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Best Fishing Knives Reviewed and Tested

last updated Mar 21, 2019

There are a variety of reasons that people enjoy fishing. Some enjoy it because of the relaxing atmosphere it provides. Others enjoy being surrounded by nature and taking in the tranquility of it all. Some others like to perform some hunting in a low-stress environment. And then there are some who enjoy going out to catch as many fish as possible so they can fill their freezer and enjoy fish for many moons. In order to do this, though, one of the most important tools you will need is having a top-notch fishing knife.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 15 hrs of research

icon
TAC Force TF-705 Series
98.5/100 our score
Use
99
Materials
99
Features
97
Comfort
99
TAC Force TF-705 Series
Why is it better?

Made from a Stainless Steel Material

Very inexpensive in comparison to other fishing knives in the market

Has a blade which is ½ serrated and ½ teeth

Easy to open

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
TAC Force TF-705 Series
Test Winner: TAC Force TF-705 Series
Researched Sources
14
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1,894
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
15
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
17
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
By Sami Kritz:

This list of top-rated fishing knives brings you the best knives for your kitchen, boat, and dock. Filleting a fish will be easier than ever before. In this update, we have added in an FAQ section and organized the criteria section. We have also added in a rating system in which you can choose which criterion is the most important to you and rearrange the list in that order.

Sorting Options
Use Materials Features Comfort By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.5
Use
99%
Materials
99%
Features
97%
Comfort
99%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.05.19)
$7.73
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.3
Use
98%
Materials
99%
Features
98%
Comfort
98%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.05.19)
$19.79
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.3
Use
97%
Materials
98%
Features
97%
Comfort
97%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.05.19)
$22.90
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.3
Use
97%
Materials
97%
Features
95%
Comfort
96%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.05.19)
$5.30
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.3
Use
96%
Materials
96%
Features
94%
Comfort
95%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.05.19)
$21.69
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.3
Use
95%
Materials
95%
Features
94%
Comfort
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.05.19)
$9.99
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.5
Use
94%
Materials
93%
Features
94%
Comfort
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.05.19)
$18.11
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92
Use
93%
Materials
90%
Features
93%
Comfort
92%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.05.19)
$18.84
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.5
Use
91%
Materials
89%
Features
90%
Comfort
92%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.05.19)
$9.90
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.3
Use
88%
Materials
92%
Features
88%
Comfort
89%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.05.19)
$12.99
In Depth Review Top 10
  • TAC Force TF-705 Series
  • Morakniv Fishing
  • Rapala Fish’n
  • TAC Force TF-800BK Spring
  • Gerber Bear Grylls
  • MTech USA Ballistic MT-A705
  • Rapala 4”
  • Kershaw Fillet Knife
  • Rogue River Knife
  • 3 Oaks Fishing
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Top 10 Picks

1. TAC Force TF-705 Series

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.5
TAC Force TF-705 Series
Use
99
Materials
99
Features
97
Comfort
99
best offer for today
$7.73
Pros:

Made from a Stainless Steel Material

Very inexpensive in comparison to other fishing knives in the market

Has a blade which is ½ serrated and ½ teeth

Easy to open

Cons:

Tough to sharpen, as it is only 3 ¼” long

Does not come with a carrying case

Number 1 on our best fishing knives list, the TAC Force TF-705 comes in nine different colors, and is a folding knife allowing you to easily carry and store it easily.

Read more

The knife comes out using a spring system, allowing you to use only one hand to open, which makes it very efficient. The blade is half teeth, half serrated, and is 3 ¼” in length. The blade is also 3mm thick and is made from a stainless steel material. The base of the knife has a clip on it, so it is easy to store on your belt or any other surface that it can slide clip onto.

2. Morakniv Fishing

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.3
Morakniv Fishing
Use
98
Materials
99
Features
98
Comfort
98
best offer for today
$19.79
Pros:

Is available in a 3 ½” and just over 6” blade length

Has a carrying case

Comes with corrosion protection

Blade does not absorb odors

Cons:

Blade is not very thick

Morakniv knives are known for being more expensive compared to other models

Morakniv has this Fishing Knife which has a stainless steel blade which is just over 6” in length.

Read more

The blade starts out wide at the base, and tapers into a point by the end of the 6” blade. The blade is just less than 2mm in width, and the entire knife weighs 3.5 ounces. The grind of the knife is very sharp, and goes the entire length of the blade. The knife is also corrosion resistant, and it comes with a carrying case which allows you to protect the knife while not in use.

