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The Best Fillet Knife for Saltwater Fish – Top 6 Brands

Different tools make fishing such a fun activity. Seasoned anglers will tell you that the quality of tools you take fishing can either make it a frustrating process or an enjoyable one. One such device is the fish fillet knife.

Fillet knives are used to separate the bones from your fish. This task may sound like an easy task at first but trying to do this may turn out to be a daunting chore unless you have a good fillet knife in your arsenal of fishing equipment

Saltwater has a corrosive effect on metals, so it is essential that you look for a knife whose blade is resistant to corrosion as well as having a handle that is moisture resistant.

If you are thinking of getting a saltwater fish fillet knife for your next trip, we hope this article will provide ample information in helping you make the right choice.

Features to Consider When Buying a Saltwater Fillet Knife

There are things you have to consider when getting a fillet knife for your saltwater fishing. Some rookies make the mistake of just selecting the first knife they come across and end up having problems with it. So, what are these features 

Blade Size

It is essential to determine the blade size that best suits your needs. Fillet knives with big blades are best used for big fishes while fillet knives with small blades are best used for small fishes.

Trying to use a fillet knife with a big blade to prepare small fishes could lead to a messy job, as well as making the task more difficult. Likewise, using a fillet knife with a small blade to prepare big fishes could overcomplicate the task.

Blade Flexibility

Fillet knives with narrow blades are generally more flexible than those with thicker blades. Preparing a small fish requires a lot more precision than preparing a big fish. It is therefore reasonable that a fillet knife with a more flexible blade would do a better job filleting small fishes than that with a rigid blade.                           

Blade Material

One major issue that tools with metallic surfaces face is corrosion. A corroded fillet knife is useless and will break easily. Therefore, to ensure that you get a tool that will last you a long time, the material the blade is made from is something that requires your attention.

Stainless-steel materials are generally resistant to corrosion. So, it is advised that you go for a knife that has a stainless-steel blade.

Handle

The handle of your fillet knife is one of its most important features. Without the handle, you basically cannot use the knife. It is important that you get a knife with a very comfortable and safe grip. The handle of your fillet knife could also determine the level of risk you are exposed to.

Also, the material the handle is made from could also determine how long your tool will last. For example, wooden handles are more susceptible to catching fire than rubber handles. Nowadays, you will mostly find fillet knives with rubber or plastic handles. These handles have better grips and are safer to use than the wooden ones.

Cost

Although most fillet knives are quite cheap considering the value they offer, there are some that are even cheaper. Everyone wants to get value for money spent, so, it is crucial that you investigate what the fillet knife is offering you and at what cost. Most times, this is the difference between getting an average deal and getting a great one.

Sharpness

Sharp blades generally make filleting easier. Using your fillet knife continuously over a period will inevitably reduce its sharpness. When you find out that filleting has become more difficult than it used to be with the same blade, then, your knife is losing its sharpness.

It is important that your fillet knife remain as sharp as possible for as long as possible. Some blades have the property of retaining their sharpness for a more extended period than others. This quality makes them better choices.

Also, some fillet knives come with sharpeners. This feature has drawn many potential buyers to the brands that have this property.

Electric v.s. Manual

Electric and manual fillet knives have many differences. Electric fillet knives are faster and weigh more than manual fillet knives. You should also expect that the electric knives will be more expensive.

Electric knives help you prepare many fishes in a short time. So, depending on your budget and how many fishes you will be filleting, you have to decide between the manual and electric fillet knives

Power Source

An electric fillet knife can make the task of filleting the fish easier. If you go with an electrically powered knife, you have a choice between an AC power or lithium ION battery.

Safety

Safety is one of the most important things to consider when buying a fillet knife. A fillet knife with a good grip offers you more protection than one with a bad grip. Some fillet knives also come with a raised guard on the handle. This function protects you when using these knives.

Another thing that the safest fillet knives have is a protective sheath. The blades are placed inside this sheath when they are not in use, protecting you from any injury as well as improving the durability of the knife.

Best Manual Saltwater Fillet Knives

Top Choice
Morakniv Fishing Comfort Fillet Knife with Sandvik Stainless Steel Blade, 6.1-Inch
American Angler Delta Series Saltwater Manual Fillet Knife
Rapala4 Soft Grip Fillet / Single Stage Sharpener / Sheath
Cost
$$
$
$$$
Blade Size
6.1-inch blade
9-inch blade
7 1⁄2-inch blade
Blade Material
Stainless-Steel
Stainless-steel
Stainless-Steel
Handle/Grip Design
High friction handle
Firm grip
Soft-grip, non-slip handle
Blade Flexibility
Thick blade
Thin flexible blade
Flexible blade
Warranty
Limited lifetime
1-year limited
1-year
Top Choice
Morakniv Fishing Comfort Fillet Knife with Sandvik Stainless Steel Blade, 6.1-Inch
Brand
Cost
$$
Blade Size
6.1-inch blade
Blade Material
Stainless-Steel
Handle/Grip Design
High friction handle
Blade Flexibility
Thick blade
Warranty
Limited lifetime
American Angler Delta Series Saltwater Manual Fillet Knife
Cost
$
Blade Size
9-inch blade
Blade Material
Stainless-steel
Handle/Grip Design
Firm grip
Blade Flexibility
Thin flexible blade
Warranty
1-year limited
Rapala4 Soft Grip Fillet / Single Stage Sharpener / Sheath
Brand
Cost
$$$
Blade Size
7 1⁄2-inch blade
Blade Material
Stainless-Steel
Handle/Grip Design
Soft-grip, non-slip handle
Blade Flexibility
Flexible blade
Warranty
1-year

