How To Sharpen A Tanto Blade?
The art of sharpening a tanto blade, a blade design that originated in feudal Japan, requires precision, patience, and a few essential tools. As a knife enthusiast, you might have a tanto knife in your collection. If you want to maintain it well, it’s critical to learn how to sharpen it correctly. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to sharpen a tanto blade.
What Are Tanto Blades?
Originating from the Land of the Rising Sun, Japan, Tanto knives have become a widespread tool appreciated by knife enthusiasts around the globe. Known for their unique, specialized design and robust construction, Tanto blades offer a distinctive edge when it comes to tasks requiring precision and strength.
[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDKL5SSM1UY” responsive=”yes” autoplay=”no”]
Tanto blades trace their roots back to the Heian period in Japan (794-1185 AD), a time when the Samurai, a military nobility, held significant sway. The blades were initially intended to puncture armor, with the primary function of being a weapon rather than a tool. However, the Tanto’s purpose evolved, and it is now popular in utility knives and often seen in modern tactical knives.
Design And Characteristics Of Tanto Blades
Tanto survival knives are uniquely characterized by their chisel-like point and generally thick spine, which contribute to their strength and durability. Their design usually includes a high point and a flat grind, leading to an extremely strong tip. It’s this tip that sets Tanto knives apart from other knife designs, as it’s built to endure heavy use and even abuse that would damage other types of blades.
Uses Of Tanto Blades
Today, Tanto knives have found their way into many practical applications beyond their original martial purpose. They are common in hunting and outdoor knives due to their ability to perform heavy-duty tasks. The strong tip is perfect for puncturing or prying, and the sharp straight edge excels at chopping and slicing.
Their robust construction makes them a favorite among military and law enforcement personnel, where durability and reliability can be the difference between life and death. Likewise, survivalists and outdoor enthusiasts appreciate Tanto blades for their ability to withstand harsh conditions and demanding use.
Moreover, Tanto blades have garnered popularity in the realm of everyday carry (EDC) knives. They lend themselves well to a variety of common tasks, from opening packages to performing emergency duties like cutting seat belts after an accident.
In the world of blades, Tanto knives stand as a testament to Japanese craftsmanship, combining historical tradition with modern practicality. Their strength, durability, and versatility make them an ideal choice for a wide range of uses.
How To Sharpen A Tanto Knife With A Stone?
1. Gather The Necessary Tools
Here is a list of tools that you would need to sharpen a tanto blade properly:
- Wet Stone: Get a dual-sided stone with different grits, ideally a 1000 and a 6000-grit stone.
- Honing Guide: This helps to maintain the correct angle while sharpening.
- Water: For wetting the stone.
- Rag or Towel: For cleaning purposes.
2. Preparing The Sharpening Stone
Wet the stone thoroughly until it stops absorbing water. This usually takes about 5 to 15 minutes. Make sure you’re using the coarse side first (usually the 1000-grit side).
3. Set The Blade Angle
Tanto blades usually have a blade angle of about 20 to 30 degrees. Adjust the honing guide to the appropriate angle.
4. Sharpen The Blade
Now, it’s time to start sharpening the blade. Start at the heel of the blade, and work your way toward the tip, applying consistent pressure. Make sure you’re moving the blade edge forward as if you’re trying to slice a thin layer of the stone.
When sharpening a tanto blade, pay attention to its unique tip. The tip also called the point, is two intersecting edges. Sharpen each edge individually, maintaining the same angle throughout the process.
5. Flip To The Fine Side
Once you’ve finished with the coarse side of the stone, flip it to the fine side (usually the 6000 grit side). Repeat the same process on this side to polish and remove any burrs from the blade.
6. Clean Up
After you’re done sharpening, wash the blade with water, dry it thoroughly, and apply some oil. This will help prevent rust and keep your Tanto knife blade in top shape.
How To Sharpen A Tanto Blade With Spyderco Sharpmaker?
As an owner of a Tanto blade, you understand the importance of keeping your tool sharp and well-maintained. To this end, the Spyderco Sharpmaker is an excellent choice. But how exactly do you go about sharpening a Tanto blade with this unique tool? Here, we will guide you step-by-step through the process to ensure your Tanto point knife maintains its optimal sharpness.
Material Required For Sharpening Process
- Your Spyderco Sharpmaker
- A Tanto blade
- A bowl of water
Set Up The Sharpmaker: Place the base on a stable, flat surface. Set the ceramic rods into the base’s holes, choosing the angle that matches your blade. For most Tanto blades, the 40-degree inclusive (20-degree per side) angle works best.
Prepare The Blade: Ensure your Tanto blade is clean before sharpening. Dirt or grime can interfere with the sharpening process, potentially damaging the blade and the ceramic rods.
Sharpening The Blade: Hold your blade by the knife handle with the edge facing toward you. Start with the tip of the blade against the top of the rod furthest away from you. In one fluid motion, draw the blade downwards and towards you, making sure to keep in contact with the rod. Repeat this process several times, alternating between the left and right rods.
Honing The Edge: After your initial sharpening, you’ll want to hone the blade’s edge to a fine point. To do this, use the same motion as before, but this time, apply less pressure and increase your speed. This helps to remove any burrs and perfect the edge.
Cleaning Up: Once you’ve finished sharpening your Tanto blade, clean your Spyderco Sharpmaker to keep it in top shape. Rinse the ceramic rods under warm water, making sure to scrub off any metal residue.
By following this guide, you can ensure that your Tanto blade remains sharp and ready for use.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Tanto Blades Hard To Sharpen?
Tanto blades can be somewhat challenging to sharpen due to their unique shape, particularly the two distinct edges and the angular tip. However, with the right tools and a little practice, sharpening a tanto blade is not excessively difficult. It involves sharpening each edge separately and taking special care around the tip to maintain its angular shape.
What Is Tanto?
Tanto is a traditional Japanese short sword or dagger. The blade is single or double-edged with a length between 15 and 30 cm. It was used primarily as a weapon but has evolved to become more of a tool in certain Japanese rituals and ceremonies.
How To Grind A Tanto Blade?
Grinding a Tanto blade involves several steps. Initially, secure the blade in a vise and mark your primary bevel lines. Using a bench grinder or belt grinder, gradually grind along these lines at an angle, maintaining the same pressure and angle for consistency. Finish by sharpening the blade with a whetstone, using light, steady strokes.
In conclusion, sharpening a tanto blade requires not just the right tools, but also an understanding of the blade’s unique structure. With regular practice and attention to detail, you can keep your tanto blade sharp and ready for whatever you need it to do. Remember, each knife is unique, so take your time to understand the blade and refine your sharpening technique.
Other Related Posts: