There are many different types of knives out globally, but one of the coolest is the tanto style knife. The tanto knife closely resembles a mini katana. The point is very sharp and can be used to pierce through objects you can’t typically pierce with a regular knife.
Nowadays, the tanto knife has a lot of uses and can be used for many different types of everyday uses. Below you will find the absolute best tanto knives on the market. Each knife is special and unique in its own way. We have made sure to review both budget-friendly options as well as more expensive options.
Top 3 Best Tanto Knives
|Kershaw Blur Tanto Black Serrated Pocket Knife
Best Tanto Pocket Knife
|Cold Steel Recon Tanto Fixed Blade Knife
Best Tanto Fixed Blade Knife
|Grand Way Japanese Fixed Paracord Tanto Knife
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Tanto Knife Reviews
Kershaw Blur Tanto Black Serrated Pocket Knife
The Kershaw Serrated Pocket Knife has a 3- and 3/8-inch blade. The blade is corrosion resistant and coated with DLC to maintain the most optimal hardness and strength. The blade and the handle are both scratch-resistant, so you won’t have to worry about scratching it.
The blade is kept in place with the use of the liner lock. You can still easily flip the blade open due to the thumb stud. You should still be able to accomplish this one-handed or even left-handed. When the blade is flipped open, it does lock in place when pushing the thumb stud. The blade is made from a strong 13C26 stainless steel.
The handle is very easy to hold and control. The Trac-Tec gives the handle optimal grip that way, you will be able to hold onto it in all weather conditions. The handle is made from a strong anodized aluminum. The knife as a whole has a very sleek, slim look.
- Features speed safe assisted opening that makes it easier to open one-handed.
- Reversible pocket clip lets you carry tip-up or tip down.
- Knife is held securely in place due to the liner lock.
- The knife has an overall slim and sleek look.
- The trac-tec gives you better grip, which makes it easier to carry in all conditions.
- Perfect for hunters, fisherman, camping, carving, and so much more.
This is one of the more expensive options when it comes to a tanto knife. It is an exceptional knife that will stand up for a long time. The quality has been perfected to last you a long time doing various hunting activities, camping, fishing, and so much more.
Cold Steel Recon Tanto Fixed Blade Knife
What is cool and unique about this knife is that it has been widely used with military personal and even law enforcement. These special forces have field-tested this knife, and it has been used in active and inactive duty. Even navy seal teams have done some training with the Cold Steel recon tanto knife.
The handle has been designed to be ultra-durable, and it is coated in a rubber gripping. This material has been made to ensure that it is much easier to hold onto. The knife should never fall out of your hand or move away from the tang based on the way it has been designed.
The blade is made from a SK-5 steel. This is one of the best steels around as it has been tested to puncture through steel buckets. This is a very sharp blade that will not only cut but pierce, tear, and rip through objects and materials.
The knife comes with a protective sheath that can be inserted when it is not in use. It is rather large, so it may feel bulky in your pocket. If it is attached to a belt or even a tactical backpack.
- Overall length of the tanto knife spans 11.75 inches. The blade spans 7 inches.
- Made from SK-5 steel that has a coated black finish.
- Comes with a protective sheath to store the knife in.
- Very sharp tanto knife.
- Reliable brand that makes beautiful knives.
Overall, you will not be disappointed with this knife. This knife is perfect for someone who is truly serious about using it for survival, hunting, camping, etc.; it is a heavy-duty knife with an extremely sharp blade. If the military trains with this knife, you know it is not a toy and used with a serious intent.
Grand Way Japanese Fixed Paracord Tanto Knife
This traditional Japanese style looing tanto knife is made from 440C stainless steel. The blade has been designed to cut through things with more pressure applied easily. This blade does not need to be sharpened very often due to the corrosion-resistant blade. The length of the stainless-steel blade spans 5.90 inches.
The entire knife spans 11.41 inches in length. This includes the blade and the handle. The handle is made from stainless steel, wood, and nylon rope that has been wrapped around the entire handle. There is also a sheath that is included with your purchase. This is where you can store your knife when not using it. The sheath can also be connected to a belt, which is very convenient.
