Tanto Pocket Knives: This is the One to Get

Tanto pocket knives employ a blade similar to the short swords used by Samurai in feudal Japan.


Tanto knives draw their inspiration from the short swords that were worn by Samurai in feudal Japan. The modern iteration of the tanto has become more tactical — the blade style is still meant for piercing and stabbing, but instead of using a curved belly, the edges of today’s tantos meet the point at a hard angle, creating two distinct blade edges.

Boker’s just-released Kihon Stainless Tanto, the third in a series of Kihon knives, is the product of a collaboration with designer Lucas Burnley. Burnley is known for his affinity with Japanese-inspired blades, and his take on the modern tanto pays tribute to its inspiration with a softer angle than most others today. The result is a blade that’s more elegant and reserved than other tactical tantos — in other words, it looks less violent — and it’s one that first-time tanto users will have an easier time getting accustomed to.

The Kihon Stainless Tanto features a 3.3-inch blade and a weighty stainless steel frame lock handle.

Buy Now: $110

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