Most of us wish cleaning fish was as fun as catching them.
Properly filleting and packing a fish takes time—not to mention the mess. With an electric fillet knife, you can spend less time cleaning your catch and more time fishing.
Compared to a traditional fillet knife, you’ll feel the difference immediately. Cutting the skin from the meat takes minutes with no strain on your wrists or real effort even. The knife does the work for you. You’ll never have to worry about getting too tired to finish.
Using an electric fillet knife makes the work faster, easier, and less wasteful because it gets more meat off the bones, giving you more of your catch to eat! All of these benefits depend on getting a good knife, though, so today, we’ll be looking at the best electric fillet knives.
In a Hurry? Check Our Top 5 Electric Fillet Knives
- Best Cordless: Bubba Li-ion Cordless Electric Fillet Knife
- Best Overall: Rapala Heavy Duty Electric Fillet Knife
- Best for Professional Fishermen: American Angler PRO
- Best for Saltwater Fish: Mister Twister Piranha Knife
- Best Corded Version: Rapala Deluxe Electric Fillet Knife AC/DC
What are the Best Electric Fillet Knives? – Tips & Guides for Buyers
The below-listed electric fillet knives are the best and pass the bar with some incredible results. Take your time and evaluate each of them. Later on, you can decide which one is the best for you.
1. Bubba Li-Ion Cordless Electric Fillet Knife with Non-Slip Grip Handle – Our Top Pick!
The Bubba Li-Ion Cordless Electric Fillet Knife is a powerful tool for quickly cutting a fresh catch into fillets. From perch to pike, crappie to catfish, Bubba’s cordless knife can handle any kind of small, medium, and large fish.
It comes complete with two lithium-Ion batteries, ensuring you’ll never run out of power. Although you likely won’t need to switch batteries very often—these supply the longest run time of any electric fillet knife on the market. Each battery even has an LED battery life indicator, so you always know where your power supply stands.
The knife’s carbon stainless steel blades are also coated with titanium nitride to prevent corrosion and feature a durable dual-rivet design for easy cutting. This kit has several interchangeable blades, including a 7-inch and 9-inch E-Flex and 9-inch E Stiff and 12-inch E-Stiff, and a wall charger, all in a sturdy, lightweight carrying case.
Coupled with Bubba’s iconic red, no-slip grip handle, an ergonomic trigger design, and a ventilation system that maximizes motor power and torque, there’s little not to love about the Bubba Li-Ion best cordless electric fillet knife.
It reduces the physical wear and tear of cleaning fish, making the process quick, efficient, and easy. It weighs just over a pound, so it can easily be used to clean huge catches without ever causing muscle fatigue—processing your catch has never been easier.Check Latest Price
2. Rapala Heavy Duty Electric Fillet Knife
The king of electric fillet Knives. This is a heavy-duty knife with a heavy duty motor to ensure smooth operation. It is a corded version and has twice the speed and thrice the power of an ordinary corded/cordless electric fillet knife.
The blade gives you an excellent reach with the 7 1/2-inch length. For easy cleaning, the blade is dishwasher safe. The Rapala Heavy-Duty Electric Fillet Knife is a guarantee for fast filleting.
It requires a 110 V supply. The advanced airflow design gives you the perfect relaxed grip. The cord is 8-inch long which is more than enough for most filleting jobs. Not just fish, you can ever carve roast, ham, and turkey with this one.
Note: If you prefer the cordless version, I would recommend checking out Rapala’s new R12 Heavy-Duty Lithium Fillet Knife Combo.Check Latest Price
3. Mister Twister 120V
This is a powerful fillet knife from Mister Twister that can cut through some big fishes with ease. With the powerful motor backing it up, you can clean hundreds of fish, ham, and turkey. To get going, all you need is a 120-volt power outlet & if you are working in your backyard, use an extension cord.
It has an ergonomic handle design. Lightweight and convenient. It’s also comfortable to hold. If you are planning for long hours of filleting, go for this one. The fattest past if the handle is only 1 1/2″.
This knife features 7 1/2 inches of sharp and long stainless-steel blades. Trust me when I say this, these are some scary sharp blades. What’s more, you can order replacements if you want. You can also sharpen them at home if you know how. The convenient blade-release mechanism is a neat feature to have.
Features I liked Most
- Lightweight & comfortable handle.
- Extra sharp and long blades.
4. American Angler PRO
If you are looking for a knife that will provide you with consistent filleting, then you just found it. Engineered to run longer, last longer, and perform better than most other EFK. Running on 110 volts the motor delivers two times the torque, much better than other competitor knives.
