Filleting fish can be a fun way to save some money and get fresh fillets for making delicious dishes. Whether you do it at your home or in your kitchen, the only way you’re gonna get nicely cut fillets and waste the least amount of meat is to use a proper fillet knife.
But not just any fillet knife will do. Different kinds of fish require different fillet knives as we won’t use the same knife for filleting sardines as we would for trout. That’s why it’s important to evaluate the type of fish you’d be working with and your skill level of filleting before you choose your next knife.
Since we need to choose a specific fillet knife for the particular type of fish, in this article, we will focus on the best fillet knives for salmon, as this type of fish is commonly used, and we get a lot of questions about what kind of fillet knife is the best for salmon.
To help you choose the best fillet knife for salmon, we compiled a list of 5 knives that all work excellently with this type of fish. Along with the list, we’ve included an informative guide where you can learn more about salmon and the knives used to prepare it.
Last update on 2021-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Best Fillet Knife For Salmon – Reviews
We started our research with more than 30 fillet knives that were all advertised as excellent for salmon. We reviewed them, and only 6 met our strict criteria. The 5 fillet knives we chose are made of high-grade materials, work great for filleting salmon, and are super-sharp!
In our list, we included models that have a shorter blade and the ones that are on the longer side, while we also reviewed fixed, folded, and electric fillet knives so that there is a type and size of fillet knife for everyone’s preference.
Rapala Fish 'N Fillet Knife
Blade Length: 4 & 6 Inches
Blade Material: Swedish Stainless Steel
It’s hard to choose a single knife as the best for salmon as there are various sizes and types, but this Rapala Fillet Knife has by far the best price to performance ratio, and that’s why we chose to put it as the number one on our list.
The quality of the materials in this knife is astonishing, considering the price point. It will serve you for a long time and will do so well.
Let’s start with the blade. Since Rapala is from Finland, they use Scandinavian steel for their blades, and in this case, it is made out of high-grade Swedish stainless steel.
The steel is very tough and resists corrosion wonderfully. You will have no problem using it to fillet the fish in the field as it resists saltwater as well! Just take good care of it as you would with any knife, and it will last for decades!
The handle is excellently crafted from high-quality and resistant birch. It is hard, strong, and has excellent shock resistance making it as durable as the blade.
As expected, the handle is full-tang, which means that the blade extends all the way to the butt of the handle, making the whole knife stronger and more balanced.
The sheath that comes with this knife doesn’t disappoint either. It is made from genuine leather and feels very sturdy. It matches the quality of the knife and should be as long-lasting.
All in all, we were impressed with the sturdy build of this knife and the sheath. Many salmon fillet knives in a much higher price range don’t match its quality of craftsmanship.
There are two blade length options for this particular model. You can get it in 4-inch blade length, which is great for detail salmon fillet work, and 6-inch blade length, preferable for long cuts and getting into fish.
If you don’t already have a fillet knife, we recommend going with the 6-inch version as it is more all-around and can be used for detailed work and stuff like running the knife down the length of the salmon spine where you benefit from the longer blade.
The performance of this knife lives up to the Rapala standard and gives you way more than many knives in a higher price range.
The first thing we like about the blade is the flexibility it offers, which is a crucial feature and is, in our opinion, mandatory for a good high-quality fillet knife for salmon.
The flexibility makes it so much easier to get under the skin and cutting with an angle. This will speed up your fillet work and make the cuts much more smooth and precise.
It is also thin, which is what we want in a fillet knife for salmon. When the blade is thin, it gets into the fish and under the skin much more easily and offers more precision and control.
The blade comes surgically sharp right out of the box so that you can start filleting salmon right away. It goes through tough salmon skin as smoothly as cutting through paper. You will have no problem filleting salmon of any size with this knife because of that!
The handle offers great control over the knife and has an excellent grip. It stays in hand when it gets wet, oily, or bloody. The handling of the knife feels effortless.
We like the balance of the blade and the handle as it is on point. It’s weighted perfectly and makes every move that much easier!
The sheath is pretty straightforward but does its job really well, keeping the knife safe and secure in it. No movement or slippage of the knife occurs even when you turn it upside down.
