What are the Things to Consider When Buying a Tanto?

When buying a Tanto, there are a lot of things to consider first before making your purchase. These include the type of steel used, if it’s functional, your budget, and more.

Sharp and Blunt Tanto

If you plan to learn Japanese swordsmanship or martial arts, it’s best to purchase a blunt Tanto. It is a useful tool but not sharpened, so it can be utilized for adequate practice.

Another option is to have a sharpened Tanto that can withstand the rigors of practice cutting.

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Steel Type

Just because two Tanto blades are made from steel doesn’t mean that both have the same quality. Some swords are crafted using higher quality steel compared to others, so these have enhanced protection from wear and tear.

The most commonly utilized carbon steel types are 1050, 1095, and 1060. The numbers state the amount of steel the carbon has: 1050 carbon steel has .50% carbon, and so on.


The forging process defines a sword, and authentic Japanese swords or Nihonto are forged. The Nihonto is tougher and more durable compared to stock removal steel swords sold by a lot of companies. These swords’ blades aren’t forged and do not have the integrity of a forged blade.

A good tip when purchasing your Tanto is to ask for one with forged steel blades.


Folded or Non-Folded?

If you want your Tanto to be closer to a classic Nihonto made from Tamahagane, go for a folded steel.

The folding process for the Nihonto was part of the refinement method of steel during ancient Japan. When steel is folded, subtle Hada appears on the blade’s surface. If you want an aesthetic blade with subtle grains on its surface, you’ll want a Tanto with folded steel.

Do note that with modern steel, the folding process doesn’t enhance the performance or hardness of the Tanto. It’s primarily for artistic value.

It’s also good to note that there is a downside to folded blades. They have a possibility of welding issues between the layers.

Unless done correctly and precisely, the folded blade can be less durable compared to a mono-steel equivalent.

Other Things to Consider

Of course, you need to determine your budget before purchasing the Tanto. And remember, these blades aren’t cheap.

Also, if you’re planning to collect other blades than the Tanto sword, you’ll need to invest in these. The swords need to stay clean and well-maintained to avoid any instances of rusting and damages to them.

Plus, it’s also great to do a little research and learn more about these swords before making purchases.


Is Tanto Useful for Close Quarter Indoor Fighting Only?

Although best for indoor combat and small spaces, the Tanto was also used on the battlefield. In fact, the Samurai wore this as the Shoto or short sword in the Daisho.

Before the Katana and Wakizashi sword pair became popular, the Samurai carried the Tachi and the Tanto as the Daisho. This shows that the Tanto was a useful short-range weapon for combat on the battlefield.

The Tanto on the Battlefield

When utilized on the battlefield, the Tanto was highly effective for penetrating the Samurai armor. Its distinct shape features a long, narrow blade and thick spine that tapers to the Kissaki. This made it perfect for piercing through armor.

The Samurai often performed this move in battle, so they also trained in grappling armor.


For Self-Defense

The Samurai often carried the Tanto, and commoners did not wear this. There were other variations of the Tanto, which were not only for indoor combat but also for self-defense.

One was the Kaiken, which was a smaller Tanto that women carried in their Obi to defend themselves when necessary.

Another type was the Fan Tanto, a concealed weapon for self-defense. It usually had a low-quality blade.

The Tanto has several advantages in combat, whether indoors or on the battlefield. Its unique shape and its beveled tip allow for better penetration, which was efficient for self-defense. In fact, it was also useful for offensive tactical situations.

Primarily, the Tanto was for combat use and was ideal for penetrating armor. Other Nihonto were not suitable for doing this, which made the Tanto advantageous for certain situations.

With its size, the Tanto was easier and more convenient to carry around. When not in use, it was kept in a sheath that was usually made of hardwood. Its handle was also usually wooden with Tsuka wrap to offer a firm grip.

Original price was: $699.Current price is: $629.
Original price was: $499.Current price is: $429.