The Best Electric Fillet Knife for Quick and Easy Meal Prep

A quality electric fillet knife can cut rapidly through fish, making quick work of filleting a fresh catch of perch, salmon, or trout.

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The Best Electric Fillet Knife Option

Photo: amazon.com

Filleting fish is a process that involves carefully guiding the edge of a blade around the bone structure of fish to achieve a beautiful fillet. While hand knives are adequate for completing this job, fileting an entire catch of fish by hand can be time-consuming and tedious. Electric fillet knives speed up the filleting process dramatically, making them ideal for avid fishermen.

Electric fillet knives function similarly to standard electric kitchen knives, with two blades inserted into a handle that houses a mechanism that rapidly moves the blades back and forth to create a sawing action to quickly cut through flesh. Corded models of these powerful knives can be powered by standard outlets, auto and boat cigarette lighters, and even 12-volt car batteries. Cordless models use rechargeable lithium-ion batteries to power their motors, making them ideal for filleting while on the boat or at the dock.

This guide will explore the different types of electric fillet knives and the factors to consider when purchasing the best electric fillet knife for your needs.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Rapala Heavy Duty Electric Fillet Knife
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Berkley Electric Fillet Fishing Knife
  3. BEST MULTIPURPOSE: Mister Twister 120V Electric Knife
  4. BEST CORDLESS: Bubba Li-Ion Cordless Electric Fillet Knife
  5. BEST FOR SALTWATER FISH: Mister Twister Piranha Knife
  6. BEST PRO: American Angler Professional Electric Fillet Knife
  7. BEST CORDED: Rapala Deluxe Electric Fillet Knife
The Best Electric Fillet Knife Option

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Electric Fillet Knife

Power source, blade size, and speed are all crucial factors to consider when choosing the right electric knife for filleting. Read on to learn more about these and other factors to consider when shopping for this electric cutlery.

Corded vs. Cordless

Whether to go with a corded or cordless knife largely depends on where it will see the most use. Corded electric fillet knives have access to an endless flow of 1500 watts of electricity, allowing the user to fillet without worry about battery life or a decline in power. However, they’re dependent upon access to a 120-volt outlet. The cord can also be a hindrance, especially when filleting larger fish.

A cordless electric fillet knife frees the user from the cord, making it ideal for filleting in the field, whether on a boat or from a dock. There is also no cord to manage during the filleting process, making these knives easier to maneuver. Cordless models run off batteries, so they have limited battery life. They will also slowly lose power as the battery wears down, resulting in a decline in cutting performance.

Power

Corded electric fillet knives run off of 120-volt power, so the user will never experience a decline in blade speed due to a dying battery. They also have an unlimited run time. Corded electric fillet knives use a standard cord that plugs into an outlet. Some plug into vehicle cigarette lighters or have clamps that allow them to attach to standard 12-volt car batteries for power.

Cordless electric fillet knives run off of a lithium battery. This makes them a little less powerful than corded models, producing less torque and speed even when charged to full capacity. A cordless knife will generally run for about one to two hours before needing a recharge.

Speed Settings 

Fillet knives allow the user to adjust the speed via a pressure-sensitive trigger to change the pace as they cut by applying or removing pressure from the trigger. This allows for more control while cutting through flesh, as you can slow the speed for tricky cuts around the bone and increase the speed to improve the cutting power through tougher parts.

Blade

Fillet knives use two serrated blades instead of the single blade of a standard manual knife. These two blades sit flush against each other and are held together by one or two metal rivets. The butt ends of the blades insert into the mechanism in the handle. When engaged, the blades move in and out of the handle in opposite directions, sliding against each other to create a scissoring action between the serrated edges.

The blades are constructed of steel containing enough carbon content to make them sufficiently hard to hold a sharp edge but not so hard they can’t flex to accommodate the uneven bone structure of fish. Most blades are stainless steel, which resists rust. Some blades have a titanium nitride coating, making them rust resistant while also allowing them to better slide through meat.

Comfort

When individuals use an electric fillet knife, it’s mainly to fillet a lot of fish. As such, a comfortable grip makes the process easier. Most fillet knives feature ergonomically shaped grips that allow users to get a firm and comfortable hold on them. These grips have thick rubberized handles that won’t slide out of wet hands, making them comfortable to hold while also preventing accidents.

