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, weight, 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.

Our Top Recommended Salmon Fillet Knives

Of the ten products we are about to dive into, there are three in particular that we would recommend off the bat.

Rapala4 Soft Grip Fillet, Single Stage Sharpener, Sheath



Rapala9 Soft Grip Fillet / Single Stage Sharpener / Sheath
  • Our Rating:
  • Size: 9 inch.

    Handle: Soft-grip molded textured handle

    Blade: Famous Rapala flexible stainless steel blade

    Includes: a black sheath and single-stage sharpener
  • The first is the Rapala4 Soft Grip fillet which sports a Rapala branded, flexible, stainless steel blade and includes both a carrying holster and a sharpener.

Rada Cutlery Fillet Knife – Stainless Steel Blade

Rada Cutlery Fillet Knife – Stainless Steel Blade with Leather Scabbard and Rubber Handle, 12-1/4 Inch
  • Our Rating:
  • Size: 12-1/4 Inch.

    Handle: The Grip made from black rubber.

    Blade: Made from surgical grade, T420 high carbon stainless steel

    Includes: a black leather scabbard
  • Our second top recommendation is the Rada Cutlery R200 Fillet Knife.

    This knife is made from surgical grade, T420 high-carbon steel and weighs only four ounces.

    It also comes with a carrying scabbard.

Kershaw Clearwater Fillet Knife (1259X)

Kershaw Clearwater 9-In Fillet Knife (1259X) Fixed 420J2 High-Performance Stainless Steel Blade with Satin Finish, Black Textured Co-Polymer Handle with Neon-Green Detail and Included Sheath; 3.8 OZ
  • Our Rating:
  • Size: 9 Inch.

    Handle: Made of co-polymer materials

    Blade: Made of Japanese 420J2 stainless steel

    Includes: ABS sheath
  • Our final top recommendation is the Kershaw Clearwater 9-In Fillet Knife which is even lighter at 3.8 ounces and come with a lifetime limited warranty.

    It is also guaranteed corrosion-resistant.

Now having listed our top recommendations let’s, without hesitation, dive right into the full review!

10 Best Fillet Knives for Salmon on the Market:

Review

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.

What Customers are Saying

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.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • Some consumers note the blade being loose in the handle

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Rapala4 Soft Grip Fillet is one of the best knives on the market and is manufactured by the longstanding Rapala.

Review

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 scabbard for safe carrying. The included scabbard with this knife is constructed from sturdy leather too. Additionally, it comes with a lifetime guarantee.

What Customers are Saying

Consumers love this knife! Many note that the blade stays sharp for a while and is rust-resistant. It is also noted as being great for handling in wet environments.

Pros

  • No-slip, black rubber grip is designed for use in even completely wet environments
  • Hassle-free lifetime guarantee ensures lifetime replacement for any defects that may arise

Cons

  • N/A

Conclusion

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.

Review

The Kershaw Clearwater 9-In Fillet Knife is the next best budget fillet knife on the list. The blade on this fillet knife is curved than the 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.

What Customers are Saying

Consumers find that this Kershaw knife has a perfect amount of flex and has great handle traction when dealing with wet or oily environments.

Pros

  • Includes a sheath with a belt holster for safe keeping 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

Cons

  • Consumers note that the blade comes dull

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Kershaw Clearwater 9-In Fillet Knife is another fantastic fillet knife for wet environment filleting.

Review

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.

What Customers are Saying

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.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • No included sheath or holster

Conclusion

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.

Review

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.

What Customers are Saying

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.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • Does not come with carrying case, holster, or sheath

Conclusion

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.

Review

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.

What Customers are Saying

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.

Pros

  • Ice tempered blade is designed to sustain sharpness and edge retention longer
  • Lifetime manufacturer’s defect warranty guarantees that you have a workable knife for life

Cons

  • No carrying case or sharpener included

Conclusion

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.

Review

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.

What Customers are Saying

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.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • N/A

Conclusion

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.

Review

The ninth 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.

What Customers are Saying

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.

Pros

  • The DEXSTEEL blade is strong yet flexible providing the most efficient cutting experience
  • Multiple blade length options are available

Cons

  • Does not come with a sheath or a sharpener

Conclusion

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 safety and comfort of handling that you need.

Review

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 great resilience. It also has an ergonomic polypropylene handle for tight grip in wet conditions.

What Customers are Saying

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.

Pros

  • The blade is forged from a single piece of solid steel, meaning it is highly sturdy
  • Permanent bonding prevents gaps between the blade and handle ensuring the safety of hygiene of the knife

Cons

  • No sheath or sharpener included

Conclusion

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.

Review

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 is created from German steel and sports a hand polished edge. The handle is crafted from luxury imported, black packawood.

What Customers are Saying

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.

Pros

  • Comes with two covers for both indoor and outdoor use. The outdoor sheath is solidly built from leather

Cons

  • While flexible, some consumers note it sometimes does not flex back

Conclusion

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.

Salmon Fillet Knife FAQ

What is NSF certification or NSF approval?

best fillet knife for salmonNSF certification is handed out by and 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 the 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 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 towards 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 use 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.

Also check those cooking accessories:

good salmon fillet knife

Conclusion

Of all the great models on the list, the Rapala4 Soft Grip Fillet is 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 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.