On a camping or fishing trip, a high-quality fillet knife can make quick work of the day’s catch or any other dinner ingredients. Without one, it’s easy to mangle dinner or create food waste by leaving meat on the bones. (And when you’re away from home, you don’t have the luxury of a full set of kitchen knives to help you out.)
If fishing is part of your typical outdoor weekend—or you do a lot of campsite cooking—it’s a good idea to add a fillet knife to your cooking gear. But a quick internet search will reveal that—no surprise—there are a lot of options. Here at Camperville, we’ve done the legwork for you and rounded up the best fillet knives we could find.
But first, here are some things to consider when choosing a fillet knife.
How will the knife be used? Will it be used primarily for fish or game? Or will it be multipurpose? The knife’s main job plays into which model is the best choice for you.
Most fillet knives are made from stainless steel, carbon steel, or titanium. In most cases, a high-carbon steel blade will do the job.
Fillet knives are usually available in blades ranging from 6 to 9 inches. The size you choose depends on how you plan to use it. A 6-inch blade is fine for most freshwater panfish but larger fish may require a larger (9 inches or more) blade.
No-slip handles are pretty much standard these days, but it’s still worth thinking about the type of grip you’re looking for.
Keeping all this in mind, here are our top picks:
This stainless steel blade comes with a no-slip handle and a sheath with a built-in sharpener. Reviewers recommend giving it a fresh edge before use.
- Gator Grip handle texture provides maximum grip for any situation, wet or dry
- Hard-molded sheath with built-in sharpener
- Overall Length: 12.2", Length of Blade: 7.17"
- Full tang fillet blade
- Weight: 4.4 oz.
This knife not only has an extra-thin blade, it has a nonstick coating to guarantee smooth cuts. The wooden handle and leather tooled sheath also give it the appearance of a family heirloom.
- Incredible extra thin blade allows the greatest flexibility and control ever.
- PTFE non-stick coating lets fillets effortlessly fall away.
- Razor-sharp handground stainless steel blade features through tang construction.
- Polished brass ferrule.
- Tooled leather sheath.
A carbon steel blade and ergonomic handle make this knife a popular choice on Amazon (2,826 reviews and counting). It also has a middle-of-road price point.
- Ergonomic handle – a combination of Santoprene for comfort and polypropylene for durability
- Textured finger points provide slip resistance, grip, and safety. Protective finger guard.
- Hand wash knives for blade edge and surface care
- The highest quality Japanese steel allows for easy blade maintenance and rapid sharpening for a razor-sharp edge
- One-piece high-carbon, stain-resistant Japanese steel
This is a knife with some history. Sweden-based Morakniv has been producing knives since 1891. This model comes with a high-friction handle for reliable grip and a plastic sheath that’s easy to clean and won’t absorb odors.
- Stainless steel fillet knife with patterned, high-friction handle; available in 3.5-inch or 6.1-inch blade lengths
- 6.1-inch blade is versatile enough for most sizes of fish; slotted plastic sheath is easy to clean and includes two belt clips: belt-loop or clip-on
- Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel is known for its razor sharpness, high hardness, exceptional toughness, and excellent corrosion resistance
- High-friction handle allows users to maintain grip when cleaning fish; does not absorb odors
- Blade thickness: 0.07 inches (1.9 mm); blade length: 6.1 inches (155 mm), total length: 10.6 inches (270 mm), net weight: 3.5 oz. (99g)
Next on the list is another longtime knife manufacturer. Idaho-based Buck Knives was founded in San Diego in 1902. The Silver Creek model is a 6.5-inch fillet knife that folds up to half its size for safety and convenience.
- Life time warranty
- Built with precision and quality
- Variety of outdoor uses
This new model from Bubba Blade is one of the more expensive options on our list. The blade is carbon stainless steel and the rugged handle enables a sturdy grip.
- DIMENSIONS: 13” overall length with 7” blade
- EASE OF USE: Non-Slip Grip handle for outstanding grip security providing ultimate knife control with trigger grip for added security
- RELIABLE: Features safety guards for protection from the blade and spines of fish
- DURABLE: Ideal for detailed precision cutting, a super thin 8Cr13MoV blade allows for effortless maneuvering to easily remove meat without loss, making it the ideal fishing knife
- CONVENIENT: The Ti-Nitride coated, rust resistant blade cuts through scales easily and features an extra sharp tip to make starting your cut a breeze and a sheath with a belt loop for close, hands free carry
A flexible 11-inch blade makes this an ideal knife for both fish and game. It also folds up for safekeeping (fitting nicely into a tackle box) and comes with a nylon sheath.
- Safe And Secure: "tail" locks blade into place for security
- Convenient Carry: Reinforced nylon sheath provides options
- Designed by Ken Steigerwalt in Orangeville, Pennsylvania
- Limited Lifetime Warranty covers any defects in materials or workmanship, see company site for details
Part pocketknife, part fillet knife, this option can handle panfish and waterfowl. Its bright orange no-slip handle makes it easy to spot no matter where you leave it.
- FISH FILLET and DEBONING FOLDING KNIFE - Slim, lightweight, easily fits in your pocket, backpack, tackle box, or fly fishing bag.
- BLADE - 5" Razor sharp 440A stainless steel. Fully extend overall knife length 11.3"
- GREEN / BLACK HANDLE - double-molded Zytel handle features rubberized, non-slip TPR inserts for a secure, non-slip grip
- PERFECT FOR - filleting trout, crappie, bass, catfish, walleye, perch, salmon, and rock fish; or processing wild game including waterfowl, upland birds and big game
- ADDED FEATURES - pocket clip, black nylon belt sheath. Weighs 3.5 ounces.
The last knife on our list is by no means the least. KastKing fillet knives are available in six, seven, or nine-inch sizes. All models come with a grippy polymer handle and a sheath that prevents moisture from building up on the blade.
- Razor Sharp Stainless Blades – All new KastKing knives utilize premium, razor sharp G4116 German Stainless-Steel blades with a beautiful black finish. KastKing knives will maintain their edge longer in both fresh and saltwater applications and make the job of cutting baits, filleting fish of all sizes, steaking large game fish and trim or remove meat and fish from the bone easier than ever before.
- The Right Knife For The Job - The 6”, 7” & 9” stainless curved blades have the perfect flexibility so the knife will follow natural contours for perfect fillets, is also an awesome ideal for thinner or more delicate cuts of meat such as fish or chicken. All These KastKing professional level knives will provide years of service and will quickly become your favorite tool for filleting fish, boning meet and processing any food.
- Non-Slip Super Polymer Grip - We use the most comfortable and slip-resistant, super polymer grips for your safety and comfort. These handles feel great in your hand and ensure that you always have a solid grip on your knife. These handles also clean up easily and stay looking good longer.
- Includes Protective Knife Sheath – Each knife includes a light-weight and durable sheath to protect the blade and keep you safe in between jobs. The unique design of the sheath will lock the handle in for safety but removes easily when needed. The open slots in the sheath are design to allow water to drain easily so that your knives stay dry and sharp.
- Affordable Innovation – KastKing fishing knives are available in the most requested lengths and shapes so that you’ll always have the right tool for the job.