Best Salmon Fillet Knives of 2020 – Ultimate Review

A fillet knife is typically the most overlooked tool in your knife set. Although you can use a chef knife to cut your fish, a fillet knife enables precision piecing and a clean cut. If you want to enjoy a lunch of your catch or just clean whatever fish you have caught, a fillet knife is an indispensable tool that you must have in your kitchen.   

Increased control and lightweight handling make this tool ideal for filleting fish. It is designed with a flexible yet durable blade that ensures that the meat separates from the skin and bone efficiently and easily.

Here we will review some of the best fillet knives that are unparalleled in performance and quality so that you can choose one that is best for you. 

Our Top Picks for Fillet Knives For Salmon

  • Flexible blade
  • Easy spotting
  • Non-slip grip
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  • Best for the Money
  • Ergonomic handle
  • High quality steel
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  • Flexible blade
  • Non-slip grip
  • Made in USA
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Comparison of the Best Salmon Fillet Knives

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Flexible blade that won't break easily
  • Features neon-green marking for easy spotting
  • Non-slip co-polymer grip for comfort
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  • Best for the Money
  • Ergonomic handle with non-slip grip
  • High quality steel provides sharper edge
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  • Flexible blade made from surgical grade steel
  • Non-slip soft rubber grip
  • Proudly made in the USA
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  • Made from high-quality material
  • Slip-resistant grip made from rubber
  • Comes with a handy sheath
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What Makes a Fillet Knife Great For Salmon?

If you feel frustrated when filleting the fish with your kitchen knife or if your filets turn out damaged, then it is time to invest in a good-quality fish fillet knife. This amazing tool will reduce any wasted meat and will help you achieve awesome end results because of its following characteristics:

Better Maneuverability

Fillet knives are designed with a narrow, flexible blade and a sharp point that is often arched for better maneuverability. Moreover, their design allows users to cut under the skin and along the backbone, thus ensuring that no meat is wasted.

User Safety and Comfort

A large number of fillet knives come with an ergonomic handle that feels comfortable in hand. This provides users with the necessary power to keep a firm grip and control the blade, which can become difficult in normal kitchen knives if your hands are wet. Moreover, this non-slip grip increases safety for the user while reducing unnecessary strain while filleting and cleaning fish.

Enhanced Control

The highly flexible yet robust blade of a fillet knife also delivers excellent control. These knives typically have long blades, which make it easy to debone cuts of fish delicately. In addition, these blades are corrosion and rust-resistant, which further increases user convenience.

Willy's Top Picks - Best Salmon Fillet Knives

Review of the Best Salmon Fillet Knives

In order to get the right product, it is vital to pay special attention to some key characteristics. A wrong knife can result in a painful filleting process, which in turn could cause wastage of precious meat. Moreover, it can increase the risk of injuring you while deboning the fish.

Choosing the best fillet knife can be quite challenging, but with the help of the following reviews, you can choose a product that will help you balance precision with ultimate quality and enhanced comfort:  

Best Overall:
Kershaw 1259X

Kershaw Clearwater 9-In Fillet Knife (1259X) Fixed 420J2 High-Performance Stainless Steel Blade with Satin Finish, Black Textured Co-Polymer Handle with Neon-Green Detail and Included Sheath; 3.8 OZ

Pros

  • Slip=resistant handle that is comfortable to hold
  • Nine-inch fixed blade makes filleting large fish easy
  • Soft blade bends without breaking which ensures easy slicing
  • Neon-green accents for easy identification in the marine environment
  • Suitable for all fish, including snapper, tilapia, carp, catfish, eel, cod, tuna, etc.

Cons

  • Customer service is not good

What Recent Buyers Report

According to recent buyers, this knife has a long blade that cuts any size of fillet in just one pass. It provides good value for money, and they are highly satisfied with its performance, quality, and cost. They have used it to fillet everything from catfish to crappie, to bass, and found it working as smooth as butter. It is also very safe to carry because of its sheath, in which buyers find a very convenient feature.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Made with Japanese 420J2 stainless steel, the Kershaw fillet knife makes it easier to fillet large fish with ease. Its excellent degree of flex makes detailed jobs simple. This knife has a soft blade that glides easily through the fish, ensuring an ideal fillet. Moreover, it is highly corrosion-resistant, which makes it suitable for work in wet environments.

Another great feature of this knife which we find quite remarkable is its handle, which is made from co-polymer material. It is not only durable but is also contoured for a comfortable grip that makes filleting less fatiguing. In addition, it comes with an ABS sheath which securely locks in the knife, thus making it safe to store and transport.

Bottom Line

If you want to fillet fish without any difficulty, then this Kershaw knife is the best for you. Its quality construction, exceptional performance, and affordable price make it one of the best options for filleting even large fish in very little time.

