpose.
If you have giant, recently caught fish to fillet then you’ll want to make sure you have a large enough blade to deal with it.
Similarly, there’s no use in buying a massive blade to cut tiny fish. Always consider the purpose of your blade.
Below is a short FAQ section that will explore some of the more technical terms used in this article.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Does High Carbon Steel Mean?
High carbon steel is a term you might see on a lot of knives out there on the market.
In short, high carbon just means steel that has higher carbon content – this means that the steel will be stronger, have fewer chances of breaking, and also have higher retention of its sharpness.
What Is Blade Retention?
Blade retention is how well your blade holds its sharpness. Blades with low retention will lose their sharpness after a few sessions of hard use, whereas blade with good retention will keep their sharpness for much longer periods.
Looking for a blade that has good retention is important if you’re going to be using it frequently. A dull blade can be frustrating and also dangerous to use.
What Is Damascus Steel?
Damascus steel is easy to recognize with its pattern that looks like waves. It is highly valuable because it is both strong and also very flexible.
Generally, Damascus steel is superior to regular steel, though there are many counterfeit versions of it that you might come across.
If you want to know if something is real Damascus steel, you should double-check the value of the product as well as any information as to how it has been crafted.
We hope that this article has been a useful guide to help you choose your perfect fillet knife.
Remember, the most important thing when it comes to buying a fillet knife is considering its purpose – make sure you decide what you will be using it for before making any commitments.
Some metals and materials are better than others depending on what you’ll be using them for, so make sure you get a good understanding of the knife that you decide to buy to make sure you’re not surprised once you get it out of its packaging.
We wish you the absolute best of luck on your filleting journey, and hope that you find your ultimate fillet knife sometime soon!