Best Electric Fish Fillet Knives: Ratings & Reviews

Last Updated on

If you’ve been out on the water all day, then you want to be able to fillet your latest catch with ease. In 1986, a patent was filed by William O’Brien for the electric fillet knife. This invention makes it much easier to fillet fish in wet conditions.

It consists of two moving blades that act as a mini reciprocating saw. O’Brien was intending to revolutionize the cooking and fishing industry by making filleting less arduous. If you are interested in an electric fish fillet knife, then check out this buyer's guide.

Preview

Model

Blade Length/Size

Blade Material

Check Price

Rapala Heavy Duty Electric Fillet Knife

Rapala Heavy Duty

7.5 inches

Stainless steel

American Angler PRO Electric Fillet Knife,...

American Angler PRO

8 inches

Titanium coated stainless steel

Bubba Li-Ion Cordless Electric Fillet Knife...

Bubba Li-Ion Cordless

7” E-FLEX, 9” E-FLEX, 9” E-STIFF, and 12” E-STIFF

Titanium coated stainless steel

Mister Twister 120V Electric Knife...

Mister Twister

7 inches

Stainless steel

Cuisinart CEK-40 Electric Knife

Cuisinart CEK-40

8 inches

Stainless steel

Hamilton Beach Electric Knife for Carving...

Hamilton Beach 74250R

7 inches

Stainless steel

Black & Decker EK 700 Slice Right Electric...

Black & Decker

EK 700

9 inches

Stainless steel

Rapala Lithium Ion Cordless Fillet Knife...

Rapala Lithium Ion Cordless

6 and 7.5 inch

Stainless steel

Oster FPSTEK2803B Electric knife,...

Oster FPSTEK2803B

10 inches

Stainless steel

Rapala Electric Fillet Knife

Rapala Electric

7.5 inches

Stainless steel


Benefits of an Electric Knife When Filleting Fish

By incorporating this nifty tool in your tackle box, you can spend less time cleaning and more time fishing. Filleting a fish with an old fashioned fillet knife can take hours, especially if you are more of an angler than a pro chef. With an electric fillet knife, you can quickly carve up your latest catch in minutes.

Another considerable advantage is the amount of meat that you can take off fish. With a norm filleting knife, you may end up damaging the meat or leaving significantly more on the bone. Many times regular blades won't have the power necessary for you to push through tough skin and bones. An electric knife will slice through like butter!

Electric filleting knives require a lot less strength and effort than a standard knife. With ordinary knives, you have to put in more elbow grease. Electric knife blades will do most of the work for you while you guide it.


Choosing a Quality Electric Fillet Knife

Type of Fish to Fillet - Salmon, lake trout and mackerel are just a few of the options that you can fillet with an electric knife. These fish are generally high in fat content, so you will need to use your knife carefully to remove the excess. Tuna, mahi-mahi, and walleye are tougher with very little fat. These fish should be filleted as if preparing a steak.

Power Source

  • Cordless
    If you are out on the boat all day, then you won’t have access to much in the way of power sources. It is also nice to be able to move freely without any cords in the way. Cordless electric fillet knives make filleting even easier. The average runtime of the cordless models that we have reviewed below is around 90 minutes of continuous use. Most modern knives use lithium-ion rechargeable batteries.
cordless electric knife

image source: bdoutdoors.com

  • Corded
    These models are not rechargeable, and they feature a cord that can be plugged in for operation. If you are searching for a model that can keep running all day without the need for a battery, then this type is better suited to you. The average cord length of the models below is around 7 to 10 feet.

Knife Features

  • Blade Edge
    There are two types of blades used in electric fish fillet knives; serrated and plain. A serrated blade is best for tougher fish, such as tuna, swordfish, and mahi-mahi. It will get the job done quicker, but it may tear up the meat depending on toughness. I recommend a serrated blade for large saltwater fish. A plain edge blade is perfect for smaller, more fatty fish, such as salmon and trout.
  • Blade Size/Length
    The average size of most electric fish fillet knives is around 7.5 inches. You will see a variation among certain brands, but you should choose based on your needs. If you plan to fillet small fish that don’t require much carving, then a longer blade is better. If you plan to clean bigger, tougher fish, then a short and strong blade would be better.
  • Blade Material
    The most popular material for electric fillet knife blades is stainless steel. Manufacturers use this material because it is flexible, strong, and corrosion-resistant. Some of the products that I reviewed below come with a variation of stainless steel, such as high carbon or titanium coated.
  • Blade Flex/Blade Thickness
    Fillet knives, both electric and standard, have a certain amount of flex in their blades. This allows you to carve up fish and stack up fillets with more precision. The products that below come with a few different blade lengths and flex. A thicker blade should be used with tough fish. A thinner, more flexible blade is better for small, fatty fish.
  • Handles
    A great electric fillet knife for fishing should have a rugged and comfortable handle. It should also come with anti-slip material so that you can hold onto it while on the water. The knives in my review are made of plastic or rubber.

