There’s nothing quite like being out on the water, your line in the water, and waiting for the big bite from that record-breaking fish. But after the fun of tug-of-war, cleaning your catch can be a hassle. Making sure everything is sliced cleanly and packaged so it won’t spoil can be a mess and not nearly as much fun as all the time you just spent on the water.
To cut down on the trouble cleaning your salmon may cause, start with the best tools you can find! We’ve gathered up some of the best fillet knives for salmon so you can start cleaning your catch and bring it home with minimal trouble. Let’s check out what’s on the market!
In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top Picks:
- Schmidt Fillet Knife
- Wustof classic Fillet Knife
- American Angler Pro – Top Electric Fillet Knife for Salmon
Best Fillet Knives for Salmon
Choosing a fillet knife has a few considerations attached to it so you’ll be sure to get the best cut and the best knife for the price. Salmon is typically a large fish and you’ll want to have a larger blade so you get a good cut all the way across, typically anything larger than 7 inches works best.
You’ll also want to keep the handle of the knife in mind as you want an ergonomic handle that will rest on your arm even when you’re working on a wet surface. The handle shouldn’t put too much tension on your wrist and you don’t want to slip and cut your finger as most filet knives don’t have a finger stop.
Let’s get to the good stuff! Here are some of the best filleting knives for salmon on the market today.
Schmidt Fillet Knife
Starting with a seven-inch stainless steel blade, Wusthof Classic Fillet Knife is great for salmon. The stainless steel makes it highly resistant to corrosion or rust and since the blade is exactly seven inches, it’s perfect for salmon.
This is a curved blade set on a teak wood handle that slices effortlessly. The ergonomic handle makes it easy to handle in all types of situations and this knife has readily been chosen by professional and personal kitchens ahead of many others.
Along with the knife, when you purchase this blade you get a wood storage block for the knives themselves. There have been reports or reviews saying this woodblock is taller which makes it hard to store in cabinets.
- Stainless steel blade
- Ergonomic handle
- Seven-inch blade
- Not as readily available as other brands
Wusthof Classic Fillet Knife
Starting with seven inches of high carbon stainless steel which is resistant to corrosion and rust, the Wusthof Classic Fillet Knife also keeps a sharp edge for long periods. The handle to this blade is ergonomic and triple-riveted which makes it easy to handle and keeps the blade held in place securely.
This blade also comes with a classic sheath to keep it out of the elements and safe when not in use. With it’s sharp, long-lasting edge and aesthetically pleasing design, this is a favorite knife of many salmon fishermen.
In addition to using this knife for salmon, it has also been used on other bigger or medium size fish with great success. The one downside is that the sheath has to be shaped to the knife to keep the blade from poking holes in the sheath in general.
- High carbon stainless steel blade
- Classic sheath for storage
- Seven-inch blade
- Need to shape the sheath to the knife to keep it from poking holes
Bubba Blade Flex Fillet Knife
There’s nothing wrong with going a little bigger! This blade measures nine inches which give you plenty of room to fillet your salmon, even if they get bigger than normal.
The knife is flexible which gives you an easier time handling it as you’re cleaning your fish. The tang construction is strong and stable so it can easily be used by professional or domestic kitchens time and time again.
The handle is made from a thermoplastic polymer which makes it easy to grip and stop slippage when your cutting surface is wet and prone to accidents. Some reviews have been noted that reported the knife blade gets dull quicker than others. You can purchase a sharpening stone or another device to keep your knife edge sharp for those easy salmon fillets!
- Thermoplastic polymer handle for easy gripping
- A strong blade that is flexible for easy cutting
- Nine-inch blade
- The blade can go dull quicker
Marttini Salmon Fillet Knife
The blade for this knife comes in at seven and a half inches which is plenty for cutting up your next big catch! Each blade is made from high-quality stainless steel which keeps it from rusting or being corroded due to long contact with water or the elements.
The knife itself comes with a leather storage sheath that will protect the knife and keep your fingers safe when you’re traveling from place to place. The handle is made of waxed rosewood that is ergonomic and allows for flexible, easy handling as you fillet your next catch.
Included with each purchase of the knife is a single-stage sharpener so you can keep your cutting edges working at their best even after the hundredth salmon they’ve cut.
- The longer blade at seven and a half inches
- Sharpener included with purchase
- Aesthetically pleasing leather sheath
- Less available compared to other brands
Rapala Fillet Knife
If you want one of the best fillet knives in the world, this is it! Each Rapala Fillet Knife has a nine-inch blade that is made from full-tang Swedish stainless steel. This metal can handle cutting through any meat and the length of the blade gives you plenty of room for cutting up even the biggest salmon.
The handle is reinforced and well-varnished which makes it easy to finish up filleting and get on with your day. Each knife comes with a sheath to protect you and your blade when not in use. The edge holds up over time and keeps its sharp edge even when used often.
The blade is also coated with a non-stick coating so you won’t be constantly cleaning salmon off the blade to keep going with your project. This knife is also cost-effective and works well over many fishing trips and with lots of different meats.
- Nine-inch blade
- Coated with non-stick coating
- Reported that blade may bend slightly over time
Dexter Russell Fillet Knife
With a long history in the knife business, Dexter Russell continues to turn out a quality product that fisherman and commercial kitchens want to buy! This is a slim and flexible blade which makes it ideal for filleting salmon.
The blade itself is eight inches long and easy to clean with an ergonomic white handle. Each blade also has a finger stop so you can maintain a good grip on the handle even on a wet or slippery surface.
If you’re just getting started with salmon fishing or you need a quick, cheap replacement, this is a great option. While it’s not made with as high –quality products as others on this list, it’s a great start to your filleting collection!
