Best Fillet Knife for Salmon in 2020 (Review & Buying Guide)

Fact Checked By Luna L. Rusk | Last Updated on August 14, 2020

There are not many finishes in the water that are as gutsy as Salmon.

Yes, we mean it. It born in freshwater, but do not hesitate to migrate to the vast ocean. And return to the same freshwater during spawning. Just like its lifecycle, the taste of the fish is also distinct.

No wonder, the catch of a good salmon is a great accomplishment for any fisher. Now, you need the best fillet knife for Salmon to celebrate your success. But how to choose the best fish fillet knife set for Salmon?

We have reviewed, literary, one hundred top-rated fillet knives to sort out the top ten for you.

After the daunting task of reviewing a hundred knives, we have found the best ten. However, Victorinox Cutlery 8″ Straight, Kershaw Clearwater 9-In Fillet Knife-1259X, and Rapala4 Soft Grip Fillet got our special attention.

Want to know why? Let’s dive into the review and THE MOST DETAILED BUYING GUIDE you ever read about Salmon filleting knives.

Top-10 Fillet Knife for Salmon

Top Picks

Best Seller
Victorinox Cutlery 8″ Straight Fillet Fishing Knife
Editor's Choice
DALSTRONG Fillet Knife - 7" Flexible - Gladiator Series
Budget Picks
Rapala4 Soft Grip Fillet Knife

Bubba 12 Inch Flex Curved Fillet Knife with Non-Slip Grip Handle, Full Tang Stainless Steel Non-Stick Titanium Blade, Lanyard Hole and Synthetic Sheath for Fishing

Top-10 Best Salmon Fillet Knife Review

Lightweight, flexibility, and ease of use make this swiss fillet knife the top choice of our review. All the features of the best fillet knife ever are available at an affordable price in it. Lifetime warranty on the manufacturer’s defect is a big bonus.

The 8-inches blade has straight edges and is highly flexible. You can use the blade on any small to medium fish as the height of the blade is only 0.9-inch. High carbon stainless steel makes the blade both durable and long-lasting.

When we say long-lasting, we mean it. The blade is stamped from cold-rolled steel for better hardness and toughness. So, you can bend and twist the knife at any angle to get the best fillet from your catch.

Patented Fibrox handle makes sure you have a firm grip while fileting. Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE) makes the handle slip resistance and ergonomic. Anyone can feel the combination of balance and comfort while gripping the handle.

You can easily wash this food-grade NSF certified knife in any dishwasher. Each wash will make it newer and brighter. However, to keep the edge razor-sharp, regular sharpening is a must.

Pros

Cons

Rhinoreto Fish fillet knife. Flexible, stainless steel blade. Filet knifes for fish with sheath and sharpener. (6.5)

The next best fillet knife in our list is the US-made Rhinoreto 8-inches knife. It is famous for its highly flexible stainless-steel blade, ergonomic rubber handle, and easy-to-use sharpener. Users love this for personal use and as a gift.

The stainless-steel blade of the Rhinoreto knife offers extreme flexibility. Higher carbon content in the steel makes it easily bendable and reach almost any corner of the flesh. Double bevel sleek edges offer high-quality sharpness. No matter which blade side you use, the outcome will be equally stunning.

One of the best things about Rhinoreto salmon filleting knife is the easy-to-use sharpener. It comes free with the knife. As the sharpener is specially designed for this blade, so you don’t have to worry about the sharpening angle.

Moreover, the compact design makes the sharpener tool handy. You can carry it almost anywhere with the knife.

Carrying and storing the knife is also comfortable with the vented sheath. This plastic protective case keeps the blade away from any physical damage. Besides, the vented plastic sheath will dry off the knife even if you store it wet.  So, no worries of rusting.

Non-slip rubber handle ensures a firm grip and full control. No matter if it is a saltwater or freshwater fish, the guarded grip will make your filleting job as easy as counting 1,2,3.

Pros

Cons

Sani-Safe S133-9-PCP 9" Narrow Fillet Knife with Polypropylene Handle

The first 9-inch blade of the list is from the house of Dexter-Russell. Sani-Safe model of the brand is utterly famous for its signature DEXSREEL blade, sleek design, lightweight, and durability. All these great knife features are available at an affordable price.