Best for the Money: 
Mercer Culinary Millennia

Mercer Culinary Millennia Narrow Fillet Knife, 8.5-Inch, Black

Pros

  • Finger guard protects the hand while using the blade
  • Eight-inch one-piece, high carbon stainless steel blade
  • Effortlessly cuts through fish while maintaining a sharp edge
  • Ergonomic handle designed with Santoprene and polypropylene
  • Textured finger points ensure a non-slip grip, thus improving safety and minimize fatigue

Cons

  • Takes some practice to master its use

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers are so impressed with the quality of this knife that they claim the Mercer knife to be their favorite. It is extremely sharp with a thin, long, and strong, balanced blade. It has rubber grips that allow them better control. With this knife, they can easily cut salmon, poultry, and even bread without any crumbs.

Why it Stands Out to Us

If you want functional, easy maintenance, and no-frills option, then the Mercer Culinary millennia is one of the best fillet knives to opt for. It delivers superior ability and great quality to deliver precise and clean cuts. These knives are high on delivery without putting too much of a burden on one’s budget.

Designed with the highest grade Japanese steel, these knives are sharp and effective, thus providing users with a unique combination of affordability and efficiency. The high carbon, stain-free blade requires hardly any care and maintenance, which ensures customer convenience and makes these exceptional products an indispensable companion for your outdoor trips.

Bottom Line

Combining great value for money, versatility, and excellent performance, this Mercer Culinary Millenia is sure to become your favorite. Its ergonomically-designed, non-slip handle makes it comfortable and safe to use even for longer periods. The flexible and narrow blade ensures effortless filleting of delicate fish, which makes it ideal for any catering kitchen or restaurant.

Rada Cutlery Fillet Knife – Stainless Steel Blade with Leather Scabbard and Rubber Handle, 12-1/4 Inch

Pros

  • Rubber grip ensures user safety even in wet conditions
  • Flexible and lightweight blade that measures 7 1/8 inches
  • Constructed from T420 high-carbon, surgical grade stainless steel
  • Excellent tool that should be a part of every fisherman’s tackle box
  • Lifetime warranty makes it easier to return the product in case of a defect in workmanship or material

Cons

  • Material used in the construction of the sheath could be better

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers have found this to be a great knife to have in the kitchen. They like the quality of this product and feel that it will stay with them for a long time. This knife is very sharp, which is why it excels at cutting very thin slices of salmon and other meats.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This Rada knife is an essential addition to any fisherman’s tackle box. Its 7 1/8-inch blade is designed with surgical-quality high-carbon stainless steel that ensures durability. Moreover, this blade is flexible enough to cut the meat from the bones quickly and effortlessly. Its handle is made from black rubber that ensures a solid grip even in the wettest environment.

The blade of this knife is hand sharpened, thus providing a razor-sharp edge, which we find highly efficient. Whether you are cutting a fresh trout by the steam or filleting a salmon in your kitchen, the Rada cutlery fillet knife is an efficient tool to have by your side.

Bottom Line

With the Rada cutlery fillet knife, you can enjoy your fishing season without any difficulty. It is very sharp and is able to keep an edge quite well. This versatile knife is sharp enough for flounder and flexes enough to do a wonderful job on redfish.

Huntsman Outdoors Fillet Knife - Razor Sharp 6 inch Stainless Steel Blade - Protective Sheath - Non Slip Grip

Pros

  • Ideal for fishing as well as camping and hunting
  • Slip-resistant rubber handle delivers user safety
  • Helps to save time by harvesting even the tough catch quickly and efficiently
  • Backed by one-year free replacement warranty and one-month money-back warranty
  • Designed from high-quality materials that ensure rust resistance, durability, and a sharp edge

Cons

  • May need sharpening on arrival

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers have used this knife to fillet salmon, and other fish including crappie and bluegill and are extremely satisfied with its outstanding performance. It is very sharp, has a comfortable handle, and a flexible blade which is why buyers claim this knife to be a great purchase. Buyers are so happy with this product that they are willing to buy it again if needed.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Huntsman outdoors fillet knife is a beautiful yet highly professional knife for dealing with all wild game. Whether you want to cut fish, bone, meat, or skin deer, this great utility knife is one of the safest options. Its sharp stainless steel blade is not only resistant to stain, chip, or rust, it is also saltwater-friendly.

Moreover, the high flexibility of this blade helps an angler to trim difficult to reach spots and cut around bone. Its non-slip grip ensures better control even in wet conditions, and its lockable sheath keeps the blade safe and secure. It is also resistant to the contamination that makes it a great knife for your kitchen.

Bottom Line

Offering a dependable blade and competitive price, the Huntsman outdoor fillet knife performs equally, whether it is fish or game. It is durable and safe and comes with a 30-day money-back warranty by the manufacturer, thus creating peace of mind among customers.

