Balance of the Magnum Tanto II

Infi-del

Gold Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2009
Messages
3,499
Have any of you other Cold Steel fans ever noticed that the 7.5” bladed tanto with the tsuba style guard (Magnum Tanto, Magnum Tanto II) is like the most perfectly balanced knife on the planet? I own 3 of them and if you lay it on it’s side... the thing floats on the tsuba. Neither the blade or the handle touch the ground. And if you spin it on a smooth surface it spins for a crazy long time. I’ve never encountered a blade more perfectly balanced.

Just wonder if anyone else ever noticed it.

414141660.jpg

414141661.jpg
 
Last edited:
Never tried spinning it on the tsuba before, but yeah I’ve noticed that it doesn’t fall to either side when balanced on the tsuba. Most balanced knife I’ve ever seen as well
 
3V or San mai? I’m guessing the hollow ground San mai blade is a bit lighter?
 
3V or San mai? I’m guessing the hollow ground San mai blade is a bit lighter?

Mine are older Japanese models. 2 San Mai and 1 original "Magnum Tanto" that I think is just AUS-8A or what they called 400 series.
 
Cold Steel says they are the same at 11.4 oz.

The MagII is my favorite Cold Steel model by far. Was thinking of getting one of the 3V models... wonder if it does the same thing?

Anyone with a 3V MagII wanna post a pic of its balance?
 
I know they've moved the edge plunge closer to the tsuba on the current models... while the weight may still be the same... that could effect the balance.
 
Cold Steel says they are the same at 11.4 oz.

True enough, they do. I always figured though that they just weighed one version and called it good for the rest, given the size is the same, and the weight would be almost the same. But, seeing as how we have had AUS-8A mono-steel, AUS-8A-core San Mai III, VG-1-core San Mai III, 3V mono steel with a coating, and now VG-10-core San Mai, it would stand to reason that their respective weights could be very slightly different due to steel composition (we may have even had a Magnum Tanto II in 400 series stainless in addition to all the rest, but I'm not sure). It is probably not enough to affect balance as much as blade grind would, or as much as short ricassos (more blade, less "block") on the newest versions would (OP, I am assuming this is what you meant by the edge plunge now being closer to the tsuba). But the edges of the tsuba aren't that thick of a surface. It seems most small differences would add up to make the knife fall to one side versus the other. I could be wrong though.
 
Yeah I agree with jencarlos. I don't have confidence that they weigh the same despite Cold Steel's specs.
 
Somebody post a pic of a 3V Mag2 on its side. I’m super curious if they balance.
 
True enough, they do. I always figured though that they just weighed one version and called it good for the rest, given the size is the same, and the weight would be almost the same. But, seeing as how we have had AUS-8A mono-steel, AUS-8A-core San Mai III, VG-1-core San Mai III, 3V mono steel with a coating, and now VG-10-core San Mai, it would stand to reason that their respective weights could be very slightly different due to steel composition (we may have even had a Magnum Tanto II in 400 series stainless in addition to all the rest, but I'm not sure). It is probably not enough to affect balance as much as blade grind would, or as much as short ricassos (more blade, less "block") on the newest versions would (OP, I am assuming this is what you meant by the edge plunge now being closer to the tsuba). But the edges of the tsuba aren't that thick of a surface. It seems most small differences would add up to make the knife fall to one side versus the other. I could be wrong though.

Yea I really found it hard to believe different steels would weigh exactly the same unless they made it a priority to do so. Can't see them spending the extra time and money to do so.
Doesn't the flat part it is resting on affect the outcome, I would think a knife edge(pun intended) would be a more exacting test,maybe?
 
Yea I really found it hard to believe different steels would weigh exactly the same unless they made it a priority to do so. Can't see them spending the extra time and money to do so.
Doesn't the flat part it is resting on affect the outcome, I would think a knife edge(pun intended) would be a more exacting test,maybe?

