An experienced fisherman knows that when you are looking for a filleting knife, there is more to consider than one might think. Fillet knives come in many different brands, lengths, and blade materials. The blade handle and blade flexibility are also important factors. For those planning to fillet fish often, an electric blade with a variety of blade sizes may be the best option.
Accomplishing the task of filleting fish in a satisfying manner (clean cuts, safe, and hassle-free) requires a good fillet knife. Whether you are looking for a new knife or looking for your first, we hope this guide will help you choose the best fillet knife to fit your needs.
- What to Look For in a Fillet Knife
- Top Brands
- Product Recommendations
What to Look For in a Fillet Knife
Length of Blade
The majority of fillet knives come in lengths of 4-9″ blades. Shorter blades are best for cleaning perch or crappie. Medium knives, such as a 7-7.5″, are best used for bass or trout. Larger fillet knives are used for larger fish, such as large bass, lake trout, or northern pike. Most electric knife brands offer kits that include multiple blade lengths. The length you need depends on the type of fish you usually catch.
Most blades are made with stainless steel. However, there are different variations of stainless steel. You want to make certain the fillet knife you choose is corrosion resistant. Knives that are corrosion resistant usually have it listed in their description.
The thickness of a fillet knife correlates with the knife’s flexibility. The thinner the blade, the more flexible the knife. You have to be careful to not get a blade that is too thin as it will not be as durable. Flexibility is helpful with de-boning and cleaning smaller fish. A good fillet knife will usually discuss its flexibility in the item description.
Wood handles used to be the more popular choice, and they are still available. However, a lot of brands are choosing to use plastic or rubber handles. The main factor in a good handle is comfort and grip. You do not want a handle that can easily slip out of your hand. There are grips imprinted on the handles of certain brands. You want to make certain the knife has a good feel without danger of slipping.
Extras are always a plus when purchasing a fillet knife. Most knives include a sheath. It provides safety and keeps the blade clean while not in use. A sharpening tool is an excellent accessory. Some brands offer a cutting board with the knife purchase. Accessories can be purchased separately, but it’s helpful when items are able to be purchased together.
As with any item today, there are many companies that offer fillet knives. Each brand usually has its own special thing that differentiates it from the others. Some have their own patented design. The most popular brands are listed below.
1. Buck Knives Silver Creek Large Fishing Fillet Knife
Buck Knives is a popular brand in hunting and pocket knives. It’s not surprising that their Silver Creek Fillet Knife is popular as well. The 9 5/8″ 420 HC Titanium coated blade is corrosion resistant and extremely flexible. The overall length is 14 3/8″ with a rubberized anti-slip handle that includes a stainless steel safety guard. The injection-molded plastic sheath that is included has an integrated belt clip with stylized drain holes. This affordable fillet knife is backed by the Buck Forever Guarantee.
Past purchasers claim it’s the best knife they’ve ever bought, and the length makes it easier to clean larger fish. It features the high-quality stainless steel needed to prevent corrosion and a safe handle to help prevent accidents. It is flexible, yet durable, which makes for a long-lasting product. All of these qualities make it an excellent choice when choosing a fillet knife.
2. Rapala 9″ Fish’n Fillet Knife
Rapala has an excellent reputation with both regular fillet knives and electric knives. This 9″ knife has a full-tang Swedish stainless steel blade. The reinforced birch varnished handle has an excellent grip. It arrives with a genuine leather sheath and a single-stage sharpener.
This is a great knife for cleaning bigger fish. Past buyers stated it has perfect flexibility and exceeded my standards for a great knife. The included sharpener and sheath are a bonus with this affordable fillet knife.
3. American Angler Pro Electric Fillet Knife
American Angler strives to give fishermen what they ask for. For those that catch and clean a lot of fish, an electric knife may be the best way to go, and their Pro Electric Fillet Knife is a great fit in that category. American Angler has created a powerful gear and motor system to provide 2x the torque. The 111-volt power allows the user to consistently fillet. An engineered venting and cooling fan will help it run longer. The kit includes 5 flexible hollow-ground blades that will fillet small to very large fish. A carrying bag is included and is vented to help prevent corrosion. The blades included are: 10″ saltwater blade, 5.5″ curved-tip blade replacement, 8″ curved-tip blade replacement, 10″ heavy duty shark blade replacement, and an 8″ heavy duty shark blade replacement. A glove is also included, and the kit has a limited two-year warranty.
Past buyers have stated it will carve through a mess of fish quickly, and it’s the best knife out there.
The American Angler brand is well-known, and if you’re looking for an electric fillet knife, this would be a great choice.
4. Wusthof Classic 7″ Fillet Knife
Wusthof is well known for their kitchen knives. This 7.1″ fillet knife has a flexible blade that is perfect for filleting, deboning, and skinning. It is precision-forged of high carbon steel with stain-resistant alloy. It has precise tapering from a grinding and polishing procedure. The handle is synthetic traditional-style that is triple-riveted for a good grip.
Past purchasers agree that it is made with quality and balance in mind, it is extremely sharp, and that it is the finest fillet and carving knife you can buy.
While it is pricier than most filleting knives, the durability makes it last for years. It would be an excellent choice for a fillet knife.
5. Zwilling JA Henckels Twin Four Star 7″ Fillet Knife
JA Henckels takes pride in creating high quality knives. This stainless steel 7″ blade is forged from a single piece of high carbon, no-stain steel that is ice-hardened for extra strength, greater blade stability, and prolonged edge retention. Created under the Sigmaforge standard, the full horizontal tang is designed without rivets for extra balance. It features the qualities needed in a fillet knife such as durability, sharpness, and flexibility.
The polypropylene handle is permanently bonded to the knife blade for extra safety. An added bonus is that it comes with a lifetime warranty.
Past buyers stated they have had the knife for many years, and it continues to please.
6. Case Cutlery Fillet Knife
W. R. Case and Sons Cutlery Company has been a well-known knife maker for many years. Known for their hunting and pocket knives, they also provide an affordable well-designed fillet knife. This knife features a fixed stainless steel 9″ blade made of Tru-sharp surgical steel. It is flexible and maintains its sharpness. The Zytel handle is durable and easy to grip for safety. It also comes with a leather sheath that includes a plastic liner for storing the knife when not in use.
Past purchasers love the fact that it stays sharp, and love the idea that it is a Case product. It’s made in the USA and comes with a limited warranty.
You can’t go wrong with Case knives. It has all the features needed for a great fillet knife.
7. Kershaw Fillet Knife
Kershaw is another popular knife company known for their variety of hunting and pocket knives. This fillet knife features Japanese 420J2 stainless steel that is flexible without the danger of breaking. It is highly corrosive resistant which is important in a fillet knife. The blade is 9 1/4″ in length and the knife is 14 1/4″ in length overall.
The co-polymer handle was designed with a central contour and protectors at both ends for added safety. The soft, yet firm, texture provides the ability to grip the knife well. Neon highlights on the handle make it easier to spot in the evening while cleaning the day’s catch. It also includes an ABS sheath for storage.
Past customers like the idea of the great feel with no danger of slipping. It also stays very sharp. Kershaw is an excellent brand of knives, and this affordable fillet knife is no exception.