Best Fish Cleaning Tables

Updated December 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

18 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
268 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best fish cleaning tables

Last Updated December 2019

Everything about fishing is fun: the catching, the eating, the cleaning. OK, maybe not everything. After a long day on the lake, the last chore you probably want to tackle is gutting, descaling, and filleting your catch. It’s dirty, time-consuming, and if you’re balancing a cutting board on a cooler to do it, potentially dangerous.

Enter the fish cleaning table. These won’t take all the “chore” out of the task of moving your catch from the water to the dinner table, but they do provide you with a stable, sanitary environment to clean your fish. You can also use a fish cleaning table to dress game, to serve food at a cookout, and anywhere you need a portable kitchen setup.

There are a variety of fish cleaning tables on the market, and while they all address the same need, they are different enough to present you with some tough choices. This guide will sort out some of the differences you should keep an eye out for when choosing a fish cleaning table.

If portability isn’t a needed feature, consider a permanent fish cleaning table. These can often be bolted into place, providing you with greater stability.

Table and frame construction

The majority of fish cleaning tables share a similar design that includes a table to fillet your fish and a sink/faucet to help keep the table at least marginally clean. In terms of the table itself, some construction factors to keep in mind include the following.

Table surface: This is where you will be doing all your gutting and filleting, and as such, the surface should hold up to knife use and other abuse. A strong plastic, such as an FDA-approved polyethylene, is recommended here. This rugged material is long-lasting and safe for food.

Table frame: The table frame, including the legs, is another primary construction point to pay attention to. It should be made from either stainless steel or aluminum (preferably anodized) to provide durability and rust-resistance. The legs should be lockable, and extras such as adjustable feet can help improve stability.

Sink and faucet

The sink and faucet assembly is a main feature on almost all of fish cleaning tables. There are a few primary elements to think about when considering this section of a fish cleaning table.

Sink: While these tend to be on the shallow side, they are still an effective way to keep your work area clean. The sink should have a decent-size drainage hole with a drain plug and should include a flexible drainage hose that you can attach to the underside. Pricier tables may incorporate two sinks (usually of different depths) to give you more options. The material the sink is constructed from should be rust-resistant.

Faucet: Included with the majority of tables, faucets are another element that should be made from stainless steel or some other rust-resistant material. Faucets should be rugged and leak-proof. You should be able to easily hook a garden hose up to it and easily break it down for storage.

Sprayers: A sprayer is a handy addition to a faucet, although you won’t find these included with the majority of tables. If the table you are considering has a sprayer, check that it has adequate water pressure. The sprayer will also be easier to use if it has a flexible hose of a decent size.

DID YOU KNOW?

Some tables have built-in rulers, so you can easily tell how long your catch is before you clean it.

Other desirable features

Rugged surface: As mentioned, a rugged surface capable of withstanding a knife onslaught is paramount. A non-porous surface is a plus, as it will be easier to clean, and you should avoid surfaces with any crevices, as they can collect bacteria.

Residue management: Raised edges on a board will help control the cleaning mess, as will grooves or channels that direct water away from the work area. A table surface that slightly slopes offers a perfect way to manage water and fish residue, too.

Surface area: The more surface area the tabletop has, the more space you will have to work. Keep in mind, however, that a larger table requires more storage space as well.

Portability: If portability is an important consideration for you, be sure the fish cleaning table you choose is lightweight and the legs are foldable. Some tables fold in half for an even more compact footprint.

Ideal height: The height of most fish cleaning tables is not adjustable, so we advise you to figure out what height is right for you and shop accordingly. If there is a counter in your house that you particularly enjoy working at, you could use the height of that as your guide.

Manageable weight: Weight is an area in which these tables vary considerably. Again, if portability is key, think about going with a lower table weight. The weight capacity of the table (what it can hold) is also important to know if your fish (or game) tend to be on the larger side.

In addition to the aforementioned features, you may find some fish cleaning tables that have shelving, cup holders, and holes for attaching garbage bags. The manufacturer may include some other items with your purchase as well, such as a bowl, fillet knife, or cutting board.

Fish cleaning table prices

While you could spend a premium on a fish cleaning table, the majority of your choices will likely run in the $50 to $100 range. Those tables at a higher price point tend to offer more quality in terms of materials and construction. Enhanced durability and advanced features, such as multiple sinks or a sprayer, are often found close to the $100 mark.

EXPERT TIP

For maximum stability, set up your fish cleaning table on a flat surface before using it.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

For sanitation purposes and to keep scavengers away, always use buckets to dispose of used water and fish scraps, even if you’re using the table outside.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • A quick-connect hose feature can save you time and effort if you frequently connect and disconnect a garden hose to your table’s faucet assembly.

  • Gather all knives, scalers, buckets, bowls, and other tools before you start the cleaning process. This will save you time and keep you from having to constantly wash your hands in order to go find more items.

  • Because the sinks found on most fish cleaning tables are quite shallow, consider adding a dishwashing tub to your list of gear. That way, you can easily store and move dirty dishes and knives to your kitchen when you’re done filleting fish.

  • Be sure you have a garden hose long enough to reach wherever you plan to set up your cleaning table.

  • Consider using a separate bucket for fish scraps instead of flushing them down the sink into the drain bucket. The sink drains on the majority of these tables are narrow and tend to clog quickly.

  • A shelf on the lower part of the cleaning table can serve double duty by not only offering a storage area but also by giving the legs better stability.

  • With the majority of fish cleaning tables, you will need to do some assembly, notably with the sprayer/faucet ensemble. If you’ve never assembled something like this before, it may be advisable to have a second pair of hands available to help.

  • The drainage hose on the bottom of the sink will be easier to use if it is long, flexible, and preferably adjustable. If it is lacking any of these qualities, you could probably easily replace it for a few dollars at your local hardware store.

Other products we considered

We’d like to highlight a couple additional tables that we considered. The first is Lifetime’s Four-Foot Folding Fish Fillet Cleaning Table. This table stands out for features such as a flow control sprayer, carry handle, and the fact that it folds in half for compact storage. What really caught our eye, though, was its three adjustable height settings — a unique feature for this type of product. The Deluxe Cleaning Table from Seek is pricier and heavier than other tables, but it offers a rugged design coupled with extras like a wire-mesh shelf and an extending sprayer.

An alternative use for a fish cleaning table is as a potting table. Store pots and dirt under it, pot up seeds and plants atop it, and use the faucet for watering.

FAQ

Q. What is the best way to clean my table?

A. It is important that you carefully and thoroughly clean your table immediately after use. This will cut down on bacteria growth and help eliminate any strong fishy odors that could linger. Use bleach, hot water, and a scrubbing pad to clean the table, fixtures, and tools, too.

Q. Does the faucet easily remove for storage?

A. This depends on the table. Some faucet ensembles fold or can be quickly removed and secured under the table for easy storage. With others, however, the hardware securing the faucet is difficult to reach.

The team that worked on this review
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor
  • Rich
    Rich
    Writer

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