10 Best Fillet Knife For Saltwater Fish in 2021

Peter Stec
November 3, 2021
Best Fillet Knife For Saltwater Fish

Most fish thrive in saltwater conditions. So, you need a filleting knife that can withstand these conditions. There are numerous filleting knives available with similar characteristics. 

Source: Name Industrial

One of the best fillet knives in the market is the KastKing 9 Inch Fillet Knife. This knife has a comfortable and safe grip; it can retain its sharp edge and has a nice curve.

Here Are The Best Fillet Knife For Saltwater Fish: Tried & Tested

#1 KastKing Fillet Knife

KastKing Fillet Knife

Key Specifications 

  • The blade is 5 inches.
  • The knife is 9 inches long.
  • The blade material is G4116 German Stainless-Steel with a beautiful black finish.
  • The handle material is bone.
  • It comes with a protective knife sheath.

KastKing Fillet knife has a strong, sharp edge appropriate for different tasks. You can use this knife to steak a large game fish or fillet of all sizes of fish. Kastking knives are flexible and follow the natural contours of the fillets. Its design is perfect for delicate cuts. The handle, made from super polymer, provides a comfortable grip during extensive use.

The sheath is lightweight and durable and protects the blade. In addition, the sheaths have open slots that let the water clear out easily. Thereby, the blade stays sharp and dry.

Pros

  • It can be used for multiple purposes.
  • Has a protective and durable sheath.
  • Has a slip-resistant design.
  • It is reasonably priced.
  • It ensures an ultra-sharp performance.

Cons

  • Many people have reported the knife gets bent.

#2 Bubba 9 Inch Flex Fillet Knife 

Bubba 9 Inch Flex Fillet Knife

Key Specifications 

  • The knife is 15 inches, 
  • The blade is 9 inches.
  • The blade has a Ti-Nitride coating.
  • The knife has a super-thin 8Cr13MoV blade constructed with high carbon stainless steel.

The non-slip grip handle gives you an outstanding grip. This feature provides additional security and control. The sharp stainless steel blade used in the Bubba knife is rust and corrosion resistant and is the best in the market. Only a little effort is required to cut through the meat. 

The finger guards in the handle protect your thumb and index fingers. You can reply on this knife to fillet fish of all sizes. Bubba knife has an extra sharp tip to help you cut effortlessly.

Pros

  • The blade is corrosion and rust-resistant.
  • It is affordable.
  • It has a non-slip safety grip.
  • It has improved visibility due to its bright color.

Cons

  • The brand new product is not sharp.

Do checkout our post best chef knife and best gyuto knife.

#3 Dexter P94812 Fillet Knife

Dexter P94812 Fillet Knife

Key Specifications 

  • The blade is made from 400 series stain-free high-carbon steel.
  • The handle material is slip-resistant and durable polypropylene.
  • The blade is hollow
  • Dishwasher safe

Dexter fillet knife can cut a lot of fish without having to sharpen it frequently. It retains its edge for a longer period. The blade is durable and stain-free, giving an impressive look. It also has a hollow ground to allow easy edge maintenance.

The handle material offers a good grip and is dishwasher safe. Thus, the user can comfortably hold it for an extended period. The knife is easy to maneuver due to its dimensions. The quality is high but is pocket-friendly.

Price -$11

Pros

  • The blade material is durable high carbon steel.
  • The edge is low-maintenance.
  • The handle is slip-resistant.
  • Flexible blades.

Cons

  • The handle gets detached from the blade.
  • The knife becomes blunt quickly.

#4 Rapala 9’ Fish’n Fillet Knife

Rapala 9’ Fish’n Fillet Knife

Key Specifications 

  • The blade material is full-tang Swedish stainless steel.
  • The handle is birch varnished material.
  •  The sheath is made from leather.
  • The overall length is 9 inches.

Rapala electric fillet knife has stainless steel blades construction and is durable. The edge is extremely sharp, and the blade can stretch from the tip to the handle due to the full tang design. 

The vanished birch handle offers a firm grip. There is added safety due to the finger guard. The sharpener is included with the knife. It has a well-fitting leather sheath. It is affordable.

