11 Best Japanese Fillet Knife

When it comes to filleting, you need a knife that will allow you to slice through the fish with absolute precision. That way, you’ll be able to cut out a large chunk of fillet without damaging the fish.

However, you should keep in mind that not all knives can fillet fish, so ensure that you go for the right knife before you start processing the fish.

To simplify your work, this article provides you with a list of knives that will greatly boost your performance when filleting fish.

The Japanese fillet knives that we have hand-picked for you are professionally crafted for performance, so you can rest easy knowing that they will help you get the job done while applying minimal effort.

11 Best Japanese Fillet Knives

Our Top Pick: Shun DM-0743 Classic Knife

Shun DM-0743 Classic Boning 6-inch High-Performance, Double-Bevel...
  • Damascus-clad blade offers close, easy cutting; narrow blade reduces drag to perform boning and filleting tasks quickly; features authentic, high-performance VG-MAX steel to boost edge retention
  • Easily fillet fish using razor-sharp blade; smoothly glide knife through body of fish to quickly remove bones and skin; 6-inch length moves easily through cut and expertly maximizes performance

The Shun DM-0743 features a high-performance 6″ blade that will provide you with clean cuts when slicing through fish.

Furthermore, the blade is made of VG-MAX steel, which offers good edge retention and decent corrosion resistance.

We chose the DM-0743 as our top pick because it has amazing features that will completely change how you process fish. It is efficient, reliable, versatile, and tough.

Plus, the curved edge is designed in such a way that users can maneuver it without experiencing drag.

And because the knife can be honed to a razor-sharp edge, you’ll be able to make clean cuts while applying the least amount of pressure to the handle.

With this knife, the fish won’t go to waste since it cuts close to the bone. What’s more, it has a thick spine, so the blade won’t bend during usage. Instead, it glides smoothly, thus boosting your overall performance.

In terms of durability, the blade is reinforced with up to 34 protective layers of Damascus stainless steel on either side, so it won’t stain provided that you give it proper care.

The handle, on the other hand, is made of high-quality Pakkawood and is also contoured to give users a firm grip.

Also, it reduces fatigue, so you will be able to work for long periods of time without experiencing any discomfort.

To make it even better, the Shun DM-0743 comes at a favorable price, making it an ideal knife for all users.

Pros

  • Expertly crafted
  • Quality blade
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • No storage box

Best Value: Mercer Culinary M24106 Fillet Knife

Mercer Culinary Asian Collection Deba Knife, 6-inch
  • Razor sharp, high-carbon, stain-resistant German steel resists rust, corrosion, and discoloration
  • Single-edge blade is taper ground with a fine stone finish

Deba knives perform exceptionally when it comes to filleting fish, and the M24106 is no different.

It comes with a high-carbon German steel blade that offers good corrosion resistance, meaning it won’t discolor over time. Nonetheless, this will only apply if the knife is used correctly.

And like the Shun DM-0743, it is fitted with a 6″ blade that is professionally designed with your cutting needs in mind.

The single-edge blade is professionally ground and will allow you to slice fish with the utmost precision. To add to this, the stainless steel blade is exceptionally thick, so don’t expect it to break.

This fish fillet knife has a durable wooden handle that is smoothly textured to increase user comfort. Moreover, the handle and the blade complement each other, thus providing you with an efficient and fully functional knife.

Despite its size, this knife is not as heavy, so it won’t weigh you down when you are working. Thanks to its user-friendly design, it can assist beginners and professional chefs alike.

If you are after quality, this may just be the right tool for you. Besides, it has all the features that you may look for, thus making it an ideal fillet knife.

More to this, its current price is not as high. In fact, this is one of the cheapest knives on the list that you can consider adding to your kitchen counter.

Pros

  • Excellent craftsmanship
  • Well designed
  • Rust resistant

Cons

  • Not ambidextrous

Best Deba Knife: Kai-6715D Wasabi Fillet Knife

Kai Wasabi Black Deba Knife, 6-Inch
  • 6" Japanese Deba knife for ultra-thin slices that require a delicate touch; slices can be thin without destroying delicate membranes
  • Blade constructed of daido 1k6 high-carbon, stainless steel; bead-blasted to an attractive finished

The Kai-6715D is also another excellent choice that is worth buying. Based on our research and the products that we have covered on this review list, it is one of the best fish filleting knives that is currently available in the market.

And the fact that it comes from a reputable brand makes it even more reliable. Like most Deba knives, it features a six-inch stainless steel blade that is designed for performance.

In addition to this, the knife offers amazing cutting edge sharpness, allowing for smooth and effortless slicing.

Plus, it holds its edge well, so you won’t have to hone the blade every now and then. Not just that, it is easy to sharpen and will greatly reduce your downtime.

But, that is not all; the blade cuts with absolute precision, meaning it won’t damage the fish.

