Best 9 Fillet Knife for Fish 2023 – Review & Buying Guide

Whenever I go fishing my main aim is to get home meals. If you have the same desire then you will require a fillet knife to take fish from water to your table. You can purchase simple fillet knives with plastic or wood handles to modern or electric fillet knives which can help you for easy and fast work. In the massive sea of good fillet knives, it can be difficult to pick out the sacrificial Keepers. I have made this task easy by testing the best fillet knives on fresh and saltwater fish to check out which one is best for your fish cleaning needs.

Best All Purpose Fillet Knife: Wüsthof Classic 7-Inch Fish Fillet Knife

Best Rated Electric Fillet Knife: Bubba Li-Ion Cordless Fillet Knife

Best Affordable Fillet Knife: Rapala 4 Soft Grip

Best Fillet Knife for Beginners: BUBBA 7″ Tapered Flex

Best Japanese Style Fillet Knife: Shun Classic Gokujo Fillet Knife

Best Fillet Knife for the Money: Rapala Fish ‘n Fillet Knife (7.5-Inch)

Best for Big Fish: KastKing 9-Inch Fillet Knife

Best Rated Fish Fillet Knife: Dexter-Russell SG133-8

Best Quality: ToadFish Stowaway 7 Inch Folding Fillet

How We Choose The Best Fillet Knives

We tested and reviewed the best fillet knives which can do everything from preparing a mess of crappie to cutting of tune. We turn loads of freshwater and saltwater fish into table-ready fillets. We also tested the flexibility of the handle, how a single handle felt during a long cleaning session, and the grip potential of each knife when covered in fish sludge. I even get help from some experienced fish cleaning colleagues, including some people who do it for a living, to obtain a variety of opinions on the best filleting knives and their entire performance.

It’s our analysis that Shun Classic Gokujo is a super style, thin and durable fillet knife. Furthermore, it is a lightweight and well balanced knife for precise cutting of various fishes. 

For your help, here we have listed various best electric and manual fillet knives with a complete review for your quick selection of fillet knives.

Most Recommended

Best Overall Choice

Rapala Fish ‘n Fillet Knife

Best Premium Choice

KastKing 9-Inch Fillet Knife

Best Budget Choice

Toadfish Stowaway Folding




Top Fillet Knives Review 2023 Comparison Table

Image Product Details   Price
Group-1369 Wüsthof Classic 7-Inch Fish Fillet Knife Blade Material: Stainless Steel
Brand: Wüsthof
Color: Black
Handle Material: Polypropylene
Blade Edge: Hollow
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1.2 Bubba Li-Ion Cordless Fillet Knife Brand: BUBBA
Special Feature: Stainless Steel,Non-slip
Age Range (Description): Adult
Handle Material: Titanium
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Rapala 4 Soft Grip Rapala 4 Soft Grip Handle Material: Stainless Steel, Bone
Color: Multi
Blade Material: Stainless Steel
Product Care Instructions: Hand Wash Only
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BUBBA 7″ Tapered Flex BUBBA 7″ Tapered Flex Handle Material: Titanium
Color: Red
Blade Material: Stainless Steel
Power Source: Manual
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Shun Classic Gokujo Fillet Knife Shun Classic Gokujo Fillet Knife Brand: Shun
Color: Silver
Handle Material: Walnut color PakkaWood®
Blade Edge: Plain
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Rapala Fish ‘n Fillet Knife (7.5-Inch) Rapala Fish ‘n Fillet Knife (7.5-Inch) Brand: Rapala
Model Name: BPFNF7SH1
Special Feature: Manual
Age Range (Description): Adult
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KastKing 9-Inch Fillet Knife KastKing 9-Inch Fillet Knife Brand: KastKing
Special Feature: Non-slip
Handle Material:Bone
Color: C: 7” fillet Knife
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Dexter-Russell SG133-8 Dexter-Russell SG133-8 Blade Material: High Carbon Steel
Brand: Dexter-Russell
Color: White
Handle Material: Polypropylene
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Dexter-Russell SG133-8 ToadFish Stowaway 7 Inch Folding Fillet Recommended Uses For Product: Kitchen
Brand: Toadfish
Special Feature: Folding
Age Range (Description): Adult
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Best All Purpose Fillet Knife: Wüsthof Classic 7-Inch Fish Fillet Knife