It is a good gift for a novice chef

Pros

  • A blade sharpener is included.
  • The blade tip is flexible.
  • The cutting edge is long-lasting.
  • The handle is slip-resistant.

Cons

  • Little blade flex

#5 Kershaw Clearwater 9-In Fillet Knife 

Kershaw Clearwater 9-In Fillet Knife

Key Specifications 

  • The blade is 9 inches.
  • Blade material is 420J2 stainless steel.
  • The handle is made from copolymer rubber and has a soft texture.

Kershaw is the ideal knife for filleting fish, both larger fresh and salt-water alike. The stainless steel knife blade is durable.

The knife is corrosion and a rust-resistant brand and has an ABS sheath for protection. A belt holster is also provided to store it safely. The handle has a copolymer construction, and the soft texture ensures user comfort.

The blade steel is soft and can bend without breaking. As a result, you can slice through the fish easily. Along with reasonable prices, the knife comes with a limited warranty.

Price – $18.62

Pros

  • Presence of a good-quality cutting edge and curve. 
  • It has a comfortable and good grip.
  • The knife is lightweight and maneuverable.
  • Finger guards provided ensure safety.
  • It has improved visibility in the dark.

Cons

  • It requires frequent sharpening.

#6 Morakniv Fishing Comfort Fillet Knife 

Morakniv Fishing Comfort Fillet Knife

Key Specifications 

  • The blade length is 6.1 inches.
  • The blade material is cold-rolled 12C27 stainless steel from Sandvik.
  • The sheath is made from plastic and can be cleaned easily.
  • The handle has a high friction pattern.

Morakniv fish fillet knife is versatile. It is available in two blade lengths – 3.5 inches and 6.1-inch. A high-friction handle makes sure that you can maintain your grip while cleaning the fish. The 6.1 inch is appropriate for almost all fishes. A sotted plastic sheath is provided that can be cleaned easily. There are two belt clips on the handle – belt loop or clip-on. 

The stainless steel blade is famous for its razor sharpness. Moreover, it is exceptionally tough and has top-notch corrosion resistance. The added perk is this knife is dishwasher safe.

Morakniv is a beautiful blade to own. A quick tune-up can benefit it greatly and offers incredible performance.

Price – 6.1 inches – $29.22 & 3.5 inch – $22.76

Pros

  • The high-friction handle offers a good grip.
  • The knife design is versatile to suit all fish types.
  • The blade is razor-sharp, providing excellent performance.
  • The blade is corrosion-resistant.
  • The knife is provided with a protective plastic sheath.

Cons

  • The blade gets blunt quickly.

#7 Mercer Culinary Fillet Knife

Mercer Culinary Fillet Knife

Key Specifications 

  • The blade is created from one piece, a high carbon steel blade, Japanese steel.
  • The handle material combines Santoprene and polypropylene, the former for comfort and the latter for durability.
  • The knives are hand washed for blade edge and surface care. 

The blade of the Mercer knife is corrosion resistant and has a high quality. It can withstand most conditions. The blade is made thin to enhance its performance, having a nice flex with a pointed curve. It depends on you whether you want a straight blade. The handle has Santoprene materials to provide better comfort. 

The textured finger points in the handle offer a firm grip and slip resistance. For added safety, there is a finger guard.  

You can maintain the blade with easy steps. Moreover, the product is up to the NSF standards and thus is safe for filleting. Finally, the price is affordable, and a limited lifetime warranty is given.

Price – $12.99

Pros

  • The ergonomic handle provided added comfort
  • The steel blade is an extremely sharp steel 
  • Easy blade maintenance.
  • A finger guard is present for protection.
  • The blade is rust-free.

Cons

  • Rust spots have been seen by the customers.

#8 Zwilling J.A Henckels – Good Fillet Knife For Fish & Chicken

Zwilling J.A Henckels – Good Fillet Knife For Fish & Chicken

Key Specifications 

  • The blade is 7 inches long.
  • The blade is made from high carbon steel and is hand-finished. 
  • The handle material is polypropylene.
  • The blade has 57 Rockwell Hardness with Friodur ice-hardening technology.

The high-grade blade material of the Zwilling knife ensures durability and stops any corrosion and rust. The cutting angle provided by the knife, along with its size and flexibility, is perfect for easy and comfortable filleting of all sorts of fish.

The presence of the 57 Rockwell Hardness scale with Friodur ice-hardening technology makes the blade sharper and harder.

Price – $79.95

Pros

  • The knife is dishwasher compliant.
  • It has a 15° angle per slide, which is ideal.
  • It is perfect for both chicken and fish.
  • The blade is resistant to rust and corrosion.
  • The handle is designed for comfort and has a bolster.

Cons

  • No protective sheath is provided.

#9 Calamus Bait and Fishing Fillet Knife

Calamus Bait and Fishing Fillet Knife

Key Specifications 

  • The handle is made from rubber.
  • The blade material is G4116 German Stainless-Steel with corrosion resistance to the blue finish. 
  • The sheath material is nylon.

Calamus fishing fillet knife has five different lengths and shapes. The rubber handle has a golf-style design guaranteeing comfort. In addition, a vented nylon case is provided with this great knife, enhancing its corrosion-resistant nature. 

Pros

  • The blade is a razor-sharp knife.
  • The handle is slip-resistant.
  • It has a safety case.
  • The construction is unique.

Cons

  • The blade sharpness is inconsistent.

#10 Buck Fillet Silver 0220BLS Creek Folding Fishing Knife

Buck Fillet Silver 0220BLS Creek Folding Fishing Knife

Key Specifications 

  • The blade material is titanium Coated 420J2 Stainless Steel.
  • The handle is made from polypropylene glass with contouring on the lower side. 
  • The blade has a guard made from stainless steel. It also has a belt attachment lanyard.

Buck fish fillet knife can be stored easily and conveniently. The coating on the blade enhances durability. The handle is designed to provide an easy grip.

Pros

  • The blade has a rust-free titanium coating.
  • The sharp blade has a foldable design.
  • It is a flexible knife.

Cons

  • No sheath is provided.

How to Fillet a Saltwater Fish

Fillet knives come in handy when you have to remove the skin and bones of the fish. There is a specific method of filleting a saltwater fish. The steps are as follows – 

  1. First, wash a lime on your hands or knife to prevent slipping. 
  2. On a flat surface, have the fillet lay on its side. For a fillet, you need to cut the fish on the rib cage and the gills and pectoral fins. It isn’t necessary to remove the head or scales.
  3. Don’t cut off the head; cut along the rib’s top after turning the blade towards the tail. Let the backbone of the fish guide you. Turn the fish over and do steps 2 and 3 again.
  4. While slicing the section of the whole rib, insert the knife near the rib bones. Then insert it at about 0.5 inches away from the tail. Angle the blade between the meat and the skin while firmly gripping the tail part.
  5. Apply a bit of pressure with a sawing motion and slash against the skin. At this point, the fillet should come away from the skin easily.
  6. After washing the fillet in cold water, pat dries it using a clean paper towel or cloth. 

How To Maintain Your Fillet Knife

How To Maintain Your Fillet Knife
Image: Source
  • Wash and dry your knife as soon as you finish filleting. It will prevent rusting.
  • Fillet knives shouldn’t be put in the dishwasher. The soap can cause damage to the steel used in these knives. The heat can also ruin the handle, especially those made from wood. Finally, it can get dull spots from being knocked around by the spray bar.
  • Before storing, use a towel to dry the knife and then air dry it completely. It stops rust formation.
  • Storing your favorite fillet knife in a wet environment with other metals can cause rusting and putting of the blade. Use a knife roll.
  • If your fillet knife blade is high carbon steel, wipe it down with vegetable oil after washing and drying.

How to Safely Sharpen the Blades When They Get Dull

Follow the tips given below to keep your knife razor-sharp and get improved efficiency.

