Brand Comparison

Best Rapala Fillet Knives Reviewed

We have reviewed and compared the best rated Rapala fishing fillet knives on the market. Choose one of these top products from a high-quality brand.

by Andrew

Brand Comparison

Best Rapala Fillet Knives Reviewed

We have reviewed and compared the best rated Rapala fishing fillet knives on the market. Choose one of these top products from a high-quality brand.

by Andrew

by Andrew

Every angler knows that the best reward for a day on the boat is a freshly cooked meal from your catch. The best meals come when you get a perfect fillet. To get that ideal fillet, you need a high-quality filleting knife, from a trusted brand.

If you have decided that the Rapala brand is the perfect choice for cost, quality, and dependability, this article is for you. I have reviewed and compared the best Rapala filleting knives, so you don't have to. Let’s find out which Rapala filleting knife is the perfect match for your needs.

Preview

Product

Knife Type

Blade Length

Check Price

Rapala Heavy Duty Electric Fillet Knife

Rapala 227856

Electric

7.5 Inches

Rapala 7 1/2 Inch Soft Grip Fillet Knife /...

Rapala 4 CB06205

Manual

7 Inches

Rapala 6' Fish'n Fillet Knife / Single Stage...

Rapala

Fish ‘N Fillet

Manual

6 Inches

Rapala Lithium Ion Cordless Fillet Knife

Rapala RRFN

Electric

7 Inches

Rapala Fish n Fillet Superflex Knife, 6'...

Rapala FNFSF6

Manual

6, 7, 9 Inches

Rapala Electric Fillet Knife

Rapala REF-AC

Electric

7.5 Inches

Rapala Saltwater Fillet Knife 7 inch

Rapala RSF7

Manual

7 Inches

Rapala Lithium Ion Cordless Fillet Knife...

Rapala RRFNSC

Electric

6 & 7.5 Inches

RapalaWitch's Tooth Collector Fillet

Rapala

Witch's Tooth

Manual

7 Inches


Why Choose Rapala?

Rapala started with a cork lure made in Finland in the 1800s. From there, the company has grown to create a multi-million dollar per year network of some of the most sought after and dependable fishing gear around, including their filleting knives.

With customers in 140 countries around the world, it is no wonder their dedication to the craft shows in excellence and craftsmanship. Why choose Rapala? That’s easy.

  • Time-honored dedication to their products.
  • Nothing is rushed to market just for a sale.
  • Trusted for over 100 years by fisherman of all skill levels
  • High-quality materials.
  • Sharp blades that last longer than most other brands.
  • A trusted name and brand that supports its customers from beginning to end.

Considerations Before Choosing A Rapala Fillet Knife

Before you pull out your credit card and purchase the first Rapala filleting knife you see, there are things you need to consider. Knowing your specific circumstances and fishing situations will help you determine which fillet knife is perfect for you.

Blade Material

Rapala uses stainless steel for all of its blades. The heat-treated steel makes for a sharper blade that holds an edge longer than a lot of the competition. The blades are also resistant to oxidization and corrosion, making most of their models ideal for saltwater fishing and filleting thicker fish that have more water content.

Fish Type

Different fish fillet in different ways, and it is essential to know what you like to catch the most. Catfish, for example, have thicker skin to get through while redfish and sunfish have more scales. Knowing what it takes to get the perfect fillet from your preferred catch will go a long way to choosing the right knife.

Fillet Knife Type

Manual fillet knives are ideal for packing up and taking with you. If you like to fish while camping, for example, you may not have access to an outlet to run a corded or cordless electric knife.

Electric fillet knives have the advantage of being faster and able to fillet larger fish and deep-sea game fish with ease. Which one you prefer will depend on how often you need to use it, where you use the knife and what kinds of fish you will fillet.

Blade Edge

Another consideration will be the type of blade edge you prefer. Smooth edges can be a lot sharper than serrated blades, but take a lot more care and maintenance to keep the edge. Likewise, serrated blades are perfect for electric filleting knives, but may not be the best for delicate fish like salmon.

Blade Size

The average filleting knife length sits between 6 and 9 inches. 7-inch blades are popular as they are the most versatile. A knife with a wide width isn’t going to be as effective on smaller fish, and you will find yourself using the tip more than the rest of the blade. Likewise, a skinny blade will take much longer to get through a fillet on a large fish.

Handle Type

It is important to find a knife with a good weight balance through the handle so you can use it effectively. You also want to look for a handle that won’t absorb odors (like wood) and is waterproof. Find one with a finger guard for safety and a grip that won’t wiggle around when it gets wet.

Blade Flexibility

You will also need to understand the flexibility of the knife. Filleting knives need to be strong but highly flexible. Unlike a boning knife, the fillet knife should flex at least one inch from the tip. However, 2 to 3-inches in flex is more practical, especially for smaller fish like panfish, trout, and others.

Safety Features

Aside from a finger guard, the only other safety feature the companies can offer you is a sheath or holder for the blade. Some blades will have a sheath, but it may be a separate purchase. Make sure you know if you get this essential safety feature or need to pay extra for it.

Budget

A simple fillet knife shouldn’t cost you too much. It is a wiser investment to get a high-quality knife at a higher price than it is to spend less money only to need to replace the knife every season. Keep your budget in mind, but always look for the best deal on a higher-quality blade.


9 Best Rapala Fillet Knives Reviewed

1. Rapala 227856

Best Rapala Heavy Duty Electric Fillet Knife

Knife Type

Electric

Blade Material

Stainless steel

Blade Length

7.5 Inches

Weight

1.3 pounds

Blade Edge

Serrated

Safety Cover Included

No

The Rapala Heavy Duty electric fillet knife is the culmination of years of research and perfection. You will be hard-pressed to find a better corded fillet knife anywhere. Along with precision blades and a quiet motor, this knife will serve you for years to come.

The quick-release blades lock in place to give you a sturdy, yet functional blade system to cut through the thickest skins and largest heads. When making fillets, you won’t believe how fast it will slice through and leave you with a delicious, boneless, skinless fillet. Replacement blades are only a click away, too. You don’t have to worry about dull or old blades anymore.

The corded electric knife is ideal for kitchen use, especially when you bring home a large catch. Ideal for catfish, bass and walleye, these bigger fish will be in your pan before you know it.

The best Rapala heavy duty electric knife will take a little getting used to. Unlike a manual knife, it is almost too easy to cut through the backbone or go too deep when making your turning cuts near the head.

With some practice, though, you will be filleting larger fish with ease and creating thick, whole fillets in no time. If you want to use the knife on smaller fish, that won’t be a problem either. However, you may need to work slower so you can feel the smaller bones and know when to stop or change angles.

Pros
  • High powered motor
  • Comfort grip
  • 8 foot power cord
  • Ideal for high-volume kitchens
Cons
  • Takes a while to get used to

2. Rapala 4 CB06205

Best Rapala Soft Grip Fillet Knife

Knife Type

Manual

Blade Material

Stainless steel

Blade Length

7 Inches

Weight

6.2 Ounces

Blade Edge

Smooth

Safety Cover Included

Yes

If you are looking for a manual fillet knife, the Rapala 4 soft grip is the best Rapala soft grip fillet knife there is. There are a few design flaws that some professionals find disheartening. However, most of these complaints come from those using a fish fillet knife for other things than filleting fish.

One downturn is the handle has a slight separation from the shaft of the blade, which can make cleaning difficult. After a few seasons of heavy use, some anglers reported that the blade began to wobble or feel loose.

However, the handle itself is the hero here and prevents slipping when it is wet or covered in fish slime. It isn't an ergonomic handle, but the weight is evenly distributed, and it feels full and comfortable in your hand.

The 7 inch blade has a lot of flex, too, which helps with smaller fish and some of the trickier cuts when filleting a catfish or walleye. The overall weight of the knife is nice, too. At just over half a pound, you won’t have much fatigue in your hands, even if you are filleting a pot full of panfish.

With this purchase, you also receive a sheath for your belt that holds the knife easily. It offers good protection from your leg and the blade when walking and transporting and keeps the knife within easy reach.

You will also find a single-stage sharpener to use, though it won’t remove nicks and burrs from the blade. If there aren’t any nicks, though, the single stage sharpener will return the edge to factory sharpness.

Pros
  • Comfortable to hold
  • Plenty of blade flex
  • Razor sharp out of the box
  • Safety sheath included
Cons
  • Difficult to clean
  • Blade may come loose

3. Rapala Fish ‘N Fillet

Best Rated Rapala Fish N Fillet Knife

Knife Type

Manual

Blade Material

Stainless steel

Blade Length

6 Inches

Weight

7.3 Ounces

Blade Edge

Smooth

Safety Cover Included

Yes

The Rapala Fish N Fillet knife is the best fillet knife for the old school fisherman. This handcrafted, hand-ground stainless steel blade is still made in Finland the way they were years ago. Complete with a birch wood varnished handle, it is comfortable and easy to use.