Sani Safe, the name tells a lot about the knife. Your safety is the primary concern of the design. A high-quality plastic handle is specially designed to keep your hands safe. Finger grip and beveled rest for the middle finger makes the handle as one of the most envious designs in the market.

High carbon, high alloy DEXSTEEL is both stains free and super flexible. It doesn’t matter how much the 9-inches blade bent, it will always reach the flesh and fillet it from the bone.

Straight edge blades are super sharp for almost any kind of fresh and saltwater fishes. However, you will see the best results only with Salmon and other bigger fishes.

NSF has certified it as safe to use in making food. Besides, the US-made knife also ensures you will use it for a long time. Make sure you wash thoroughly and dry them properly.

Pros

Cons

Each of the Dalstrong knives is renowned for their strength, durability, and wrecking sharpness. Full tang built to give strength, high carbon German steel offer durability, and hand-sharpened multi-angle blade makes it super sharp.

What is a fillet knife used for? Of course, to filet and clean any fish. The 7-inches stain-resistant blade can do both with ultimate precision. 55+ Rockwell Hardness rating ensures enough hardness to deal with the most robust bones.

Intense hardness does not compromise the flexibility of the blade. 1.5-mm thick blade spine supports every bend and twist of the blade. High carbon content in the German steel blade makes it soft and swift.

Each side of the blade is hand-sharpened with two different angels. One side is 16, whereas the other is 18-degree with a flat surface. It gives the knife a single-beveled feature. Now, slicing through the flesh and separating it from the bone is easy and effortless.

The ergonomic handle is made with laminated pakkawood. Along with durability, the lamination coating maintains a hygienic use of the knife. Besides, it makes the knife easy to clean. Engraved triple-riveted handles will make you feel confident each time you take it out from the covers.

Yes, two sheath covers come with the knife—one for indoor and another for outdoor adventures.

Pros

Cons

Bubba 12 Inch Flex Curved Fillet Knife with Non-Slip Grip Handle, Full Tang Stainless Steel Non-Stick Titanium Blade, Lanyard Hole and Synthetic Sheath for Fishing

Bubba is one of the iconic fillet knives loved by both veteran and amateur salmon fishers. The 12-inch flexible blade is just perfect for slicing any salmon from any seas. Full tang construction supports each cut with ultimate durability.

The blade construction is one of the most exceptional features of this best fillet knife for salmon. It is made with stainless steel with Chromium and Molybdenum alloy. The entire length is coated with Titanium-Nitride for lifelong smooth and stain free cutting experience. 

The overall length of the knife is 18-inches with the 12-inches blade. You can imagine the power and precision it can generate at each cut. Either it is sockeye or Atlantic salmon, every fillet will be a masterpiece with the Bubba Flex knife.

You may be wondering why ‘Flex is included in the name? Well, this model is in the middle of Bubba’s flexibility scale. That means the knife is a perfect balance between flexibility and stiffness.

However, the only stiff issue with the knife is its price. In comparison to the previous knives, we reviewed, this is a bit pricey.

The handle is another feature that makes the knife unique from any of its 12-inch counterparts. Trigger grip and safety guard at the handle-blade connection safeguard your fingers from any accidental cuts. The rubber-infused non-slip grip will add extra firmness behind every action.

Pros

Cons

Rapala 7 1/2 Inch Soft Grip Fillet Knife / Single Stage Sharpener / Sheath

Rapala 4 is the best budget fillet knife on the list. Despite the affordable prices, this flexible cutting tool has all the features of a quality fillet knife. This is the most famous filleting tool for amateur fishermen in the world.

Blade size of the Rapala brand comes in three options. 4, 6, 7.5, and 9-inches. We recommend and review the 7.5 and 9-inches model for Salmon and other big fishes. Premium quality stainless steel is highly flexible for any filleting use.

You will enjoy the safety and secure grip of the handle. The safety guard at the edge of the handle prevents any slipping. A soft and molded textured handle is ideal for firm control on the grip.

A black sheath and red sharpener make an ideal combo with this famous knife. You can buy it for your boat kitchen or can give a gift to someone getting interested in fishing and filleting.

