I'm gonna be that pain-in-the-butt who doesn' answer the stated question.
Firstly, knife laws in NJ are supposed to be pretty draconian. Check 'em out before carrying anything, and never tell an officer you're carrying for any defense-related purpose. It's for picking your toenails or something...
Secondly, the strength advantages of an American tanto are widely exaggerated and you have little need of them in a folder, anyhow. I think you'd be better off going with a knife that had a standard drop-point or clip-point so you'd have some belly for slicing and a thinned blade profile and better tip for thrusting. I'm thinking AFCK, Genesis, Axis..
Thirdly, if defense is your goal, I'd recommend a Civilian head-and-shoulders over anything else out there. It was specifically designed to inflict substantial damage, even through heavy clothing, with a strike to nearly any area. It hits as hard as a folder can and gives you the chance to exit - a truly defensive weapon.
I've got both and the Stryker is the one. The CQC-7 is being sharpened as if it were and standard grind and is much better at cutting. I wish the Stryker had been made as a drop point, but its profile is pretty close to that already. The CQC-7 is a tough and strong blade to have when you need to cut yourself out of a stuck elevator or something similar, though the Stryker will do just as well. - Brian
I currently own all 3 knives! The CQC-7 as well as the Specwar and the Stryker! The knife I go to when I go out at night right now is definitely the Specwar! Look at the thickness of the handle section! Blows the others away! Thanks for all of the responses! Currently looking at Elishewitz knives for my birthday! Anyone own one?
Keep it sharp,