Best Catfish Skinners

Best Catfish Skinners Reviews 2022 | Top 7 Picks for Beginners

Catching catfishes is pretty hard. They do put up a good fight. So, mastering the catching technique is not a child's play. However, even if you get the hang of catching this fish, you will need to go through another challenge. Skinning them! It will take you literally hours to peel them with a regular knife.

That is why some people cook them with their skin on. But if you have ever tried a dish such as that, you probably already know how unpleasant an unskinned catfish taste. So, what is the solution? Get one of the best catfish skinners!

However, the overabundance of options can confuse you. Well, that is exactly where our expertise and experience step in. Just let us walk you through it and see how easy the choosing process becomes!



Editor's Rating


Maybrun Catfish Skinner

5 out of 5

Ergo Chef Myron Mixon

5 out of 5

South Bend MD-SKPL

4.5 out of 5

Ugly Stik Fish Skinner

4 out of 5

Skinzit Electric Fish Skinner

Skinzit Electric Skinner

4.5 out of 5

How to Choose Catfish Skinners?

Catfish Skinner

Yes, going through our review section will make it easier for you to get the best catfish skinning pliers. However, to make the choice process much easier, you need to keep these factors in your mind:


So, basically, there are two types of skinners. The first one is manual, which are pliers. These will have handles and jaws. There will be a spring mechanism, which will keep the jaws open all the time. You will need to use the handles to make the jaws close and grab onto the skin.

On the other hand, there are electric peelers. These will have a wheel with sharp edges, which will take the skin off for you. As these are totally automatic, you will no need to do anything other than put the fish in place.

If you want to get your hands on an affordable skinner, the manual ones are for you! But if you want to enjoy the convenience that the electric ones offer, get one of the good ones. Do check the capability, portability, and ease of use before picking the electric ones. For the manual ones, which are our primary, go through the net factors.


The handle is the most crucial part of the manual ones. You will first need to check whether it has an ergonomic design or not. Without proper ergonomics, you can not work with the skinner for a prolonged time. You will get the fatigue pretty easily.

Secondly, check whether there is a non-slip grip on the handle or not. Without a non-slip design or grip, it will be impossible for you to work with the tool properly. And you will struggle to get a proper hold on the handle, and it will slip around.

The Spring-Loaded Mechanism

As we have mentioned earlier, the manual ones will have a spring-loaded mechanism to keep the jaws open. But the thing is, a lot of the manufacturers use too powerful springs, which can make it hard for you to get the jaws closed. So, check the force required to activate the spring before making a purchase.

Other than that, consider the durability of the spring. If it is not of high-grade material, it will fail or become too stiff after just a couple of uses. Now, that is something that you would not want, right? So, check the construction material!

Build Quality

Another thing that you should consider is the build quality. For this, we would recommend opting for the ones with high-grade stainless steel construction. Those will last longer and will offer optimal functionality for a long period.


Finally, consider the design of the jaws. They have to be wide enough to properly grab onto the fish's skin. Also, the edges need to have enough sharpness to dig right into the skin. If you get a skinner with narrow and blunt jaws, you will not make any progress in terms of getting the skin off your catches.

Our Proposed Top 7 Best Catfish Skinners Reviews in 2022

After comparing each top-rated catfish skinner, we found only seven models worthy of the purchase. Wondering what makes them worth the money? Allow us to describe!

1. Maybrun Commercial Catfish Skinner

You will stumble upon tons of options from different brands in your hunt for proper catfish skinner pliers. However, there are only a few with the decent build quality. And this offering from Mayburn is one of them.

So, what makes this product a good build quality? First, it has a heavy-ribbed handle. Such a design will lower the chances of your hands slipping while you are operating it. Also, due to the heavy-duty nature, the handle will last for a long time without showing any issues.

You will also find a sturdy stainless steel spring. That will provide the right level of tension and allow you to skin catfish effortlessly. And thanks to this catfish skinner's ergonomic design, you will be capable of working with tons of catfishes in one go.

Another thing that makes it a good pick for this list of the best catfish skinning pliers is its efficiency. It can grab a good amount of skin. Again, that will make it easier for you to work with a large batch of fish. So, this skinner is an excellent pick if you were on the lookout for a plier that can offer real commercial-grade performance.

Highlighted Features:

  • Commercial-grade product, so it has a proper design
  • Has an ergonomic design
  • The stainless steel spring is heavy-duty
  • It has a heavy-ribbed handle, making it easy to grab
  • Durable and easy to use

2. Myron Mixon BBQ Rib Skinner by Ergo Chef

While looking for the fastest catfish skinner, you might want to get something that comes with ergonomic handles and a non-slip grip. In that case, consider this offering from Ergo Chef.

Yes, the last unit also had an ergonomic grip. However, this one takes things up a notch by integrating PVC under the first layer. That layer will ensure that you get the right amount of comfort while holding the handle. It will also enhance the durability level and make the handle long-lasting.

This catfish skinner also comes with a heavy-duty spring. It has the right amount of tension and will automatically open up when you are not putting any force on the handle. Also, for the non-slip grip, working with it for an extended period will not be an issue.

On the front, you will find precision-machined jaws. It is of high-quality stainless steel. And thanks to having a high sharpness, it will be capable of grabbing and pulling the skin right off the fish easily. Also, the PVC core has a seamless design. That makes the overall unit achieve an excellent overall outlook.

That said, due to having a high-quality build, the jaws will not go blunt that easily. Instead, it will maintain the right sharpness for a long time. So you will not have to go through the hassle of sharpening them frequently.

Highlighted Features:

  • Boasts an ergonomic handle
  • The handle has a PVC underlayer
  • Sports a non-slip grip on the top
  • Heavy-duty and highly durable
  • Comes with precision-machined jaws

3. South Bend MD-SKPL Skinning Pliers

Most of the available catfish pliers will either have a thin layer on the handle or will not have a durable handle at all. But that is not the case for this skinner from South Bend.

First of all, the unit has a thick layer on the handle. This layer will increase comfort and allow you to work with the plier for prolonged hours without feeling any fatigue. Also, the layer will make the handle get a non-slip nature. That, again, will enhance the comfort and enable you to work with it efficiently.

The overall construction of the plier is heavy-duty. It is of high-quality materials. For that reason, it will be capable of withstanding a heavy load. Basically, you will be capable of using it for a long time without facing any structural issues.

There is a heavy-duty spring on the jaws, just like the pliers that we have just looked at. That spring does an excellent job of ensuring proper operation of the jaw. Also, it will ensure that the jaw self opens appropriately for an extended period without showing any flaws.

On that note, the jaws have sharp ends. Thanks to that, it will be possible to grab onto the fish skins without putting that much effort. Also, the construction of the jaws is made of high-quality steel, and it will not show any structural issues that easily.

Highlighted Features:

  • Has a thick rubber layer on the handle
  • Comfortable and highly ergonomic
  • Features a proper self-opening jaws
  • The jaws have sharp ends
  • Durable and long-lasting

4. Ugly Stik Fish Skinner Tool

Easy one-hand operation is something that you will not find in most skinners available on the market. But if you were looking for something that will allow you to do that, you need to consider this unit from Ugly Stik.

Although the brand's name might set you off, the tool does not look ugly at all. Instead, it has a robust and modern design. In fact, it looks better than most of the other skinners that are on the market. So, no, you will not have to work with something that looks like it's from the medieval period if you get this skinner.

Aside from the looks, the device's overall functionality is pretty top-notch. The brand has opted for a triggered reverse grip design for the handle. That will enable you to use the tool with one hand without any difficulties. Also, due to the ergonomic nature of the handle, it will be easy to work with for a prolonged time.

But that is not all! This one also comes with a spring-loaded jaw. The spring basically makes the self-opening mechanism work smoothly. And, you will not need to put that much pressure to work with this. The jaws also have a good amount of sharpness and will hold on to the skin of the fish properly.

Along with that, the overall construction of the jaws is of 420 stainless steel. This steel is pretty durable and will make the jaws operate optimally for a long time. The package also comes with a 36 inches long lanyard. Thanks to that, you can easily carry the skinner pretty much everywhere you go.

Highlighted Features:

  • Has a robust and modern design
  • The handle has a triggered reverse design, increasing the comfort level
  • Features a strong spring for the jaws
  • Easy to operate
  • The jaws have pretty sharp edges

5. Skinzit Electric Fish Skinner

Skinzit Electric Fish Skinner

Not really a fan of the manual skinners? Want to get something that will skin the fish for you? Well, what you have been looking for all this time is probably this catfish skinner from Skinzit.

Due to being electric, it will handle each fish quickly. It will only take half of the time that a regular manual skinner requires. That means you will be capable of handling a large load of fish in a short amount of time. And as a catfish angler, this can certainly help you to become highly efficient.

But just because it skins quickly, it does not mean you will end up with a lot of waste. In fact, it is so efficient that it will not let any of the meat come off the fillets. Now, that is something a regular fish skinner can not ensure you. Also, the unit can adequately remove rib bones.

There will be no need to go through any hassles when it comes to operating it. It has large buttons, and you can easily handle catfish with it. The unit also comes with a rechargeable battery. That means you can carry it with you to the fishing spot and skin the fish right after catching it.

Another thing that makes it stand out is its maintenance process. You can easily remove the intake wheel and get it cleaned. The same thing applies to the other moving parts as well. So, it will be quite easy for you to maintain the device and ensure it operates smoothly for a prolonged period.

Highlighted Features:

Electric and fully automatic

  • Takes a short amount of time to skin catfish
  • Can properly get the rib bones out
  • Rechargeable and easy to operate
  • Takes the skin off without any waste

6. Maybrun 03101 Catfish Skinner

We have got yet another impressive skinner from Mayburn. Want to know what makes it so impressive?

