In a hurry? In my opinion, the best corded electric fillet knife is the American Angler Pro Electric Fillet Knife and the best cordless electric fillet knife is the Bubba Li-Ion Cordless Electric Fillet Knife.
Find yourself preparing quite a lot of fish? That’s an excellent problem to have... when are you inviting me over?
But seriously, when you find yourself filleting quite a bit of fish you're going to look to speed up the process. In this post, I’ll look at the best electric fillet knife for fish (and other meats, as it turns out).
Let’s cut to the chase.
An electric fillet knife is an amazing tool which – as you can guess – makes very quick work of filleting. It also has other culinary uses.
Electric fillet knives are great for slicing through a wide variety of meats, both from the sea and the land. The oscillating blade makes quick work of partially defrosted meat, leaving you with perfect slices to pan fry, sear, or bake.
But back to fish.
For most people, a manual fillet knife will be fine for filleting fish. Depending on the size of fish you’re most often preparing, we have a couple of guides that can help you out:
Really, if you only prepare fish even a few times a week picking a knife from either post is a good option. (For larger fish read the saltwater fish fillet knife roundup).
Next, let's discuss whether you even need an electric fillet knife.
If you prepare fish often – more than once a week – an electric fillet knife is an awesome addition to your kitchen. Additionally, if you often roast meat you’ll find an electric fillet knife very handy.
That said, an electric fillet knife isn't the only electric knife to consider. I also have a roundup of electric knives if you want a broader view of the ecosystem.
Honestly though, an electric fillet knife it’s a good tool to have for a variety of tasks (read: not just for fish). Let’s look at some of the feature differences between models so you can see what to look for and better decide if you need an electric fillet knife.
Once you start using an electric knife, your safety should be your top concern. (Even more-so than with other knives).
Remember: an electric fillet knife is literally made to cut meat.
Look for a blade lock, a well placed on/off switch, and a grippy handle with a good finger-guard to ensure your safety. The switch and blade lock combination help prevent the knife from turning on accidentally and keep your fingers safe.
Look at how the blades of your knife attach:
On the second point, electric fillet knives usually have interchangeable slicing blades, perhaps serrated vs. straight edged. They usually come in varying length too, maybe 7” - 9” long.
We’ve added a mixture of corded and cordless electric fillet knives below.
Corded electric fillet knives require you to plug them into the wall, either directly or using an adapter. While these knives tend to have more power (and will work as long as power stays on), they don’t offer the flexibility you can get with a cordless.
Cordless electric fillet knives only require wall power when charging. These are great for portability to places you don’t have 120V power or where it’s inconvenient to run a cord. Of course, then you have to deal with batteries – and even as a battery drains the blade can slow down and affect your cuts.
I can’t stress enough that with an electric fillet knife (well, with any knife) you need to optimize for safety. Look for an ergonomic, non-slip grip which will help you stay safe even when conditions are slippery. I also look for a substantial finger guard to block your fingers from the blade.
Both cordless and corded electric fillet knives generally house some or all of the motor inside the handle. This does cause vibration under your hand, which is something to keep in mind if you’re coming from a manual fillet knife.
All knives have a tendency to make a mess, and electric knives even more-so.
You want a knife that has easily detachable blades. While I don’t suggest washing knives in a dishwasher because it dulls them quicker, some detachable blades are dishwasher safe. After a large meal you might be in no mood to hand clean a blade so this is a useful feature.
Rapala’s Heavy Duty Electric Fillet Knife is a reasonably-priced heavy duty knife. It features a grey and black body with a nice grip, which means it should stay in your hand even while slippery. It has a reasonably deep finger-guard for your index finger
It is a corded model, which requires you to be a reasonable distance from wall power. This makes it harder to use in places like a dock, boat, or backyard. However, it provides powerful cutting as long as you need.
It comes with a serrated, 7.5” blade which is a good general purpose size for many meats and fish. It has a shallow trailing tip point, where the blade curves up in back. Replacement blades are plentiful.
For a corded electric fillet knife with plenty of power, the Rapala is an excellent choice.
The second Rapala on our list, the Rapala Lithium Ion Cordless Fillet Knife is a popular choice. Like its corded cousin we reviewed above, the Rapala has a grey and black non-slip grip which helps keep it in your hand under slippery, vibrating conditions. There is a short finger guard for your index finger, but I would prefer a larger one to make it harder to slip.
The Rapala comes with two serrated blades: both 6” and 7.5”. Both blades feature a trailing tip, where the blade curves up in back to come to a point. On a fillet knife, this helps with your initial cut - although with an electric fillet knife it isn’t as important a feature.
The big selling point of the Rapala is that it’s cordless. It comes with a lithium ion battery which users report lasts a very long time. You can also buy replacement batteries and keep them charged if you are taking it somewhere without power such as on a boat or dock.
The Rapala is an excellent and versatile knife. Although not as powerful as a corded electric fillet knife, it’s a convenient tool that will serve you well with many fish and even other foods.
The American Angler Pro Electric Fillet Knife is a perennial favorite. It features a yellow and black handle with a non-slip grip and medium sized finger-guard. I’d prefer a bit longer guard for safety, but users found it safe.
The switch on the American Angler is in a very convenient trigger position under your index finger. This is a good place for the on/off trigger, although some users reported it could stick.
Out of the box the American Angler Pro knife includes an 8”, serrated, trailing tip knife. This type of knife curves up in the back to a sharp point.
For a corded electric fillet knife, the American Angler Pro 8” is my favorite. If you’re looking for a corded electric fillet knife definitely keep this one in mind.
The American Angler has a great ecosystem of replacement blades. Here are the fillet blade sizes American Angler suggests for different fish.
Bubba is one of my favorite brands of fillet knives, and I really like their cordless Electric Fillet Knife. Like their manual knives, the Bubba comes with a bright red ergonomic handle and a nice looped finger guard. This is as safe as you can get with an index finger guard.
Unlike other electric fillet knives, the Bubba comes with 4 blades right out of the box. It has 7” and 9” flexible blades as well as stiffer 9” and 12” blades. It also contains a second battery, so you get two out of the box.
The blades are easy to remove and clean, and cut well out of the box. I like that it includes both flexible blades (better for smaller fish and certain cuts) as well as stiffer blades. Stiffer blades are better to cut even non-fish meats such as ham and brisket.
If you’re looking for a cordless, the Bubba Li-Ion Cordless Electric Fillet knife is my top choice.
The Mister Twister 120V Electric Knife is a very popular, corded electric knife. Mister Twister dubs it the “Electric Fisherman”.
It has a green and yellow grip and an on/off trigger under your finger. There is a slight finger-guard, but it isn’t as grippy as other electric fillet knife grips. It’s still a safe knife, but I would prefer if it had a more substantial grip and finger guard.
Mister Twister is a strong electric knife brand because these knives tend to last for a very long time (and people will buy another decades later). It comes with a 7” blade but you can also buy a 9” blade. The blades are serrated and straight and do not have a trailing point tip.
The most important differentiator is whether you want a cordless or a corded fillet knife. Pick corded for maximum power near a wall outlet. Pick cordless for maximum portability for places such as a boat, dock, or backyard.
My pick for the best corded electric fillet knife is the American Angler PRO Electric Fillet Knife. It’s a great option, extremely powerful and sharp, and has well designed blades for all types and sizes of fish.
For the best cordless electric fillet knife, my pick is the Bubba Li-Ion Cordless Electric Fillet Knife. Although a bit more expensive, it has an extra battery and 4 blades in the box. It's very good value for a cordless electric fillet knife.