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The Finest Fillet Knives of 2023, Examined and Reviewed

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Up to date Mar 17, 2023 10:33 AM

Name me old skool, however after I go fishing, my predominant purpose is to convey house dinner. When you’ve got the identical purpose, you’ll want a fillet knife to take fish from the water to the desk. You should buy easy fillet knives with wooden or plastic handles, to fashionable, electrical fillet knives that make fast work of a restrict. Within the overwhelming sea of fine fillet knives, it may be laborious to drag out the keepers from the culls. I made that job a bit simpler by testing the most effective fillet knives on contemporary and saltwater fish to see which greatest suit your fish cleansing wants.

How We Selected The Finest Fillet Knives

For this check, I turned each saltwater and freshwater fish piles into ready-for-the-table fillets. I examined blade flexibility, how every deal with felt throughout lengthy cleansing periods, and the gripping skill of every knife after they had been coated in fish slime. I even enlisted the assistance of some skilled fish cleansing buddies—together with a pair who do it for a residing—to get a number of opinions on the most effective fillet knives and their general efficiency.

The Finest Fillet Knives: Evaluations & Suggestions

Finest Cordless: Rapala R12 Heavy-Responsibility Lithium Fillet Knife

Why It Made the Minimize: The battery life and energy of the R12 HD make this the most effective cordless fillet knife. 

Key Options

  • Blade size: 6 and seven ½ inch
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Inside LED mild


  • Quick blade velocity
  • Highly effective, probably the most torque of all knives examined
  • Spare battery
  • Wonderful blade form and suppleness


Rapala’s R12 HD is the latest and strongest within the Rapala line of cordless knives, and the moment response on the set off makes for fast work on crappie. A small LED mild mechanically comes on when the set off is pressed and makes it straightforward to wash in low mild situations. And a backup set of blades means you’ll at all times have a pointy set available. 

For this check, I enlisted the assistance of Justin Creech, a Crappie USA Match Path competitor and frequent match champ. Creech spends a ton of time on the water and usually brings house a haul of crappie for the freezer. After attempting a number of knives, Creech went with the Rapala R12HD as his alternative. “I used to be impressed,” he stated. “Extra torque, quicker blade velocity, instantaneous response time on the set off. This can be a nice knife. I’ve used an older mannequin from Rapala previously, and that is head and shoulders above that one.”

Finest Cordless Package: Bubba Professional Collection Cordless Electrical Fillet Knife 

Why It Made the Minimize: 4 blade choices and two rechargeable lithium ion batteries makes the Bubba Professional the most effective cordless electrical fillet equipment for cleansing a variety of fish. 

Key Options

  • Highly effective, brushless motor
  • 4 blade choices 
  • Two rechargeable batteries and station


  • Excessive torque motor
  • 4 blade types to deal with any dimension fish
  • Spare battery
  • Fast battery charging


If you end up cleansing a variety of fish, this knife is a good choice for you. With 4 blade selections from skinny and versatile to huge and stiff, this knife will deal with all the things from panfish to the biggest saltwater quarry. Twin batteries and quick charging instances imply you at all times have loads of energy available. The Bubba Professional is available in a tough carry and storage case that safely shops the knife and retains all batteries, chargers, and blades in a single place.

Finest Electrical Corded: Previous Timer 110V Electrical Fillet Knife 

Why It Made the Minimize: The highly effective motor, lengthy wire, and comfy grip on the Previous Timer 110V means you’ll be able to keep on the cleansing desk till the job is completed.

Key Options

  • Textured consolation grip
  • Lengthy wire
  • 8-inch stainless blade
  • Lifetime guarantee


  • 8-foot wire
  • Comfy grip
  • Responsive set off


  • Restricted to cleansing areas with energy shops

In case you usually pores and skin your fish the place energy is on the market, the Previous Timer 110V Electrical Fillet Knife is a superb alternative. It includes a properly curved, versatile 8-inch blade that matches most fish cleansing wants and comes with an 8-foot wire for additional attain on the cleansing station. The knife has a patented lockable set off and comes with a self-draining carrying case to maintain the knife dry between fishing journeys.

