Looking for the best fillet knifes on a budget? Look no further.
Caught a nice fish? Want to enjoy a fresh meal? Filleting a fish may seem like a daunting task at first, but having the right tool for the job will make all the difference. Check out this list with the best fillet knives out there.
- Razor Sharp Stainless Blades
- Non-Slip Super Polymer Grip
- The Right Knife For The Job – Easily prepare both chunk and cut plug style baits
- Perfect for steaking big game fish like salmon, tuna and more
- Includes Protective Knife Sheath
- Each Fish ‘n Fillet features a full-tang Swedish stainless steel blade with the classic Rapala reinforced birch varnished handle.
- The genuine leather sheath and single-stage sharpener seal the deal
- making it the “go-to” fillet knife in the fishing world.
3 – Cuda Titanium Non-Stick Professional Fillet Knife with Sheath
- Available in 6″ and 9″ blade sizes
- Titanium non-slip blade
- Crafted of USA 40A stainless carpenter steel
- Strong and durable
- Just the right amount of flex for filleting
- Super-sharp, rust-resistant, and fully tanged
- Compressed, cold-molded Micarta handle
- Includes custom hard molded sheath
- Manufacturer’s lifetime warranty
- Ergonomic handle – a combination of Santoprene for comfort and polypropylene for durability
- Textured finger points provide slip resistance, grip, and safety
- Protective finger guard
- The highest quality Japanese steel allows for easy blade maintenance and rapid sharpening for a razor-sharp edge
- One-piece high-carbon, stain-free Japanese steel
- Limited lifetime warranty
5 – Bass Pro Shops XPS Professional-Grade Fillet Knife
Sharp blade with an ergonomic handle.
- Extremely tough, durable premium knife
- Precision curved blade with perfect flex
- Crafted from quality 4118 German stainless steel
- Rockwell Hardness rating: 56-58
- Chemically-bonded Armor-X corrosion-resistant coating
- 3-piece injection-molded TPR handle designed for maximum leverage, comfort, and safety
6 – Kershaw Clearwater 9-In Fillet Knife with High-Performance Stainless Steel Blade
The blade offers the perfect amount of flex and length to fillet most fishes while the handle feels great and secure.
- 9” fixed blade made of 420J2 stainless steel is resistant to corrosion and includes an ABS sheath with belt holster for safe storage
- Soft textured, co-polymer rubber grip for a comfortable in-hand feel that won’t slip and neon-green accents for identifying in a marine environment
- Excellent knife for filleting larger fresh and salt-water fish alike, including tilapia, salmon, snapper, tuna, snapper, carp, eel, bass, catfish and cod
- Keep handy in boats, tackle boxes, trucks, backpacks, on belts or in the kitchen
- Softer blade steel is designed to bend without breaking, easily slicing through the body of a fish for the ideal fillet every time
7 – CUDA 9″ Titanium Bonded Flex Fillet Knife
Great product for cleaning large fish.
- Strong flexible blade provides precision and control to fillet
- Titanium-bonded 4116 German stainless steel blade offers excellent corrosion resistance and edge retention
- Full tang molded handle with Cuda scale non-slip pattern provides grip in wet or slimy conditions
- Available rigid plastic sheath with reversible belt loops for storing and protecting the blade (sold separately)
- Lifetime Warranty
- Stainless steel fillet knife with patterned, high-friction handle; available in 3.5-inch or 6.1-inch blade lengths
- 6.1-inch blade is versatile enough for most sizes of fish; slotted plastic sheath is easy to clean and includes two belt clips: belt-loop or clip-on
- Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel is known for its razor sharpness, high hardness, exceptional toughness, and excellent corrosion resistance
- High-friction handle allows users to maintain grip when cleaning fish; does not absorb odors
- Blade thickness: 0.07 inches (1.9 mm); blade length: 6.1 inches (155 mm), total length: 10.6 inches (270 mm), net weight: 3.5 oz. (99g)
9 – RAPALA 4″ Soft Grip Fillet Knife W/Sharpener
- Soft, non-slip grip for comfort and safety
- “Double-taper” blade design offers strength and directional stability
- Enlarged finger guard provides added safety
- Choice of 4″, 5″, 7″ or 9″ blade length
- Sheath with belt loop included
- Sharpener included
10 – Bass Pro Shops Karluk 8” Fillet Knife
High-carbon 420 stainless steel blade achieves a rating of 50 on the Rockwell Harness scale, while resisting corrosion and maintaining outstanding durability and flexibility.
- Soft grip handle
- Quality leather sheath
Bonus – Electric Fillet Knives
1 – Mister Twister Lures Piranha Saltwater Electric Fillet Knife
- MISTER TWISTER LURES Piranha Saltwater Electric Fillet Knife features an increased cutting surface which creates less drag and provides smooth even cutting.
- Durable, expandable, curly power cord. More power, more torque and more speed.
