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The 5 Best Fillet Knives
Not all knives are created equal, so it can be difficult to find the best fillet knife to add to your tackle box, fishing pliers, and braided fishing line for your next fishing adventure. While the concept of these knives has been passed down through the generations, many things have changed over the years, and fillet knives are no longer built the same way. We have done the research to provide you with these fillet knife reviews & ratings to find the best fillet knife today.
In This Article
Best Choice: Victorinox 6-Inch Swiss Army Cutlery Fibrox Boning Knife
The Victorinox Swiss Army Cutlery Fibrox Pro Curved Boning Knife is the best fillet knife because it is built to last and comfortable to hold. It is also easy to clean and control.
Don’t be fooled by the reasonable price tag – the Victorinox Swiss Army Cutlery Fibrox Pro Curved Boning Knife is one of the best fillet knife options available. While the knife is available in a variety of blade types, the straight flexible blade is ideal for filleting fish and boning out the large game while camping. Larger and thicker blades can puncture the meat and not separate skin from the flesh. This top-rated knife will last a considerable amount of time if you keep up with the maintenance. This straight flexible blade delivers the ideal amount of flex to be used on fish or game with enough to be easily controlled and just enough stiffness for large pieces of meat.
The handle is comfortable to hold and easy to grip with approval from the National Sanitary Foundation (NSF), which ranks it as being easy to clean with minimal crevices for bacteria and germs to build up. With control being the most important trait of a manual knife, this option cannot be beaten. Overall, this is one of the best fillet knife products on the market that every camping enthusiast should bring with them on their next trip due to the versatility and durability of the product.
- Affordable compared to other fillet knives
- Comfortable to hold, easy to control, and easy to grip
- Versatile enough to be used on fish or game
- Must perform regular maintenance
Premium Pick: Rapala Lithium Ion Cordless Fillet Knife Combo
The Rapala Lithium Ion Cordless Fillet Knife Combo is the best fillet knife because it is electric, making the butchering process faster than a manual knife. It is lightweight and has a long battery life.
The Rapala Lithium Ion Cordless Fillet Knife Combo is one of the best fillet knife options in the premium category because the blade is versatile enough to handle most freshwater and saltwater fish to make fillets various sizes and thicknesses. When the battery is charged, you simply turn on the knife and guide it across the body to separate the flesh and skin. The knife is lightweight enough to maneuver and the handle design allows for a firm grip so slipping is at a minimum.
The knife is equipped with a motor featuring an airflow design to increase efficiency and decrease the sound during use. With a lithium-ion battery, the unit delivers consistent power with a battery that will last over countless uses. Despite the moto, the knife is comfortable to hold, fitting nicely in your hand, and extremely easy to use. According to the manufacturer, the knife takes up to two hours to be completely charged and a single charge will operate the tool for around 80 minutes. Electric fillet knives offer the benefit of adding speed to the butchering process.
- Faster butchering than a manual knife
- Firm grip on the handle
- Lightweight for easy control
- Long battery life compared to other electric fillet knives
- Versatile enough for freshwater and saltwater fish
- Takes around two hours to charge
Best Value: Mercer Culinary M23860 Millennia 8-Inch Narrow Fillet Knife
The Mercer Culinary M23860 Millennia 8-Inch Narrow Fillet Knife in Black is the best fillet knife because it is made with comfort and safety in mind, offering an ergonomic handle and multiple safety features.
The best fillet knife in the budget category is the Mercer Culinary M23860 Millennia 8-Inch Narrow Fillet Knife in Black, which is a steal. Featuring an ergonomic handle made from polypropylene for durability and santoprene for comfort, this fillet knife is ideal for the camper on a budget. The textured finger points deliver slip resistance, safety, and grip, which is critical when out in the wild, even when exposed to oily or slippery materials or animal byproducts. There is also a protective finger guard, which helps to ensure this product is safe for use.
The blade is comprised of high-quality Japanese steel for rapid sharpening and low maintenance while the high-carbon makes the knife stain resistant, a feature not found on every fillet knife. The blade was developed for precision, and it can cut through foods as soft as bread to as tough as meat in a precise and efficient manner. This knife is NSF-approved to guarantee the most sanitary materials are used with the least number of crevices to limit the amount of bacteria storage. Mercer offers a limited lifetime warranty on all their knives, so if there is an issue, the company may send you a new knife.
- Ergonomic handle to limit the amount of wrist tension during use
- Highest level of safety options available on a manual knife
- Made from high-quality materials to ensure durability
- Stain free even after immediate use, which limits bacteria
- Requires regular maintenance to remain sharp
Runner Up: KastKing 9-Inch Fillet Knife with Non-Slip Super Polymer Grip
The KastKing 9-Inch Fillet Knife with Non-Slip Super Polymer Grip is the best fillet knife because it includes a sheath for maintenance and safety. It has a dual-functionality feature and a non-slip handle.
The KastKing 9-Inch Fillet Knife with Non-Slip Super Polymer Grip may not be the best fillet knife on the market, but it is a solid choice for fresh and saltwater fish at a reasonable price. Despite the price, the KastKing meets the highest standards from tip to handle. The KastKing fillet knife is well-engineered and features a non-slip handle with oversized comfortable grips. The blade is razor-sharp with edge retention and constructed from high-quality G4116 German stainless steel. The knife does come with a sheath for sharpening, safety, and mobility, so you do not need to invest in a separate accessory.
