Top 10 Fillet Knives Reviewed and Rated
Criteria Used for Evaluation
The first two criteria we looked at are the most important when choosing any knife; blade material and handle quality. Stainless steel differs in quality based on the brand or the composition of materials used to make the final product. One brands' stainless steel will always be different from the other. And when you’re talking about the coated fillet knives, it goes into a completely different category. We rated knives on their initial sharpness out of the box, how long they maintained sharpness, and how strong the blade was without sacrificing flexibility.
Handle quality was an easier criterion to measure since the materials were similar across multiple brands. This is also where we did a lot of filtering of the lesser quality fillet knives, based on their lack of comfort. Every knife on the list had to pass the ‘sweat test’, an evaluation that is more about safety than comfort. A good handle won’t slip when your hands get sweaty, and it also won’t soak up water. This feature keeps bacteria and accidents to a minimum for all top tier fillet knives. A common theme with the products that remained was the lack of wood handles, which by all accounts is considered inferior to man-made materials (for longevity).
Next up, the products that remained had to pass multiple durability tests. It’s important to note that we didn’t concentrate on durability outside of the intended use of the product. So finding the breaking point wasn’t the priority with the durability tests. We instead looked at how well the fillet knives performed in real-world situations that required extended uses per day. Products that wore out quickly were considered low quality and kept off of the list. The high-end choices were fine in everyday use with the aid of weekly sharpening.
Fillet knives don’t really need instructions, so judging their usability is about extra features. This includes company-specific things like polished brass ferrule, PTFE non-stick coating, full tang and even comfort features like gator grip. Usability as a criterion puts marketed features front and center for the user since they are all about improving the experience. This criterion helped us decide a lot of close matches on the list, with some fillet knives usability rating higher than its peers. Rankings that were improved with the usability criteria favored brands that were innovative.
Pricing was a criterion we considered leaving off of the list, but added it for one reason; balance. At this point in our rankings, several products were evenly matched. We identified similar fillet knives and separated them by price, with the lower of the two is the better value. It instantly gained a higher spot on the list to help with the variety of the listed products. Products that included a lot of extras were not included in this criterion. Their price was justified with the value of the knife package as a whole rather than the fillet knife itself.
Overall, making the best decision when picking the best fillet knives for hunting for your particular case shouldn’t prove to be too much work. The main things you’ll want to keep an eye out for are the length of the blade, the material the handle is made out of, and what kind of knife it is. Traditional knives are usually a bit more affordable, but if you want to get something with interchangeable blades or anything else, expect to pay a little more.
All of the knives mentioned in this guide are some of the best that money can buy, and while I strongly recommend all of them, the amount of money you want to pay will result in how many included goodies or features you’ll get. You can spend a very small amount of cash for a really solid fillet knife for hunting, or you can pony up a few extra dollars to get something a bit fancier. The ultimate decision will come down to how much you’re willing to spend to get the best fillet knives and what your current budget looks like.
10 Best Fish Fillet Knife Reviews
1. Elk Ridge ER-02
If you are looking for an affordable and high-quality fillet knife for hunting, the Elk Ridge ER-028 fillet knife is a great option. Not only is the price a highlight, but this fillet knife is still high-end and a strong performing knife.
Long blade & durable handle
The blade on this Elk Ridge fillet knife is 12.5-inches long. It is a little more on the stiff side compared to other shorter blades on this list. However, it still performs well and the durable wooden handle looks fantastic, too.
The Elk Ridge knife is made out of only the finest materials out there, and the 440-series stainless steel means it should last you a good long while. Combine all of this together with a nylon sheath a price that is truly unbeatable, and you are looking at a real winner.
Cost & Value
The price of this Elk Ridge fillet knife is incredibly low and affordable for high-quality performance and look. You cannot go wrong with this knife in your hunting arsenal.
2. Gerber Gator
This Gerber Gator fillet knife is as affordable as it is unstoppable. It is designed to be incredibly durable with a full tang stainless steel blade, and it is easy to hold and use. Carry it with the rest of your hunting tools for a quick problem and life-solving needs.
Full tang blade and sheath
Featuring a durable stainless-steel blade, this fillet knife was constructed to provide an enhanced experience. Additionally, when you purchase this knife you will receive two supplementary blades in six or seven inches in length. In order to keep you and your knife secure the brand thought of it all by providing a hard-molded sheath.
In order to provide an exceptional grip, Gerber has perfected their patented Gator Grip handle, which features a unique texture that feels secure in the hand whether the handle is wet or dry. Having this specific feature creates a rugged yet durable knife that will last quite a long time.
Cost & Value
This Gerber fillet knife is another of the more inexpensive fillet knives on this list with exceptional quality and a high-end feel without the crazy price point you might see from other well-known brands, an overall win, win for anyone who is seeking a well-constructed knife on a budget.