The Kai-6715D is somewhat similar to the M24106 in that both models have a single-bevel blade design and also feature a traditional Japanese style appearance.

Aside from that, the blade is bead-blasted for aesthetic purposes and is also grazed to maximize corrosion resistance.

The wooden handle is not only durable but also feels good in the hand. Additionally, the sharp blade will allow you to make fine slices with each pass that you make.

Pros

  • Designed to last
  • Resistant to wear
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • The blade degrades after repeated use

Best Full Tang: Dalstrong Fillet Knife

DALSTRONG Fillet Knife - 6" - Shogun Series - Damascus - Japanese...
  • A Dalstrong culinary revolution combining outstanding and award-winning craftsmanship, cutting-edge breakthrough technology, awe-inspiring design, and the absolute best materials available. Peak performance never looked so good at this price.
  • Unrivaled Performance: Ruthlessly sharp scalpel like edge is hand finished within a staggering 8-12°degree angle per side. Nitrogen cooled for enhanced harness, flexibility and corrosion resistance. Full tang for superb robustness and triple riveted for even more resilience.The narrow blade curves up towards the tip to easily work around bone, joints and in-between skin with minimal drag.

Featuring a double-bevel 6″ blade, this knife is specially engineered for precision, so you can rest assured that it will deliver clean cuts when filleting fish.

The core of the blade is made up of Japanese AUS-10V steel to increase toughness. However, the surface features an exquisite Damascus pattern that is both stylish and beautiful.

More to this, it is tempered, so the cutting edge won’t chip. It is impervious to moisture, heat, and cold. Want to hear more? The blade has non-stick properties, so it will glide with no drag as you cut the fish.

Because it offers excellent wear resistance, the knife will stay sharp even after repeated use. To add to its durability, the cladding safeguards the surface of the blade against rust and other destructive elements that may cause corrosion.

It has a full tang design, thus providing you with optimum balance when cutting. The handle is tri-riveted to enhance strength. It is also textured for non-slip performance.

Despite having all these features, it is fairly affordable compared to most knives in its price range.

Pros

  • Flexible design
  • Ideal for professional use
  • Comes ultra-sharp

Cons

  • The handle is somewhat heavy

Best Single-Piece: Global G-7 Oriental Deba Knife

Global G-7-7 inch, 18cm Oriental Deba Knife
  • Precisely balanced, with 7-inch blade for fish butchering and hard vegetables
  • Blade made of high-tech molybdenum/vanadium stainless steel

Unlike most knives that have their blades attached to the handle, the G-7 is designed in a way that the handle and the blade are undivided.

Since both parts are made from a single piece of steel, you won’t have to worry about it coming loose when you are cutting fish.

The knife offers great edge retention and is also resistant to rust and other corrosive elements.

To make it even more durable, the molybdenum vanadium steel used in the construction is of good quality, so you can rest assured that it will provide you with long-lasting service.

The 7″ blade is conveniently beveled to increase the surface area of the cutting edge. This feature also allows the blade to glide through the fish without experiencing any resistance.

As a result, you’ll be able to cut through the fish with precision. Also, the blade is very easy to clean, so you won’t have a hard time rinsing off the fishy smell.

The stainless steel handle is just as tough as the blade, so it won’t give in to pressure even when cutting through bone. And since the grip area is dimpled, your fingers will not slip, thus giving you full control over the blade.

To add to its list of features, the knife is easy to sharpen, so you can hone it according to your requirements.

Furthermore, the blade will stay sharp for an extended period of time, but this may vary depending on the frequency of use. On the downside, the G-7 is a bit heavy compared to most knives in its class.

Pros

  • Quality construction
  • Rust-resistant molybdenum steel construction
  • Easy to work with

Cons

  • Has a high price range compared to most knives on the list

Best Mid-Range: Kai AK-1103 Seki Magoroku Kinju ST Japanese Deba Knife

kai Seki Magoroku Kinju ST Japanese Deba Knife 180mm (AK-1103)
  • Material: blade body / molybdenum vanadium stainless steel cutlery, cap / nylon (heat-resistant temperature 90 degrees), handle / laminated wood strengthening
  • Country of origin: Japan

Coming from a brand that is well known when it comes to making high-performance knives, the Kai AK-1103 is both tough and efficient.

The blade is just over 7″ long which is good for filleting fish. Like the knife just before it, the AK-1103 is made of molybdenum-vanadium stainless steel to ensure that you get a high-quality blade that you can rely on.

And like all the knives that we have covered in our review list, its razor-sharp edge will allow you to slice through fish with absolute precision.

With the help of this fish fillet knife, you can easily process fish without using an additional cutting tool, so it can be an excellent addition to most high-end professional kitchens.

