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Old October 27, 2000, 03:48 PM   #1
bullseyekp
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Let me preclude this by stating that my knowledge of knives is limited to the reading I have done online in the past few months.

Anyway, I have been looking for a folder to carry on a daily basis and I will probably get some basic self defense instruction soon after my purchase. However, I'm still puzzled by the Tanto blade. Besides the visual awe factor that it creates compared to a normal blade, what is its function? Also, by the name and its presence among Japanese swords, I would guess its origin is Japanese!? Any practical advantages it holds over a normal blade when it comes to personal defense?

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--Adlai Stevenson, "Politics and Morality", Saturday Review, February 7, 1959.
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Old October 27, 2000, 05:55 PM   #2
dragontooth73
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KP95OKC, do a search on "Japanese swords" in this forum and you'll hit about 3 threads that originate from about 2 months ago (which also happened to be the reason for my first posts here) ... anyways tanto ("tan" = short, "to" = blade) are shaped as such to punch through armor. Not really cut through a half-inch of steel plate par se, but the squarish tip can connect without snapping, and the pressure applied at the point is greater than your usual dagger (think surface area) because more of the weight of the blade is behind the tip, symetry-wise. And it slides along grooves in armor easier than, say a stiletto would. Tanto by the way are de rigeur weapons for yakuza, who prefer unvarnished wood handles and scabbards of one piece. If you're looking for tanto folders, Cold Steel would probably be it (though I don't like their marketing one bit.)

I haven't ever used knives in combat to be bluntly honest, but I think this is the sum of it. Wait for more experienced people to reply on this thread.
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Old October 27, 2000, 08:09 PM   #3
Secmat
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If I recall correctly, the tanto came about when broken swords were resharpened and used with the shorter blade.

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Old October 27, 2000, 08:09 PM   #4
Virginian
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Dragontooth is correct. The Tanto blade was designed in the same fashion of Katana, and the Tanto design is extremely srong in terms of both cutting and thrusting. Not only is the tanto tip stronger for piercing armor, but it is less likely to "catch" on bone such as the sternum and ribs during thrusts. The curve of a properly made katana and tanto are optimal for cutting and thrusting. FYI, a properly made Katana was designed to cut a man in two from shoulder to hip during a horizontal cut. The ancient Japanese used to test their blades on criminals condemned to death. The Tanto is made to a like standard, realizing that the power wielded by a man armed with a Tanto vs. a Katana is much less. However, in the hands of a skilled practicioner, a Tanto is an incredibly strong and effective tool. Also, in ancient Japan, when a Samurai entered the house of a friend or aqauintance, it was customary to remove the Katana form one's belt, but the Tanto remained just in case. In fact the Katana was usually removed and place to the right of the Samurai as he kneeled, but still within arm's reach.
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Old October 28, 2000, 12:09 AM   #5
guerilla1138
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i dont knwo the history but the tanto blade, more specifically the american tanto style blade, such as used on all cold steels tanto pointed knives, in one strong strong blade design.

and i know of dealers of kevlar vests who will test standard point knives on the vest but wont test tanto point knives on the vest and wont let anyone else.
talkign to one guy he said that he has seen them do a lot of damage to a vest, but he oesnt reccomend that one think it can penitrate.
i dont reccomend that either.

i like tanto knives for their strangth but i liek knives with a lot of belly and none of the tanto knives have that.
my idea of the perfect knife combo would be a cold steel tanto for the left pocket and an emerson commander for the right.
assuming here that your strong hand is the right hand.
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Old October 28, 2000, 10:10 AM   #6
dragontooth73
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guerilla1138, you're right - it doesn't have a lot of belly. of course you could always go for something like a kris, with that wavy form it does far more damage than most serration patterns.

tanto's pretty much like a chisel: it's that forward tooth that's the power of the blade. nice to know it does work better on vests compared to standard points ... never did comparison tests myself
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