I was looking for a fillet knife for myself. After doing a ton of research over the past few days, I compiled the results with useful information and in-depth reviews.
From the compilation, 5 fillet knives had great expert opinions and user reviews described below. I hope that this article on the best fillet knife for catfish will help you decide when you get one for yourself.
Regular kitchen knives are thick and too firm for intricate cutting processes such as fileting. What distinguishes the fillet knife from ordinary knives is its precisely curved and sharp blade. It also is flexible and has a shape that allows the user to cut beautiful fillet lines.
There are a variety of fillet knives available in the market. They all have different features and advantages over each other. Generally, there are 2 types of fillet knives; electric and manual.
Since the options are so vast, finding the correct fillet knife to serve a specific purpose often becomes overwhelming.
5 Best Fillet Knife for Catfish
There are certain factors to consider before selecting a fillet knife, such as blade material, style of construction, and handle size. With that being said, let us begin the review!
1. BUBBA Cordless Electric Fillet Knife – Best Electric Fillet Knife for Catfish
The BUBBA Fillet Knife is a rechargeable machine that has excellent functionality for cutting all sizes of fish. This model boasts a non-slip grip handle that enhances precision and a longer-lasting battery than similar alternatives in the market.
It also comes with 4 blades that can be used interchangeably. The blades are made from high-quality materials that prevent corrosion. There are two types of knives; one that flexes and the other that remains stiff when used.
On the other hand, one common problem among users is that the motor seems underpowered for big fish. Even though this should not cause much trouble, extra caution may be required not to damage the fillet being cut.
The machine is built to last as it does not compromise in quality. However, the motor may seem slightly underpowered, and the blades might have to be replaced in the long run.
2. Rapala Fish ‘N Fillet Knife with Sheath
The Rapala Fish N’ Fillet Knife is one of the most popular choices around the world for cutting fish. With nothing too fancy and a reasonable price point, the knife flaunts simplicity like a boss! This model includes four blades of different sizes for various purposes.
The blades are made of stainless steel and finely tapered to be razor-sharp. What truly makes this knife distinct is its classic birch handle, which is reinforced and varnished to give it a superb finishing. Furthermore, quality is always unquestionably good as the product is entirely hand-made.
It is often preferred by chefs and other people as the go-to fillet knife. The knife is as simple as it gets; it has a nicely designed classic birch handle and a finely tapered blade to cut fish. This Rapala knife is probably the best option for someone with a tight budget.
It is one of the most popular fillet knives in the world due to its nearly perfect form and function.
3. KastKing Fillet Knife
The KastKing Fillet Knife is a very thoughtfully designed product. It comes with marine-grade stainless steel blades that are usually provided with much costlier knives. Despite a budget-friendly price, the knife feels quite premium to hold and use.
This model comes with 3 sizes of fillet blades and has various other options, such as a ‘Strong Fillet Knife’ for big fishes, a ‘Versatile Knife’ for multiple purposes such as cutting frozen baits, and a ‘Slicing Knife’ made explicitly for slicing purposes.
The regular fillet blade is perfect for filleting as it is flexible enough to match itself with the contour of the fish’s inside. This ensures maximum meat in the fillets cut with the knife.
Its most impressive feature is the handle; the grip is made from special polymer materials, which provide exceptional comfort. The grip is so remarkable that it can be used with utmost safety even when handled with slimy/oily hands!
This is a knife that could last a lifetime without a ridiculous price tag. However, the blades may need sharpening before they can be used to the fullest.
4. DALSTRONG Phantom Series Fillet Knife
The Dalstrong Phantom Fillet Knife is not just another fillet knife with a budget-friendly price. It has been thoughtfully designed to make cutting processes as easy as possible. We start with the handle of the blade. It is oddly designed but serves its purpose just right.
This knife probably has one of the thinnest and the most flexible blades in this price range, making it extremely easy to use for filleting fish. Also, as the blade is decently sharp out of the box, it can be used without much hassle. But the edge seems to be made from low-grade metal.
User reviews also show that many people complained about the blade breaking into two pieces with little pressure. But this should not be a deal-breaker considering the other features of this knife! For example, the handle is designed with attention to detail for maximum ergonomics.
