Best Fillet Knife For Saltwater Fish (Buying Guide)

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After a day of fishing on the ocean, there’s nothing better than cooking up a tasty meal of the fish you just caught. But, before you can do that, you need to prepare the fish. For that job, you need a good knife.

It’s best to have a knife specially made for the job, one that can do the delicate work of deboning fish while holding up against the seawater. So, we’re going to review some of the best knives on the market.

Top Fillet Knife For Saltwater Fish

Let’s start by reviewing some of the best fillet knives on the market, and then we’ll teach you how to choose a good fillet knife.

Product Ranking - 1

The Kastking 9″ fillet knife is the best all-around mix of quality and cost. This knife will be your best friend on any fishing trip. This knife is strong, thick, and suited for any filleting or even boning meat, though KastKing recommends it as particularly suited for salmon, tuna, and other large fish. Now let’s talk about some features.

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Product Ranking - 2

Sometimes you aren’t looking to make filleting fish a workout, and for those times, you need the Bubba Electric Fillet Knife. This knife comes with a powerful electric motor to make quick work of the largest fish. It comes with two replaceable lithium-ion batteries, so you do not have to worry about battery life. So, let’s see some features.

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Product Ranking - 3

The Mercer Culinary Millenia is an amazing deal for those on a budget. This fillet knife doesn’t come with a lot of extra features, but it is also a fraction of the price of most high-quality fillet knives. Made from one piece of high-carbon steel, this knife will fillet anything you can throw its way.

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Product Ranking - 4

The first thing you will notice about this beautiful knife is its attractive blue finish. This is also a Teflon coating that will guarantee this knife stays rust-free through both freshwater and saltwater use. This knife has various lengths to choose from, so you can choose the best length for the type of catch you’re expecting.

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Product Ranking - 5

If you need a great fillet knife but you’re on a budget, this is the knife for you. It has all the features you’ll need in a quality fillet knife at a great price. It even comes with a sharpener, so you can keep your knife sharp and ready to go.

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Product Ranking - 6

Bubba is a brand known for making non-slip knives suited for the most grueling marine use. Luckily, the Tapered Flex Fillet Knife is no exception. This knife uses the red rubberized non-slip grip Bubba is known for, along with a semi-flexible blade suited for precision cutting.

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Product Ranking - 7

If you have any knowledge of knife makers, you have heard about Kershaw. The Kershaw Knife Company has earned several awards for their high-quality knives, and the Kershaw Clearwater Fillet Knife lives up to this well. Its soft copolymer handle allows you to cut for extended periods without fatiguing the hand.

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Product Ranking - 8

The Morakniv Fishing Fillet Knife is not the cheapest on this list. But, what can you expect from a high-quality knife made in Sweden, other than maybe quality, because it has plenty of that. This knife is made from Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel, known for its durability and corrosion resistance.

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Product Ranking - 9

This is a superb knife made of high-carbon German steel. It’s impressively maneuverable, making any fish or meat preparation task a breeze. You’ll find it useful while fishing, hunting, or working in the kitchen.

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Product Ranking - 10

If you like both fishing and hunting, you’ll find this knife useful to bring along on your outings. This knife will work well for anything from cleaning fish to skinning deer. Also, if for some reason you’re not happy with the knife, you have 30 days to return it and get your money back.

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Fillet Knives 101

A fillet knife typically has a 4 to 9 inch flexible blade that gives good control when filleting a fish. The knife has several distinct characteristics, which we discuss below.


The most popular material for fillet knife blades is stainless steel. Chromium is often added to the stainless steel blades to prevent corrosion since fillet knives are frequently wet. Adding chromium to the blade also helps prevent the pitting corrosion that can occur when you use a knife to cut raw meat.

The thickness of the blade is also important. A fillet knife needs to be flexible to remove the skin from the fish and cut around the bones. The best way to do this is to have a thin blade, so it can keep a sharp edge and still be flexible.

Fillet knives also have a longer bevel than most other types of knives. This gives filet knives an extremely sharp edge as well as a sharp point. This allows the fillet knife to cut around the bones without cutting into them.


Fillet knives generally have rubber or plastic handles to allow them to hold up under the continually wet conditions they are exposed to. The handle is usually shaped like a teardrop to give the user a place to put their index finger so it doesn’t get cut.

What Is the Difference Between a Boning Knife and a Fillet Knife?

People typically use boning knives to remove the bones from meat. Whereas fillet knives are generally used to remove the skin and bones from fish, although they can be used to remove the bones from meat as well.

These knives are sometimes used interchangeably, but a fillet knife is better when skinning and deboning fish. It is thinner and more flexible than a boning knife, which makes it better for the meticulous work involved in preparing fish for cooking.

How to Choose the Best Fillet Knife for the Job

Although you could use almost any knife to prepare your fish, not all knives will do the job safely and efficiently. A fillet knife can make quick work of deboning and skinning your fish. However, not all fillet knives do the job equally well. So, we are going to give some suggestions for what to look for in a fillet knife.

The most important feature to consider in a fillet knife is the blade. The best fillet knives are thin, flexible, and very sharp. You’ll also want your knife to hold up well to salt water. Blades made of stainless steel work well for this. The best length really depends on the fish you are cutting. Smaller blades work better on small species of fish. Whereas you may need a longer blade to efficiently cut larger fish.

A good handle needs to be comfortable and safe. If you’re cleaning a big batch of fish, you don’t want to be halfway through and find your hand is sore and tired. So, choose an ergonomically designed handle with a good grip that will ensure you’re safe and comfortable.

Don’t forget the sheath while picking your fillet knife. Although it may not be the biggest factor when choosing your knife, it is what keeps you safe when transporting it. You’ll want a sheath that allows adequate draining to keep your knife in good condition. Also, some sheaths provide nice extras, such as built-in blade sharpeners or belt loops.

What Makes a Good Filleting Knife?

A good fillet knife will allow you to comfortably clean your fish without wasting much of the fish. No one wants to spend the day fishing only to have a lot of their catch end up in the garbage. But, with the right knife, this won’t happen.

A quality fillet knife will have a long thin, flexible blade to allow for delicate cuts around the bones. A dull blade can tear the flesh and break the bones wasting fish and leaving bones in your dinner. You’ll want the blade to be made from high-carbon stainless steel, which will help the knife stay sharper longer and resist rust.

A good knife isn’t really worth the money if it’s not comfortable to use. So, choose your handle carefully. Pick a knife with an ergonomic handle and a non-slip surface. After all, deboning and skinning fish is slippery work, and you don’t want to lose any fingers.

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