Major Differences between a Skinning Knife and a Fillet Knife

A skinning knife, by its very definition, is used for skinning. It can range from a peeler to a   traditional skinning knife, used to remove the skin from fresh hunts. You must be acquainted with these if you are a regular hunter or camper. An efficient skinning knife has a curved blade that has a firm grip. More than often, hunting knives are substituted for skinning knives.

Fillet knives, on the other hand, are meant to fillet the meat into thin slices than can be cooked. Fillet knives have to be razor sharp and the size of the blade depends on the size of the fish you would be filleting. A skinning knife differs from a from a fillet knife in its very function. However, apart from that, there are a lot of structural differences that separates the two.

  • The Shape of the Knife: A fillet knife is usually a straight, long, and thin knife which makes it easier to cut a variety of angles in the fillets. A hunting or skinning knife, on the other hand, is a thick, curved blade with a sturdy grip. The design of the blade depends on the animal that you are skinning. Some animals have loosely attached skin and clip-point or drop point blades usually are good for these. Only the tip is capable of removing the skin from the flesh. Animals like Feral pigs, on the other hand, have layers of fat under their skin. For these travel-point knives make the best sweeping cuts.
  • The Length of the Blade: The requisite length of the blade in either knife varies according to the animal of fish as well. For fillet knives, shorter knives of 5-inches are good for smaller fishes. They have better flexibility and can cut shorter angles. Larger fishes like tunas need taller knives of 9-inches. The length of the skinning blade depends on the animal you are skinning as well. Small animals like squirrels require a blade length of 3 to 3.5-inches. Larger games will require a taller variety of 4 to 5-inches. For games as large as a brown bear, it is easier to opt for 6 to 8.5-inch blades.
  • The Flexibility of the Blade: Fillet knives require a certain amount of flexibility to be able to fillet properly. The knife needs to work around the bones and extract as much meat as possible. A fillet knife is designed for this purpose and a firmer variety won’t work as well. Skinning knives, on the other hand, require little to no flexibility and are preferred without it as well. The steel should be hard steel and should not bend even while skinning the toughest of hides. But at the same time, it should not too hard that it becomes difficult to sharpen.
  • The Material of the Handle: Fillet knives have three kinds of handles: wood, rubber, and plastic. Plastic and rubber are preferred over wood as they do not absorb the stink of the fish as well as wood. Skinning knives do not have any such preferences based on technical difficulties. There are a couple of handle types that allows you a more comfortable and firmer grip. But hunters often prefer their skinning knives to be made of hardwood as it is more aesthetically pleasing that way.


Fillet knives are meant primarily for fishes while skinning knives span out over a larger variety of games. Even though fillet knives can be used for skinning fishes as well, they do not work on animals. A skinning knife is a hunting accessory and can cut through the meat as well.

  • April 11, 2017
Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: