10 Best Fillet Knife Sharpeners: Reviewed & Compared

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Nothing is worse than bringing in the day's catch and finding that your fillet knife has one dull. Never let this happen to you by purchasing one of my top rated fillet knife sharpeners in this buyer’s guide. A fillet knife sharpener can be either manual or electric. It usually comes with different abrasive materials such as diamond coated, ceramic, and carbide steel.

They feature different stages to ensure that your knife stays sharp and clean. By regularly sharpening your fillet knife, you will increase its longevity and cutting performance. Check out the products below to get a knife sharpener that best suits you.

Preview

Product

Type

Number of Stages

Check Price

Presto 08800 EverSharp Electric Knife...

Presto 08800 EverSharp

Electric

2

Chef'sChoice 0320000 Chef's Choice 320...

Chef’s Choice

320 FlexHone

Electric

2

Messermeister Ceramic Rod Knife Sharpener,...

Messermeister

Manual

1

Work Sharp Culinary E5 Kitchen Knife...

Work Sharp

Culinary E5

Electric

2 + included ceramic rod

PriorityChef Knife Sharpener for Straight and...

PriorityChef

Manual

2

Wüsthof - 2 Stage Hand-Held Sharpener (2922)

Wusthof (2922)

Manual

2

LINKYO Electric Knife Sharpener, Kitchen...

LINKYO Electric

Electric

2

Lansky 4-Stone Deluxe Diamond System |...

Lanksy 4-Stone Deluxe Diamond

Manual

4

Chef’sChoice 15 Trizor XV EdgeSelect...

Chef’s Choice

15 Trizor XV

Electric

3

Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener

Work Sharp

Guided Field

Manual

5


How Does a Fillet Knife Sharpener Work?

Knife sharpeners work by using abrasive materials to restore a blade's edge. It rubs off the old metal to expose the new sharper metal. There are a few different reasons why your fillet knife might not be cutting like it used to. You can feel the difference when you try to slice through your catch of the day, but it’s hard to tell the exact problem.

If you zoom into the knife’s edge, you will sometimes find that the blade will have small dents or rubbed off metal. These issues can be remedied by sharpening, so grab your sharpener and start pulling through.

On the other hand, honing should be used when a knife blade is simply dull. There aren’t any visible chips, but the metal has become worn down. To hone your knife, simply use your sharpening rod and place the blade at the same angle and slide down.

knife sharpener

image source: knives-online.com.au


Choosing a Quality Fillet Knife Sharpener

Manual vs. Electric

Whether you’re old or new school, you will need to decide on a manual or electric fillet knife sharpener. Electric knife sharpeners are generally more expensive. They require less effort on the user’s part since the electric models help with pull through. They often have more features and functions to get a perfect edge.

Manual fillet knife sharpeners are generally much cheaper. They are much easier to carry out on the boat with you. They do require more precision on the user’s part. Many anglers believe that a manual fillet knife sharpener gives them more angle options.

Number of Stages

Fillet knife sharpeners come in different stages. Some sharpeners have more than one, while others feature one stage. The stages of knife sharpening are as follows:

  • Stage 1: Sharpening, which is removing metal to form a new edge.
  • Stage 2: Straightening, which is shaping the existing blade, but not removing a lot of metal.
  • Stage 3: Polishing, which cleans the blade and gives it a mirror-like finish.

Abrasiveness

There are different levels of coarseness to the knife sharpeners that I will review below. Depending on how dull your blade is, you may need a very abrasive sharpener. Tungsten carbide is one of the most abrasive materials used in knife sharpeners. It is used to sharpen very rough edge blades. Natural stones are not nearly as abrasive. They are used to sharpen already somewhat sharp blades. Diamond-coated sharpeners will put a clean, sharp edge on most blades.

Build Quality and Ease of Use

When it comes to your new fillet knife sharpener, you want it to be simple, safe, and durable. You want your fillet knife to be razor-sharp within minutes to carve up your fish fillets. Most of the knife sharpeners that I have reviewed below are made of high-quality materials such as stainless steel and polyethylene plastic.

Ease of Cleaning and Storage

You should always clean your fillet knife sharpener after each use. Most of the models that I have suggested below are simple to clean. You can do so by using a mild scrub brush or a damp cloth. Electric sharpeners are harder to clean since they have electrical components. Don't use water to clean electrical sharpeners. You should always check the instruction manual before cleaning. Store your knife sharpener in a cool, dry place when not in use.