This knife is bigger than some of the knives in this review. This may be something you are into or not, but this is just another option for you if you like longer, more traditional style tanto knives.
- Helps apply more pressure when cutting or slicing things.
- The blade has a matt finished 440C stainless steel.
- Corrosion-resistant blade helps to keep it at ultimate sharpness.
- Comes with a sheath that can be connected to a belt.
- The blade spans 5.90 inches in length, and the entire knife spans 11.41 inches.
- The handle is covered with a nylon rope that helps you hold onto the handle easier.
- Affordable price point.
This is one of the most affordable options in our review. The blade can cat easily through many different things such as rope, fish, line, etc. It can be used in various environments and activities, such as indoor and outdoor use while hunting, camping, fishing, and hiking.
CRKT Minimalist Tanto Neck Knife
The CRKT company makes a variety of different types of knives, and their Minimalist line is a very functional yet affordable option for tanto knives. This tanto knife spans 5.13 inches, and the blade is 2.125 inches. The handle has been made with an ergonomic feel in mind and has three individual finger choils.
The finger holes make the knife easy to fit in your hand. The knife has a sheath that comes with it that can be used to hold your knife when it is not in use. There is a belt loop that you can use to have the sheath attached to your side. There is also an included paracord that can be used around your neck.
- Made from a carbon stainless steel blade.
- Ergonomic handle makes it easy to hold in your hand.
- A sheath is included to cover the knife when not in use, and the paracord can be used to hold the knife around your neck.
- Lightweight construction.
- The overall length spans 5.13 inches, and the blade’s length spans 2.125 inches.
This knife comes in a variety of different color options as well as blade shape. It is a smaller knife, and even though it has a smaller blade, it is still very functional. It can be easier to put into a pocket and carried around. It can be used in a variety of activities, both indoors and outdoors. This is a solid construction build by the reputable company CRKT.
KA1245-BRK Black Tanto
This knife from the company KA-BRK has one of the toughest knives in this entire review. The blade is made from a few different materials, such as steel, chromium, and vanadium. When these metals are combined together, it makes a very strong, durable blade.
The knife is very sharp, and it will work the best for someone who wants to use it while hunting. This blade is very sharp that if you are not careful, you will get cut by it. This knife works easily to cut through all types of materials like butter. The sharp tip of the blade also works easily to puncture things.
Military professionals have widely used this knife. They say that this is the best combat tanto knife that they have ever seen. They use this knife in training, and it works great to practice attack and defense practices.
The handle is made from a human-made Kraton G. this is a human-made rubber that will provide you with maximum grip while you are holding onto it. This has a textured look to it, which also helps provide extra grip. The knife comes with a sheath that can be attached to a belt.
- Made right here in the United States.
- Designed as a combat knife with the influenced style of the tanto blade
- Pointed sharp knife tip.
- The blade is made from 1095 Cro-Van steel.
- The handle is made from a manmade Kraton G.
- Multiple purpose use.
Overall this is another one of those brands that just goes above and beyond with the knife’s quality and the overall look of it. This knife will make amazing cuts, tears, and rips through whatever you are trying to cut. We really like that it is made right here in New York in the United States. It is always good to support a local business in the states.
NedFoss EDC Knife, 8″ Tanto Folding Knife with Slingshot
One of the unique features about this tanto knife is it comes with a slingshot application that will connect to your knife. The slingshot attachment is located at the bottom of the knife. It can be used, however, you like. There is even a glass breaker attachment included that can be used quickly in emergencies.
You can just use the knife for the intended purpose of being a knife, but it is nice to have all of these extra features. The knife spans 8 inches when open. The blade is 3.6 inches long. The folding design is a nice feature. When the knife is in use, there is a liner lock mechanism that prevents the blade from closing while you are using it. To close it, you simply push your thumb down on the lock, and it will fold forward to close.
- This is a folding style tanto knife that comes with a fun slingshot and a PU leather case.
- The blade is made from a stainless-steel material.
- Liner locking system ensures the knife will not close when it is in use.