The most famous part of this knife is the blade. Powerful enough to clean even the toughest of fish species. You name it; it can cut it. The stainless-steel blade is tough yet flexible. Universal compatibility meaning you can use it on any American Angler electric fillet knives.
The ergonomic handle design ensures excellent balance, so you do not suffer fatigue. Included in the knife package is a convenient carry bag. The carry bag allows for excellent aeration to prevent odor. Aeration also lets out moisture thus preventing corrosion.
At 8 foot the power cord is sufficiently long. Venting and fan cooling design see to it that the electric fillet knife runs for longer. It also has a two years limited warranty.
Fishes you can fillet with this blade:
- Speckled Trout
- Yellow Perch
5. Rapala Deluxe Electric Fillet Knife – Best Quality Knife for Filleting Fish
The best-corded fillet knife money can buy. This here is the deluxe version of their best-selling model. The improvement was a drastic one. Don’t believe me? Check out the number of positive reviews of this one.
Right after fishing, if you need to do some filleting you can plug it into a boat lighter outlet and get things started. It also has a travel case made from blow-molded plastic. There are two stainless steel blades, a 6″ and a 7-1/2 “.
The ergonomic handle design gives a relaxed grip body. You can either use the Rapala Deluxe Electric Fillet Knife from a 110 V power source or a 12 V battery power source. 7 1/2″ stainless steel serrated edge blade is long enough for most of the cleaning job.
Rapala uses an advanced airflow design for the knife. At 18 foot the power cord gives more than enough length. The motor is long-lasting and ensures durability.
6. Berkley Electric Fillet Knife
The Berkley electric fillet knife uses an 8-inch reciprocating blade. A Heavy-duty 120 volts motor is responsible for the reciprocating motion of the stainless steel blade. The stainless steel blades are anti-corrosion and thus make for durability.
Side blade release allows for easy blade changing. One of the most dangerous situations would be the trigger turning on the blade accidentally. The knife has a trigger lock as a safety feature.
Berkley uses an ergonomic handle design that gives you much comfort during filleting. The blade is extra sharp. The only thing that the manufacturer needs to change is increasing the cord length.
7. Mister Twister FILLET COMBO
Mister Twister FILLET COMBO EZ-ScaleR Electric Fillet Knife Combo is a knife that mister twister introduced in 1986 and an industry leader since.
How much would you like a knife made by a fellow fisherman?
My guess is that you would love it. That is the Mister Twister FILLET COMBO EZ-ScaleR Pro Electric Fillet Knife Combo for you. Fishermen love it as the 120V AC powered motor runs in the range of 2800- 3200 revolutions per minute. The speed rating makes it the fastest, and we know what that translates to, faster work rate. A bonus feature is the Mister Twister new EZ-scaler.
Convenience and ease of use are factors that play a great role in determining how functional the knife is. The Mister Twister FILLET COMBO EZ-ScaleR Electric Fillet Knife Combo is lightweight and has a comfortable handle that makes for ease of use. The blade is extra sharp making scaling and filleting a breeze. Also, it has a convenient blade release.
8. MT-1208 SW Piranha Knife
Another powerful product from Mister Twister and this time it’s the MT-1208 SW Piranha Knife. The blade is sharp like a Piranha’s teeth. This is a true saltwater fillet knife for the saltwater fisherman. You can expect the same level of performance as the previous one that I reviewed.
This rugged electric fish cleaning knife is made to handle tough skins and scales of many saltwater fish. It boasts 25% more torque and 15% increased speed than its predecessor.
It has a long 9″ heavy-duty serrated edge stainless steel blade which can cut hundreds of fish with ease. This blade can cut through 10 lb. of catfish and crappie. Slide it along the ribs and the spine and enjoy a boneless fillet.
Features I liked Most
- Durable and long blade.
- Powerful motor.
What is a Filleting Knife Used For?
I would much rather spend hours fishing rather than filleting fish. Doing it with a normal fillet knife takes hours.
This is where modern technology comes in to save the day or should I say save time. Throw out your old knife and get the best fish fillet knife and let it do all the hard work.
A fish fillet does what your normal fillet knife does but faster. An electric fillet knife does all the hard work, and you only need to hold it properly.
What’s more, is that you don’t even need to apply any additional force. The motor does the job for you. Some of the high-end knives can even cut bones and make quick work of the bigger fishes like tuna and salmon.
You can separate the flesh from the bone and even skin them to perfection. I personally prefer using electric ones because it takes little effort and does a wonderful job.
How to Choose Best Electric Fillet Knife?