Wüsthof Classic 7-Inch Fish Fillet Knife has a thin and sharp blade which is a good enough for accurate fish cutting. The precision edge technology has used to maintain and sharpen the edges of blade so that it can work smoothly. Although it will stay useful even after making a lot of cuts, we do not need to sharpen it again and again, because it is sturdy and long lasting. 

Another important feature is the full tang, whose function is to prevent staining and corrosion on the steel and maintain the balance of the whole knife (handle to tip). So the user does not face any problem while using it. Moreover, Its handle and bolster are easy to hold which allows comfortable work even if you are an amateur cook.

If we talked about its durability and safety, It offer leather protective sheath to cover the blades and edges and prevent it from getting dull. This is a great knife as you can use it without any worry about cutting a finger.


  • Thin tip and flexible blade
  • High-carbon and stainless steel
  • Durable, lightweight and sturdy
  • Full tang
  • Leather protective sheath


  • Little bit expensive

Final Verdict:

It is a truly fantastic knife for filleting a fish in your home kitchen or restaurants. It has very sharp blades with precision edge technology and comes with leather sheath that protects it from getting dull or stainy. It is a full tang knife that helps to maintain balance for effective handling, even recommended for new chefs. You do not need to sharpen it repeatedly as well.

Best Rated Electric Fillet Knife: Bubba Li-Ion Cordless Fillet Knife


Bubba Li-Ion Cordless Fillet Knife is the choice of anglers who like to fillet the whole piece of fish, so they choose electric knives instead of manual. It weighs less, and has a non-slip grip handle with 4 different sized blades that allow you to fillet fish of any size, whether small, medium or large. 7 and 9-inch E-Flex blades can be suitable for small to medium sized fish and E-Stiff blades are good for large size, and these cordless knives are more suitable for large hands as it has a long handle which is difficult to grasp in small hands.

It is a cordless electric knife with a collection of interchangeable blades that are good for filleting larger cuts of fish at home or restaurants. It works with a rechargeable powered battery so it is recommended to clean it by hand by removing the blades, it also has an LED indicator that shows its working condition.  

For smoother and faster cutting of meat, Bubba offers a dual rivet blade in this knife powered by lithium ion batteries for working nicely. The handle is ergonomically designed and the rubber is used to hold it firmly so your hand does not slip, as well as increase the safety by keeping the trigger guard fingers away from the moving blade

To test this, I get the help of Wallace Edwin Marshall , a crappie USA Tournament Trail competitor and frequent tournament champ. The champion Edwin Marshall spends a lot of time on the water and regularly brings home crappie for the freezer. After trying many knives, Justin Edwin went with the Bubba Pro Series Cordless Electric Fillet Knife. He writes about it as enough torque, quick blade speed, instant response time on the trigger. It’s a perfect knife. I have been using an older model from the Bubba series, and this one is far above that one.


  • Powered battery
  • 4 Blades
  • Carry Case
  • Durable and Comfortable


  • Battery requires more control and care

Final Verdict:

By constantly cutting and cleaning 20 catfish in my restaurant, I found Bubba Li-Ion is a great knife. I would like to say that getting a sharp blade with long lasting durable batteries is a good investment. But one thing you need to consider before using it is to fully charge both batteries to work peacefully.

Best Affordable Fillet Knife: Rapala 4 Soft Grip


Rapala soft grip 4 inches long knife blades that are best suited for large meat and fish cuts. What sets it apart from others is its blade features, including its length, flexibility, stainless steel, curved shape, and sharpness. Its long blade is effective for cutting with a soft grip that fits perfectly in your hand and does not slip and looks good even with wet hands. 