2 – Rapala Lithium-Ion Cordless Fillet Knife Combo
- Clean your catch quickly and efficiently
- 80 minutes of continuous full power
- Holds full speed and torque throughout the charge
- 2 blade sizes cover a wide range of species
- Comfortable, easy-to-grip handle
- Air-cooled motor runs smooth and cool
- 6″ and 7-1/2″ reciprocating blades
- 2 rechargeable lithium-ion batteries
- 110V wall charger
- EVA-padded storage/travel case
3 – Rapala Lithium-Ion Cordless Fillet Knife Combo
Fillet your catch wherever you are with the Rapala® Electric Travel Fillet Knife. Quiet yet powerful motor with an advanced air flow design to make quick work of any filleting task. Simply plug into any wall outlet, connect to trolling motor battery posts or boat lighter outlet for filleting in the field. The fillet set includes adaptors for 10V AC, 12V post clips, 12V lighter plug, 18′ power cord and 6″ and 7-1/2″ reciprocating blades which all neatly fit into the compact travel cases.
- Quiet, advanced airflow motor
- Relaxed grip body
- Interchangeable 6″ and 7-1/2″ blades
- AC/DC operation
- Fits in compact travel case
Fillet knife buying guide: How to choose a fillet knife
Caught a nice fish? Nothing better for an angler than fresh fish after a day on the water.
Choosing a fillet knife may seem complicated, but its nothing compared to actually filleting some fish the first time. Most fillet knives have somewhat of a standard look, shape and length, so what is the difference between a good and a bad knife?
The truth is, you can “fillet” a fish with any knife, but having the right knife will make your life easier, let you waste less to no meat and will help you not to injure yourself.
What’s the difference between a regular knife and a fillet knife?
There are a few key differences:
- The shape
- The flexibility
- The grip
The first thing you’ll notice when comparing a fillet knife and a regular knife is the shape. Fillet knifes tend to be narrower, with a thin, longer curved tip.
Simply put, the thinner a knife’s blade is (normally), the more flexible it will be. You’ll want a flexible knife because it will help you get cut and slice much easier. Longer knives tend to be less flexible, while shorter knifes are usually more flexible, this is because the more metal there is on a blade, the less flexible it will be, and a longer knife is usually better a little more rigid, while more flexibility is wanted on a shorter knife, which helps filleting shorter fish.
The grip on a fillet knife is extremely important. Something that fits your hand, not too big or too small, something comfortable and not slippery is wanted. This will help you when water, blood and fish slime are all over your hands. You want to feel secure, that your hand is not gonna slip. You do not want to be cut with a fillet knife.
Some fishermen prefer the classic look of wooden handles. While certainly functional, wood can get very slippery when wet, which is certainly dangerous and can lead to bad cuts. Wood also tends to soak up fish smells.
Plastic and Rubber are both excellent alternatives. While both don’t hold smells and are easier to clean, plastic is the best of the two for cleaning, while rubber offers a much more efficient, comfortable grip.
Some knives also offer recessed finger grips. These are not a necessity. While they may work great, you’ll have to make sure to try the knife in person before buying to have the correct size fit.
What size fillet knife should I get?
That highly depends on what size fish you’re gonna clean / skin. Bigger fish, bigger blade, smaller fish, smaller blade. Fillet knife blades range anywhere from 4″ to 9″ usually, with standard sizes being 4″, 6″, 7.5″ and 9″.
Is there a one size-fits-all for blade length?
Yes and no. Like we said before, any size knife will work, but having the right tool for the job makes all the difference. If your primary target is Bass or Trout (yes you can eat bass!), you’ll probably gonna look for a 7.5″ blade. If you’re going for pan fish, the likes of bluegill, crappie, perch, sunfish, pumpkinseed, etc, a 6″ should be best. Bigger fish such as Salmon or Pike would be better suited for something close to a 9″ blade. If you’re only gonna have one knife, go for a 7″, 7.5″. This gives you some flexibility, but no too much, so it’ll work with smaller and bigger fish.
The material for a fillet knife
Stainless steel is the standard metal. There are plenty of different alloys available, but anything in stainless should be great as it is highly corrosive resistant. It will rust, unlike what most people think, but it usually takes a very long time, unless contaminated with other ferrous, rust-prone metals.
Why are the blades of fillet knives plain?
The plain edge on a knife is much better for push cut. Superior control, accuracy, and clean cuts no matter the type of cut or slice needed.
A serrated edge works better for slicing cuts, harder surfaces, bones. Much less control and precision, which is why it is not a choice for fillet knives.
A knife sheath is really only necessary when on the go. On a boat, camping or when fishing from shore, it is handy to have a spot when you can keep your knife easily accessible and more importantly, a safer place to keep you from getting injured. When at home, you can just put the knife away in your kitchen.
Any knife will eventually get dull. A sharpener is a must have. You don’t have to be rough, a few light swipes before every use, or after, and you’ll keep your blade sharp for when its needed. Here’s a helpful guide.
Are electric fillet knives any good
Very much so. If your’re filleting fish occasionally, these are more of a luxury, but if you clean fish everyday, an electric fillet knife might be the perfect pick. These will make the amount of effort in filleting a fish be reduced significantly.
What fish can I fillet?
Not all fish, but certainly many, many fish. Some of the most common are Trout, Striped Bass, Sunfish, Tuna, Dorado, Salmon, Cod, Pike, Catfish, Sturgeon, Mackerel, Tilapia, Crappie, Flounder, Grouper, Carp, Halibut and many, many more. No matter what fish you catch, making sure you have the right gear will save you lots of headaches, and maybe a stitch or two.