Pros

Cons

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

This US-made stainless-steel knife is both affordable and easy to use for any amateur fisherman. Soft rubber grip and sheath makes it easy to carry and utilize almost anywhere. Except for the sheath quality, the knife comes with all the great features.

You will love the high carbon stainless steel blade. The entire 7-inches length is flexible and easily separates meat from bones. Edges are double beveled for ultimate sharpness.

The soft rubber grip will keep the knife in place – in your hand. A firm grip on the black rubber handle offers both safety and precise cuts.

You can take the knife anywhere with the black sheath. However, a few users found the leather pack is not durable enough to keep the blade straight. 

Pros

Cons

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

Are you looking for a super cheap filleting knife? The Kershaw is the best option. The corrosion-resistant stainless-steel blade is flexible enough to cut through any medium-sized salmon.

The 9-inches blade will fulfill your need to cut and fillet any fresh or saltwater fish. You can use it for a longer time due to the 420J2 steel quality. Corrosion-resistant steel ensures hassle-free fileting.

The rubber grip is soft and prevents any slipping. Even in the low marine environment light, you can see its neon green

Pros

Cons

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

Mercer Millennia is the narrowest filleting knives in our review list. The high carbon Japanese blade may be hard and durable; however, the slim design makes the blade bend too much. Otherwise, this NSF certified knife is excellent for salmon filleting.

The entire 8-inches length of the blade is sharp and can deal with tough meat and bone. The flexibility may be an issue, but it will help you to reach the deeper core of a salmon and slice it.

A black grip is made with rubber, and textured finger point adds extra safety for your fingers. The finger guard at the front prevents any slips.

NSF certification ensures food-grade steel quality for this lightweight knife. You can also enjoy a limited lifetime warranty.

Pros

Cons

Zwilling J.A. Henckels Zwilling J.A Fillet Knife, 7 Inch, Black

The last European fillet knife of our review is the Zwilling J.A. Henckels 31073-183. This German-made fileting tool is famous for its SIGMAFORGE technology, durable blade, and polypropylene handle. The only issue we have found is the higher price.

The entire 7-inch blade is made from a single piece of high carbon no-stain steel. So, uniformity of the steel affects the durability of the blade and its sharpness. The sharpness will remain longer due to the ice-hardening.

There is a 15-degree angle on both sides. Besides, the laser-controlled flat edges offer razor-like sharpness to cut or slice any fish. Ergonomic handle made with polypropylene provides all the grip to move this 57 Rockwell Hardness knife.

Pros

Cons

Buyer's guide: what should you consider before purchasing the best fish fillet knife for salmon?

Now you have the ten best fillet knives ever in your wish list. The next step is to pick the perfect one unless you want all of them.

This is not feasible. We know that! So, let’s consider a few essential factors that will help you to buy the most appropriate one from our fish fillet knife reviews.

● Size of the Blade:

It may sound cliché, but ‘size does matter’ in choosing the best fillet knife for sockeye salmon or any salmon.

Typical fish fillet knives blade ranges from 6 to 12 inches.  Smaller blades (6 to 9-inches) are great for filleting smaller fishes like halibut, or mackerel. These knives require less pressure to clean and fillet those fishes.

On the contrary, bigger fishes like Salmon or wahoo require bigger knives for better filleting. Expert captains and fishermen recommend blade size from 10 to 12-inches. They are perfect for filleting and cleaning fish like Salmon will less effort.

You must be wondering why on earth we have included a few 8 or 9-inches knives then. Well, those are exceptionally durable knives. Despite smaller blade length, those stainless-steel blades can clean or fillet any fish effortlessly. 

● Materials of the Blade:

Any top-rated fish fillet knife blade is made with stainless steel. But not all steels that are used in blades are the same.

Stainless steel blades are ideal for regular uses. If fish is the only primary food in your diet, it is better to get a titanium coated steel blade.

You will find two types of steel that are used in making high-end fillet knife blades. The first one is German, and the next is Japanese steel. These steels are unique in their hardness and toughness. In the same way, they are also used for different types of filleting.

Best Japanese knives are heavier and come with single-beveled edges. It is evident that heavier blades will be much thicker with a larger slanted angel. The steel used in these Asian knives is stainless steel with only the allowable amount of carbon in it.

