If you are a fisherman, then you know the feeling of preparing a delicious meal with a fish you have just caught.
If you do not have the right tools to prepare your fresh catch, you will not benefit from the depth of flavor that comes from a well prepared fish. It is therefore important that you have the best tools for the job.
Cue in the fillet knife, which is a long, and flexible knife used to evenly cut fillets from the skin and bones of fish, meat, and poultry. This allows you to fillet meat without leaving most of the succulent meat attached to your bones.
These knives make your meat preparation quicker, faster, and more efficient, so that you can enjoy your tasty meal as soon as possible.
There are several fillet knives available to you, each one with different features and benefits. Finding the best fillet knife for your needs is crucial, and that is why below I have created a buying guide which you can easily follow for the best results.
Factors to Consider when Choosing a Fillet Knife
When choosing a fillet knife, you need to pick one that is tailored to your needs so that meat waste can be minimal. The factors below will help you choose the best available fillet knife, so that filleting your meat will be simple and efficient.
- Blade Material
The blade material of a fillet knife directly affects performance, meaning that you need to be careful during this selection. Stainless steel is the best material for your filler knives, it provides strength and durability. Always ensure that the metal blade you choose has non-corrosive properties, for long lasting performance.
- Blade Flexibility
When selecting a fillet knife, go with one that has a flexible blade. Flexible blades make it easier for you to cut your meat, which is the entire reason that you bought a fillet knife. Less flexible blades tend to be thick and long, while flexible blades tend to be thin and short. If you are looking to fillet a small fish, go with a short and flexible knife that will allow you to cut at tight angles. If you are looking to fillet a large fish, go with a long and thick blade which has very little flex.
- Knife Handle
The handle of a fillet knife is very important, as it determines the quality of cut and the safety of the person cutting. If you go with a handle that lacks grip, you will be unable to evenly fillet your meat, and you might even hurt yourself in the process. It is therefore important to go with a knife handle that is easy to hold, so that you can effortlessly make your cuts.
There are 3 main handle material types, including wood, plastic, and rubber. Wood handles are sturdy; however, they are slippery, easy to burn, unhygienic, and will rot easily. On the other hand rubber handles are flexible, sturdy, easy to clean, and great to grip.
Lastly, we have plastic, which is easy to clean, good to grip, and durable. From these 3 options a rubber handle stands out as the best, as it provides you with the traction needed for safe and efficient cutting. You can also look for handles with extra grooves, which work to improve grip and prevent slipping accidents.
- Knife Covers
When you are not using your knife, it is prudent to put it in a cover. Thankfully, most fillet knives come with a cover for your own benefit. A cover will protect your blade so that it does not dull easily. Furthermore, the cover will protect you from accidental injury which is a huge plus. You can also attach a cover to your belt so that the knife is easy to access.
- Knife Sharpening
If you use your fillet knife frequently, you will notice that the blade will begin to dull. Even steel blades which hold edge well will require some sharpening, in order to maintain top performance. Carbon steel is easier to sharpen than stainless steel however, a stainless steel blade is more durable.
Either way, having a knife sharpener on hand will make this process quicker and simpler. Some knives will come with their own sharpener, but if yours doesn’t you can find one for an affordable price.
- Rechargeable Electric Knives vs Manual Knives
One big decision you will need to make regards electric and manual knives. Manual knives provide more control and precision, however, they are more tedious to use. These affordable knives are perfect for experienced hands, which are familiar with the right cutting techniques.
On the other hand we have electric knives, which are faster and easier to use- they are especially useful if you fillet meat regularly. Electric knives require a power source, which includes rechargeable battery packs, wall plugs, battery post clips, and lighter plugs (car lighters).
You will need to decide which knife length is best suited for your fillet needs, and there are a variety of lengths for you to choose from. The general range of blade sizes is between 4 and 9 inches long, with the longer fillet knives being more suitable for bigger pieces of fish and meat.
If you are looking to fillet small fish such as perch, crappie, and bluegills, a 5-6 inch blade is perfect for you. If you move up to bass and small trout, then I would recommend a 6-7.5 inch blade. Moreover, if you go with a salmon, pike, steel head, or another large saltwater fish, I would recommend a 9 inch blade.
Last but not least we have the weight of the blade, which mostly depends on your personal preference. If you have small hands and prefer a lightweight blade, then you will probably end up with a short carbon steel fillet knife. If you like the extra weight in your hands, then a long stainless steel blade is right for you.
If you are looking for a fillet knife that is safe, reliable, strong, and durable, then this buying guide should help you select the best performing knife for your needs. So next time you go shopping, take this guide along to help you with your final decision.