What Is the Difference Between a Fillet Knife and a Boning Knife?

Most professional chefs are familiar with fillet and boning knives. This is because they need to do precision cuts for different types of foods.

Some of us are not aware of these knives, because we don’t invest much of our time doing fine and accurate cuts for fish or meat. Due to that, we won’t be able to point the differences between these two cutting tools.

Now you might wonder, ‘What is the difference between a fillet knife and a boning knife?’ Don’t worry; we have got your back.

You will get the answer to this question from the following article. Plus, there will be other beneficial information related to these excellent knives. So, without further ado, let’s dive in

What Is a Fillet Knife?

If you are a fish lover, this one will come in handy. Deboning a fish will be effortless, and you will surely be satisfied with the result.

When you purchase a fillet knife, you will find out that the blade is quite long and thin. This feature gives you the opportunity to remove the fish skin and meat from the bones flawlessly without ruining anything.

Puncturing the fish skin is easy, thanks to its flexible blade. Besides, maneuvering it will be smooth from the start to the end.

When you have to cut thick meats, avoid using this knife; because there is a possibility that you might damage the blade in the process.

What Is a Boning Knife?

If you need to separate the bones from beef, chicken, and other meat, this knife will be a blessing in disguise. It will make your task easy, and you can get the job done in a short period of time.

You won’t have a problem recognizing this knife, as its blade is long and thin. The design is carefully done so that you don’t face any problem when moving it against different bones’ directions.

Moreover, the sharp tip allows you to cut through the meat effectively. Thanks to this feature, you don’t have to invest too much physical effort.

The blades come in two types, rigid or flexible. If you encounter tough meats, the former one will be more suitable. In this case, beef or pork can be an example. When you have to debone soft meats such as poultry, the latter perfectly fits the requirement. 

Fillet Knife vs Boning Knife

Below, you will find all the important differences that set these knives apart. This information will be really helpful if you are planning to include these knives in your kitchen tools collection. Check it out.


Some people ignore the fact that these knives come with a specific purpose. Though you might get the result, it won’t be satisfactory. So, it will be best if you familiarize yourself with the uses of the knives.

The fillet knife is mainly used to separate the fishes’ skin from its flesh. Also, it performs very well when you have to separate the flesh from the bones of the fish. As you can see, it has multi-purpose facilities that becomes very helpful when you’re handling fish.

On the other hand, the deboning knife is designed to remove the meat from the bones with full accuracy. It is also suitable for deboning beef, poultry, etc. You can use it for removing the bones of thick fishes too, since they have dense flesh.


The fillet knives’ design is unique, since the blades are flexible and thin. You won’t face a problem when you have to cut the soft skin or flesh of a fish. The deboning knives’ design is rigid, with thin blades. They also have a sharp tip. In total, you can use them to tackle tougher bones and meats.

The Curve of the Blade

Fillet knives have a noticeable curve in an upward direction. Plus, the tip is curved as well. During filleting, this design allows you to make smooth and long cuts.

Boning knives have a blade pointing in a straight direction towards the tip of the knife. You won’t get curves like the previous one.

Blade Length

For a fillet knife, the blade’s length ranges between 4 and 9 inches. Some of the common sizes are 4, 6, 7.5, and 9 inches. Most people prefer to go for 7.5 inches, but your preference may vary.  

If you visit a store to buy a boning knife, you will find out that all the blades are between 5 and 6 inches long. Fortunately, you won’t notice any change in performance with the change in blade length.    

Movement Flexibility

Because the fillet knife has a thin blade with a curve, you will get the most flexibility when you move it from one direction to the other. All the cuts will be accurate; and you will definitely enjoy the overall experience.

Because the blade of a boning knife is stiff and straight with no curve, you can’t maneuver it like the previous knife. You can only direct it between and around the bones with accuracy.


When you use a fillet knife, you have to be careful; because applying too much force could bend or damage the blade. This is made to handle softer meats, which you have to take into consideration.

Luckily, a boning knife can take more force, since it is designed to tackle tougher meats. So, don’t panic if you have applied extra pressure accidentally.  


Both of the knives are made from stainless steel or carbon steel.

Carbon steel blades are sharp, and you have to maintain them regularly to prevent rust.

Stainless steel blades are easy to maintain. They won’t corrode with time. But they are not as sharp as the carbon steel blades.


It is clear that both the knives have their strengths and weaknesses.

Each of them performs excellently when you use them for their specific purpose.

Choose carefully because it is up to you to pick the winner.

Best of luck!

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