Besides, the beveled edge provides users with maximum cutting power, meaning you can effortlessly slice off a large chunk of fillet with a single pass.

Thanks to its stainless steel construction, you won’t have to worry about rust when using this knife. Still, ensure that you take good care of the blade during and after use since this will prolong its durability.

The handle is made of premium quality nylon and is also heat-treated to prevent breakage. As if that is not enough, it is also laminated with wood to increase strength.

To top it all up, the knife is weighted to maximize performance, but it is not too heavy.

Pros

  • Ergonomic handle
  • Reasonable price
  • Sharp cutting edge

Cons

  • Single-bevel design

Best for filleting large Fish: Mercer M24012 Sashimi Knife

Mercer Culinary-M24012 Asian Collection Yanagi Sashimi Knife,...
  • Razor sharp, high-carbon, stain-resistant German steel resists rust, corrosion, and discoloration
  • Single-edge blade is taper ground with a fine stone finish

If you are in search of a knife that can help you fillet large fish such as tuna and salmon, the Mercer M24012 is the way to go.

The blade is up to two times longer compared to most of the Deba knives that we have listed in our reviews.

It just as durable as the M24106 because both blades are made of high-carbon steel. The taper-ground blade delivers clean cuts, making this one of the high-quality fish filleting knives that you can use in your kitchen.

Plus, the knife comes with a wooden handle that is ergonomically designed with your comfort in mind, while the sharp blade is finely ground to boost the knife’s overall performance.

The blade has good edge retention and is also resistant to corrosion. As such, you can keep rust at bay by simply keeping the blade dry after each use.

Its current price is quite favorable, thus making it a suitable option for users who on a tight budget.

The materials from which this knife is made are of superior quality, so you can buy it having full assurance that it will deliver top-class results.

In addition to this, it is designed with a beveled edge, so it may not suit those who are looking for knives with concave edges.

Pros

  • Maintains a sharp edge
  • Conveniently designed
  • The handle offers a solid grip

Cons

  • No sleeve

Best High-End: Masahiro 4446ai MV Gyutou

Masahiro MV Gyutou Knife 8.2-inch(210mm)
  • Gyuto Knife
  • length of a blade Size: 210mm(8.27''),Thickness:3mm

The Masahiro 4446ai is not the most expensive knife on the list but is one of the high-end options that you can add to your kitchen cutleries.

Made of MBS-26 stainless steel, the blade offers exceptional corrosion resistance and can also be honed to a sharp cutting edge that you can depend on when filleting fish.

To add to this, it is 8.27” long and is approximately 0.12” thick, so it will enable you to make fine slices without damaging the flesh.

And because the beveled edge is heat tempered, it won’t bend during usage, and neither will it break. Plus, it is mercilessly sharp and is, therefore, able to slice through the fish like butter.

When it comes to the handle, it is riveted at two points to increase stability. The rear end is beefed, so your fingers won’t slip backward when holding the handle.

Another feature that we liked about this knife is its lightweight design. With that being said, you can maneuver the blade effortlessly without straining your hand.

Pros

  • Rust-proof
  • High-grade stainless steel material
  • Sturdy construction

Cons

  • Not the cheapest

Best Entry-Level: Yoshihiro Hongasumi Blue Steel Yanagi

Yoshihiro Hongasumi Blue Steel Yanagi Sushi Sashimi Japanese...
  • KNIFE CAN BE OXIDIZED WITHOUT PROPER CARE* RECOMMEND FOR PROFESSIONAL ONLY*
  • Forged from Japanese Blue High Carbon Steel #2 with HRC 63-64. Will become extremely sharp with whetstone sharpening.

The high-performance filleting knife from Yoshihiro has a reliable 10.5″ high-carbon blue steel blade that will allow you to slice through fish like a pro.

If you want to make thin fillet slices, this beveled knife may just be the right kitchen tool for you. In terms of toughness, the blade has a rating of 63-64 on the HRC and is also finely ground to give you an efficient filleting edge.

Besides, you can easily hone the blade using regular whetstones. More on the blade, it is uniquely shaped in such a way that it can move smoothly through the fish without any resistance.

The part that comes into contact with fish is ground flat to ensure that users get consistent cuts every time.

This tool comes pre-honed, so you can put it to use immediately. You can use it multiple times without it losing its sharpness.

When choosing a knife for filleting applications, the handle is one of the things that you should consider since it determines the types of cuts that you will get.

And that is exactly why Yoshihiro has designed this knife with a well-made handle that will provide you with a reliable grip. The wood from which it is made is extremely tough, so it won’t crack under pressure.

Moreover, it is double bolstered to increase strength and performance. Included in the package, is a strong wooden sheath that will keep the blade safe during storage.

The blade fits flash in the sheath, but it is still easy to pull out, so it won’t waste your time when you want to work.

