Selecting the Best Knife for Slicing Fish Plus 10 Recommendations

June 18, 2021

Fish are known for their nutrients and fiber, which is why they’re a favorite main ingredient in everyday dishes. Preparing and incorporating fish into our dishes is pretty common, but do you have the right utensils to make the perfect cuts?

Fish knives are the perfect utensils for a fish lover like you. But you may ask, what makes a knife for slicing fish very distinct from the ordinary kitchen knives we commonly use? As a matter of fact, a fish knife specializes in removing tiny bones from the soft parts and pieces of the fish, making the whole process of catching, preparing, and cooking the fish a lot easier.

Features of a Fish Knife

A fish cutting knife has special characteristics, making slicing fish an easier task.

It is very important to note that durability is always a factor to consider in purchasing a fish knife. For its material, a stainless-steel blade is a common choice. It is known for its durability and ease of sharpening.

Meanwhile, a carbon steel blade is razor-sharp, making easy and precise fish cuts possible. This will be a perfect choice if you are looking to debone or fillet fish. However, carbon steel should be maintained regularly as it is prone to rust.

If you are torn between the two, high carbon stainless steel offers both durability and sharpness. It’s also generally corrosion-resistant, which is a plus.

Compared to an ordinary kitchen knife, a fish knife is more flexible. It has a thinner blade to easily debone and precisely cut the fish meat. The flexibility of the blade makes it easier to cut the backbone and glide under the skin of the fish to avoid wasting meat in slicing and filleting.

Generally, fish knives have long blades ranging from 4 to 9 inches, depending on their intended usage. Fish knives with smaller blades will be more effective for smaller fish since they are more flexible and precise in slicing. In contrast, a semi-stiff blade will be good for larger cuts of fish meat.

Additionally, the flexibility of the blade depends on its thickness, width, and length. This flexible, long, thin yet durable blade gives you an easy way to slice your fish perfectly.

Selecting the Best Fish Knife

A. Flexibility - A more flexible knife is a more precise knife in slicing, cutting, and filleting fish meat. Flexibility affords you an easier cut on backbones and ribs along with the fish meat. Almost half of the work in filleting a fish is done by the blade flexes. The tip of the knife should be flexible, too, since it will be used in skinning.

B. Blade Size - Check the size of the blade before using it for the fish. If you are slicing small fish, a 4 to 5-inch knife blade should be used. Smaller knife blades are perfect for smaller fish, while larger fish need longer blades.

C. Knife Handle - In choosing a knife, it's always important to choose safety and comfort. A great knife handle keeps your hands safe from using it. It is essential to check on the handle's shape for your safety. A notch for your index finger at the base of the blade will surely not slip up on your hand, avoiding injuries. It also brings comfort as you slice the fish meat. One of the most common handles is a wood handle. But there's a better option, especially when your hands are wet. You might want to consider using other types of handles like stainless, plastic, fibrox, nylon, Proflex, styrene, resin, or Polypropylene.

10 High-Quality Fish Knives

If you’ve finally decided to buy the best fish knives to complete your fish fillet knife set, here are some of our top recommendations:

1. Kai Wasabi Black Yanagiba Knife (8.25 inches)

This knife is the best for sushi and sashimi. It is extremely sharp and less prone to rust with its high-carbon stainless-steel blade. Moreover, its blade is sharpened at an angle, creating sharper cuts. This is perfect for thin slices of sushi and sashimi. Its handle is made of Polypropylene, a less slippery plastic.

2. KastKing Fillet Knife (9 inches)

If you are looking for a knife for saltwater, the KastKing Fillet Knife is an excellent choice. The 9-inch razor-sharp stainless steel blade can slice and cut large saltwater fish. This will be strong enough to cut large fish like large salmon or tuna. It is also surprising that it is very durable, lightweight, and easy to control, granting effortless removal of meat from the bone. In addition, its handle is made of slip-resistant super polymer, which offers safety.

3. Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife (4 inches)

This knife is perfect for small fish. Even though it is small, it packs a punch in durability and sharpness. Its blade is made of razor-sharp Swedish stainless steel to slice small fish precisely.  Its high-friction handle fits in wet or cold conditions, a good option for outings, campings, or fishers.

4. Mercer Culinary Millennia Narrow Fillet Knife (8.5 inches)

Are you a salmon lover? Then, this knife is a must. This knife is perfect for gliding across salmon bones. The perfect slices of salmon you see in cookbooks are likely prepared using this type of knife. The razor-sharp blade made from Japanese high carbon steel can easily cut very thin slices of salmon meat, and its rubber-like material of Santoprene and Polypropylene provides a secure hold as you use it.

5. Zwilling Four Star Filleting Knife (7 inches)

The oldest and most reputable German knives, Zwilling knives, are produced using a special ice-hardening technique. As a result, the blade becomes harder, sharper, and more durable. This fish knife is a good choice for medium-sized fish and other simple home-cooked meals. Also, customers love its molded handle for retaining control.

6. Shun Classic Gokujo Fillet Knife (6 inches)

One of the best cuisines that people love is Japanese food, and this knife is one of the best ones that can create the best Japanese dishes. Home cooks and even professionals have this in their cutlery collection. This 6-inch fillet knife is sharp, thin, lightweight, and has a curved blade for perfect fillets.

7. J.A. Henckels Zwilling Gourmet Filleting Knife (7 inches)

This knife can be your fish knife for everyday use. It is easy to use and maintain, which makes it great for beginners. Its ice-hardened blade is made up of a special-formulated carbon. This knife has a laser-control edge, resulting in ideal fish cuts. It is also very flexible, achieving close cuts between the skin and the bone.

8. Bubba Li-Ion Cordless Electric Fillet Knife (7 to 12 inches) 

If convenience is your choice, then choose this knife from Bubba. This cordless and lightweight knife can easily slice and cut your fish meat. It also has a long run time for electric knives. With its four blades ranging from 7 to 12 inches in length, you can interchange them depending on the fish size. Don’t worry about your safety since it also has a safety lock and trigger guard.

9.   Rapala Heavy-Duty Electric Fillet Knife (7.5 inches) 

This heavy-duty fish-cutting electric knife is the best option among all the electric fish knives out there. This is perfect if you need to slice and fillet large amounts of fish. Its 7.5-inch stainless blade with its 8-foot power cord, powerful motor, and ergonomic handle can perfectly cut rib bones and backbones of bigger fish. This electric fillet knife is highly recommended, especially for heavy-duty use.

10. Wüsthof Classic Fish Fillet Knife (7 inches) 

This German knife is perfect for home cooks. It has a very sharp edge, making it a lot more efficient in cutting, filleting, and slicing fish than its known rivals. Since it is also made of carbon steel, it is very resistant to stains and rust. Its easy-to-control handle ensures safety in fish and food preparation.

In Conclusion

In selecting the best fish knife for you, always consider the blade’s size, material, flexibility, and knife handle. You must know what kind of fish you usually slice to determine the best knife to help you achieve the perfect cuts. Use the right fish knife for slicing fish, and make meals more delicious and easier to prepare. We hope you’ve found the perfect one to add to your kitchen arsenal with this article.

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