It is one of the saddest facts of kitchen life that most people will own several excellent sets of knives but they will not have a file knife. The main reason probably has to do something with the fact that file knives are quite expensive and at the same time look small and inconspicuous. But the fact is that you are paying that much money precisely because the knife is so small and yet supple and strong. And the reason why it is so sad that many kitchens lack is essential to for cooking is that you simply cannot cook fish in the best possible way without filleting it yourself. You can have your fishmonger and do it for you but then you will have to cook it in the next couple of hours so that the exposed flesh will not get dry, or you can try using your best kitchen knife but then you will either leave meat on the bones or you will cut some of the bones with the meat. The best file knives will follow the contours of the bones, and will get to ride between the skin and the flesh allowing you to not have to deal with those nasty scales. So for all these reasons, and many more like the fact that the fillet knife can be used on more than just fish, here are our top 10 best fillet knives. Make sure though to scroll past the list itself to find the in depth reviews we have prepared for each knife. That way you can be sure to choose the best knife for your needs.
1. Wusthof Gourmet 7-Inch Fish Fillet Knife
The best fillet knife on the market today by far is the Wusthof Gourmet 7-Inch Fish Fillet Knife. This is the knife you can buy for your chef friend and not worry that he will not like it. That is to say this is a knife that even a 50 year old fishmonger who has had his own favorite fillet knife for all that time will still value and appreciate the Wusthof. It is a German quality knife made in Germany, from a high carbon, no stain steel. The high carbon content is important because it allows you to sharpen the knife to a very fine edge and it will then be able to retain that edge perfectly. The blade goes on for another 4 inches straight into the handle where it is limited in place. That way you can really feel every twist and turn of the knife. The knife comes with its own leather sheath with a belt loop so you can very comfortably carry it with you and have it on hand. That high quality leather sheath is also important for another reason which is that tells you just how long-lasting this knife is meant to be. In case you have never owned a fillet knife let us assure you that your cooking experience will be completely different once you start using one of these knives.
2.Victorinox 6-Inch Flex Boning Knife
If this was Oprah every one of our readers would get a Wusthof fillet knife simply because those are the best. However we cannot afford to do that and we understand that most of our readers will not be able to afford a Wusthof knife. So if you are looking for that budget friendly alternative, the best choice you have today is the Victorinox 6-Inch Flex Boning Knife. The blade is very sharp straight out-of-the-box and it retains that sharpness very nicely overtime. It can also be sharpened very well and very easy provided you have the proper sharpening tools, and in case you do not we recommend that you check out our Best Manual Knife Sharpener and Best Electric Knife Sharpener articles. The other impressive thing about it is the fact that it has a fibrox handle which is a natural mineral conglomerate, so it is much more resilient than wood while also being a natural alternative to the plastics most other companies use.
3. Morakniv Fishing Comfort Fillet Knife
We have already given you the German quality fillet knife, but if you want there is a cheaper alternative that still uses a high quality Swedish metal, which is the Morakniv Fishing Comfort Fillet Knife. It uses a stainless steel blade made by Sandvik in Sweden except that, unlike IKEA, which is another Swedish product, this knife works brilliantly right out of the box. The grip has a patented design of it that, although we do not think it is so brilliant it needed to be protected, it is still quite comfortable and easy to hold. The fact that it is made from synthetic materials does have the advantage that they could color it in a more vibrant shade and does make it easier to notice if you tend to drop it and also a more beautiful accessory for your kitchen. With the knife you also get a plastic sheet that can be worn on your belt.
4. Rapala Fish’n Fillet Knife
Although we do not usually like to use wood in any situation where you are also dealing with fish, we do like the traditional feel of the Rapala Fish’n Fillet Knife. That wood itself is wrapped in several layers of lacquer so it is quite a safe choice. The blade is made of the same Swedish high quality steel, but there are 2 other significant accessories that this fillet knife comes with that attracted us to it. It comes with a genuine leather sheath and also with a single stage sharpening tool. Being a single stage means you have to use it that very moment you notice that the knife is no longer as sharp as it used to be. Letting it grow duller than that would mean that you would have to use a two-stage sharpening tool.
5. Rada Cutlery R200 Fillet Knife
An interesting choice for hard-core fishermen that like to fillet their fish right on the water is the Rada Cutlery R200 Fillet Knife. The thing that first attracted to it was the rubber handle that makes it very easy to hold firmly even if your hands are wet and covered in fish juices. The only downside is that this knife is not dishwasher safe. Of course we also pay close attention to the quality of the blade and although it is not the very best we have ever seen the sharpness level is impressive and the knife does maintain that sharpness level over time.
6. Rapala4 Soft Grip Fillet
If you liked the fact that our first Rapala fillet knife choice came with its own sharpener, but are wary of using wood, then you might like the Rapala4 Soft Grip Fillet. It uses the same exact high quality extra sharp flexible blade, but they just give you a plastic handle with a fancy design on the greed that will let you hold the knife very comfortably even in wet conditions. Also the shift is not made from genuine leather but it does look the part and is sturdy enough to last several years at least.
7. Dexter-Russell 8″ Fillet Knife
In all honesty we cannot say that we like the Dexter-Russell 8″ Fillet Knife simply because of the poor design decisions that were made in its manufacturing. The blade is what attracted us to eat because it uses a high carbon content steel so it can reach a level of sharpness that few other knives can. On the other hand the blade is a bit too thick to be a good fillet knife, especially if you are dealing with smaller fish or are trying to separate the meat from the skin. On the other hand it makes a perfect fillet knife for handling chicken or pork.
8. Rapala Fish’n Fillet Superflex Fillet Knife
There are a couple of fillet knives that we have left for the second half of our list because they are so specialized and geared towards just one area of expertise that very few people are ever going to need them. The Rapala Fish’n Fillet Superflex Fillet Knife is a knife intended for light meat fish or fish that are really small. Its blade is so flexible that it can easily fillet a trout, despite its very thin bones, whereas most other knives would not know the difference. The obvious problem is that you need to have a lot of experience with cutting meat to be able to use such a flexible knife with other cuts of meat or even other species of fish.
9. Buck Knives 220 Silver Creek Folding Fillet Fishing Knife
As a general rule we do not think that folding knives should be used as anything but emergency devices. They do not provide the rigidity, the endurance or the safety rating you would have with a regular knife. However, the Buck Knives 220 Silver Creek Folding Fillet Fishing Knifealready has an extra flexible blade, so you would only use it on small fish with thin bones, so it may be an excellent alternative to the Rapala we have just talked about.
10. Sarge Knives SK-130 Fishing Kit
Our final choice for the best fillet knives on the market today is the Sarge Knives SK-130 Fishing Kit. Here you have a kit with 2 different fillet knives, a serrated knife that you would use to cut through bone, a cutting board and a sharpening tool. Everything is put together in a nice kit box, so you can just thorough it in the back of the car when you go fishing or hunting, and it contains everything you will need.