The Best Electric Fillet Knives for 2024: Complete Reviews and Buying Guide

Written by: John Baltes
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As a veteran of many fishing camps, I’ve seen countless electric fillet knives in use. Real masters of the electric knife can reduce a red or speck to fillets, skin, and bones in just seconds - provided that the electric knife in question is sharp, powerful, and handy.

Arguably superior to a fixed-blade fillet knife, electric knives can save you a lot of time, rarely or never need to be sharpened, and can power through thick bones to cut steaks, too.

If you’re in the market for a new electric fillet knife, you've come to the right place!

Below, you’ll find reviews of some of the best electric fillet knives on the market, as well as a complete buying guide to get you up to speed quickly.

Quick glance at the best electric fillet knives:

Related:

Best Electric Fillet Knives Reviewed

Bubba Pro Series Lithium-Ion Electric Fillet Knife - Best Overall Electric Fillet Knife

BUBBA Pro Series Lithium-Ion Electric Fillet Knife with Non-Slip Grip Handle, 4 Ti-Nitride S.S. Coated Non-Stick Reciprocating Blades, Charger and Case for Fishing

Amazon 

Blade length: 7” E-FLEX, 9” E-FLEX, 9” E-STIFF, and 12” E-STIFF

Power source: Lithium-Ion battery

Run time: see below

Recharge time: see below

 

Easily the most expensive option on our list, I also think the Bubba Pro is the electric fillet knife to have if you’re regularly cleaning fish.

First off, it comes with a set of four blades. 

All of them are very sharp, as well as extremely corrosion-resistant. The two shorter blades are profiled to allow for a high degree of flexibility, and that meat-saving bend makes it very easy to work with smaller fish, slide the blade along thick bones, and remove skin without waste.

The longer two blades are perfect for big fish, and they’re both more stiff and more robust.

The Bubba Pro is powered by a lithium-ion battery pack. Two are supplied with the knife, allowing you to keep one charging while the other is in use. Effectively, that gives you an indefinite power source, as the long battery life and quick recharge rate means that you can keep the Bubba running more or less continuously.

The handle is thick, and anglers with smaller hands may find a good grip is hard to achieve. But on the positive side, it’s coated in a tacky rubber that resists fish slime and blood.

Durable, cool-running, and powerful enough to tackle the biggest fish, the Bubba Pro is worth what its price tag asks.

Pros:

  • Very powerful motor
  • Very long battery life with quick recharging
  • Comes with four sharp blades
  • Comes with two Li-ion batteries
  • Durable and tough

Cons:

  • Expensive!

Mister Twister 120V Electric Knife - Best Budget Electric Fillet Knife

Mister Twister 120V Electric Knife (Green/Yellow)

Amazon 

Blade length: 7”

Power source: cord

Run time: indefinite

Recharge time: N/A

The green and yellow Electric Fisherman from Mister Twister has probably filleted more bluegill and crappie than every other electric knife combined.

Inexpensive and effective, if you’re a panfish angler, you’ve seen the Mister Twister in action.

The Electric Fisherman is supplied with a sharp, reciprocating 7-inch blade. Others are available from Mister Twister, but for panfish, the standard option is hard to beat. Made from stainless steel, it holds a good edge, works well, and doesn’t tend to corrode, even with minimal care.

Power is supplied by a cord, and frankly, it could use a little more length. The Electric Fisherman is designed to be used on a countertop, right next to an outlet, and if that’s where you work on your panfish, you’ll be well pleased. 

Mister Twister’s Electric Fisherman supplies sufficient power to clean panfish without running hot and shutting down, and it will certainly work its way through a cooler of bluegill faster than a sharp fixed-blade fillet knife.

Inexpensive and perfect for panfish, give the Mister Twister a try and you won’t be sorry.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive!
  • Plenty of panfish power
  • Comes with a sharp 7” blade

Cons:

  • Designed for panfish, not reds, salmon, steelhead, etc.
  • Short cord

American Angler PRO

American Angler PRO Titanium Electric Fillet Knife with 8' Titanium-Coated Freshwater Blade, Carbon Gray

Amazon 

Blade length: 8”

Power source: cord

Run time: indefinite

Recharge time: N/A

The American Angler PRO is built tough. Designed for the fishermen who fillets fish most weekends, it’s durable, powerful, and easy to use.

Let’s get into the details.

We like the model with the 8-inch, titanium-coated 420 stainless blade. Not only is it sharp,but it also resists corrosion like a champ, and you simply won’t need to worry about rust forming on this blade. The serrations are sharp and cut really well, making short work of fillets as well as steaks on larger fish.

The 8-inch length is perfect in my mind as an all-arounder, though shorter blades are easier to maneuver when you’re dealing with panfish like bluegill or crappie. 

The motor generates 120V of power, and the reciprocating action is powerful and fast. In prolonged use, it will get hot, but that doesn’t present a problem in my experience.

The American Angler PRO is powered by a cord, which has advantages for anglers who have a lot of fish to clean. Indefinite running times can be just what you need when you’ve got a cooler full of fish to fillet, and with constant, predictable power throughout your work, you can do a good job.