Sheath and Sharpening Stones

I highly recommend getting a sheath for your electric fillet knife. A sheath will ensure that you and your extra blades are safe. Since fillet knives are flexible and thin, they are easy to blunt. Another essential accessory is a sharpening stone. A plain edge blade will need to be sharpened much more often than a serrated blade.

Safety Features

Some electric fish fillet knives come with added features to protect yourself and your blades. Some products will come with a blade lock mechanism that locks the blades in place while not in use. The fillet knives in this buyer's guide come with quick-release blades to prevent any hang-ups.


10 Best Electric Fillet Knives Reviewed

1. Rapala Heavy Duty

Product Specifications

Blade Length/Size

7.5 inches

Blade Material

Stainless steel

Power Source

Corded

Power Cord

8 feet

Battery Life

N/A

Warranty

Yes, 1 year

The proof is in the name with this Rapala model. It holds up to the test of time and truly is a heavy duty option for avid anglers. It features full power for endless hours with the 8-foot long cord. This Rapala model is ideal for people who plan to carve up a lot of fish since you won't have to worry about recharging the battery.

It comes with durable stainless steel blades. This model features serrated blades, which are best for tough fish such as swordfish and mahi-mahi. The handle comes with a relaxed grip design, which makes it easy to handle for extended periods.

It has a unique airflow design within the grip to ensure that the motor runs cool. It also reduces vibrations so that your hand won't get tired. I liked that this model featured a large air ventilation system. I used it at the end of a big saltwater fishing trip. I used it for hours, and I didn’t have any issues with overheating. 

As Frannie noted in her review, “The blades are sharp which makes fish cleaning a breeze. Also, with the more powerful motor the job goes much faster.”

Also make sure to check out our full guide to Rapala brand knives.

Pros
  • Relaxed grip design
  • 8-foot long cord for extended use
  • Sharp serrated blade for tough fish
Cons
  • Doesn’t come with extra blades

2. American Angler PRO

Product Specifications

Blade Length/Size

8 inches

Blade Material

Titanium coated stainless steel

Power Source

Corded

Power Cord

8 feet

Battery Life

N/A

Warranty

Yes, 1 year

If you’re looking for the most durable and tough blades on the market, then this is the perfect model for you. The American Angler PRO comes with a titanium coated stainless steel blade. It has the ideal amount of flex, and the titanium coating will keep the serrated blades from going dull.

This model differs in its blade coating. Some models, like product number one, feature non-coated stainless steel. Those blades tend to go dull after multiple cleanings. This model comes in a corded design so that you can have continuous use without the need for recharging.

It includes a rugged transmission with SASA polymer. The transmission is cooled by a fanjet cooling system within the handle. I thought that this model stood out with its titanium coated blades. I have used it for nearly two months, and the blades are still as sharp as the first time.

According to Daeley from Bass Pro Shop, “I’ll use better blades and the trigger and blade release are a big selling point.”

Pros
  • Titanium coated stainless steel
  • Quick-release blades
  • SASA polymer transmission
Cons
  • Cooling system may not be as efficient as competitors

3. Bubba Li-Ion Cordless

Product Specifications

Blade Length/Size

7” E-FLEX, 9” E-FLEX, 9” E-STIFF, and 12” E-STIFF

Blade Material

Titanium coated stainless steel

Power Source

Cordless

Power Cord

N/A

Battery Life

Up to 2 hours

Warranty

Yes, 1 year

This is the first cordless model that I will review in our roundup. By going wireless, you will have more flexibility to move around. You never have to worry about finding an outlet to plug in your electric knife. This model comes with two lithium-ion batteries so that you can charge one up while using the other.

This model is the whole package. It features four different blades that vary in size and flexibility. The blades range from 7” E-FLEX, 9” E-FLEX, 9” E-STIFF, and 12” E-STIFF. With this package, you will get two stiff blades for large, tough fish such as tuna and mahi-mahi. You will also get two flex blades that are perfect for smaller fish, such as salmon and crappie. It includes an ergonomic grip handle to ensure your hand stays in place while cleaning.

