Knivesexpert provides you with the best and honest reviews and buying guides through hours of testing, research and analysis to help you find the perfect knife. You support us through our editorially chosen links, which earn us commission. Learn more.
When it comes to fillet knives people think they are only meant for the fish lovers. But the reality is far from this as fillet knives are capable of doing a lot more than just filleting fish. For example, a fillet knife can remove the pith, rind, and membrane from fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits, etc. Filleting knives have certainly eased off the pain of people who in the past find it troublesome to do filleting, skinning, deboning, trimming, butterflying work. Of course, there are so many tools in a kitchen but having a high-quality fillet knife is what most professionals prefer. The best fillet knife is thin, sharp and swiftly cut through the meat and fish.
- What makes a good fillet knife?
- Quick Overview (comparison)
- Top 10 Best fillet Knives
- 1 – Rapala NK03039-BRK Fish N Fillet (Best Pick 🥇)
- 2 – Zwilling J.A. Henckels 31073-183 Zwilling J.A Fillet Knife, 7 Inch
- 3 – DALSTRONG Fillet Knife -6 Inch- Shogun Series
- 4 – Wusthof 4603 Boning Knife 6 Inch
- 5 – Bubba 9 Inch Stiff Fillet Knife
- 6 – Global Cromova 6 ¼ inch Flexible Boning Knife
- 7 – Shun Cutlery Classic Boning and Fillet Knife
- 8 – Kershaw Clearwater 9-In Fillet Knife
- 9 – Wusthof Grand Prix II 7-Inch Fillet Knife
- 10 – Dalstrong Fillet Knife – 7 inch Flexible Gladiator Series
- What’s the best handle or grip for a fillet knife?
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Final Verdict
What makes a good fillet knife?
There are certain characteristics that make a fillet knife competent. A good fillet knife is not only sturdy, sharp and ergonomically perfect but it has a flexible blade to work on backbone, ribs, and smoothly work around joints. The handle also plays a vital role in making a fillet knife worthy. Besides this, the best fillet knife lets the user know how shallow or deep to cut. If we have to conclude what makes a good fillet knife then below are its prime qualities that are a fillet knife must possess:
- Safe grip
- Easy on the juice
- Blade profile
- Blade thickness
- Edge angle
- Corrosion resistance
Quick Overview (comparison)
Top 10 Best fillet Knives
Fillet knives are a must have kitchen tool for cooks and professional chefs and there is no compromise accepted in terms of quality and consistency. Though there is numerous best fillet knife to buy available but not all fulfill the promise. So here is our guide for buying the best fillet knife which constitutes a list of some of the best fillet knife available. We’ve also tested 10 Electric Fillet Knives, which you can checkout here.
1 – Rapala NK03039-BRK Fish N Fillet (Best Pick 🥇)
Rapala Fish N Fillet knife is something that is extremely versatile and tops the list of a best fillet knife. With a pure Swedish stainless steel blade it is very easy to operate and precision. It is unarguably the best fillet knife on the market now. The blade is about 7 inches and is very durable and effective. This fillet knife has sharpness which is well balanced with the flexibility. Rapala Fish N Fillet knife represents a unique combination of precision and value. It is a perfect fit for the kitchen as well as outdoors.
- Easy to operate
- Ergonomic design
- Laplander leather belt sheath
- Sharp blade
- Precision knife
- Perfectly adaptive
- Easy to clean filleting knife
- Combination of value and precision
- Birchwood handle
- Best fit for every kitchen and for people who fillet their own fish
- The pure leather sheath enhances user convenience
- The sharpness holds up for years
- Low maintenance knife and does not require special care
- Precision cut and extra sharpener adds to the convenience
- Versatile and multi-functional knife and extremely adaptable to a variety of requirement
- This is one of those few products which does not have a single 1-star. But there are a few customers who said that the sharpness dulls very quickly.
- Overall it’s good, only the grinding could have been more uniform.
2 – Zwilling J.A. Henckels 31073-183 Zwilling J.A Fillet Knife, 7 Inch
This is a high carbon stainless steel knife and is one of the best fillet knife you can find in the market. Its carbon stainless steel makes it rust resilient, corrosion or stain. Because its blade is forged from a full tang of stainless steel it is very strong and durable. It has razor sharpness because of its 15 degrees angled edge. Though it is a bit expensive comparatively but definitely a worth buy with respect to performance and durability.
- 57 Rockwell Hardness
- Sharpness Last Longer
- Extremely resilient
- Can last for a lifetime
- Forged from a single piece of solid steel
- Ergonomic handle
- Made from high carbon No Stain steel
- A nice solid handle which means germs or water cannot get in
- Ideal for trimming brisket and pork belly prior to smoking
- Its clean-cutting blade makes light work out of filleting fish
- It maneuvers well into the protein you are cutting
- It has a precision-honed blade
- It is a little stiffer than the average fillet knife
- Looks as if it is lower in quality in comparison to the other Henckels knives
- The blade flexes a lot more than other knives
3 – DALSTRONG Fillet Knife -6 Inch- Shogun Series
This awe-inspiring masterpiece design is carefully engineered for filleting, de-scaling, skinning, deboning and trimming everything from fish to your poultry. It is forged from a single ultra-premium piece of high carbon steel. Besides this, the cutting-edge breakthrough technology makes it very durable and stain-resistant. It is Nitrogen cooled for enhanced hardness and military-grade with life-long durability.
- Outstanding and award-winning craftsmanship
- 62+ Rockwell hardness
- 66 layers of Damascus cladding
- Absolute best materials
- Unbeatable Performance
- Triple riveted for extra resilience
- Full tang for excellent robustness
- The ultra-premium G-10 handle is resistant to heat, cold and moisture
- Hand polished ergonomic handle
- The shape of the handle is created for bigger hand control, agility and comfort
- The handle is too squared
- Round off edges would have made the handle a little more comfortable
- Comes with a really cheap looking abs plastic sheath
4 – Wusthof 4603 Boning Knife 6 Inch
Wusthof Classic 6 inch boning knife is immensely efficient in deboning chicken or ham. Not only is this but this forged boning knife is perfect for trimming fat and sinews. It has a tapered pointed blade that is excellent to use around joints for best results. Its flexible blade is very efficient at filleting even the most delicate fish.
- Triple-Riveted Design
- Blades are skillfully honed
- Laser tested to perfection
- Comfortable Grip
- Easily resharpened
- Polyoxymethylene handle with a traditional look
- Extra thin or soft slices which don’t stick to the blade
- The steel of this Wusthof Classic Knife is high carbon/stain resistant
- Ideal for deboning, filleting as well as trimming the fat
- It is forged from a single piece of specially tempered high carbon steel
- The logos wear off even with careful handwashing
- Not the best for holding an edge.
5 – Bubba 9 Inch Stiff Fillet Knife
When you buy Bubba knife you can rest assured that you are buying the best fillet knife created by a company that is industry-leading in a fishing knife. Bubba 9 inch stiff fillet knife is an add-on utility knife for the meat carvers. It is a multi-purpose knife with 2mm wide blade. It is full tang crafted and has little flex which makes it more controllable. The blade of the Bubba stiff fillet knife is non-stick and makes clean cuts through meat and fish.
- 15 inch overall length with 9 inch blade
- Rigid Blade Structure
- Non-Slip Grip Handle
- Non-Stick Thick Blade
- Stiff Rigid Structured Edge
- Synthetic Sheath for Fishing
- Ideal for detailed precision cutting
- Effortless maneuvering
- It has safety guards for protection from the blade and spines of fish
- The full-tang stainless steel provides strength, stability, and durability
- The blade design is excellent for graceful cut thru Medium to Large fish or meat
- It has Ti-Nitride coating, rust resistant blade which cuts through scales swiftly
- The grip can fell apart and can get sticky and nasty.
- You have to keep it in a drawer in your kitchen but if you plan to keep it on your boat then don’t buy it
6 – Global Cromova 6 ¼ inch Flexible Boning Knife
The versatility of the Global Cromova makes it the best boning knife around. It is an ideal knife for home cooks and professional chefs and its superb sleekness and sharpness is a sheer example of its excellent craftsmanship. From tip to handle it is crafted to perfection. If you are looking for the best boning knife that can give the European-style cutlery a run for money then Global Cromova 6 ¼ inch boning knife is what you need.
- Flexible Boning Knife
- Handle molded for Comfort
- Stainless-steel handle
- Dimpled for safe grip
- Easy to cut meat
- Ideal for chefs with small hands to grip the knife
- Its edge retains razor sharpness exceptionally well
- It has a thin and lightweight blade
- The blade is made from high-tech molybdenum/vanadium stainless steel.
- It has a long taper, instead of a short bevel
- It can retain its edge for much longer than the highest quality high-carbon stainless steel knife available.
- It is not the best ergonomically comfortable knife
- Dullness is an issue with it.
7 – Shun Cutlery Classic Boning and Fillet Knife
If you want to bring both style and function to your kitchen then look no further. Shun Cutlery Classic Boning and Fillet knife are made up of VG-Max super steel. The knife has rust-free Damascus look. It is clad with 34 layers of high carbon stainless steel on each side making it stronger, durable and highly efficient. Furthermore, it is easy to control and very safe to use because of its ergonomics qualities.
- Handcrafted Japanese Knife
- Ergonomic handle and full tang
- Offers close and easy cutting
- Superior performance
- Makes filleting fish a snap
- Lifetime manufacturer’s warranty
- Premium and durable knife
- Half bolster design let user sharpen the blade from the tip to the back edge
- Precise knife slices effortlessly to separate meat from the bone
- D-Shaped handle allows a secure grip for excellent control
- Provides professional results in any kitchen
- Damascus-clad blade
- Sometimes the knife’s tip snaps off.
8 – Kershaw Clearwater 9-In Fillet Knife
Kershaw is not just known for manufacturing fishing knives but it has a wide variety of knives ranging from sporting, professional, pocket and kitchen knives. Kershaw is a US based knife manufacturer that has grown multifold since its inception in the mid-seventies. Today it is the most respected, reliable and popular knife brand among collectors and professionals. The Kershaw Clearwater 9 inch fillet knife is one such extraordinary knife that strictly adheres to the reputation of the company.
