Fish is great, it makes for some amazing meals. Catching fish also makes for an amazing sport with countless practitioners, but have you tried cleaning and, properly filleting fish? Yes, you have, that’s why you’re here looking for the best electric fillet knife to do the job for you.
Doing it by hand, with a manual fillet knife is a mess. You know it. So, there must be a more efficient, faster, and easier way of doing it with no strain on your wrists, right?
So here they are, five of them, each with their pros and cons, but all of them – sharp electric knives that offer precision, proficiency, and efficiency. Which is the best? That remains to be seen.
In the Post
- The Best Electric Fillet Knife for Performance and Efficiency
- General Guide: Asking the Most Important Questions
- Final thoughts on the best electric fillet knife
The Best Electric Fillet Knife for Performance and Efficiency
Life is too short to struggle with filleting fish. This is why you can purchase one electric tool to do it for you. Yes, you can say that traditional fillet knives might be precise, might work wonders if they’re in the right hands, but how many fish can you fillet before you feel a sharp pang in your writs?
Anyways, let’s get down to business. You already know why you’re here. Here are 5 units that could compete for the “trophy” of best electric fillet knife.
1. Bubba Li-Ion Cordless Electric Fillet Knife
Equipped with an ergonomic, non-slip grip handle, and a lithium-ion battery that ensures no cords are around to spoil your fun, this electric fillet knife is one fine example of what strength and efficiency should look like when filleting fish.
- Dual-rivet blade design
- Powered by Lithium-Ion battery
- Ergonomic 8.5” non-slip grip handle that weighs 1.11 pounds
- 4 removable Titanium-nitride blades: 7” and 9” E-FLEX blades + 9” and 12” E-STIFF blades
- Safety lock and trigger guard
- EVA zippered storage cage
- Replacement battery
It features a trigger guard, and a safety lock for enhanced protection and the dual-rivet blade is coated in TiN stainless steel. The blades are removable, and you get four of them in a zippered storage case. They’re corrosion-resistant, and each one of them has its specific features.
The 7” and 9” E-FLEX blades are good for filleting small to medium size fish, while the 9’’ and 12’’ E-STIFF blades are perfect for the medium to large sizes.
The knife also features an LED light on the handle that lets you know when the battery is running out. Speaking of batteries, you get a second one, together with a charging cord to make sure you can always be ready for the job.
The knife also boasts advanced engineered ventilation that allows for more torque, thus more power on your hands. Use it wisely!
All in all, this is an ideal electric fillet knife that works well on small, medium, and large fish. It should provide a smooth, safe, and quiet operation. It weighs about 3 pounds, so it is steady enough for serious jobs.
Let’s round up its main features now and then we’ll let you know its strong and weak points.
- Nice mixture of blades
- Cordless design
- Good battery life, and more than that, it comes with a replacement battery
- Comfortable to hold and use (quiet operation)
2. Rapala Deluxe Electric Fillet Knife AC/DC
This Deluxe electric fillet knife set includes 6” and 7-1/2” reciprocating blades, an 18-foot power cord, adapters for 110V AC, 12V post clips, and a 12V lighter plug, all nicely wrapped in a compact storage case.
- Features 110V AC, 12V post clips, and 12V Lighter Plug adapters
- Advanced Air Flow Design
- 18-foot power cord
- Stainless steel blades: 6” and 7 – ½” reciprocating blades
- Travel case
- Product dimensions: 17 x 10 x 3 inches; weight: 1 pound
This means you can plug it in almost any wall outlet, trolling motor battery posts. If you don’t have these at your disposal, you can plug it into your car or boat lighter. Easy-peasy.
It features an advanced airflow design, and the blades are stainless steel. It works well for cleaning game as well. You can even use it to cut ham and cheese. It comes with so many plugs and adapters, that you can use it both in the kitchen and on the field.
Overall, this is a very sturdy, powerful electric fillet knife capable of cleaning even 6 pounds of catfish in one day. And you know how catfish are. So, to sum it up!
- Quite long and convenient power cord
- Easy to clean
- Several power options
- Durable and long-lasting; for casual use, this one could last a lifetime
3. Mister Twister 120V Electric Knife
Mister Twister is a funny name, isn’t it? Funny are the colors on this electric fillet knife also – bright green and yellow, to make sure you never misplace it.
- 120V AC
- Convenient blade release
- Safety lock
- Weight: 1.41 pounds
- Product dimensions: 8 x 12 x 2 inches
- One year warranty
Yes, we know, Mister Twister is sort of a legendary, game-changer in the world of fishing. They created the very first soft plastic fishing lure, and are apparently quite good at making all sorts of tools for professional anglers and enthusiasts. This electric fillet knife should make no exception.
It features a convenient blade release, 120V AC, and that “legendary mister Twister action”, as they like to advertise it. It’s not all fun and games, you get a safety lock on it and a relaxed hand design. The 120V there in its name tag could translate to 50% more cutting torque and heavy-duty gears and bearings. It doesn’t sound bad.
Actually, you can use it for fish, but also game, even bread. It might take some getting used to when it comes to controlling the blade, but it is not rocket science.
- Comfortable hand grip
- Great power
- Promising brand with a good reputation
- Perfect for shaving almost all sorts of meats
4. American Angler PRO Professional Grade Electric Fillet Knife Kit
Marketed as the “knife you can trust” at the end of the day when you want to clean your big catch, this American Angler unit looks serious, indeed.
- It features a 10” Saltwater Blade
- It also features a 5.5” curved tip blade replacement
- It features an 8” curved tip blade replacement
- One 10” heavy-duty shark blade replacement
- One 8” heavy-duty shark blade replacement
- The product weighs 3 pounds
- The unit measures 14 x 5.5 x 3.75 inches
The motor and gear design promise extra torque and power to clean even the meanest fish. For the price tag of $135, you get 5 blades that could handle from a 5-lbs trout to a 25 lbs tuna.
You also get a superior airflow design that promises to keep the unit cool for hours of continuous use, backed by a 2-year limited lifetime warranty. The wide selection of blades makes it great for many cutting jobs, from cleaning fish to even cutting chunks of meat, steaks, bread, even cheese.
All the replacement blades come in a pouch for easy storing. All the signs show this is a heavy-duty unit that you could also use in the kitchen if you want to. So, a beast with the soul of a housemaid? Enough with the “poetry”, let’s get down to the main features, pros, and cons.
- The cord is long enough for casual use
- You get comfortable handling
- Good selection of blades
- Good power and torque
- It gives you the feeling you have a trustworthy heavy-duty unit in your hands
5. Rapala Lithium Ion Cordless Fillet Knife Combo
We end this list with this Cordless fillet knife combo from Rapala. Compared to the other Rapala product reviewed earlier, this one is cordless. It includes 2 Lithium-Ion batteries and a wall charger.
- It features two blades: 6” and 7-1/2”
- It includes 2 Lithium-Ion batteries
- Wall charger included
- EVA padded storage case
- Reciprocating style blades
- The advanced airflow body design
It comes with two reciprocating style blades. It can run for 80 continuous minutes per battery. That’s what the manufacturer claims. From personal experience, you should expect less than that, maybe an hour or 50 minutes. However, that’s enough for casual use.
The kit is packed into an EVA padded storage case to take it with you where you need it.
The handle has the same ergonomic design you’ve already seen on most electric fillet knives. It’s good, it’s solid, and it gives you trust that you can rely on the unit for a job well done.
If you don’t like cords and adapters then a battery-powered fillet knife is the best choice for you. Here’s a round-up of the main features, pros, and cons of this product.
- Cordless design
- It can cut through rib bones
- The batteries could power through 110 Crappies on a single charge
- It comes with a good-quality EVA padded storage case
General Guide: Asking the Most Important Questions
Regular manual fillet knife or electric fillet knife?
Before jumping into the main criteria for choosing the best electric fillet knife for you, we figured it would be great to settle this battle once and for all.
Compared to a traditional fillet knife, an electric one will do the job for you without putting much pressure on your wrists, hands, and nerves. Moreover, the filleting experience is much smoother and the result even better. Besides, it will take you less time than with a traditional knife…much less time.
The electric fillet knife is more than just a fillet knife. It is a versatile electric unit that can be used to cut numerous other types of meats, like beef, chicken, turkey, even game or bread. So, you don’t buy it just for one job, and as you have seen, they usually come with a combination of different blades. The more blades, the more versatile the unit is in the end.
The motors in these electric knives are quite powerful and they can stand numerous challenges. They are a bit on the expensive side of things, it’s true, but you also get quality for money. So, it’s up to you if you want to level up your game.
Cord or Non-Cord?
Although a cordless model with batteries might not produce the same level of performance as one with a cord, it will offer you more flexibility and versatility. Especially if you’re going to use the knife outdoors when going camping or on trips, then yes, choose the cordless model.
