Not many of us dream to find the fillet knives for salmon because not so many are lucky to have a whole salmon in front of us, waiting to be treated with the care and expertise it deserves,
However, nowadays supermarkets offer fish fillets of all sorts and sizes so that’s what we’re mostly used to buying.
Thankfully, using a some of the best fillet knives for salmon can be an experience that many fish lovers would enjoy a lot. Plus, it’s cheaper to buy a whole fish and fillet it at home than buying fillets for a bunch of people.
When I cook for my entire family, I prefer buying whole, big fishes that will feed everyone. We are a family that loves fish and meat equally, although some of us don’t enjoy seafood all that much.
Cooking a whole fish is a joyous experience for amateur chefs. Still, being able to fillet a whole salmon and many other types of fish is the beginning of a wonderful journey through delicious flavors and ingredients.
On top of that, we also have an avid fisherman in the family, which makes me respect our food even more. I don’t do well with fishing but I do well with cooking so we have complementary talents.
In the end, for me, being able to fillet a fish without leaving much on the bones is the way I show my appreciation for the nourishment it provides to my family. I’m always grateful for any wonderful ingredients.
Table of Contents
Best Fillet Knives for Salmon Reviews
If we want to fillet a fish as close to perfect as we can get in our amateur experience, we absolutely need to look for the best fillet knives for salmon.
Fillet knives are characterized by having thin, narrow blades that curve upward to the tip.
The flex is what truly makes them stand apart from other knives. Some fillet knives can be bent nearly in half.
When we’re doing it right, the flex allows us to bow the knife into position and then to glide the blade right through the flesh. The end result should be that barely any meat is left on the spine. The two big salmon fillets will have a clean, shiny look. They’ll resemble those that we buy from supermarkets, with the supreme satisfaction that ours were cut by our hands in our home.
The idea of using the best fish fillet knife is that it will help us fillet without too much waste left behind on the skeleton.
If you already own a boning knife, you might not need to buy a fillet knife if it’s a bit flexible and it gets the job done. Most boning knives are rigid because they’re used to bone meat from bones or to remove the fat cap from a brisket or to trim silverskin from a tenderloin, etc.
There definitely are flexible boning knives, just as we can buy a rigid fish fillet knife. They have a lot in common, the superior flex of fillet knives being the major difference between these two types. We need that flex for our salmon fillets to end up looking smooth and shiny.
1. Victorinox Fiborx Fillet Knife: Overall the Best Fillet Knife for Salmon
I must confess that Victorinox is among my favorite manufacturers when it comes to knives of all types, including some of the best chef’s knives.
If I were to recommend a brand that offers quality products that can stand up to the big, expensive brands while being 2-3 times cheaper, then Victorinox is the one I’m thinking of.
I would say that the Victorinox Fiborx Fillet Knife is as close to perfect when it comes to choosing the best fish fillet knife under $50.
If you have a moderate budget, you might want to consider their products.
If you are on a lower budget, you might like what Mercer Culinary does. I also like their products a good deal, I think they’re pretty awesome, although they receive a few complaints about dull blades.
On the other hand, if you want to spend above $100, you get to choose knives from brands like Wusthof and Mac.
And that’s how I quickly summed-up my preferences based on price tags.
The Victorinox Fibrox Fillet Knife is quite an affordable option with a price under $50 so that’s really nice.
We also get to choose between the 7 inches of the 8 inches blade. It’s hard to choose between the two and they seem to be equally popular among buyers, although the 8 inches seems to be the more frequently bought of the two.
The design looks more closely to the design of a utility knife than what a classic fish fillet knife looks like but I really like this look.
The blades are made from high-carbon stainless steel, just like the ones from Wusthof and Mercer Culinary. Carbon steel is used across all price ranges.
It’s a great material that offers razor-sharp edges that maintain their sharpness for longer.
The patented Fibrox handles are textured, slip resistant, and ergonomically designed for balance and comfort.
One review from someone who owns a fish market and has tried countless knives for their staff mentions that these Victorinox Fibrox Fillet Knives are great. They can be sharpened easily and they are inexpensive. The reviewer also mentions that they can last a lifetime if they are well taken care of at home.
Frankly, that review sums up perfectly what the Victorinox Fibrox Fillet Knife is all about so I had to mention it here.
All in all, this Victorinox is my absolute favorite and my top recommendation for the best fillet knives for salmon and fish.