Price and Warranty

In the buyer’s guide below, I have included a knife sharpener to fit every angler’s budget. If you are searching for a budget model, then I recommend sticking to a manual sharpener. The products below all include a warranty, so ensure that you register your product with the manufacturer to activate it.


10 Best Fillet Knife Sharpeners Reviewed

1. Presto 08800 EverSharp

Best Cheap Electric Fillet Knife Sharpener

Type

Electric

Number of Stages

2

Angle Options

2

Abrasives

Sapphirite

Warranty

Yes, 1 year

If you are looking for the best option to sharpen your fillet knife quickly, then this model will give you everything that you need. I named the Presto EverSharp device as our top pick for keeping your fishing knives razor-sharp.

The Presto EverSharp is an electrical model, so it is not as portable as manual sharpeners. Keep this in mind if you are planning to take your sharpener out on the water with you. It features an impressive 2-stage sharpening system. In the first stage, the machine guided sharpening blades allow you to grind your fillet knife to the perfect angled edge. In the second stage, this Presto model will finely hone and polish the knife’s edge. It includes suction cups to hold the sharpener in place.

This model was extremely easy to use. I just had to plug it in, and the machine took care of the rest. I don't recommend taking it out on the boat with you, so sharpen your knives before you leave the house. The Sapphirite coated blades worked amazingly well.

"As Chris noted in his review, “Easy to use, fast and my kitchen, hunting, and pocket knives are the sharpest they have been in a long time."

Pros
  • Sapphirite abrasives
  • 2-stage sharpening system
  • Suction cups to hold it in place
Cons
  • May be too coarse for some knives

2. Chef’s Choice 320 Diamond Hone FlexHone

Best Mid-Range Electric Model

Type

Electric

Number of Stages

2

Angle Options

2

Abrasives

Diamond-coated

Warranty

Yes, 1 year

If you’ve decided on an electric unit to give your knives their cutting edge, then this model is worth checking out. I named the Chef’s Choice 320 as the best electric fillet knife sharpener on the market. It features a durable diamond coating that will sharpen up even the dullest knife in your tackle box.

The Chef’s Choice electric sharpener features a 2-stage system that allows you to sharpen at the first stage and hone at the second stage. This model is capable of sharpening almost any knife you have. You can sharpen our fillet knife, fish boning knife, and even your serrated blades. This unit includes elastomeric feet that keep it securely in place.

The precise diamond coated disks apply optimal pressure for tempering the edge of your knife into the perfect V-shape. Since it is an electric model, I wouldn’t recommend taking it out on the water during a fishing trip.  One thing that I found particularly great about this model was the fact that I could also sharpen my serrated blades. There are not many models that can sharpen both smooth and serrated edges. Since most electric fillet knives have serrated blades, this was a nice bonus.

"As Brian expressed, “Sharpens all the different brands of knives that I have very well."

Pros
  • Sharpens both regular and serrated knives
  • Elastomeric feet to hold it in place
  • 2-stage sharpening system
Cons
  • The side rails can leave scratches on some knives

3. Messermeister

Best Ceramic Fish Fillet Knife Sharpener

Type

Manual

Number of Stages

1

Angle Options

Unlimited options. Sharpen knives at 15-degree angle for best results

Abrasives

1200 grit ceramic

Warranty

Yes, lifetime limited

If you are looking for a classic rod style sharpener to add to your collection, then check out this fantastic product from Messermeister. I chose this model as the best ceramic fish fillet knife sharpener available. It comes in a classic design that you operate manually, so taking it out on the boat is no problem.

This Messermeister model features 1200 grit ceramic abrasive, which is perfect for maintaining the edge on your knives. This knife sharpener is less abrasive than the previous two models I reviewed. It is more suited to simply maintaining a fillet knife rather than reshaping it. It features a comfortable handle and a hanging hook for storage.

It is durable and straightforward to clean with a damp cloth. I can be quite old fashioned when it comes to maintaining my knives, so I loved using this ceramic rod as my go-to when on the water. I liked that I could take it out on the boat with me for a quick tune-up before slicing. I enjoyed the easy to use design.

As Jack from Montana noted, “This is a great sharpening stick. Works fast, cleans up fast, and is just the right size.”