High-Quality German or Scandinavian fillet knives, on the other hand, are lighter and thinner. They are much more flexible than their Asian counterparts.

Both the edges are beveled with low slanted angels. The material of these knives is high carbon stainless steel. Higher carbon content turns the steel more flexible and softer.

Due to the softness, sharpening and bending any German knives are easier than the Japanese one. However, soft material loses sharpness quicker than the hard and heavier Japanese steel. So, the Asian blades get the upper hand here.

● Bevel Angle and Blade Sharpness :

Razor-sharp edges of the blades are related with the bevel angle. Bevels are made by making certain angles on the blade edges. If both sides of the tips are beveled, it’s double beveled. Otherwise, it’s single.

European fillet knives are double beveled. That means both sides are angled, and you can use both. Along with convenience, these blades ensure more sharpness with longevity.

Asian knives are single beveled. They offer razor-sharp edges but on one side. The best thing about these single bevel knives is they can generate a sharp cut with a single stroke. So, you can clean any fish with minimum effort.

However, if you use the non-beveled side, it is easy to ruin the meat and cut the bones accidentally.

The bevel angle ranges from under 10 to above 30 degrees. If you ask me what a good fillet knife bevel is, my answer will be 20-degree. It maintains a balance between hardness and flexibility.

The small bevel angle (less than 10-degrees) blades are soft and not suitable for any tough jobs. On the contrary, any angle above 30-degree will be too tough for filleting Salmon.

● Knife Handle:

Blades take all the spotlight of a best fillet knife for salmon. But, let’s not forget that handles determine how perfectly the blade will act. Knife handles ensure comfort, grip, proper angel, and durability of any fillet or boning knife.

Shape and make are the most crucial factor to decide the perfect knife handle. Handles with a beveled spot for your middle finger is the best. They ensure the safety of your fingers, prevent slips, and a better cut.

Now, let’s move to the made. Classic fillet knives come with wooden handles. They are excellent at displaying craftsmanship and design. Nevertheless, you will find a few issues with wooden handles.

One of the most crucial downsides of the wooden handle is they can get slippery soon. If you have a sweaty palm or work with a lot of water, controlling a wooden handle may be an issue. A slippery handle can be dangerous as it can lead to the blade to flesh contact.

Wood naturally has millions of microscopic holes in it, and they can absorb fish smell easily. No one will like to work even with the best knife for filleting that smells like fish.

The modern alternative to wood is molded rubber and plastic. Both materials provide extra grip due to their squeezing nature. So, the grips are slip resistance also. The additional grip makes sure you get extra traction during each cut.

Cleaning rubber or plastic grip is easy, and they won’t soak any germs or fishy smell. Moreover, the durable nature will keep the sharpness of the blade intact for a longer time.

● Weight:

Let’s recall the high-school Physics class.  Remember what Sir Isaac Newton said-more weight means more power. It’s right for everything, and fillet knives are not any different.

Heavy knives provide more power than any lightweight blades with the use of the same pressure. Now the question is whether you need that much power or not.

Fileting salmon requires little extra force than any smaller fish. Nevertheless, the pink flesh is delicate, so it needs to be handled very delicately. So, you need a balance between power and weight.

We recommend light-medium to medium weight knives for Salmon. If you are not sure about the weight, just pick any knives with an 8 to 12-inch blade. They will do the magic for you.

Ultra-lightweight knives may be easy to handle, but they won’t be able to generate the desired cut. Besides, they will be too soft to tackle salmon meat and bones.

Heavyweight knives-on the contrary- generate too much force that can damage the delicate salmon meat. Moreover, it can cut the bones into tiny pieces that you won’t love to bite while enjoying the fillet.

● Flexibility :

Any excellent fillet knife for Salmon maintains a balance between flexibility and hardness. They are related to each other, but consequently, one can undermine others. Let’s move on to discover this unique relationship.

Hard knives are not very flexible-Period. Therefore, if you are looking for a fillet knife to clean Salmon, choose one with medium hardness and high toughness. Low hardness and high toughness offer higher flexibility.

Wondering how? Think about glass. It is hard but not tough enough to endure any big blow. In the same way, soft blades can bend and twist and can reach even the toughest corner inside the Salmon.

