Best Fillet Knife A Great Selection For Fish Prep! (Top Picks 2018)
The fillet knife is not as popular as it once was, mainly because most of the fish we buy from our local store comes pre-packaged and already filleted. However, the lack of popularity with the fillet knife doesn’t mean that it isn’t still an essential kitchen knife that a well-stocked home kitchen shouldn't be without.
The best fillet knife can be used for more than just filleting fish, for example, if you don’t own a boning knife the fish filleting knife can double up to remove bones from raw poultry, and meat with ease. And vice versa, a good boning knife can also be used as a fish filleting knife. Ideally, you should have at least one of these knives in your collection, but if you don’t, I recommend that you purchase one to make sure you can fillet fish, meat or poultry when the time arises.
Like all the best knives for your kitchen the actual fillet knife quality varies from brand to brand, and in reality not all fish are filleted, so some knives are best for filleting while others are best for cut fish into steaks. So it's best to shop around or at the very least read some fillet knife reviews to help give you a better understanding of the right knife for your needs.
J. A Henckels
What to Look for When Buying a Fillet Knife
Before you run out to purchase a fillet knife let’s take a quick look at some of the traits that make this type of knife great. Below I have covered four specific characteristics that you’ll want to evaluate when choosing a fillet knife.
The Blade Must be Flexible
The blade on any fish fillet knife has to be extremely flexible so that it can quickly move along the backbone of the fish and under the skin.
Must Have a Non-Slip Handle
This is a no-brainer but something that can also be overlooked when buying a fillet knife. The handle on the fillet knife has to offer adequate grip, remember you'll be working with wet slippery fish so if your knife offers poor grip look for a better option.
When looking for the best fillet knife try and find a blade that's been constructed from stainless steel. If you have more money to spend, look for a high-carbon steel blade, something like a VG-10 such as the Shun fillet knife below.
Your typical fillet knife is about 5 to 6 inches (15cm – 28cm) in length. I recommend buying at least a 6-inch fillet knife, any smaller than that and you'll struggle to fillet larger fish.
Best Fillet Knife to Purchase (Top Picks 2018)
I couldn’t begin to guess how many fish I’ve cleaned over the years and how many knives I’ve used to get the job done. Below I have put some of the best fillet knives through their paces and have listed a selection which performed well and came out on top in my fish filleting tests.
Wusthof Fillet Knife
When it comes to the great kitchen knives, Wusthof are known to manufacture some of the best, and their filleting and boning knife doesn’t disappoint. The Wusthof Classic 7-inch fillet knife can be used for filleting fish, game or even meat. It's been precision-forged from high-carbon steel which offers superior strength combined with a stain-resistant alloy.
The blade on this Wusthof fillet knife is extremely sharp from the get-go mainly due to the precision angle and the high-quality steel used. The handle is made from a synthetic material that mirrors a classic traditional style with the three rivet design. The seamless construction of the handle also aids with easy cleaning, ensuring that you have a clean and hygienic knife with each use.
The included leather sheath is a nice addition making this fillet knife an excellent option for taking on a fishing trip or even out hunting game.
Global Fish Fillet Knife
Just like the German Wusthof kitchen knives, Global knives are a popular knife manufacturing brand coming out of Japan. Global knives have become a favorite amongst professional chefs since they burst onto the world’s culinary stage as an alternative to traditional European-style kitchen knives.
A Global fillet knife is a perfect option for those of you who have a larger budget and are looking for the best fillet knife for the money. The blade has been crafted from high-quality and hard molybdenum, vanadium stainless steel,; simply put, it's built to last.
What makes Global knives stand out from western kitchen knives is that their edges have been ground to a more acute angle giving them a razor-sharp edge that truly lasts. When it comes to fillet knives, this is a great buy that will last a lifetime, and if you are an avid fisherman, this fillet knife is a must-have.
Shun Boning and Filleting Knife
I couldn’t mention global and Wusthof knives and leave out Shun. This Shun filleting knife was one of the best fillet knives I used from the selection in the tests. Sure the price tag might be too high for most home cooks and even professional chefs for that matter, but you do get a good quality knife that will last a lifetime.
The Shun fillet knife features a curved Damascus style blade that makes it perfect for preparing not only fish but meat and poultry too. The 6-inch Damascus blade has been painstakingly crafted with 33 layers of stainless steel with a core that consists of high-carbon VG-10 Japanese super steel which will hold a razor sharp edge for years without the need for a knife sharpener. A great fillet knife if you can afford it!
Victorinox Boning and Fillet Knife
For those of you who want the best fillet knife at a great price look no further than the Victorinox fillet knife. Victorinox kitchen knives are a favorite with culinary students and professional chefs, and they offer premium knives at decent prices. Victorinox is actually the same name behind the famous Swiss Army Knife, so you know you are getting quality.
Unlike the other knives above which have been hand-forged the Victorinox fillet knife is a stamped blade. Don’t worry this is not an issue, it's just a cheaper way of manufacturing kitchen knives, and probably most of the knives in your home kitchen have been made in this same way.
The Victorinox boning and fillet knife comes with a 6-Inch flexible blade that's coupled with a textured, slip resistant, ergonomically designed handle that offers excellent balance and comfort. This is the best fillet knife if you are on a tight budget.
J. A Henckels Fillet Knife
J. A Henckels manufacture kitchen knives on par and with the same quality as Wusthof knives, and when it comes to fillet knives, both are very similar in quality, price, and construction.
The J. A Henckels fillet knife comes with a slightly smaller 5.5-inch blade that has been forged from high-quality stainless steel. The flexible 5.5-inch blade makes light work of any fish it takes on and easily bends around big bones, joints and is also a good knife for working with meats and poultry.
Just like the Wusthof fillet knife, the handle features the classic full-tang three rivet design offering excellent balance and grip, even with the wettest of hands.
Dexter-Russell Fillet Knives
The last knife in our fillet knife selection is the Dexter-Russell. This is also a great fillet knife for anyone on a smaller budget, not quite as good as the Victorinox fillet knife but close. The Dexter-Russell fillet knife is a favorite amount professional fishmongers and commercial fish houses, so if it’s good enough for them, it must good enough for your kitchen right?
It features an 8-inch blade making the perfect choice for those of you that regularly fillet larger fish. The handle comes with an easy-to-hold Grip-Tex handle which is sealed and molded to the blade which is perfect for sanitization and for keeping the bacteria at bay. If you cannot afford the Victorinox fillet knife, this is the next best. Great value!