The best fish fillet knife I’ve tested in a long, long time has a customizable handle. You buy it, heat it, squeeze it, cool it, and voila! You have a handle that perfectly fits your hand. This is the Dexter Russel UR-CUT 6” Flexible Fillet Knife with Moldable Handle and it’s a big deal because…
- Fish are slimy! Add a slippery, poorly fitting handle and you’re half way to filleting yourself instead of the fish.
- The world’s best fish fillet knife turns out to also be the perfect size, shape, and flexibility for boning deer, elk, and even geese and pheasants.
- Custom knives cost hundreds of dollars. This Dexter Russel UR-CUT 6” flexible fillet knife and sheath with moldable handle has a MSRP of just $28.99. Amazon often has them for less.
Man, if you fish or hunt your own meat, you need the best fish fillet knife. I spent 40 years as a professional meat cutter and more than 50 years as an amateur game butcher, so I know the value of a fish fillet knife. I use them and many other knives. A lot. As an outdoor writer, I test and review dozens of knives each year. I rarely see one as useful, functional, versatile, and innovative as this fish fillet knife.
The customizable handle is the coolest part. I’ve seen a lot of “Best Fish Fillet Knives” hit the Outdoor market but nearly everyone has the same short-coming — the handle. It gets too slippery. Remember, the goal is to fillet the fish, not Little Tommie. Wooden handles are pretty good, rubbery handles are better for grip, but nothing beats deep finger grooves that match your hand perfectly.
Molding the handle on this knife is simple, easy and even kind of fun. Here are the steps.
- Bring a pan of water to a boil. Using an oven mitt or a pair of pliers, hold the blade while you keep the handle submerged in the boiling water for two minutes. Don’t let the handle touch the sides or bottom of the pot and deform.
- Have a second pot filled with cold water (ice cubes help) nearby. This will be your quenching dip to cool the handle before you grab it and for locking in the new shape. After your two-minute heating session, dip the hot handle in the ice water for one second. Then grip the knife in your normal holding position and squeeze to create finger grooves.
- When the knife has acquired the hand shape you want, dip it in the cold pot of water for 10 second to set.
In conclusion, here are four things that set this moldable handle knife apart as my pick for the best fish fillet knife:
- It has a 6-inch blade, the perfect size for boning antelope on up to moose and filleting pan fish, trout, walleye, and most fish I catch. (They also make it with 7- and 9-inch blades).
- The thin, flexible blade allows you to follow bones, bend around curves, and slice off every ounce of meat from your harvest. I learned this in the beef processing industry. Thin-bladed, narrow, flexible fillet knives like this one maximize yields. Don’t fall for some scary, tactical-looking knife designed by a conceptual artist in New York City!
- The high carbon, stainless DEXSTEEL blade is exactly what you want in the world’s best fish fillet knife. It doesn’t rust, holds an edge well, and is easily sharpened on a smooth steel if you don’t let it get too dull. If you do, a fine stone will bring it back on line.
- That moldable, customizable handle! Whether you’re a petite 90 lb. girl or the Jolly Green, you can custom fit this handle to your hand.
By the way, the U.S. company Dexter Russell Cutlery has been making professional-grade processing knives for nearly 150 years.
- Blade Length 6-inches
- Handle Length 5-inches
- Overall length 11-inches
- Product Number UC136FF
I can’t wait to catch a boatload of crappie on which Tom Claycomb can demonstrate his new custom fitted fillet knife. It won’t fit me!