Boning Knife vs. Filet Knife: Differences and Similarities

Love having nicely grilled fish with lovely seasoning?

Do the perfect cuts in the fish make you crave it more?

If you are a cook, who loves to eat fish and meat pretty often, you must know the struggle of cutting them perfectly. You can’t just use any knife for it. Otherwise, you will end up destroying the perfect shape.

In that case, you must use a boning knife and filet knife to get the perfect slice. However, at first glance, both of them will look similar to you; but they also have some differences. 

In the following discussion, you will learn about the similarities and differences between boning knife vs. filet knife. 

An Overview Of The Boning Knife

When you want to remove bones from meat, you need a boning knife to complete this task. You can debone any meat easily with a boning knife, which makes your task very easy; especially when you don’t have a lot of time. A boning knife has a long, narrow blade, one of its distinguishing characteristics, and it is designed for effortless movement.

These blades are designed for deboning soft meats, like chicken or rabbit. The strong blades are also useful for cutting through beef and pig meats. A boning knife typically has a length of 5 to 6 inches. However, you will find these blades in different sizes serving different purposes. 

Main Features

  • Thinner than most other knives used in the kitchen
  • Doesn’t have a very thin blade
  • Strong and robust formation
  • Sharp and pointy tip for piercing the meat
  • Steels with a high carbon content or stainless steel

Best for:

  • Deboning meats
  • Skin removal from meat
  • Severing connective tissue and ligaments
  • Removing the apple’s core
  • Cutting a cake

An Overview Of The Fillet Knife

The fillet knife is more useful when you often eat fish. A fillet knife is necessary for deboning fish, whether you are a chef or working simply in your kitchen. With a fillet knife, removing the bones from your fish becomes quicker and easier.

The fillet knife is easier to use, even for beginners. The length of fillet knife blades usually ranges from 4 to 9 inches, and whatever sort you use will depend mainly on the kind of fish you are deboning. You just need to be extremely careful while using the knife.

Main Features

  • Similar to a boning knife that is thinner
  • has a distinct curve that leads to a point.
  • A more flexible knife 
  • Made of stainless steel and high-carbon steel.

Best for:

  • Fish filleting
  • Taking off fish scales
  • Dividing citrus fruit
  • Finely mince the shallots or onions.
  • Preparation of fruit and vegetable 

Similarities Between A Fillet Knife And A Boning Knife

The boning knife is usually used to remove bones from meat and fish. They are often tougher than fillet knives, although having some flexibility. Boning knives can effortlessly debone various types of meat and have blade lengths ranging from 5 to 7 inches.

The fish fillet knife serves the same yet a bit more precise role. It is made of a sharp blade that is between 5 and 9 inches long, much thinner, and more flexible than others. They were designed specifically to handle more delicate foods.

Many of these knives are often included in most knife sets, which makes it easy for most home cooks to choose based on their looks. Knives used by chefs are quite easy to recognize. But after that, things start to go hazy.

The knives’ shapes have the most obvious similarities. Both are exceptionally thin, have sharp edges, and have identical lengths. For a very long time, they were considered two sizes of the same kind of knife, each intended for the same application. The confusion boosted when it came to filleting and boning knives; because sometimes these share the same materials.

Because of their similarities, these knives can occasionally be interchanged with each other. It works perfectly, even if you have only one of these knives on hand. But knowing which knife to use for the job will help best when you are concerned about the performance and accuracy of your cuts.

What are the Differences Between A Fillet Knife And A Boning Knife?

Despite having similar sizes and forms, boning knives and fillet knives are different in several ways. If you want to make the most of these knives, you must be aware of these variations.


Boning knives are specifically made to cut through the ligament, muscle, fat, and connective tissue and separate the meat from the bone.

Created expressly to handle these difficult tasks, it is what you need for a precise butchering cut on bone-in meat.

On the other hand, a fillet knife is designed to separate fish meat from bone and skin. As its name suggests, it’s an amazing option when you enjoy cooking and eating fish pretty often; but, even if you don’t, it will make a wonderful present for someone who enjoys fishing a lot.

These knives can be used interchangeably. But doing so would not produce the best results. Fish fillet knives can be used to remove fish flesh from bones. However, they only function with little fish bones. On the other hand, a boning knife can be used for filleting, but its hardness can probably be an obstruction. So, it would be best to get the specific one for a specific task. 

Blade Length and Weight

There are several lengths for both boning and fileting knives. Both kinds of knives are usually found in the 5- to the 8-inch size range.

While you are cutting larger fish, you need to use longer filet knives, but smaller fish will require shorter ones.

Even though they appear similar in size, fileting knives are designed and manufactured to make them lighter than boning knives. Compared to boning knives, filet knives typically have a thinner blade.

Blade Flexibility

A filet knife has more flexibility. The blade is designed to have an easy serving so that it may easily cut into fish and detach it from the skin. Its flexibility can offer you better cuts with a more delicate serving. 

On the other hand, boning knives are comparatively stiffer. In order to take out the flesh from bones, you must cut through the connective tissue with it, which they were created for.

You would have trouble if you tried to do that with a flexible filet knife. Besides, since the blade was not intended for such use, there remains a high risk of snapping. 

Blade Design

Despite the fact that both kinds of knives usually have a nice curve, when you pay better attention to them, you will find out the differences. Boning knives are more straight up to their sharpened tip; this sharpened tip performs an important task as it can pierce the meat without any effort. With boning knives, the curves are also less noticeable.

Fillet knives have a significantly more prominent upward curve that ends at the sharp tip. It is ideal for filleting fish because it is made for long, steady cuts, but it is less useful in other kitchen situations.

To Wrap Up

It’s important to have a boning knife and a filet knife if you have to do a lot of deboning and fileting. But understanding the difference between these two, a boning knife and a filet knife, is important for those who don’t frequently debone or filet.

If you are a first-time user, you must be aware of the fundamental differences between these two. Knowing the difference between a fish boning knife vs. filet knife will certainly help you choose the perfect one according to your need 


Is a Boning Knife the Same as a Filet Knife?

They have a lot of similarities in their appearances or performance, but they differ in terms of agility and design.

Fileting knives are thinner and more bendable, whereas boning knives are usually stiff. Meat and bones are separated with boning knives. But for fileting fish, fileting knives work well. 

What is Filet Knives Good For?

A fileting knife is best for filleting. It helps with fileting fish meat and provides the best control with it. It is a very adaptable fish filet and preparation tool from the boning knife family. 

Can I Use a Fillet Knife to Cut Meat? 

Filet knives are mainly made for cutting various kinds of fish, but they can also be used to cut poultry filets, make extremely thin slices for carpaccio, and devein foie gras and other meats.

What Knife Should You Use When Fileting Fish?

Filet knives are used To cut through fish and remove the bones. Although there are many different fish knives with different designs are available in the market, filet knives the best ones for this task. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *