Filleting Fish: How to Choose the Best Fillet Knife for the Job

(Photo courtesy of Gerber)
(Photo courtesy of Gerber)

Whether you’re fixing shore lunch on the banks of a backcountry lake or cleaning your latest limit on the kitchen counter at home, having the right knife for the job makes transforming your catch into fine table-fare infinitely easier.

While you can butcher a fish with just about any kind of cutlery, one type of knife does it more quickly, safely, and efficiently than any other – the fillet knife.

Appropriately named, a fillet knife features a thin, flexible, relatively short and narrow blade that offers the perfect blend of control, precision, and maneuverability for easily removing skin, bones, entrails, and fins from a fish fillet. Fillet knives may also be used on other types of meat such as poultry and beef, and are also handy for field-dressing big game.

Not all fillet knives are created equal, however. There are literally countless options available in size, raw materials, design, and quality. It’s important to choose with care, because the wrong knife can waste precious meat, make fish-cleaning duties a slow and frustrating process, and increase your risk of cutting yourself while transitioning your catch from lake to plate.

To speed your search for the right fillet knife, we offer the following points to consider.


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