3. Rapala Fish’n

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.3
Rapala Fish’n
Use
97
Materials
98
Features
97
Comfort
97
best offer for today
$22.90
Pros:

Comes with a leather sheath

Blade has a tapered design to fillet any kind of fish

Comes standard with a knife sharpener

Blade is made out of a Swedish stainless steel material

Cons:

Long blade takes some skill to use

Will need to be sharpened regularly

The blade on this Rapala Fish’n Knife is 7” in length, allowing you to have a long cut within any size fish.

Read more

The blade is widest at the base of the handle, and tapers towards a pointed edge at the end of the blade. The blade is made out of Swedish stainless steel, along with a handle made out of a strong birch material. This knife comes with a leather sheath as well as a knife sharpener, so you can always be assured your knife will be protected and sharp.

4. TAC Force TF-800BK Spring

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.3
TAC Force TF-800BK Spring
Use
97
Materials
97
Features
95
Comfort
96
best offer for today
$5.30
Pros:

The price is lower in comparison to other fishing knives in the market

Blade is 3mm thick

Blade is ½ serrated and ½ full of teeth, making cutting easier

Spring Load action allows you to open easily with one hand

Cons:

Hard to sharpen

Doesn’t come with a case

TAC Force has this folding fishing knife within the marketplace, and it has a lot of great options for you to peruse through.

Read more

The base of the knife comes in seven different colors, so you are sure to find one that meets your personality. The blade is 3 ½” in length, and it is half serrated and has the half of blade closest to the base full of teeth. The blade is 3mm thick, and is in the color of black. The base of the knife has an extra ridge to allow you to easily wrap your fingers around it.

5. Gerber Bear Grylls

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.3
Gerber Bear Grylls
Use
96
Materials
96
Features
94
Comfort
95
best offer for today
$21.69
Pros:

Knife is considered Military Grade, meaning you can feel confident in its durability and function

Folding ability makes this easy to carry

Rubber handle ensures your fingers will not slip during cutting action

Stainless Steel makes this corrosion and mildew resistant

Cons:

Blade is not very long

Hard to sharpen

This folding fishing knife from Gerber Bear has a blade which is ½ serrated and ½ with teeth, allowing you to cut through most fish with ease.

Read more

The blade is widest at the base, with the spine staying straight throughout and the grind having a curvature towards the point of the blade. The base is comprised of a rubber material, allowing it to bring comfort and ergonomic capability to your fingers. The sheath for the knife is made from a nylon material, which is resistant to mildew.

6. MTech USA Ballistic MT-A705

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.3
MTech USA Ballistic MT-A705
Use
95
Materials
95
Features
94
Comfort
93
best offer for today
$9.99
Pros:

Has a Pocket Clip so you can easily store it when not in use

Has a titanium coating on both the blade and base to help prevent mildew and corrosion

Blade is 3mm thick

Fully Serrated Blade

Cons:

Blade is only 3 ¾” in length, which is not ideal for all fish

Does not come with a carrying case

This fishing knife from MTech is available in 8 different colors, meaning you can find one which will meet your personality.

Read more

This folding knife is opened using a spring action, allowing you to open it easily with one hand. This Stainless Steel blade is widest at the base, and has a straight edge along the spine with a Curved design towards the end of the blade to create a very sharp point. The blade is 3 ¾” in length when out from the base, and is 3mm thick.

7. Rapala 4”

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.5
Rapala 4”
Use
94
Materials
93
Features
94
Comfort
93
best offer for today
$18.11
Pros:

4” Blade

Comes with a sheathing case

Base has a hole in it so you can easily hang it up on a wall

Blade is fully serrated

Cons:

Needs to be sharpened regularly

Base only comes in white color

This Stainless Steel blade on the Rapala Bait knife is 4” in length, and it is fully serrated across the entire blade.

Read more

The blade is widest at the base, with the spine staying straight. In the middle of the spine, you will see there are some teeth which can be used to cut line as needed. The base of the knife is fully molded in order to bring comfort and ease to your fingers. Comes with a sheathing case, so your knife will be protected from the elements while not in use.

8. Kershaw Fillet Knife

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92
Kershaw Fillet Knife
Use
93
Materials
90
Features
93
Comfort
92
best offer for today
$18.84
Pros:

Long blade length

Comes with a Sheathing Case made out of Polymer

Unique blade design allows you to easily fillet fish

Priced well within the market

Cons:

Blade is not very wide

Not corrosion resistant

Kershaw has this fishing knife available which comes with a sheathing case made out of a polymer material.