- Two different color options to choose from black or silver.
- Perfect for hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, and even survival situations.
The blade of the tanto knife is very sharp, and it can cut things with precision cuts. This knife can be used at home, at a job, or even in a survival situation. It can be used in a wide variety of activities. It can also be given as a gift. This tanto knife will make a great gift due to all the accessories that come with it and the low price. This is another great option for the best tanto knife.
Kershaw Lifter (1302BW) Tactical Tanto Pocket Knife
Here we have another amazing tanto knife by the Kershaw company. This knife is made from S30V stainless steel. This steel has carbon and vanadium added to it to make the blade stronger and abrasion-resistant. The blade measures 3.5 inches and has an added worn look due to the staining with the blackwash.
The blade features the frame lock design, which prevents it from closing while you are trying to use or cut with it. The blade is secured with two metal plates on either side of the knife. When you want to finally close the knife, you will need to push the frame to the side, which will unlock the blade and allow it to close.
The pocket clip of the side of the stainless-steel handle allows you to store the knife inside your pocket deep in there for a more discreet look of carrying. The handle also is coated with the blackwash material, which matches the blade. This handle is resistant to corrosion, which is a bonus if you are using the blade outside in wet weather conditions.
- This is a 3.5-inch tanto blade that works as a great tactical knife.
- The finish on this knife Is blackwash, which gives it a worn, dated look.
- The knife can be opened with the thumb stud, and it is made to be opened fast and quick.
- Deep pocket clip for discreet carrying.
- Lanyard hole on the bottom of the knife for optional carrying possibilities.
- The handle is made from stainless steel, and it is corrosion-resistant.
This is overall a well-made knife with the tanto point. It is a folding knife which is a knife because it can fit easily into a pocket or even a bag. The materials used to make this knife are sturdy and durable. Your knife should hold up for a long time with many uses. This is another very affordable option created by a very trusted knife brand.
Cold Steel San Mai Tanto Series Fixed Blade Knife
Here we have a beautifully made German stainless steel tanto blade that spans over 13 inches in length. The blade spans an impressive length of 7.5 inches. The handle has been wrapped in a non-slip casing. This makes it easy to hold onto and use. The blade has a tanto point shape that has a curved look with a sharp point.
The blade is right around 3mm thick. You will be able to easily cut through and pierce materials; it can be used as a utility knife or even for defense. The knife isn’t too heavy, so it will easily be able to be carried in a sheath and attached to your side.
- This tanto knife spans 13 and 1/8 inches. The blade spans 7.5 inches.
- The handle has grips on it that makes it non-slip.
- The blade of the tanto is made from a German stainless steel.
This is a rather expensive option when it comes to a tanto knife, but it has been crafted to perfection. The stainless-steel quality is made to look like a traditional Japanese tanto. The handle has the rubber on it to make it easier to hold. This is a great knife to be used in any situation. It is quite large, so it will not fit inside your pocket. You may want to buy a protective sheath for the knife to keep it in perfect condition.
Smith & Wesson Border Guard Folding Knife with Serrated Tanto Blade
This tanto pocket knife from the company Smith & Wesson is made from a durable stainless steel. This steel has been stained with a stonewashed look. This gives the knife a more vintage look. The blade can easily be opened with the thumb knobs. The knife will stay open until you push down on the thumb ramp to close it.
The handle is made from aluminum. This aluminum has to be stonewashed. The end of the handle contains a small point. This point can be used as a glass breaker in emergencies. A pocket clip is attached to the tanto pocket knife that can be clipped onto a belt or even inside a pocket.
- This knife spans 8.3 inches with a blade length of 3.5 inches.
- The total weight of the knife is 6 ounces.
- The blade is made from a stonewashed carbon stainless steel.
- The handle is made from an aluminum that has also been stonewashed.
- Comes with a pocket clip that makes it very accessible to get in and out of your pocket.
- Glass breaker included at the end of the knife.
This is another great knife option, and it has a fantastic look to it. It is very affordable and comes with some of the classic features all tanto pocket knives need to have. There are finger grooves in the handle that ergonomically feel perfect in your hand. The knife is a good size and worth the price that it is being advertised for.