DALSTRONG Fillet Knife - 7' Flexible - Gladiator Series - German HC Steel - w/Two Sheaths

Pros

  • Full tang for increased strength and robustness
  • 1.5mm thickness ensures maneuverability and flexibility
  • Laminated Pakkawood handle for superior beauty, strength, and refinement
  • Seven-inch precision-forged, ultra-sharp knife made from ThyssenKrupp German steel
  • Comes with a PLU outdoor leather travel sheath and a BPA-free Delstrong PerfectFit sheath

Cons

  • May not feel very sharp upon arrival

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers have used this knife to both bone and filet and have found its performance amazing. They are very happy with its top-notch construction and comfortable feel in hand. It has perfect balance and has allowed them to make extra-thin slices of fish without any difficulty. This knife has proven very useful, and they recommend other users to invest in this knife.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Dalstrong Gladiator series fillet knife is an exceptional kitchen tool that has been forged from premium quality, high-carbon ThyssenKrupp German steel. This quality construction gives this knife an ultra-sharp edge while providing it with excellent stain and wear resistance. The Dalstrong knife ensures ultra-thin dicing and slicing with minimal effort, clean up, or maintenance required.

This knife is not just pleasing to look at but also a dream to work with. It features an ergonomic, beautiful, and ambidextrous imported Pakkawood handle that provides users with maximum comfort and maneuverability. The hand-polished bolster offers finger protection and adds counterweight while the triple rivets ensure the highest level of robustness and strength.

Bottom Line

This seven-inch knife from Dalstrong is a kitchen workhorse as it ensures de-scaling, de-boning, trimming, filleting, and skinning all your favorite fish efficiently and with ease. It is highly maneuverable and ultra-flexible, allowing you to breeze through sinew and flesh. It comes with two protective sheaths that make it safe to store and to bring along on outdoor adventures.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

Before buying a fillet knife, you need to take into account a wide array of factors. Make sure that you keep the following considerations in mind so that you choose a balanced product that combines ease of ease and quality with affordable price:

Flexibility

The precision and accuracy with which you use your fillet knife greatly depend on the overall flexibility of the product. It is one of the key aspects which will help you determine the best fish fillet knife. Filleting a fish requires finesse, and choosing a blade that is flexible makes this whole process precise and convenient. Typically larger knives have lees flexibility as compared to small knives. Make sure that the knife that you choose has a sufficient degree of flex and will be highly useful in the kitchen.      

Blade Size

Choosing the correct blade size is another important concern. Fillet knives are available in various sizes, depending on the size of the fish you want to fillet. Small, narrow-sized blades are more flexible and give you a precision cut. However, if you want to fillet a large fish, these small blades will not be appropriate. Instead, you will need a heavy-duty unit for a large-sized fish. Thus you can see that there is no set combination or formula – it all depends on the size of your fish and the purpose for which you need this knife.

Grip

A good grip is essential as you will not be able to hold the knife comfortably and properly if the grip is not up to par. It is vital to choose a knife that has an ergonomically-made handle and a comfortable grip that makes it easier to debone or skin the fish.   

How to Fillet a Salmon

Filleting salmon might seem a little daunting; however, the proper technique is not difficult to learn. Filleting properly will prevent you from wasting meat or ending up with a bony piece for supper. The following steps will help you filet clean, meaty pieces with ease:

  1. Place the salmon on its side on a fillet table or a large cutting board.

  2. Insert the knife in the anus, located on the underside near the tail. Pull the fillet knife from the belly to the head, making sure that you do not cut any organs.

  3. Remove the head and the organs and discard them properly.

  4. Start cutting from where the head used to be and slice the fish until you reach the spine. Once the knife reaches the spine, turn the knife into a horizontal position and drag it to the tail.

  5. Use the backbone as your guide so that you can preserve the maximum amount of meat. Make a perpendicular cut once you reach the tail and lift the fillet piece.

  6. Repeat the process on the other side to get two beautiful and meaty fish fillets.  

If you are still not clear about the proper filleting technique, the following video will provide you with valuable tips to ensure that your fish is not torn or mangled.

Conclusion

Many people believe that filleting is a very hard process. This is not so. With the right knife, you can easily fillet fish even if you do not have any previous experience. The key to filleting fish effectively is to follow the process step by step.

If you do not own a good-quality filleting knife, then you are really missing out on enjoying premium fish fillets that can only be attained with the help of an appropriate knife. With the help of the above reviews, you can learn all about the top filleting knives available and easily choose a filet knife that matches your preference and budget.

People Also Ask

Filleting is a very intricate process, but using a good-quality fillet knife can make it quite easy. People who are new to filleting should read online reviews before choosing a particular brand and watch tutorials to perfect their technique. Moreover, answers to the following questions will help them get better results:

Do You Need to Wash Salmon Fillets?

It is a common misconception that rinsing salmon can help keep it clean and bacteria-free. However, this is not so. Washing salmon fillets do not get rid of bacteria; instead, it can spread bacteria in case of the water splashes from the sink during the process of rinsing.

What Must Be Removed From Salmon Fillets Before Cooking?

Before cooking a salmon, you should remove the gills and viscera. Remove the fins and descale with the backside of a knife. Cut off the head and remove the guts. Before you bake, fry, broil, broil, season, or glaze the salmon, you should also remove the pin bones as this will make it more eater-friendly. You can use needle-nose pliers, special fish tweezers, or surgical clamps for this purpose.