Go to Fillet knife?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by soulsurf, Jun 29, 2019.

  1. soulsurf


    Jul 8, 2010
    anybody have a go to? It seems like a hard type of knife to invest too much into because they really take a beating. I did notice someone going through there Halibut like hot butter at the harbor today. I thought my knife was sharp but was not performing anything like the above mentioned.
  2. vpsaline


    Mar 5, 2008
    I like my Victorinox 'flexible'.
    cwsmith17 and soulsurf like this.
  3. steelhog


    Jul 2, 2009
    I use a leach lake.
    soulsurf likes this.
  4. D17A1


    Mar 30, 2019
    I'm still trying to find one that I really love.

    Right now I have a Helle Steinbit and a Buck Silver Creek folder. Of those two, I like the Helle less than I thought I would and I like the Buck more than I expected to. IMO the Steinbit is a bit short, blade stock is a bit thick and not quite flexible enough...I love the rustic handle and the uniqueness that comes with handmade products. The Silver Creek folder is long, thin and very sharp despite having what many would consider a poor steel.
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  5. JJ_Colt45

    JJ_Colt45 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2014
    Mora makes a great fillet knife at a great price.
  6. NapalmCheese


    Aug 24, 2006
    I like my cutco.

    Go ahead and make fun of me, but that thing has filleted fish all over the world. Has cut limes, worked as a kitchen knife, cut chicken necks to catch crabs off the boardwalk in Chincoteague, cut up some cilantro and mahi for fish tacos in Guam, cut cane poles to fish in the Azores, and prepped said fish for dinner.
  7. Stigand


    Jun 30, 2019
    [​IMG] I have spent 40 years searching for the perfect fillet knife. Typically I fillet 40-50 5lb+ fish at a time several times a month.
    The problem is not just corrosion but to get as much meat as possible it is necessary to run the blade along the bones and with large quantities the blade deforms. Folks who believe a "touch up" with a steel every few fish like you do with meat will work are mis-informed. Steels only align edges there dont sharpen or fix nicks from bones........
    You need a hard, semi-stainless blade period. Enclosed is a photo of a few of my knives, victorinox and green river are the best medium priced knives and the likes of bubba, and rapala etc are just rubbish. Their edges deform rapidly and hardness is inadequate;
    I tried a few top end Japanese knives for a while including Shun which were excellent but just too thin and fragile for when you cant be bothered reaching for a chopper and take a head off.........the answer to your question in my opinion is the german Wustof 'trident' range, I use their 6 inch fillet, only fault is at 6 inches its too short BUT I can fillet 100 fish without touching it up;
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2019
  8. kwackster


    Dec 23, 2005
    Look for vintage G96 fillet knives, most likely made by Hattori in Japan from very well hardened ATS-34 steel.
    When properly sharpened these will take & hold an excellent edge.
    Some time ago i gave one to a pro-Chef who works a lot with fish, and he says it's the best fillet knife he ever had (He owns various Victorinox and Wusthof filleting knives)
    These knives can sometimes be found on the bay for very little money, although the prices seem to be rising lately.
    soulsurf likes this.
  9. Stigand


    Jun 30, 2019
    When you say the old Hattori fillet knives I always think of the G96 ones marketed over here by Jet Aer they had blue molded handles? Very straight pointy blades that got stuck and popped the gut cavitys. We try not to puncture the cavity and dirty the chopping board with bacteria, so use curved or roundish nose blades that follow bones over the ribcage, not so much of an issue if you have running SALT water but never wash the fillets in fresh.
    soulsurf likes this.
  10. kwackster


    Dec 23, 2005
    So far i've seen several different G96 fillet knife types: ones with a rather thick translucent blue handle, ones with a non-translucent bright blue handle, and ones with a black handle.

    Many of these have indeed quite straight & pointy blades, but i've also seen one or two models with rounded points (in the thick translucent blue handled series), made specifically for the purpose you mention.
    In the same series there are also versions with offset handles, for better hand clearance when cutting on boards.

