10 Best Electric Fillet Knives Review for October, 2021 to Ensure the Perfect Cut – with Buying Guide
There are two types of fishermen.
The first group fishes purely for sport, religiously releasing fish after catching them. The second group can’t imagine hauling in a beautiful trout, salmon or tuna without also turning it into a delicious dinner.
The review team isn’t here to pass moral judgment on the issue of catch-and-release; our job is to help our readers who fish, many of whom enjoy both the battle and the taste of their spoils. We’re also here for the many people who understand that the best, freshest fish you can buy are the ones sold whole, rather than packaged, “fresh” fish fillets or steaks stacked in a supermarket case.
Of course, you can’t go directly from point A (catching a fish or buying a whole one) to point B (eating it). Meticulously scaling, skinning, cleaning and gutting fish is one way to prepare a fish for the pan or oven. It’s also hard work that can ruin your appetite in a hurry.
The easier way to prepare most fish is to fillet them. For that, you need an outstanding fillet knife which can easily remove the meat from a fish’s skin.
There are also two types of cooks who fillet fish.
One group attacks the work traditionally with a manual fillet knife. Some of those traditionalists believe that using a standard-style fillet knife gives them the most control over their work, and allows them to choose the proper length of knife for the type of fish they’re filleting (for example, a four- or six-inch blade for perch, a nine-inch blade for salmon). Others simply feel that they’d endanger their “outdoorsman” cred if they didn’t use a “real” knife.
The second group uses an electric fillet knife instead. These appliances take a bit of time to master, but they make it easier to cut through scales and bones, they let you do the work with less mess and in less time, and they’re ideal for those who need to fillet a large number of fish at one time.
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Electric fillet knives aren’t limited to use in the kitchen, either. Today’s best fillet knives come with a number of power options like rechargeable battery packs and car adapters, so you can take them with you on fishing outings, camping trips – or into the backyard, when your significant other says “you’re not cleaning that fish in this house!”
The Groom+Style review team has tackled the subject, fishing around for the best options and reeling in the top ten electric fillet knives on the market.
If the puns haven’t led you to bail out so far, let’s slice into what we’ve found.
Best Electric Fillet Knives
1. American Angler PRO Electric Fillet Knife KitNo products found.
In the G+S electric fillet knife buying guide that follows these reviews, we discuss one of the primary drawbacks to an electric knife: it usually only has a single blade, so it’s not ideal for filleting multiple sizes of fish. The American Angler PRO is one of the few electric models which overcome that hurdle, by including a set of five interchangeable reciprocating blades perfect for filleting everything from a small perch to a huge tuna.
In truth, there are really just three blade sizes that come with the American Angler PRO: 5.5”, 8” and 10”, the right sizes for small-, medium- and large-sized fish, respectively. The other two blades are also 8” and 10” but they’re more heavy-duty, to be able to deal with tough, stubborn fish like catfish and bass (8”), and salmon and redfish (10”). All of the blades are made from high-quality stainless steel. There’s just one issue you might experience: it takes some time to get used to switching out the blades, so that may slow down your work flow if you’re staring at a full day’s catch.
This electric fillet knife is designed by fishermen, and you can tell. The heavy-duty motor supplies twice the torque as most competitors, and the knife has a custom-designed airflow and cooling system so it doesn’t overheat as quickly as other knives often do. (It is prone to getting quite hot over long filleting sessions, though.) The ergonomic handle makes it easy to wield the AA Pro for long periods of time
This American Angler is expensive and since it’s only able to be plugged into an AC outlet, it’s not a good choice for anglers who want to fillet their catch before bring it home. For everyone else, however, its versatility and design make it the best electric fillet knife you can buy.
Facts and figures for the American Angler PRO Electric Fillet Knife Kit:
2. Rapala Heavy Duty Fillet Knife
Rapala is probably the best-known name in the fishing knife industry, and their heavy-duty fillet knife is the perfect example why. Their blades are impeccably designed from razor-sharp stainless steel, and (if you want to play dueling specs with the American Angler) their motors are three times more powerful than the average electric fillet knife, allowing them to cut through large backbones on fish like salmon and walleyes with ease. This knife is the fastest-working model in our rankings, too, with twice the blade speed of most competitors.
The reason such a terrific knife falls to #2 in the Groom+Style rankings is that it comes with just one blade. The 7.5” reciprocating blade is best used for medium-sized fish, but it will work well with smaller ones and isn’t too bad if you’re wrestling with “the one that didn’t get away.” If you prefer a blade that’s more suitable to small or large fish, though, the blade that comes with this model is removable and can be switched out for other sizes of Rapala blades – but they have to be purchased separately.
