Advantages of a Tanto Blade

Peter Stec
March 17, 2019

A blade can be defined simply as the specific portion of a tool, machine, or weapon that has an edge designed to puncture and/or cut, slash, stab, slice, thrust, chop, or scrape the surface of various materials. Blades may be crafted out of a flaking stone such as flint, ceramic, metal (usually steel), or other similar hard and durable materials.

The stone blade is considered one of man’s earliest inventions, and it is credited for the fundamental change in human existence. Though humans quickly how to smelt iron, stone was used even earlier (probably as far back as 6000 years ago when man was created). The blade also provided man with a very functional tool to use for shaping other beneficial tools.

Various designs and types of blades have since been developed for various utility purposes such as craftwork, food preparation (cutting, slicing, and chopping), outdoor sports, and many others, other than as a combat weapon for which it has been used for millions of years. One of the more popular among the modern blade designs is the Tanto style blade.

What are Tanto Blades

The Tanto blade was invented, developed, and popularized in the late 1970s and early 1980s by the company Cold Steel, inspired by the famed Japanese craftsmanship and design. The blade is known for its great power and strength, quality pommel, and useful points. These elements all combine to contribute to the Tanto style blade’s overall functionality and durability.

Cold Steel Recon 1 Tanto S35VN

Features

  • Brand: Cold Steel
  • Handle: Fiberglass
  • Blade Length: 4 inches
  • Blade: S35VN

Tanto Blade Advantages

  • Strength – Its strength is perhaps the most prominent advantage of a tanto blade purpose over other types of blades. Each Tanto knife is designed with a high tanto point, as well as a flat grind. This particular design structure makes for a very powerful tool that has the capability to puncture even very hard materials. The reinforced blade also makes it possible to use the knife for puncturing objects continuously without encountering problems such as snapping of the blade. Its quality also does not easily deteriorate with wear and tear even with frequent use.
  • Chisel Blade Point – The Tanto Style blade point has a style similar to that of a chisel that gives the blade more power and durability compared to other types of blade points. To achieve this, a good percentage of the total metal component is concentrated near the blade’s point. Although this particular blade design is generally not considered as ideal and practical for use in the wilderness, it is a great design for defensive weapons. The chisel tanto point on one end is a good complement to the pommel on the opposite end and makes for a very potent overall knife design.
  • Japanese Design – The blade is inspired by the design of Japanese blades, and is similar to, but not exactly the same as the shape of the Katana blade that has the kamasu kissaki or the barracuda tip. The Tanto blade purpose comes with a blade point that is aligned perfectly with its spine. The influence of ancient Japanese design and craftsmanship also lends a somewhat aesthetic historical appeal to the modern Tanto Style blade.
  • Pommel – The Tanto’s pommel is made from steel, and is tapered. By using a small number of materials, it is specifically designed to provide the capability to absorb the impact coming from heavy strikes. As a result, even a seemingly minor blow from the pommel can have the same powerful effect of a blunt weapon when used against an aggressor or attacker.
  • Sharpening – Tanto blades are easy to sharpen and most of these blades have secondary bevels just like most other knife designs. A tanto with a straight blade can easily be sharpened on a stone, while a ceramic rod and stropping can be used for slightly curved blades.

Conclusion

Tanto blade knives are great for power, looks, and usefulness. There are many knives that you can buy online that have tanto blade points. Some survival knives, tactical knives, and fighting knives have tanto points.

 

About The Author
Hey Knife Up gang! I'm Pete, and I'm just another man like you in a small rural town who loves the outdoors as much as the other million internet users that cruise sites like KnifeUp.com every day. The difference is that I like to share what I know and research what I don't totally know so that YOU can have all the info you need to feel confident and prepared for all things outdoors-related! And, for those who care, I have 42 years of wilderness canoeing and bushcraft experience in Northern Ontario and spend most of my Summers covered in mosquitos and fish slime, but hey, it's a lifestyle choice, eh?

10 comments on “Advantages of a Tanto Blade”

  1. * Cold Steel didn’t invent the shape, they just copied someone else.
    * Cold Steel can’t have popularised anything in the 70s because it was only founded in the 80s.
    * The so-called American Tanto Tip is not shaped like a kamasu/barracuda so it is not shaped like a kamasu kissaki. Try looking at a barracuda and then try to figure out what a kamasu kissaki actually looks like. Hint: It’s not short and stubby.
    * Only one company is famed for putting stainless steel pommels on its knives of this design–and you show a picture of a knife by a different company that doesn’t have a steel pommel.
    * And, unlike your claim, the pommel shown isn’t tapered either.
    * This design is no easier to sharpen than any ordinary design without recurve or serrations or thick, wide blades. In fact, it’s a little harder than most.
    * The tip shape is not all that good for defence due to its low penetration ability compared to more tapered blades.

    Conclusion
    You should actually try doing some fact checking because your article is so full of errors it is worse than a bad joke. The only thing you got right is the tip does tend to be strong–except that many designers are now tapering the thickness and width with clip points on the design which nullifies that point.

  2. Actually I have to agree with James on almost every point.

    This does not mean I dislike ‘triangle shaped daggers’. Iown acold steel recon tanto, with the original Carbon V steel, and some other fixed and folding blades with basically the same geometry and I never found a great advantage to them. Still I have no problems at all with the blade style.

    A good knife design combined with the right build quality and materials used should be viewed as just that. Different blade shapes can all be equally useful. However slight variations in tip design may benefit specific tasks.

    A tanto pointed knife, or the lack there off never ever let me down.

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  4. I know that the Cold Steel Leatherneck Tanto has a pommel that is machined from bar stock, rather than being cast. A machined pommel is less likely to fracture than most castings. Also, the tanto has a much greater ability to penetrate than other blade types, e.g., clip points or drop points. In fact, one corrections officer has posted that he tried his Cold Steel tanto on his supposedly “knife resistant” vest, and it penetrated the Kevlar like a hot knife going through butter. I’ve seen too many clip points with the point broken off during attempts to penetrate hard objects. I think the article pretty well covered the subject. Any factual errors didn’t detract from the main premises of the article. And, yes, while Cold Steel didn’t invent the tanto blade, it surely did popularize it, regardless of the decade in which that happened.

  5. The inclusion of a pommel on a Tanto knife design is obviously optional, you don’t need it on every Tanto knife, also Tantos aren’t easy to sharpen, as a person who has brief experience in sharpening Tanto knives I can say that it takes a lot of effort, as you mustn’t ruin the secondary tip (the Yokote) by rounding up the intersection of the bottom edge and the front edge, you must stop by the intersection in every slide, with that being said, sharpen the bottom edge first and then the front edge.

    One thing that I do have to agree with is that the strength of a Tanto is really devastating, you can pierce through most animal’s hide with ease, but knife makers nowadays like to taper the tip for no reason, leaving the tip as weak as a dagger point, Cold Steel still makes the strongest Tanto on the market, their Tanto tip didn’t get tapered but rather left supported by the full thickness of the spine.

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