    Edit: from googeling i just learned G96 also made white handled fillet knives, but i've never seen those in real life. G96 knives are rarely seen here in Europe at all.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2019
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  11. CVamberbonehead

    CVamberbonehead Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 6, 2017
    I use a cheap Uncle Henry fillet knife with a staglon handle. It works well for the amount of filleting I do. The steel is very flexible but doesnt hold a great edge.
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  12. Stigand


    Jun 30, 2019
    Hey check this out, I just looked on EB.
    I'd bet if they are from the 70's they aint ATS, they'll be AUS 8, but amazing they are still out there! https://www.ebay.com/itm/VTG-JET-AE...ce79ae1:g:V1gAAOSw78xccC38&LH_ItemCondition=4
    Almost worth buying one to try!
    soulsurf likes this.
  13. kwackster


    Dec 23, 2005
    Based on sharpening a few of these i think they could be ATS34.
    The steel is much too hard and wear resistant to be AUS8.
    soulsurf likes this.
  14. GatorFlash1

    GatorFlash1 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 28, 2012
    Ditto here.

    The Victorinox Fibrox filet is my go to filet knife. The feel and function is excellent, IMHO. I use this filet knife in both fresh and salt waters. I would also suggest getting the Victorinox Fibrox boning knife as well, they make a great pair. The boning knife has stiffness, the filet more flexibility. Lastly, for me at least, the price is right for a commercial grade filet knife.

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  15. Stigand


    Jun 30, 2019
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    That shun in video is the exact one I used but the edge kept chipping, I also agree with you about the Victorinox Boning being a better option than the flexi filleting; For some reason folks have a fixation for flexible knives when filleting........they are less precise, dont remove the skin as well and typically are less hard. i am consistently faster with a rigid knife.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2019
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  16. GatorFlash1

    GatorFlash1 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 28, 2012
    I agree. So much depends on the type of fish being fileted. Sometimes the flexible knife works best, other times the stiffer boning knife is the one to use, especially if you are using it with a big fish with big bones.
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  17. theapodan


    Oct 17, 2013
    I'm a huge fan of the mora fillet knife with the green and black handle for filleting bass, crappie, and sunfish. I think it was $25.

    Recently, I've been using an 8" frosts by Mora fillet knife which is also good. The additional length is useful, although I prefer the shape of the shorter blade. I lucked into one for $18.

    Either of the moras keeps a good edge steeling every few fish. I've sharpened the green-handled one once and it sharpened easily.

    The Buck silver creek folding knife I had was poor, didn't sharpen well, dulled quickly, and the knife scales, but not blade, rusted.

    I used an opinel no. 15 folder some as well, and the blade bent, although I liked the look and feel of the knife. Wood handle may not be the most sanitary if that concerns you.

    I've also used a dexter Russell vlo, which worked fine, although I only used it maybe a month before I left it somewhere.

    Contrary to what someone said above, I find steeling every two or three fish essential for keeping a sharp knife and getting good yield on the fillets.
    soulsurf likes this.
  18. Brad "the butcher"

    Brad "the butcher"

    Dec 15, 2008
    I love my cutco fillet......been ripping fish with it for 20 years.......over 200 salmon and I bet 1000 trout
    My best friend used to work for BC Packers(fish plant) and he loves using my cutCo
    Seriously underrated......
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  19. CanadaKnifeGuy


    Jan 27, 2019
    Dexter Russell is my default. I have a 7" and an 8" and they just plain work....

    MANY commercial mongers use these, as well as MANY first mates on charters and serious watermen.

    I've recently been putting a fairly stout 20° convexed microbevel on mine with a WorkSharp belt sharpener and find that it's holding a useable, sharp edge for a bit longer than the narrower v-edge. :thumbsup:
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  20. Stigand


    Jun 30, 2019
    [​IMG] I mucked round with slack belt convex bevels for a while. Read all the stuff about it holding an edge because of the extra meat behind the edge and in fact still use convex on my choppers when steaking Kingfish [see photo]. [​IMG] But for heavy use its not a good grind, you cant get it hair popping sharp and its difficult to maintain; I honestly believe its all about the steel and you just cant make a silk purse out of a sows ear.......all my sharpening in done monthly on waterstones and if the knives cant hold an edge that long I tend to give them away;)

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