Filleting is a delicate art that requires both power and fragility. Choosing an appropriate knife determines the quality of the output we get. But with so many options in the market these days, how do you know what to trust?
Many fishers and chefs prefer traditional manual knives because of the control it affords. But what of the extra power and torque of electric knives? And the fast-pace at which they work through big fishes?
In the next few sections, we will be bringing you the best of both worlds, highlighting some of the best fillet knives in the market. While taking a peek into their strengths and weaknesses – in a bid to help you narrow down your choice.
Review for the Top 7 Best Fillet Knives – America’s Test Kitchen
1. Bubba Li-ion Cordless Electric Fillet Knife
This is a cordless electric fillet knife from Bubba, with a rather large handle – 8.5″ long and weighs a little over a pound. The handle is wrapped in thick non-slip rubber that makes for a solid grip. If you work on large fishes, you will especially appreciate the firm grip and the pressure a large handle allows.
Meanwhile, the handle takes some getting used to, especially if you are working on delicate carvings.A safety lock and trigger guard are provided – it helps secure the knife and prevent accidents when it is not in use.
The cordless design lets you work through fish at unbelievable rates without having the cords interfere. It runs on a Li-ion battery, and a single full charge lasts at least three hours. That’s a lot of fish to work through. There is a power indicator on the handle’s ventral side, and it lets you monitor the amount of power available.
The motor is incredible, with engineered ventilation that ensures maximum power output. This provides an impressive amount of force, making it ideal to slice and skin fishes of differing sizes.
The knife comes with four different blade styles. Each made of carbon stainless-steel and coated with titanium nitride, the result of which is an extremely durable and flexible knife – free from corrosion. The pack comes with a molded carrying case, a charging cord, and an extra battery.
2. Rapala Lithium Ion Cordless Fillet Knife Combo
The Rapala model of a Cordless Fillet Knife is a fantastic tool. It has a very consistent working speed that lets you fillet seamlessly without worry. The design seems minimal, but it is made of highly durable materials.
The handle has a rubber exterior that is very easy to grasp. The handle’s shape settles it very naturally into the hand. The relaxed grip prevents fatigue and lets you work for longer periods at a time, while the rubber exterior makes it difficult to slip off.
The motor provides a smooth, consistent torque supply that lets you fillet fish with fast and effective movements—the manufacturer boasts an advanced airflow design that protects the motor from getting worked up.
The battery does not have as much lifespan as the Bubba model – but not many fillet knives does anyway. Still, you still get about an hour and a half of juice (80 minutes) in your motor before having to recharge it.
With three blades of varying size and style, you can work through any different type of fish with ease without having to worry too much about technique. Rapala also includes a padded storage case for secure conveyance of the knife and its blades. A wall charger, as well as two Li-ion batteries, are also included in the pack.
Despite all the impressive features of these knives, some users complain of the difficulty of fixing the handle’s blades.
3. KastKIng Slicing Carving Knife
Let’s take a short break from the electric knife to address this exceptional manual knife. KastKing outdid themselves with this model, producing a strong, flexible, and comfortable masterpiece of a fillet knife.
Starting from the base is a well carved out handle that is both handy and convenient to hold. The weight feels just right. A super-polymer is used on the handle to enhance its grip. And the handle’s design enables you to move swiftly through fishes – letting you apply advanced filleting techniques without much strain on your hand.
The handle extends into a super sharp and efficient blade. These premium blades are made of German stainless steel. The edge of which has a clean curve – together with its flexibility, you can skin through the toughest of fishes with razor-smooth efficiency.
The custom Granton blade prevents it from getting sticky by creating pockets of air. Without the friction caused by sticky blades, the knife works smoother with incredible effectiveness. The knife comes originally with a 12″ blade, but you can order for additional blades of varying lengths at extra cost.
A light sheath is provided to keep the knife safe when not in use. It has a peculiar design that checks the blade and keeps it locked in safely. While still allowing for easy, one-touch removal. In essence, KastKing’s slicing carving knife is an affordable fillet knife with an incredible design that makes it easy to maneuver. With the quality and shape making it easy to handle.
4. American Angler PRO Electric Fillet Knife
This is another well-weighted knife – one with a powerful electric motor. American Angler PRO fillet knife produces a fine blend of power and finesse. And despite its quality and powerful motor, it is properly priced—a great value for money.
Its handle is only a little larger than a fisherman’s grasp, making it easy to pick up and use at a go. The handle length is shaped to fit a grasp perfectly, making it very comfortable and hold.
The blades with their delicately curved edge are properly shaped to ease the process of filleting and skinning. You get four different blades in varying lengths and forms to explore other techniques on different fishes.
The motor drives twice as much torque than most other electric knives with its “Heavy-Duty” System. The quality of the materials and the design give the American Angler a long lifespan.
The sheer amount of power generated is better observed while working on tough fishes. The stainless-steel blades move graciously while driving through even shark flesh—a proper definition of flexibility.
The only downside of this powerful knife is the fact that it needs to be plugged in while working. But if you don’t mind the wire, you are bound to enjoy an exceptionally compelling performance.
5. Zwilling J.A. Henckels Fillet Knife
If you are not a fan of electricity or prefer finesse and precision over power, you would like this offering from Zwilling J.A Henckels. As one of the industry leaders with over 300 years in the business, the company has perfected the art of making immaculate traditional fillet-knives.
The knife is 7-inches long – an alliance between wood and stainless steel, which weighs only half a pound. The handle is made from Mediterranean Holm Oak and feels spectacular to the touch. Although it doesn’t offer anything extra in terms of grip, it certainly feels good to grasp. The knife’s artistic build makes it possible to be both comfortable in hand and easy to maneuver.
There is more to say about how much effort is put into the handle’s built, but there are not enough words to do it justice. It is simply superb.
A masterpiece in the hands of a master, the Henckel’s fillet knife has its blade forged from a specially owned formula – a high-carbon stainless steel blade that is difficult to stain and easy to cut with. The blades are tough and quite flexible. But what is really special about them is their durability and how well they retain their sharpness.
Overall, the knives offer incredible precision and durability. However, because the blade is fixed, you have to sharpen it whenever it becomes dull.
6. Wusthof Classic IKON Fillet Knife
This is another fillet knife, made in the traditional style, with a well-balanced handle and a precision-focused blade. As a 200-year-old, family-owned company, Wusthof is very particular about protecting its reputation. And that is why you do not see them compromising on quality.
At first glance, you might mistake it for a typical kitchen knife because of the modern build. But a second look at the blade tells a different story. Wusthof’s classic fillet knife comes in one size and one color – an elegant black and silver blueprint.
The handle has an ergonomic design that is built to balance perfectly in your grip. A double bolster reinforces the balance to provide an excellent cutting experience. The blade starts with a notch on the bottom to improve the grip and support the index finger.
Then it extends to a narrow edge before curving up a little to give you room to exert the delicate precision needed to carve, cut, and skin fishes. Wusthof’s unique forging and “Precision Edge Technology” (PEtec) doubles up edge retention compared to other knives in the market.
It is made of high-carbon stainless steel that is strong and flexible. You can be sure that this blade won’t tarnish or corrode for years of active action.
7. Global Flexible Swedish Filet Knife (G-30)
The list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning this unique piece. It is made fully of stainless steel, with the handle blending directly into the thin, elegant blade.
Global is an award-winning cutlery company based in Japan known for its peculiar design in cutlery. This model is designed to be used majorly in the kitchen and may not offer much for a fisher on prepping his products.
But world-class chefs appreciate its flexibility and light-weight. It weighs just a quarter of a pound and is very flexible on the hand. It bends delicately over bones to carve out the flesh. The handle has a “dimple” pattern – with a network of small holes that improves your grip on the stainless steel. Its double-beveled edge makes it comfortable to use in either hand.
The blade extends from the handle without a stop – about eight and a quarter inches. It is important to note, though, that despite the precise control it affords, the grip is not exactly the best.
What’s The Difference Between Boning and Fillet Knives?
The listed fillet blades are of different forms and features. And while we have brought you the best in terms of quality and value for money, each knife prioritizes one aspect of the art at others’ expense. Hence, the need to align your decision in accordance with your priorities.