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Tanto Sebenza!!!

May 22, 1999
I just read at the KFC Chris Reeve forum that the Tanto Sebenza is due out sometime in Sept.

I had a schizophrenic reaction to such a design. The old wise man in me said forget it and go with the regular blade, it will be a better all-around utility knife. The kid in me burst out 2 minute later and said WOW! When? How much? Are there pictures?
I've got a small sebenza on my wish list, not in a tanto shape.

I still can't figure out what a tanto is good for beside driving through wooden armor. Other shapes are probably better for going at modern armor anyway.

As an outdoorsman, the regular sebenza shape does it for me.
Here's a REAL oxymoron: A chisel-ground tanto 420-J2 Sebenza.

"All of our knives open with one hand, in case you're busy with the other"
Snickersnee must be happy about this, he's a huge fan of anything tanto...

I know what you mean
I'm wincing now just waiting for his brutal honesty. Isn't he against the American versions only? I can't see the logic of going against 2 millenia of design perfection in the Japanese sword and its proficient users. Isn't that where the tanto point comes from?

[This message has been edited by David Williams (edited 14 July 1999).]
A tanto Sebenza? Why? The regular sebenza has such an efficient all around blade. I dont see the need.
Need? I left need behind a while back

I guess a lot of people have wanted one for some time now. Not my taste in blade designs, but I know CRK aims to please.

Now the Wood Inlay Sebenzas, that inspires feelings of need

David W., the "tanto" point style was Never used on Japanese tantos (unless they were junk, thrown together from a broken off sword end)! The point style evolved to strengthen a long sword that was used primarily for slashing. The trendy American tanto point is ridiculously limited and compromises the usefulness of the blade for most tasks. It has one real benefit: it looks cool and looks sell. I think it's hopelessly out of place on a practical utility knife whose very name means "work."
Never say never Rick. The tanto style knife was and still is used in Japan. Not so much by the ubiquitous Samurais to commit seppuku, but by chefs for cutting raw fish. If you ever get the change to behold a collection of sushi knives, keep an eye open for the unagi (eel) knife. It is about 5" long and 1.5" wide, has a straight edge on the bottom and a 45 degree also straight tanto tip. The one for tako (octopus) can be up to 10" long and has a 90 degree (!) tip. No need to say both are left side chisel ground. Really unique those tools! They remind more of carpenter knives than those for fish.

In regard of everyday usefullness, let's listen to Ron Hood.
'Bout that tanto tip...

I always avoided the tanto... looked too militant. I did remember my days at the Kodokan in Japan and how my instructors always preferred tanto tips for carving and cooking. Finally I tried a couple of designs at the insistence of a friend... Bingo!

The blade is easier to sharpen, no articulation problem with the rounded edge. It has two straight blades, the front edge is choked up on and used as a smaller blade for carving. The long edge is used for chopping. Two blades in one package AND it is stronger.

Does that help?


This is from the forum on his website www.survival.com under

I couldn't say it better.


Everyday drunk is NOT a regular lifestyle.
Ralf: Okay, I will agree that the angular point style has a few very specific uses but few of them include basic utility chores. The sashimi knives you mention are not tanto; they're something else all together. My point (all puns intended)was that the "tanto" point style was not deemed useful on Japanese daggers by the smiths who invented it. They knew about it but found it inappropriate for a blade under one shaku (11.93"). My personal experience with a Hartsfield tanto fixed blade utility knife was not positive. More often then not, the "yokote" area (the secondary "point" made by the transverse ridge) was a nuisance. A smooth curve is just more versatile for me. I maintain that a "tanto" Sebenza is an oxymoron except perhaps as a display knife or one that occasionally cuts a piece of string. Admittedly, I like to overstate things a bit.
Most American tantos have a transverse ridge (yokote). What separates the American style from the traditional is that the secondary edge is straight, rather then curved. The yokote on a Japanese sword is very subtle; you can just feel it with your fingers. It actually resides more in the blade polish then in the overall point shape, which is largely convex. The American version is very sharp, flat, and angular like a chisel.
Here's an example of each style (just 'cause I love pictures
A Japanese sword (katana) point -

A Japanese Tanto point -

An American "tanto" point -

Hi Rick my good friend and source of much knowlege about Japanese blades; I agree with you on this blade type referred to as Tanto 100%. Someone has been watching too many Bruce Lee movies around here. I have several Tanto style blades but put up with them due to the materials and quality of workmanship that was done by the maker. I would have taken a clip point had I had my 'druthers. My needs for penetrating car doors and armor with a knife seem to have declined and if I ever felt this need again, I would probably resort to a .45. I too view Tanto style blades as a sales gimmick or the answer to a question that I never asked. But then again so as not to step on anyone's fingers, what do I know? I am just a guy who manages to cut himself now and them playing with his own knives. As for eel chopping, can't recall the last time I did that.

illigitimi no carborundum
SAS motto: He who dares wins.

Thanks for posting that link, David. Even with the "tanto" point, it still looks like the knife would do the job.... I don't know what the rest of you guys paid for large, decorated Senenzas, but their selling price of $360 seems incredibly reasonable. Plus the fact that they're a "limited edition".
Now if I could only find a car door that attacks me, I'd have a reason to order it!
I'm glad I checked this thread out; I am not really taken by Tanto blades, I was simply going to see if someone had a picture of this new Sebenza.

I think that tanto blade is more over-used in knifemaking then the serration. Not very practical for anything, even fighting... And certainly not everyday use. But, lets be honest here, with the priceoint on the Sebenza, the knife is more a collecters piece then a user knife for most of the people who buy it. Hence the numerous deccorated versions available, and hence the cool-looking but entirely out of place tanto blade. If I want knife of similar flavor that I will feel comfortable stabbing and scratching, I will go directly to the MonoLock. The average Sebenza will see just about as much "Work" and the average Nemesis sees blood, NEVER.

Robert Joseph Ansbro

If it can be written, or thought, it can be filmed. -Stanley Kubrick, 1928-1999


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Look in the latest issue of Blade mag.
In the back there is a picture in an NICA ad.
Looks pretty cool!