Boning Knife VS Fillet Knife

boning knife vs fillet knife

When you are a beginner and still new at fishing and filleting fish, you might get confused between a boning knife vs fillet knife. And must have thought at least once to do both jobs with anyone of them. However, we do not suggest that and prefer buying both the knives to effortlessly pull out the specific functions for which they are manufactured.

What is a Boning Knife?

A knife specially designed for separating meat from bones and ligaments is a boning knife, and the following are its simple features,

  • A boning knife has a very sharp blade to tear through meat effortlessly in a second.
  • The blade is also stiff to cut through tougher meats easily without damaging the edge.
  • The blade of a boning knife is straight and not curved like filleting knives.
  • A boning knife is usually supplied with a thin blade, so you will not have to waste any meat when separating bones. 

What Is A Boning Knife Used For?

A boning knife is used to separate bones and cartilages from meat. And its sharp-edged blade makes it the best kitchen knife for cutting tougher meats like pork in a breeze. Ideal boning knives are heavier than filleting knives to easily cut through bones and stiff flesh.

What is a Fillet Knife?

A knife specially manufactured for filleting, skinning, and deboning delicate meats like fish is a fillet knife. Following are the features of best fillet knife,

  • The fillet knife blade is ultra-sharp with a pointed tip that helps make precise incisions and debone fish in a flash.
  • The flexibility of the blade makes a fillet knife different from other knives of the boning knife family. The flexible blade of a filleting knife slides smoothly to skin fish in a single go.
  • The blade is also very thin and fine, ensuring zero meat wastage while deboning and filleting fish.
  • The fillet knife has a curved blade towards the tip as this specific shape helps remove scales from fish fillets.

Related Guides on Fillet Knives:

What Is A Fillet Knife Used For?

A fillet knife doesn’t need any definition because it is made for filleting meat, as transparent with its name. Its uses are far different from boning knife uses, including skinning, deboning, and cutting meat fillets. And that’s why filleting knives are also known as skinning knives.

Differences between Fillet VS Boning Knife

bonning knife vs fillet knife differences
Features/SpecificationsBoning KnifeFillet Knife
Blade FlexStiffFlexible
Blade ThicknessThinThinner
Blade TypeStraightSlightly curved
Blade SharpnessSharpSharp
Blade TipPointedNeedle-like pointed
Knife WeightLightweightEven lighter
Difference between fillet knife and boning knife

We will tell you each and every difference between boning knife and fillet knife, considering their blade sizes, design, flexibility, and usage. Let’s read ahead and look into the differences in detail,

Difference: Boning VS FILLET KNIvES

The main difference between a boning and a fillet knife with their appearance. Boning knives have smaller, less curved and thicker blades. Whereas fillet knives have long, more curved and thinner blades.

In following paras these features are elaborated in detail.

Blade Length

Boning knives use blades falling in a size range of 5 to 7 inches, enough for cutting and boning meats. It is still not mandatory that a boning knife can never have a blade size more than 7 inches. You can choose the knife considering the blade size you prefer for cutting pork tenderloin and other tough meats.

Compared to boning knives, filleting knives usually come with blades within a size range of 5 to 9 inches (sometimes even more than that, up to 12 inches). You should consider the sizes of the fish you love filleting before choosing a fillet knife because it is very troublesome to fillet big fish with smaller blades.

Blade Shapes

The blade shape is what makes the appearance of both the knives significant from each other. The blades of boning knives are slightly curved in general. You can say the curve in the boning knife’s edge is negligible and cannot be noticed at first glance. Although fillet knives have more curved blades than boning knives with a more pointed and curved blade tip. The blade and tip curves of filleting knives are pretty evident. Filleting knives are curvy to make them ideal for precise operations like deboning and skinning fish.

Blade Thickness

When it comes to the blade thickness of both the knife’s models, boning knives have thicker blades than fillet knives. And these thicker blades somehow make them heavier than filleting knives. The idea behind a heavy and thick blade for boning knives is to make them tough to stand against solid bones and meat so that they can also last long.

As we already said, fillet knives have thinner blades as compared to boning knives. And the thin blades also make filleting knives lighter and easy to handle when performing fish cutting tasks. These thin blades help cut precisely lean and clean cuts when filleting fish or any meat. And thinner blades also perform well in skinning and removing those small scales to debone fish.

Skinning Knife VS Boning Knife Blade’s Flexibility

Deboning knives do not need a flexible blade because of the purpose they serve in cutting meats. If deboning knives had bendable blades, they wouldn’t be able to remove strong bones from meat. And that’s why boning knives are supplied with stiff, thick, and no flex blades.

On the other hand, fillet knives have flexible blades which make skinning, deboning, and filleting fish a cakewalk. One quality of these blades is commendable: they only tend to bend but do not break into two despite being flexible. There is no wrong in saying the thinner the edge, the more flexible it will be. And the better the blade flex, the lesser meat wastage, and the more precise fillets it will produce.

fillet knife by daltstrong


Q1: Can I use a fillet knife for boning pork tenderloins?

No, fillet knives are ideally produced for filleting soft meat like fish. So, never cut tougher meat with fillet knives because you might damage the knife and its blade by doing the same. With their flexible and thin blades, fillet knives effortlessly debone and skin fish without wasting even a tiny bit of fish meat.

Q2: Are fillet knives useful for filleting large fish?

Yes, fillet knives are ideal for filleting any fish; all you need is a blade considering the fish size. And always make sure to use a razor-sharp edge so that you can fillet any fish effortlessly. However, you can also use best electric fillet knife for filleting large fish.

Q3: How can I ensure a longer life for my fillet or boning knife?

Boning and fillet knives with stainless steel blades ensure longer durability without a doubt. At the same time, you should also give proper maintenance to the blades by cleaning and air drying them and regularly honing them before and after each use.


Now that you have read the comparison of boning knife vs fillet knife, you must know which model is meant for what purpose. And suppose you are looking for a skinning or filleting knife that is durable and ideally flexible to fillet fish. In that case, you can check the Dalstrong 7 inches fillet knife that has incredible features.

Let’s fish and have fish!

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