The 6-inch blade is perfect for crappie and smaller panfish, but sharp and agile enough to tackle bigger fish when the need arises. The full blade stays in place, even years after first use. With regular sharpening and careful washing, this blade won’t rust, expand, or crack.

While the blade is dishwasher safe, the handle is not. You should always wash by hand and dry immediately. Letting the knife air dry will allow the wood handle to absorb the water and begin to crack.

The single-stage sharpener isn’t the best option, but it will work in a pinch. It is recommended that you use a two-stage sharpener for the thinner, tapered blade. This will remove nicks and burrs and hone the edge to a razor-sharp finish.

It isn’t the lightest knife made by Rapala, but it isn't uncomfortable, either. There is an excellent balance between handle and blade, and the flex is impressive. With smaller fish, you can easily find the backbone and run the blade over the ribs with ease.

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Stays sharp longer
  • Leather sheath included
  • Ideal for panfish and smaller species
Cons
  • Extra care needed

4. Rapala RRFN

Best Rapala Cordless Fillet Knife

Knife Type

Electric

Blade Material

Stainless steel

Blade Length

7 Inches

Weight

1.3 pounds

Blade Edge

Serrated

Safety Cover Included

No

The best Rapala cordless fillet knife is the RRFN model. This is the Rapala lithium ion cordless fillet knife that handles almost any fish with ease. The serrated, double-speed blade will cut through the toughest skin and provide you with enough battery power to last all day. Regardless of the day’s catch, a single charge will last you a continuous 80 minutes of filleting time. That means you can easily create 100s of fillets without having to worry about recharging the battery.

Ideal for kitchen use, the battery operated filleting knife is also ideal for tossing in with your camping gear and taking with you to the campground kitchen. No matter where you are, this electric knife will serve you well and produce some of the finest fillets you have ever carved.

Obviously, it isn’t designed to carry on your belt, as it is too large and bulky. However, it only weighs about a pound and can easily be stored in your tackle box, if you want to go out for the day. It also comes in handy when transporting the fillets home, where you must keep some of the skin on your fillets. If you only use the minimum square inch, the knife will do this, then quickly and efficiently remove that inch when you get home.

Pros
  • Stays sharp longer
  • Replacement blades available
  • Lasts almost 2 consecutive hours
  • Lightweight and portable
Cons
  • Requires hand sharpening

5. Rapala FNFSF6

Best Superflex Rapala Knife

Knife Type

Manual

Blade Material

Stainless steel

Blade Length

6, 7, or 9 Inches

Weight

4.8 Ounces

Blade Edge

Smooth

Safety Cover Included

Yes

The Rapala Fish N Fillet Superflex is the best Superflex Rapala knife, hands down. The thin but strong blade glides easily and flexes more than any other knife on the market. Regardless of small fish fillets or larger game fish, you won’t be disappointed here.

The stainless steel blade is coated with PTFE (Teflon), which allows the blade to glide effortlessly over bone and cartilage. The meat doesn’t flake, either, falling off in whole pieces no matter how large the cut.

With the Superflex, you get nearly 4 inches of tip flex, which is ideal for carving out small fish and large steaks from bigger game fish. Where most filleting knives offer you 1 or 2 inches, finding a Rapala blade with this much flex is incredible.

After a few practice fish, you will have the motions down to a science and know exactly how much flex you need for the fish you are working on. After that, you can’t go wrong. The 4.8 ounce knife is perfectly balanced and gives you the feel of every bone as you glide over them. You won’t cut too deep.

You also get a leather sheath that will protect the tip and the edge, as well as anything it comes in contact with. You can hang it from your belt or toss it in your box for a day trip or a week-long furlough.

Pros
  • Over 4 inches of tip flex
  • Includes leather safety sheath
  • Extra sharp blade out of the box
Cons
  • Ferrule may come loose
  • Hand wash only

6. Rapala REF-AC

Best Rapala Electric Fillet Knife Under $50

Knife Type

Electric

Blade Material

Stainless steel

Blade Length

7.5 Inches

Weight

1.3 pounds

Blade Edge

Serrated

Safety Cover Included

No

If you are on a tighter budget and want the electric knife Rapala is famous for, the best option is the Rapala REF-AC. Unlike the heavy-duty (and more expensive) electric fillet knife, this model doesn’t have the double-speed blades and air-quieted motor.

It is a little loud, but it gets the job done. Don’t worry, it isn’t so loud it’ll make your ears bleed, but it isn’t as quiet as the HD model. With a 7.5-inch blade, you can carve a fillet from just about any fish in record time.