I think that Bubba knocked it out of the park with this model. The full package comes with two lithium-ion batteries, four blades, and a rugged EVA molded carrying case. The blades were super easy to change on the fly while cleaning different types of fish.

As Britt from Louisiana noted, “The knife cuts like butter, the blade shape is perfect, it has plenty of power and a good grip.”

Pros
  • Includes 4 interchangeable blades
  • Includes 2 lithium-ion batteries
  • Hardshell carrying case
Cons
  • Battery may not hold charge as well after multiple uses

4. Mister Twister 120V

Product Specifications

Blade Length/Size

7 inches

Blade Material

Stainless steel

Power Source

Corded

Power Cord

Extendable up to 8 feet

Battery Life

N/A

Warranty

Yes, limited lifetime

If you are searching for a simple electric fillet knife that won’t break the bank, then this model is ideal for you. It is elegantly simple in its design and will get the job done. It comes with an extendable cord, which is an excellent feature. It reduces the chance that you might accidentally cut through it. It also provides extended length when you need it.

The Mister Twister model comes with a 7-inch blade, which is the same length as the other models we have reviewed. It features a bright neon color scheme, which may not be for everyone, but at least you won’t lose track of it. It features a durable motor housing and ergonomic design. The handle is not as grippy as other models, so use extra caution if filleting in wet conditions.

I really liked that this electric fillet knife is budget friendly and straightforward. I thought the extendable coiled cord was a unique feature to include since other knives do not have this. Some users found issues with the intense color scheme, but I thought it made it easy to spot on the boat.

According to Vern, “It cut my fish cleaning time in half and my fillets were the best that I have been able to do.”

Pros
  • Coiled extendable cord
  • Bright color scheme
  • Includes a limited lifetime warranty
Cons
  • The handle is not as grippy in wet conditions

5. Cuisinart CEK-40

Product Specifications

Blade Length/Size

8 inches

Blade Material

Stainless steel

Power Source

Corded

Power Cord

4 feet

Battery Life

N/A

Warranty

Yes, 3 years

While many customers may see Cuisinart as a household kitchen name, this electric knife can be enjoyed by anglers as well. If you’re looking for a product that is more suited for home fish filleting instead of on the boat, then this model will work for you. It comes in a corded design like the other three products I have reviewed.

The CEK-40 model features two stainless steel blades. One of the blades is for cutting bread, while the other is for fileting. As an angler, you may not get much use out of the bread blade, but it can be nice to have on hand. The filleting blade is what you want for carving up your latest offshore catch. The handle features an ergonomic and grippy design. It also comes with an elegant butcher block storage unit. You can store the handle and blades elegantly on any countertop.

This model is better suited for at-home filleting, but many anglers bring their fish home before cleaning. I enjoyed the ergonomic handle. It was easy to carve through fish with the rubberized motor housing.

As one satisfied customer noted, “Good balance in your hand while using the knife. Nice storage block.”

Pros
  • Ergonomic handle design
  • Includes a storage block
  • Safety lock feature
Cons
  • The power cord is shorter than other models

6. Hamilton Beach 74250R

Product Specifications

Blade Length/Size

7 inches

Blade Material

Stainless steel

Power Source

Corded

Power Cord

6 feet

Battery Life

N/A

Warranty

Yes, 1 year

Similar to the last model that I reviewed, this one is known for being a household kitchen item. Hamilton Beach has created a simple electric fillet knife that any angler can enjoy. It comes with a hardcover carrying case so that it can be used on the boat. I recommend using it for home filleting because the handle is not designed for very wet conditions.

This Hamilton Beach model comes with one 7 inch serrated blade. It is not quite as flexible as other electric fillet knife blades, so it is better suited for sizeable tough fish. It includes a carving fork, which is an added accessory when slicing up your fish fillets. It makes transfer more manageable and less damaging to the meat. This model comes in a corded design with a 6-foot long cord. It will last for an endless amount of hours, but the cord is shorter than the standard 8 feet.

One feature that I liked about this model is that they included thoughtful accessories. The carving fork and carrying case are great for the angler who plans to clean fish out on the water or at an outdoor cleaning station.

As one verified purchaser noted, “I've also used this electric knife for filleting fish and it is great for that!”

Pros
  • Includes a hard carrying case
  • Stiff serrated blade for filleting tough fish
  • Includes a carving fork
Cons
  • The slide and push trigger is not as easy to use as a normal one

7. Black & Decker EK 700

Product Specifications

Blade Length/Size

9 inches

Blade Material

Stainless steel

Power Source

Corded

Power Cord

5 feet

Battery Life

N/A

Warranty

Yes, 2 years

This electric fillet knife was designed with comfort and ease of use in mind. This Black & Decker model comes in a corded design like the other models I have reviewed. The combination of the comfort grip handle and cord gives you the ability to carve up fish for hours. Like the previous two products, this one is best suited for home fish filleting since it doesn’t come with a carrying case.

