Choosing the best tanto knife is all about getting a knife that closely matches your needs. A knife that you’re comfortable with is 100 times more effective than a knife that’s rated the best. We’ll help you choose the right tanto knife for you by showing you 7 of the best tanto knives on the market.
You’ll find some tanto knives on a budget, some that pride themselves on their synthetic design, and some premium models. By the end of our guide, you’ll know exactly what to look for, and where to find it. You’ll be ready and confident to choose the best tanto knife you can rely on and even bet your life on. Let’s get into the guide!
Table of Contents
- Top 3 – Best Tanto Knife
- Top 7 Best Tanto Knifes to Bet Your Life on in 2020
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Final Thoughts
Top 3 – Best Tanto Knife
|KA-BAR Tanto Knife||Check Price|
|CKRT Minimalist Tanto Knife||Check Price|
|Cold Steel 20TZ Tanto Lite||Check Price|
Top 7 Best Tanto Knifes to Bet Your Life on in 2020
There are a lot of knives on the market that make outrageous and unrealistic claims they can never live up to. It’s easy to find knives that make world-class claims – but it’s not so easy to find best tanto knifes with world-class performance.
We’ll look at what’s unique about each of the knives we’ve picked, and what you need to know about them. You find out what we did and didn’t like about each of them – building a realistic expectation of how they’ll perform practically. Let’s dive into our 7 best tanto knife reviews!
Here’s a 100% synthetic fixed tanto blade. It’s made in the USA and is designed to mimic popular Asian style tanto blades. It has extreme puncturing and piercing power while remaining lightweight and highly durable. The tip has some extra thickness and can handle repeated puncturing of tough materials. It’s a subtle blade that comes in at around 8” in total length.
You’ll be able to take this blade along with you on outdoor trips or when you need the added protection. The edge angles at 20-degrees, so it’s relatively easy to sharpen and holds its edge well. The slightly softer HRC56 steel gives the blade extra resistance to shattering and chipping during tough use.
- 100% synthetic design is lightweight and sleek
- Good edge retention despite using softer steel
- Serrated section near the handle is useful for cutting rope and cable ties
- Quick and easy to sharpen on the go
- Powdered metal grip isn’t as easy-to-hold as we’d have liked
- Sheath isn’t designed well
If you’re looking for a compact but capable best tanto knife for self-defense or advanced utility – this might be the knife for you. It’s not packing a long blade, but what it lacks in length, it makes up for in strength. Excusing the cheesy rhyming, this is an exceptional EDC neck knife. It’s short enough to be legal in most places and has the piercing power of far more expensive knives.
Despite the lightweight and compact design, this knife is surprisingly easy to hold. There are 3 carefully crafted circular finger molds in the handle. These let you get an unflinching grip on the knife when you need it. I would have liked the tip to be a little close to the center line of the blade, but this won’t have a huge impact on performance.
You’re also getting a glass-reinforced sheath that does a fantastic job of robustly protecting the handle and blade while traveling. Overall, this is possibly the best tanto EDC knife if you’re looking for something powerful yet discreet.
- Ultra-lightweight and powerful for its size
- Ergonomic grip is one of the easiest among neck knives to hold with larger hands
- Legal to carry in most places
- Super-discreet and easy to clean and maintain
- No thumb ridge to help slow your thumb’s sliding down the spine of the blade
- Blade is a little short for extensive self-defense and protective use
Here’s a long blade with an excellent handle and grip. It has the look and design of Asian style tanto blades and the piercing power to match. The handle is covered in a rubberized material that gives you plenty of real-estate and grip strength when stabbing and piercing.
This is quite a thick blade at 3mm and is strong enough to handle repeated piercing of tough materials. You’re getting a full tang build that’s covered in a non-slip ergonomic handle. You’ll feel confident taking this blade with you on your outdoor adventures.
The blade comes in at 6”, which is perfect for utility and defensive use. It’s an exquisitely well-balanced blade and has a heft to it, without feeling too weighty. This knife is a top pick for the best tanto fixed-blade knife at this price. You’ll get a high-quality Cor-Ex sheath with a decent belt loop.
- Longer 6” blade gives you plenty to work with in self-defense and utility work
- Handle has excellent grip strength and is non-slip
- German 4116 stainless steel lets it thrive in the outdoors and through rough use
- Exquisitely well-balanced and has just the right amount of heft for piercing
- Could come a little sharper out the box – but it’s usable as is
- No mechanism or click that secures the knife to the sheath
This is the first folding knife we’ve looked at so far. I generally don’t like using folding knives for tactical and protective uses. That being said, this knife has the piercing power and performance close to what a fixed knife would offer. On top of that, you’re getting the compactness of a pocket knife and the utility of an almost 4” blade in one set up.