Read more

This model of knife has two different sizes available, which are 7” and 9”. The overall weight of the knife is 4 ounces. The actual blade of the knife has a straight tapered design to it, with the spine actually having an upwards angle, allowing the length of the blade to give you as much grind space as possible.

9. Rogue River Knife

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.5
 Rogue River Knife
Use
91
Materials
89
Features
90
Comfort
92
best offer for today
$9.90
Pros:

Comes with lots of accessories

Priced well within the marketplace

Blade is fully serrated

Has a nylon sheath for the blade

Cons:

Sheath is not mildew resistant

Angle of the blade does not create a sharp tip

This fishing knife from Rogue River is more a survival kit, coming with all kinds of different accessories to ensure you have a knife that can help you get out of any situation.

Read more

The total length of the knife, from base to tip, is 8 ½”, and there is a sheath made out of nylon for the blade. The blade is comprised of a stainless steel material, which means it is more corrosion resistant. The blade is also fully serrated from base to tip, with only a small curved angle towards the top of the blade to give it a tip.

10. Oaks Fishing

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.3
Oaks Fishing
Use
88
Materials
92
Features
88
Comfort
89
best offer for today
$12.99
Pros:

Stainless steel blade

Length of the blade is 5 5/8”

Comes with a fully protective sheath

Handle is comfortable and ergonomically designed

Cons:

Only comes in one color and design

Blade is very sharp, but the point can dull easily

The blade on this Fishing Fillet knife from 3oaks is made out of a stainless steel material, meaning it is corrosion resistant.

Read more

The length of the blade is 5 5/8” long, with the entire knife being close to 12” in length. It comes with a carrying case which can easily clip onto a belt. The spine of the blade has both a notch for you to easily cut a line, as well as some teeth to cut different types of material. The grind of the blade is mostly straight until you get closer to the tip, where it curves up to create the point.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Use

When it comes to picking out the material for a blade, you need to consider how often you will be using the knife, as well as the type of water you fish within. If you do not fish that often, then you can choose to go with a lower quality of blade, as you don’t need to sink a lot of money into a knife. However, the more often you fish, the higher grade of blade you want, because you do not want to be buying a new knife nearly every time you go out fishing.

Materials

The first actually affects the material your blade is made out of. The major determining factor you need to take into consideration is the type of water you typically fish within. Freshwater has a vastly different effect on your blade compared to what fishing in saltwater will do. Saltwater can eat up blades which are not protected from the corrosion that being around salt will do. The price of a knife does not mean it will or will not be protected from salt – you must ensure the material is corrosion resistant. Even stainless steel will have some corrosion if exposed to saltwater for too long. No matter what kind of knife you have, you should always wash your blade as quickly as you can after use.

Features

A higher quality knife is going to be made out of a steel material, not aluminum or a hard plastic material. The lighter weight the blade, the easier it will be for it to break while you are cutting into a fish. The scales along the fish are not that easy to cut into, and therefore you need to have a blade which will easily penetrate the scales and be able to fillet a fish as needed. A higher quality knife will also have an edge which does not have teeth, but rather a smooth or serrated blade from top to bottom. There are different kinds of edges of knives, which all have the strength and weaknesses:

Hollow Grind – The two edges curve into each other until they meet, which gives you an edge that is razor sharp. However, the edge tends to dull easier compared to other edges.

Asymmetrical Grind – This is when the two sides of the blade have different styles. As an example, you could have a curved edge on one side and an angled bevel on the other side. This allows you to have a knife which can give you multiple uses, but you can really only use ½ of the knife at one time.

Flat Grind – The grind of the knife starts right away from the spine, which allows you to have a very sharp edge, but it is not durable and it’s hard to sharpen.

Compound Bevel Grind – The grind within this family is one that gives you a combination of a hollow grind, as well as bringing in a concave design to it. This double grind feature means your knife will not chip or break very easily, as the base of the blade is quite strong; however, it is not as sharp as other knives.

V Grind – The grind of this knife doesn’t start until it is close to the edge, meaning you do not have to take long to sharpen and allow it to keep its shape, which you will have to do often because it does not stay sharp for very long.

Convex Grind – The grind of this blade is more of a curve/convex, and doesn’t start until it is closer to the edge of the blade. This allows the blade to be very durable and hold its shape for a long time; which is good, because it is very hard to sharpen due to is shape.

Chisel Grind – This type of grind is flat on one side, and has an angle on the other side. This angle starts around the middle of the blade, and looks very similar to what you would find on a chisel (hence the name). This kind of angle on the blade means it is very sharp, but it does dull quickly.

