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Best Fish Fillet Knife

Last Updated: 27.01.23

Fish fillet knives – Buying Guide, Reviews, and Comparison


If you don’t have enough time to go through the whole guide but still need a suggestion for a good fish knife then the following short paragraph should provide all the information you require. The Mercer Culinary M23860 scored top marks in all the fish fillet knife reviews we’ve consulted primarily due to its exceptionally sharp cutting edge made possible by the use of high carbon steel. This doesn’t come at the expense of flexibility, however, since this knife’s blade is thin enough to bend and follow the contours of a fish’s body for flailing. This process is further eased by the M23860’s ergonomic handle, which will allow for a good grip from multiple angles, helping you perform the tricky maneuvers required for obtaining the thinnest fillet. If the Mercer product is unavailable in your area, the Morakniv M-11892 will make for an equally viable pick.



Comparison table


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3 Best Fish Fillet Knives (Reviews) in 2023


With such a wide variety of products available, finding the best fish fillet knife could prove a daunting task. That’s why we’ve taken the time to go through scores of online reviews and narrow down a choice of a few particularly good items for your consideration.



1. Mercer Culinary Millennia Narrow Fillet Knife


Due to its long and thin blade, this Mercer Culinary product is ideal for flailing and slicing through fish of large to medium sizes, but versatile enough to provide good functionality with smaller fish.

High carbon Japanese hard steel was used for the blade, to ensure both good cutting performance and excellent edge retention, meaning you won’t be needing to sharpen it as often as you would with softer knives (we feel the need to mention that it also comes pre-sharpened to a very fine edge).

Due to the thinness and narrowness of its blade, it has enough flexibility to bend for horizontal cuts, such as when flailing or slicing small fish, without requiring any awkward hand movements on your part. Blade curvature is not particularly pronounced, but it does curve enough towards the (very pointy) tip to allow for precision cuts.    

The composite handle is made of durable polypropylene covered in soft Santoprene to provide extra comfort for your hands. Its ergonomic design, with well-defined curves and textured finger grips, allows for good dexterity and will definitely prove its worth when you’ll be needing to carve those thin, vertical slices of fish.

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2. Mora Unisex Outdoor All-Round Knife


The Scandinavians are well known for the high quality of their fish knives, and this Morakniv product rises to the fame. It employs 12C27 stainless steel, which can be as effective at cutting as high carbon varieties if properly sharpened, while also offering excellent corrosion and stain resistance.  

At 6,1 inches in length, the blade can be used comfortably with most varieties of fish, but it’s especially effective with medium to large sized species. The slight curvature of the edge will make it easier to give “round cuts”, the type required for slicing through soft tissue and the sharp point will prove good at piercing even the toughest scales.

With a thickness of just 0.07 inches, it won’t be difficult to bend the blade for proper horizontal cuts and the high friction handle will ensure that the knife doesn’t slip even when slimy or when you allow for lighter grip. This further increases accuracy since tight grip always diminishes hand control.

As an interesting feature, the highly ergonomic, curved handle has been treated to prevent odor retention, which is very useful in a knife specifically intended to cut fish. The unit also comes with its own sheath.

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3. Rapala NK03039-BRK Fish N Fillet


This Finish model stands out through aesthetics as much as it does through cutting ability. The beautifully shaped birch varnished handle and genuine leather sheath, decorated with traditional Finish motifs, give it an air of distinction in any kitchen.

Rapala specializes in fish cutting knives and already made a name for itself among cooks and fishermen alike. Reading through the feedback, this Rapala 7 doesn’t disappoint. According to one customer, the knife arrives “sharp enough to shave with”, and should keep well to that edge thanks to the extra-hard stainless steel it employs.

The full-tang blade (i.e., goes all the way to the back of the handle for added toughness) is slightly curved to make it easier to cut through soft tissue with swift, elliptical moves. Of course, it ends in a fine point for optimum effectiveness when giving the initial thrust through the fish’s spine at the beginning of the fillet-making process.

The handle is not just good looking, but also ergonomic, a result of decades of tradition in designing fish carving knives. It features a thinger notch near the point of balance, to make it easier to rest it on your pointer while moving it around for precision cuts.  

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Buying guide


The best fish fillet knife should be a perfect marriage of good quality material and fine shape, designed specifically to fit the purpose. You can, of course, use a more general purpose knife for the job, but a dedicated unit will always outperform it. A few of the things that make fish knives good for their purpose are showcased below, so you will know what to look for when shopping for one.  


For slicing through the soft tissue of a fish in order to obtain fillets, you will need an especially sharp knife. Generally, steels with a high degree of hardness (you can find steel hardness charts online for more information) give a sharper edge, that is also easier to maintain at peak condition for longer.

Fish fillet knives are commonly made out of high-grade stainless steel or high carbon steel to ensure for optimum hardness. While not as hard as the high carbon variety, stainless steel tends to be more resistant to corrosion and to the dark staining that occurs after prolonged contact with fat. If you decided on a high carbon steel, make sure it’s been treated to be stain resistant.  

High carbon steel is what swords are usually made of and can be sharpened to a very thin edge. It’s also very rigid, however, which can be a drawback when you need the blade to follow the contours of whatever you are slicing through — such as when flailing a fish.


Blade shape

With fish knives, the problem of low flexibility is generally resolved through employing the proper shape. Their blade should be both narrower and thinner than on a regular chef knife, which will ensure that there’s less material there to put up a resistance to bending.  

A narrow blade will also move easier through the soft, sticky flesh of a fish, making the whole process faster and less tiresome.

A slightly curved edge is preferred for slicing through soft tissue, since this tends to follow the elliptical movement we usually make while cutting, thus increasing the efficiency of our draws.



Proper fillet cuts require quite a deal of dexterity and knife control, so the shape of the handle should provide good ergonomy. Rounded, fluid lines tend to fit the human hand best, but the right design is always the one you feel most comfortable with.   

It’s also important for it to feature some sort of striations for improved grip since it will often be covered in slippery fish fat.





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