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Fillet Knife

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

So I think I actually started a thread similar to this a while ago, but I switched jobs and my needs changed so I never purchased anything.  Anyway, I'm going to start butchering a lot of fish soon and I am in need of a fillet knife.  The fish I will be breaking down ranges from 15lb slabs of of sword fish, sides of bass, whole salmon, etc.  I am leaning towards a Forschner (10" breaking), as I already have some of them and they are good quality and inexpensive.  I'd like to stay in the price range of $25-50, but I would pay more if it is significantly better.  I am new to butchering fish, so I am not all to sure what to get.  BTW, this is for use in a commercial kitchen, and if it matters, I am a decent sharpener.  So my questions are:

 

What size would be good for these projects?

Should I just get a standard fillet knife, or would something like a breaking knife be better (and have other uses as well)?

Is Forschner probably the best choice and are there any other brands to consider?

Are there any good carbon options?  (I'd prefer, and pay more for a good carbon knife)

 

 

Any recommendations would be great, thanks!


Edited by GreenGuy - 5/4/12 at 2:00am
post #2 of 25

I cut 100s of pounds a week both fish and meat . My main tool is a med flex 7 inch boning knife.  a 12 inch honed down flex. slicer for whoe large fish(salmon etc)  a flex 6  and stiff 7 inch inch boning knife for other jobs

Slabs as you call them do not reqire a filet type knife at all in fact you need a stiffer sliceing type knife to get straight accurate cuts(sword, salmon steaks, cod thick after filets, halibut etc) The boning knives are good for sea bass, snapper, dover sole, black cod, etc..  I have a 30 year old ground down 10 inch french knife which is also great for fish .

I am not a fancy brand name guy. many of my knives are Dexter and have had them many years . As long as they are sharp thats what matters most.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #3 of 25

I have a Wusthof breaking knife and it works very well for fish. That's my go to knife for breaking down Salmon. I also use a Wusthof stiff boning and flexible fillet combination. There are no "right" or "wrong" answers here. You really have to find what your preference is. The Forschners are just fine. Wusthofs have a nicer handle that I prefer but they are more $$.

The only suggestion I would have for carbon are the traditional Japanese fish knives, Deba, Funayuki and Yanagi but those options are Far, far more $$$.

 

Dave

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #4 of 25

KEEP THE $ IN AMERCA. BUY AMERICAN

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #5 of 25

Well I guess I'll stick this one in the "you learn some thing new ever day" file. Dexter is making a small high carbon Deba at a dirt cheap price.

 

http://www.dexter-russell.com/Universal_Prod_Display_2.asp?Line=B&Type=31

 

http://www.dexter1818.com/Item_details_1.asp?id=387&group_name=B.asp

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #6 of 25

I have the 8 in Forschner Breaking knife and in the past when I fished a lot I've used it on plenty of Salmon, Ling Cod, and Halibut. Now I usually buy fished already pieced but when I need to prep the occasional whole fish I use the Breaking Knife.

post #7 of 25

I can't get use to the japanese one sided knives.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #8 of 25

Interesting.  Are the Dexter knives also single beveled like the traditional Japanese knives?  That will really be a learning experience for anyone not used to using and sharpening single bevel knives.

post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 

So, I've been using a 10" Forschner breaking knife for all my filleting needs, and it works pretty well; however, I finally found a 9" carbon fillet knife that I just ordered today.  It's the Sabatier Nogent line from thebestthings.com.  I can't wait to get it and try it out, as I've never had a carbon knife and have been wanting one for a while.

post #10 of 25

Anyone used the global G30 or G41?

post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Adda View Post
 

Anyone used the global G30 or G41?

 

Grossly overpriced I'd say, globals are known as very mediocre knives in general.

post #12 of 25


Is there a filleting knife of a similar profile? Turbot and sea bass/ salmon are my main fish

 

Would a shun filleting be a better bet?

post #13 of 25

I'm not an expert in this area of knives but I would say something like this would do for you:

https://www.etundra.com/kitchen-supplies/cutlery/chef-knives/fillet/victorinox-40613-8-in-flexible-fillet-knife/?scid=scplp96929&sc_intid=96929&gclid=Cj0KEQjwn_3GBRDc8rCnup-1x8wBEiQAdw3OAcp_lz9qzkwuOGhCd1aB8XqRQENd0CQe9HUkT1-1uewaAmLz8P8HAQ

 

