If you are a salmon fisher or any other type of fisher or filleter, you certainly need a reliable fillet knife. So, how can you know which knife is the best fillet knife for salmon? We’ve decided to use our years of fish filleting experience to help you find the right knife for your lifestyle/needs.
We’ve examined the metal grade of different models, weights, handling technology, etc., to create a comprehensive list of the best models available. While we have a full list of ten reviews in store for you, let’s first visit our top three recommendations.
Top Fillet Knives for Salmon:
1. DALSTRONG Fillet Knife – 7″ Flexible – Gladiator Series
The Dalstrong Fillet Knife Gladiator Series is another well-crafted fillet knife on the market. The blade utilizes a curved design as it thins out towards the tip, pointing upward.
The blade itself has created from German steel and sports a hand-polished edge. The handle is crafted from luxury imported, black Pakkawood.
Consumers are mostly happy with this knife from Dalstrong. They call the craftsmanship top-notch and well-thought-out. It is also noted as being well-balanced between stiff and flexible.
In conclusion, the Dalstrong Fillet Knife Gladiator Series is a strong option for a fillet knife. Although, this model seems more suited to the kitchen than excessive filleting as the handle is not no-slip.
- 1.5mm thickness from knife spine
- Highly flexible blade
- Razor sharp, full-tang, imported high carbon German steel with a hand-polished edge (14-16º per side)
- Comes with two covers: one for a drawer and one for outdoors
- Luxury imported, black Pakkawood handle is triple-riveted
- Laminated and polished for a sanitary build
- Blade length: 7″
- 100% Satisfaction or money-back guarantee
- Weight: 5.9 ounces
- Comes with two covers for both indoor and outdoor use. The outdoor sheath is solidly built from leather
- While flexible, some consumers note it sometimes does not flex back
2. Mercer Culinary Millennia Narrow Fillet Knife
This fourth knife for skinning salmon in review is a model with a straighter blade than the three previously reviewed models. The Mercer Culinary M23860 Millennia 8″ Narrow Fillet Knife is constructed from high-quality, Japanese steel; it is easy to maintain and sharpens rapidly.
Consumers find this blade stunning. One such consumer calls it the sharpest fillet knife they have ever handled. It is noted as being a great knife for chefs too.
In conclusion, the Mercer Culinary M23860 Millennia 8″ Narrow Fillet Knife is a tremendously sharp fillet knife constructed from Japanese steel. It also sports convenient textured finger points.
- Ergonomic handle constructed of Santoprene and polypropylene for both comfort and durability
- Textured finger points provide slip resistance, grip, and safety
- Protective finger guard
- One-piece, high carbon, stain-free, Japanese steel
- High-quality, Japanese steel allows for easy maintenance and rapid sharpening
- Limited lifetime warranty
- NSF certified
- Blade length: 8″
- Weight: 5 ounces
- Japanese steel sharpens very easily and quickly for simple maintenance and sustained efficiency
- Textured finger points provide a safe no-slip grip for safe use even when wet
- No included sheath or holster
3. Rapala4 Soft Grip Fillet
The first salmon fillet knife in review is the Rapala 4 Soft Grip Fillet. This sharp, thin-bladed knife is crafted with a no-slip grip and weighs only a single pound. It also includes a sheath for safe carrying and a sharpener.
Consumers have mixed feelings about this knife. According to some, it works just fine and as Rapala knives have for so long. Others, however, find the gap between the blade and handle unsafe.
In conclusion, the Rapala4 Soft Grip Fillet is one of the best knives on the market and is manufactured by the longstanding Rapala.
- Equipped with the famous Rapala flexible stainless steel blade
- No-slip, soft-grip, molded, textured handle
- Includes black sheath that fits on belts
- Includes single-stage sharpener
- Weight: 1lb
- A steel blade is flexible for longstanding efficiency and functionality
- Comes with a sheath and single-stage sharpener for protecting and maintaining the quality of the blade
- Some consumers note the blade being loose in the handle
4. Kershaw Clearwater Fillet Knife (1259X) Fixed 420J2 Stainless Steel Blade
The Kershaw Clearwater 9-In Fillet Knife is the next best budget fillet knife on the list. The blade on this fillet knife is more curved than the first two models in review, meaning that the blade curves up away from the handle at a sharper angle.
The handle is also constructed from no-slip rubber and is easy to keep track of visually.
Consumers find that this Kershaw knife has a perfect amount of flex and has great handle traction when dealing with wet or oily environments.
In conclusion, the Kershaw Clearwater 9-In Fillet Knife is another fantastic fillet knife for wet environment filleting.