This Rapala electric fillet knife also has to be plugged into a wall socket, so it’s not suitable for filleting your fish by a campfire. It’s the best single-blade model we’ve seen, though, and it’s less than half the price of the American Angler Pro.
More details for the Rapala Heavy Duty Fillet Knife:
3. Mister Twister Electric Fisherman Electric Knife
Here’s our budget electric fillet knife choice, coming in about half the price of the Rapala but able to handle most medium- and smaller-sized fish without much of an issue. The Mister Twister (G+S isn’t big on brand names that try too hard to be clever, but we like the knife anyway) has a 7.5” inch stainless steel blade, with good flexibility and pretty good power for its price level. It’s extremely lightweight, too.
We wouldn’t want to tackle a huge shark or salmon with this knife, because it doesn’t have enough power for a job like that. Keep your expectations reasonable and the Electric Fisherman will perform well for you. We liked the safety lock on this model, too. One other note: this knife can only be used with AC power, but the power cord is much too short to move around a kitchen. Be sure you have an outlet near your work area before buying the Mister Twister.
This manufacturer has an even better electric fillet knife available at a reasonable price, but it’s “too much knife” for most jobs. The Mister Twister Saltwater Piranha comes with a rugged 9” stainless steel blade designed for filleting large, tougher ocean fish, and while we’d still prefer the more expensive American Angler Pro with its 10” blades for that assignment, the Saltwater Piranha does a very good job for its price.
Mister Twister’s fillet knives perform quite well for their low price, and even though there’s a lot of plastic used in their construction they’ll hold up for the long term.
Looking closer at the Mister Twister Electric Fisherman Electric Knife:
4. Bubba Blade Cordless Electric Fillet Knife Set
This terrific electric fillet knife costs about as much as the first entry in our rankings, yet we haven’t placed it in the #4 spot because we’ve marked it down for some reason. We’re simply moving on from our first grouping of 110V plug-in knives, to review several portable models. And the Bubba cordless is the best of the best portable electric fillet knifes, when you’re going to be heading out on a fishing expedition.
Four interchangeable dual-rivet, stainless steel blades come in the Bubba Blade kit: 7” and 9” flexible blades for filleting, plus stiffer 9” and 12” blades which will cut through any fish you can possibly manage to land. They’re sharp, well-crafted and durable, and their only drawback is that the 7” blade may be a bit large for small fish. But the cherry on the top of this fish sundae (ick!) is that the knife is powered by rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, two of which are included in the kit. That means you can charge both batteries, head out for a weekend of fishing and camping, and have more than enough juice to power your electric fillet knife for sumptuous feasts each evening – since each charge will let you fillet approximately 100 medium-sized fish. The set also comes with a tough EVA plastic case.
You don’t have to “rough it” on your fishing trip if you take the Bubba Blade cordless fillet knife along, as its two rechargeable batteries will do an outstanding job filleting lots of fish far from civilization.
Specs for the Bubba Blade Cordless Electric Fillet Knife Set:
5. Berkley Electric Fillet Knife
Berkley is another well-known name in the industry, but most people have a love-it-or-hate-it relationship with the company’s electric fillet knife. Those who love it are partial to the ability of the knife’s serrated 8” blade to skin fish with virtually no damage, and its design that makes it very easy to handle. Others complain that the Berkley is prone to overheating relatively quickly, something we haven’t experienced but appears to be a relatively common occurrence.
Then why is it here on the Groom+Style rankings? The review team felt that one version of the Berkley, which can run on the 12 volt power available from a car battery, is the best model available for those who want to power their fillet knife from their car while on the beach or at their campsite. There’s also a standard AC-powered version of this knife, which G+S doesn’t recommend.
Assuming the Berkley fillet knife doesn’t give you difficulty, it fillets extremely well, provides excellent control with an ergonomically-designed handle, is priced very reasonably, and comes complete with a storage bag.
Some people (unlike G+S) have had overheating problems with the Berkley electric knife, but it does an excellent job filleting fish and is the best option that can run just by being plugged into your car.
Digging deeper on the Berkley Electric Fillet Knife:
6. Cuisinart CEK-40 Electric Knife
We’ve explained that we’re going by categories in these rankings, and the rest of our top ten products fall into the category of “not really an electric fillet knife.” As it turns out, not many companies make electric knives specifically designed for filleting fish; the five brands we’ve already reviewed are really the only ones offering dedicated electric fillet knives.