- Sturdy fillet knife
- Non slip grip
- Superiorly resistant to corrosion
- Clean cuts with ease
- Cut thin and small slices
- Low cost
- This fillet knife is perfect in all departments be it sharpness, right amount of flex, size for a range of fish.
- Easily slice through the body of a fish for the ideal fillet every time
- Best for filleting larger fresh and salt-water fish alike
- Its softer blade steel is designed to bend without breaking
- The belt loop is made of inexpensive brittle plastic
9 – Wusthof Grand Prix II 7-Inch Fillet Knife
When looking for the best fillet knife to buy the aspects to consider are material, design, flexibility, handling, grip, knife size, blade size. It has everything which you are looking for in a fillet knife. It has a computerized cutting edge. Its 58 Rockwell hardness is enough to say about its sturdiness. It is made up of high carbon stainless steel and its blade is creatively designed to maintain balance and weight. It is very efficient at cutting veal chops to shell steak.
- Forged, not stamped
- Full tang construction
- Steel bolster
- Ergonomic design
- Slip-resistant handle
- 7 inch narrow blade
- Lifetime warranty
- Comes with a lifetime warranty
- The knife is very sharp and there is no need to constantly sharpen it.
- It has 14 degrees cutting edge on each side that reduces drag during slicing
- It is known for effortless and seamless cutting
- Its handle grip is one of the best – a poly pebble-grain texture slip-proof grip.
- It is overall good but its sheath is somewhat mediocre
10 – Dalstrong Fillet Knife – 7 inch Flexible Gladiator Series
It is an all-rounder fillet knife that is very efficient at deboning, skinning, filleting, butterflying, trimming. Made from German steel this knife is to stay in your kitchen for a long time. Its sharpness let you cut through any kind of meat with ease. It is very flexible and its ultra-maneuverable ability lets you finish the work in a quick time.
- Amazingly razor sharp
- High-carbon German steel
- Swift maneuvering
- Hand polished edge at 14-16 degrees per side
- Flexible blade technology
- 56+ Rockwell hardness
- Its blade shape lets easy maneuvering around bone and joints.
- It is very good at de-boning, skinning, filleting, butterflying and trimming.
- It has an award winning design with satiating heft
- Premium material is used in creating this high quality knife.
- The handle is triple-riveted with a grip for more comfort and easy maneuverability.
- It comes laminated and polished for a sanitary build.
- It is just perfect for busy kitchens and outdoors
- Dullness can only be the negative aspect of this knife
What’s the best handle or grip for a fillet knife?
Handle or grip plays a vital role in deciding which fillet knife is best. After all if the grip is not smooth it will make the knife uncontrollable and filleting is a kind of work that requires precision. So for a fillet knife the best handle or grip should have the following qualities:
- Ergonomic design to make work easy and comfortable.
- Hand rubbed baked birch handle
- The handle must keep hold even when wet.
- Both cutting power and control should be good in a handle.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Type of steel decides the durability and efficiency of a fillet knife. Both stainless steel and high carbon stainless steel is used in making some of the best fillet knife around the world but the later takes the cake in this regard. Fillet knife made from high carbon stainless steel is considered the best because it stays sharper for longer than stainless steel. Besides this, the high carbon stainless steel knife is harder and easy to sharpen. This is one of the reasons why professional cooks use carbon steel knives.
It is more a question of preference rather than compulsion. The size of the best fillet knife depends on the user and the size of fish for fillet. Generally, fillet knives are available in standard sizes of 4, 6, 7.5 and 9 inches. So if you want to fillet panfish then 6 inch blade would be appropriate but for fish like small trout, a 7.5 inch blade would do the work. For larger fish, 9 inch blade would be suitable. But if you want a specific answer then the all-rounder is 7.5 inch blade by which you can fillet small as well as large fish without the struggle.
Fillet knife and boning knife have different characteristics and approaches. Fillet knife is specifically used for removing skin and bones from meat especially fish while boning knife is used for removing bones from meat not specifically fish. Fillet knife is more flexible, thinner and ideal for precise cutting while boning knife is thicker than fillet knife and usually straight. A boning knife is sturdier than fillet knife as it is used for tougher meats like beef, pork, chicken or ham.
Keeping in mind the different characteristics of each of the fillet knives mentioned above it is no less than finding a needle in a haystack to choose the best. But considering factors like versatility, ease of use, flexibility, user rating, grip, cut, smoothness, craftsmanship, protection, sheath, design, sturdiness, non-stick quality the clear winner comes out to be Rapala Fish N Fillet knife. And to complete your knife assortment you also need one of the best Japanese kitchen knives.
David Clarke is one of the most active authors for KnivesExpert. He has been working as a professional chef for 8 years now. In his spare time he is always looking for new tastes which he can use in his restaurant. David is also a real knife enthousiast and he only wants to use the best of the best. The search for the best knife resulted in the start of Knivesexpert!