Sharpening A Filleting Knife: Everything You Need To Know About

If you have been thinking of how to sharpen a fillet knife, reading this article until the end is vital. The main advantage of sharpening a filleting knife is that your fillets will not get ruined, and you would get the job done in no time.

There’s a popular saying that a kitchen without a knife is not a kitchen and you are not an angler without a fillet knife, but there’s more to the story.

A number of people are battling with blunt fillet knives in their kitchen. This does not have to be you.

It’s unrealistic to expect that you can cut fish into boneless strips or better still get rid of fish bones using a dead fillet knife. The best way to approach fillet knife sharpening is to get down well on this piece.

So, are you ready?

How To Sharpen A Filleting Knife?

By now, you’ll have found reasons to sharpen your filleting knife. No matter how well you clean your knife right away after usage, it will eventually get dull.

Relax and discover the various fishing knife sharpener you can use for sharpening. Here are the different methods to sharpen a filleting knife. Be sure to check them out!

Method 1: With A Sharpening Stone


fillet knife sharpening

Since you took it upon yourself to buy a filleting knife, going another mile for a sharpening stone shouldn’t cause you anything. Although it’s an old age method, it still proves to be effective and reliable.

Alright! Story short! Let’s dive in.

  • Step 1: Slide the filleting knife cutting edge over your sharpening stone like you want to slice butter.
  • Step 2: Position filleting knife back ends slightly above sharpening stone.
  • Step 3: Place fingers above the filleting knife and gently slide the filleting knife over the sharpening stone.
  • Step 4: Repeat this a couple of times until the knife is well sharpened.

See that? It’s a no-brainer. But be extra careful when doing this as a knife could cut you. It is recommended you practice first with cheap kitchen knives.

Method 2: With Electric Sharpener

Before going any further, think about this. Does sharpening a filleting knife with a filleting knife sharpener look possible?

The good news is that it has become a reality. Aren’t you excited about that?  You can sharpen a fillet knife with a sharpener just the way you sharpen pencils. Still not convinced? Here are the details.

  • Step 1: Pull the edge of the filleting knife thru the sharpening slot, which is the thin space provided above the sharpener.
  • Step 2: Firmly secure the knife and slide upward and downwards through the slot until the desired sharp level is attained.
  • Step 3: Stop the sharpening process and confirm the successfully sharpened filleting knife.

Listen; Yes, filleting knife sharpener comes in different models. Still, this method applies to all models. Beyond that, this is the simplest method ever for sharpening a filleting knife.

There’s are some drawbacks- Doing this frequently can damage your filleting knife, and sharpeners are a bit costly.

Method 3: With Rod

sharpening a filleting knife

Surprisingly, a rod can sharpen a filleting knife quickly and easily. But, you have to be extra careful because it poses a potential risk to handlers. Let’s see exactly how it works.

  • Step 1: Hold the filleting knife securely and slide the rod over the knife’s cutting edge.
  • Step 2: Repeat the process till the knife is sharpened.

Take note: The above steps do not apply to an electric fillet knife. So here’s how to Sharpen electric fillet knife blades with a rod.

  • Step 1: Gently remove the electric fillet knife blade from the machine
  • Step 2: Grip the filleting knife and ensure the cutting end face is away from you.
  • Step 3: Run the knife upwards and downwards against the sharpening rod in the same direction.
  • Step 4: Repeat the process till the desired sharpness level is detected.

We’ve also found out some household items that are solutions to solving filleting knife bluntness. Want us to tell you? Take a look!

  • Your nail file
  • Kitchen Mug
  • Concrete floor
  • Another kitchen knife and,
  • Leather belt

The same technique applies to all of them, that is, running filleting knife cutting edge against these items.

Frankly, this method of using household items is safe, proficient, and considerate. Above all, it saves up cost. You’ve got nothing to lose.

Frequently asked questions

  1. What sharpening angle is best for filleting knife?

It’s crucial you know that the angle by which you sharpen the filleting knife would tell on the sharpening process. Most importantly, it will affect the sharpness of the knife.

The trick is to set a sharpening angle between 18-21° because anything outside that would cause a slow filleting knife sharpening process.

  1. How can I maintain my filleting knife?

Of all items in the kitchen, you’ll agree with me that knives are with the least care and maintenance. Some people don’t even have the slightest idea on how to care for and maintain filleting knives. Sad but true!

First off, always wash and rinse the filleting knife with warm water after use.

Store filleting knife in a cool, dry place and not underneath metals that could cause a chemical reaction to take place.

Immediately you notice that your filleting knife is no longer sharpened, make use of the sharpening method most suitable for you and bring it back to life.

Don’t use hot water directly on the filleting knife because high heat can damage the knife handle. Remember this all the time.

And lastly, have an excellent horning schedule for filleting knife. Let me take a wild guess. You are not sure when to horn your fillet knife. Don’t even try to deny it.

The answer? Filleting knife should be horned before heavy use and afterward. In addition to that, after every third use is ideal for a horning filleting knife.

Fact: Horning does not sharpen the knife; instead, it keeps the sharpness in place, and horning frequently helps cut down the rate at which you would sharpen your filleting knife.

  1. How often Should I sharpen the filleting knife?

The reality is that knife sharpening routines are determined by what’s used for. What does this mean? If it’s a filleting knife (for cutting along backbones), it demands frequent sharpening. Soft duty knives like fruit knives require less frequent sharpening.

The point is you should sharpen a filleting knife based on how and what you use it for. Every 6 to 12 months, a sharpening routine is perfect for fillet knife sharpening.

  1. What’s a fillet knife, and how is it used?

Over the years, there has been a controversial argument whether a filleting knife is the same as a boning knife. The simple truth is these two differ from each other. I’m going to explain that.

A typical filleting knife is about 6-11 inches long and has a smooth edge. Its blade is thin and flexible. And, thanks to the shape of the blade, fish can be cut with more precision.

You will not want a wastage in your fillets. The flexibility a filleting knife offers will not give room for that. The blade is able to bend and cut along the meat backbone.

Based on studies, the cutting capacity of a filleting knife is about three hundred times higher than regular kitchen knives. Needless to say, the blade shows great corrosion resistance.

Without wasting much time, let’s jump right into how it is used. The filleting knife is used to cut fish in a lengthwise direction. This is accompanied by a cut on each side of the fish. After that, the sturdy yet flexible blade removes the fillet from its spine. It’s that simple.

  1. Is sharpening a filleting knife worth it?

Now that you know what precisely a filleting knife is, the next stage is to let you know what you stand to gain when you commit yourself to fillet knife sharpening.

Just as mentioned earlier, you will only ruin your fillets if you don’t use a sharpened filleting knife. But that’s not all.

It is easier to do filleting if your fillet knife is sharpened. Look at it this way. You will get the precision you would be working with quickly with little effort. Also, there would be accuracy and efficiency.

To top it off, you would be playing safe if your filleting knife is sharpened, and that’s the best part.

If you want to capture all these benefits, you must sharpen your fillet knife. Watch sharpening your fillet knife with a rod and honing stone in this video.


There you have it, that’s our best method for sharpening a filleting knife. And, if you could hold on to anything from the article, I hope they are:

  • Regardless of who you are or the level of your filleting skills, a blunt filleting knife in your hands is as useless as a vehicle’s fifth wheel.
  • Using household items, sharpening a filleting knife comes with zero cost. And these methods are reliable and effective if you do it the right way.
  • There are techniques applicable for a successful filleting knife sharpening; that’s when we talk about the sharpening angle and the direction you slide the filleting knife over-sharpening tools.

Take action today, get your filleting knife sharpened, and enjoy a perfect fillet cut. Invite us over for dinner, and we’d honor it.

Best regards!

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