Rev: Simonich tactical Cetan tanto


Oct 3, 1998
This is a review of Rob Simonich's tactical Cetan tanto with a preceding mention of the standard Cetan drop-point.

Pics are at: <a href=>Cetan pics </a>

Prior to this, Rob has made two other knives for me and I made a standard Cetan (macassar ebony handles) from one of his kits. The Cetan is a small utility drop-point full tang FB; ATS-34 stainless steel at RC 60. The blade is hollow ground (he will do it flat ground if asked), 3" along the edge, 1/8" spine and 6 3/4" overall. I made the kit as a gift for my brother so I wasn't able to put the finished knife through any serious paces, but for 2 days it was a champ in the kitchen (and I'm going to get one for myself). The edge is thin and sharp, and having done a fair amount of hunting and processing of game, this knife would perform excellently for this purpose. My brother cleaned a pheasant and some quail 2 weeks ago and was quite pleased.

I received the tactical Cetan tanto last Thursday and have been working this baby hard. The basic specs are the same as the standard Cetan except it is 7" overall length with an exposed pommel/thong hole with canvas micarta handles. The primary edge is hollow ground with some belly and the leading edge is flat ground. He made a nifty multi carry option kydex sheath: the sheath can screw to a combination belt loop/clip either vertically or horizontally; or it can be used as a neck knife. I haven't weighed the whole package, but it is extremely light.

This knife was literally shaving sharp right out of the package. That evening it was a wizz in the kitchen, whipping through the veggie and salad duties. I BBQ'd a porterhouse steak and it glided right along the bone. At one point my angle was off and the edge bit right into the bone (didn't hurt the edge at all). So, it performs well in the kitchen.
Saturday some of us took a half day boat out of Morro bay for some rockfish.
Granted the blade is too short to be a good fillet knife, but it was great for gutting and gilling. Rockfish have wicked spiney fins, and the tanto edge cut through the spines like butter, just pushed right through. While some of the folks grilled the fish I went to the galley and chopped a bunch of tomatoes and jalapenos. The fish tacos were excellent.

Back home, I stabbed it into a phone book repeatedly...penetrating between 1/2 and 3/4 inches ( I am a woman and not as strong as most of you
). No effect on the point.

I love this knife and it has become a daily carry and the sheath gives me multiple options. The only improvement I would suggest is some "texturing" on the spine for a thumb purchase.

Recommendations: I have smaller hands than most of you (as does Rob), so if you wish to get one of these give Rob an idea of your hand size (my handle is about 13/32" thick).

His website is <a href=>Simonich Custom Knives</a>

Great review!

Rob is making me one of these little cutters out of a 1/8 x 1 x 7" piece of talonite. It will be a tactical Cetan with drop point, flat ground blade, sporting blue-green micarta handles. Over all length will be as long as the talonite stock permits.


[This message has been edited by bald1 (edited 10-05-98).]
Thanks for the review Dona, I made a batch of the Cetans and somehow forgot the thumb grooves! I am being sure to add them to all in the future, I am also offering these in CPM-440v, and BG-42
I am also interested in a Talonite 'Stretched' Cetan. I sent Rob a blank of Talonite 3/16in. x 1 and 1/2in. x 10 in., as the original, slightly smaller blank obtained for bald1 was warped, and Tom Walz had sent me some samples in the above size.

The blank of Talonite which I sent Rob lists for $120. The price is about $140/lb.

Hope this helps, further information will be provided as obtained. Walt Welch

Add to that, the cost of labor for Rob to grind this very tough substance, and it will end up a pricey knife. One which, however, will probably last through several generations.
I talked to Carbide Processors today and they in turn contacted Rob. They want to make that warped piece right! So in the long term it looks like Rob will have plenty to work with for the Cetans. I don't recall the length of the first piece although I suspect it is 8 inches. Since the standard Cetan is just under 7" (DC's tanto is a full 7"), both blanks should serve to get to 8" although I was hoping for around 8.5" OAL. We'll see if they give Rob a longer replacement.