However, if you want one powered by the old, traditional cord, make sure the cord is long enough and also extendable and flexible to maneuver the unit around to your needs.
Do electric fillet knives need sharpening? How do you do it?
Usually, the blades are more than traditional knife blades. They’re coated in different substances so they can take a rough beating. They will last up to several months functioning like new.
However, once they get dull, you can sharpen them. There are a couple of electric knife sharpeners or electric sharpening rods you can find online. Nevertheless, if you’re going to use the knife occasionally, we don’t think there’s reason to worry too much about the sharpness of the blade.
If you’re a professional using the tool intensively, then you could also take the knives to professionals for sharpening. That’s a bit pricey, but it’s part of your job, right?
How do I properly use a fillet knife?
There’s no shame in asking this question. That’s why we’re proudly answering it. Compared to traditional knives, fillet knives have a flexible blade that allows you to get under the skin as you slide it away from the meat.
So, first things first, you start cutting right beneath the head of the fish. With an electric fillet knife, you don’t need to push too much because it might go all the way in and spoil the job.
You cut until you hit the backbone of the fish. Once you do that, you slide the flexible blade around the backbone and cut through the ribs. You stop before you rich the tail fin and then press repeat.
With an electric fillet knife your hands and nerves will be contained, strainless and happy to go at it again, especially if it’s your catch that you’re so proud of.
However, we want to stress here that if it’s the first time you use an electric fillet knife, you should contain yourself from forcing the blade in. You have to slowly guide it, for the motor will do the work and you’ll be surprised at how easy and fast it is.
What makes a good electric fillet knife?
This is probably the hardest question in the book, but we’ll strive to answer it properly. There are six important criteria to consider before purchasing your first electric fillet knife. Let’s take them one by one.
Needless to say that the motor inside needs to deliver enough power to cut through skin, scales, and bones. It should also be durable, and withstand prolonged periods of continuous usage.
Now, of course, if you know you’re going to use it occasionally for a few fish a week, then almost any motor will do, and you won’t have to worry about it. However, if you know you’re going to torture the device and squeeze every bit of juice out of it, you need a good power, and cooling system as well.
Usually, 110V or 120V AC motors are pretty powerful units that can do heavy-duty jobs without too much fuss.
The motor might be potent, but it is nothing without the proper guidance, and that guidance must come from you, through the handle.
“Ergonomic” is the main-stream word here. Yes, we’ve used it a couple of times in the reviews above, but it is not about ergonomy. It is about comfort and trust, trust in the unit you hold. More than that, it needs to have a non-slip grip to avoid any unwanted accidents.
All in all, the handle has to be molded on your hand, to feel natural without causing any pressure or tiredness after extended use. Of course, it is very difficult to know that before you order the product, that’s why it’s important to read these reviews, read the specifications, dimensions, weight, and then judge for yourself.
Also, take into account if the model is suitable for left or right-hand usage.
The Blade and the Size of the Blade
They say is not the size of the dog in a fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog. This is quite similar to our cause. It is not the utter power of the motor, it is also the sharpness of the blade.
Also, add durability, flexibility, and so on. The list is long. Anyways, the torque produced by the motor will be nothing without the blade. That is why they come in so many sizes – to do the job and not overwork the motor.
Usually, for smaller to medium-sized fish, a 7 – 9 “ inch blade will do it. These blades are usually serrated, or curved, depending on their usage. They’re made of stainless steel and coated in certain substances for corrosion-resistance and durability in the long-term.
Safety is also important when working with electricity and sharp blades. All units should have a safety lock that ensures the motor doesn’t start immediately after it is plugged in.
Moreover, if they also have a feature that locks the blade when the knife is not used all the better.
This is the cherry on top, and each unit should have at least one. You know, it’s nice when you get something extra for the money, like a case where to store all the blades and accessories, several adapters and plug-ins, you know, the usual.
Final thoughts on the best electric fillet knife
Well, we can’t say we’ve found it. That’s up to you because it’s got to be the best electric fillet knife for you and nobody else.
So, although it might take some time, read carefully all the features, quirks, and extras and decide what unit is the one for you. It’s no use to have a heavy-duty knife if you don’t use it to its full capacity, for example.
Anyways, after you’ve made up your mind, maybe take a look at your old fillet knife and say to it: “Today I’m going to replace you with something that’s going to make my life easier, with the best electric fillet knife”. Cheesy ending, we know. Take care!