Finest Mounted Blade for Saltwater: Gerber Controller 8

Why It Made the Minimize: The Gerber Controller 8 is sturdy sufficient for giant saltwater fish, but versatile sufficient to wash smaller fish like whiting or speckled trout, and the HydroTread texture on the deal with supplies a terrific grip within the messiest cleansing conditions.

Key Options

  • 8-inch non-corrosive blade
  • HydroTread Grip
  • In-built sharpener on sheath


  • Blade can deal with small or massive fish
  • Excellent grip form and texture
  • In-built sharpener on sheath
  • Versatile blade


  • Grip form is an acquired style

For this check, I enlisted the assistance of Captain Doug Chason, a information based mostly out of Apalachicola, Florida, and Wade Patterson, an expert fish cleaner at Lynn’s High quality Oyster seafood retailer in Apalachicola. Each had been instantly impressed with the Controller 8’s grip form and texture. “It took a minute to get used to the finger groove within the grip, however as soon as I did, it felt actually good,” Patterson stated. Captain Chason was additionally a fan of the straightforward to carry grip and stated that the blade left a smoother minimize of meat on some large snapper he cleaned than different rivals. The ergonomic deal with on the Controller means that you can hold a agency grip regardless of how a lot fish slime and water construct up on the knife. Gerber claims the HydroTread texture on the grip really sheds water and retains the deal with dry through the cleansing session.

Finest Mounted Blade for Freshwater: Kershaw Slim Fillet 

Why It Made the Minimize: The stainless blade is versatile sufficient for finesse filleting however has a stiffer base for harder cleansing duties, which makes it the most effective fillet knife for small to medium sized freshwater fish.

Key Options

  • Stainless 7.5-inch blade
  • Versatile however sturdy blade
  • Overmolded Okay-Texture rubberized grip 


  • Stainless, versatile blade
  • Simply to sharpen
  • Wonderful grip


  • A bit an excessive amount of flex for actually massive fish

This Kershaw 7.5-inch Slim Fillet knife is my alternative for a dwell properly filled with crappie or a stringer filled with trout. The stainless-steel blade is difficult sufficient to carry an edge however resharpens simply, and it’s versatile sufficient to each take away meat from the bone, then slide simply between the fillet and pores and skin. Among the finest options on this knife is the over molded Okay-Texture rubberized grip. Whereas it’s agency sufficient to hold onto, the tender grip makes it straightforward to grip the knife in even through the messiest fish cleansing situations. The knife additionally comes with a slide on blade protector to maintain the sting sharp and stop undesirable cuts.

Finest Folding: Gerber Controller 6-inch Folding Fillet 

Why It Made the Minimize: The slim, folding design takes up little room in a bag or sort out, and Gerber’s SaltRx know-how means the blade can endure even the harshest saltwater situations.

Key Options

  • 6-inch folding blade
  • HydroTread Grip
  • Slim design for simple packability


  • Folding model takes up little area
  • Straightforward to wash
  • Slim design


  • Deal with can get filled with scales and fish slime throughout a cleansing session

When area is at a premium, a superb folding fillet knife is the best way to go. The Gerber Controller 6-inch folder takes up lower than 7 inches of area when folded into the deal with. Fold it out and lock the 6-inch stainless blade into place, and you’ve got a full dimension knife able to most fish cleansing wants. With the identical HydroTread grip materials as Gerber’s different fillet knives, this one is simple to carry throughout cleansing, and the mirror polished blade options Gerber’s SaltRx know-how to maintain it wanting nice in both salt or freshwater situations. 

Finest Multi-Blade: Bubba Multi Flex Interchangeable

Why It Made the Minimize: The Bubba Multi-Flex Interchangeable blade equipment includes a non-slip, rubberized deal with that homes any of the 4 blades, and the completely different sizes can deal with something from small panfish to saltwater giants.

Key Options

  • Non-slip grip
  • 4 blade types and shapes
  • Helpful carrying case with detachable lining for simple cleansing


  • A number of blade types
  • Excellent non-slip grip
  • Helpful, puncture resistant carrying case


  • Blade locks aren’t straightforward to make use of with slick palms

In case you usually end up fishing for panfish one week and the biggest saltwater fish the subsequent, the Bubba Multi Flex equipment is a good choice for you. It gives blade choices that vary from slim and versatile to heavy responsibility. There’s even a 9 inch serrated blade for heavy responsibility reducing chores. Merely squeeze the straightforward blade launch tabs on both facet of the deal with to take away and substitute the blades. Whereas the straightforward blade launch tabs are handy, they’re more durable to make use of when your palms are coated in slime or water. This equipment additionally features a helpful carrying case that includes a detachable tray for simple cleansing and magnetic inserts to carry the blades in place.

Finest Light-weight: Opinel No.15 Folder 

Why It Made the Minimize: At simply 2.5 ounces, the Opinel No. 15 folder gives a full dimension fillet knife that packs simply and gives a razor sharp edge proper out of the field.

Key Options

  • Weighs simply 2.5 ounces
  • 6-inch stainless blade
  • Rock-solid locking ring


  • Light-weight, full dimension knife
  • Manufacturing unit sharp
  • Lovely craftsmanship


  • Locking ring may be powerful to twist after cleansing fish

The light-weight Opinel No. 15 folder includes a six-inch, pretty stiff stainless-steel blade and a light-weight picket grip. The folding knife locks open or closed with the twist of the built-in locking ring. 

At simply 2.5 ounces, this Opinel #15 folder is ideal for journeys the place you want a light-weight fillet knife. The knife includes a slim deal with and a six-inch, stainless-steel razor sharp blade that locks within the open place with a easy twist of the locking ring on the prime of the grip. Apart from the sunshine weight and out-of-the-box sharpness, this knife is aesthetically pleasing to take a look at and has a pleasant curve within the picket deal with. 

Finest Conventional Mounted Blade: Outside Edge Reelflex-Pack 

Why It Made the Minimize: The Outside Edge Reelflex Pack is a helpful equipment that options three conventional fixed-blade fillet knives with blade lengths of 6, 7.5, and 9 inches that may deal with something you catch. 

Key Options

  • Double-tempered blades for superior flex 
  • Rubberized TPR handles 
  • Consists of 2-stage carbide/ceramic sharpener


  • Three knife sizes for varied fish cleansing wants
  • Laborious carrying case
  • Non-slip, comfy grips
  • Outside Edge Lifetime Assure


  • Laborious to get knives out and in of the case at instances

The Outside Edge Reelflex Pack is one other equipment that’s good for many who fish for a number of species frequently. All three knives have rubberized TPR handles that guarantee a stable grip in any situations, and the equipment is available in a folding laborious case that incorporates a 2-stage carbide/ceramic sharpener that makes protecting a eager edge a breeze. The case additionally options stamped-in rulers in each normal and metric models to verify your catch is authorized. Apart from cleansing fish, these knives are alos nice for basic sport cleansing. We took the set on a current hog hunt and used them virtually completely to wash and break down a number of pigs.

Finest Finances: Rapala Fish ‘n Fillet 

Why It Made the Minimize: This Fish ‘n Fillet (as soon as the Findlander) is a confirmed knife, and the 6-inch Scandinavian blade can deal with nearly any cleansing job with out breaking the financial institution. 

Key Options

  • Low price
  • Premium Scandinavian stainless-steel 
  • Blade size: 6 inches
  • Wax-finished birch deal with
  • Real leather-based sheath and bonus SH1 sharpener


  • Finances pleasant
  • Wax completed birch grip fills the hand properly


  • Picket deal with can get a bit slick when coated in fish slime 

I’d be keen to guess the coordinates to my favourite fishing gap that the Rapala Fish ‘n Fillet has cleaned extra fish previously 50 years than simply about each different model of fillet knife mixed. It’s cheap and out there just about in all places on the earth that fishing gear is bought. Most significantly, the Finlander is a good knife. The wax-finished birch deal with is simple to grip, and the hand-sharpened 6-inch stainless blade has loads of flex for any fish cleansing job. The knife comes with a leather-based stealth and a SH1 pull via sharpener to maintain your knife protected and sharp always. 