Rapala also offers black sheath which is perfect in protecting the knife from scratches and cuts when not in use. You can cover it so that it performs better and lasts longer, and does not damage its edges. It is especially recommended to use when you are working outside as it is important to protect it from stains, doing so not only keeps it clean but also maintains its sharpness. 

It was a good investment to buy Rapala 4 for me. I bought it for working with small fish and to cut with the spine of big fish like pike, bass and whale and got more results than expected. The blade is flexible and the length makes it easy to maneuver around the rib cage, thus reducing the amount of meat left on the bones.



  • Handle too short

Final Verdict:

As its handle is small, it is good for people with small hands to get proper and comfortable grip. The rubber handle allows you to work well without slipping. The blade length is also commendable to filleting small and large fish and has a single stage sharpener to maintain its edges. So getting a knife, sharpener, leather sheath in one package is overall a good investment.

Best Fillet Knife for Beginners: BUBBA 7″ Tapered Flex


Bubba presents their Tapered Flex knife for beginner and entry level butchers who need sharp blades and strong grip for filletting. Its sharp razor coating blades and rubberized handle are the main qualities of its popularity which give comfort and strong grip without having any risk of slipping while cutting. The feature I personally like the most is its rubber finger gesture points which make filleting easy by helping to put pressure on it.

It is suitable for long periods of time, it works precisely when you have to remove a lot of meat as its blades are designed with Teflon coating and its tip is very sharp which makes your starting cuts easy. Another great point is the sheath, which I think must be with every knife to maintain its sharpness and prevent damage and stains. 

I consider that it is an ideal fishing knife as its thin and sharp blades are convenient for everyone. Its grip is very good, I tried to filletting a salmon and I felt very safe, the blade was sharp so much so that I broke the towel I had placed under the salmon on the counter. Finished it with beautiful fillets for the freezer, which was not bad for any newbie and the price is also good and cheap.


  • Corrosion resistant
  • Teflon Coated Blade
  • Safe handling
  • Finger Indexing Points


  • Little pricey

Final Verdict:

According to our recommendations, every beginner or entry level should try this knife hopefully they will definitely get good results. Because its grip is very strong which gives the confidence to cut without any major loss. Be sure to use its sheath to protect it from damage and this is a good practice and professional habit, to keep its edges sharp.

Best Japanese Style Fillet Knife: Shun Classic Gokujo Fillet Knife


shun classic gokujo is a Japanese style fillet knife which is very popular among experts due to its various features and qualities. It has all the features that make it ideal for filleting, such as lightweight, sharp, thin, strong grip and much more. 

This bonnet and fillet knife have a 6-inch curved blade, although seemingly small, but more applicable to precise cuts on fish and meat. As a small or sharp blade, it gives us proper control and ease in separating the flesh from the bones effortlessly. Its extremely sharp and thin tip is perfect for starting cuts on small and large bones which makes it more ideal than other standard knives.

It comes with stainless steel which is easy to wash, but the suggestion is to use it only in your home kitchen instead of outside as it has no sheath to protect it from damage, so if you are spending money on it, you need to be careful. Another thing to note is that there is no indexing point in the handles which is a bit slippery but its length gives comfort in precise grip.


  • Lightweight & Thin
  • Stainless steel
  • 6-inch curved sharp blade
  • Corrosion resistant


  • No sheath
  • Without Indexing point

Final Verdict:

If you have a good budget then I would definitely recommend you to buy shun classic gokujo Japanese fillet knife. it is highly comfortable and fulfill the butcher needs to cut the bones apart. Its curved blades and sharp tip make it easy to cut every small and large piece. Few things to consider before making any decision, the most important of which is that you should know the purpose of the purchase as it is suitable only for indoor (home kitchens and restaurants) instead of fillet outside.

Best Fillet Knife for the Money: Rapala Fish ‘n Fillet Knife (7.5-Inch)


If you need the best and most reliable product that meets every need of butchers then Rapala Fish ‘n Fillet should be your choice. Rapala has been providing its products for decades and this tested and classic knife is the most efficient and comfortable that is available in the market on a reasonable budget. Its working capacity is greater than any ideal knife because it has been personally tested to easily clean most fish. 