Comfort

When it comes to the material that makes up the handle, there is a large variety to choose from. The material matters a little bit concerning durability and the long-lasting quality your knife will have, but not nearly as much as the right blade does. The handle is not affected much by the type of water, the sun or any other weather elements. Whether you have a handle made out of wood, hard plastic, a rubber material or something else, it should hold up under most conditions.

Therefore, the important decision you need to make is how does the handle feel within your hands. The only way to figure this out is to actually hold each one, and see what feels best. Do you want a smooth handle, or one that has ridges in it for your fingers? Do you like to have a handle which is skinny, or one that is wider? Do you want a handle that is longer, or one that is shorter? When it comes to the handle, it is all based on personal preference, so get out there and start holding some knives to see what fits best within your hands!

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
Sort criterias acording to:
Experts Opinion Editors Opinion Users Opinion By Default
Click on a to rate the most important criteria:
#1
Use
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
#2
Materials
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#3
Features
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#4
Comfort
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Value

You can find the right knife for your needs. With your budget, depending upon how much time you have to look for a new knife, you should always look at knives which are up to 25% more than your budget. Knives tend to go on sale, which you can take advantage of and find the right knife for the right price. If you buy a new fishing knife, please let us know which one you decided upon and why, as we would look forward to hearing about your own fishing knife experience.

Durability

When it comes to having a fishing knife, there are a couple of different components which are important to ensure you have one that is durable and effective. When you talk with some fishermen, they brag about how long they have had the same fishing knife, or how it has been passed down thru generations. In order for a knife to have this kind of long lasting quality, it is important for the blade to be made out of a high quality material and for the handle to be comfortable and have a solid grip.

Other Factors to Consider

Flexibility

Lastly, you should determine how much flex you need within your knife. Each knife within the market will offer you different flex properties, so you need to be sure of the amount of flexibility you need. This is determined by the type of fish you typically catch – the tougher the skin and scales are, the less flexibility you want with the blade. On average, every knife offers 1”-2” of flexibility, which will take care of most fish. The softer the fish, the more delicate your knife needs to be, meaning you need to make sure you have more flexibility. The tougher the skin and scales, the less flexibility you want, as you don’t want your blade to bend too much while attempting to penetrate the fish.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: How can I sharpen the blade of my knife?
a:

There are quite a few ways that you can sharpen the blade of your knife. The easiest way would be to use an electronic sharpener. However, you most likely will not carry this with you out at sea and most people prefer to fillet and gut fish out on the open water, rather than in their homes.

Another, more old-school, option is a sharpening stone. These are great because they are portable and also give you more control in shaping and sharpening the blade. You must be careful when using a stone because these fishing blades are very sharp to begin with and handling brushing the blade against the stone in your hands can be even more dangerous.

Lastly, a sharpening rod is also a simple and portable way to sharpen your blade. This device is shaped like a wand and is typically made out of steel and has a ceramic coating. The rod is very similar to a stone, but shaped differently and is easier for some people.

q: What exactly can I use a fishing knife for?
a:

A fishing knife can be used for many different things out on the open water. Aside from filleting fish, you can use the knife to cut fishing line, ropes, and fruit (if the blade is clean and fish-free). For any simple tasks out at sea that may require scissors, you can use a fishing knife to complete.
If you are a hunter, you can reap the benefits of an ultra-sharp fishing knife by using the knife to trim fat from small game animals or birds.

No matter how you plan to use the knife, make sure to keep it out of reach of children and always bring the sheath. The sharp blade can take anyone by surprise and can slice human skin easily.

q: What is the ideal length of a fishing knife?
a:

Typically, fishing or fillet blades are between four and nine inches long. Depending on the type of fish that you are going after, you may want to invest in a longer blade. For smaller panfish and trout, a smaller knife will be fine. If you will be doing more saltwater fishing and going after larger fish, such as sheepshead, the smallest blade that you will want is eight inches.

q: Are boning knives and fillet knives the same?
a:

As the name suggest, a boning knife is used to de-bone meat, be it animal or fish. Boning knives are not usually as thin, sharp, or delicate as a fillet knife and tend to have less flexibilty. If you are on a budget, or a minimalist, a fillet knife would be the knife to get. This knife can be used for both bones and skin, whereas a boning knife doesn’t bring the same precision and isn’t ideal for skinning.

Sources

  1. Jorge Lester, 10 Best Fishing Knives In 2019, Buying Guide
  2. N/A, Best Fishing Knives, Buying Guide