Before I get to the technical stuff, here are my 2 cents on the topic. Not all the electric fillets are perfect. Almost all of them have some kind of drawbacks. If you overdo it that is. Keep in mind that there are times and places for these knives and it’s not your daily kitchen knife. Hope I made my point.
Get the genuine stuff, prepare to spend some extra bucks for the premium quality and always pay attention to the blade size. Handles are important too, but not as much as the blade. Also, check the specs, and see how powerful the motor is because that’s the very thing that’ll power the knife up.
Most brands use stainless steel to create their knives. And it should be your primary choice for several reasons. For example, this steel type is super resistant to corrosion, which is a plus when dealing with wet goods like fish. Even if you leave the blade exposed to water or moisture, the steel avoids pitting corrosion to maintain a smooth knife blade.
Another benefit of this type of steel is its hardness. It’s thin and flexible while still being strong enough to hold an edge, a welcomed benefit in the wilderness where sharpening isn’t always possible.
Alternatively, some electric fillet knives come with carbon steel instead. These are strong, durable, and affordable, but they’re less resistant and may corrode with more ease. If you’re looking for an economic fillet knife and carbon steel is the only option, look for one with a stainless steel or titanium nitride coating.
Blade Length & Thickness
The blade length of a fillet knife matters greatly, as it indicates what type of fish it can cut.
Smaller blades between 4 and 6 inches are more flexible. They’re ideal for fish like perch, trout, or walleye because the blade’s flexibility accommodates the irregular fish bone structure. Middle-sized knife blades (7-8 inches) give you a bit more leverage and are perfect for pink salmon, salmon, or codfish, which require consistent strokes. For considerably large specimens like catfish, tuna, or halibut, you definitely need a blade between 8 or 9.5 inches long.
The thickness is another element to consider. It varies depending on the knife, but I strongly recommend a narrow or skinny knife (2.5-3.5mm) blade for more control. These make it much easier to fillet fish because they produce less drag, making cleaner cuts. During preparation, you will notice how the knife glides smoothly through the meat.
If you’re having trouble deciding the blade’s length, buy a knife with detachable blades. This way, you can decide what blade size to use on the go.
An ergonomic handle design gives you a comfortable grip that facilitates longer knife use without fatigue. Also, the handle should be from a non-conductive material to avoid burns from motor heating. As it is an electric knife so heating and electric shock are also a possibility but an insulated handle will keep you safe.
Since you primarily use electric fillet knives in wet surroundings, the handle must be non-slip or anti-slip. Some of the best knives like the Rapala or Berkley have an ergonomically rubberized design to give you a firm grip without the risk of slipping. You get more control of the knife while reducing dangers.
Other handles feature plastic or wood. Plastic is super easy to clean if you’re in a hurry, but it isn’t aesthetically pleasing or sturdy. Wood looks much better, but it’s more likely to trap the smelly odor from fish and requires more attention for maintenance.
Corded or Cordless Electric Fillet Knife?
Deciding whether you need a corded or cordless electric fillet knife depends on where you intend to use it. Corded electric fillet knives are suitable for locations where there’s an outlet available, like at home. You also have to consider the device’s cord, which can get in the way when making intricate cuts on larger fish. These knives are the more powerful option, but they also have disadvantages.
Cordless electric fillet knives operate on lithium-ion batteries, releasing you from the nuisance of the cord. You’re free to move around and fillet the fish at different angles. Battery-powered fillet knives also allow you to use them anywhere, whether at home, in the field, on a boat, or on a dock. However, these require you to have charged batteries at all times and are not as powerful.
If you’re looking for a powerful electric fillet knife, you need a corded model. These usually run on 120 Volts and receive constant power from start to finish, and the running time is limitless unless there’s a power outage. The downside is that these knives need an outlet to work, which is hard to come when you’re outdoors. Some of them feature clamps that you can connect to 12-Volt car batteries, but that’s not always convenient.
The other choice is a cordless fillet knife that works on lithium-ion batteries. These cordless versions are more convenient because you can use them anywhere as long as they have charged batteries. Still, with a running time of up to four hours, battery-powered fillet knives remain a solid option. Naturally, the power decreases with each passing hour, and they’re not as powerful as the corded knives.
Battery Backup (Runtime)
When it comes to backup batteries, there’s no better option than a lithium-ion. This battery type can power up your electric fillet knife for around four hours, a decent runtime if you’re a weekend or a seasoned angler. The power does decline as the hours pass by, so you may want to keep a few spare lithium-ion batteries for long expeditions. Some knives come with a couple of battery sets for this particular reason.
