Primal/tactical o-tanto


Well-Known Member
Although nothing I do is particularly traditional, this falls closest under the shobu-zukuri tanto style, with a ridgeline below the spine and no yokote line. With a forge finish, a choil, and a secondary bevel, this isn't a typical tanto, though.

The steel is 5160. There was quite a bit more curvature prior to the quench, but the canola oil quench and the blade's cross section gave a fair amount of negative sori. I wish I had taken a picture before the hardening process to show it, but a couple of other knifemakers who saw it before and after noted how much it had straightened. The blade length, including the choil, is 12 1/2" and the overall length is 19 3/4". The handle wrap is coyote brown paracord for the underlay, black paracord for the overlay and three-strand Turk's head knot, all impregnated in Minwax Wood Hardener.

The sheath is black Kydex, with a coyote brown Kydex belt loop set up for edge-up horizontal carry. More coyote brown paracord is stored on the sheath and helps break up the visual impression of the black.

And it's ambidextrous!