2. Wusthof 7 Inch Fillet Knife: Amazing Fillet Knife for Salmon
I always have to fight my impulse of recommending a Wusthof knife as the absolute best knife for whatever we’re looking to cut with it.
For this article, I didn’t review the Wusthof 7 Inch Fillet Knife as the absolute best fillet knife for salmon.
But why is that? Why don’t I want to start my reviews with any Wusthof since they’re obviously impressively good and amazing and all the adjectives?
There’s a simple reason for all that: Wusthof knives, of all kinds, are very expensive.
When I recommend any product as my absolute favorite and first pick, I always try to find products that match a median budget. I know that cheap products are seldom the absolute best. But I also don’t want to say that only the most expensive products on the market are the absolute best and we should all buy those, even if the price is so above our budget that it’s ridiculous.
I really don’t like doing that. My reviews include expensive and cheap products that are really worth our money as far as I can find worthy products.
However, most of the time, as my favorite pick, I like selecting a product that is somewhere in the middle: not too pricey but not cheap, either. Sometimes, it’s where most of us end up shopping for our kitchen appliances, tools, cookware, etc.
And that’s why I will review the Wusthof 7 Inch Fillet Knife as my second pick, even if it’s a dream knife to have for filleting salmon and fish as easily as cutting anything else.
Wusthof will always go for high-carbon steel for their knives. Professional chefs usually prefer carbon steel, although it requires a bit more maintenance if you want to keep using the same knife for years to come.
The Wusthof 7 Inch Fillet Knife is precision-forged of high-carbon steel with stain-resistant alloy.
It was designed for wafer-thin filleting. But it can also be used for peeling fruit delicately. It also works for meat and vegetables.
I would say that stainless steel is a better choice for those who really don’t want to be bothered with figuring maintenance for carbon blades. If you only like the simplest things, stainless steel blades might be a better choice.
Do I even have to mention that the edge is razor-sharp and that it will maintain its sharpness for a very long time? Part of that it’s the fact that this is a carbon blade and the other part is the fact that it’s a Wusthof we’re talking about.
The handle is a resilient synthetic handle that is classic Wusthof. It’s simple, elegant, and it’s just beautiful.
There’s no sheath but if you know anything about Wusthof that doesn’t come as a surprise.
I recommend wrapping it up in a cloth or paper towels when you store it in the cupboard.
All in all, I can’t say anything negative about the Wusthof 7 Inch Fillet Knife. Well, I can’t say anything negative as long as I close my eyes and pretend that that high price isn’t real.
Perfect for all fish
This Wusthof is a 7.1-inch flexible fillet knife for fileting, deboning, and skinning fish. If you ever buy salmon fillet with the skin on and you don’t want to cook it like that, this Wusthof will help you get rid of that skin fairly easily.
However, I prefer cooking my salmon with the skin on. It also provides a safety layer between the flesh and a hot pan or grill. Even when I’m steaming salmon, I leave the skin on. Always place the fish with the skin-side down first, no matter how you’re cooking it: air fryer, grill, hot pan, steamed, in the oven, etc.
3. Mercer Culinary M22807 7-Inch Fillet Knife: Cheap Fillet Knife for Salmon
This Mercer Culinary M22807 7-Inch Fillet Knife doesn’t look like a classic fish fillet knife, it maybe looks like a utility knife more.
Nevertheless, this is a fillet knife with a flexible blade. I quite like the whole design and I like the length of this blade, I’m a bit more comfortable with this blade length.
However, I’ll also review an 8.5 inch blade from Mercer Culinary for those who always fillet very large fish.
Mercer Culinary always treats us by selling cheap knives crafted with one-piece high-carbon Japanese steel. That’s pretty impressive for the $20 price range.
The nice-looking blade is accompanied by a very nice-looking handle. It’s an ergonomic handle with textured finger points. It’s meant to offer a non-slip grip with added comfort, durability, and safety.
The shape that resembles a utility knife more allows this knife to be very versatile. You might buy it for filleting fish but you might end up using it almost daily for many other tasks.
It also works nicely for filleting meat and for removing flesh from bones. Thus, it also acts as a boning knife.
What made me really love this Mercer Culinary M22807 7-Inch Fillet Knife is a review from a fisherman who mentions that this knife is super sharp out of the box, doesn’t rust, has a sturdy blade, and it’s cheap for the quality. That’s the perfect way to describe this Mercer Culinary.
