Fish deboning gadget

Despite the silly name the Wunder Boner looks like a useful gadget for people who like to catch and eat fish. Do you think it works as advertised? (Via Arbroath)


  1. i had a wunder boner once… ended up having to go to the hospital to get it fixed… damn cilais..

  2. Thanks for going there first, Xeni. The first time the guy said “wunder boner” I lost it. And again when the other guy said “I’ll bet the wife would like it”. Are you sure this is real?

  3. so dave, where did you get the wunder boner?

    It’s funny you should ask…

    golden. after seeing this a few times the hoots and laughs in the beginning just crack me up!

  4. This is real, and it may still be sold – my dad got one in 2002. Thanks to the gd dmnd ntrnt linking to this video, though, there’s no way to find it for sale online.

  5. …I can see some poor old schlub filing suit against the company for not working as advertised.

    “Goddamn thing couldn’t get me a boner even if the damn thing put 4000 goddamn volts through it!”

  6. From what I hear, it’s a real product, but I haven’t been able to find it at either Bass Pro Shops or Cabela’s. Maybe it really didn’t work as advertised, though the idea seems plausible. You could probably make your own with a little steel and a tack welder.

  7. No, but, seriously guys. Does anybody know if it works like it says, and whether there would be considerations about fish size or poking yourself on the fish-ribs? If it’s so great, why don’t you see these in use at fishmongers and on fishing boats? Does it pulverize the meat?

  8. @Caffertyk: A review:

    “The Wunder Boner is a series of metal rods that are screwed together and set in a plastic base. At the top of the rods is an eyelet; three sizes come with the device. The Wunder Boner is intended for trout, salmon and whitefish. Here is how it works: The fish should first be cleaned and partially frozen. It is then put head side down (of course, the head has to be removed first), the vertebrae pushed into the eyelet. When secure, the fish is pulled downward; the rib bones and backbone will be left on the eyelet, leaving you with a boneless fillet.

    I have successfully removed brook, brown and rainbow trout, splake and salmon bones using the Wunder Boner.”

  9. Agreed, #13. A good, razor sharp filleting knife and some practice will give you excellent results. You need to fillet some fish a little differently, ie walleye, or pickerel, have no ‘y’ bones and can be filleted fairly easily. Other fish like Northerns have ‘y’ bones, and take more practice.


  10. mind you, with this gadget, you could have devertebrated that fish.
    And that’s the longest word you can type with the left hand only!

  11. I’m so glad my 12-year old daughter was sitting with me when I clicked play.

    I’m so glad she got to hear and see the Wunder Boner(tm) in action.

    I should have known better.

  12. Casisob1 – luckily, if a child knows all the meanings for the word “boner,” they wont be scarred or effected in any way by hearing the word other than perhaps being forced to stifle a giggle. If a child only knows the innocent meaning for the word there shouldn’t be a problem.

  13. Wonder if I’m the only Boing Boing reader and Jimmy Kimmel watcher? He showed this a clip from this ad on his show about two weeks ago.

  14. Frankly, that’s a clever marketing strategy. The name is easy to remember, probably won’t hurt sales, and at 5 dollars, they’ll probably get some sales as gag gifts.

    I’m going to invent a vacuum that hollows out whole chickens and call it the Cock Sucker. I’ll make millions.

  15. You still have to gut the fish, as well as removing the tail, fins, etc., so this has a limited usage for fish like trout that you cook whole. Also, as chefs know, the bones are what add flavor to many fish dishes, so the practicality looks extremely limited. Are ya really gonna partially freeze that fish before ya make yer shore lunch?

    All in all, this looks like a pseudo-practical gag gift to give to Dad on Father’s Day. Anybody who really fishes will still prefer their fillet knife, imo.

  16. Also, on the commercial itself at 50 seconds in, it says on the screen “Fish should be dead for 6 hours before deboning.” Huh?

  17. Aww Jesus, I remember when Nikolai Volkoff went up against The Iron Chink in a barbed-wire-and-gunpowder match in Moose Jaw in like ’89 or ’90.

    Talk about your bitter blood.

  18. Saying that it debones “trout, salmon and whitefish” is deliberately misleasing: any game fisherman, such as myself, knows that these are all salmonoids. They have the same basic body geometry, so it is a given that one that works for one will work for another.
    If it demonstrated on, say, a trout, a haddock and a carp, then I would be impressed.

  19. When did we start saying “debone” instead of “bone” for the act of removing bones from fish or fowl?

    Is it because of puerile comments as evident here, or are some dirty-minded puritans offended by the word “bone?”

    Or perhaps if I were a chef and asked one of my cooks to “bone” a chicken, that would somehow cause undue confusion.

  20. #41 Good point, I’ve just been using debone in the context of this thread, but now you mention it, I would say ‘bone’ in day to day life.

    That said, ‘to bone’ also means ‘to stiffen a corset (e.g. by adding bones’, so maybe it’s to avoid confusion?

    Personally, boning really stiffens my corset…

  21. Meh… with trout and salmon we’ve always cooked them bone-in and the spine easily peels away before serving. With this boner thingie it looks like the fish is more or less squished and crushed in the process… doesn’t seem like a great idea.

  22. verygneiss@#41: Did not mean to single you out.

    I take your point. I suppose a doubly boned corset would be very uncomfortable, so “debone” would avoid ambiguity for say Dita Von Teese and female habitués of Renaissance fairs. But who knows? Perhaps the hourglass figure will make a comeback.

  23. speaking of wince-worthy, I’m pretty sure they used similar crude surgical instruments since Roman times (without anesthetic) for various urinary/venereal conditions. mmmmmm…..

  24. I’m almost 100% positive that Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs is narrating! He did commercials and voice overs for the Discovery Channel (ala Deadliest Catch) before he did D.J. and I’m pretty sure he was also an opera singer for the Baltimore Philharmonic…I love when a man with a deep voice continuously says “boner.” He should add a little vibrato next time.

  25. I wonder why “Wunder” is spelled with a “u”.

    Maybe “Wonder Boner” had already been trademarked.

  26. @15, @44 — The first half of the commercial does indeed sound like Mike Rowe — he’s doing the voice over up to 1:12, then it switches over to a different announcer.

  27. There is a knife used specifically for boning meat. It’s called a boner. Nothing is better than shopping at Williams Sonoma and asking the salesperson if they would show you their 6″ boners.

    Better yet, is when it has been misplaced in a professional kitchen, it is not considered bad form to ask if anyone has seen your 6″ boner.

  28. uh, i actually like having fish cooked whole, head, bones, skin, fins. the only thing that i like to have removed are the scales, so that the skin itself is edible, as well as the meat just adjacent to the skin. growing up in japan, we always broiled fish whole, and as a kid, i remember calling dibs on the grill side up eye, my grandfather would call dibs on the grill side down eye… by the time the meal was finished, literally only bones, fins and skull were left. at an early age japanese kids were taught to expertly pick fish bones out of their pices using chopsticks. this gadget would totally flop in southeast asia…
    aside from the funny name and the gag-gift factor, this gadget is really worthless, and is marketed specifically for those that don’t eat very much.
    the de-boning action of running the spine thru a ring and forcing the bones to follow the spine thru the ring actually looks like it’s mashing the flesh surrounding the bones. i’d hazzard a guess that the end result is a mostly-deboned fish in a fish skin sock in which the meat has been partially mangled.
    #34 is correct, bones help to flavor the meat, boneless meat is just weird to me… as louis prima said “closer to the bone sweeter is the meat”

  29. I like the Edgar Winter cameo at the 59 sec mark. Truly a special advertisement all the way around.

  30. I’ve probably said this 1000 times in the past year, but this is the greatest video I have seen on teh internets.

    Right at this moment, truly, it is though. Really.

  31. #13: I guess you’d just have to make prospective buyers feel as if the users of said product would appear debone-aire

    (snerk, snort)

  32. Is there a device that will pulverize bone, making them edible? I imagine something like the ultrasonic machines used to crack kidney stones. You chuck a fish/chicken/whatever into this microwave sized device, turn it on, and 5 minutes later it’s done. When cooked, you could eat the whole thing, bone and all.

  33. I just purchased a Wunder Boner and used it on a Rainbow Trout, or what was a Rainbow Trout after using it. I belive a regular claw hammar would work muck better in cleaning instead of the Wunder Boner!!!!

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