The KastKing fillet knife in 9 inches is easily one of the best knives to carry with you on a fishing trip. Constructed to last this stainless-steel knife brings forth durability paired a unique curved blade to give you the optimum convenience. The brand wanted to create a knife that would easily fit in your fishing kit but be just as efficient as a larger sized knife. Measuring at 9 inches this knife is the perfect size to thinly fillet large pieces of meat as well as little ones that need a gentler hand.
If there is something you want from your knife is sharpness. Any well-versed fisher or meat cutter will let you know having a sharp knife is not only vital but it's extremely beneficial. Kastking is known for its being one of the sharpest on the market. Designed with premium razor-sharp G4116 German Stainless-Steel blades, paired with a black finish for a cool aesthetic, this knife gives you that sharpness you want when cutting a multitude of knives. The beauty of this knife is how sharp it will remain over time. You will have a sharp knife whether you are cutting a lump of large meat off the bone or a smaller delicate fish.
Besides having a sharp blade what most of us want is safety. Having a sharp knife is great until you aren’t safe anymore. This brand wanted to ensure you have both! Built with a non-slip polymer grip, for your utmost safety and comfort. The idea was to bring quality while still having a solid grip on your knife. This gives you a feeling of peace in mind, allowing you to fully embrace having a secure knife.
Cost & Value
When it comes to the value of this knife, you are getting a bargain. Not only is the knife cost-effective, but it’s a quality item with an added protective sheath for the upmost protection. If you want a quality item with extra added protection this one should be on your purchased list.
4. Rapala Fish N Fillet
The Rapala Fish’n Superflex Fillet Knife not only looks fantastic in your hand, but it also performs well, too. The non-stick coating lets fillets effortlessly fall away. The flexible blade is stainless steel and offers you full control. Overall, this is a tool you are going to want close by.
If you are someone that wants to get a fillet knife with one of the best handles out there, this is the fillet knife for you. The Rapala Fish’n Superflex Fillet Knife has one of the beefiest and most durable handles you’re going to find of a knife on this list, so if that’s an area of importance for you, this is going to be the knife to check out. The handle of a fillet knife for hunting is extremely important, as a good grip can only be had with a high-quality knife. And, a good grip is critical to getting the best cut possible.
In addition to a noteworthy handle, this knife also features a beautifully curved blade with a nice engraving on it. The knife comes in a nice 7-inch length to give you as much room as you need. Factor in the tooled leather sheath, and you really are looking at one of the most impressive, no-frills fillet knife that money can buy.
Cost & Value
Although there isn’t any fancy technology going on with this fillet knife, this is one of the sturdiest and most reliable knives that money can buy. It is at a moderate price and considering its beautiful craftsmanship and durability, the value seems much higher.
5. Schrade 167UH
If you are in need of a fillet knife but you aren’t only looking for one that performs well, but looks beautiful, too, then this is the knife for you. The Schrade Steelhead is a comparatively strong yet simple fillet knife like the Kershaw ones out there. So if you are a fan of Kershaw, this is another one to give a go.
If you are someone that likes the simplicity of the Kershaw knife but isn’t the biggest fan of the way that it looks, then you will love this Schrade Steelhead fillet knife. The outward appearance of a knife isn’t going to the most important factor for everyone out there, but to some people, it makes a pretty big difference.
Compares to Kershaw
The Schrade 167UH is a lot like the Kershaw in the sense that it’s just your traditional, average hunting fillet knife, but it does differ in a few key areas. For starters, the Schrade uses a handle that’s made out of Staglon. The blade measures in at 7.5-inches that’s made out of 400-series stainless steel, and the knife itself measures in at 12-inches as a whole. It comes with its very own sheath, and while it may be a bit more expensive than the Kershaw Fillet Knife, the special handle used here will be well worth the added cost for a lot of folks.
Cost & Value
Much like the knives before this one on the list, the Schrade Steelhead fillet knife is not too expensive and packs a lot of beauty and function into one easy-to-love tool.
Since we are playing a little bit of a comparison game in this guide (wait, isn’t that the point of these guides anyways? Yes!) the Kershaw fillet knife is comparative to both the Schrade Steelhead and the Columbia River fillet knife. So, what makes it different? First, it’s less expensive but it does not lack in quality.
Low cost, high quality
As mentioned before, if the Columbia River Knife is still a bit too on the expensive side of things, then the Kershaw fillet knife is your less expensive and still high-quality alternative.
The Kershaw Fillet Knife has a satin finish, a blade length of 9-inches, and the total length comes in at 14.25-inches. The blade doesn’t retract the way it does with the Columbia Knife, but that’s to be expected for something this darn cheap! It does come with a protective sheath to keep the blade in the best condition possible when you aren’t using it, and the co-polymer handle will ensure that you have one of the best grips out there.
