Knives have been the primary tool of humankind since ancient times when early men invented them from sharpened pieces of rocks. Even before societies were formed, humans have been using them.
For a cook or chef, in particular, knives are arguably the most essential tools to have. There can be no food coming from a kitchen without a knife. We doubt you can even call that kind of place a kitchen if it has no knife.
Cutting devices have been so vital in cooking that different knives were invented for everything you can chop in the kitchen. From bread knives to vegetable knives, even knives specialized for meat only, modern-age chefs have all the tools they can use. Knives even come from all over the world! There are German-made knives, Swedish knives, and French knives. The Sabatier fish filleting knife, which we will review in this article, comes from France.
It is only natural for a country that fostered many great cooks over the decades to also boast of quality kitchen tools—knives specifically. Since the 1800s, Thiers, in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of France, has been the birthplace of Sabatier knives. From its conception to the present, the name Sabatier has gone through many evolutions in as many years.
Sabatier knives have always been associated with quality and durability. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that everyone used to brand their knives “Sabatier” to market them successfully. Back in the early days, there was no concept of intellectual property or copyright. Thus, any knifemaker could claim the trademark “Sabatier.”
Only in 1979 did reliable brands seek protective rights to the Sabatier name and trademark it. Since then, it requires a special license to market knives with the Sabatier mark.
Strictly speaking, Sabatier isn't a particular brand of knife. It did start that way, with two traceable original knifemakers with the surname Sabatier in the village of Thiers. Over the years, however, competitor knifemakers who wanted to sell their products also used the term Sabatier as an identifier that their knives were also made in Thiers.
Nowadays, the Sabatier mark acts as an umbrella term for a variety of quality knife brands, most of which are still made in Thiers. The defining quality of Sabatier knives remains to this day. Its reputation in producing knives that last for a long time is why many chefs still prefer to buy from the Sabatier umbrella brand.
When it comes to blades, Sabatier is an established brand with a rich history we just told you about. Undoubtedly, they have perfected how to make knives that fillet fish with finesse. And since the eyes feast on the food first, presentation is key to any remarkable dish. The Sabatier filleting knife can be your secret weapon to getting that Michelin star.
Novices won’t know the difference between a Sabatier fish filleting knife and a Sabatier boning knife. Visually, their fillet knife looks like the regular fishing fillet knives that you can use on many types of fish. The test of a knife’s worthiness, however, transcends the sense of sight.
What this seemingly ordinary knife hides is worth its weight in gold, quite literally. We say that because all Sabatier knives are forged from a single piece of metal, which is exposed to different temperatures, treatments, and cooling processes until perfection is achieved. The materials used can vary from stainless steel, carbon steel, or special Sandvik steel, but the quality of the craftsmanship stays the same.
The result of this meticulous process is a knife that keeps an edge for a long time, a knife that gives tribute to the beautiful ingredients chefs use to cut with it—in other words, a Michelin-star knife.
The notable feature that makes the Sabatier fish fillet knife unique is the forging of the blade. Sabatier brands flaunt 100-percent forged blades that stay sharp and usable for a long time. A good Sabatier knife is balanced and definitely has some weight to it because of how it is made. Less reliable knives have lesser blades because they might have been welded.
When filleting fish, the chef lays the edge of the knife flat inside the fish to get as much meat out as possible. At the same time, they lift the other edge starting from the handle at a small angle to aid the filleting smoothly.
The difference between welded knives and the Sabatier fish knife becomes clear the longer you use the knife. Welded knives tend to break more easily at the joint because of the extreme angle and pressure applied on them regularly. Sabatier knives, on the other hand, withstand constant usage because they are made from one whole piece of steel.
Sharp Cutting Edge
The nature of the premium material used in Sabatier fish knives also ensures a sharp edge that is easy to maintain because it keeps the edge for a long time. Some cheap knives are made of metal that contains iron, and these don't hold a light to the Sabatier knife.