As we already mentioned, this knife gets you more for your money than any other! Its performance is excellent, and the quality of the build is way beyond its price point.
Whether you are seasoned at filleting salmon or just starting out, this knife is a great deal. You can’t go wrong with it!
BUBBA Tapered Flex Fillet Knife
Blade Length: 9 Inches
Handle: Non-Slip Grip
Blade Material: 8Cr13MoV Stainless Steel
Bubba is a high-end fillet knife manufacturer that only makes durable and reliable knives. They have a lot of interesting models, but we feel that this 9-inch tapered flex fillet knife works great for salmon, especially for bigger salmon like chinook.
Bubba is known to never cheap out in terms of the quality of the materials they use for the production of fillet knives. They lived up to their reputation as this knife is as good as it gets in build quality and choice of material.
The steel used for the blade is the 8Cr13MoV stainless steel, which is high in hardness and corrosion resistance. The blade is well made and will last for quite some time, given that you take good care of it.
The handle is what we like the most about this knife. It is so well designed and practical, so it provides excellent performance and great longevity. It is made of special rubber that only Bubba uses for their knives and has proved itself to be extremely wear-resistant and durable.
The knife comes with a synthetic sheath that is of good quality. Nothing special here, but it’s usable and looks to be pretty sturdy.
As always, Bubba doesn’t disappoint with the quality of their knives. This one can survive in even the harshest of environments and will last you a long time.
This is the best 9-inch fillet knife for salmon that we found. These knives are notorious for easy breaking since they are thin and long. It’s never easy making a resistant 9-inch blade, but Bubba did it superbly.
The additional length that a 9-inch fillet knife gives you is excellent if you want to work with larger fish, such as Atlantic or King Salmon. The length will give you straighter, easier, and more controlled cuts than with a shorter blade on large salmon.
The handle is also fairly long, measuring 6 inches in length. It has enough room for any hand size is perfectly sized with respect to the blade.
For its price, we expected this fillet knife for salmon to perform excellently, and it did. It has all the sharpness and strength to go through the toughest and biggest salmon you might be up against.
The thing we always look at first when we examine fillet knives is flexibility. Generally, the longer the blade, the less flex since it will be prone to breakage.
When we factor in how thin fillet knives for salmon have to be, we start to realize how hard it is to make a functional 9-inch fillet knife that is durable as well.
The fact that Bubba managed to pull this off and made a thin flex 9-inch knife is very impressive. The blade can withstand quite a bit of flex and pressure, which will allow you to get into fish more easily and get the job done.
The sharpness is what we expected from Bubba as they again deliver and meet their high standards. The blade goes glides through salmon as easy as pie and makes the filleting effortless.
As we previously mentioned, the handle is just outstanding. It provides excellent grip like no other handle does because of the special non-slip grip design. It stays in hand no matter what!
Overall, this is the best performing 9-inch fillet knife for salmon that you can find. It will assist you in cutting large salmon as no other knife will!
This is one of those pricier knives that are considered to be high-end. Most of Bubba’s fillet knives cost a bit more than the others, but that is for a reason. Their knives last longest and perform the best, so paying some extra cash is definitely worth it.
Victorinox Straight Fillet Fishing Knife
Blade Length: 8 Inches
Blade Material: Stainless Steel
Victorinox is one of our favorite budget knife manufacturers as they know how to combine inexpensive materials and build high-quality cutlery from them. They’ve managed to produce a really affordable and great performing 8-inch fillet knife for salmon.
Some people turn away from this knife when they see that it’s stamped as opposed to forged and doesn’t have a full tang. While these are usually signs of a cheap knife that should be avoided, that isn’t the case with Victorinox.
As we already mentioned, they have an amazing set of designers and strict quality control that will never produce a knife that isn’t usable.
Sure it sounds better to get a forged Damascus steel blade coupled with a Micarta handle, but they wouldn’t be able to sell the knife for such an affordable price then.
The blade isn’t full tang and is stamped but is, by all means, a quality blade. It’s sturdy, can resist flex, and resists corrosion excellently.