Durability stands for a whole lot of things for the electric fillet knife. From the handle to the blade and also the motor. The one question is, are all these components durable? Check from other reviewers if the motor can stand the test of time. Also, some blades fall off at the least contact with some resistance.
An electric fish fillet knife with variable speed settings goes a long way. It allows you to adjust the blade’s running speed to accommodate the fish.
For instance, I particularly enjoy setting the blade at a slow speed for tricky cuts in areas like behind the gill plate. The cuts are precise, and you get optimal control over the knife. Then, I can increase the speed as I cut through the fish meat along the backbone in a single cutting motion.
Variable speed settings isn’t something you see in electric fillet knives regularly, but it’s still worth considering.
Easy to Clean
Whether you prep fish at home or outside, each fillet made can leave a slimy texture over the blade or cutting board. Ideally, you want a fillet knife with detachable blades that you can remove on the spot. This way, you will have an easier time cleaning the knife blades thoroughly before, during, and after use. Some are also dishwasher-safe, allowing you to keep your hands safe from the cutting edge.
In the course of filleting, I find myself in situations that require the use of knives of different lengths. Using a long knife for a task that requires a short one results in fatigue. It is important that the knife has a blade release system that allows for easy blade changes.
The ideal fillet knife should have a trailing point blade, which will help you do several tasks like slicing and skinning. It must also have a large belly for precise cuts and serrated cutting edges capable of cutting through soft and hard-skinned fish. This set of features creates a versatile fillet knife, allowing you to fillet small perch, medium-sized salmon, and even large catfish or hard-skinned saltwater fish like Mahi-mahi.
It is necessary that the manufacturer incorporates a handy cooling system for the motor to operate safely. Such are ventilation and fans that keep the motor from overheating and possibly burning out.
You also want to consider three other things if you want to safely handle an electric fillet knife: a safety lock, a non-slip handle, and an effective blade release mechanism. The safety lock secures the trigger, keeping it from activating the blade accidentally. It’s a convenient feature to protect you and your children if they’re around.
Likewise, a non-slip handle ensures you have complete control with fewer risks of knife accidents. Lastly, the blade release mechanism allows you to remove the blade without grabbing it or putting your fingers in harm’s way.
One other thing, some knives like the RAPALA Heavy-Duty Fillet Knife have the trigger on the top, right behind the blade’s spine. This design choice isn’t common, but it could help if you prefer keeping your fingers as far as possible from the running blade. Contoured finger guards are another plus, as they keep your hand from sliding towards the moving blade.
It’s always nice to have some extras. Most manufacturers make carry bags or cases that are well-ventilated to ensure excellent airflow. Good airflow keeps off bad odors and moisture. Bad odor and a corroding knife are two things that you should eliminate at all costs.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How To Make Your Cheap Fillet Knife Scary Sharp?
Sharping an electric fillet knife is probably the easiest among all other sharpening techniques. With this method that I’m about to show you, you can sharpen any serrated edge knife and don’t even have to take out the blade.
All you need is a Block knife sharpener. These are American-made sharpeners made specifically for electric fillet knives. It’s a hand-held device that’ll sharpen any type of serrated edge blade.
Whether it’s your pocket knife, kitchen knife, scissors, or garden tools, you can sharpen them all. Simply turn on the knife and roll back and forth in the middle to get the pins vibrating. The result will make your cheap fillet knife scary sharp.
2. How To Use Fillet Knife?
Before you use one, you need to make sure the blade is flexible. This will help you to get under the skin as you slide it away from the meat. I rarely use the traditional knife, because when you catch a lot of fish, the fillet knife can save you a lot of time.
For starters, you would want to do three things. Remove the skin, have two fillets and then remove the rib cage. You can do all three things with a fillet knife. First of all, get the fish.
Place it on top of a cutting board and start cutting right beneath the head.
Start cutting and stop when you hit the backbone. Then once you hit the backbone, turn your knife slide the knife along the backbone, and cut through the ribs. Stop right before the tail fin and repeat the process to get a boneless fillet.
As you know by now, my personal favorite is the Block knife sharpener. It’s cheap and does a pretty decent job. But this time, I’m going to take things to a whole new level. There is a product called Work Sharp Knife & Tool Sharpener made by Work Sharp. You can find them in your local tools store or get one online via Amazon.
You can sharpen regular knives, scissors, and serrated knives. It’s a multi-functional sharpener and works great. This one tool will be your solution to every kind of blade sharpening. Just run your blade through the machine three to four-time, and you’re done.
4. What’s The Difference Between Boning And Fillet Knives?
Although both of them look the same, they have different purposes. Many people don’t even know the differences between boning and fillet knives. The blade shape of the boning knife is different than the blade shape of the fillet knife. This is probably the only noticeable difference you’ll see straight away.