- Fixed blade made of 420J2 stainless steel
- Includes AB5 sheath with a belt holster
- Soft textured, co-polymer, no-slip rubber grip
- Neon green handle accents for easy visibility in marine environments
- The softer steel blade is designed to bend and flex without breaking
- Length: 14.25″ (blade length: 9″)
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Weight: 3.8 ounces
- Includes a sheath with a belt holster for safekeeping and easy portability
- The neon green accents on the handle help to ensure you do not lose track of the knife in darker, marine environments
- Consumers note that the blade comes dull
5. Dexter P94813 Narrow Fillet Knife
This next model is the best salmon fillet knife for the money, coming at an extremely affordable price point. The Dexter-Russell Fillet Knife is another straight-blade model and sports a blade length of eight inches. The blade is constructed from high-carbon steel and the polypropylene handle is completely slip-resistant.
Consumers have plenty of positives to note about this knife, including that the steel is top-notch. Others do take issue with it not staying sharp, however, and note that they often have to sharpen after every use.
In conclusion, the Dexter-Russell Fillet Knife is a decent option for a fillet knife, but be prepared to sharpen it quite often. It also comes with only the knife, there is no included sheath.
- Length: 13″ (blade length: 8″)
- Durable, high-carbon steel
- Semi-stiff blade for strong cutting that is also flexible
- Slip-resistant, polypropylene handle
- Impenetrable, hygienic grip-to-blade seal
- NSF certified
- The impenetrable grip-to-blade seal ensures hygiene and helps prevent potential bio-hazards that could arise without the seal
- The slip-resistant handle ensures safe handling
- Does not come with a carrying case, holster, or sheath
6. Victorinox Cutlery Straight Fillet Fishing Knife
This next model, the Victorinox Cutlery 8″ Straight Fillet Fishing Knife, is another good salmon fillet knife. As with the Dexter-Russell model, the blade is fairly straight and reaches eight inches in length. This model also has patented Fibrox technology on the handle for non-slip, ergonomic use.
Consumers are overwhelmingly happy with this knife. This knife is noted as being very flexible yet remaining strong. A reported butcher calls it one of the best knives in his repertoire.
The Victorinox Cutlery 8″ Straight Fillet Fishing Knife is a good option for a fillet knife as it is made of ice-tempered steel and is Swiss-crafted.
- High carbon, stainless-steel blade (maximum sharpness and edge retention)
- Wide breakpoint
- Ice tempered to sustain sharpness longer (blade stamped from cold-rolled steel)
- Patented Fibrox handles are textured, slip-resistant, and ergonomically designed for balance and comfort
- NSF certified
- Expertly made in Switzerland
- Lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects
- Blade length: 8″
- Weight: 3.2 ounces
- The ice-tempered blade is designed to sustain sharpness and edge retention for longer
- Lifetime manufacturer’s defect warranty guarantees that you have a workable knife for life
- No carrying case or sharpener included
7. Bubba Flex Curved Fillet Knife with Non-Slip Grip Handle
This next model slotting in at the eighth spot is the Bubba 12″ Flex Curved Fillet Knife. This knife is crafted tremendously well for active filleting in wet environments.
The blade is very long, increasing efficiency, and is constructed from full-tang, Ti-Nitrade coated steel. The handle is designed with safety guards for protecting the fingers while filleting.
Consumers call this knife an excellent catfish fillet knife as the blade is long, flexible, and safe in wet conditions. Some do caution to be careful as the knife is very sharp and the length can be much for some people.
In conclusion, the Bubba 12″ Flex Curved Fillet Knife is one of the better large fillet knife models on the market. Its safety-oriented handle design provides tons of value by keeping your hand locked in on the handle while protecting your fingers.
- Non-slip, grip handle
- Trigger grip for added security
- Safety guards for protection from the blade and spines of fish
- Full-tang, high carbon, super thin, Ti-Nitride coated, rust-resistant blade
- Length: 18″ (blade length: 12″)
- Lanyard hole for the option of portability
- Includes custom synthetic sheath
- Weight: 12.8 ounces
- The long length makes the knife easy to handle and great for an assortment of fillet-ing activities
- Non-slip handle with safety guard for protecting the fingers while working
8. Sani-Safe S133-9-PCP Narrow Fillet Knife with Polypropylene Handle
The best fillet fish knife on the list is another Dexter-Russell model. The Dexter-Russell Sani-Safe S133-9-PCP 9″ Narrow Fillet Knife employs, as the title suggests, Sani-Safe technology in the handle. This Sani-Safe handle is designed to be textured, slip-resistant, and easy to clean.
Consumers mostly enjoy this knife from Dexter-Russell. They call the blade razor sharp and find the quality very fair for the price. The only complaint is that it does not come with a sheath, which ultimately has no effect on the knife’s quality itself.
In conclusion, the Dexter-Russell Sani-Safe S133-9-PCP 9″ Narrow Fillet Knife is another viable fillet knife option from Dexter-Russell. The Sani-Safe handle ensures the safety and comfort of handling that you need.
