Boning knives and fillet knives are two similarly styled kitchen knives specifically designed for working with meat or fish. A boning knife has a sharp point and a narrow blade, primarily designed for removing the bones of fish, poultry or meat. Though boning knives typically have a standard size of 5 to 6.5 inches, some manufacturers make boning knives that extend as long as 9.5 inches. The boning knife features a narrow blade that is not as thick as a butcher or kitchen knife. The thinness of the blade allows the knife to make precision boning much easier, especially when making deep cuts and holes. A stiff boning knife is ideal for use on pork or beef, while a flexible boning knife is best for fish or poultry. Some boning knives feature an arched blade designed to easily remove the flesh from fish with a single pass.
Fillet knives (also spelled filet) are slightly different from boning knives but share some of the same characteristics. Fillet knives are primarily used on fish but can also be used on various meats. A fillet knife is flexible, thin and the blade is typically 6 to 11 inches long and much more shallow than the tang. This gives the filet knife excellent mobility when being used to cut meats or fish, as it can easily maneuver around bones or fat. The characteristics of a fillet knife also make removing skin from fish easy because the knife blade can flex along a cutting board.