With folding tanto knives, it’s all about the locking mechanism and action. This knife has an excellent top-class blade lock. You won’t have to worry about struggling to close it, or accidental shutting while piercing tough materials. The tip of the blade is well-aligned with the center of the blade. This gives you even better control over the tip and improves the handling of the knife. It’s one of the best tanto knife options out there.
- Excellent quality handle with titanium inlays and a strong grip
- Thumb ridge is in just the right spot
- Very durable and suitable for extended outdoor use
- Cord cutter lets you cut cables without opening the bladed
- Black finish on the knife comes off relatively easily
- Assisted opening doesn’t work as well as it should
Here’s a massive blade with more than 10” of hard, sharp, stainless steel. It’s full tang and has a gorgeous groove down the side of the blade. You’re getting good thickness on a long blade, without having to sacrifice too much handling. It’s lightweight enough to comfortably use in either hand and has the cutting power of many higher-end hunting knives.
If you want to knife that’s designed for piercing or boning on your hunts, this might be a perfect choice. You won’t have to worry about wearing out the tips on your other knives or ruining their edges. With the high-quality, over-molded handle that’s easy to wield, you’re getting one of the best tanto knifes for the hunting and outdoor utility.
- Massive 10”+ blade is made from high-grade stainless steel
- Full-tang blade with a balanced and weighty feel
- Included a stunning black leather sheath
- Expertly balanced blade
- Heavy and bulky knife that needs to be carefully secured
- Tang tapers a bit too much under the grip
Here’s a great value knife that would make an excellent bug bag or camping knife. It can easily handle bushcraft and light woodwork. You’ll find it’s just the right size for stripping firewood and preparing campsites. It’s a little on the large side to use as an EDC. Despite the larger size, it’s very comfortable in your hands and suited to large hands too.
It doesn’t use such a deep hollow grind, which leads to improved durability and reliability in the long run. If you’re looking for a knife to keep in your car or a camping bag for occasional use, this is a solid option. The steel is tough enough to handle heavy use, along with being rust and corrosion-resistant.
- Excellent value for money for this quality
- Leather sheath keeps the blade from rusting or wearing during storage
- Great for large hands
- Hefty handling without being too heavy
- Handle could be better in wet conditions
- Doesn’t come sharp out the box
The first thing you’ll notice about this knife is its gorgeous and sleek design. It immediately stands out. Cold Steel makes excellent quality knives, and this knife is a reliable budget entry into their ecosystem. You can tell just by looking at it that this is a very heavy knife. It’s not an EDC knife by any means.
What it lacks in portability, it makes up for with its incredible sharpness and performance. You’ll be able to slice and pierce your way through pretty much anything related to outdoor knife work. Despite the weight, it’s a well-balanced knife – though not perfectly balanced.
This is, after all, a budget model. Some minor flaws can be worked out with a good sharpening technique and consistent maintenance and care. These best tanto knifes are affordable and perform like workhorses. They give you a taste of what you can expect with more premium Cold Steel knives.
- Large balanced blade for heavy-duty, intensive work
- One of the most attractive tanto knives for the money
- Extremely sharp and durable
- Intimidating knife that’s well-suited to self-defense and protective use
- Comes out the box with a greasy finish that needs to be wiped off
- Black coating shows scratches quite easily
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: When Should I Choose a Tanto Blade Over Other Types of Blades?
A: Tanto blades are widely regarded as being better at piercing thanks to their thicker tips. These knives hold up with repeated piercing of tough materials. Most other types of knives would buckle or bend with this kind of use. If you’re interested in a tactical carry or defensive knife, a tanto blade is probably the better choice.
Q: How Do I Sharpen a Tanto Blade?
A: You’ll go about this the same way you do with a normal knife. Make sure you have the right equipment and a high-quality whetstone. You’ll need an angled honing rod if your tanto blade has a serrated portion. Make sure you pay special attention to the second edge of the tanto shape. You don’t want to round the point where the blade changes angles. Repeat this process for the tip too, as you want that as sharp and pointed as possible.
Q: Are Folding Tanto Knives as Effective as Fixed Tanto Knives?
A: In my experience, no. That being said, this depends on how you use the knife and the quality of the knife. If you’ve got a high-end folding knife with a tanto blade (with an excellent blade lock and snappy action) then you’ll get the same performance as a fixed blade tanto knife. You probably won’t get the same long term durability, but it will be close enough.
Well done for taking the time to make sure you get the perfect knife for you. You should have a clear idea of what you need in your next tanto knife, and where to find it. We encourage you to take some time to back over the knives you took an interest in.
Check to see how they match your needs and planned uses. Once you’re ready, go ahead and order your next knife! You’ll feel the confidence and power with the best tanto knife in your hands – good luck!