Cost & Value
The Kershaw Fillet Knife may not have all of the features that some of the other knives on this list have, but it does come with one of the lowest prices you’re going to find. Being able to get a fillet knife for hunting of this caliber at a price this low truly is amazing, and if you’re looking to save as many dollars as possible, this deserves to be one of the first knives that you look at when you go out shopping.
7. Columbia River 3085
If you’re on the hunt for a really, really great fillet knife for hunting that offers a bit of a more traditional design, you won’t want to look any further than the Columbia River Knife and Tool 3085.
Single blade with folding design
The Columbia River Knife features one single blade, but unlike many hunting fillet knives, the blade is actually able to fold in on itself similar to what you would find with a pocket knife. When the blade folds into the handle, the innovative tail lock safety bar keeps in tucked away securely so it doesn’t pop out unexpectedly when you don’t want to use it.
Comfortable handle & protective sheath
The length of the item as a whole is 11.6-inches, and it features a weight of about 1.8 ounces. Additionally, the knife comes with its own nylon sheath to add an extra layer of protection to ensure that everything stays looking as good as possible. Couple all of this with a comfortable handle and extremely affordable price tag, and you’re looking at one of the best affordable options out there for a really great fillet knife for hunting.
Cost & Value
You are going to pay a really low price for a traditional look, comfortable feel in your hand and a solid performance that you cannot deny. This Columbia River fillet knife is as innovative as it is nice to look at, and it won’t cost an arm and a leg.
8. SOG BLT32K-CP
The next fillet knife up on the list certainly doesn’t disappoint. In fact, the SOG BladeLight Fillet Knife w/Light packs in a lot of features that are bound to attract a lot of hunters out there. Right off the bat, the most notable aspect of this particular fillet knife for hunting is the fact that it comes with 6 LED lights molded into the handle for superior cutting.
Six LED Lights
Unlike any of the knives on this guide, this one offers something a little bit different. It comes with 6 LED lights that have been integrated into the handle in order to give you the best precision possible when you are cutting. Featuring 84 minutes of luminosity at 100% brightness.
The same thing can actually be said for the handle itself. It is one of the best quality ones out there. The handle is constructed out of glass-reinforced nylon and rubber mold that offers an extremely comfortable feel in the hand, and there’s also a sheath included with a built-in sharpener to keep the blade sharp at all times.
Cost & Value
The price here does tend to be a bit on the higher side of things, but when you consider the fact that you’re essentially getting a sharp knife with much-needed incorporated lights the value is actually quite impressive for the amount that you’ll end up spending.
9. Bubba Blade CCA
The Bubba Blade CC Breaking Fillet Knife offers a bit more prominent of a design. The white handle and red accents give it a really great look. This fillet knife is heavy-duty and offers an extreme grip so you won’t fear to let it slip. It is definitely sharp, making sure your cuts are effortless and precise. If you aren’t a fan of this knife yet, you will be.
The handle on this Bubba Blade fillet knife is made out of an incredibly grippy rubber to help ensure that it’s as safe to use as possible. No need to worry if your hands are wet. The rubber stays sticky for outstanding grip.
Cost & Value
The cost here is quite a bit higher than what others feature, but there does appear to be a bit more attention to detail with the Bubba Blade. All of the reviews for the knife are overwhelming positive, and it’s been rated to be a real champ when dealing with a large amount of fish or meat. Essentially, if you’ve got a lot of work piled up for your next fillet knife, this is going to be one of your best choices.
Last but not least we have the Morakniv fishing, comfort fillet knife. Coming in two different blade sizes: 3.5-inch or 6.1-inch this knife allows you to find the one that works best for you. With their customer in mind, Morakniv brings you a knife that simply works. Constructed for a fishing novice, this knife works hard at allowing you to become an expert in no time.
Anyone who is well-versed at cutting meat or does regular fishing knows having a sharp knife is a must-have. The sharper your knife the easier it will be to get an accurate cut. Not only will the cutwork exceptionally well but you will have precise meat time and time again. Constructed out of Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel this knife is not only razor-sharp but it's also exceptionally sturdy and durable for even those times you want to cut your meat extremely close to the bone.
High Friction Handle
Unlike other ones on our guide, this knife’s handle has a patterned, high friction grip for an anti-slip approach. The handle was specifically created to give you that sturdiness while you are handling your meat. Think of it as one of those items that simply makes sense to have in your fishing kit. The handle alone is the best seller in our opinion.
Cost & Value
As for the cost and value of this product, this item is priced pretty well. It is a good price for a high-quality product like this one. Furthermore, you are getting a limited lifetime warranty so that you can comfortably make a purchasing knowing you are covered.