Having a quality knife that you can depend on can be the best assurance when you are out in the woods, on the trail, or in a survival situation. Not only does a quality blade offer protection, but it can also help you to accomplish many necessary tasks. From cutting wood to prepping food, you will want to make sure that your knife can stand up to the work that lies ahead. For those of you who feel that you may be faced with the unfortunate circumstance of having to defend yourself, a combat style knife is going to be the best option. We review the Kabar Tanto in this article. Is it a good survival knife? Let’s find out.
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Kabar Tanto Review
Having to protect yourself with a simple pocketknife will most likely be ineffective and end in disaster. In this review I will be going over the Kabar Tanto. This knife is an Asian-influenced combat knife that can also be used for other tasks that might be required of a quality blade. Let’s start with some features of the knife.
Shape and Style
The Tanto style blade is strong and designed for penetration (stabbing). The blade is fixed to the handle, meaning that the knife does not fold.
The overall length of the knife is 12.88 inches. The blade itself is 8 inches long and 5/32’’ thick. The knife and sheath together weigh just under a pound. The knife itself weighs 0.7 pounds.
All parts of the knife and sheath are offered in black.
The blade is made of 1095 Cro-Van steel. This makes it easy to sharpen and maintain a strong, sharp edge. The Kraton G handle has recessed ‘ribs’ for grip. The sheath is made of hardened plastic.
The Kabar Tanto is made using full-tang construction for the sake of durability.
Kabar Tanto Pros and Cons
- Tanto style blade designed for stabbing in self-defense scenarios.
- Thick blade for durability to prevent breakage.
- Made with a strong 1095 Cro-Van steel that is easily sharpened and will maintain an edge.
- Full-tang construction.
- Durable handle with good grip.
- Weighted well. (Weight is well-balanced.)
- Very durable sheath is included.
- Overall lightweight knife for easy carrying.
- Aesthetically pleasing with all-black coloration.
- Coated blade for strength and durability.
- Blade has serrations toward the handle.
- Handle is fairly lightweight.
- Tang tapers to ‘rat-tail’ tang under the handle.
- Plastic sheath is slightly oversized.
What People are Saying About the Kabar Tanto
Most people who are familiar with Kabar products develop a bias fairly quickly. This is because Kabar is known for their quality and thoughtful construction. This is not changed by the Kabar Tanto.
The first thing that customers seem to notice after purchasing the knife is that the style is, well… awesome. The blade just looks downright mean. Not only does it look good, it comes razor sharp out of the box. The coating and the fact that it has a full tang make this knife a super strong and visually pleasing choice. The handle and sheath are not overlooked, either. The durability of both are very apparent as soon as you unpackage the knife. The only complaint that some have expressed is that the tang, although technically full, becomes smaller under the handle.
This is not necessarily a flaw, as it does not affect the functionality or durability of the blade, but it is something that people notice. The overall design of the Kabar Tanto is meticulous and does not disappoint. Very few who have bought the knife are unwilling to purchase it again or recommend it to others. The Kabar Tanto is a crowd favorite.
FAQs About The Kabar Tanto
Q: What makes this knife good for stabbing?
A: The shape of the point and the thickness of the blade allow for penetration without a risk of breakage. The angle of the blade tip is designed for strength. The Steel is also strong.
Q: What is a full-tang blade?
A: Full-tang construction means that the blade is a single piece of steel that runs the entire length of the handle. This is beneficial because it adds strength to the blade and handle while improving the weight distribution or ‘balance’ of the knife.
Q: What is a ‘rat-tail’ tang?
A: A rat-tail tang is a tang that tapers into a smaller size under the handle. In other words, the blade is wider than the steel under the handle. Although this is not necessarily a flaw or weakness, some do prefer a full-sized tang.
Q: Does the quality of the sheath match the quality of the knife?
A: In my opinion; yes. The durability and overall construction of the sheath is second to none. Virtually impossible to break, the sheath does not detract from the quality of the knife in any way.
If you ask me, the Kabar Tanto is a sweet knife to add to your collection, survival kit, or to simply ‘have around’.
This little jewel of a knife is handy for all sorts of tasks and could easily be used in a self-defense situation. The construction is sturdy, and the steel is strong. The knife fits comfortably in your hand, and the sheath is of high quality. I do not personally feel that the rat-tail tang is a problem. If the knife was unbalanced or weak, I would have my reservations if this were the case, however, the knife feels sturdy and has a great balanced ‘feel’ to it.
If you are looking to carry a knife that looks mean, feels comfortable, and can be used for various applications, this is the knife for you. It is also worthy of noting that Kabar is of superb quality that is very consistent. You will not be disappointed with the Kabar Tanto or Kabar knives in general.
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