Pros

  • Elegant design
  • Reasonable price
  • High-quality knife

Cons

  • Prone to corrosion

Best Double-Bevel: Shun SWT0743 Kanso

Shun Kanso 6.5-Inch Boning/Fillet Knife; Stainless Steel Blade...
  • Hand-sharpened stainless steel blade is curved to make it easy to cut around bones or ligaments; its compact 6.5-inch blade is ideal for culinary projects requiring precision and skill
  • Whether removing bones from meat, trimming silverskin from a roast, making your own cutlets or filleting fish, the Kanso Boning/Fillet Knife is a versatile companion

If you are looking for a double-bevel filleting knife, the Shun SWT0743 may just end your search.

The 6.5″ blade is conveniently curved for performance and will allow you to make the finest slices from the fish.

Additionally, the blade is made of AUS-10 Hi-carbon vanadium stainless steel to maximize wear resistance. It is equally resistant to corrosion, so the blade will stay rust-free as long as it is kept clean and dry.

This knife has the same design as the Shun DM-0743, but the only difference is that this model has a full tang design. It features a dual rivet system that will ensure the blade stays in place at all times.

By using the Shun SWT0743, you will be able to make precision cuts when filleting or boning. It will deliver good results in both scenarios, so all you have to do is place the blade at the most appropriate cutting angle.

The fact that it has a low-profile design makes it even more reliable because it allows the user to cut both small and medium-size fish with ease.

Due to its versatile design, it can come in handy when tackling a wide range of culinary tasks in your kitchen. Plus, its stainless steel construction adds to its durability.

To sum it all up, the end of the handle features a convenient hanging hole that can assist you during storage.

Pros

  • Excellent cutting performance
  • Comfortable handle
  • Heavy-duty design

Cons

  • No sheath

Most Elegant: Sunlong SL-DK1313B

Sunlong Fillet Knife 10 Inch Sashimi Fish Fillet Knife Japanese...
  • This knife has a unique & beautiful Tsuchime (“Hammered pattern”) textured Damascus blade. They feature a hand sharpened and hand honed VG-10 stainless steel blade core that is clad on both sides by a 33-layer Damascus stainless steel (50/50 symmetrically ground double beveled edge).
  • The use of Japan 67 layer VG-10 HIGH CARBON CONTENT steel core Damascus steel made of high quality Chef's special cutting knife, HRC (hardness) 58-60, It is suitable for slicing raw fish and seafood into sashimi size. Featuring a long, narrow blade that ensures paper-thin slices of meat and fish.

Thanks to its elegant design, the 10-inch Sashimi fish fillet knife by Sunlong can be a great addition to all modern-day kitchens.

Forged from VG-10 S.S, the blade is not only tough but also dependable. To make it even more unique, it is hand-honed to increase the cutting performance.

Plus, the multi-layered Damascus blade is textured, thus giving it a beautiful finish that is pleasing to look at. However, the opposite side features a superb hammered pattern.

The patterns not only increase the blade’s aesthetic value but also reduce drag when cutting through fish.

Consequently, you will have an easier time when filleting. The effort that is applied will also be minimal since there will be no resistance as the blade glides through the flesh.

That way, the fillet won’t get damaged as you slice the fish. This makes it an ideal option for professionals. Nonetheless, it can as well be used by armature chefs since it is easy to work with.

The grip area has an ergonomic design to prevent slippage. As such, the handle won’t turn when maneuvering the blade.

Nevertheless, its current price is somewhat high, but that should not worry you since it will provide you with an exceptional service that is worth what you will pay.

Pros

  • Comes with a flannel bag and wooden sheath
  • Super sharp
  • Non-slip design

Cons

  • The blade is not ambidextrous

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best Japanese knife for filleting fish?

The above-listed Japanese knives are highly reliable and will get you started on your search for the best fillet knife.

What size of fillet knife should I buy?

This may vary depending on the size of the fish that you are cutting. When dealing with large fishes like tuna and salmon, you should use a knife with a blade that is not less than 9 inches long, while medium-sized species like bluegills and crappie may require 6-7 inch knives.

Is a boning knife the same as a filleting knife?

Not really. However, most fillet knives can work as boning knives and vice versa.

How do I choose a fillet knife?

The first thing that you should consider when choosing a fillet knife is the size and design of the blade since this will determine the knife’s overall performance.

A good fillet knife should also have an ergonomic handle for your comfort.

Can you use any knife to fillet fish?

When filleting fish, you should use a knife that is suited for the task to avoid damaging the fish. That said, not all knives can fillet fish.

Final Verdict

The Japanese fillet knives that we have reviewed above will allow you to slice through fish with the utmost precision.

Each knife is made of superior quality materials that will provide you with an exceptional cutting performance.

To add to this, we have only gone for knives from famous knife manufacturers, so feel free to pick any of the products on our review list.

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