Pros
  • Easy to use design
  • 1200 grit ceramic
  • Comfort grip handle
Cons
  • Not abrasive enough to sharpen damaged knives

4. Work Sharp Culinary E5

Top of the Range

Type

Electric

Number of Stages

2 with an included ceramic rod

Angle Options

1

Abrasives

P120 ceramic grit

Warranty

Yes, 1 year

Some customers may be looking for the best available product on the market. The Work Sharp E5 is the top of the range knife sharpener for all of your knives. It is an electric belt style sharpener just like that pros use. It is ideal for anglers who use their fillet knives often to slice up their daily hauls.

The Work Sharp E5 comes with three pieces of 120 grit ceramic sharpening belts. It includes a separate ceramic sharpening rod that is perfect for keeping your knife in shape to carve up your fish fillets. This model does all of the work for you with pre-programmed settings. You simply pick your cycle, and the machine will cycle through sharpening, honing, and polishing in minutes.

This Work Sharp model is a dream to use. I enjoyed using pre-programmed settings for different knives. I liked that I could also sharpen my serrated blades with this machine. The included ceramic rod is a fantastic addition. I keep the ceramic rod on my boat and the electric sharpener at home. 

As one customer exclaimed, “The E5 knife sharpener most definitely worth the investment.”

While it may be more expensive than other models, I think it is worth the money as well.

Pros
  • Includes a ceramic rod
  • Pre-programmed settings
  • 3 ceramic belts included
Cons
  • May not be suitable for knives with thick spines

5. PriorityChef

Most Popular Cheap Model

Type

Manual

Number of Stages

2

Angle Options

1

Abrasives

Diamond-coated

Warranty

Yes, 60 days

Everyone loves a bargain. As an angler, sometimes we can be quite tough on our tools, which means we need to replace them frequently. This model from Priority Chef is the most popular cheap model on the market, and I can see why. It is simple and easy to use for anyone. It is a manual tabletop model that is perfect for sharpening your favorite fillet knife.

The Priority Chef model comes with diamond-coated sharpening wheels that sharpen any dull blade. It is quite abrasive, so I recommend using this on knives that are damaged or very dull. It comes with a non-slip bottom so that it will stay in place when you are pulling your knives through. This model can be taken with you on the go, as long as you have a surface to set it on when sharpening.

One thing I liked about this model was the simplicity and design. I thought the 2-stage system worked incredibly well for a manual machine. I was able to bring it out in the field with me, but I had to find a very stable surface to use it at the cleaning stations.

As Linda noted in her review, “It's an excellent, easy to use knife sharpener!”

Pros
  • 2-stage sharpening system
  • Non-slip bottom
  • Great customer service
Cons
  • Takes longer to sharpen knives on this model

6. Wusthof (2922)

Best Inexpensive Knife Sharpener

Type

Manual

Number of Stages

2

Angle Options

1

Abrasives

Carbide and ceramic

Warranty

Yes, limited lifetime

If you’re searching for a budget friendly option that you can travel around with, then this product is perfect for you. The Wusthof model is the best inexpensive knife sharpener available. It is a manual and portable 2-stage system that will keep your knives sharp even while out on the water.

The Wusthof model features a 2-stage system consisting of ceramic and carbide sharpening abrasives. The first step is coarse and will give your blade a brand new edge by removing the old and dull metal. The second step is fine ceramic, which will hone and polish the new edge. The sharpener is preset to a 14-degree angle to ensure that it will work well with your fillet knife before use.

One feature that I liked about this model was how inexpensive it was for such high-quality. I also enjoyed the portability. I kept it on my boat for a while so that I could quickly grab it from storage when I made a new catch that needed cleaning.

As one customer noted, “Super convenient hand held sharpener. Easy to use. Takes up very little space, so storage is a breeze.”

The convenience factor for this model is unmatched.

Pros
  • Portable and easy to use
  • 2-stage sharpening system
  • Limited lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Recommended for best results to use with Wusthof knives

7. LINKYO Electric

Best Value for Money

Type

Electric

Number of Stages

2

Angle Options

Auto positioning by machine

Abrasives

Diamond-coated

Warranty

Yes, 1 year

The most important thing to remember when shopping is that value is different than cost. The best value item may cost slightly more, but the performance is worth every penny. I chose the LINKYO Electric as the best value for money knife sharpener on the market. It performs amazingly well for the price.

The LINKYO Electric model comes with a 2-stage sharpening system similar to the models a have reviewed above. The first stage has a coarse diamond-coated sharpening blade for reshaping the angle of your fish fillet knife. The second stage will polish the edge so that it will remain sharp for longer. This device comes with suction cups to keep it grounded, just like product number one that I reviewed. It features waste receptacles that catch all of the metal shavings. 