I’d make an effort to keep the motor end of this knife clean as it’s definitely not water-friendly.

Pros:

  • Powerful motor
  • Sharp, corrosion-resistant blade
  • Corded power for continuous work
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Expensive!
  • Motor isn’t waterproof

Rapala Electric Fillet Knife

Rapala Electric Fillet Knife, Black

Amazon 

Blade length: 7 ½”

Power source: cord

Run time: indefinite

Recharge time: N/A

Rapala is a well-known name in fishing, and I’ve seen this knife in more hands than any other when it’s time to clean fish with an electric knife.

This knife uses a 7 ½-inch pair of stainless blades that don’t require a lot of care. Just wash them in soap and warm water when you’re done, and they’ll last essentially forever. As an aside, I’ve seen people swap in shorter Mister Twister blades for panfish, and they work well with the Rapala motor unit.

Like the American Angler PRO, this Rapala is corded, offering continuous power that’s perfect for anglers with an afternoon of work ahead of them. Just keep the motor dry, and this electric fillet knife just may be the last one you ever need to buy.

Pros:

  • Powerful motor
  • Sharp, corrosion-resistant blades keep working even when dull
  • Corded power for continuous work
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Expensive!
  • Motor isn’t waterproof

Rapala Heavy Duty

Rapala HDEFACSC Heavy Duty Electric Knife, Fillet, Combo

Amazon 

Blade length: 6” and 7 ½”

Power source: cord

Run time: indefinite

Recharge time: N/A

If you need maximum power and speed in your fillet knife, look no further than Rapala’s Heavy Duty. 

The Rapala HD delivers greater blade speed and power than similar corded models, and you can really feel that in hand. It will zip through fillets, cut steaks, and peel skin from meat for as long as you’d like to work through those chores, and unlike the American Angler PRO, it’s not going to get hot doing it.

In part, that’s due to the more powerful motor. But it’s also a result of the paired stainless blades. Just as with the standard Rapala, they cut like the dickens, even when relatively dull. In this case, Rapala supplies the HD with two sets: a 6-inch for smaller fish and the standard 7 ½-inch. And yes, just like the standard Rapala, Mister Twister blades will fit and work perfectly.

The stainless blades don’t require much care, and even salt water doesn’t seem to cause corrosion, even with prolonged contact.

This electric fillet knife is corded, providing continuous power throughout your work.

If you regularly put your fillet knife to the test, the Rapala HD is the electric knife for you!

Pros:

  • Very powerful motor
  • Sharp, corrosion-resistant blades keep working even when dull
  • Two sets of blades provided
  • Corded power for continuous work
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Expensive!
  • Motor isn’t waterproof

Old Timer Li-Ion Cordless

Old Timer Cordless Electric Fillet Knife with 8in Fully Serrated Stainless-Steel Blade, Trigger Lock, Rechargeable Battery, and Self Draining Case for Fishing, Meat Carving, Filleting, and Outdoors

Amazon 

Blade length: 8”

Power source: Lithium-ion battery

Run time: see below

Recharge time: see below

Old Timer has been around the block a few times, and though they’re now Chinese-owned, they’ve taken what they learned over their long history and applied that to new products.

Enter the Old Timer electric fillet knife.

Old Timer equips this knife with a reciprocating pair of sharp, stainless blades that are upswept at the top - just like a fixed-blade fillet knife. That makes rocker cuts work like a charm, and if you’re used to a fixed knife for filleting, transitioning to the Old Timer is pretty easy.

Power is supplied in two forms: a long-lasting lithium-ion battery and a cord. 

The battery offers very long run times with rapid recharging. I doubt you’ll out-work its on-board power supply. But if you do, know that you can plug the AC charger into the wall and keep going.

That’s a nice touch.

The motor is powerful, and in conjunction with the sharp blades, cuts really well.

My only criticism of this knife is the handle. It’s very large - so large, in fact, that most anglers are going to find it a bit cumbersome to use.

As a result, the Rapalas feel much better in hand, even for anglers with mitts like coffee cans.

Pros:

  • Powerful motor
  • Sharp, corrosion-resistant blades keep working even when dull
  • Great Li-ion battery with exceptional run times
  • Optional corded power for continuous work
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Expensive!
  • Motor isn’t waterproof
  • Very large handle is hard to control

Smith's Lawaia Electric Fillet Knife

Smith's Lawaia Electric Fillet Knife 51233-2 Removable 8” Serrated Stainless Steel Blades w/Sheath - Fillet Glove & Mesh Storage Bag - Fishing, Outdoor, Hunting Electric Knife - 6 ft Power Cord, White

Amazon 

Blade length: 8”

Power source: cord

Run time: indefinite

Recharge time: N/A

Smith’s Lawaia electric fillet knife is just about perfect for fishermen who prefer a flexible blade for filleting - and that’s most of us!

Smith’s equips the Lawaia with two sets of reciprocating blades, both 8-inches long, but one designed to really flex when pressure is applied. That makes maneuvering around bones much easier, and it saves more meat than a stiff blade can.