A visually appealing fillet knife with a solid design and decent ergonomics, but its blades may not last long enough.
5. Mercer Culinary Genesis
Lastly, we have the Mercer Culinary Genesis. This knife is not overly engineered and does not have a fancy design. It is a perfect example of function over form, as the blade serves its purpose very well.
The blade is made from high-quality carbon forged stainless steel that is strongly resistant to corrosion and discoloration. It is finely tapered for increased longevity and long-lasting sharpness. As it is pretty flexible, fish can be filleted nicely.
Even though the handle does not provide a lot of grip like the other knives we have covered, it does the job just fine. It is nicely balanced and surprisingly easy to handle. In brief, the blade is an excellent product for its value.
However, some people have complained about the blade getting bent when cutting hard objects. Several users have given poor reviews as the edge started rusting after being used a few times.
A knife that has excellent value for money and serves almost all cutting purposes. Just make sure not to leave it wet as it starts rusting quickly.
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How to Fillet a Catfish with a Fillet Knife?
If you intend to fillet a fish, make sure that the fillet knife is sharp; if it is not sharp enough, it may tear the flesh and create a mess.
With that being said, you may also need the help of fish tweezers for plucking bones from the fillets afterward. The following steps are how to fillet a catfish -
- The first step is to clean the fish thoroughly. For this, you have to snip its fins and scale the fish. Next, cut the fish and pull out all the guts.
- Slice the fish from behind its head at an angle. Try to feel bony obstructions with the knife and cut through the meat.
- Next, cut the first fillet by running the knife from head to tail, above the bones. To ensure you’re not leaving meat on the bones, gently put pressure over the blade as you continue slicing. After reaching the tail, the fillet should come off.
- Turn the fish around and do the same for the other side.
- Use the tweezer and remove bones from the fillets. Also, make sure to cut away excess fat. You may or may not keep the skin, depending on your preference.
How Do You Fillet a Flathead Catfish with an Electric Knife?
Filleting a fish with an electric knife is very much easier and convenient than using non-electric fillet knives.
Furthermore, you will not have to worry about sharpening the blade as the best electric fillet knife for catfish will have its electric motor do the cutting for you. The steps of filleting a flathead catfish are -
- Clean the fish thoroughly; snip off its fins, and scale the fish carefully. Then cut the fish and pull out its guts.
- Slice through the neck of the fish at an angle, towards the head.
- Once you reach the end of the head, you will feel a bony obstruction. Turn the direction of slicing around, i.e., now you will cut from the head till tail of the fish.
- Cut the first fillet by moving the knife towards the tail. Exert a little pressure over the blade as you go to ensure the meat is not left on the bone.
- Repeat the process for the other side of the fish.
- De-bone the fish using a tweezer and remove excess fat. Skinning the fillet is not a must, as it depends on your preference.
Frequently Asked Question
a. How do you skin a catfish with a fillet knife?
Hold the tail of the catfish and make an angled cut through its flesh. After that, cut through the skin carefully to loosen it. Peel off the skin entirely once it gets loose enough.
b. Can you use an electric fillet knife on a catfish?
Yes, of course! Even though cleaning catfish with a fillet knife is a moderately easy process, using an electric fillet knife will make the job much more manageable than when using a non-electric fillet knife.
c. Is using an electric fillet knife for catfish give you an advantage?
Generally, all power tools provide advantages over their non-electric versions. Similarly, using an electric fillet knife will save you a lot of time and energy.
d. How to fillet a catfish without skinning?
Cut the fillets as you usually would, but do not cut through the skin or attempt to peel it.
e. How to tell if my catfish fillet has gone bad?
If it starts to have a slimy surface and appears shinier than usual, the chances are that the catfish has gone bad.
f. Why is my catfish yellow?
Certain breeds of catfishes are known to have yellow pigments. Even though it is safe to eat, a lot of people prefer to remove the layer to prevent it from ‘tainting’ the taste of the fish.
By now, you should have a clear picture of what fillet knives are and the types that are available. When choosing a fillet knife, consider your purpose and budget to choose the best fillet knife for catfish! I hope to have helped you gain insight from this article.