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Tactical tanto vs. Hissatsu

Discussion in 'Sword Discussion' started by Hesparus, Sep 3, 2005.

  1. Hesparus


    Oct 31, 2004
    The Hanwei Tactical Tanto and the CRKT Hissatsu are both realy cool but ultimately useless knives.
    Dispite this shortcomming, I'm thinking about getting one of them. What do you think are the pros and cons of each?

    - Chris
  2. knife saber

    knife saber

    Sep 22, 2002
    Well, I don't know about useless. I have the tactical tanto and it's a great knife - takes a scary edge and holds it well. The push-button sheath is interesting, if not executed as well as it could be. But you're right that it's not really a utility knife. I should really put mine in the exchange pages.

    I think that the Hissatsu is the inferior choice. It's designed by James Williams, and that's not really a name to argue with, but for the features offered, I think the tactical tanto is better. To list examples - the TT has a guard, while the Hissatsu doesn't. This isn't really an issue to me, though - Japanese sword and knifework usually treats guards as a fail-safe, rather than an active safety feature. The TT has a differentially hardened carbon steel blade, and the Hissatsu has an AUS-6 blade. The TT's handle is easily removed, and the tang is very well suited for customized handles. I like the push button sheath better than the plastic sheath for the Hissatsu.

    Strikes against the Tactical Tanto:
    - The blade is prone to staining, and the blueing comes off easily. I discovered the latter trying to fix the former. That sucked.
    - The rayskin (real) isn't attached with much care. Mine has a small "crack" where the rayskin expanded, broke open, and exposed the wood underneath. All in all, a small problem that doesn't affect the fit of the handle to the tang.
    - The oxidized black fittings and sheath scratch and scuff fairly easily.

    Strikes against the Hissatsu:
    - Stainless steel. I don't like stainless steel in anything other than a folding knife. And I hear the blade is being downgraded to 440A.
    - Poor finish. The blade is supposed to be an osoraku-zukuri blade, but the execution is... lacking. The kissaki is a joke and the lines are all over the place. The TT is an odd shape, kind of shobu-zukuri based, but it's lines are much cleaner.
    - Non-removeable handles. This may actually be a plus if maintenance is not something you like to do. Plastic is a cool material, though. It's not indestructible, though, and customizers would have a hard time with this knife.
  3. infamous


    Jun 1, 2005
    I agree with knife saber, personally I would definately choose Hanwei Tactical Tanto over the CRKT Hissatsu, I actually do not like the overall look and finish of the Hissatsu. It looks very average in my opinion, moulded plastic handle, moulded plastic sheath, and a AUS-6M satin finished blade which whilst I do like the dual grind, still does not command mt attention.

    Wheras the Tactical Tanto, uses much better materials in my opinion, high-carbon edge-tempered blade, same' rayskin grip, and overall is much more traditionally Japanese, and with the Hanwei style. You also get a steel sheath with a spring latch, much better than injection moulded zytel, in my honset opinion.
  4. Hesparus


    Oct 31, 2004
    That pretty much confirms my suspicions about the hissatsu. I can't for the life of me figure out why CRKT uses some of the steels that they do.
    None of the websites I've seen for the TT give a really good explaination of how it works, so maybe you guys can help me out. First, exactly how does one attach it to their belt? The pictures seem to depict an ugly sort of aligator clip-like device. Is this impression accurate? Is the clip reversible for left-handed people? Second, I'm curious about the retention system. Does it have a thumb-release, or can you just yank on it and have it come out?


    - Chris

    p.s. I didn't mean to demean either of these knives by calling them "useless." I just meant that they're non-traditional, so they're not prime for martial arts and they're both [way] too big to be carried legally or practically in most places. I mean, if I could I'd carry something that big all the time but I'd still probably never use it — I think everyone here can appreciate my impractical love of big knives.

    p.p.s. one last thing, I'm really impressed that the TT has real ray skin. I didn't expect that, especially since it's only a tad more expensive than the practical tanto, which doesn't have real ray skin.
  5. knife saber

    knife saber

    Sep 22, 2002
    It's an alligator type clamp. It can be adjusted for high or low carry, but is not switchable to the other side. Ugly, but it's quite secure when attached. And not that bulky, either. You can attach it for strong side (right) carry, but it's also good for cross draw carry. If you're a lefty, it kind of sucks for you. But it is traditional, because you don't carry for the left with any Japanese bladed weapon i've ever seen.

    The retention system is pretty good. There's a small release switch set into the fuchi. Spring-loaded, and fairly tight to boot. If you ever managed to pull the blade out without hitting the switch, you'd probably end up pulling off the retention hook on the sheath, too. It'd take a lot of force, though.

    The rayskin is pretty low-grade, but real. There's even a hole in the tang so that you could break off the welded-on threaded bolt at the bottom, and fit a traditional tsuka to the thing.
  6. Hesparus


    Oct 31, 2004
    Hmmm. I was afraid of that. If I get to handle one, maybe I can see if its possible to reverse the clip. Until then, I guess I'll have to look elsewhere.
    Thanks for the help.

    - chris
  7. Bimmer1

    Bimmer1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 30, 2000
    I've been customizing the Hissatsu handles for about a year now. I have done several for guys on other forums. I remove the stock kraton/rubberized handle material then add thin pieces of wood to thicken the handle width. After that I apply rayskin or sharkskin and do a Japanese style wrap over that. I make a large turk's head knot guard and epoxy coat the wrap and turk's head for durability. I have done some with silver dragon menuki as well.

    You can email me for some pictures. I cannot post out here.

    The conversion works well for small to medium sized hands.

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