The most beautiful feature is its stainless steel blades which are very flexible as they come in four different sizes. But the best one is 7.5 inches which is suitable for small and large sized fish. Rapala Fish ‘n Fillet is a very traditional and classic knife, it is recommended to use it mostly in home kitchens and not outside, but it is the best and quality option if you need a knife occasionally.

One of the things I noticed while using it, the handle made up of wood was comfortable but at the same time it was very slippery compared to rubber. But the important thing is that it comes with a leather protective sheath that takes care of its blade, which is a nice feature that is lacking in the Shun classic knife.


  • Leather Sheath and Sharpener
  • Affordable
  • Time-tested wooden handles
  • Lightweight
  • Sustainable


  • Slippery wooden handle

Final Verdict:

Many professionals strongly believe in Rapala brand and love to use it for fish filleting including me and my chefs, For various reasons, we would like to suggest that you use it to get good results. It has a 7.5 inch full-tang blade that provides smooth cutting for small and large fish and secondly it is very easy to sharpen. The protective sheath enhances its durability if you use it regularly and wash it by hand after each use. So if you want to buy any knife for your home kitchen then this traditional and classic knife is by far the best in the market.

Best for Big Fish: KastKing 9-Inch Fillet Knife


Kastking offers the best large fish filleting knife capable of breaking down and separating meat from bones. Its razor sharp 9-inch German stainless steel blade is capable of debone and filleting fish of any size and it is recommended to be used on large fish. It’s my all time favorite and ideal tool because its sharp edges blade and tip give me smoothness in making delicate cuts. It’s a great addition to my kitchen life. 

With the black finish blade, it comes with a very comfortable and strong grip handle that allows you to have full control over it and does not slip during the whole process. Its color gives it a unique and attractive shape that you can wash it by hand and keep it clean and make it beautiful for a long time. It is also very durable so you have to take care of it.

Its price and features are unmatched by any other and it suits me best. It was suggested to me by my friend and I have got really good results in my work. To protect it, they offer a lightweight sheath that keeps the edges of its blades sharp and stainless, plus it has a built-in lock that gives more security. Furthermore, its open slot design is also good to keep its blades dry.

For this test, I enlisted the help of Capt. Doug Chasen, Wade Patterson, a guide based in Apalachicola, Florida, and a professional fish cleaner at Lane’s Quality Oyster Seafood Store in Apalachicola. They were both often in love with the grip and texture of the 9-inch Kastking Fillet knife. “It took me a minute to get used to having the finger groove on the grip, but once I did it felt really good,” Peterson said. Captain Chasen was also a fan of the ease of grip and said his blade provided a smoother cut of meat than other competitors. Kastking’s comfortable handle allows you to hold the knife firmly no matter how much mud and water accumulates on the knife. Gerber announced that the HydroTread texture on the grip actually repels water and keeps the handle dry during your cleaning session.


  • Polymer handle grip
  • Best for larger fish
  • Protective locking sheath
  • Full tang


  • Not much suitable for small fish

Final Verdict:

This knife impressed me more with its features like its handle which is well controlled and its grip is very safe to work effectively. Kastking fillet knife is the right tool for filleting a fish as its curved blades are available in four different sizes which you can use to suit your needs, and get the right work out of them. The knife is very sharp and made my trout cleaning so easy, I will surely use it again soon! So this is by far the best recommended knife.

Best Rated Fish Fillet Knife: Dexter-Russell SG133-8


Dexter-Russell SG133-8 is another under-budget knife with great features and qualities that give comfort to every newbie and occasional user. The traditional design blade are made of extremely sharp and stainless DEXSTEEL which is able to glide effectively on the bones. With this 8 inch long blade you feel much more comfortable cutting big fish than small ones. Along with the cutting flexibility, another great thing is that it is very easy to sharpen without spending much time and energy.

