Best Tanto Knife — Folders and Fixed Blades

Last Updated: by Aiden Williams

You may have come across a tanto knife and want to have one. However, there are so many brands and models out in the market.

You find it confusing and may doubt yourself if you’re making the best decision. Let me help you find the best tanto knife with this review and buying guide.

Kershaw Blur Black Tanto Serrated Pocket Knife is a favored blade because of its multitasking capabilities. It’s a one-handed opener with SpeedSafe Assisted Opening. It’s stylish, sturdy, and doesn’t need constant sharpening.

The Best Tanto Knives Are:

ProductDetails
1. Kershaw Blur Serrated Tanto Black Pocket Knife

  • 4.22 oz weight
  • 3.4 inches tanto blade length
  • 7.9 inches total length
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Partially serrated
  • Excellent EDC for everyone in need of a reliable knife
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2. Kershaw Brawler Folding Pocket Knife

  • 3.25 inches tanto blade length
  • 3.8 oz weight
  • 7.1 inches total length
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Outstanding utility knife for backpackers, landscapers, first responders, anglers, hunters, gardeners, and hikers
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3. Kershaw Emerson CQC-K Pocket Knives

  • 3.5 inches stainless steel tanto blade
  • 5.3 oz weight
  • 8.1 inches total length
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Exceptional EDC knife for backpackers, hikers, landscapers, wilderness guides, hunters, hobbyists, and contractors
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4. Kershaw Link Pocket Knives

  • 7.6 inches total length, 4.4 inches when folded
  • 4.8 oz weight
  • 3.25 inches 420HC stainless steel tanto blade
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • EDC tactile pocket knife for everyday use, self-defense, and survival
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5. QEONIX Cold Steel 9733 80PGTK GI Tanto 7-inch Carbon Knife

  • 7 inches blade length
  • 12 inches total length
  • 10.6 oz weight
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • For EDC and tactical purposes
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6. SOG TFSAT8-CP Flash II 8-inch Black Tanto EDC Knife

  • 3.5 inches tanto blade
  • 8 inches total length
  • 3.1 oz weight
  • For EDC purposes
  • Limited lifetime warranty
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1. Kershaw Blur Serrated Tanto Black Pocket Knife — Best Tanto Folding Knife

Kershaw Blur Tanto Black Serrated Pocket Knife (1670TBLKST); 3.4” DLC-Coated, 14C28N Steel, Partially Serrated Blade; Anodized Aluminum Handle, SpeedSafe Opening, Reversible Pocketclip; 3.9 OZ

I like Kershaw Blur Black Serrated Tanto Pocket Knife because it’s a multitasker. I can open it easily with one hand because of its SpeedSafe Assisted Opening.

I feel confident using it because it has two steel plates inside the handle. They ensure that the blade doesn’t close unexpectedly. The knife opens when I apply force on the torsion bar, so it won’t open when I put it in my pocket.

My only complaint is its uncomfortable handle because it rubs against my fingers when I reach down in my pocket. It feels like my digits are rubbing against sandpaper.

Specs

  • 22 oz weight
  • 4 inches tanto blade length
  • 9 inches total length
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Partially serrated
  • Excellent EDC for everyone in need of a reliable knife

Pros

  • One-handed SpeedSafe assisted opening
  • Reversible pocket clip for tip-up or tip-down carry on the right side
  • Secure liner lock
  • Sleek, stylish, and slim design
  • Trac-Tec inserts for a firm grip even in marine and wet conditions

Cons

  • Uncomfortable handle
  • Belt clip not for left-handed
  • Liner lock doesn’t engage the razor completely

You may like the stylish design of the Kershaw Blur Serrated Tanto Black Pocket Knife. It’s very beneficial for your adventure trips. The blade uses Sandvik 14C28N steel with reinforced nitrogen. This material makes it corrosion-resistant and sturdier.

You also don’t need to sharpen the Kershaw Blur always, and you’ll like the Trac-Tec inserts on the handle. You get a firm grip even when you have sweaty hands or in wet conditions.

Overall Rating – 4.8

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2. Kershaw Brawler Folding Pocket Knife

Kershaw Brawler Folding Pocket Knife (1990) with 3” Black-Oxide Finished High-Performance 8Cr13MoV Steel Blade; Black Glass-Filled Nylon Handle Scales with Reversible 4-Position Pocketclip; 3.9 oz

I own a Kershaw Brawler, and I like that its 8Cr13MoV stainless steel blade is corrosion-resistant and doesn’t need sharpening often. It has a black oxide stylish finish, and the nylon handle offers a firm grip, even in wet conditions.

I use it whenever I’m on hunting trips, and it’s also suitable for rescue operations. However, I notice that the rough scale texture of the pocket clip can cause abuse to my denim pants.

