The Best Knife for Fish: 10 Knives and a Basic Guide to Sharpening

March 4, 2022

At some point in your fishing career, you will encounter both freshwater and saltwater fish. When this happens, you will need a high-quality knife for fish that can handle both regardless of the working conditions you are in. 

The knife you pick should be sharp, flexible, and user-friendly. It would be best to have a do-it-all knife that does the work for you and not the other way around. 

The perfect knife will help you out; you will be able to clean and fillet tons of fish with it without experiencing hand fatigue. It will also be safe to use and will not slip in your hands, even if it is wet from blood or water.

The challenging part is finding a knife with the characteristics above. Luckily for you, you don't have to look any further because we've made a list of the best fishing knives available.

Best Knife for Fish in the Market: Top 10 Reviews

Morakniv Fishing Comfort Fishing Fillet Knife

Morakniv Fishing Comfort Fillet Knife

Morakniv Fishing Comfort Fishing Fillet Knife is available in two sizes: 3.5-inches and 6.1-inches. Its blade is made from 12C27 Sandvik stainless steel. It is a very sturdy steel that’s resistant to corrosion and oxidation, so you can cut as many saltwater fish as you want.

Its high-friction handle promotes better grip to prevent it from slipping from your hand. In addition, it has an ergonomic design that fits like a glove on your hand. 

Each Morakniv Fishing Comfort Fillet Knife purchase includes a washable polymer sheath where you can safely store it when it’s not in use. The sheath also has two types of clips: a clip-on and a belt-loop. 

The knife is dishwasher-safe too. But it would help if you sharpened it regularly as it becomes blunt after heavy use.

KastKing Fillet Knife

KastKing Fillet Knife

If you want a knife suitable for cleaning both saltwater and freshwater game, then you should grab one of these KastKing Fillet Knives. Its versatility doesn't end with just the type of fish, because this knife has no problem with fish of any size.

The KastKing Fillet Knife consists of a G4116 German stainless steel blade perfect for deboning meat and filleting fish. The blade itself is a looker because of its beautiful black finish.

Its handle is made of super polymer that offers a comfortable grip, and it is also slip-resistant. Another exciting feature of this knife is the bright-colored handle and sheath, so you will never lose it wherever you are.

DALSTRONG Fillet Knife

DALSTRONG Fillet Knife

Look like you are participating in a cooking show and purchase this knife. Look how classy it is. The DALSTRONG Fillet Knife is a 7-inch fillet knife under the Gladiator series, made from full tang, high-carbon German steel.

It is designed to perform various kitchen tasks such as trimming, skinning, deboning, filleting, descaling, and butterflying. The DALSTRONG Fillet Knife is not only for fish but for poultry as well. 

The composition of its handle is a mixture of G-10 Garolite and a highly impervious fiberglass resin. At the middle of the blade and handle is a bolster that provides finger protection. 

But wait, there's more! The DALSTRONG Fillet Knife has not only one, but two sheaths! One is for your drawer, which is a BPA-free sheath. The other one is for outdoors, which is made out of leather.

Buck 0220BLS Silver Creek Knife for Fish

Buck 0220BLS Silver Creek

Buck 0220BLS Silver Creek is a budget fillet knife for professionals. It is designed to perform heavy-duty kitchen tasks. Plus, it can tackle both fresh and saltwater fish.

Its blade is made from flexible titanium-coated stainless steel. As a result, it is easy to sharpen and resistant to corrosion. As an addition, Buck Knives coats it with titanium nitride for two times the corrosion resistance.

Buck 0220BLS Silver Creek has an ergonomic handle made from glass reinforced polypropylene with TPE rubber. With these features, the Buck 0220BLS Silver Creek is one of the best knives for cutting fish, despite being affordable.

Kershaw Clearwater 9-Inch Fillet Knife

Kershaw Clearwater 9-Inch Fillet Knife

Fishing in tropical waters? The Kershaw Clearwater can easily cut through the knifefish for sale in your local wet market. Its 9-inch blade can effortlessly fillet a 3-feet long aquatic animal.

The fillet knife's blade is a 420J2 stainless steel with a satin finish, which is corrosion-resistant. So besides freshwater fish, it is also perfect for saltwater applications.

Kershaw made sure that you will never feel any wrist fatigue from using this knife. Its handle is made from copolymer material, which is easy to grip and offers maximum comfort. You can also easily distinguish the knife because of its neon green details.

Cressi Long Blade Fishing Knife

Cressi Long Blade Fishing Knife

The Cressi Long Blade Fishing Knife will suit you if you are an open water fisherman. It is great for spearfishing, diving, and saltwater applications. 

Its Japanese stainless steel blade has two different types of edges on either side. One side is serrated, and the other one is straight.

