A lot of people still confuse the use of the boning knife and the use of the fillet knife. Knowing the difference in these two knives can help you understand how to use them better and more efficiently. Let’s take a look at the difference between these two types and settle the boning vs fillet knives debate. Because of the shape of the blade that these knives have, many people have difficulty differentiating the one from another but here we will explain those differences and give you a better understanding of the uses of these knives.
As the name alone says, a Boning knife is a knife that is used in separating the bone from the meat where the Fillet knife is used in situations where you have to separate the meat from the skin. Although in specific situations you can use a Boning knife to remove skin from a fish, the sheer hardness of the knife can make the task much more difficult than if you were using a Fillet knife.
Let’s see that the other way around, using a Fillet knife to remove meat from the bones can be done in specific situations, let’s say you are backpacking and you do not have access to another knife. But most of the times these knives are used in the kitchen. Fillet knives’ blade is a very thin and flexible allowing you to glide in between the skin and the flesh. Again, separating meat from the bones is a much more aggressive and harsh work than removing the skin, and with that said the Fillet knife is not the right choice for the job.
Blade Material And Which is Better
When you buy a knife, doesn’t matter for what purpose. You will need to take into consideration the material that is used to make the blade of the knife, luckily for beginners most of the boning and fillet knives come mainly in two different blade materials. Choosing the better material for your needs is not a hard task. The two main materials that are used to make both fillet and boning knives are Stainless Steel and High Carbon Steel.
Now let’s talk a bit about the pros and cons about both of these materials.
Stainless Steel is a material that is much more durable and rust resistant than high carbon steel thus making these blade better suited towards harsh work and abuse. A lot of people will tell you that stainless steel blades do not maintain their edges as much as the high carbon steel ones which in a lot of cases is true. But other than that, stainless steel blades are for people that want a blade that will last for a lifetime.
On the other hand, high carbon steel knife blades are a popular choice in many kitchens and chefs simply because the are much sharper than stainless steel blades and they retain their edge much longer. With this said, you shouldn’t think that knives that have stainless steel blades cannot be razor sharp. As you know, the more money you give for a product then that product is most likely very high-quality meaning that high-end stainless steel knives can retain a razor sharp edge for a long time.
Boning VS Fillet Knives – Choosing the one for your needs
Now, the ultimate question: what kind of knife is best for me. For this question, we recommend taking into consideration a few things. Are you going to use this knife for removing bone from meat or are you going to use this knife for removing the skin from the flesh, in this case the choice is fairly obvious. But there is much more to then what you might think.
Ask yourself, what is the optimal blade size for my needs, fillet and boning knives come in variety of lengths. Especially the fillet knives, they come in 4 inch, 6 inch, 7.5 inch and 9 inch long blades which makes for a wide choice. Are you filleting meat which is small in size? Then you should perhaps look at the smaller versions of the filler knives such as the 4 inch one or the 6 inch one. On the other hand if you are filleting big cuts of meat, then you should consider looking at the bigger bladed-fillet knives.
Boning knives compared to fillet knives come in just a couple of sizes. The most usual blade length for a boning knife is either 5 inches or 6 inches, but that doesn’t mean that different sizes than that do not exist.
Another thing you might want to take into consideration when picking a knife is the conditions where you will use that knife. Are you a chef that spends most of the knife work in the kitchen or are you using your knife outdoors, for backpacking or camping perhaps?
Being in the kitchen and having the space and freedom to use many different tools and knives makes having one of each knife type in your kitchen a must.
Boning vs Fillet Knives: Conclusion
We hope that we made the dilemma and the confusion between these knives clear to you. We took a look at the shape, material and usage of these knife as well as giving you some tips on how to choose the perfect knife for your needs. Again, understanding the uses of the boning and the fillet knives is a must when buying them because it will help you understand how to use them better and how to maintain and take care of the knives. If you have the money and if you do a lot of knife work on a daily basis, we recommend that you get at least one filleting and one boning knife, it will make your work much more enjoyable to do but more importantly it will help you do your job cleaner and more efficiently.
Gary Portman is the founder and main author of knivesadvice.com Using the knowledge he has gained through the years, he aims to help people choose the best knife based on their needs. You can find more info about Gary here.