One feature that I thought was really cool was the bins under the machine that catch the metal shavings. It's a unique feature that comes in handy. I wouldn't recommend taking this one out to sea with you, but it's great for home use.

One customer expressed, “I use a couple of professional knives which also sharpen up just fine. For the price, this is as good as you will find.”

Pros
  • Waste receptacles for metal shavings
  • Can sharpen two knives at once
  • Safety stop if too much pressure is applied
Cons
  • Not for use with serrated blades

8. Lanksy 4-Stone Deluxe Diamond System

Complete Fillet Knife Sharpening Tool Kit

Type

Manual

Number of Stages

4

Angle Options

4

Abrasives

Diamond-coated with 70, 120, 280, and 600 grit

Warranty

Yes, limited lifetime

If you are in the market for an old school manual sharpening set, then this is the only option on my list for you. The Lanksy 4-Stone System is the complete fillet knife sharpening tool kit. It comes with four different stones to ensure that you get a perfect edge every time. Since it is a manual system, you can pack it away in the carrying case and take it out to sea with you while fishing.

This Lanksy system comes with four different diamond coated stones. Each stone features a different grit, which allows you to hone your fillet knife perfectly. You can start with the most coarse grit and work your way down to the finest to polish the blade. It features a clamp so that you can place your knife into the clamp for safety while sharpening. The clamp will also keep the angle guides steady. It comes with a bottle of honing oil to ensure that your fillet knife remains sharp at all times.

Since this is the only complete kit that I reviewed, I was very impressed with the results. I was able to take it out on the boat with the carrying case. I will say, however, that the learning curve for using this system was higher than other products I reviewed. I recommend using the 17-degree angle for sharpening a fillet knife.

Most customers were impressed, with one noting,

“This is an almost foolproof system that is capable of producing a very sharp edge on a variety of different sized blades.”

Pros
  • Complete sharpening kit
  • 4 different grit options
  • Included oil and carrying case
Cons
  • Higher learning curve than other models

9. Chef’s Choice 15 Trizor XV

Best 3 Stage Fillet Knife Sharpener

Type

Electric

Number of Stages

3

Angle Options

1

Abrasives

Diamond-coated

Warranty

Yes, 3 years

Sometimes two stages of sharpening are just not enough. If you want to fine-tune your sharpening skills, then this model will be ideal for you. The Chef’s Choice 15 Trizor is the best 3 stage fillet knife sharpener available. It features two stages for sharpening and honing and one stage for advanced stropping and polishing.

This Chef’s Choice model, like other products in this buyer’s guide, is an electric model. I wouldn’t recommend carrying it with you while fishing, but sharpening your knives at home is a breeze. The sharpening edges are coated with diamond abrasives in different grits. The first stage is the most coarse and used for reshaping. The second stage is used to hone and fine-tune the blade. The last stage will polish the blade to maintain its edge. You can sharpen your fillet knife in under two minutes.

I liked that this sharpener was one of the only 3-stage models that I tried. I was impressed with the advanced stropping technology. When I removed my fillet knife from stage three, it looked almost brand new. I also liked that I could sharpen my serrated knives.

As Sean exclaimed, “The sharpener was able to work miracles with these knives. Not only was I able to remove the chips, but I was able to sharpen the blade to a razor-sharp edge.”

Pros
  • 3-stage system
  • Advanced stropping stage
  • Sharpen knives in under 2 minutes
Cons
  • Some users had issues with motor rattling

10. Work Sharp Guided Field

Easy to Use Non Electric Knife Sharpener

Type

Manual

Number of Stages

5

Angle Options

2

Abrasives

Diamond, ceramic, and leather strop

Warranty

Yes, 1 year

As avid anglers, we are often in the field. Sometimes we are offshore on a fishing excursion or out on our boats in the lake. We need a fillet knife sharpener that caters to field use. The Work Sharp Guided Field is the most easy to use non electric knife sharpener you can find. It is the complete compact sharpening tool for anglers.

This Work Sharp model is compact enough to fit into your fishing vest or tackle box. It comes with two different diamond-coated sharpening stones. One is for coarse sharpening, and the other is for fine. It comes with a ceramic rod for fine-tuning your fillet knife. For the last stage of sharpening, it features a leather strop to polish your knife edge. It comes with guided angle options of 20 and 25 degrees. The 20-degree option is ideal for fillet knives.

I thought that this model was perfect for fishing enthusiasts. I was able to drop it into my tackle box and use it on the boat. I liked the 5 stage system for sharpening my fillet knife. I thought it was straightforward to use and quite inexpensive. It is also made in the USA, so the quality is superb.

As Frank noted in his review, “This is without a doubt the best field sharpener I have ever used and for a very good price.”

Pros
  • 5-stage sharpening system
  • Compact enough to carry in your pocket
  • Two angle options
Cons
  • Not ideal for sharpening large kitchen knives

The 2 Types of Sharpeners

  • Manual
    These models are handheld and usually portable. They require the user to pull their knives through the sharpening edges manually. In the buyer’s guide above, products 3, 5, 6, 8, and 10 are all manual models. They work by using an angled abrasive edge to sharpen the blade. Some examples of manual models include sharpening rods and stones.
manual sharpener

image source: i.pinimg.com

  • Electric
    These products are best for home use. They work by activating motorized abrasive sharpening wheels to sharpen your knives. Most models include 2 or 3 stages to sharpen and hone your fillet knife. In the buyer's guide above, products 1, 2, 4, 7, and 9 are all electric models.
electric sharpener

image source: dvorsons.com


Care and Maintenance

Now that you’ve chosen the fillet knife sharpener that is best suited to your needs, you need to be able to maintain it over time. There are different methods for both electric and manual models. Follow the guidelines below to increase the life of your knife sharpener.

  • Manual
    To clean your honing rods and manual sharpeners, you should always read the instructions. You can use soap and water to clean ceramic surfaces, but make sure you avoid any harsh abrasive chemicals. Another great tip for cleaning is to use honing oil. This will increase the longevity of your manual sharpening stones. If you have a pull-through model, then you should use a soft brush to clean it. 
  • Electric
    These models should be cared for by using very little water. Since they are electronic and contain moving parts, do not throw them in the dishwasher or sink. I recommend using a damp cloth to clean the outside of the knife sharpener. To clean the sharpening edges inside, you can use a small soft-bristled brush.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to sharpen a fillet knife?

You should follow the instructions on your new fillet knife sharpener before use to determine the best way. If you are using a sharpening stone or rod, then hold the sharpener at the correct angle and swipe the knife along the edge away from your body.

What is the best angle to sharpen a fillet knife?

I recommend sharpening your fillet knife at about a 20-degree angle. This is the best angle for ensuring that your knife will maintain an edge. It is also a good middle ground so that your knife will be sharp, but not too thin.

Do you push or pull when sharpening a knife?

If using a manual sharpening stone or rod, then you will swipe the knife in a downward motion. If you are using a pull through manual sharpener, then you will always pull the knife gently.

How do you sharpen a serrated fillet knife?

I recommend using a small ceramic sharpening rod for sharpening each individual tooth of the serrated knife. Many of the electric models above will sharpen serrated blades with machine guided precision.

Can you sharpen fillet knives using a whetstone?

Yes. Sharpening with a whetstone is more time consuming and precise, but it is an excellent method for getting the perfect edge. If you are unfamiliar with sharpening, then I recommend using a guided device first. 

Can you sharpen a fillet knife well with the Lansky product on our list?

Yes. The Lanksy fillet knife sharpening kit is ideal for people who want a 5-stage system. It gives you the ultimate control over your blade’s edge. It also includes the 20-degree angle guide, which is ideal for fillet knives.

Can you sharpen a fillet knife with steel?

Yes. Most of the products on our list contain steel blades coated in a micro-abrasive material such as diamond or ceramic. Check the instructions that come with your fillet knife before sharpening with steel.

What is the best fillet knife sharpening tool for beginners?

Many of the electric knife sharpeners in the buyer’s guide above are great for beginners since they require minimal effort or knowledge of sharpening. The machine takes care of the work for you. I recommend the Presto model above for easy sharpening for beginners.

Are there any special fillet knife sharpening techniques that I should know about?

To sharpen a fillet knife, you should use minimal force so that you don’t damage the blade. You should always sharpen away from your body. Read the instructions on your sharpener before use since they are all different.


Conclusion

In this article, I have provided you with the top 10 best fillet knife sharpeners on the market. There are plenty of options to fit everyone’s needs and budgets. I have also outlined the best tips and tricks for maintaining your fillet knife and sharpeners.

I’m sure you are wondering what the final word is on the best sharpener in this roundup. In my opinion, the Presto 08800 EverSharp is the best choice. It includes unique sapphirite abrasives that will sharpen even the dullest of blades.