- 7 Best Beginner Fly Reels of 2023 – Buyers’ Guide - 24. February 2023
- Generational Divide - 13. September 2022
- Mousing for Trout at Night - 6. September 2022
A fish scaler tool can be crucial if you decide to keep your catch and prepare it in the kitchen. Here’s what to look for.
Some fish, especially saltwater species, have scales that are quite sturdy and hard to remove. If you plan to prepare your catch as a fillet it is essential to remove the scales. Otherwise the culinary experience won’t be great. You either use a knife to remove the scales (which can be dangerous if you are not experienced with it) or a scaler which makes this task much easier. In this guide we want to tell you what to look for in a quality fish scale remover and show you our favorites.
Table of Contents:
How to Choose a Quality Scaler
Best Fish Scaler: Quick Answer List
Best Scalers Tested & Reviewed
Important Features of a Scaler
How to Choose a Quality Fish Scale Remover
When choosing a scaler, there are several options to pick from. The first question is whether you want a manual (which is enough if you only scale a fish every once in a while) or an electric one. An electric scaler makes your life a lot easier if you scale your catch often, especially big ones (we will talk about manual vs. electric further down in this guide).
The second question to answer is whether you need a scaler at all since there are ways around buying one. The first option is using a spoon. Simply grab the fish’s head and apply quick raking motions up and down the body. Most species can be scaled this way. The second “self-made” option is to build a simple one yourself. All you need is a piece of wood, a few nails and a few crown caps, for example from a beer bottle. Take a crown cap, place it upside down on the piece of wood and drive the nail through it using a hammer. Use three or four crown caps next to each other and ready is your self-made scaler.
If you’re not the DIY type, you will want a professional one. Here are our recommendations. Let’s go.
Best Fish Scale Remover: Quick Answer List
1. 304 Stainless Steel: Best Simple Remover
2. Jeslon Oyster Knife Set: Best Multi Purpose
3. Kwizing Made in Japan [Extra Large] Scaler: Best Big Scaler
4. GiniHome Scaler Brush: Best Stainless Steel
5. Fish Scaler Remover Set: Best Versatility
6. MUXINAZ: Best Electric Fish Scaler
7. 2 Piece Stainless Steel: Best Simple Set
8. Fish Skin Brush: Best Grip
Best Fish Scalers: Tested & Reviewed
Now that you know how to build a fish scaler on your own, we want to show you our favorites if you want a professional one. We made sure to include different kinds of scalers in this review so you can make a solid choice. We included scalers made entirely from stainless steel, some with wooden or plastic handles and an electric fish scaler as well.
Best Simple Remover: Fish Scale Remover, 304 Stainless Steel
The 304 Stainless Steel is a straightforward fish scaler that gets the job done. Made from a single piece of stainless steel it it easy to operate and also to clean (it’s dishwasher safe). A hole on the end of the handle makes it easy to store.
The 58 saw teeth on the 304 Stainless Steel make scaling a fish, even bigger ones, an easy task. Simply grab the fish by the head with one hand and scale it with the other using the scaler. Its overall length of 8.89″ makes it comfortable to grab and use.
Best Multi Purpose: Jeslon Oyster Knife Set
The Jeslon Oyster Knife Set is a great choice if you are not only into fish but seafood as well. Besides a classi scaler, this set includes a number of other tools that come in handy in the kitchen. Besides the scaler that is a similar built to the 304 Stainless Steel, this set also includes bone tweezers.
But that’s not all. The Jeslon Oyster Knife Set comes with an oyster shucking knife (with a safety sheath) and a safety glove. If you operate with tools such as an oyster knife of fillet knife a safety glove is an excellent tool for increased safety. If you just start processing fish, you can also use it to scale (especially on bigger fish when applying more force). Excellent value for money.
Best Big Scaler: Kwizing Made in Japan [Extra Large] Scaler
The Kwizing Made in Japan [Extra Large] is the right choice if you are primarily scaling big (saltwater) fish. It’s made in Japan and features 32 serrated sawtooth tips for quick scaling. The large surface of the Kwizing Made in Japan [Extra Large] makes it easy to scale big fish in a reasonable amount of time.
We liked the wooden handle which feels nice in your hand. The grooves of the Kwizing Made in Japan [Extra Large] prevent the scales from flying around while you’re at it. Solid, sturdy tool from Japan. Will last you for a long time.
Best Stainless Steel: GiniHome Scaler Brush
The GiniHome Scaler Brush is built similarly to the Kwizing Made in Japan [Extra Large] but from different materials. Made from stainless steel it feels slightly more slender. We particularly liked the ergonomic handle.
Thanks to its lightweight design, the GiniHome Scaler Brush is an excellent choice for female chefs and anglers. Its stainless steel design make it easy to clean. The GiniHome Scaler Brush is the right tool if you want a professional scaler that looks good in your kitchen even when not in use.
Best Versatility: Fish Scaler Remover Set
The Scaler Remover Set includes everything you’re looking for if you are serious about preparing your own catch. Besides three different scalers it comes with a scaler brush for fine tuning your scaling process.
