How to Sharpen a Fillet Knife – Keep Your Knife Sharp and New!

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There are only two types of fillet knives – a dull one and a sharp one. A dull knife slows down your work. Worse, it can cause accidents too. Learn how to sharpen a fillet knife to ensure it has the sharpest edge.

If you want a good fillet and get the most flesh from the fish frame, you must have a razor-sharp knife. But your thoughts are these, “I’m not a butcher, I don’t know how to sharpen a knife.”

Don’t worry because this post has your back. Even if you don’t have the sharpening skills of a butcher, we can help. Check out the steps of sharpening a fillet knife in the rest of the article.

What You Will Need;

You will need a few tools in learning how to sharpen a fillet knife. The materials are:

  • Sharpening stone/electric sharpener/sharpening rod/ 
  • Lubricant – water or oil
  • Your fillet knives

The method for sharpening the blades of your knife depends on the sharpening tool you use. We will tackle all three of them in the next section of the article.

How to Sharpen a Fillet Knife

How to Sharpen a Fillet Knife

Before we start the actual sharpening, it is essential to know some basic rules. Here are the fundamental principles in keeping blades razor-sharp:

  • Know the BurrThe burr is the elevated part of the blade, formed when two edges keep rubbing each other. It’s the first sign of a knife that’s getting sharpened. Take note of this because if it runs from the heel to the tip, then you have successfully sharpened your fillet knife.
  • ConsistencyWhen sharpening, consistency is most important if you want to ensure both edges are sharp. It has to do with keeping the same angle, which is hardly easy to maintain. To be consistent takes a lot of practice and patience, which you need to keep in mind if you want to sharpen your fillet knife at home.

1. Sharpening with Electric Sharpener

Sharpening with Electric Sharpener

Using an electric sharpener is the simplest way to hone your fillet knives. Follow the steps below to do that:

  1. First StageElectric sharpeners come in 2 or 4 sharpening stages. In this method, we will use 2 sharpening stages. Start with the first stage to remove the blade’s blunt edge.
  2. Pull the Knife into the SharpenerPull your fillet knife into the sharpener. Remember not to give it too much pressure. Fillet knives are not as durable as other kitchen knives, so pull it gently.
  3. Second StageAfter completing the first stage, move on to the second stage. Don’t worry about the sharpening angle. Electric sharpeners are already in 20-degrees angle, so you don’t need to do it manually.
  4. Pull the Knife Several TimesDuring the second stage, pull the knife around 4-5 times. This way, you can ensure it is super sharp, and stain finished perfect for any kind of use.
  5. Complete the SharpeningNow, you’re done. With electric sharpener’s quick sharpening process, you have extended your knife’s longevity.

2. Sharpen a Fillet Knife with a Stone

Sharpen a Fillet Knife with a Stone

A sharpening stone is not as convenient as an electric sharpener, but it is effective in making your blade sharp and shiny. But before we proceed on the sharpening process, know that there are different types of whetting stones.

For fillet knives, a diamond sharpening stone is one of the best options. Depending on the type of stone you use, you will have to use a lubricant. In this method, we will use diamond sharpening stone and water.

  1. Prepare the MaterialsBring out the sharpening stone, knives, and water. Sometimes, you may want to use a damp cloth or towel in your work area. Those will help to keep the stone in place while sharpening.
  2. Lubricate the StoneWet the stone by putting a small line of liquid in the middle and smearing it across the stone.
  3. Strike the Knife Edge on the StoneStart sharpening by striking the edge of the blade to stone. Start slowly and at 12 to 15-degrees angle, boosting your speed gradually. Make this motion for about 10 slides from the heel to the tip.
  4. Flip Blade and Repeat Step 3When you’re done, flip to the other side and repeat the motion described in step 3. Keep the angle and movement the same as in the original position because consistency is the key to sharpness.
  5. Flip Again to the Original PositionOnce you’re done, flip to the original position. This time, repeat the process with the same angle and number of slides but from tip to heel.
  6. Flip to the Other SideAfter step 5, flip again to the other side and repeat the described process. Remember to be consistent in angle, the number of slides, and motion.

3. Sharpen a Fillet Knife with a Sharpening Rod

Sharpen a Fillet Knife with a Sharpening Rod

Using a sharpening rod is a bit difficult, which is why it isn’t ideal for beginners. But if you still want to try it, here are the basic steps:

  1. Hold the Rod in Your Left HandFirst, hold the sharpening rod in your left hand. If you are left-handed, then hold the rod with your right hand instead if that’s more comfortable.
  2. Hold the Knife in Your Right HandWith the sharpening rod on the left, hold the fillet knife on your right hand with a bit of pressure. Start sharpening by moving the blade by moving in a 20-degree angle.
  3. Slowly Slide the Sharpening RodWhen you move the rod, do it slowly to give your fillet knife extra sharpness. If you do this consistently and perfected the movement, you can get a super sharp knife.


A fillet knife is an excellent tool to have. They are great for easy cleaning of fish, big or small. Whether you are a chef or a housewife, it certainly pays well to have a super sharp fillet knife.In that case, I hope this post on how to sharpen a fillet knife will be useful to you. With the steps mentioned above, I hope you can keep your blades to be as sharp and good as new.Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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