Morakniv Fishing Comfort Fillet Knife with Sandvik Stainless Steel Blade, 6.1-Inch

Morakniv Fishing Comfort Fillet Knife

With Sandvik Stainless Steel Blade

Top Pick


Morakniv fishing comfort saltwater fillet knife is a high-grade fillet knife that has been made in such a way as to make filleting a pleasant experience. It has a stainless-steel blade that is 6.1-inch long. The stainless-steel blade means it is corrosion resistant, so, you can expect to use the knife for as long as you want.

It can be used to prepare most sizes of fish, though, it does a pretty good job when applied to fillet smaller fishes. The high-friction handle gives you a solid grip and makes handling it comfortable even with slippery hands. It is evident that much thought went into making this knife a very comfortable piece.

The 12C27 stainless steel used for this knife is generally known for its quality and sharpness. So, you do not have to worry about the sharpness of your blade. Also, its handle will not absorb odor when you are using it. Pretty hygienic right?

One thing that makes the Morakniv fillet knife popular among users is the rugged sheath that comes with it. This allows you to store the knife safely and securely. It also has a belt clip though some users have complained that the belt clip comes off too easily.

 If you are not one for long sized blades, then this knife is an excellent choice for you. Apart from all its great features, it also comes at a very affordable price.

What We Like

  • High-friction handle for easy grip
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    Corrosion resistant stainless steel
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    It comes with a sheath
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    It has a belt clip

What We Don't Like

  • Some users have complained that the belt clip comes off too easily

American Angler Delta Series Saltwater Manual Fillet Knife

American Angler Delta Series

Manual Fillet Knife


The American Angler Delta fillet knife is a razor-sharp fillet knife that makes filleting a breeze. It has a stainless-steel blade that is about 9 inches long which is pretty long when compared to its peers. This length of the blade means it does a good job filleting bigger fishes.

The handle is well-made and gives you a firm and comfortable grip which makes handling of this knife pretty easy. It is also a pretty affordable knife which is also one of its upsides.

One downside to this blade is the fact that it does not come with a protective shield. This removes a little from its safety points. If you can look beyond this, it is a very sharp and durable knife that you can be sure will not fail you when it is time to cut those fishes.

What We Like

  • It is affordable
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    Stainless steel blade that is resistant to corrosion
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    Well-made handle with a firm and comfortable grip
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    Long blade

What We Don't Like

  • It does not have a sheath
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    Some users have complained that the sharpness does not last long

Rapala4 Soft Grip Fillet / Single Stage Sharpener / Sheath

Rapala4 Soft Grip

Fillet/Single Stage Sharpener/Sheath


The Rapala4 fillet knife is a top-quality knife from Rapala. It offers you high-quality functionality at a reasonable price. Its flexible blade is made from stainless steel which improves the durability. It is also a pretty sharp fillet knife, so you do not have to worry about how easy it makes your job.

The soft grip, no-slip handle is moulded to give you maximum comfort when filleting your fish. Though, the handle is short which makes using it a bit difficult. Its short blade means it can be used to fillet any fish, though, it is more suitable for smaller fishes.

One of the major selling points of this knife is the fact that it comes with a protective sheath. This means you do not have to worry about how safe the knife is.

Apart from the sheath, it also comes with a sharpener. So, whenever it loses its sharpness due to prolonged use, you can use the sharpener. This extends the lifespan of this knife as you can keep using it and sharpening it for as long as you want.

What We Like

  • Corrosion resistant stainless-steel blade
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    Comes with a protective sheath
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    Includes a sharpener
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    Sharp and flexible blade

What We Don't Like

  • The short handle can make using it difficult
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    Some users have complained that the handle was not moulded perfectly

