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Why You Need An OTF Tanto Knife

Why You Need An OTF Tanto Knife

What’s a tanto blade, and should you be purchasing one? In this blog, we’ll explore this and more. A tanto OTF knife is an excellent tool for prying and stabbing. It’s a great knife to use when other blades aren’t up for the task. The tip is very durable, making a knife tanto blade an excellent option when outdoors, fishing, or hunting.

What is a Tanto Blade Knife

A tanto blade is one of the most recognizable blade shapes due to its solid and durable point. This design hails from Japan, by the way – so it kind of carries a samurai vibe. A tanto blade has a lack of flat or curved belly.

Instead, its edge is made up of two cutting surfaces. One straight edge with a hard change of direction, and that redirection leads to the blade’s tip – or the point of this blade.

To help you get a good idea of what we’re talking about, check out our highly-rated Stinger T knife below:

A knife with a black handle

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Tanto Blades and Their Fabled Japanese Origin

What makes the tanto so much cooler, other than its function and unique blade style, is its history. If we could travel back to 12th century Japan, we would see Samurais carrying two swords for combat.

One sword would be longer than the other. The second sword that samurais use would have a shorter blade, but it’s still a formidable weapon. The longer-bladed sword is the main one they use for combat.

But the second sword around their waist is a backup weapon. And the short sword was called… you guessed it, the tanto. You can say that’s as badass as you can get when you’re wielding a knife inspired by a legendary samurai sword.

This use is precisely what modern-day tantos are – inspiration. 

The Modern-Day Tanto Knife

The design of the modern-day tanto knife we see today comes from one of the best places on Earth, Texas. Gold Steel, the knife manufacturer from the Gold Star State, introduced us to the American knife tanto blade in the 1980s. 

The tanto blades of the samurai and the tanto blade knife from Gold Steel do look different, though. The original tantos looked more like a straight-back pocket knife with an edge that curved up to the tip. In contrast, the modern version of this knife has a directional change and distinct point. 

The change of look was made for tactical and practical reasons. Samurais used their swords for combat. Their swords’ good points allowed them to puncture and pierce through armor during battle.

However, not a lot of people tend to wear armor these days. The modern tanto is designed for that exact purpose and other practical and contemporary applications. Therefore, their design and application have been expanded for today’s needs.

The Functional Design of the Tanto OTF Knife

By the 80s, Americans made their way out of the need for close combat situations (unless they chose to get into that sort of predicament). We needed a good knife with the ability to puncture or punch through a material without the consequence of a broken blade. The American tanto blade gave us that ability.

Could a tanto blade get any better? Of course, it can! When the American tanto blade shape was first introduced, it was a fixed blade. However, today, you can still buy a tanto with that design, but you can also purchase a Double Action OTF tanto.

This is because the one-handed tool of wonders OTF or out the front knives were designed to pair exceptionally well with the Tanto Blade shape. 

Downsides and Caveats

In our opinion, it makes for one of the best everyday carry (EDC) knife combos. At this point, we have made this knife sound near-perfect, but there are some downsides to it. After all, there is no such thing as a flawless blade.

For example, some think the tanto is inferior for applications like skinning a deer, chopping, or slicing. However, other knife folks believe a well-made knife can do all of those things and add an extra hole punch in the ol’ belt when needed.

We’ve devised a list of the pros and cons of the tanto OTF knife.


  • Suitable for slicing and skinning
  • An excellent choice for stabbing and puncturing
  • Excellent for slashing
  • Outstanding option as an EDC
  • The perfect tool for working on fishing lines and ropes
  • Works well for self-defense applications
  • It’s ideal for egress and first response situations
  • Excellent applications for tactical combat
  • Believe it or not – it’s also suitable for cooking and food preparation


  • It’s not your best choice for batoning
  • If you’re into whittling, get a smaller and more versatile knife
  • It’s not the best knife for prying things
  • This knife is just sufficient for bushcraft and camping

Top-Rated OTF Tanto Knives

If this blade shape intrigues you, we suggest you check out the excellent blades in our collection.

The TK PRO Vigor

Blade material: Sandvik 12C27

Blade Hardness:58-59

Handle material: 6061-T6 aluminum alloy

Handle color: Gray with red G10

Push-button material: aluminum alloy

Overall length: 7.48″

Blade length: 3.46″

Handle length: 4.02″

Blade thickness: 2.6mm

Clip: Titanium

Weight: 2.9 oz

The Tacknives MT6TS

Total Length: 23.5cm / 9.25in

Blade Length: 9.2cm / 3.62in

Blade Thickness: 0.3cm / .11in

Blade width: 1.8cm / 0.71in

Blade Material: 440C Stainless Steel

Handle: CNC Aviation Zinc Alloy

Gross Weight: 280.66g / 9.9oz

The Tacknives MT8

Total Length: 21.8cm / 8.58in

Blade Thickness: 0.3cm / .11in

Blade width: 1.8cm / 0.71in

Blade Material: 440C Stainless Steel

Handle: Zinc Alloy

Gross Weight: 180g / 6.35oz

The Tacknives Mini OTF Firecracker MNU2BT

Overall Length: 5.82″

Blade Length: 2.28″

Blade Style: Tanto

Finish: Blue

Edge Type: Plain

Handle Length: 3.54″

Blade Material: 7CR17

Blade Hardness: 55-57 HRC

Handle Thickness: 0.33″

Color: Black

Weight: 1.3 oz.

Are You Ready To Purchase OTF Tanto Knives?

TacKnives carry the best Tanto knives in the market today. Our OTF knives are highly rated and well-known for their exceptional quality.

If you would like to know more about Tanto OTF knives and our other products, please fill out this form, and we will get back to you shortly.

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