Specs

  • 25 inches tanto blade length
  • 8 oz weight
  • 1 inches total length
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Outstanding utility knife for backpackers, landscapers, first responders, anglers, hunters, gardeners, and hikers

Pros

  • Corrosion-resistant and excellent edge retention
  • Secure liner lock and 4-position pocket clip
  • SpeedSafe assisted opening
  • Stealthy, folding, and highly functional pocket knife

Cons

  • Needs sharpening upon unboxing
  • Stiff pocket clip and rough scale texture

If you need a sturdy and secure folding pocket knife, you may avail of the Kershaw Brawler. It has the SpeedSafe Assisted Opening, so it remains closed in your pocket.

You have to apply pressure to its flipper before you can open or close it. It’s lightweight, so you can easily maneuver it using one hand. Additionally, you’ll like the four-position pocket knife, which means that you can carry it on either your left or right side pocket.

Overall Rating – 4.6

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3. Kershaw Emerson CQC-K Pocket Knives

Kershaw Emerson CQC-6K Folding Pocket Knife (6034), Manual 3.25-Inch 8Cr14MoV Stainless Steel Blade, Features Wave Shaped Opening Feature, Thumb Disk, Frame Lock, Reversible Pocketclip, 5.1 oz.

The Kershaw Emerson Close Quarter Combat (CQC) has several models that the manufacturer sells. You can use it as a self-defense pocket knife. Each model can vary in length and weight, but all blades use the 8Cr13Mov stainless steel.

For the 6044TBLK model, it has a black oxide coating for exceptional corrosion resistance. I like that it has a flat grind for a durable but sharp edge.

Although it’s for left-handed and right-handed individuals, I notice that the handle doesn’t have grooves on the left thumb. Therefore, it gets in the way when I open it with my left hand. I have to sand the handle, and I’m happy that it now works better.

Specs

  • 5 inches stainless steel tanto blade
  • 3 oz weight
  • 1 inches total length
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Exceptional EDC knife for backpackers, hikers, landscapers, wilderness guides, hunters, hobbyists, and contractors

Pros

  • Outstanding wear and corrosion resistance
  • Excellent edge retention
  • Non-reflective black-oxide blade coat for additional protection
  • Wave-shaped thumb disk
  • Versatile razor for puncturing holes, cutting cordage, cleaning small game animals, etc

Cons

  • Lack of grooves on the left side of the handle
  • Stiff locking mechanism
  • Wave opening feature may catch in the pocket seam

You may prefer the Kershaw Emerson pocket knife models if you want the patented wave feature and knurled thumb-disc. You won’t have any issue about opening it if you’re familiar with the technique. The overall fit and finish are exceptional, and it’s an excellent ergonomic knife.

Overall Rating – 4.5

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4. Kershaw Link Pocket Knives

Kershaw Link Serrated Folding Pocket Knife

I like the nontraditional and extended blade of the Kershaw Link Pocket Knife because it has a decorative swedge and an upswept tip. I also approve of its exceptional sharpening choil and is suitable for pruning, slicing, and trimming trees after a hurricane.

It has a superior blade geometry, but it uses 420HC steel. This steel type is inexpensive and has lower edge retention. However, it’s easy to sharpen.

Specs

  • 6 inches total length, 4.4 inches when folded
  • 8 oz weight
  • 25 inches 420HC stainless steel tanto blade
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • EDC tactile pocket knife for everyday use, self-defense, and survival

Pros

  • Blackwash blade finish for extra hardness and well-worn look
  • Pre-drilled handle holes for the reversible clip
  • Sleek, lightweight, and affordable
  • Durable and easy to sharpen
  • Fast deployment using a torsion bar

Cons

  • Too big as EDC
  • Low edge retention
  • Mid-range steel material

If you want a comfortable knife, you may try Kershaw Link because it has anodized aluminum handle with a superior fit and finish. Its lanyard hole is inset and oversized instead of drilling through the shaft.

The knife isn’t chunky but thick with a commendable unique thumb rest. The handle isn’t slippery, so you get a full grip.

Overall Rating – 4.8

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5. QEONIX Cold Steel 9733 80PGTK GI Tanto 7-inch Carbon Knife — Best Tanto Fixed Blade Knife

QEONIX Cold Steel 9733 80PGTK GI Tanto 7" Carbon

I like the budget-friendly Qeonix Cold Steel 7-inch Tanto Knife for EDC and even tough tactical purposes. It’s razor-sharp and reliable, and it uses 1055 carbon steel. It has the right length for easy concealing, and it’s rust-resistant too.