As for its handle, it features an ergonomic design that you can easily maneuver, even while wearing gloves. For protection, a small technopolymer thumb tab separates the handle from the blade.

While you are not using it, you can safely store it in its sheath. Once you are about to use it, you can quickly take it out from its sheath thanks to its locking mechanism with a one-hand release.

WÜSTHOF Classic 7-Inch Fillet Knife

WUSTHOF Classic 7 Inch Fillet Knife

A name trusted for generations; no wonder WÜSTHOF was able to create the best fillet knife for saltwater fish, which is the WÜSTHOF Classic 7-Inch Fillet Knife. You can use it for filleting and deboning any saltwater fish.

The fillet knife's blade is made from a full tang high-carbon stainless steel. In addition, WÜSTHOF applied its Precision Edge Technology to make it 20% sharper than the average knife, and to help it retain its edge for a longer time. As a result, it can easily glide through a fish's backbone, meat, and skin.

Its handle is made of polypropylene, which is triple riveted. It can withstand discoloration, heat, fading, and heavy impact.

Mercer Culinary Millennia 6-Inch Curved Boning Knife

Mercer Culinary Millennia 6-Inch Curved Boning Knife

Mercer Culinary Millennia 6-inch curved boning knife can attend to any level of cooking requirements. You will have no problem dressing up any fish in your kitchen.

Its blade is made from a single piece of high-carbon Japanese stainless steel which is stain-resistant. In addition, the blade's edge is so sharp that you can make clean cuts and fillets with it.

While its ergonomic handle consists of two materials—namely, santoprene and polypropylene—both materials offer comfort and durability. It also has a protective finger guard and textured finger points for safety.

Bubba Tapered Flex Fish Knife

Bubba Tapered Flex Fish Knife

The Bubba Tapered Flex Knife is not only great for fish preparation but also for slicing meat. That's how tough this knife is.

The Bubba Tapered Flex Knife's blade is an 8Cr13MoV stainless steel coated with ti-nitride. It is one of the leading fishing knives in sharpness and performance. In addition, the blade is resistant to corrosion and rust, so it is perfect for saltwater fish applications.

It has a non-slip grip handle that has an ergonomic style and a textured surface for ease of use. For its safety feature, it has a trigger grip providing total knife control.

Shun Cutlery Classic Boning and Fillet Knife

Shun Cutlery Classic Boning and Fillet Knife

Shun Cutlery Classic Boning and Fillet Knife is an elegant piece from its tip to the end cap. It may be expensive, but its stellar features more than make up for it. What's more is that the knife is manufactured in Japan.

This knife consists of VG-MAX stainless steel, 16 layers of SUS410 high-carbon stainless steel, and 33 layers of Damascus stainless steel. Impressive, right? Its blade is super sharp, corrosion-resistant, and it retains its edge despite multiple uses because of the high-end materials used to craft it.

Its handle is made from ebony-colored pakkawood, which is beautiful yet functional. It is shaped like the letter "D to ensure a slip-resistant, comfortable grip. The knife is dishwasher-safe, too, despite its wooden handle. 

How to Select and Use a Knife Sharpener

Why did we bring this up out of nowhere? Well, some of you may have mastered the blade, but have you learned how to prolong its use by sharpening it? 

There are several reasons why some anglers, chefs, and the simple folk can't maintain the sharpness of their knives:

  • They are using the wrong knife sharpener;
  • They don't know what the right way of sharpening a knife is; or
  • They have the budget to buy a new knife, so they don't have a problem throwing away the blunt old knife.

We hope you don't fall under the last category. But we can help you with the first two points!

Below are the two types of knife sharpening tools and how to use them:

  • Whetstone is a rectangular block of sharpening stone that is available in three different abrasion levels. It works like sandpaper, where you push the knife to-and-fro across the stone's surface. While doing this, you must maintain a 30–40 degree angle to avoid damaging the blade.
  • Honing rod or honing steel is made up of fine ceramic or rigid steel. Even beginners can use it with minimal to no training at all. All you need to do is to rest the tip of the rod on your counter and slightly turn it at a 20-degree angle. Next, grab the knife and pull it across the rod, then towards you. Repeat this motion on each side of the blade with the same number of pulls.

Seek professional help. If the manufacturer of your knife provides sharpening services, then you should take advantage of it. But do take note that you will most likely be responsible for its shipping.

In closing

Choosing a knife for fish is a balance between functionality and budget. You may have bought an expensive and branded knife, but does it serve the purpose based on where and how you will use it? When buying a knife, it’s always best to look at quality first before price. Always check if its features and specs meet your preference; be practical. After all, a high-quality and reliable fishing knife is one of the essential tools you can depend on throughout your fishing career. Read more about this on our website.

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