Ideal for larger fish like catfish, walleye, and bass, the REF-AC will have you wondering how you ever filleted without it. The 7-foot cord keeps you tethered to the kitchen for the most part, but is long enough to stay out of the way while cutting.

The biggest problem with this model is that it is older, so replacement blades are getting harder to find. However, if you can use a chainsaw sharpener, the blades will last for several seasons before needing to be replaced. With the lightweight of the knife, you won’t suffer hand fatigue as you can get with other, heavier models. All in all, for the price, this is one of the best value for the money fillet knives available.

Pros
  • Perfect for all sized fish
  • Flexible enough for panfish
  • Lightweight for less fatigue
Cons
  • Difficult to sharpen
  • Can get loud

7. Rapala RSF7

Best For Saltwater Fish

Knife Type

Manual

Blade Material

Stainless steel

Blade Length

7 Inches

Weight

0.8 Ounces

Blade Edge

Smooth

Safety Cover Included

Yes

If you like to pull your catches form the sea, then you want the best saltwater fish fillet knife, then look no further. The Rapala RSF7 is a 7-inch saltwater blade designed for the way you fish. Out of the box, the blade is sharp and ready to go.

You will find that the lightweight, plastic handle will not corrode even under the harshest saltwater conditions, and the treated stainless steel blade holds up well when you can’t get to a sink for a proper wash right away.

While the entire knife is dishwasher safe, it is highly recommended that you hand wash the knife and handle to maintain the edge and prevent premature dulling of the blade. However, once in a while won’t hurt anything, and you can easily run the knife through a two-stage sharpener to hone the edge.

The knife also comes with a protective sheath to prolong the life of the blade and to protect everything around it from getting sliced. Whether in your pocket or in your tackle box, this saltwater friendly knife will give you great cuts and perfect fillets from all of your saltwater catches.

Pros
  • Cleans easily
  • Blade edge stays sharp longer
  • Dishwasher safe
Cons
  • Not as flexible as some models

8. Rapala RRFNSC

Best Rapala Fillet Knife Combo

Knife Type

Electric

Blade Material

Stainless steel

Blade Length

6 & 7.5 Inches (list all available)

Weight

1.4 pounds

Blade Edge

Serrated

Safety Cover Included

Yes

If you enjoy combo kits or are looking for that perfect fisherman gift idea, the Rapala RRFNSC is your answer. This is the lithium-ion battery powered cordless fillet knife from the heavy duty list, in a kit. The kit includes two lithium-ion batteries that will provide you up to 80 minutes per charge, each. You don’t need to worry about running out of power any time soon and can fillet fish to your heart's content.

The wall charger and carrying case are also included, so you can charge the batteries while you are packing for your camping trip and then store the knife, blades, and batteries in a sturdy, cut-resistant case for safe travel.

You also receive two stainless steel blades, one 6-inch, and the other 7.5-inches to allow for smaller and larger fish filleting. The high-speed motor is capable of pushing the blades through the largest, toughest skin and scales and will make ideal cuts when removing ribs and pin bones without losing any meat.

The entire set up is a bit on the heavy side, so you may experience a bit of hand fatigue if you are filleting a lot of fish. However, once you grow accustomed to its usage and weight, you can get all of the fish filleted before your hand gets tired.

Pros
  • Carry case included
  • two blade sizes included
  • Comes with 2 batteries and a wall charger
Cons
  • Hand fatigue reported in some cases

9. Rapala Witch's Tooth

Best Rapala Manual Fillet Knife

Knife Type

Manual

Blade Material

Stainless steel

Blade Length

7 Inches

Weight

4.8 Ounces

Blade Edge

Smooth

Safety Cover Included

Yes

If you are looking for lore, history, and a great filleting knife with a back story, you have found it. The Witch's Tooth knife is a Finnish lore used in ceremonies and dance sessions going back hundreds of years.

The small rock placed in the bone handle represents the drum rattles used to ward off evil spirits and bring protection and luck to the drummers. Now, in a fillet knife, you can continue this tradition, even if you aren’t Finnish or superstitious.

The birch wood and horn bone (reindeer) handle fits comfortably in your hand while the 7-inch blade makes short work of your fish. Every slice will produce the warding rattle of the rock inside and give you stories to tell along with your fish tales around the campfire. Not only is this the best Rapala manual fillet knife, but it is also the most talked about and sought after. Supplies are made in limited batches, so you need to get yours before the next batch runs out.

If you miss out, there will be more, but because each knife is hand made, honed and assembled, there is no telling when that will be. The knife and leather sheath are all packaged in a collectors tin, making it a great gift for the fisherman on your list (even if it is yourself).

