Best Fish Fillet Knife

While we generally support catch and release, fish can still be consumed in a sustainable manner by following legal guidelines. Sometimes the best way to reward yourself after a long day on the water is by taking your catch from the water to the table. Not only will it be fresh and delicious, but it's a catch you earned and can cook how you like.

While different people will have different preferences for style of cooking, one thing is universal: you don't want to waste any meat. Extracting as much meat as possible without damaging the texture and overall presentation can be difficult, which is why it's important to have good tools at your disposal.

The most crucial step in preparing a fish for a meal is filleting the fish. It's important to use the proper knife in order to ensure nice smooth cuts yielding as much meat as possible. Fish fillet knives are very popular now and the selection is seemingly endless, so it can help to know a thing or two about them before making a decision.

The information below will outline some of the best fish fillet knives at different price points, which we hope will allow you to discern some of the differences. Furthermore, we will provide our thoughts on what to look for in a fish fillet knife, helping to ensure a great meal!

  • Basic
  • Mid-Range
  • High-End

Wusthof Silverpoint II Fish Fillet Knife



  • Very reputable brand
  • High quality materials
  • Blade is laser cut for consistent sharpness
  • Lots of flex
  • German blend of steel
  • Easy to sharpen
  • Sure-grip handle


  • One size (7"), but at least it's a good all-around size
  • A bit more expensive

General Consensus

This is another great fish fillet knife; however, coming in at a higher price point we don't feel the value is quite at the level of some cheaper fillet knives. That being said, it's still high-quality and a great all-around length that will work for lots of different sized fish. The main drawback of this knife, as we just eluded to, is the cost.

Overall, if you have a bit of room in the budget and want to ensure a high-quality knife from a very reputable company (and made in the "Cutlery Capital of the World"), then we definitely recommend the Wusthof Silverpoint II. Otherwise, if you need something a little cheaper, you can definitely find great value somewhere else, too.

What to Look For in a Fillet Knife

Blade Length and Flex

Most blades on fillet knives are made of stainless steel, so you usually don't have to worry about that. Depending on where the steel is manufactured and the knife is assembled, there may be subtle differences in quality, but suffice to say stainless steel is what you want.

The main difference in blades is the length. Many fillet knives will come in different sizes, usually around 3-4", 6-8", and 9-11". The shorter blades tend to be better for smaller fish. They are lighter and usually thinner, which also offers more flex. The combination of the short blade and flexibility allows for precise cuts in tight areas, allowing you to get as much meat as possible.

On the other hand, longer blades are nice for larger fish as there is way more meat to cut through, and the fish is generally much wide when laying flat. A more robust fish will call for a stronger blade, and therefore they longer blades are usually thicker as well, which doesn't offer as much flex. However, in this case, fex isn't as important, so that's not a huge deal.

Then, there are the mid-range blades, which are nice if you want something "all-around", or simply don't know what size fish you will be catching and cooking. It may not be the best at the furthest extremes of fish sizes, but generally speaking, a mid-range blade is always great to have around.


The handle may not seem overly important, but lots of people find it makes a big difference. You will usually see one of three materials: wood, plastic, or rubber (or a combination). ‚ÄčIn terms of style, we love the look of wood handles, especially when engraved. However, wood handles can become quite slippery rather quickly and pose a potential safety hazard for this reason. If you're careful, it shouldn't be an issue, but it only takes one second of not paying attention to end up with stitches. For this reason, we tend to recommend rubber or plastic handles with grips designed for traction.

Furthermore, wood handles may absorb more of the juices from the fish than plastic or rubber. If you clean the knife immediately after using it, then that's no problem, but it is something to keep in mind. For example, if you plan on cutting the fish on the boat or outside at a cabin and don't want to be bothered with a thorough cleaning immediately, then it may be best to take caution and use a plastic or rubber knife.

Also look for handles with finger grooves, or at least a slight projection coming out between the blade and where your index finger will sit, as this will help avoid any slippage while cutting. Handles with groves are often more comfortable, but aside from personal preference, don't make a huge difference in the performance of the knife.

Additional Items

If you're looking for good value in a fillet knife and are deciding between a few different options, check to see if the knife itself comes with anything extra. For example, many knives will come with a sheath that allows you to cover, store, and carry the knife when it's not in use. Some of these sheaths will come with loop or clips for your belt, which may be handy for some.

Sometimes, but less frequently, you may also be able to find a deal where the knife comes with a protective gloves, sharpening stone, carrying case, or something else that can be convenient to have. While these shouldn't be the focus of your search, they may offer incentive to choose one fillet knife over the other.

Best Electric Fillet Knife

If you already have a solid fillet knife, but simply want to make the task easier and quicker, then we would highly recommend considering an electric fillet knife. An electric fillet knife works similar to most other styles of electric knives. An electric fillet knife comes with a rotary motor that will move the handle back and forth very rapidly. So while your hand may be moving slowly, the rapid action of the blade when lightly pushed through the meat will allow for a clean smooth cut with way less effort involved

Since these are quite a bit different from knives without motors, we decided to offer our opinion on some of the best and most popular electric fish fillet knives at various price points:

  • Basic
  • Mid-Range
  • High-End

Rapala Heavy-Duty Electric Fillet Knife



  • Great knife at a mid-range price point
  • Two blades provide more speed and power than most electric fillet knives
  • Better at cutting through bones
  • Very comfortable grip
  • Dishwasher-safe


  • Limited by cord (~4' or so)
  • Increase in speed and power comes with an increase in cost

General Consensus

This Rapala electric fish fillet knife is a step up from the lower-end Mister Twister electric fillet knife. Basically the only differences are the speed and power, as well as a slightly more comfortable grip.

Similar to the Mister Twister, you will be limited by the cord on this Rapala model, but if that isn't an issue for you, then this is definitely one of the better electric fillet knives out there, especially for the price.

Overall, this can be considered a high-end electric fillet knife for one that has a cord. The speed and power are definitely noticeable better than a lot of other models, and this is due in part to the opposing action of the two blades. Therefore, we recommend this knife to those who already have some experience using electric fish fillet knives and want something that performs very well, but don't really care about whether or not it's cordless.

What to Look For in an Electric Fillet Knife

Most of the points we touched on in our information about fillet knives above holds true here as well. However, now that we are introducing a couple new features, there are now a couple extra things to consider as well before you decide on a knife.

We have also found a very informative video originally posted by Bob McNally demonstrating two types of electric fillet knives. One is the Berkley electric fillet knife we reviewed above, and the other is a Rapala electric fillet knife. Both are great companies, but similar to what Bob mentioned in a comment on the video, we also prefer the Berkley model a little more than the Rapala knife. There Berkley one comes with a few handy accessories, and on the whole, there tend to be less complaints about the Berkley knife. Both are good though, so if you tend to favor Rapala products in general, there's nothing wrong with their knife either!

Plug-In or Cordless

Usually the cheaper models are plug-in, which is partially what allows the cost to be lower. One advantage is that plug-in models generally run a little more consistent and you don't need to worry about any battery issues, but you are limited to locations with a proper outlet and also risk cutting through the cord. Frankly, the cord can be pretty annoying to, like a scaled-down lawn mower.

Cordless fillet knives are quite popular and are very convenient, you just have to remember to have them charged for when you need them, or for others, you may have to replace the batteries altgether. Nevertheless, the convenience of use can definitely make this worthwhile.

On that note, in addition to the type of power involved, pay attention to the power source as well. For example, some electric fillet knives may come with lighter plugs that can offer your car as an additional source of power (for recharging obviously, let's hope you're not filleting in your car...), which can come in handy and maybe make the difference in your decision.

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