Cleaning

Given that electric filet knives are meant for filleting fish at home or on the boat or dockside, they can get very messy. An electric knife that is easy to clean is crucial to ensuring the knife remains sanitary and fully functional. A good electric knife has detachable blades that the user can remove from the handle, allowing for thorough cleaning in between use. Some blades are even dishwasher safe.

Safety Features

With their long, serrated blades and rapid cutting action, electric fillet knives are inherently dangerous. For that reason, most have safety features intended to prevent accidental cuts or shocks. Most have handles with contoured guards to provide a stop that prevents the hand from sliding onto the moving blades.

When not in use, blade locks built into the trigger prevent the knife from accidentally turning off if bumped. Electric knife handles are also large and ergonomically shaped with a rubberized grip, making them easy to hold on to with both wet and dry hands. Most knives also require the user to apply constant pressure to the trigger to operate. This design feature automatically shuts off the knife if the user’s hand slips off it.

Our Top Picks

The picks below use the above considerations to narrow the field to some of the top electric fillet knives on the market based on specific categories.

Best Overall

The Best Electric Fillet Knife Options: Rapala Heavy Duty Electric Fillet Knife
Photo: amazon.com

While this knife may not be an option for filleting from the boat or dock, Rapala’s corded electric fillet knife is a great affordable option that offers more power than its cordless brethren. Rapala takes advantage of this knife’s access to a 120-volt constant power source with a beefy motor that puts out a powerful cut—this knife could easily saw through bone if needed. This makes for an electric filleting knife that will cut through meat quickly, enabling the experienced fisherman to make quick work of a catch.
Its handle features a tough rubberized grip and a large curved guard that allows for aggressive cuts while preventing the hand from sliding forward onto the blade. Its 7.5-inch blade is a good midsize length, allowing it to deftly cut around the delicate bones of smaller fish as well as take on the dense flesh of larger species.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Electric Fillet Knife Options: Berkley Electric Fillet Fishing Knife
Photo: amazon.com

This affordably priced electric fillet knife is usable at home or on the road. It comes with a plug for a standard outlet, a cord that plugs conveniently into the cigarette lighter of a car or boat, and an adapter for use with a 12-volt battery. At 8 inches long with a curved design that increases the cutting edge’s surface area, this knife can fillet medium-size fish. This set also includes a smaller 6-inch blade that is well suited for filleting smaller fish, such as brim and crappie.

A large handle with a rubberized top allows the user to get a firm grip on this knife, while a stainless steel finish prevents rust from forming on the blade. This model comes with a handy carrying case that keeps the power adapters and blades well organized.

Best Multipurpose

The Best Electric Fillet Knife Options: Mister Twister 120V Electric Knife
Photo: amazon.com

With its traditional blade shape, this electric knife from Mister Twister is ideal for more than just filleting duties. Its corded design produces a high amount of torque, allowing it to cut quickly through fish. Its 7.5-inch blade puts it in a good midrange, short enough to handle the deft cuts required for smaller fish while still long enough to manage bigger catches.

Unlike other models, the Mister Twister goes with a straight blade in a design that’s similar to standard electric knives. This adds versatility, making it suitable for filleting and slicing through a roasted turkey. Though not as comfortable or grippy as those with a rubberized handle, its large handle still provides a substantial space to hold the knife. Thoughtful additions on this knife include a coil power cord that keeps slack away from the cutting area and a safety lock to prevent accidental cuts.

Best Cordless

The Best Electric Fillet Knife Options: Bubba Li-Ion Cordless Electric Fillet Knife
Photo: amazon.com

With its durable construction, long battery life, and collection of different size blades, this is an excellent all-around option for filleting catches, both large and small. This knife comes with four blade sets. Two sets of E-FLEX blades—a 7-inch set and a 9-inch set—feature narrow blades that allow for significant bend, making them ideal for cutting around the irregularly shaped bone structure of smaller, more delicate fish such as perch and crappie. Two E-stiff blades—a 9-inch and 12-inch blade—provide more stiffness and strength along with additional length, making them ideal for slicing through larger fish like salmon and grouper.