Issues to Take into account When Shopping for a Fillet Knife

Electrical or Conventional?

The principle profit of electrical knives is that they clear fish rapidly and don’t require resharpening as typically as conventional fillet knives do. In case you’re cleansing a big haul of fish—particularly panfish like bluegill, perch, or crappie—an electrical knife will prevent time and power. Nevertheless, a whole lot of fishermen and girls persist with conventional fillet knives as a result of they are typically lighter, take up minimal area, and are straightforward to resharpen. 

In case you’re solely cleansing just a few fish at a time a low price fastened blade could be the selection for you. Conventional blades must be touched up on a sharpening rod each few fish, however they provide skilled fish cleaners extra really feel and finesse. That really feel is very helpful for fileting fish with delicate flesh. They’re additionally cheaper and weigh lower than electrical fashions.  

Single Blade or Package?

In case you usually clear one sort of fish frequently, a single bladed knife could be a sensible choice. However, for those who change forwards and backwards from panfish to massive catfish, you may like the choice of various blade sizes and stiffness ranges. Positive, you should purchase a number of knives in several types, however a superb equipment with interchangeable blades makes switching forwards and backwards straightforward. And also you don’t need to get used to a number of grip types and surfaces once you change blades. 

Grip Types

The perfect blade on the earth gained’t do you any good if the grip doesn’t suit your hand properly. In case you can, see how a knife feels in your hand earlier than shopping for it. Grip dimension and form makes a distinction throughout lengthy cleansing periods when your hand begins to tire. Search for one which feels good in your hand and has a form or texture that may hold it firmly in your grip when issues get coated in fish slime.


Q: Can I simply use a pocket knife or kitchen knife to wash a fish?

Positive, you should utilize any knife to wash a fish. I’ve cleaned fish with all the things from a small pen knife to a heavy butcher knife, however like several job, it’s far more environment friendly for those who use the appropriate instruments. In contrast to pocket or kitchen knives, a superb fillet knife has a versatile blade that means that you can comply with carefully alongside the spine to take away as a lot of the fillet as attainable with little or no waste. 

Q: How do I sharpen the knife?

Sharpening a knife is a two-stage course of. The entire knives I examined had been razor sharp out of the field, and to maintain this edge, you’ll be able to run a honing rod over the blade earlier than or after every use. A cross or two over a honing metal or ceramic rod retains the sting sharp. Like all blade, a uninteresting fillet knife is worse than ineffective, it’s harmful. As soon as the sting lastly does put on down, you’ll be able to restore it with a superb sharpener. Whether or not you employ a stone, diamond, or a belt system, crucial factor to recollect when sharpening a knife is to take care of a constant angle on each side of the blade. Transfer from a rough abrasive floor to progressively finer grits till you get your required edge

Q: How a lot does a fillet knife price?

The price of fillet knives that I examined ranged from $16 to greater than $200. Elements like blade dimension, metal composition, and deal with materials issue into worth. After all, cordless electrical fashions price greater than fastened blades resulting from battery price and electrical elements. Consider a superb fillet knife as an funding. With correct care, a superb fillet knife will final for years and spending a bit extra up entrance for a high quality blade will repay over time. 

Closing Ideas on the Finest Fillet Knives

The perfect fillet knives have come a good distance previously few years. With higher know-how and supplies in each electrical and conventional fillet knives, any of the blades on this record would make a terrific choice relying in your wants. In case you can, get your palms on just a few of those choices before you purchase one, and see which one feels greatest to you. 

Learn Subsequent: Find out how to Sharpen a Knife



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