Fillet knives have thinner blades and are way more flexible. Don’t get me wrong, the blades on the boning knife aren’t stiff but not as flexible as the blades of the fillet knives.
They also have different uses. Although, a lot of people use the boning knife for meat because the blade is more durable. Fillet knives, on the other hand, should only be used on fish.
5. Where To Buy American Angler Electric Fillet Knife?
You can find them in your local tool shop. Do be careful though because there is a lot of cheap knockoffs. If you want to get genuine products, either go to Amazon or visit American Angler’s website.
What Are the Benefits of Using an Electric Fillet Knife?
Here are some of the top reasons why should ditch your old knife and get an electric one.
1. Takes Less Strength
A well-made fish fillet knife can smoothly clean off the skin & even cut through the meat without you having to put any force behind the knife. The rotary motor does all the cutting, and you simply need to hold a firm grip and slide the fillet.
You can make your catch cook ready in just minutes. Try doing it with a regular knife afterward and see how tedious the process is. Even if you are a seasoned pro, you’ll still find the electric ones useful.
Skinning a fish with a traditional knife is too time-consuming. We have written another article on deer skinning knife you may want to check it out.
You can’t afford to spend too much time on a single fish. Increase the amount of fish, and the whole process is a nightmare. This is where electric knives shine the brightest.
It’s perfect for people with poor wrist strength. Even they can easily make short work of the skin, slide the knife between the flesh and make some delicious fillet that’s ready for the skillet.
The earlier models weren’t very efficient. Due to lack of design and blade shape, most of the anglers and chefs didn’t bother with them. However, after a lot of improvements, these knives outperform the old ones.
Most of the modern knife has durable blade that can cut through tough meat. You should keep an eye out for the stainless-steel blades. Those are very sharp and tend to maintain that sharpness for a long time.
2. Saves Time
If you are a perfectionist but don’t want to end up wasting too much time cutting and skinning fish, you’ll instantly fall in love with the electric fillet knives. This small kitchen appliance not only automates the cleaning process but also makes the whole cutting or carving process much more efficient.
It has a typical and pretty straightforward design. The blades are very sharp and require very little maintenance. Although you need to sharpen the blade once in a while but certainly not as much as a regular fillet knife.
Speed and efficiency are the key selling point here. You won’t be able to show off your skills, but you’ll get the job done faster. Time is money.
Some of these knives have the feature to switch out your old used blade and add e new sharp one. The angle of the blade is the same as the manual ones but motorized.
Both wired and wireless options are available. If you are outdoors where you don’t have access to any power cords but still want to use them, go for the cordless fillet knives. Make sure to take one with you in this trout season.
There are some areas where using an electric knife makes a lot of sense. Imagine if you have to slice hundreds of fish in a day.
3. Saves Money
You might be wondering, with all of the fancy functionalities, it must be expensive. Surprisingly, these knives don’t even cost that much. What’s more, some of them aren’t even near the price point of the mid to high-end traditional fillet knives.
How come electric ones cost less? Well, some factors play a huge role here. First of all, all the traditional knives are backed by expert craftsmanship. They also have prestigious and brand value which leads to a higher price tag. A lot of procedure goes into making the blade. Which increases the overall price. But, that’s not the case with electric knives because most of them are made by industry-grade manufacturing machines.
There are other perks to owning an electric fillet knife. Precision is one of them. You can easily cut to a certain degree, customize the blade to the task at hand, and many more. Even the cheap ones do a good job of filleting small fish.
I’ve seen a lot of people using them in the fish markets where a few decades ago they wouldn’t even think of using one. Thanks to all the improvements and the flexibility and also the fact that they cost way less, these have become increasingly popular.
- When you’re not using the electric fillet knife, unplug it.
- Avoid touching anything else other than the handle while the knife is running. Otherwise, you will get electric shocks and drop the knife as an immediate reaction.
- Before filleting something of considerable size like Cobia, consider using protective gloves. It will make you confident enough to apply plenty of pressure and slice in a single and continuous motion.
- Get a solid grip on the handle. Regardless of type, fishes are slimy, and a slipping handle is dangerous.
- Don’t use the knife if you’re hands are wet. Also, don’t put it in a container with water, even if it’s for a ‘quick rinse.’
- Find the ideal blade size. You can still fillet a catfish with a 4-inch or 6-inch blade, but you’ll have an easier time with a larger 9.5-inch knife blade. The easier it’s to cut the fish, the safer it will be.
- Find a proper storing place, away from moisture, exposure, and children.