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Old 12-02-2004, 03:29 PM   #1
Cosmic Lazy Susan
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Default Flexible vs. stiff blade filet knife?

In parallel with the filet knife suggestion question I see that some seem to prefer flexible blades and others stiffer blades.

What are the relative merits of each and how are those characteristics most applicable?

Thanks for all the input,
Dale

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Old 12-02-2004, 03:46 PM   #2
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Default Re: Flexible vs. stiff blade filet knife?

A flexable blade follows the bones better and is the only way to go for a filet knife. All other knives should be stiff.
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Old 12-02-2004, 04:21 PM   #3
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Default Re: Flexible vs. stiff blade filet knife?

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A flexable blade follows the bones better and is the only way to go for a filet knife. All other knives should be stiff.
Agreed
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Old 12-02-2004, 04:39 PM   #4
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Default Re: Flexible vs. stiff blade filet knife?

yep
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Old 12-02-2004, 05:07 PM   #5
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Default Re: Flexible vs. stiff blade filet knife?

I like the nice long, rigid blades. Take the whole side of the fish off right along the backbone, then take the ribs off from the inside. Fast, easy and I don't waste a thing.
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Old 12-02-2004, 05:34 PM   #6
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Default Re: Flexible vs. stiff blade filet knife?

Absolutely correct, Cosmo, but you did not fillet the fish. A hacksaw would work as well for your method.

FILLET knives are flexible to follow the curvature of the bones and so that it can be flexed against the skin for skinning.
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Old 12-02-2004, 05:38 PM   #7
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Default Re: Flexible vs. stiff blade filet knife?

Yep. The so-called "guide's filet" could be done with an axe. It is very effective for going through a bunch of fish, and a rigid knife is fine. But then you gotta get rid of the ribs, and that usually takes a real filet knife.
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Old 12-02-2004, 05:40 PM   #8
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Default Re: Flexible vs. stiff blade filet knife?

What crabbait said.
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Old 12-02-2004, 05:46 PM   #9
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Default Re: Flexible vs. stiff blade filet knife?

I'm about halfway inbetween. The knife has to have enough flexibility to follow the curvature of the rib bones-- and I DO fillet mine and am quite good at it-- but most fillet knives are too flexible for my liking. I like a boning knife better for salmon and steelhead because it has the right backbone but is still slightly flexible. I do have one true "filet knife" that is just perfect, but I have no idea what brand it is.
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Old 12-02-2004, 05:46 PM   #10
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Default Re: Flexible vs. stiff blade filet knife?

This is phunny that this post shows up today. I just purchased a fillet knife today. I researched by cutting many fished and found what I like over this past year. I like a little flex in my knife, although that is not the most important factor for me. I like the blade to be long so I can make fewer strokes. I like the handle to be thin, so I can easily get at the second fillet and not rub the surface on which I am cutting.

I bought a Kommer's Big Eddy (the 9 inch version). It looks like it will be just the cutlery I desire.
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Old 12-02-2004, 07:44 PM   #11
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Default Re: Flexible vs. stiff blade filet knife?

I sometimes use a STIHL O15 with a modified bar. If you rev the rpm's to the right speed, the bar becomes warm enough to then slightly arc to the right degree, allowing me to just skim between the bone and the meat causing the perfect fillet. Dont use to much oil/gas mixture and allow no oil on the bar and you'll do just fine-The fish provide the oil, the bar does all the work!
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Old 12-02-2004, 07:49 PM   #12
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Default Re: Flexible vs. stiff blade filet knife?

Just out of curiosity, does anyone use the electric filet knives?
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Old 12-02-2004, 07:58 PM   #13
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Default Re: Flexible vs. stiff blade filet knife?

Electric??? Go wash your hands now (the on-line version of washing your mouth out with soap).

Teehee, just kidding. :grin: Or maybe not.
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Old 12-02-2004, 08:23 PM   #14
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Default Re: Flexible vs. stiff blade filet knife?

Beefcake --- We keep three electrics in our duffle in Alaska. When you've got 30 silvers to clean at 7:00 PM it's hard to beat an electric knife.
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Old 12-02-2004, 08:36 PM   #15
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Default Re: Flexible vs. stiff blade filet knife?

depends a lot of the type of fish and size I think......its a lot easier to fillet a 30lb chinook with a larger stiffer knife than a regular sized fillet knife
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Old 12-02-2004, 09:14 PM   #16
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Default Re: Flexible vs. stiff blade filet knife?

I have to agree with Fish_n_Russ that a rigid blade is good with a big salmon. I have a follow-up post to show a pic of the Kommer's Big Eddy. It has a concave top side of the blade and the bottom side is slighty arched outward. Here you are;



The glimmer in the pic does not help but I think it gives you an idea, anyway.
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Old 12-03-2004, 08:16 AM   #17
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Default Re: Flexible vs. stiff blade filet knife?

For boning out a salmon nothing beats the Cutco, but for actually cutting up the fillets nothing beats a good Dexter Russell Salmon slicer.



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Old 12-03-2004, 09:11 AM   #18
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Default Re: Flexible vs. stiff blade filet knife?

As stated above it just depends on what type of fileting you are going to be doing. If you want to do the "guide filet" you would need a stiff blade, if you want to filet the fish bones out you will need a flexible blade. So to have all your bases covered just buy 2
You can't beat Cutco "fishermans solution" for a stiff sharp lasting edge blade. There are lots of options for a flexible blade but be sure it has a curve and not a staight blade so you don't hack the meat. I have had several but personally prefer a Forschner. You want a very hard metal for your stiff blade as it is going through bones. But you want a softer metal blade for your filet knife so you can get and keep a very sharp edge on it quickly and repeatedly . As Thumper stated above if you are doing a bunch of fish at one time like in Alaska an electric isn't a bad way to go.
So there is no 1 perfect knife for all conditions or types of fileting.
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Old 12-03-2004, 05:22 PM   #19
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Default Re: Flexible vs. stiff blade filet knife?

Gotta disagree about wanting a softer metal for your filet knife, you want one that will keep and hold an edge, if you have to sharpen it all the time, you will wear the metal down and the more you wear it down towards the spine, the more you change the geometry of the edge, making it thicker and thicker. A good blade with the right grind and heat treatment will last much longer with minimal touching up than a soft one
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Old 12-03-2004, 05:40 PM   #20
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Default Re: Flexible vs. stiff blade filet knife?

Quote:
For boning out a salmon nothing beats the Cutco, but for actually cutting up the fillets nothing beats a good Dexter Russell Salmon slicer.




The boys at Sturgeon Pauls like this one for Salmon work. Good on back fin, breezes down the back bone and appears to work well filleting the gut bone from fillet'd halfs. Been thinking about getting one.

Currently use an stiffer 10-11" fillet for salmon - works nicely. I agree with the long blade for less passes opinion. Little stiffer blade gives more controll and requires less effort for me. Good quality for longer time between touch-up.
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Old 12-03-2004, 07:31 PM   #21
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Default Re: Flexible vs. stiff blade filet knife?

There is no doubt that First Light Bite is correct. YOu actually need to acquire a repertoire of knives for the different situations. Just like profesionalism "the right tool for the right job."

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Old 12-04-2004, 12:20 AM   #22
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Default Re: Flexible vs. stiff blade filet knife?

Short and flexible definitely works best for the <font color="red">eye</font><font color="blue">FISH</font> fillet method.

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