How do I maintain and sharpen a fillet knife to keep it in top conditi – KBS Knives Store

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How do I maintain and sharpen a fillet knife to keep it in top condition?

Posted by Marian F Nelson on

Maintaining and sharpening a fillet knife is crucial for ensuring it stays in top condition and performs at its best. Here's a comprehensive guide by KBS Knives Store on how to do just that:


  1. Clean After Every Use:

    • Rinse the knife under warm water to remove any fish residue or food particles.
    • Use a gentle dish soap and a sponge or soft cloth to clean the blade.
    • Avoid abrasive scouring pads or harsh cleaners, as they can damage the knife.
  2. Dry Thoroughly:

    • Pat the knife blade and handle dry with a clean towel.
    • Ensure there's no moisture left on the knife to prevent corrosion.
  3. Store Properly:

    • Protect the blade by using a knife sheath, blade guard, or knife block.
    • Avoid storing it in a drawer where it can bump into other utensils, potentially damaging the edge.


  1. Honing vs. Sharpening:

    • Regularly use a honing rod or honing steel before or after each use to realign the edge. Hold the knife at a 15-20 degree angle and slide it along the rod from base to tip.
    • Sharpening, on the other hand, involves removing material to create a new edge and is needed less frequently than honing.
  2. Choose the Right Sharpening Method:

    • You can sharpen your fillet knife using a whetstone, electric sharpener, or a sharpening system. Select the method you're most comfortable with.
  3. Maintain the Correct Angle:

    • If using a whetstone, maintain the correct sharpening angle (usually around 15-20 degrees).
    • Keep a consistent angle throughout the sharpening process for even results.
  4. Use a Lubricant:

    • When sharpening with a whetstone, use a lubricant like water or honing oil to reduce friction and prevent overheating the blade.
  5. Start with Coarse Grit and Progress:

    • If your knife is very dull, start with a coarse-grit stone or the coarsest setting on your electric sharpener. Gradually move to finer grits for a polished edge.
  6. Check for Burr:

    • After sharpening one side, check for a burr or wire edge along the opposite side. Remove it by lightly running the knife along the stone a few times.
  7. Test the Sharpness:

    • Carefully test the knife's sharpness on a piece of paper or a tomato. It should cut effortlessly without tearing.

Remember, regular maintenance and sharpening will keep your fillet knife in peak condition, ensuring it remains a reliable tool for precision cuts in the kitchen or during your outdoor adventures.

Fillet knife for professional chefs