For that reason, we’ve reviewed five electric knives which can do double duty. They’ll do a pretty good job of filleting, but can also be used for carving or other common kitchen tasks. We wouldn’t recommend any of these choices if you plan on filleting lots of fish, but they’re worth looking at if you need a great electric knife that can occasionally be used to fillet as well.
The best of that bunch is the Cuisinart CEK-40. It’s a set that includes two high-quality stainless steel blades, one for cutting bread and the other – the one that’s more important for our purposes – for carving meat. The blade isn’t curved and doesn’t have a lot of flex, so you’ll find that it’s not optimal for cutting perfect fillets, but it can come pretty close for medium-sized fish and may be even better for large fish that require more brawn than finesse. (Don’t try to cut through bones with it, though.)
The CEK-40 features one-touch operation, an ergonomically designed handle and a safety lock, and comes with an attractive stand to store the handle and both blades. Cuisinart also makes a cordless version of the set, the CEK-50.
The Cuisinart CEK-40 is better for slicing meat and bread than it is for filleting fish, but it’s not bad for filleting and is a good all-around knife set to have in your kitchen.
What you need to know about the Cuisinart CEK-40 Electric Knife:
7. Black+Decker EK 700 Slice Right Electric Knife
Here’s another versatile multi-purpose electric knife that we wouldn’t make our first choice for filleting a lot of fish, but can certainly do the job on that trout that your kid miraculously caught with his friends and insists it be cooked for dinner. The EK 700 is an affordable appliance with not one, but two offset nine-inch stainless steel blades mounted side-by-side. The front 7½” of the blade surfaces are serrated.
This Black+Decker is terrific for slicing meats, bread and much more, even upholstery foam What will it do on fish? It will cut great steaks, and will do more-than-passable work removing the meat from the skin, if you’re careful. Again, the electric knives in this category are best purchased for a variety of culinary chores, including filleting the occasional fish. The comfortable handle is ergonomically-designed with a safety lock mechanism. The blades are easily removed for cleaning.
The monster blades on the EK 700 aren’t ideal for filleting fish, but they’re great for carving and cutting, and more than adequate for filleting every once in a while.
Digging deeper into the Black+Decker EK 700 Slice Right Electric Knife:
8. Hamilton Beach 74250R Electric Knife
Those who want a multi-purpose electric kitchen knife but find the Black+Decker to be too much knife for their taste may want to consider the Hamilton Beach 74250R instead. It has dual 7½” serrated stainless steel blades, which the review team thinks would be more easily wielded to fillet medium-sized fish than the B+D model.
As you know by now, though, the knives in this section of our reviews are primarily designed to handle a variety of tasks in the kitchen, and this baby is perfect for carving turkey and ham, slicing bread right out of the oven, or serving up cold cuts. The 74250R comes packaged with a 12” stainless steel serving fork and a storage case.
Hamilton Beach kitchen appliances have been around so long because they get the job done at a very reasonable price. This electric knife, while not the best for regular filleting, can take care of that task when needed while being a stalwart for carving meat or other foods.
A closer look at the Hamilton Beach 74250R Electric Knife:
9. Oster FPSTEK2803B Electric Knife
This multi-purpose kitchen knife has just one 8” cutting blade but is otherwise quite similar to the Hamilton Beach, just a little less reliable and a little more expensive. You’ll get the best use out of the Oster when it comes to carving everything from meat to foam blocks, but with a bit of care you can also use it to fillet a medium-sized fish every so often, too.
This knife is ergonomically-designed so it’s easy to handle and operate (the on/off button is easier to reach than on some competitors), and like the Hamilton Beach model it comes with a stainless steel serving fork and a storage case. One positive note: it’s the lightest knife the G+S team has reviewed in this category.
Oster’s electric knife isn’t anything that will revolutionize the kitchen appliance industry, but it works pretty well for filleting and is quite good for carving and cutting.
Checking the details for the Oster FPSTEK2803B Electric Knife:
10. Nutrichef Electric Carving Slicer Kitchen Knife
The Groom+Style team is unanimous in our verdict on this knife: don’t buy it just for filleting. It’s a versatile electric knife with two stainless steel blades, one designed for slicing bread, cheese and cake, and the other designed for carving any type of meat just about perfectly. Its price, higher than the last couple of entries on our list, vouches for the fact that it can replace both manual carving and bread knives quite well.