Benchmade Rift Charcoal G10 Reverse Tanto Folding Knife
This knife from Benchmade is the type of tanto knife that can be used every day. This knife can be used as a tactical knife. It can be used in activities such as hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, and other everyday uses.
This is a very slim designed knife with the perfect traditional style tanto blade. The blade is made from a 154CM stainless steel. The blade has been designed and made to be rust and corrosion-resistant. You will find that the blade on this knife is very tough, and it will work easily to cut and slice through various materials.
The knife can easily be opened with a single hand, and it will stay open until you decide to close it due to the axis locking mechanism. It is still easy to close the knife when you are finished, and it can be done with just one hand.
The handle is a 950-style handle that feels better in your hand than other handles. It feels heavier and easier to hold. The scale design on the handle makes the knife look cool but also acts as grippers to keep your hand on the handle
- Made from a 154CM stainless steel blade.
- The blade is rust-resistant, tough, and strong.
- The knife can be opened and closed with a single hand.
- The knife has handle grips that make the knife incredibly easy to hold onto.
- Pocket clips offer an easy way to attach the knife onto a belt of a pocket.
- Well designed knife that is easily opened and closed
Overall, this is one of the best tanto knife options on the market. The Benchmade brand makes incredible knives that can be used for everyday use, not just in survival situations. The design of the knife is really cool, and it gives it some personality. The knife can also clip conveniently onto a belt or inside a pocket.
MTech USA MT-378 Folding Tactical Knife, Tanto Blade
Here we have the MTech brand that is made here in the united states. This tactical style tanto knife is a pocket style meaning it folds up to a smaller size. The length when the knife is closed spans 4.5 inches. When it is open, the blade is a length of 3 inches. This is a stainless-steel blade that has then been finished with a black coloring.
The knife can be opened easily with help from the thumb stud. This knife does feature a locking mechanism that will prevent the knife from snapping back and closing on you. You will have to unlock the mechanism when you are finished to close it. There is also a pocket clip included with your knife to clip it to your pants or even a belt loop.
- Foldable tanto knife style with tactical and everyday use.
- Easy one-hand opening via the thumb stud.
- Locking mechanism in place to keep the knife from folding back.
- Stainless steel blade with a black finish and a chisel point knife.
- Pocket clip included on the side of the knife for easy carrying.
- Total length of knife spans 4.5 inches, and the blade is 3 inches.
This is one of the most affordable options in our review. It is extremely budget-friendly, and almost anyone can afford this knife. The knife doesn’t come with a ton of added features, but we can overlook this detail since the price is so affordable. However, this blade is very sharp when it first arrives; you will want to be extremely careful that you do not cut yourself.
How to Choose the Best Tanto Knife
Now that you have seen all the products in my best tanto knives review, you will want to narrow down these choices further to the one you want most. Look at each category to understand more of the specs that tanto knives have in general.
The length of the entire knife, as well as the blade, plays an important role. If the knife is too long, it might not fit inside your pocket, which may be important to you. There are a wide variety of different sizes in my review above. Most of the time, you will find a tanto blade between 5.5 inches and 12 inches long.
The pocket knife style tanto’s are smaller than others because they are meant to be very portable. The bigger tantos have bigger blades and can’t usually fit inside your pocket.
The choice of blade length and overall length is entirely up to you and your personal preference. You will find options above in my review that is both long tanto style and pocket knife style. You will find a lot of different lengths too.
There are so many different types of materials that your blade can be made out of. If you require a really durable blade, then it is important that you read through this section and do not overlook it. Most all tanto knives are comprised of some sort of stainless steel. There are many different types of stainless steel too.
440 – This is one of the more common stainless steels you will see in tanto knives. This material can be resistant to rust and corrosion. It can also cut and pierce materials easily.
4116 – This is another type of stainless steel that has been mixed with some carbon elements. This is one of the more affordable types of stainless steel. It still has great durability but may not last as long as other grades of steel.