Best Electric Fillet Knives for Saltwater Fish

Top Pick
Rapala Heavy Duty Electric Fillet Knife
Rapala Lithium Ion Cordless Fillet Knife
American Angler PRO Professional Grade Electric Fillet Knife Standard Kit – 110 Volt High Performance Ergonomic Motorized Handset with 8-Inch Stainless Steel Curved Blade, 32350DS
Cost
$
$$$
$$
Blade Size
7 1/2-inch
7-inch blade
8-inch
Blade Material
Stainless-steel
Stainless-steel
Stainless steel
Handle Grip Design
Plastic handle
Firm grip - rubberized around entire handle
Firm grip but large
Power Source
AC
Lithium ION battery
AC
Warranty
1-year
1-year
2-year limited lifetime
Top Pick
Rapala Heavy Duty Electric Fillet Knife
Cost
$
Blade Size
7 1/2-inch
Blade Material
Stainless-steel
Handle Grip Design
Plastic handle
Power Source
AC
Warranty
1-year
Rapala Lithium Ion Cordless Fillet Knife
Cost
$$$
Blade Size
7-inch blade
Blade Material
Stainless-steel
Handle Grip Design
Firm grip - rubberized around entire handle
Power Source
Lithium ION battery
Warranty
1-year
American Angler PRO Professional Grade Electric Fillet Knife Standard Kit – 110 Volt High Performance Ergonomic Motorized Handset with 8-Inch Stainless Steel Curved Blade, 32350DS
Cost
$$
Blade Size
8-inch
Blade Material
Stainless steel
Handle Grip Design
Firm grip but large
Power Source
AC
Warranty
2-year limited lifetime

Rapala Heavy Duty Electric Fillet Knife

Rapala Heavy-Duty

Electric Fillet Knife

Top Pick


The Rapala heavy-duty electric fillet knife is another brilliant product from Rapala. It has a 71⁄2-inch reciprocating blade which can be used for any filleting work. At first sight, this knife gives you the impression that it is going to last very long, because of the quality of materials used.

It is driven by a very powerful motor that gives it more blade speed and power than most other fillet knives. The power cord is 8 feet long. So, you do not have to worry about it getting in the way of your work. Also, it works with 110 volts power.

The plastic handle has a very comfortable grip. The vibration is reduced, and it does not heat up quickly like some other electric fillet knives. It suffices to say that it is a very comfortable knife to use.

One drawback to owning this saltwater fillet knife is that it does not come with a sheath or case. If you do not mind this, then, this is a great fillet knife for you.

What We Like

  • High blade speed
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    Eight-foot power cord
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    Very sharp blade
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    Comfortable grip on the handle

What We Don't Like

  • It does not come with a sheath

Rapala Lithium Ion Cordless Fillet Knife

Rapala Lithium Ion

Cordless Fillet Knife


Do electric cords make you uncomfortable? Well, you are in luck because the Rapala lithium ion fillet knife is a cordless one. It uses a lithium-ion battery that takes less than two hours to charge (according to the manufacturer).

It has a very sharp 7-inch stainless steel blade that is made to last as long as possible. At full charge, you can use the knife for about eighty minutes before it needs recharging. It comes with a 110-volt charger.

This fillet knife is quite lightweight, and the handle gives you a firm grip. It is also designed to have as little vibration as possible and is very quiet

One drawback to using this knife is the fact that some users seem to have issues with how long the battery lasts. Without power the knife cannot be used manually

What We Like

  • It is cordless which makes it very convenient
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    Runs quietly
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    Little vibration 
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    Fast charging   
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    Corrosion resistant stainless-steel blades

What We Don't Like

  • Some users have issues with how long the battery lasts

American Angler PRO Professional Grade Electric Fillet Knife Standard Kit – 110 Volt High Performance Ergonomic Motorized Handset with 8-Inch Stainless Steel Curved Blade, 32350DS

American Angler PRO

Professional Grade Electric Fillet Knife


The American angler PRO electric fillet knife is one of the most effective and most robust fillet knives around. With this knife, you can prepare your large fishes with little effort. It has a replaceable stainless steel blade. The curved blade is 8 inches long.

One of the major selling points of the American angler PRO fillet knife is the fact that it lasts very long. In fact, among its peers, it is one of the longest lasting knives. The blade also runs faster than most other electric fillet knives, so, your filleting work will go smoothly.

It is powered by 110 volts power supply, and the cord is about 8 feet long making its use very comfortable. One other upside to this fillet knife is the fact that the blade can be replaced. Many a time when the edge on most fillet knives become dull, you have to discard the whole knife. Well, not anymore as you can get a replacement blade for this knife.

It has a handle designed to have a firm and comfortable grip. Let us just say this fillet knife is one of the best out there.

What We Like

  • Fillets fish smoothly and quickly
  • Replaceable blades
  • Long Lasting
  • Eight-foot-long cord

What We Don't Like

  • It tends to heat up when overused
  • There have been complaints of the trigger getting stuck

Final Thoughts

If you are serious about going fishing, then, having a fillet knife is non-negotiable for you. They help you process your catch quickly and effortlessly. The quality of fillet knife you use will determine the quality of filleting you do.

The fillet knives discussed here have been chosen after considering their qualities. You should note that its price does not determine the quality of a product. You need to investigate the quality of the product before investing in it.

Depending on your preference, you might consider one of one of our selections to take along on your next fishing excursion.

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