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Boning Knives vs Filleting Knives: What is the Difference Between Them?

August 28, 2023176 ViewskniveSource

Most household kitchen masters don’t know the basic difference between a boning knife and a filleting knife. They think those are the same. And why not – both of them possess almost the same design and size, which can confuse any non-professional chef.

However, a boning knife and a filleting knife can be almost similar, but they have a lot of differences. For instance, a boning knife is a much heavier and rigid knife that ranges between 5-8 inches. The knife is suitable for separating meat from bones.

On the other hand, filleting knives are longer, lighter and more flexible, ranging between 5-9 inches. The knife separates delicate meat, e.g., fish, from bones and skin.

Both knives can be used to separate bones from meat. But using the right knife for the right task is advisable, or you could damage the blade. For example, the filleting knife can be used to debone from hard eat like beef, lamb, or pork, but the blade won’t sustain long.

In addition, the boning knife can separate skin and small bones, but the efficiency and precision will be compromised. Thus, using the right knife for the right task is mandatory. And to know more about those knives, in this article, we will compare and contrast the uses, advantages and disadvantages of boning knives and filleting knives.


Boning Knives

A boning knife is a 5 to 8 inches long sharp point and narrow-blade kitchen knife used for separating sturdy meat from big bones. The knife is quite lightweight and thinner than the other kitchen knives.

The boning knives can be categorized into two types:

Blade Shape and Size

A boning knife has a straight flat blade with a sharp edge and a little tip curve. The blade is extremely sharp along with the tip, so it can pierce and slice meat and separate it from the big bones. The blade is generally crafted with high-carbon steel to chop sturdy meat with enough force.

The boning knife size ranges between 5-8 inches. But you can choose one depending on your need. Large-size knives will offer an advantage with more space and control that can be used to slice beef and pork. Small knives are best suitable for fish and chickens.

Best Use of Boning Knife



Filleting Knives

A filleting knife is a type of knife that is used for filleting. It is a flexible, lightweight knife that works perfectly with delicate meat like fish and chicken. It has a 5-9 inches full tang design with a prominent curve to the pointed tip.

There are two types of filleting knives:

Blade Shape and Size

The filleting knife has a more prominent curve design to the pointed tip and has an extremely sharp edge due to its grind on one side. The knife is 5-9 inches long and has a well-balanced width. It’s a full tang knife that is crafted with stainless steel material.

Best Use of Filleting Knife



Comparison: Boning Knives vs Filleting Knives

Both boning and filleting knives are excellent choices and must-have tools for every kitchen, but those are excellent for their tasks. And those knives have some differences that should be known to use them correctly:

Blade Shape and Size

The first difference that both boning and filleting knife has is the blade shape and size. Although it may look closely similar, the boning knife has a straight flat and little curve to the pointed tip that ranges between 5-8 inches.

On the other hand, the Filleting knife has a more prominent curve to the pointed tip with a grind on one side of the blade and a full tang design. Its size ranges between 5-9 inches and is more design-flexible.


The use of the knives also makes them different from each other. The boning knife is designed for deboning and chopping sturdy meat such as beef, pork, lamb, and chicken – since this type of knife is rigid and thicker, that can deliver a good amount of force.

Filleting knives, on the other hand, are flexible that are used for precise cuts on delicate eat like fish. Its flexibility and length help to debone the fish and remove the skin.


Boning knives require hardness and strength to cut sturdy meats, and that’s why it’s generally crafted with high-carbon steel to achieve that level of hardness and strength. But it does not have that much corrosion and dust resistance; thus, using it in moisture can make the blade corrode soon.

However, filleting knives are flexible to cut precisely and work with delicate meat. Therefore, extreme hardness is not required here. But since it’s used for slicing fish, corrosion and rust resistance quality is mandatory, so it’s crafted with stainless steel.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Boning Knives vs Filleting Knives

Both are excellent knives but have different applications and are suitable for different tasks. But when choosing, keep these things in mind:


The boning and filleting knives are extremely beneficial tools and must-have options for every kitchen. But those are not the same and should be used for their purposes. If someone uses them without being unaware of their purpose, i.e., using a boing knife on small fish or filleting knife to debone beef, they will damage the knife or food. Thus, both knives should be used for the right tasks, and both are best for the tasks they were designed for.