If you’re done scaling and filleting your catch, the tweezers make it easy to remove remaining fish bones. If you’re not a fan of eating the skin of your catch (which can be very tasty if you fry the fillet in a pan for example), the little skin remover tool that is also part of the Scaler Remover Set is a neat little tool to get the job done.
Best Electric Scaler: MUXINAZ
Like mentioned earlier in this guide, an electric scaler can be a good idea if you scale multiple fish often. If you’ve scaled (big) fish before manually, you know that it can be tiring. If you are hence looking for an electric scaler, take a look at the MUXINAZ electric scaler.
The MUXINAZ is rechargable and hence allows you to operate it without it being plugged into a power outlet all the time. The ergonomic handle ensures a safe grip, and the waterproofness makes sure you can rinse and wash the MUXINAZ without damaging it.
Best Simple Set: 2 Piece Stainless Steel
The 2 Piece Stainless Steel Scaler is a straightforward fish scaler for every day use. Its simple design makes scaling easy and quick. Cleaning is also not an issue thanks to its stainless steel design.
If you decide to scale a fish, it’s easy and quick to fillet your catch afterwards. In order to ensure you get the most of this precious produce, use the tweezers that come with the 2 Piece Stainless Steel Scaler, to make sure there are no little bones left in the flesh.
Best Grip: Fish Skin Brush
The last product in our test is another straight forward scaler tool. The Fish Skin Brush is our favorite choice when it comes to best grip. Just like its competitors its head is made from stainless steel. This ensures a high quality product and a long life in your kitchen.
Other than stainless steel fish scalers made from a single piece of steel, the Skin Brush features a plastic handle. The ergonomic handle ensures a safe grip at all times, also when the fish skin scraper is wet. Made in Korea.
Important Features of the Best Fish Scalers
In our big review we compiled some of the best fish scalers money can buy at the moment. All of these products have the main traits of a quality scaler tool. In the following section we want to dive a little deeper into a few of these key characteristics.
As you can see from our buyer’s guide almost all fish scalers are made from stainless steel. This material makes them very sturdy and prevents them from rusting if they get into contact with water. Furthermore, stainless steel has the advantage of being unresponsive to bad odors.
We made sure to include fish scalers of different sizes in this review. If you scale a smaller species such as trout or bass every once in a while a product such as the 304 Stainless Steel or the 2 Piece Stainless Steel will easily get the job done. In case you also want to scale bigger saltwater species, you can consider a more robust scaler such as the Kwizing Made in Japan [Extra Large] Fish Scaler or even an electric fish scaler.
Electric vs. Manual Scaler
Talking about electric ones: for most people a manual fish scaler tool will work just fine. An electric one such as the MUXINAZ is worth considering if your hands and arms tend to fatigue quickly. Another use case for an electric one would be if you run a restaurant and prepare fish regularly.
When it comes to usability, personal preferences play a big role. Sure, a fish scaler should be sturdy, easy to handle and have reliable brushes to scale easily. But when it comes to the material of the handle for example, everybody has a different taste. Some prefer the comfortable feeling of a handle made of wood, others prefer a scaler made from stainless steel only. There is no right or wrong in this question.
Although fish scalers are not a sharp tool by definition, safety should be considered. Especially if you are scaling bigger fish where you need to apply a bit of pressure to remove their scales, you can consider using a filleting glove. Those are gloves made from a metal mesh fabric that reliably prevents you from injuring yourself.
Conclusion on the Best Fish Scaler
As you can see from our big review, a scaler can be handy tool to facilitate your life in the kitchen. All of the products in this test will get the job done with ease. In the end it comes down to personal preference whether you go for a manual or electric one. If you like preparing your own catch, make sure to check our Guide to the Best Fillet Knife and our Guide to the Best Electric Fillet Knife.
Best Fish Scalers: FAQ
A scaler is a helpful tool if you decide to keep your catch and prepare it in the kitchen. It will easily remove the (non-edible) scales of a fish. You can either get a professional one or also simply use a spoon. It will get the job done although a professional scaler will make your life a lot easier.
If you don’t want to buy a fish scaler you can either use a spoon or the back of cooking knife. Both tools will work just fine for most species. Be careful if you decide to use a knife since you might slip if you apply pressure to remove the scales.
The best way to remove fish scales is to use a professional fish scaler. It’s a small took most often made of stainless steel. Its teeth remove fish scales easily. Alternatively you can also use a spoon and apply the same raking motions along the fish’s body.
The scales of most fish species are not edible. If you decide to fry the fish fillet on its skin for example, you have to remove the scales first. Otherwise your dish won’t taste very good.
You scale a fish along its entire body from the tail fin all the way up to its head. The scales on the sides are very easy to remove. The removal of the scales around the fins and the head is a little more tedious.
Read more of our Gear Guides here:
Ultimate Guide: Best Wading Jackets
Buyer’s Guide Best Wading Boots
A Guide to the Best Sling Pack
A Guide to the Best Fly Fishing Starter Kits
Notice: We take part in so-called affiliate programs such as Amazon Associates. If you click on one of the links in the text and end up purchasing a product we earn a small commission at no extra cost for you. We only recommend products we would use ourselves. All product photos courtesy of amazon.