- A long history of making knives
- Flexible and easy to clean blade
- Finger guard on knife
- Cost-effective choice
- The blade may rust more easily
Zwilling J.A. Henckels
With a unique name and a unique process, this Zwilling fillet knife does it all! The blade is seven inches long and instead of being created like other blades, this one is ice-hardened which gives extra strength over an extended time.
The handle for this knife is made of polypropylene and is ergonomic and easy to handle for any size hands. It’s made of high carbon stainless steel which resists rust and corrosion even when exposed to the elements for a short amount of time.
There have been some notes and reviews that said the blade broke in half when dropped on the floor. This happens and is often standard in most commercial kitchens but the manufacturer did replace the blade for the customer!
- Ice hardened blade
- Seven-inch blade
- Made of high carbon stainless steel
- The blade can break when dropped on the floor
Switching from manual to electric blades with this highly sought after knife! The American Angler is electric and comes with several blades, one of which is an eight-inch blade perfect for filleting salmon easily. In addition to the blades swapping out, this knife gives you more torque so you get a smoother and more consistent fillet than with a manual blade.
The eight-inch blade included in this kit has a curved tip making it perfect for filleting salmon and getting all of the meat off the bone cleanly. It also includes a ten-inch knife that works great for salmon and is also salt water-resistant.
While this knife is a wonder and people have been raving about it for years, it does have a few quirks. It takes time to learn the right amount of pressure needed to stop meat wasting when filleting a salmon. The motor on this knife also runs hot and needs to be shut down to cool off from time to time. This slows down the filleting process and takes more time than necessary.
- Electric filleting knife
- Interchangeable blades
- Saltwater resistant blades
- Takes time to learn the right amount of pressure
- The motor can overheat easily
Penn Fillet Knife
You can’t get much more precise than this beauty! This knife has a seven-inch blade that is made from high-quality German stainless steel with is then ground to a beveled edge at 24 degrees.
Each blade is well coated to protect it from rust or corrosion making it durable for long sessions after a fishing trip. The handle is made from soft rubber polymer that makes it easy to grip and handle even in the elements or on a slippery surface.
The handle is ergonomic and heavily contoured to give you enhanced flexibility during the filleting process. The sharp edge on this knife doesn’t last as long as others and can quickly become dull. Sharpening the knife has to happen multiple times before it’s back up to it’s filleting prowess again.
- German stainless steel design
- Coated to protect against rust or corrosion
- Easy to grip handle
- The blade can lose it’s edge quickly
Titan Technologies Curved Fillet Knife
The overall construction of this blade is a little bit different than others on our list or around the market. First, it’s made with titanium and tungsten carbide and designed with a convex edge that gives you a sharp, precise meat cutting ability.
The blade is seven inches long which makes it ideal for salmon or other medium or large fish. The polymer handle is oval-shaped to give you a more natural grip and handling throughout the process. It does come in as one of the more expensive models on our list but if you’re planning to do lots of processing, it’s a great investment.
- Titanium with tungsten carbide design
- Seven-inch blade
- Precise meat cutting ability
- Can be more expensive
Frequently Asked Questions
Choosing the right knife to fillet your salmon is about safety, efficiency, and effectiveness. By picking a knife that is sharp and will cut the meat off the bone with ease, you’re getting more fresh food for yourself or to sell. Keeping your fingers from slipping and being cut is important for your safety and the safety of those around you!
What’s the difference between fillet knives and boning knives?
Fillet knives are thinner and are used more for separating skin or fish from the bone. The thinner design allows them to slide between the skin and the meat to separate them easily and quickly. The fillet knife is also more flexible allowing it to contour to the fish and give you a more precise cut and reduce overall waste.
Stainless steel or high-carbon steel?
Both are durable and resist corrosion or rust but there are a few key differences that might make your choice a little more difficult. Stainless steel blades are more durable and require less maintenance over time. They’re also easier to sharpen when your blade gets a little dull. High-carbon steel blades are stronger and harder and offer more flexibility, keeping their edge over time. They’re also the more affordable of the two options.
Does the handle material matter?
If you always lose your grip on your knife, it can put your safety at risk. Each handle should be ergonomically designed to allow for maximum comfort while cutting. They should also be designed from material that won’t hold in the fishy odors and are easy to clean when the day is done. Some of the most popular handle designs are made with polymer rubber and plastics, or Pakkawood and birchbark.
Should I choose an electric knife or a regular one?
If you’re planning to do a lot of salmon and you want to get it done quickly, going with an electric knife might be your best option. They do take some getting used to and losing the small amount of time learning it might cost you in the long run. Manual knives tend to give you more precise and desired results over the use of an electric knife.
What’s the difference between a German blade and a Japanese blade?
Japanese high-carbon blades will be harder and sharper but may not be as durable in the long run. German blades tend to stay sharper longer and give you more precise cuts over time. If you just need something sharp and quickly available, the Japanese high-carbon blade is a good choice. If you want to invest in something that will hold its edge a long time, go with the German blade!
Choosing a quality fillet knife for salmon will help you get the best cuts without all of the hassles! There are several things you’ll want to consider when looking for a good fillet knife: flexibility, durability, and length.
Each salmon filleting knife should be at least seven inches long to accommodate the larger salmon. Within these seven inches of length, you want to be sure your blade is flexible to allow for you to separate the meat from the skin or bone. To keep your process moving along, your blade should also be durable and keep its sharp edge for a long time.
We’ve gathered together some of the best filleting knives for salmon that are on the market today so you can have all the information you need to make a quality choice! Going with a manual knife over an electric one will allow you to be more precise and get the most from your salmon.
With a quality fillet knife in your pack, you can enjoy your day on the water knowing once you catch your monster fish, you’ll have no problem slicing it up to take home! Invest in a great fillet knife and you’ll be ready to tackle as many salmon as you can catch. Happy fishing!