Knives containing iron are prone to rust, especially when always exposed to wet ingredients like fish. On the other hand, Sabatier knives made of stainless steel don’t have the same problem.
Another feature you can have with Sabatier knives is to have them customized. The company engraves names on the blade of the knives to make them more memorable. It is the perfect gift for your loved ones who cook as a profession or hobby. You can even buy them a piece that the young generation can inherit.
Prone to Counterfeiting
Because the Sabatier brand is a household name in the smithing industry, many counterfeiters sell fraudulent products out in the open at lower prices. Such is the downside of fame: everyone wants to have a piece of it.
To avoid falling victim to stores selling counterfeits, you can check out legitimate sources for the knife. Remember that quality Sabatier-labeled knives are a little bit heavier and have a balanced blade. Counterfeit knives will be flimsy and lighter than the real thing. It also has to have the words “100% forged” on the knife blade.
The umbrella brand highly suggests buying knives that have “Made in France” on the blades as well. The reason behind this is that the quality can be compromised if it was made in other places. To ensure the quality of the knife you're buying, make sure to check out legitimate websites.
Another setback of the Sabatier knife is the cost. The meticulous forging of Sabatier knives from a single piece of metal into a sturdy knife can set you back more than a few dollars. However, for an investment that will last for more years than your vehicle, it is worth it. It can even become an heirloom knife passed down in the family.
Don’t think of it as buying a mere knife. Instead, think of the quality you are getting, the longevity, and the future you have with the Sabatier blade. Why would you want to buy cheap knives that only last for a few months (a year if you get lucky)? Save your money and invest in Sabatier fish knives instead.
Knives like these cut up big fish like salmon or tuna into delicate pieces like sashimi. The blade is narrow and long to cut up thick fish meat in one slice, eliminating the need to cut up the fish into blocks. This type of fillet knife is optimal for clean, A-grade cuts.
The salmon fishing fillet knife also has indentations along the blade for air pockets. These allow the meat to be separated easily and prevent it from sticking to the knife, which happens with fatty fish like salmon.
Like the Sabatier fillet knife, long salmon knives are also forged out of different metals depending on the craftsmen. The name Sabatier, however, ensures its quality.
If you’re looking for a more versatile knife for general use in the kitchen, the Sabatier kitchen knives are a good choice. Like the salmon knife, it has little indents that act as air pockets. Without the air bubbles from these pockets, you'd have a hard time separating the meat from the knife.
Using a regular knife to fillet fish demands a higher level of knife skills. Regular knives don't have the flexibility of fillet knives, so getting the meat cleanly off the bone and skin would be a pain. Even professional chefs don't risk it and just use a filleting knife. If you are just a beginner, stick to the wise choice and get your own fillet knife.
Looking for the best fish fillet knife is a subjective process. Checking out Sabatier's collection of blades will give you a lot of information and choices on which knife to get. Invest in quality knives for your kitchen. They will last you a lifetime, so you'll get so much more than what you paid for.
Settle down for forged knives instead of welded knives or blades with unknown production information. With forged knives, you can ensure the solid quality of the steel used. The rigorous process and tempering of the metal for the blades make them durable. The top-class craftsmanship in sharpening the forged blade also gives it a cutting edge.
To ensure that you buy legitimate Sabatier knives, gauge the balance of the blade. Real Sabatiers are a little heavier than counterfeits. Look for the “100% forged” label on the blade as well.
We highly recommended choosing Sabatier-branded knives made in France because of the precise craftsmanship that is unique to the country. Check all these things when shopping for your knife.
Buying a Sabatier knife is only half of owning it. You have to learn how to maintain and store the blade to prevent rust or corrosion. You can check out legitimate websites to see the instructions on keeping your knife sharp and rust-free for a long time. If you care for it properly, it will last for a lifetime, perhaps even more. It might be one thing you can pass down to your descendants someday.