I see you have asked in the professionals forum.  It's certainly possible the global 30 is a better designed knife for your particular tasks and style, that might make it worth the huge price difference to you.  It does have a very narrow blade.  At the other end of the spectrum the Japanese tend to prefer the wide and thick deba.  http://korin.com/Knives/Fillet-Butcher-KnifeDeba_4

 

Wish I could be of more help.

post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Alan View Post

Grossly overpriced I'd say, globals are known as very mediocre knives in general.
I would disagree here. I have a set of globals and I love them. When your knife work is 8-10 hours a day, it really makes a difference. Knives are really about what feels natural to you, for me that is a global. I have yet to hear a negative about a global, excluding your self.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Alan View Post

Grossly overpriced I'd say, globals are known as very mediocre knives in general.
[/quot
post #15 of 25

Chefjess, I don't care to argue with professionals here, least of all to their offense, as your knowledge of cooking is so valuable here. But in terms of steel and grind geometry globals are pretty mediocre knives.  Steel is on the soft side and relatively coarse grained, and the edges are relatively thick.  And a lot of folks don't like the handles, though that was not the focus of my initial comment.  They don't chip and they can be touched up with a steel, I'd certainly take them over a Henckles, but there are better cutters out there for the money.

 

Getting back to the G30 fillet knife, its virtues are likely its very narrow profile combined with a relatively thick spine for a flexy, and I haven't seen others quite like it. And Globals will hold an edge better than the Vic I linked to.

post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Alan View Post
 

Steel is on the soft side and relatively coarse grained, and the edges are relatively thick.

 

These are not necessarily negative attributes in and of themselves; it depends upon which characteristics a potential buyer wants in their knife. Hardness and fineness of grain are not always the end all and be all, like anything else they have a point of diminishing returns that is best determined by the buyer.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Alan View Post
 

I'd certainly take them over a Henckles,

 

Henckels produces a few lines of quality, high caliber knives that will provide certainly serviceable results for years in the hands of a knowledgeable user. They just are no longer fashionable.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #17 of 25

Yes Cheflayne, I did imply their toughness and subsequent utility there somewhat but I have to say yours is a more thorough and accurate way of putting it.  That being said, with the handle being of no issue to me I personally would go with a number of other knives in the same category and price range.

post #18 of 25

I certainly have a lot of knife brands ( over 25) Globals cut great and last long. If that's a commercial fisherman b oat usa Bubba blade if you are into sushi the one sided knives will do fine. you can see if you nearby store has victorionox so you can start with something. I can sharpen almost anything so I have knives from my grand father (he used to own a slauter house for meat, pork etc.) from my father and then my collection. like an army colonel use to say "the best knife is the one you have when you need it"

post #19 of 25


Thanks very much I actually own the victorinox already and love the length just wanted something more narrow - think I will be going with the g30 - the profile will allow me to do some fine butchery work too

post #20 of 25

nice and very flexible

post #21 of 25
Scott just a tired old sailor glad to be home from the sea
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Scott just a tired old sailor glad to be home from the sea
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post #22 of 25

The Rapala is impressive for that price.  I wonder if all their knives are Swedish stainless, their site is vague on the point.

http://www.rapala.com/rapala/knives/?sz=36&start=0

post #23 of 25

most Rapala filet knives are made by Marttiini in Finland, which became a Rapala subsidiary in 2005.  best guess is the blades are 13C26 or 12C27 which is made just down the road in Sweden.  the current best buy would be $18.75 for a Marttiini filet knife with 9" blade and sheath.  at that price, you can't go wrong.

(http://www.cabelas.com/product/hunting/knives-tools/fillet-knives-fish-processing%7C/pc/104791680/c/104740380/sc/104320980/rapala-reg-soft-grip-reg-fillet-knife/716594.uts?destination=%2Fcatalog%2Fbrowse%2Ffillet-knives-fish-processing%2F_%2FN-1100163%2FNs-CATEGORY_SEQ_104320980)

Scott just a tired old sailor glad to be home from the sea
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Scott just a tired old sailor glad to be home from the sea
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post #24 of 25

Well Fischer Bargoin is using 12C27 in their butchery line, so it's a good guess.  They are likely using a variety of Sandvick or Bohler Udholm steels, depending on application.  Significantly better than what you typically find, even for Global and MAC.

post #25 of 25

I've owned Rapala fillet knives for over forty years and they are excellent performers.  They take and keep an edge quite well and have enough flex to work around bones.  

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