4. Mercer Culinary M23860 8.5-Inch Fillet Knife
This looks more like the classic fillet knife that we’re used to. It’s also another cheap pick for the best fillet knives for salmon.
Besides the classic curved shape with a very thin blade, the other difference between the two Mercer Culinary models that I chose to recommend is the size of the blade.
This one has a very long 8.5 inch blade, which can be a good choice if you always fillet large salmon.
Just like more expensive brands, this knife is crafted with one-piece high-carbon Japanese steel.
It’s this fact, the fact that Mercer Culinary pays attention to quality and details that makes me like this popular manufacturer so much.
I would say that the 8.5-inch blade is a bit too long for me and that’s why I chose to recommend the 7-inch model first.
We also get an ergonomic handle with textured finger points. It offers a non-slip grip with added comfort, durability, and safety.
Given that it’s made of carbon steel, it needs a bit of maintenance, like using mineral oil after washing and drying it to prevent rust and maintain the blade over the years.
However, Mercer only instructs us to wash it by hand with warm water and soap and to dry it completely with a soft towel.
The negative reviews for the Mercer Culinary M23860 8.5-Inch Fillet Knife complain about a dull edge, that’s what most negative reviews are all about.
5. Rapala Soft Grip Fillet Knife
I reviewed cheap, best fillet knives for salmon from Mercer Culinary and I like them a lot.
However, those from Mercer Culinary are made from carbon steel, which requires a bit more maintenance than stainless steel blades, although Mercer Culinary doesn’t mention that we need to do much besides washing it and drying it completely.
Even so, for those who are looking for a cheap stainless steel fillet knife for salmon, there’s Rapala as a manufacturer to consider.
We get quite the package from Rapala.
First, there’s the Soft Grip Fillet Knife that is equipped with a flexible stainless steel blade.
It also has a no-slip soft grip molded textured handle.
We get to choose from a bunch of blade lengths: 4, 6, 7.5, and 9 inches. The 7.5 inch blade would be my pick but the 9 inches one could be nice, too.
The package also includes a black sheath.
Moreover, we get a single-stage sharpener. And that completes this package.
All in all, this Rapala Soft Grip Fillet Knife is not among my favorites but it’s a cheap alternative for those who don’t like the picks from Mercer Culinary.
6. Calamus Fishing Fillet Knife
The first question we will ask ourselves about the Calamus Fishing Fillet Knife is whether we should go with the 7 inch or the 9 inch model?
Frankly, it’s hard to choose between the two sizes, especially because the price difference between the two is not significant.
Thus, we can’t make our choice based on price.
Overall, Calamus knives are quite cheap. They certainly offer good quality for the price and it’s one of the reasons why I like them quite a bit.
I wouldn’t say that they’re my favorite but they can be something you consider if you’re on a budget.
We also can’t make our choice between the two sizes based on the size that previous users prefer.
Both the 7 and the 9 inch have received more than a few glowing reviews from buyers. People really seem to like both equally.
There are also negative reviews that we must mention, as it always happens with any product. Someone bought the 9-inch fillet knife. They mentioned that they had to repeatedly sharpen the knife several times while filleting two large salmon.
There are plenty of reviews that mention a dull edge so that’s a thing to consider before buying one of these Calamus knives.
In the end, it’s going to be a totally personal choice.
I would recommend the 7-inch blade if you’re not in the habit of buying or catching large whole fish.
On the other hand, I think that the 9 inch size can offer a very good performance when it comes to salmon, which is a medium fish but there are some that can be quite big.
As I’ve already mentioned, there are two sizes to choose from: 7 inch and 9 inch.
Both come with 5.5 inch handles that are made of rubber. That makes the entire knife lightweight and the handles offer a good grip, even when it’s wet.
The blades are made of stainless steel, which makes maintenance pretty easy.
The blades are blue because they have a blue corrosion resistant finish. It’s also supposed to maintain its edge longer to make the job of filleting fish quicker and more efficient.
Obviously, the blades are flexible. And their shape is classic.
We also get a protective nylon sheath, which is a nice bonus, especially in this lower price range. Calamus mentions that the sheath is vented to allow for air circulation, while allowing water to drain away.
However, I strongly recommend drying your knives immediately after washing them. Store them dry, no matter what material they’re made from.