Sometimes the handle material is matched the same as the blade. When it comes to a tanto knife, you need a handle that will be strong and able to handle tough impacts. The handle needs to be able to stay intact when your knife hits something. You also want a handle that has an impressive grip. You don’t want anything slippery that might fall out of your hand while you are trying to use it.
There are typically three main materials that make up tanto knife handles. One of the first common types is polypropylene. This is one of the more durable plastic handle options. It keeps the shape that it was made for, but it is flexible, which helps takes impact off the blade.
Another known material is Kraton G. this is a polymer that can withstand high heat temperatures. It is one of the best materials used to make handles because of its stability. Some handles are made of stainless steel, and other things mixed into it to give it more durability.
This feature we are about to discuss applies to the pocket knife tantos. This feature works when you open the tanto knife. It keeps the knife open and locked; that way, it does not spring back and close. This will prevent many accidents and save your fingers.
Pocket Clip / Sheath
The knife has a few ways it can be stored. The pocket clip on a tanto knife usually refers to the pocket style tanto knife. This clip is designed to be connected to the tanto’s handle, and then you can easily connect the other end into a pocket.
The sheath usually will come with a longer fixed blade tanto. The sheath is a small leather or plastic holder that will cover the knife’s blade but not the handle. The sheath can usually be connected to a belt loop for convenient holding. Not all fixed blade tantos come with a sheath.
Price is also one of the most important things to consider when making a purchase. The tanto blade has a wide range of prices. These prices depend on how long the blade is and the materials made for the blade and handle. You can certainly get a tanto blade with cheaper made materials at a more budget-friendly price.
You are the only person that will be able to determine the price range you are comfortable spending. You will see all the different priced products in my review. Traditionally the pocket style tantos are cheaper than the long fixed tantos. We have reviewed so many different price points that I’m sure we have an option you like above.
Tanto Knife FAQ
Here you will find additional information about tanto knives through common questions. This is a valuable area to answer questions that you may have about these fabulous knives.
Q: What Is a Tanto Knife?
A: Tanto is a Japanese word for a short blade. This blade looks similar to the katana. This blade can range in sizes from 5 to 12 inches. The tanto blade tip usually is in the shape of a triangle. This makes the tanto blade a very impressive tool or weapon that is sharp and good for puncturing things.
Q: What Is a Tanto Knife Used For?
A: Traditionally, in Japan, the tanto blade was used for close combat. Warriors also used this type of weapon to puncture through armor. Nowadays, people use this knife for all sorts of things. These knives have been made smaller to make it more of a tactical style knife. People use them while they are hunting, camping, fishing, survival, and just overall everyday use.
Q: What is the Best Fixed Blade Knife Tanto?
A: The fixed blade tanto blade will not be able to fold down like the pocket option. The best fixed blade option is the Cold Steel Recon Tanto Fixed Blade Knife. This knife is made of exceptional quality. The length of the tanto knife spans 11.75 inches. The blade spans 7 inches. It is made from a SK-5 steel that has a coated black finish. This is an amazing knife that can cut through so many different things, including metal.
Q: What is the Best Pocket Style Tanto Knife?
A: The best pocket style tanto knife that can be folded down portably is the Kershaw Blur Tanto Black Serrated Pocket Knife. The Kershaw brand is another that is very reputable when it comes to knives. Their blade features the standard tanto point and even has a serrated edge. The knife comes with trac-tec grips to keep the knife firmly in your hand. These are just few of the things we love about this knife. You can read the full review above.
Q: How to Sharpen a Tanto Blade Knife?
A: You will sharpen a tanto knife just like you would a regular knife. You will need some basic skills of sharpening regular knives to do this correctly. Make sure first that you have the correct equipment. When you are sharpening the tanto blade, you want to make sure you are not messing up the knife’s point. Make sure you keep it sharp without rounding the tip down.
If you have read through our entire review and our buying guide, you should have a clear idea of just how cool and useful tanto knives are. I hope my review of the best tanto knives helped you find the perfect knife for you to use. There are so many ways you can use one of these knives, from everyday use to even hunting, camping, or even fishing. Let us know which one you decide to go with.