The handle is made of a material that is unique to Victorinox, and that is Fibrox. This plastic is super sturdy, durable, and is known to resist extreme pressure. You rarely see these broken, ever.
Only Victorinox can make inexpensive materials work in their favor and produce a durable fillet knife for salmon out of them.
The 8-inch blade size is popular as it is excellent for large fish such as salmon. It is not as bulky as the 9-inch blade but doesn’t lack the length of the 6-inch one.
If you’re just starting with filleting salmon, we recommend going for something shorter such as 6 or 7 inches. If you, however, are more seasoned or own a smaller blade fillet knife already, this will be a great addition to your collection.
This is where Victorinox wins every single time. Some dislike the quality of the materials they are using, some don’t fancy their design, but nobody can deny that their knives always perform as expected.
The blade is phenomenal for its price and steel quality as it comes razor-sharp out of the box. What surprised us, even more, was how well the blade holds its edge, as you’ll hardly ever need to hone it if you use it moderately.
It goes through salmon skin like butter and can tackle even the largest fish you wish to fillet. Its cutting ability is unbelievable for this price range.
The flex of the knife is just like it should be and helps to get into difficult angles more easily. It makes filleting salmon a much more enjoyable experience.
The handle may not have the stylish looks, but its practicality makes up for it. Because it’s made of Fibrox material, it offers excellent grip and stays in the hand when it gets wet.
It’s balanced on point with the blade and feels great in hand. You won’t feel like you’re holding an 8-inch knife as maneuvering the knife feels effortless.
Apart from the Rapala fillet knife, we reviewed above, this is the best budget fillet knife for salmon that we found. It’s one of the least expensive 8-inch fillet knives but is as good as any $50+ model out there when it comes to performance.
Gerber Controller Folding Fish Fillet Knife
Blade Length: 6 Inches
Handle: HydroTread Grip
Blade Material: Stainless Steel
If you’re an avid outdoorsman and like to go fishing a lot, then you might consider getting a folding pocket fillet knife for salmon. This one from Gerber is great for salmon as it is big enough but still lightweight to carry. It fillets salmon excellently and is very well made.
The materials used to produce this stylish pocket fillet knife are excellent and will ensure the longevity of the knife.
The blade is made of robust stainless steel that has excellent hardness and corrosion resistance. It will withstand salt and fresh water with no problems.
The handle is made out of HydroTread grip, which is a patented material by Gerber that is extremely resistant to harsh environments.
The knife is equipped with everything it needs to survive in the fishing world. If you watch out for it, it can last for years!
The blade is 6 inches long, which is on the smaller side of salmon fillet knives but is still enough for most salmon.
The handle is 6.5 inches long and has enough space for a comfortable grip. Both small and large hand users can hold it easily.
Since this folded fillet knife is a bit pricier, our expectations were high regarding its performance. In short, it didn’t dissapoint.
It has the sharpness and flexibility that a good fillet knife for salmon should have.
You can easily cut through the skin of most salmon with this sharp stainless steel fillet knife.
We always like to take a look at the folding and locking mechanism on pocket folded knives, and we weren’t disappointed with this one.
The knife stays securely fixed when open and won’t start closing when the pressure is applied. This is an essential feature that many folding knife manufacturers fail to accomplish.
While a bit pricey, this knife performs wonderfully and is an excellent fillet knife for salmon. It would make an excellent gift for its sleek and modern looks and is a perfect choice for those who prefer to fillet on the field as it is lightweight and easily transported.
Rapala Electric Fillet Knife
Blade Lenght: 7 1/2 Inches
Blade Material: Stainless Steel
Electric fillet knives have their advantages and use cases. The reason most people avoid them is for their high price and the results that aren’t as good as with manual cutting.
This model from Rapala is much more affordable than any other electric fillet knife for salmon but performs almost as well. It’s a great choice if you appreciate the convenience of this type of fillet knife.
This knife isn’t spectacular in terms of build quality but is decent enough to get through most kitchen fillet work without issues.
The blade is made of stainless steel that has good corrosion resistance and seems sturdy. It’s a serrated blade that should last for some time if you take care of it.
