Which electric fillet knives are best?

Electric fillet knives can help you create precise cuts of fish or meat. The knife can separate the fish fillet from the backbone, the ribs and even the skin of a whole fish without damaging the fish’s delicate flesh.

What to know before you buy an electric fillet knife

Length

Fillet knives come in multiple lengths, from 4-9 inches or even longer. The shortest 4-inch knives work well for decorative cuts and for slicing small fillets of panfish, while longer 9-inch knives work best for big fish. 

But other factors, including the knife’s balance and the blade’s flexibility, can affect the knife’s behavior. It’s not uncommon to see a cook cutting and filleting a piece of fish or poultry with a longer or shorter blade than usual.

Home vs. outdoor use

The kind of location where you will use the fillet knife also matters. If you only plan to use it at home, you probably don’t have to worry about its construction, but hunters and fishermen need a blade that will hold an edge for multiple uses and won’t rust in wet or damp environments. They also need a handle that won’t mildew or warp.

How to use the knife

Grip the knife firmly but not too tightly, and keep your wrist loose. Always cut away from your body to decrease the risk of injury. Store your knife in a dry spot when on a fishing trip. And to remove the skin from poultry or fish, turn the newly cut fillet so the skin is on the cutting board and ease the knife between the skin and meat, pushing away from your body.

What to look for in a quality electric fillet knife

Handle

The handle needs to fit your hand and feel comfortable whether you hold it firmly or lightly. The handle can be composed of a wide range of materials, including plastic, metal, bone or wood.

Flexibility

Flexibility is a fillet knife’s most important feature. A flexible blade can slightly bend around the tough parts of the fish, so as much meat as possible is separated from the bones in the first cut. Fillet knives have differing levels of flexibility, and each person has their own preference.

Stiffness

It’s crucial to find a balance between flexibility and stiffness, with more flexibility toward the tip of the blade and more stiffness in the blade near the handle. A stiffer blade helps when you’re making extremely thin slices of meat.

How much you can expect to spend on an electric fillet knife

Electric fillet knives range in price from about $5-$119. The most inexpensive knives go for $5-$18, while mid-range knives cost about $19-$39 and high-end knives vary in price from about $40-$119.

Electric fillet knife FAQ

How do you determine a knife blade’s flexibility?

A. Test it by putting the knife on its side on a cutting board, facing away from you. Lift the handle so only the tip of the blade rests on the cutting board, then gently press down to flex the blade downward.

What are the benefits of a fillet knife versus a boning knife or hybrid knife?

A. The difference among these knives is in each blade’s purpose. The flexible fillet knife is thin enough to easily slide between the meat and skin of poultry or fish. Boning knives have thick, stiff blades that can tear through the skin, making it more difficult to separate from the meat. Cooks who fillet both poultry and fish and don’t want to continually switch from one blade to another might like a hybrid knife.

What’s the purpose of the upward taper on a fillet knife blade?

A. The curved end and severe taper of the blade’s final third make it feasible to perform intricate cuts of fish and meat. For instance, when you’re filleting a panfish, it’s recommended to make an initial cut along the backbone, and the tapered end of the knife is the best part to make this shallow cut. The upward taper also helps with decorative cutting of fruit and vegetables, letting you make curved, precise slices.

What are the best electric fillet knives to buy?

Top electric fillet knife

Bubba Electric Fillet Knife

Bubba Electric Fillet Knife

What you need to know: This cordless knife comes with a non-slip grip handle, non-stick reciprocating blades, a charger, and a case for when you take it on a fishing trip.

What you’ll love: It’s light for an electric knife, at 1.11 pounds. It has an ergonomic trigger, a trigger guard for extra security, and a dual-rivet blade design coated in Ti-Nitride stainless steel.

What you should consider: A few reviewers said its blade was dull, making it difficult to cut through fish.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top electric fillet knife for the money

Smith’s Electric Fillet Knife

Smith’s Electric Fillet Knife

What you need to know: It’s stainless steel and white, weighing about 1.75 pounds. 

What you’ll love: It comes with a marine-grade mesh storage bag, a fillet glove, an 8-inch fillet blade and a 8-inch flex fillet blade, each with its own sheath.

What you should consider: The blades occasionally don’t work well.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Rapala Deluxe Electric Fillet Knife

Rapala Deluxe Electric Fillet Knife

What you need to know: It weighs about a pound and measures 3 by 10 by 17 inches.

What you’ll love: With adapters for 110-volt AC, a 12-volt lighter plug and 12-volt post clips, you can use it in the field or in the kitchen. It adds a relaxed grip body, an 18-foot power cord, a quiet, long-lasting motor and an advanced air flow design. 

What you should consider: It sometimes breaks after a handful of uses.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Alex Kilpatrick writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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