The EK700 Slice Right comes with a longer than average 9-inch serrated blade. It is perfect for cutting large fish because it is longer and stiffer than other blades. It features a 5-foot long cord that should give you most of the length you need for home use. The small portion of rubberized material where your thumb rests makes it easy to maneuver this knife through tough fish. The non-slip tabs are a brilliant feature to help protect your hands during cleaning and disassembly.

One feature that stood out to me on this product was the non-slip tabs. It was effortless to quickly release the blades and drop them into the sink for cleaning. I thought the trigger was really easy to pull, so hand fatigue was greatly minimized.

One customer in New York said, “This price can't be beat. Easy to assemble, not heavy, and did the job.”

Pros
  • Comfort grip handle
  • 9-inch stiff blades for large fish
  • Non-slip safety tabs
Cons
  • Some users had issues with the safety button getting stuck

8. Rapala Lithium Ion Cordless

Product Specifications

Blade Length/Size

6 and 7.5 inch

Blade Material

Stainless steel

Power Source

Cordless

Power Cord

N/A

Battery Life

Up to 80 minutes

Warranty

Yes, 1 year

This is the second cordless model that I've reviewed, so if you're looking for this type of electric knife, check out this Rapala model. Rapala has been a staple in the fishing industry for many years. This battery powered fillet knife did not disappoint when out on the boat.

The Rapala cordless model comes with two stainless steel fillet blades. One blade is 6 inches, which is ideal for small fish. The other blade is 7.5 inches, which is excellent for medium to large size fish. Just like the Bubba model, it comes with two rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.

The soft foam case will keep the blades from becoming dull, but it won’t always protect against drop damage. The comfort grip design made it easy to slice up fillets without hand fatigue. This model performed exceptionally well while I was offshore. I loved being able to carve up fish without a cord in my way.

According to one angler, “The runtime on the batteries is excellent and as long if not longer than they say. Blades are sharp and do a great job.” I also thought that the battery runtime was excellent.

Pros
  • Includes 2 lithium ion batteries
  • Two serrated blades
  • Runtime of up to 80 minutes
Cons
  • The soft carrying case won’t protect against drop damage

9. Oster FPSTEK2803B

Product Specifications

Blade Length/Size

10 inches

Blade Material

Stainless steel

Power Source

Corded

Power Cord

5 feet

Battery Life

N/A

Warranty

Yes, 1 year

This electric fillet knife package is very similar to the Hamilton Beach model that I reviewed. It comes with a hard cover carrying case and a carving fork. This Oster model has a larger blade that is 10 inches long. It is best suited for carving large fish such as tuna and swordfish. It comes with a 5-foot long power cord.

Since this Oster model has such a large serrated blade, I wouldn’t recommend using it on very small fish. You may end up damaging more meat than filleting it. The blade is also thicker than some other models, so carving up tuna steaks is a breeze.

The handle does not come with as much grip as other models. It was comfortable to use but not as safe in very wet conditions. Like the Hamilton Beach model, I liked that Oster included a hard carrying case and carving fork. The case protected against drop damage. I also enjoyed the quick blade release function.

As a customer from Oster pointed out, “Assembly was easy, the case allows for portability, and safe storage. Usage of the electric knife was a breeze.”

Pros
  • Hard shell carrying case
  • Large 10-inch blade
  • Additional carving fork included
Cons
  • Handle is not ideal for use in wet conditions

10. Rapala Electric

Product Specifications

Blade Length/Size

7.5 inches

Blade Material

Stainless steel

Power Source

Corded

Power Cord

7 feet

Battery Life

N/A

Warranty

Yes, 1 year

This is another great product from the fishing experts at Rapala. I have already reviewed the cordless Rapala model, but if you are searching for a corded model, then this is the one for you. This model performed just as well as the cordless edition, but it was able to be used longer without having to recharge.

This Rapala Electric product comes with a 7-foot long power cord that gives you plenty of leeway at the carving stations. The 7.5-inch blade was a perfect midsize that allowed me to carve almost any type of fish. The addition of a stainless steel fillet fork was much appreciated. I could slice and stack with ease.

I thought that Rapala did a great job of implementing all of their best features into a corded model. The ergonomic grip had a perfectly placed rubberized thumb grip. I could maneuver this electric fillet knife in wet conditions.