The plastic used for the handle is solid and doesn’t have the Chinese feel to it many cheaper electric fillet knives have. It’s thick and won’t break on accidental drops or banging.
The two-prong fork that comes with the knife is decent and is sufficient for small kitchen work. It’s also made of plastic and stainless steel and should give you quite a few years of service.
The quality of the build is what we expected for this price range. It is acceptable, and given that you take good care of the knife, it should last for a few years at least.
You only get a single blade with this electric fillet knife, which isn’t surprising considering the price.
It’s 7.5 inches long, which is a good all-around length for most salmon fillet work.
Now comes the big question, how does it perform? Well, that’s what surprised us the most as it is an excellent working electric fillet knife that costs more than two times less than most others.
The motor is very well made and doesn’t get hot easily. It has enough power to go through salmon easily.
The serrated blade is sharp out of the box, which means you can start filleting with it right away.
The convenience of this knife is what makes it worth it. It does all the work for you and is a great way for beginners to learn how to fillet a salmon. Sure, the cuts aren’t as clean nor precise as when cutting manually, but it makes filleting so much easier. If you do it a lot, you will enjoy the advantages of the electric fillet knife for salmon.
The fact that you get a working electric fillet knife for a price this low is incredible in itself. This knife offers a lot more than you pay for it, making it more than a worthwhile purchase.
It will make you enjoy filleting salmon more, and the whole process will become effortless!
Fillet Knife For Salmon – Guide
There are a few steps you need to take to determine what’s the best fillet knife for salmon for your use case. We are now going to go through those steps so that you can choose a fillet knife per your preference.
Type Of Salmon
Before you start looking for the cutlery, you first need to factor in what type of salmon are you going to work with. More precisely, what size will the fish be?
An Atlantic or big salmon will be much easier to fillet with a longer blade such as 8 or 9-inch, while you’ll be better of with a 6-inch or even 4-inch blade when working with smaller salmon such as humpback.
Type Of Knife
There are 3 main types of fillet knives for salmon and those are:
- Fixed Fillet Knife
- Folded Fillet Knife
- Electric Fillet Knife
Each one has its advantages, and the choice mostly comes up to a matter of personal preference or use case.
A fixed fillet knife is best for kitchen salmon filleting as it offers the most precision, control, and is available in a variety of sizes. You might find them a bit difficult to work with if you’re a beginner, but you’ll get a hang of it once you’ve done it a few times.
A folded fillet knife for salmon is great if you go fishing often and you like to fillet the salmon on the spot. It has great portability and is usually more lightweight than the fixed and electric fillet knife. A downside of this knife is that it usually only comes in limited blade lengths.
You need to take extra care of this knife since it will be exposed to salty or fresh water and other environmental factors that can quickly ruin the blade. Make sure to thoroughly clean it after each use, lube it with the best knife lube, and store it in a good sheath.
An electric fillet knife is excellent for easy and convenient filleting of salmon. It offers an effortless way to cut the fish but lacks the precision and the control of manual cutting. It’s a great way to get into salmon filleting if you’re a beginner.
After you’ve identified the type of salmon you’d be working with and the type of fillet knife you prefer, you will want to look at the blade of the particular model that caught your eye.
The first thing you need to pay attention to is the flexibility of the blade. The flex is crucial when filleting salmon or any fish for that matter as it makes getting into fish, removing the skin, and making precise cuts much easier.
The next thing you want to pay attention to is whether the knife is sharp enough. The best fillet knife for salmon needs to be as sharp as a spearfishing knife to cut through the tough skin. A dull blade or a blade that’s not sharp enough will be a waste of money.
Make sure to test the sharpness or to look at the reviews to get a better perspective of how sharp the knife is.
- Blade Length: 6 Inches
- Handle: Birch
- Blade Material: Swedish Stainless Steel
Last update on 2021-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
That about covers it for everything you need to know about the best fillet knives for salmon.
Remember to choose knives that are flexible and super sharp so that you stand a chance of going through the salmon skin and cutting the fish precisely.
Any of the models we recommended are excellent choices and are all razor-sharp and flexible. You can’t go wrong with any of them!