The tsuba is only like 1/8th thick. I couldn't say if the balance is right at the 1/16th mark. But anything I can set this on it balances on the tsuba. It's crazy.
 
Yea I really found it hard to believe different steels would weigh exactly the same unless they made it a priority to do so. Can't see them spending the extra time and money to do so.
Doesn't the flat part it is resting on affect the outcome, I would think a knife edge(pun intended) would be a more exacting test,maybe?

I thought about that too. I also thought it would be a better test if the edges of the tsuba were completely rounded off to the degree where it looks like an unsharpened convex grind (where the whole tsuba itself would resemble a flying saucer). Then when you balance the knife, it’s on a point (or an almost-point), instead of a flat surface
 
Wow, that really is balanced well.

May have to pick one of these up.
 
There is such a beast?

There is indeed such a beast. Once upon a time, Cold Steel sold an Emperor Collection (as Jlauffer said). It included a Mini Tanto, A standard Tanto, and a Magnum Tanto. This is the only time and place that I know of where the Magnum Tanto had the brass fittings. IIRC, they were all the mono steel variants, not San Mai III. ((Jlauffer's correction: Referencing his post on the next page, the Emperor Collection was unique at the time in that all the blades were San Mai III. This is the only instance of San Mai III on the Mini Tanto with brass fittings, and a raised spine on any Mini Tanto ever. It is the only instance of a raised spine on the standard-size Tanto, and the only instance of brass fittings on a Magnum Tanto.)) "Emperor Collection" is clearly marked on one side of the ricasso for each knife. If you search BladeForums, you'll find a thread with only two posts in it, the start of it being a picture of the Cold Steel Emperor Collection, as it was shown in a brochure/catalog. In this picture, you'll clearly see that while the Tanto and Mini Tanto have brass fittings, the Magnum Tanto has stainless steel fittings (as we are all familiar with). As far as that is concerned, it would indicate that there have been two "generations" of the Emperor Collection, and that the whole notion of a Magnum Tanto with brass fittings wasn't around for a long time, though the knife did indeed exist. ((Jlauffer's correction: The picture in that particular thread isn't a true Emperor Collection. If you reference his post on the next page, you'll see that it is similar, but not exact pieces, "cobbled" together to resemble the Emperor Collection. The "Emperor Collection" marking is also missing from the blades in this picture.)) The Magnum Tanto with brass fittings was only ever available as part of the Emperor Collection, never on its own. You won't find a Magnum Tanto with brass fittings without the "Emperor Collection" marking on it, unless you happened to come across some rare Magnum Tanto prototype with brass fittings, if such a thing even exists. I do not know how long the Emperor Collection was sold, but it wasn't for long, I assure you.

As for the balance of the knife, what Jlauffer said is correct. The Magnum Tanto with brass fittings from the Emperor Collection has a sub-9" blade. Therefore it is much closer in size to a modern Magnum Tanto IX, rather than a 7.5" blade Magnum Tanto II. While brass is slightly heavier than steel, and could likely affect the balance of a Magnum Tanto II, the extra ~1.5" of blade on the original Magnum Tanto would no doubt make it tip towards the blade side of the knife, regardless of brass or stainless fittings.

For a final note, it is true that there was a 7.5" blade tanto called the "Magnum Tanto". This was the earliest version of the Magnum Tanto II. It was identical in all but the name, and the fact that it was mono steel, and not San Mai III. This knife came to be when they phased out the sub-9" blade original Magnum Tanto and replaced it with a 7.5" blade tanto bearing the same name. However, very shortly after, this model was given a San Mai III blade, renamed to Magnum Tanto II, and the San Mai III 9" Magnum Tanto IX followed it. Every 7.5" tanto variant, regardless of its name, has had stainless fittings (I am not sure if the fittings on the 3V variants are stainless, though I can tell you that they are definitely steel, not brass).
 
Last edited:
Back
Top