The blade is strong and flexible with a backside featuring a serrated edge. Of the best fillet knife listings, this is the only knife with a dual-functionality feature. The serrated edge allows you to cut into the thicker game and tough meats. Also, the hole in the handle allows you to place it on a keyring or attach it to the loops in your jeans or onto a bag, which creates a level of safety from leaving the knife in an unsafe area within the reach of a child. While this unit doesn’t meet every category to be the best fillet knife, multiple features will not disappoint if you purchase this tool for your next camping trip.
- Edge retention
- Includes a knife sheath with slots
- Made from high-quality German stainless steel
- Non-slip polymer hand grip
- Versatile with a serrated edge on the back
- Cannot be used to cut through tough meat
Honorable Mention: Victorinox Cutlery 8-Inch Straight Fillet Fishing Knife, Flexible Black Fibrox Handle
The Victorinox Cutlery 8-Inch Straight Fillet Fishing Knife with Flexible Black Fibrox Handle is the best fillet knife because it has an ergonomic handle design. The blade is made from high carbon, stainless steel material.
Featuring a straight, flexible, and strong blade, the Victorinox Cutlery 8-Inch Straight Fillet Fishing Knife with Flexible Black Fibrox Handle is an honorable mention amongst the best fillet knife products on the market. Featuring a patented black handle, that is highly sanitary as approved by the NSF, and the knife is dishwasher safe (although knives should be washed by hand). With an ergonomic handle design to minimize wrist tension during use, the handle was created to be comfortable in all size hands and is slip-resistant even when exposed to grease, slime, blood or any other slippery byproduct.
This knife is versatile enough to remove the skin from fruit and debone a fish without a problem. The blade boasts a razor-sharp edge and the high carbon, stainless steel material is hand finished by craftsmen at the manufacturing plant in Switzerland. During production, a special tempering process is added to produce an edge, which can be regularly re-sharpened without decreasing functionality or durability. Each unit is stamped from a single metal sheet to ensure durability.
- Dishwasher safe
- Ergonomic handle to minimize wrist tension
- Handle approved by the NSF
- Slip-resistant handle
- Special tempering process for continuous re-sharpening
- Sheath sold separately
Features to Consider for the Best Fillet Knife
While using a knife is all about safety, that does not just mean cutting yourself or someone else. Safety extends into ergonomics, so the fillet knife must feature a comfortable and non-stress-inducing handle to minimize wrist tension, especially during regular use. Some of the best knives are dual-functional with different cutting edges for different purposes, much like the different colors of fishing line. The second most important feature (behind safety) is control. Manual knives offer a much higher level of control than electric, so it is important to find a product that is comfortable and flexible for different types of cuts.
The best fillet knife blade sizes range from 4 inches to 9 inches, with the smaller sizes used for smaller fish and larger sizes used for larger catches. In general, the middle-of-the-road knife size or having two sizes for catching and cooking different fish are the best options. The blade must have a protective edge property and be constructed from high-quality, durable stainless steel.
The best offerings even come with a sheath for safety and to sharpen the knife. Due to the nature of butchering, handles must have a non-slip grip and need to be NSF-certified to guarantee the highest levels of sanitation. Also, knives with a stain-free coating will keep the tool in tip-top condition and further repel bacteria from building up around the blade.
Benefits of Using Fillet Knives
Some of the best fillet knife products on the market offer advanced maneuverability and control that can butcher and skin a fish without losing much of the flesh. Much like how different fishing tackle can get you different results while fishing, the flexible blade in a fish fillet knife products will help you get the most protein from your catch while camping. Also, the best fillet knife will last for many years, even with continuous usage. Like most knives, the fillet knife must be maintained and sharpened to keep in good working order so the durability will last.
Furthermore, the best fillet knife will put safety into the design by adding protective characteristics like non-slip and comfortable handles, edge protection, and an available sheath for transportation. Also, a rust-resistant blade will ensure there are no contamination issues with the food. An electric version can help speed up butchering and is best used on larger fish. Although you lack the control of a manual knife, the speed makes it an excellent choice. Whether you prefer manual or electric, the best fillet knife in either category will fulfill your fishing, camping or hunting needs and can easily be transported out in the wilderness.
Precautions of Using Fillet Knives
Even when using the best fillet knife, there are many precautions you must take. Ensure the kitchen knife is regularly sharpened and maintained before use. A dull knife requires much more pressure to cut into the fish or meat so there is a higher chance of cutting yourself. Always dry your hands before using a knife, even if it features a non-slip grip. When using the best fillet knife, use a flat surface or cutting board and place a damp cloth under to prevent slippage. Since fillet knives are inherently sharp, always keep it in a sheath with the point down and cutting edge away from you.
When not in use, the knife should be stored securely with the blade down and kept out of reach of children. Never use a fillet knife to cut anything other than its intended purpose: fish or game. This can easily lead to mishaps and injuries. While many of the best fillet knife products are dishwasher safe, it is always best to hand wash knives after use and never drop them into dishwater in the sink. Remember, if the knife is sharp enough to cut through animal hide and flesh, then it can easily slice through human flesh.
Choosing the right knife for the job while camping can be a difficult task. However, using the best fillet knife will not leave you disappointed, as the tool is versatile enough to be used on almost all types of fish and many types of game. Of the numerous products on the market, the best fillet knife is the Victorinox Swiss Army Cutlery Fibrox Pro Curved Boning Knife. When compared to the competition, this knife is extremely affordable but also offers high-quality material and a high level of safety. The knife is comfortable to hold, easy to grip, and incredibly easy to use, giving you the highest level of control during the butchering process.
Now that you know which fillet knives are worth your hard-earned money, you can grab your fishing rod and get out on the lake! Happy fishing!