- White, Sani-Safe handle
- High carbon, high alloy, stain-free DEXSTEEL blade
- NSF certified
- Made in the USA
- Blade lengths available: 7″, 8″, 9″
- Weight: 3.2 ounces
- The DEXSTEEL blade is strong yet flexible providing the most efficient cutting experience
- Multiple blade length options are available
- Does not come with a sheath or a sharpener
9. Zwilling J.A. Henckels Zwilling J.A Fillet Knife
The final fillet knife model in review is the Zwilling J.A. Henckels 31073-183 Fillet Knife. This knife is forged from a single piece of solid steel and is the product of German manufacturing.
The blade is also ice-hardened and, thus, it stays sharper longer and has great resilience. It also has an ergonomic polypropylene handle for a tight grip in wet conditions.
As with many of the models on the list, consumers are mostly satisfied with this Zwilling J.A. Henckels model. They call it very sharp and state that it makes very clean cuts.
In conclusion, the Zwilling J.A. Henckels 31073-183 Fillet Knife is a fantastic model to round out the list. It is very strong, being constructed of a single solid piece of steel, and sports a laser-controlled edge.
- Manufactured in Germany
- Specially formulated high carbon, no-stain steel
- SIGMAFORGE knife forged from a single piece of solid steel
- Ice-hardened FRIODUR blade starts sharper, stays sharper longer, and has superior resilience
- Laser-controlled edge ensures ideal cutting angle (edge angle = 15º per side)
- Ergonomic polypropylene handles are permanently bonded for seamless accuracy and prevention of gaps
- 57 Rockwell Hardness
- Blade length: 7″
- Weight: 5.4 ounces
- The blade is forged from a single piece of solid steel, meaning it is highly sturdy
- Permanent bonding prevents gaps between the blade and handles ensuring the safety of hygiene of the knife
- No sheath or sharpener included
10. Rada Cutlery Fillet Knife – Stainless Steel Blade
The next best fillet knife on the market is the Rada Cutlery R200 Fillet Knife. As with the previous model, this knife has a thin blade and included a scabbard for safe carrying. The included scabbard with this knife is constructed from sturdy leather too. Additionally, it comes with a lifetime guarantee.
Consumers love this knife! Many notes that the blade stays sharp for a while and is rust-resistant. It is also noted as being great for handling wet environments.
The Rada Cutlery R200 Fillet Knife is second on the list for a reason. The knife is high quality, lightweight, and includes a sturdy leather scabbard.
- Lightweight, flexible design
- Surgical grade, T420 high carbon stainless steel blade
- Grip made from no-slip black rubber
- Made in the USA since 1948
- Length: 12.25″ (blade length: 7.125″)
- Hassle-free, lifetime guarantee
- Included leather scabbard
- Weight: 4 ounces
- No-slip, black rubber grip is designed for use in even completely wet environments
- A hassle-free lifetime guarantee ensures lifetime replacement for any defects that may arise
What is NSF certification or NSF approval?NSF certification is handed out by an internationally accredited, third-party certification body. This certification states that the product verifiably meets public health and safety standards. This also means that the materials used to construct the product are only raw materials that are FDA-approved. Therefore, any knife that is stamped with NSF approval, or certification, is surely safe and designed well enough to maintain hygiene throughout the life of its use. The best filler knife for cleaning fish will typically bear the NSF certification.
What does the Rockwell Hardness scale measure?The Rockwell scale determines the hardness of a material based on the indentation of the material. This indentation is done by pressing either a diamond point or ball to the metal. After this, the indentation into the metal is measured and the result is the number on the scale assigned to the knife. The Rockwell Hardness scale is the industry standard for determining the strength of knife metals. With an upper scale of 65, ratings that reach this number are among the hardest available.
What is the difference between Japanese and German steel?The main difference between Japanese and German steel is the density of the knife. Japanese steel is typically harder and the result is a sharper edge that maintains its edge longer. However, harder steels are more susceptible to chips and breaks. German steel is generally softer and is thus more durable thanks to flexibility. The result of this useful method of knives making you get knives that do not maintain their edge for as long. So both have their positives and negatives. However, the positives of each steel do outweigh the negatives and each type is useful in different situations.
Of all the great models on the list, the Rapala4 Soft Grip Fillet is the best knife for salmon filleting. Its value rises above that of comparable models due to the included carrying case and sharpener.
If you find that this knife does not do it for you, take a good look at the Rada Cutlery R200. This knife is super lightweight and also includes a holster. And additionally, there are plenty of viable models on the market if you are not into these recommended models.
Whichever model you decide to consider for your filleting, be sure to pay attention to the details discussed throughout this review.
By holding the features of the knives you are considering to be the standard of the best knives on the market, you can be sure you land yourself a gem.
So get your fillet knife today and get slicing.