I also like the polypropylene handle with a quillon guard for a balanced and comfortable feel. It’s easy to throw and may even function as a spear if I detach it from its handle scales and put in a wooden shaft.

My only complaint is that the sheath can quickly dull the blade, so it requires extreme care to draw it out.

Specs

  • 7 inches blade length
  • 12 inches total length
  • 6 oz weight
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • For EDC and tactical purposes

Pros

  • Durable, versatile, and easy to clean
  • Scratch and rust resistance
  • Ergonomic design
  • Razor-sharp blade with Secure-Ex sheath

Cons

  • Incorrect drawing out of the sheath can dull the blade

If you are looking for the best tanto fixed blade knife, you may opt for this 7-inch GI Tanto Knife from Cold Steel. You can count on it to deliver even if it only has the bare essentials. It has a sharp blade with a rust-resistant finish.

You are ready to face anything using this broad with a tanto point. It is burdensome but balanced, so you can effortlessly throw it with vigor. If you are in a self-defense or survival situation, you can convert it into a war club or spear.

Overall Rating – 4.6

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6. SOG TFSAT8-CP Flash II 8-inch Black Tanto EDC Knife

SOG TFSAT8-CP Flash II 8 in. Black Tanto EDC Knife

I have a Flash II SOG TFSAT8-CP Black Tanto Knife, and I use it for EDC purposes. The blade remains sharp for an extended period. The AUS-8 steel isn’t the best one in the market, but it serves its purpose.

This steel type has Vanadium, so it’s robust and resistant to wear. I also like that it has a black titanium nitride coating, so it looks stylish. If I can cite a flaw of this knife, it will be its open/close mechanism that makes it too cumbersome to use.

Specs

  • 5 inches tanto blade
  • 8 inches total length
  • 1 oz weight
  • For EDC purposes
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Pros

  • Quick open tanto folding knife
  • Single-handed open with Piston Lock to secure the handle
  • AUS-8 steel with black titanium nitride coating for scratch and peel resistance
  • Reversible, low-carry clip

Cons

  • Troublesome to open

If you’re searching for a durable and easy to maintain tanto knife, you may try SOG TFSAT8-CP Flash II Black Tanto Knife. It has a precise edge that you can use in packing and opening boxes.

It makes a smooth cut and makes a suitable EDC knife. You won’t have to sharpen it often even if you use it every day at work or in the house.

Overall Rating – 4.5

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Buying Guide For The Best Tanto Pocket Knife

Cold Steel became a favorite of enthusiasts as the best tanto knife from the late 1970s to the early 1980s. It has outstanding strength and power, useful points, and quality pommel. Users like it because of its durability and functionality.

Advantages of Tanto Blades

Strength

A tanto blade’s dominance on the others is its toughness. It has a flat grind and a high point, so it’s a remarkably efficient tool for piercing dense materials.

Its reinforced razor can puncture objects continuously without the danger of snapping. It won’t also deteriorate quickly because of wear and tear.

Chisel Blade Point

Its blade point style is the same as that of a chisel, so a tanto knife is more durable and authoritative. It has a higher concentration of metal, but it’s not for use in the wilderness.

It’s suitable for defensive weapons because its pommel complements its chisel tanto point. Its design is very efficient for a knife.

Japanese Design

The tanto blade gets its inspiration from the design of the Japanese swords. It’s almost similar to the shape of a Katana blade. The influence of ancient Japanese craftsmanship and design provides its aesthetic, historical appeal.

Pommel

The pommel is also of tapered steel material and has the capability for impact absorption from massive strikes. It has the extraordinary effect of a blunt weapon even from a minor blow if used against an attacker or aggressor.

Sharpening

A tanto knife is straightforward to whet, and it often has secondary bevels. If it has a slightly curved blade, you can sharpen it with a stropping and ceramic rod. On the other hand, if it’s straight, you can use a stone.

What To Look For In The Best Tanto Folder

Blade

An exceptional tanto knife has a high-quality razor that’s easy to sharpen and rust-resistant. A stainless steel razor offers real value for your money. Carbon steel provides additional hardness and durability.

A black coating is also necessary because it makes the blade corrosion-resistant.

Handle

A tanto handle must also equal the blade in terms of quality. It must be able to withstand harsh conditions and won’t slip from your grasp. G10 and rubber are excellent materials for its handle.

Final Thoughts

You already know why you need a tanto knife and what you have to consider when buying one. If you still find it confusing to pick one, let me recommend the most popular blade among knife enthusiasts.

The Kershaw Blur Serrated Black Pocket Knife is a multitasker that’s also easy to open and secure enough to put in your pocket. It uses stainless steel with reinforced nitrogen, so you get a sturdy and corrosion-free knife that you don’t have to sharpen always.

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