  • A guard clip can obstruct your movement when you sharpen slim knives. It doesn’t let the blade connect properly with the sharpening stone. So, remove the guard clip first.
  • Laying the blade at a low angle makes the work tedious and time-consuming, resulting in a soft edge. The sharpening angle has to be from 18 to 21 degrees to achieve a razor-sharp blade edge.
  • Use a sharpening stone to make your blade sharp. Run it on top of the blade table. It provides an appropriate angle and prevents the blade from bending during the process.
  • Don’t hurry; slowly sharpen your knife. This way, the stone cuts it better and remains clean afterward.
  • Maintaining a polished edge can give you a better cutting fish performance. So, keep the edge polished. 

What Fillet Knives Do Commercial Fishermen Use?

Commercial fishers use the following fillet knives –

  • Bubba Blade Stiffie.
  • Wusthof Grand Prix II.
  • Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Four Star.
  • Bubba Blade Tapered Flex.
  • Dalstrong Gladiator Series.
  • Rapala Fish ‘n Fillet Knife.

Buying Guide: What To Look For In The Best Fillet Knife For Saltwater Fish?

To get the best filleting experience, you have to pick the best saltwater fillet knife. You need to keep in mind a few specifications while buying the best fish fillet knife. They are – 

Blade

The blade has to be rust-resistant to get increased durability. Real stainless steel of high carbon steel is used to make a blade. For handling a large fish, you need a knife with a larger edge and vice versa. Therefore, take into account the sharpness and thickness of the blade for better performance.

Electrical or Manual

Electric fillet knives are large, bulkier, and needs a power source, but it cuts quickly and requires little effort. Moreover, an electric knife is expensive, and the user has to have some expertise in this area.

Manually operated knives are pocket-friendly; they allow precision cutting, making them user-friendly.

Handle

The handle is key to your filleting experience. If you get a slip-resistant handle, it will provide improved performance in wet conditions. Also, consider the shape of the handle to rest the index finger better. 

Older knives have wooden handles, while the newer ones use rubber and different plastics for a firmer grip.

Sharpness

Most fillet knives have the high 50s on the hardness scale. A blade can maintain an edge at a medium level. Thinner blades retain the flexibility of the knives when the skin is removed from the meat.

Cost

You need to have a reasonable budget to get the best fillet knife. If you buy an expensive knife, you have to maintain it properly to get your investment’s worth. Therefore, research extensively on price to obtain a high-quality knife.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What knife do you use to fillet the fish? 

A durable knife with a high-quality blade is recommended to fillet a fish. In addition, the handle should be an ergonomic design; it ensures your comfort while performing tasks. 

Which knife size is the best for filleting a  fish? 

A 9-inch knife is a great fillet knife for saltwater fish. The blade is powerful enough to cut around bones without having any meat wastage. 

Which sharpness level is suitable for a fillet fish knife? 

The edge angle should have a range between 12°-15°. Thus, it provides good resistance to dulling.

How can I test the sharpness of my knife? 

There is a fingernail trick to test the sharpness of a knife. If it stings your fingernail without any added pressure, it is a sharp blade.

Can a fillet knife be ruined with sharpening?

You can’t ruin a knife as it comes from metal. Occasional sharpening doesn’t make the knife brittle too. The blade doesn’t remain unusable after sharpening.

Does cutting paper with a fillet knife make it dull?

The lifespan of a knife reduces if used for cutting soft paper and newspaper. So, frequently using the knife to cut such stuff can make the knife dull.

Verdict

To separate bones and fish, fillet knives are ideal. But the blades should be resistant to corrosion for saltwater fish to prevent wear. When choosing a fillet knife, look for blade quality, design, grip, flexibility, and the knife features safety guards. Prioritize these features. This article contains some of the best saltwater fillet knives to make your choice easier.

About The Author
Hey Knife Up gang! I'm Pete, and I'm just another man like you in a small rural town who loves the outdoors as much as the other million internet users that cruise sites like KnifeUp.com every day. The difference is that I like to share what I know and research what I don't totally know so that YOU can have all the info you need to feel confident and prepared for all things outdoors-related! And, for those who care, I have 42 years of wilderness canoeing and bushcraft experience in Northern Ontario and spend most of my Summers covered in mosquitos and fish slime, but hey, it's a lifestyle choice, eh?

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