Do You Need a Fillet Knife To Fillet a Fish?

Last modified on August 2nd, 2021 at 10:50 pm

**Disclosure: We recommend the best products we think would help our audience and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post contains affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, and we may earn a small commission. Read our full privacy policy here.

I’ve been doing it for quite some time now since we all love a good fish fillet from time to time. At this point, if asked, Do you need a Fillet Knife to Fillet a Fish? The answer would be YES. Making fish fillets is an intricate form of preparing food. It takes years of practice to perfectly fillet a fish without messing up the meat.

You can use a regular knife, but you will lose a lot of meat in the filleting process. Sure, you can use it as a stock, but you will be left with barely a fillet. The fillet knife to the rescue makes sure at least half of the fish survive. 😉

Regular Fillet Knife VS Electric Fillet Knife: Which One Should You Get?

handling big fish for fillet

If you are a frequent fisher who usually work with a huge amount of fish, it is wiser to use an electric fillet knife than a regular fillet knife. They have sharper blades that help you cut through fish easier, therefore saves you more time when dealing with a big catch.

This also works for fishes with big hard scales that regular fillet knives can’t cut through. Some fishes have thick bones or hard ribcages that might bend a regular fillet knife. 

If you’re a pescatarian or if you have fishing as a hobby, I suggest investing in an electric fillet knife as it will make be more convenient for you.

Smith's Lawaia Electric Fillet Knife 51233 | 2 Removable 8” Serrated Stainless Steel Blades w/ Sheath | Fillet Glove & Mesh Storage Bag | Fishing, Outdoor, Hunting Electric Knife | 6 ft Power Cord
  • Electric Filet Knife – Smith’s Lawaia Electric Fillet Knife will be your go-to cleaning tool after each fishing trip....
  • Removable Blades – This electric knife kit features two removable 8” stainless-steel blades. The first blade has an extra...
  • Multiple Accessories – Smith’s Lawaia Electric Fillet Knife kit comes with multiple accessories to help store your blades...

Last update on 2023-02-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Electric fillet knives are best for those with limited hand muscle movement. Like those with carpal tunnel, tendinitis, or rheumatoid arthritis. This is because electric fillet knives help you use less force than you would need with a regular one.

The catch (pun intended 😉) with electric fillet knives is that the fish must have a standard shape so it can lay flat on the cutting board. It also has to be at least 2″ shorter than the knife for you to be able to use an electric fillet knife on it.

If you are more into soft, oily fishes like salmon, you need to use a regular fillet knife. An electric fillet knife may be too harsh and ruin the meat.  Whereas, a regular fillet knife is gentler and will give you full control over how it will cut through the fish.

Calamus Fishing Fillet Knife - 9 inch, German G4116 Stainless-Steel Blades with Corrosion Resistant Coating, Non-Slip Handles, Protective Nylon Sheath, Perfect For Fresh Or Saltwater
  • G4116 German Stainless Blades – The razor sharp G4116 German Stainless-Steel fish fillet knife and bait knife blades have a...
  • Available in Four Different Lengths and Shapes – Calamus filleting knives and bait knives are available in five lengths and...
  • Non-Slip Golf Style Handles – Each fishing knife has a comfortable and slip-resistant, golf style rubber handle for your...

Last update on 2023-02-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Same with fishes with small pin-like bones, like milkfish. An electric fillet knife will not be able to remove most of the smaller bones so you will still end up manually removing them. 

Another major difference is the price point. Regular fillet knives cost anywhere from $3 to $15 average. On the other hand, electric fillet knives cost around $20 to $50. 

To summarize, it is best to use a proper fillet knife when filleting fish. The type and size of the fillet knife you will use depends on what kind of fish you are working on, as well as how much fish do you have to fillet. Weigh your options before choosing one, or if you have the extra $$$, get both! 😉

Did we suddenly interest you to learn or practice filleting a fish? If yes, How to Fish Fillet with electric knife would be a good read for you.

Leave a Comment