As Mark noted in his review, “Plenty of power and the blades have lasted well cutting through perch bones.”

Pros
  • Includes a stainless steel carving fork
  • Excellent ergonomic grip
  • Midsize serrated blade most fish types
Cons
  • Many users did not like the placement of the safety button

Electric Fillet Knife vs. Regular Blade

Some people prefer the traditional way, while some want to use the newest technology to fillet their latest catch. Which way is better for you?

In my opinion, if you frequently bring in a lot of fish that need to be cleaned, then you can’t beat the time and energy saving of an electric fillet knife. It will take you minutes to carve up each fish versus hours. The electric motor also makes slicing through tough fish a breeze. If you often catch swordfish, tuna, and mahi-mahi, then definitely make the investment.

If you bring home only a few fish per month for cleaning, then you may not need an electric fillet knife. With smaller fatter fish, an electric knife can sometimes cause damage to the meat. In this case, a traditional blade may be more useful.


Boning Knife vs. Fillet Knife

If you are an avid angler, then you may have used both of these types of knives to clean your fish. It does pay to know the difference, though, so that you don't end up damaging that colossal fish you just landed. 

The main difference between a boning knife vs. a fillet knife is in its intended purpose. While they may look similar, a boning knife is used to separate meat from bones. A fillet knife is used to separate meat from the skin. Boning knives are generally more rigid, while fillet knives provide the flexibility to carve thin surfaces.


How To Safely Sharpen Electric Knife Blades

If you’ve put some use on your blade, then it may be time to sharpen it. Many people think that serrated electric knife blades cannot be sharpened, but that’s not the case. I recommend using an electric sharpener for safety reasons, but a manual can work as well. Follow these steps to give your blade its cutting edge back.

Electric Sharpener 

  • Step 1:
    First, remove the blades from the handle and separate them.
  • Step 2:
    Place the first serration into the carbide and slowly pull through with minimal pressure.
  • Step 3:
    Repeat this process until sharp.

Sharpening Rod

  • Step 1:
    Place the first serration of the blade onto the sharpening rod or stone.
  • Step 2:
    Slowly slither the knife blade from tip to bottom over each serration.
  • Step 3:
    Repeat this process on the other side of the serrated blade.

Safety Tips When Using Knives

There is never such a thing as being too cautious when it comes to knives. Your electric fillet knife can be dangerous, so ensure that you follow these safety measures when using and storing your new product.

  • Always keep electric knives out of reach of children when in use and stored.
  • Never use an electric fillet knife with a broken cord.
  • Never place your fingers near the blades.
  • When not in use, always unplug the device.

How to Use an Electric Fillet Knife

Now that you’ve picked out your new product, you are probably wondering how to operate it safely. Since every type of fish requires different fillet techniques, I will provide a guide for a medium-size fish that falls on the middle of the toughness scale. 

  • Step 1:
    Make a cut down from the top of the head to the bottom of the pelvic fins on both sides of the fish. This cut will be guided by the spine, so ensure that you keep the knife blade flat.
  • Step 2:
    Now that you have those two meaty fillets prepared, you should remove the skin by placing your fingertips slightly on the edge of each fillet. Find where the skin starts and slowly slide the knife between the skin and meat. Keep the blade flat!
  • Step 3:
    Rinse the fillets and fire up the oven.

Keep in mind that small, oily fish, such as salmon, may not be best suited for use with an electric fish knife.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

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

Always store your electric fillet knife in a safe and dry place. If it comes with a carrying case, then make sure you use it every time. You can extend the blade life by cleaning them after every use. You should sharpen your blades when they become dull.

What sizes do fillet knives come in?

In this buyer’s guide, we have reviewed a range of products sized from 6 to 12 inches. Most fillet knife blades average about 7.5 inches. This is the perfect size to tackle most fish. If you mostly fillet larger fish, then a bigger blade is necessary.

Where can I buy replacement blades for my electric fillet knife?

The best place to shop for all your electric fillet knife needs is Amazon. You can find replacement blades and accessories.


Conclusion

In this buyer’s guide, I have reviewed ten of the absolute best electric fish fillet knives on the market. I have also provided you with tips and tricks to make you the best angler on the water. Everyone will be envious of your new electric knife at the cleaning stations.

In this roundup, I think that the Bubba Li-Ion Cordless is the best cordless electric filleting knife on the market. I liked the cord free design and all of the included extras. It comes with four different blades so that you can tackle any filleting task. If cords are no problem for you then I highly recommend the Rapala Heavy Duty model!