The blades also work for both fresh and saltwater fish, which is pretty much true for all blades.
Best Fillet Knives for Salmon Buying Guide
If you want to see how a gorgeous salmon is perfectly transformed into fillets, check out this video. It’s a pretty easy to follow tutorial.
Now, let’s see what we should be looking for when we’re looking for the best fish fillet knives for salmon and any other fish we buy whole.
Having the right tool can help you eat the best fish on a lower budget. Fish fillets are pretty much crazy expensive. It can work if you cook for one or two people but it gets too expensive when we’re feeding more people.
Plus, if you want to eat less meat, learning how to fillet all types of fish will help you a lot. It all starts with the right knife.
Let’s make things easier by talking about the prices for fillet knives. If you have a budget in mind, it might be easier to find the perfect one for you very quickly.
After all, we could be easily spending around $150 or a bit less on the best fillet knives for salmon. That’s where we find Wusthof.
Or we could be spending $50. That’s the area where we find the models from Victorinox.
Or we could buy a knife for about $20. Rapala and Mercer have models in this price range.
2 types of fillet knives
There are two main types: Scandinavian (German) and Japanese. Some might be more comfortable with using the Japanese style.
The Scandinavian types can be sharpened on both sides of the blade (double-beveled blade). They also have flexible blades with a mildly curved, pointed end. The lengths can vary.
The Japanese types can be a bit less flexible but they’re very sharp because the grind is one side only. They’re long and some have an even-width blade ending with a curve of 45%.
Most fillet knives have a 5 to 9 inches blade. The most popular blade lengths are the ones of 7 and 9 inches. Either are really good sizes.
The blade also has a slight curve. That’s what sets boning and fillet knives apart from all the others.
The blade is thinner, more flexible than we get with other knife types and its’ great for handling delicate meat.
A shorter blade works well for smaller fish but it can be a bit of a hindrance if you’re in the habit of buying large salmon.
Of course, fish fillet knives are known for their flexibility. We’re not actually going to bend down the blade in half. But flexibility of the blade is what sets these knives apart from all others.
Can we really talk about knives used for cutting absolutely anything without talking about razor-sharp edges?
The blade can be made from stainless steel or carbon steel. Both can be just as sharp but carbon steel is recognized as the material with the sharpest edge. And the possibility for that sharpness to last longer.
Stainless steel blades are also sharp and very good. What might make them a favorite is the fact that they’re not prone to rust. And they don’t require much maintenance. As long as you wash them by hand and you dry them after, then it’s all good.
Carbon steel knives are amazing and they can be a favorite for professional chefs but they also require more maintenance to prevent rust.
The handles can be: plastic, wood, metal, and rubber.
We need a handle that is ergonomic. It should feel comfortable and give us confidence in our knife skills.
The handle absolutely shouldn’t slip, even when wet. That’s the major feature we look for.
Wood can offer good traction even when it’s wet. And it’s comfortable to hold. But there’s a small possibility that it will get a fish smell over time. Moreover, wood handles might not last as long as those made of rubber, plastic or metal.
Metal handles are very durable but they also contribute to the overall weight of the knife. If you like lighter knives, metal handles are not exactly the best.
Carbon fiber handles are another impressive choice in terms of durability, grip and ergonomics. It’s one of the strongest handle materials but it’s usually more expensive.
Soft-grip rubber handles are light, easy to hold and use, very durable, easy to clean. And they don’t get slippery when they’re wet. I regard rubber handles as some of the best.
Fish filleting knife vs Salmon slicer knife
Before ending this quite lengthy article reviewing the best fillet knives for salmon, I have one last thing I want to talk about.
Some people might think that a filleting knife for salmon and fish and a salmon slicer knife are basically the same, having the same purposes.
That’s completely wrong. And you can totally see just how different the two are by looking at their design.
We use a fish fillet knife if we want to make fillet from a whole fish. If we want to remove the flesh from the bones without leaving much meat on those bones.
On the other hand, we use a salmon slicer knife if we want to slice salmon fillets thinly. We can also use it to remove the skin from delicate flesh. It’s perfect if we want to make your own smoked salmon and then cut it thinly. It’s also good for making lox. But it doesn’t work for filleting a whole salmon.
Overall, I hope my reviews and picks for the best fillet knives for salmon will help you fillet lots of salmon in the coming years for the most delicious meals.