Smaller blades are too soft; therefore, they are neither hard nor tough. Contrarily, too big knives are too hard and are not tough enough to offer any flexibility.

If you are feeling a bit lost, let me assure you that you don’t have to. All the ten knives in our review have the optimum flexibility to take care of any salmons.  

● Sheath and Sharpening Stone:

These accessories are essential to keep even the best budget fillet knife ready to go. The sheath can be made of leather or rexine. Modern varieties are made with plastic or heavy polyester fabrics.

No matter what the materials are, sheaths will store the knife safely in any cupboard or tackle box. When you are going for an outing, carry them on your waist belt. Who knows, you can catch a big salmon while in the boat or trekking along the river.

We strongly recommend buying any knife that comes with a sharpening stone. The stone is mainly designed for that knife. Therefore, using it with the knife will always give the best razor-sharp outcome.

Make sure you maintain the mentioned angle while sharpening the knife, it should be said in the packaging or under the box.

Frequently Asked Questions on Salmon Fillet Knife

Despite knowing almost every detail to choose the best fish fillet knife for the money, you may have a few additional queries. We know what you may ask.

Thus, we have rounded up all the ‘common questions’ asked by any salmon lovers before they buy the best fillet knife.

Fish meat is delicate. Moreover, the bones are aligned intricately with the flesh. It is not as simple as to debone or cut a piece of chicken or beef. Therefore, you need a dedicated knife for fish.

Any fish tastes best as a fillet. It retains all the flavors and nutrition. A great fillet knife will remove the flesh from the bone without damaging the meat texture. Furthermore, these knives will make sure not even any tiny pieces of bones remain inside the muscle.

It depends on the fish you just caught or bought from the market. If it is a bigger fish like Salmon or wahoo, you need flexible blades with low hardness but higher toughness.

Highly flexible blades can both clean and fillet any salmon correctly. The pick meat will separate like a breeze from the bone with these knives.

You will instead use a hard knife of limited flexibility for smaller fishes like halibut or mackerel. The hard blade will quickly separate the meat from the bone.

A Fillet knife is either made with German or Japanese stainless steel. Both the steels are unique and have some advantages.

German steel is soft, so they are flexible. If you need a smoother cut and precise filleting, high carbon German steel will be the perfect pick.

Japanese steel is hard and tough, like the moral of that nation. This steel is excellent for filleting a bit harder meat and deboning up to some extent. 

10 to 12-inch blades are best for filleting. This blade size has the optimum flexibility and hardness to fillet any good quality salmon.

The blade size ensures the right amount of power behind each cut. So, you will only separate the meat from the bone while keeping the texture intact.

Smaller blades can work too with Salmon, but they will have limited flexibility. On the contrary, larger blades will be too hardened for the delicate pink flesh of the anadromous fish.

All our reviewed knives are featured with razor-sharp blades. Therefore, one thing we can ensure that the sharpness of all the ten fillet knives will mesmerize you with their filleting outcome.

Nevertheless, how long the sharpness will survive depends on you. Regular maintenance and sharpening will uphold the blade’s quality.

It is crucial to maintain the bevel angle while sharpening. Sharpening stone that comes with the knife is the best option to use.

We recommend you to look for the three things in a filet knife

  • Blade Material
  • Blade Size, and
  • Handle

If you found all three of these features optimum to your requirement, do not hesitate even a second to buy the knife.

Using a sharpening stone is the best way to sharpen the fillet knife. You need to check the bevel angle of the edges and keep this particular angle while sharpening.

Keeping the angle between 12 to 15-degree will give you excellent outcomes if you don’t know the bevel angle. Around 10 to 15 slides per side should be adequate to get the wicked sharp edges.

Final Verdict

Next time you catch a salmon while trekking along the river or boating in the ocean, keep the best fillet knife for Salmon handy. Believe me, you will love each piece of the fillet either on the grill or in the pan.

Like other reviews, we won’t recommend a few names at the end. It’s because all the ten fillet knives in the review are best based on specific features.

It’s you who will now decide the features based on your preferences. When your preference and our reviewed features match, you can be sure that you land yourself a gem of a knife.

So, why are you waiting? Go fishing and filleting.

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