Each blade is constructed of carbon steel with a stainless steel coating that resists rust and is easier to clean. An ergonomically shaped handle with a rubberized coating allows for a firm grip even in wet conditions. Two lithium-ion batteries provide three to four hours of cutting before needing a charge.

Best for Saltwater Fish

The Best Electric Fillet Knife Options: Mister Twister Piranha Knife
Photo: amazon.com

Larger saltwater fish are challenging to cut through because of their tough scales. With a powerful motor capable of delivering 25 percent more torque and 15 percent more speed than standard electric knives, this electric filleting knife from Mister Twister is suited for slicing through the tough skin of saltwater species.

Adding to its cutting ability is a 9-inch stainless steel blade with tightly grouped teeth that efficiently cut through denser skin. A curved shape to the edge creates more surface area for cutting, allowing this blade to handle larger fish such as salmon, cod, and even tuna. A safety on the trigger prevents the knife from accidentally turning on, while a handy carrying bag adds convenience for transporting the knife.

Best Pro

The Best Electric Fillet Knife Options: American Angler Professional Electric Fillet Knife
Photo: amazon.com

Multiple blade sizes and a powerful corded motor make this kit an excellent option for professional fishermen. This set comes with five blades for filleting a wide variety of fish species. A small 5.5-inch blade is suitable for filleting bream, crappie, and other small fish, while two giant 10-inch blades can handle larger saltwater fish such as tuna, grouper, and salmon. Straight and curved midsize 8-inch blades are suitable for bass and catfish.

Each blade consists of stainless steel to resist rust while holding a sharp edge. A powerful motor provides excellent torque for making quick and clean cuts. This set includes a convenient mesh carrying case, which enables airflow while containing all of the blades, allowing them to dry. It comes with a glove to protect the hand and improve grip while filleting.

Best Corded

The Best Electric Fillet Knife Options: Rapala Deluxe Electric Fillet Knife
Photo: amazon.com

With its numerous power source options and multiple blade sizes, this electric fillet knife from Rapala is portable without compromising on power. This corded model includes cords and adapters that allow it to run off three different power sources: a standard outlet, a cigarette lighter, or a 12-volt car battery.

This versatility gives it the ability to operate in various locations without compromising torque and power. The set also includes 6-inch and 7.5-inch blades, making it suitable for cutting small perch and panfish as well as larger fish such as salmon, trout, and catfish. A carrying case keeps the blades and power cord options neatly organized and easy to transport on fishing trips.

FAQs About Electric Fillet Knives

If you’re still wondering about how a fillet knife differs from other cutlery or which size is best for filleting fish, then read on for answers to some of the most common questions about these electric knives.

Q. What is the difference between a fillet knife and a boning knife?

Though they look very similar, these two types of knives serve different purposes. Fillet knives have thinner blades, are curved, and are much more flexible than boning knives. This shape flexibility allows them to cut around delicate and irregularly shaped bones of fish. Boning knives are stiffer and less pliable, allowing them to separate meat from bone on pork and beef.

Q. What size fish fillet knife is best?

The best size for a fish filet knife is 7.5 inches. That provides enough length to handle larger trout and salmon while being small enough for maneuvering around the delicate bone structure of smaller crappie and panfish.

Q. How do I choose a fillet knife?

When deciding which fillet knife to buy, consider how you will be using the knife. If you plan on filleting primarily from the boat or dock, consider purchasing a cordless fillet knife or one that can operate from a cigarette lighter or 12-volt battery. Also, consider the size fish you plan to fillet. For smaller freshwater fish, go with a 7- or 8-inch knife. For larger saltwater fish, consider a 9-inch knife. If you fish a wide range of fish species, consider a kit that includes long and short blades.

Q. How do you sharpen an electric fillet knife?

The best way to sharpen an electric fillet knife is to use a block knife sharpener. Begin by unplugging the electric knife and removing the blades. Separate the blades and sharpen each blade individually by running the edge along the “V” in the block sharpener. If there are two stages to the sharpener, begin with the coarsest slot and end with the finishing slot. Sharpening stones can also hone fine edges on dull blades.