Pros
  • Bone and wood handle is comfortable
  • Leather sheath included
  • Great gift idea
Cons
  • Must be hand washed and detailed

Rapala Electric Fillet Knife Vs. Manual Blade

Rapala offers both manual and electric fillet knives. The electric knives are separated, again, into two groups, corded and cordless. The corded electric knives are ideal for work in the kitchen, where you have power and need to go through a lot of fillets. However, it is almost a waste and takes a lot of careful learning to get a great cut when only used once in a while.

The cordless models are also perfect for dealing with a lot of fish when you are at home in the kitchen or at the campsite with the fire. However, a manual fillet knife is the perfect solution for those that like to keep their tackle together or carry the knife on their hip or belt.


How to Properly Fillet a Fish

To properly fillet a fish, you will need to know how to use the blade, electric or manual, and where to cut. Filleting isn’t very difficult but does take a bit of practice. It is highly recommended that you use a safety glove made of stainless steel mesh to protect your holding hand.

The Rapala glove is ideal for this. The steps are pretty simple to fillet a fish and works for almost all fish the same. Catfish and other larger, fatty fish have different cuts to avoid cutting into the stomach and liver, though.

  1. 1
    Cut on one side at a time.
  2. 2
    Cut from under the front fin and gill towards the head until you hit the backbone.
  3. 3
    Turn the knife towards the tail and cut through until the fillet comes off.
  4. 4
    Flip the fillet and remove the ribs and pin bones.
  5. 5
    Cut down at the tail and then hold the tail while cutting the skin from the fillet.
  6. 6
    Repeat with the other side for two perfect boneless, skinless fillets.

If you want to see the Rapala Heavy Duty Electric knife in action, you can check out this YouTube video from Thundermist Lures.


Tips for Sharpening Rapala Fillet Knife Blades Correctly

Sharpening your filleting knife is something you need to get in the habit of doing. Trying to fillet with a dull blade is both ineffective and potentially dangerous. For a smooth edge blade and a manual knife, the best option is to use a two-stage honing sharpener.

The angles are preset, and you don't have to think about it. Simply pull the blade through the rough side to remove any nicks or cuts. Then pull it through the smooth side to hone the edge to a nice, sharp finish.

Electric sharpeners are ideal for serrated edges and electric knife blades. However, if you prefer more control, the only option you have is to use a chainsaw sharpener. These will fit into the individual serrations and ensure you get the right angle for the blade to keep it in tip-top shape.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

What steps should I take to extend the lifespan of my Rapala knife?

Keep the blade sharp; this is a must. To prolong the knife, you should wash it after every use, by hand. Even those marked safe for the dishwasher won’t last as long. If you have a bone or wooden handles, use less detergent, rinse thoroughly and dry immediately. Keep your knife in a sheath and stored properly when not in use, and you will have a blade that lasts you season after season.

What is the best fillet knife sharpener?

The best sharpener for your fillet knife is always going to be a matter of preference. However, the AccuSharp fillet knife sharpener is specifically made for the thin and delicate blades of fillet knives.

Where are Rapala knives made?

Rapala knives are still made in Finland. The company purchased the majority stock of the Marttiini family of knife makers for their steel and handles. The rest of the production is done in China, where shipping headquarters are stationed to market and ship knives all over the world.

What’s the difference between a boning and fillet knife? Does Rapala offer both?

Boning knives are not as flexible as filleting knives. A fillet knife is designed to get between the meat and the skin, while a boning knife is meant to get between the meat and the bones. While Rapala makes and produces filleting, kitchen, and hunting knives, they do not make boning knives.

How flexible should a fillet knife be?

The flexibility you need is a personal choice. All fillet knives will have some flexibility  (and should be the only knife in your kitchen to do so). From the tip to the middle of the blade, the minimum flex should be about 1 inch. 2 to 3 inches are ideal for smaller fish and will work for all sized blades.

Where can I buy these knives and replacement Rapala knife blades?

You can purchase any Rapala knife and replacement blades for electric knives through the Rapala website. For older models, OEM replacements, and other options, the best place to shop is through Amazon. Both places offer the current models and parts, but only Amazon will offer sales on new in box knives with older models and styles still available.


Conclusion

Finding the best Rapala fillet knife can be a tough choice. With so many options to choose from, your perfect blade can easily get lost in the list.

This article showed you options to look at and considerations to make before buying. If you are unsure which way to go or are just starting out, the Rapala Heavy Duty electric fillet knife is an ideal option to start with, learn on, and go pro with.

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