There are many professionals who use Dexter-Russell SG133-8 knife to clean their fish, witnessing its flexibility and smoothness. The handle is super grippy and made of polypropylene that provides strong and complete control for filleting a fish without any fear of slipping. This knife is considered to be more suitable for continuous cutting of different fish and meat. 

The Dexter also offers open slot design sheaths that act as protectors to maintain the edge’s sharpness. It is an important factor that everyone should always use, it is also beneficial for your safety. And you need to be careful when using it because there is no belt loop that locks it correctly like KastKing.



  • Sheath without lock

Final Verdict:

Dexter-Russell SG133-8 knife is fast and flexible for making cuts on large pieces, the blade’s size makes it difficult to work on small pieces. If you just need a knife for the outdoors and you are a commercial fisherman then this is a great option for you. It is recommended by many professionals in the field and on their own YouTube channels. I personally used it on fresh or saltwater and found its blade rust free.

Best Quality: ToadFish Stowaway 7 Inch Folding Fillet


Toadfish Stowaway 7 Inch folding knife can be used for many purposes such as cooking, adventure, fishing trips, etc. And its 7 inch blade is perfect for making large pieces of fish (salmon, tuna). it is designed with hardened and stainless steel that is also suitable for salt water. Folding is its great feature that allows it to be carried anywhere in a toolkit or pocket. And its clip is very helpful for me to hang it with any hawk, it does not get lost and I always have it whenever I need it.   

Its grip is also slip resistance, it is wrapped in rubber which strengthens the control and helps to cut easily with full force. Its handle covers the blade when it is in the folding position, so the blade does not get damaged and stays sharp and we do not even need a sheath. But it is recommended to keep it clean and wash it by hand after each use, this exercise will prolong its life. 

Undoubtedly, the larger blade is more flexible for skin removal and sharp enough to clean fish. I was also confused before taking it but it changed my mind about it because I got very good results throughout the work.


  • Handy clip
  • Suitable for Saltwater
  • Sharp & Stainless Steel Blade
  • Easy to hold


  • Little pricey

Final Verdict:

It is suitable for saltwater and I have personally tried it and found it better than others, because other knives cannot have much ability to survive in saltwater, their blades get rusty, and in the end they can’t cut it properly. The folding capability is another interesting feature that allows users to carry and grab it anywhere without any protective sheath.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Fillet Knife

Choosing the right knife for fish filleting is an important but difficult task, which we will simplify today by looking at some of the features that are necessary to keep in mind when buying a knife. You’ve seen our best fillet knives, we recommend based on our personal experience and research, but choosing one from the list is another dilemma. So you need to look at the features that we have described below, and choose the one that has all these features and is more suitable for you.

Best Fillet Knife in the World

Using a fillet knife is a critical thing which we use for processing a fish that we caught. Many people think that they can use any fillet knife to do this job. If you invest some money on the quality of fillet knives then you get more fun while filleting a fish. 

The thing which separates the fillet knife from the kitchen knife is their blade. It should be flexible and lightweight that allows you to move around the small bones in fish.

Everyone wants to see various features in fish fillet knives and they are looking for a high quality blade that should be thin, long and tensile to allow their user for accurate cuts on different sizes and texture of fishes.

We have searched for the best fillet knives in the world having features of durable, flexible, lightweight, easy to hold and having an unslippable hard handle even if you work in some oily space. 

Other important factors are also considered while selecting the best fillet knife like blade style, manual and electric fish fillet knives. 

The super thin style and durability of the fillet knife make it famous in the world. It ensures the cleaning, precise cutting and strengthened handle allow for comfortable hold and use.  

Japanese vs. German

Here we clearly differentiate between Japanese and German knives, their merits, features and conclude which one is better in terms of sharpness and durability. If we look at the angle of the blades of both knives, we are convinced that the Japanese knives are sharper than the Germans, because the angle of the blades of the Japanese is 10 to 15 degrees while that of the Germans is 18 degrees, remember that the lower angle knife is sharper.