If you want to use it to fillet a fish, the carving knife will definitely be sufficient as long as you don’t mind there’s a good chance you’ll leave some meat on the skin because the blade isn’t very flexible. Even so, for occasional filleting the Nutrichef can do the job fairly well. The knife comes with a round wooden butcher block (used for carving) included.
This is quite a good kitchen carving/slicing set, albeit at a higher price point than the last few entries in our reviews, and it’s not bad for filleting from time to time.
Digging deeper on the Nutrichef Electric Carving Slicer Kitchen Knife:
Best Electric Fillet Knife Buying Guide
If you’ve ever known a chef (or seen one discussing their craft on television), you know that they’re very particular about their knives. Most good chefs even bring their own knives to work because they’re comfortable with their handle, weight, balance, sharpness and material.
A fillet knife is used for a specific purpose, of course: separating the meat of a fish from the skin. But the particulars of its design and construction are no less important than those of a chef’s knife, Santoku knife, paring knife or boning knife. (Incidentally, some chefs use a boning knife for filleting if a fillet knife isn’t available, although the more-flexible blade on a fillet knife is more suitable for the task.) An electric knife will have a different feel than a manual one, but the blade’s material, length, weight and sharpness matter just as much when it comes to perfectly preparing a fish fillet.
The choice between a manual and electric fillet knife is the most important decision you’ll have to make. Here’s a quick guide to help you choose.
That should give you a good idea of which type of fillet knife will work best for your needs. Assuming you’re still ready to go for an electric model, here are some of the criteria to help you choose the right one.
Electric Fillet Knives: The Blade
There are three key considerations when looking at blades on electric fillet knives.
First, the blade should be made of high-quality stainless steel, which is considered the gold standard for fillet knives. Carbon steel rusts too easily, while titanium loses its edge quickly. How do you determine if stainless steel is “high quality?” Most manufacturers don’t give you details about the steel they use, which is why a good default position is to buy your knife from a company known for producing quality products.
The blade should also be as flexible as possible, since it has to be able to “mold itself” to the natural shape of the fish you’re cutting. Generally speaking, thicker blades will have less flex but their strength may be important for cutting larger, tougher fish. Thinner blades are ideal for cutting smaller fish where you’ll be cutting at sharper angles and don’t need as much blade strength.
We’ve touched briefly on the third criterion, the length of the blade. Manual fillet knives are commonly found in lengths between four and nine inches; the shorter blades are best for small fish like perch and the longest ones are the right size for trophy fish like salmon and tuna. A blade between 7-8 inches is a good compromise for a single-blade electric fillet knife; as mentioned above, a few models will come with several interchangeable blades of different sizes – great for those who work with many different sizes of fish.
Electric Fillet Knives: Motor and Power
Power doesn’t always matter when buying kitchen appliances. If you’re trying to power through a tarpon or tuna, though, you’ll appreciate all of the power you can get out of your electric knife. Not all manufacturers supply the specs of the motor in their fillet knives, but they’re a great spec to look for if you plan on filleting large, tough fish.
We’ve mentioned several times that there is a wide choice of power sources for electric fillet knives. Those who will be using the appliance in a kitchen can choose whichever power source they prefer (although the length of a charge and recharging times on a portable model will matter). Those who plan on taking their fillet knife outdoors should look for an option that comes with a car adapter or several rechargeable batteries. There are even a few electric fillet knives which can hook up to the terminals of a car battery.
Electric Fillet Knives: Other Considerations
Other than interchangeable blades, the best extras you’ll find included with an electric fillet knife are a sharpening stone and a sheath or case. The sharpening stone will provide a solution to the problem all knife users eventually run into: “How do I sharpen this thing?” The case or sheath is an important safety accessory if you plan to take your knife out on a camping or fishing trip.
While on the subject of safety, a safety lock is a feature which all manufacturers should include, but some don’t. Like all knives, a fillet knife works best when it’s extremely sharp, and that’s an invitation for trouble if you don’t take every possible precaution.
Finally, an electric knife is always going to be more difficult to clean than a manual one which only has a handle and blade. A good electric fillet knife will have a blade that can be removed for cleaning, and very few cracks and crevices where small pieces of fish can hide, grow old and smell up your kitchen.
Frequently Asked Questions About Electric Fillet Knives
Q: Can you use an electric carving knife to fillet fish?
Q: How difficult is it to sharpen the blade on an electric fillet knife?
Q: What is the difference between a fillet knife and a boning knife?
Q: Do you need a boning knife as well, when preparing a fish?