The Lawaia is corded, providing plenty of continuous power. And those sharp, stainless blades slice through fish with ease, making short work of a pile of fish.

Smith isn’t charging anywhere near what Rapala is asking, and something’s got to give at this price point. The bad news is that as good as the blades are, the motor easily overheats and sometimes lacks the power for hard work.

In my experience, it works well for panfish like bluegill and crappie, and it’ll clean a mess of specks. But if you’re asking it to make a mountain of fillets from redfish or similarly-sized species, you’ll be pushing this fillet knife past its limits.

Pros:

  • Sharp, corrosion-resistant blades keep working even when dull
  • The flexible blade is excellent for filleting
  • Corded power for continuous work
  • Inexpensive

Cons:

  • Motor isn’t waterproof
  • Underpowered motor heats up and shuts off

Buying Guide: What to Look For in an Electric Fillet Knife

Sharp

A dull fillet knife is useless, as well as dangerous.

A good electric fillet knife will come with aggressively serrated blades, and should easily slice through scales, skin, and meat. 

Since your goal is to avoid bone while filleting, a sharp electric knife should glide along the rib cage with little to no effort, and on the skin pass, remove flesh without leaving waste behind.

All of the electric knives on our list come with sharp blades, but after a season of use, they may need a good sharpening.

Blade length and profile

Smaller fish demand a smaller blade.

Shorter blades are ideal for smaller fish, and by contrast, longer blades make processing big fish easier.

Most anglers prefer a 6- to 7-inch blade for species like bluegill and crappie, but that size works well on specks and slightly longer, narrower fish, too, including walleye.

Longer blades are a good idea of tuna, reds, and big-bodies species. 

Thick blades are a good idea when you know that you need to cut bone, whether that’s cutting through ribs or making steaks from a shark.

But thinner, flexible blades are ideal for meat-saving passes along ribs or skin, and knives with thin profiles definitely reduce waste.

Corrosion-resistant

Blood, water, salt, and slime are the enemies of steel, and corrosion resistance is more important than absolute edge holding for an electric knife.

Expect blades made from 400-series stainless as the standard, with more expensive offerings opting to coat the blades with titanium or other rust-resistant applications.

Ideally, you won’t need to do more than wash the blades in warm, soapy water and let them air dry.

Powerful

An electric fillet knife needs to produce enough power to get those blades reciprocating through meat and skin.

More powerful knives work better, offering better cutting on fish of all sizes. And that extra power typically means shorter cleaning times.

But power generates heat, and unless an electric knife is well designed and ventilated, it can get too hot and shut off.

Durable

You don’t want your blades to look like this!

Obviously, you want your electric knife to last.

Two issues can cut short the usable life of your knife: a motor failure or dull blades.

Good motors stay cool and run flawlessly for years, and here, there’s really no substitute for money. You get what you pay for in terms of the power-plant of your electric knife, and more expensive knives are typically much better than their less expensive competition.

That’s not an absolute rule, however, so buyer beware!

Good blades will emphasize corrosion resistance over edge holding, given their purpose. But edge-holding matters, too.

Serrations work well even when dull because while the peaks may not cut like they used to, the valleys tend to stay pretty sharp for a long time.

That said, a few quick passes on a sharpening rod will get those serrations aligned again, sharpening the peaks and valleys and restoring performance.

Long-lasting power: cord vs. battery

Plenty of camps don’t provide AC power at the sink.

Corded electric fillet knives never run out of juice, and they supply dependable, consistent power throughout your chores.

However, cord length and access to AC power can be an issue. I’ve cleaned fish at plenty of camps that didn’t have a ready plug near the sink, making corded fillet knives useless.

Battery-powered knives are only as good as the lithium-ion battery pack that supplies the juice. Run times are directly dependent on battery quality, as are recharge rates. Of course, they can be used where AC power isn’t available, and at the high end, electric fillet knives come with two excellent batteries, providing plenty of running time.

Our Pick: Bubba Pro Series Lithium-Ion Electric Fillet Knife!

Sometimes more expensive is just that more expensive. But in the case of the Bubba Pro electric fillet knife, it’s worth the money you’ll spend to get the quality you’ll love.

The Bubba Pro comes with a set of blades that has you covered no matter what species you’re cleaning, and those blades are seriously sharp and wonderfully corrosion resistant. The motor is powerful and cool running, and the two lithium-ion batteries provide extensive running times and the possibility of more-or-less continuous work.

Durable, effective, and powerful, the Bubba Pro is probably the best electric fillet knife currently available.

We hope that this article has helped you pick the best electric fillet knife for your needs and budget, and as always, we’d love to hear from you!

Please leave a comment below.

About The Author
John Baltes
Chief Editor & Contributor
If it has fins, John has probably tried to catch it from a kayak. A native of Louisiana, he now lives in Sarajevo, where he's adjusting to life in the mountains. From the rivers of Bosnia to the coast of Croatia, you can find him fishing when he's not camping, hiking, or hunting.
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