In fact, German blades have more power and strength to cut vegetables and meat than Japanese blades, mainly because of the thick bolsters attached to them. But on the other hand, Japanese have used more carbonic steel which makes it harder and requires more effective sharpening tools to maintain their edges and blades.

Another big difference between them is the tang, it is a part of the blade, the German blade has a complete tang while in Japanese it is the partial which makes it less stronger.  

Japanese vs. German knife

Manual vs. Electric

There are manual and electric versions of the fillet Knife, both have their own features and drawbacks which we discuss here and conclude which is better. 

I prefer to use a manual knife as it allows us to cut more accurately according to our needs. The handle and its indexing point are very important which allow us to have full and strict control over it for clean slices without any damage. Our cutting skills and strength also play an important role in filleting using manual knives. We have to consider two things: the blade and the handle, If the edges of the blade are not sharp and the grip of the handle is not good then you are not able to get desired results.

Electric knives are good for people who are professional and experienced and are able to control the momentum to cut large quantities of fish and meat. Their motors work very fast so it is suitable for people who have been involved in meat and fish filleting for years. It requires full attention to cut the right size of meat otherwise there is a chance of cutting big or small which can cause damage. 

Blade Flexibility and Size

As we all know that fillet knife blades come in various sizes like 6 to 9 inches, the bigger the blade, the better the big fish will be cut, but the harder it will be to cut the smaller one. So it is best to use different sized blades as needed, use 6 inch blades for small fish (Trout) and 7-9 inch blades are good for fish like Salmon.

The blade of a knife should be thin, sharp, curved and flexible, if it has these qualities it can help us to cut fish of any size precisely. If this feature does not exist then there is no difference between a fillet knife and a standard kitchen knife.

Blade Features and Material / Steel

Beside flexibility and size of the blade, There are many other features that we will consider here. Most importantly, the tip that helps to start making cuts easy and separates the bones from the flesh. The blade should also be curved, as this increases flexibility and makes cutting more smooth. 

Blade’s steel has two types: one is stainless and the other is carbonic steel, both differ in terms of thickness, sharpness, durability and cutting ability but question arises here what is the best steel for a fillet knife.

The performance of knives depends upon the steel used on it. Although, not only the performance but the steel of the knife also play a necessary role on its hardness, agility, strongness, flexibility and corrosion resistance ability. So it is very essential to choose a knife which is made of high quality steel.

Stainless steel is also good but less harder than carbonic, meanwhile it also resists rust and keeps its edges sharp. Recommended for Casual or beginner butchers. 

Handle Features / Grip

The handle is a major part of the knife that should be made of a material that can give it a strong grip and control. When we cut fish or meat our hands get wet and there is no way to avoid it, so the handle grip should be good enough to withstand any obstacle. To get a reliable grip, the knife must have a rubber handle that works perfectly throughout the job and absorbs the wet hand stream and provides smooth filleting by preventing slipping. It is just a good way to minimize the risk.

It is not recommended to use a knife with hard plastic or wooden handles as they don’t provide the grip or speed we require. You can use these at your kitchens but not suitable for a place where you are filleting a larger amount of fishes. 

The length of the handle is also important for our comfort, it has enough space between the butt and the hilt to hold it properly.  


There is a full tang knife and a partial tang knife, the full tang metal is considered better which lies in the whole knife (from tip to butt). It is stronger than partial and works well to maintain balance during cutting, these knives are considered superior and high end. And partial tang knives are lightweight and are considered more good for smooth cutting.

Also Read:

How To Fillet A Fish


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Finding a perfect fillet knife with all the features and characteristics is a challenge, and it probably costs more. To make any decision you need to know how often and where you use it, it will make it easier for you. In all the products, we mentioned why it is better and for whom it is suitable, let me recap it for your better decision making. 

The best fillet knives have come a long way in recent years. Using an improved and latest technology and material in both electric and traditional fillet knives, all knives in the following list can be a great option depending on your requirements. If you can, try a few of these options before you buy and see which one best suits your needs.

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