Boning Knife / Fillet Knife Reviews

Have you ever wondered what that one skinny utility knife is for? Have you ever wondered how on Earth you are supposed to cleanly remove meat from the bones of turkey or bones from the meat of a chicken breast? If so, I must assume that you are not already familiar with the boning knife.

The boning knife, though similar in length to the utility knife, is not a utility knife at all. It’s thin, flexible design is meant to move gracefully around the curves of a carcass or cut of meat, allowing you to shave meat away from the bone without wasting a thing. It is also meant for removing those tiny, annoying bones from chicken breasts and fish so that you and your guests do not accidentally chomp down on them during your meal.

In creating this website, my goal was to bring you the best of the popular, top selling kitchen knives on today’s market. Just as I did with every other type of knife listed on this website, I spent hours researching sales statistics, construction specifications, and consumer reviews to bring you the best boning knives available today. By combining all of that information, I was able to narrow down a couple hundred boning knives to just the seven listed here.

Included on this page are my “Top Three Choices” and “Honorable Mentions”. The Top Three Choices of boning knives were selected based on their popularity, price, specifications, and the reviews they have received from consumers. They each represent the epitome of the categories I have chosen to include in the Top Three Choices for boning knives.

The Honorable Mentions section consists of some of my other favorites which, although not as impressive as those included in the Top Three Choices section, I do believe are worth your time. Who knows, you may find one in that section which better suits your particular needs.

Top Three Choices

Of all the boning knives I researched in creating this website, only seven were worthy of being listed on it. Of those seven, three knives rose above the rest and demanded to be made a focus of your attention. The following list of my Top Three Choices is made up of those three knives.

The Best in Class selection is the top boning knife I was able to find, based on its quality. The Best Value knife is one which combines quality with affordability. Finally, I chose to include an award for Best Fishing and Hunting Knife, because boning knives are so helpful to the average fisherman or hunter. I figured it would only be a matter of time before a fisherman or hunter found his or her way to this page.

Don’t forget to check out the knives in our Honorable Mentions section below this one. You may find that, although I believe these three knives best represent their categories, the right knife for you may actually be listed a little further down the page.

Best in Class

Victorinox 6-Inch Forschner Boning Knife

The Victorinox Forschner boning knife has received the best consumer reviews and ratings of all the knives on this list when compared across different review and rating websites. I could not ignore this information when selecting the Best in Class boning knife. It only seemed right to hand this place over to such a clear winner.

Though many boning knives seem essentially the same there are differences among them. Those differences, though difficult to spot with the untrained eye, are what draw the line in the sand between the great knives and the average knives. This Victorinox boning knife is one of those knives which, although it may appear quite similar to others in appearance, definitely has some advantages over its competition.

This Victorinox’s blade isn’t quite as slim as many other boning knives. This lack of slimness is what makes it slightly stiffer. The high-carbon stainless steel from which the blade has been constructed is quite strong, but still allows for some flex thanks to the fact that it has been stamped rather than forged.

To give you a full understanding of what makes the 6-Inch Forschner so unique and what has caused it to rise above the other knives on this page to achieve the title of ‘Best in Class,’ I will require the space of an entirely separate page.

Best Value

Dexter-Russel 6-Inch Sani-Safe Boning Knife

Though I haven’t been able to find a large range of prices for boning knives, I still felt it was best to include a “Best Value” title in this top three. Unlike some other types of knives which may range from $10 to $300, I found that boning knives typically range from about $5 to $40.

As you probably know from the other review pages on this website, I define value as the intersection of price and quality where you get (at the very least) slightly more than what you pay for at an affordable price.

In keeping with my very strict definition of what constitutes value, I selected the Dexter-Russel Sani-Safe boning knife. Not only is this knife decently affordable, it is also very well-crafted. In fact, it rose above the criteria of “slightly more than what you pay for”. I honestly believe that this knife could compete with some of the higher priced knives in the $25 to $30 range.

This knife features a sharp, flexible, yet strong high-carbon stainless steel blade. Although flexible enough to work around most bones, this blade is not as flexible as those on some other boning knives, which makes it perfect for working with tougher meats. The blade has been secured into a non-slip, ergonomically-friendly contoured handle with a special “Grip-Tex” coating. The coating is designed to keep your hand in place as you work, no matter how slippery or sticky it may get.

Of course, I cannot do justice to this knife with a simple overview such as this.

Best Fishing and Hunting

Rapala Fishing and Camping Folding Fillet

In my opinion, there is no knife more important to fishing than the boning knife. How else are you supposed to cut open a fish to remove its innards and bones so that you can fry it up for dinner? The boning knife is a very important part of such a process. But what if you are planning to eat where you are fishing? What if you are fishing while you are camping or hiking?

Now that we have, hopefully, established that a boning knife is an important part of the fishing experience, we must ask the question: What makes a boning knife friendly to the fishing experience? Of course, a good fishing knife will have all of the same qualities as any good boning knife. It will be flexible but strong. It will lend you a solid grip and protect your fingers. The Rapala Fishing and Camping Boning Knife embodies all of those specifications.

It is also important for a fishing knife to be compact. Not only should it take up as little space as possible, it should be collapsible so that the blade can be hidden away. No one wants a rogue boning knife poking about in their backpack, slicing through their belongings or even their own flesh. This Rapala knife meets that criterion as well.

In fact, I was able to find that the Rapala Fishing and Camping knife hits each box on my checklist for a great fishing boning knife, and then some. To fully understand why I selected this particular knife above any of the others I found in my search, you will have to take the time to read about it a little more in-depth.