First of all, it has a unique design. The handles come with gripping dots, which will ensure you can get a proper hold of them while operating the tool. And as there is no rubber on the handle, you will not have to worry about anything wearing out. The same thing applies to the other parts of the tool as well.

What do we mean by that? Well, the overall construction is of high-grade hardened steel. Thanks to how durable the material is, you can use it for an extended amount of time without seeing any corrosion. The nickel finish on the exterior is long-lasting as well.

Other than that, it comes with self-opening pinchers. These pinchers have a proper spring, which smoothens out the self-opening mechanism. And due to the smooth spring action, it will be easy to work with the tool. In other words, you will be capable of handling a large batch of catfish pretty quickly.

Furthermore, the jaws can properly grab onto the skin of the fish. That will further enhance your speed while skinning. And they can clip off the fins as well. That means you will not need to work with another dedicated tool to handle the fins of the fish.

Highlighted Features:

  • The handle comes with gripping dots
  • Features a durable nickel finish
  • Made of high-grade steel, so it will last longer
  • Sports a proper spring on the jaw
  • Can properly grab the skin and the fins, allowing you to be highly efficient

7. Eagle Claw Deluxe Skinning Pliers

The thing about most catfish skinners is that they are not for everyone. Some will require advanced skills. However, we did manage to find one that is pretty much for everyone. And the skinner is from none other than Eagle Claw.

First of all, let us talk about the size of the jaws. They are at 1-1/2 inches. And that is pretty much the ideal size of the jaws. Due to that, it will be easier for you to work with different sizes of catfish with it. You will not find yourself going through difficulties when it comes to peeling the skin off.

That said, the sizing of the jaws is not the only thing that makes this skinner suitable for all. It has an easy-to-use design. The handle has the right amount of ergonomics, and you will be capable of grabbing onto it without facing any troubles. Also, there will be no need to worry about your hands slipping as it has a rubber grip.

The overall construction of the unit is top-notch. It is of high-quality stainless steel. For the quality of the material, the skinner will last for a good amount of time without showing any signs of wear. Also, the jaws will not lose their sharpness that easily. So, you will not even have to worry about resharpening the jaws from time to time.

On that note, due to having the right level of sharpness, the jaws will grab onto the skin properly. You will not have to waste your time trying to make them dig in. And for this reason, it will be possible to handle a large number of catfish quickly.

Highlighted Features:

  • The jaws are 1-1/2 inches in size
  • Easy to work with
  • Has ergonomic handles
  • The handles have a non-slip grip
  • Durable and will last long

Catfish Skinners Comparison Table



Handle Grip


Maybrun Commercial Catfish Skinner


Ribbed rubber

Stainless steel

Ergo Chef Myron Mixon


Non-slip rubber

Heavy-duty steel

South Bend MD-SKPL


Non-slip rubber

High-grade steel



Ugly Tuff Grip

420 Stainless steel

Skinzit Electric Fish Skinner



Plastic and stainless steel blade

Maybrun 03101


Bare steel

Hardened steel

Eagle Claw 03020-007



Stainless steel

How to Skin A Catfish Like A Pro?

How to Skin a Catfish Like a Pro

Getting a proper skinner is the first half of the story; learning how to use it properly is the other half. But worry not; it is pretty easy to use them like a pro. Do not believe us? Go through these steps and find it out by yourself.

Step 1: Prepare the Fish

Firstly, you will need to make slanted cuts behind the gills. Make these shallow cuts on each of the sides that meet the fish's stomach. Then, use the knife to cut along the spine of the fish.

Start from the ends of the first cut and make it go all the way to the tail. After that, you should slice open the skin right down the center of the belly. Make sure not to cut too deep. Finally, on each of the sides of the tail, make vertical slits.

Step 2: Make the Plier Get a Proper Hold

Now the fish is ready to be skinned; you will need to use the plier. Make it clamp on the skin that is right below the gills.

Step 3: Pull the Skin Right Off

To get the skin off, you should first get a little bit out of the gill area with the help of your fingers. Then, properly grab onto the plier and peel the skin back. Try to execute it with one fluid motion, or else the skin might tear off and make the process difficult.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can you eat the skin of the catfish?

Catfish will usually have chemical contaminants on their skin. For that reason, it is highly recommended to peel the catfish before eating it.

2. How hard is it to peel the skin of a catfish?

Peeling catfish is not hard at all. You just need to use the right skinner and follow the correct method.

3. How long do catfish peelers last?

That will depend on the build quality of the skinner. If it is high in quality, its durability level will be extended. And it will last for a prolonged amount of time.

4. Are catfish skinners expensive?

Not at all! There are budget options available in the market. In fact, we have a couple of budget-friendly options on our list!

5. Are electric peelers better than manual ones?

The electric peelers are totally automatic. That will allow you to finish the entire peeling task without taking too much time. But they are a little expensive and will require a moderate amount of maintenance.

Final Words

With the best catfish skinners, prepping up your catch for the cooking will become an effortless task. And we can ensure that each skinner we have gone through in our list will offer you a stellar user experience as they meet all the critical criteria. So, pick one without any hesitation.

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