A fish scaler is a kitchen tool which is designed to remove the inedible outer scales from fish, leaving soft skin behind. These scales are usually removed as a part of the cleaning process, during which the fish will be gutted in preparation for cooking or freezing. There are a number of different kinds of fish scalers on the market, ranging from large motorized commercial versions designed for cleaning multiple fish at once to simple hand held models. The end goal is to quickly and painlessly remove the scales from a fish.
The most basic fish scaler is a handheld version which looks rather like a rasp. A comfortable handle is firmly gripped while the fisherman drags the fish scaler down the body of the fish. This design is usually very efficient and easy to use, and a skilled handler can remove all the scales from a single fish very quickly. Since removing fish scales is a rather onerous task, this type of fish scaler makes the cleaning process much more enjoyable.