Honorable Mentions

As I have already said, I truly do believe that the three knives listed above are the top of the class for each of their categories. That being said, you may not be looking for something in the top of its class. Perhaps you are looking for something in another class altogether.

Perhaps you want something a little stiffer than the average boning knife. Maybe you are in search of a boning knife which comes with its own sheath. You may be looking for something with a specific type of handle or a knife with a stainless steel blade. Regardless of your preference, I have included the following list of Honorable Mentions in case you were unable to find what you were looking for in any of the knives listed above.

Victorinox 6-Inch Flex Boning Knife

The Victorinox 6-Inch Flex boning knife differs slightly from the Victorinox Forschner we discussed in the Top Three Choices section of this page. Like the Forschner, this knife features a high-carbon stainless steel blade. The high carbon content in the blade makes it strong and durable. Also like the Forschner, the blade manages to maintain its flexibility, because it has been stamped from a sheet of steel rather than forged from a chunk of steel.

Unlike the Forschner, this Flex blade is more flexible. I suppose you may have guessed as much from its name, though. The flexibility of this blade will be preferred by those people who often work with soft, easy-to-slice meat.

If I am honest, this knife was very close to taking one of the top positions on this page. I was pleased with its flexible, high-carbon blade and saw that consumers had very nice things to say about it. I also liked that its synthetic Fibrox handle has been textured to help you keep hold of it during slippery tasks.

Unfortunately, the handle is just a little too slim for my own preferences. Of all its qualities and specifications, this is the one which stopped me from considering placing the Victorinox Flex into the “Top Three Choices” for boning knives. Most people would have a difficult time getting a solid grasp of such a thin handle during difficult tasks and may lose their grip. This would, however, be a great handle for people with petite hands.

Gerber Gator Fillet Knife

This Gerber boning knife is available in two different sizes. You can choose between a regular length 6-inch blade and an extra-long 7.5-inch blade. This knife’s blade is constructed of high-carbon stainless steel. Like all of the other high-carbon knives on this list, the increased carbon content in this knife’s blade offers it strength and durability while also helping it maintain a sharp cutting edge for an extremely long time. Adding to the edge’s longevity is the fact that the edge has been sharpened with a long taper.

I was unable to find definitive proof of whether this knife was stamped from or forged of high-carbon steel. I was, however, able to find considerable consumer reviews which state that this knife is quite flexible. Such information led me to assume that this blade was probably stamped from a sheet of steel, rather than forged from a chunk of steel. Normally, this isn’t a good thing. In the case of a boning knife, which you want to have some flex to it, this is actually a positive quality.

Although there are no visible rivets, I was able to confirm that this knife’s blade is full tang, which means that it extends the entire length of the handle. Although I typically trust a triple-riveted full tang blade more than a glued blade, it is comforting to know that this blade will not come apart from the handle very easily. The rounded handle of this knife provides comfort as does its ergonomic contouring. That same contouring also works to hold your hand in place as you cut through things.

Chicago Cutlery Walnut Tradition 5-Inch Boning

Shorter than most of the other knives on this page, this Chicago Cutlery knife features a 5-inch blade. Although the shorter length of this blade means that it will not penetrate as far into a slab of meat, it does mean that you will have more control over the tasks you are completing with this knife. The handle is also of an adequate length for maintaining control within your hand.

This knife’s blade has been constructed from high quality high-carbon stainless steel. Though the blade appears to be stamped from high-carbon steel rather than forged from it, it does seem to be rather stiff. Of course, it is not completely stiff – it has some flex to it. I recommend this knife to those people who often find themselves working with tough meats which require a tough blade.

Speaking of things that are tough, this knife’s entire construction was designed to make it tough. In fact, I believe that this is the only triple-riveted, full tang blade I have included on this page. I’m not sure about you, but three steel rivets tell me that this knife isn’t coming apart easily. Put as much pressure on it as you like, it would be very difficult to pull it apart while completing regular kitchen tasks.

A bolster has been built into the handle to provide extra protection for your fingers, as it will stop your fingers from moving forward while you are working. The handle has been constructed from wood, which means that although is will be comfortable to hold you will, unfortunately, not be able to submerge it in the sink.

Rapala Soft Grip Fillet Knife with Sharpener

I must say that my favorite thing about this Rapala knife is its handle. To me, one of the most important thing about a boning knife is being able to get a comfortable and solid grip. The textured, non-slip, soft-grip handle on this knife will make sure that your fingers don’t go slipping or sliding around as you work.

Available in four blade sizes (4 inches, 6 inches, 7.5 inches, 9 inches), there is a version of this knife made to meet any of your needs. If you typically find yourself working with small fish, the four-inch option will be perfect for you. Those who use their boning knife for most regular tasks will want to look into either the 6-inch option or the 7.5-inch option. The knife with 9-inch blade will best-suited to handling larger tasks, such as portioning entire animals into various cuts of meat.

The stainless steel blades of these knives are likely to be rather flexible – more so than their high-carbon counterparts. They will not be as strong as their high-carbon competitors, but will be much more suitable to outdoor use, thanks to their water resistance.

A bonus included with this knife is its hard case with belt loop attachment, which makes any version of this knife perfect for bringing on a camping or hunting trip. It almost competes with the other Rapala knife I chose to place in the “Top Three Choices” as “Best Fishing” knife. I choose the other knife over this one, however, because the other knife is collapsible, making it easier to transport.

Your Decision

Thank you for taking the time to read all of the reviews listed here in our Boning Knives section. I sincerely hope that one of these knives is exactly what you are looking for and that I was able to provide you with enough information to make your selection.

If you are still unsure about which knife to purchase, try taking a moment to read our Boning Knife Buying Guide and our informational pages about Blade Types and Handle Types.