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Tanto

The Tanto is one of the oldest and most respected Samurai weapons in Japanese history. It dates back to the Heian period and was utilized as a weapon during battles to penetrate and pierce through the armor of the opponent more efficiently. Tanto has also been utilized for slashing, it has highly effective in close-quarter combat. We offer traditionally made Japanese Tanto in all sizes and shapes. Please look at the selections below.

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QUICK SHIPHandmade Japanese Samurai Tanto Sword High Manganese Steel
Handmade Japanese Double Edge Tanto Sword Full Tang
Handmade Japanese Double Edge Tanto Sword Full Tang ...
19 Reviews
189.00 USD
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QUICK SHIPHandmade Japanese Short Tanto Sword 1045 Carbon Steel
Handmade Japanese Short Tanto Sword 1045 Carbon Steel ...
53 Reviews
89.00 USD
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QUICK SHIPHandmade Shirasaya Tanto Sword T10 Carbon Steel Real Hamon
QUICK SHIPHandmade Tanto Sword T10 Carbon Steel Real Hamon With Blue Scabbard
Handmade Japanese Tanto Sword With Golden Blade
Handmade Japanese Tanto Sword With Golden Blade ...
1 Reviews
149.00 USD
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Handmade Japanese Tanto Sword Real Hamon
Handmade Japanese Tanto Sword Real Hamon ...
1 Reviews
179.00 USD
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Handmade Japanese Tanto Swords With Copper Scabbard
Handmade Japanese Tanto Swords With Copper Scabbard ...
1 Reviews
229.00 USD
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Handmade Japanese Pocket Tanto Knife Damascus Steel
Handmade Japanese Pocket Tanto Knife Damascus Steel ...
1 Reviews
229.00 USD
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Handmade Japanese Aikuchi Tanto Sword Damascus Steel
Handmade Japanese Aikuchi Tanto Sword Damascus Steel ...
2 Reviews
389.00 USD
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Handmade Japanese Short Tanto Sword With Red Blade
Handmade Japanese Short Tanto Sword With Red Blade ...
1 Reviews
149.00 USD
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Showing 144 results

Customer Reviews

Arlette Hernandez California, United States
Dec 03, 2022 12:11

The katana is beautiful, in perfect condition, and arrived right on time. I’m extremely satisfied and have no complaints at all, thank you!

Handmade Real Japanese Katana Sword T10 Carbon Steel With Beige Saya Handmade Real Japanese Katana Sword T10 Carbon Steel With Beige Saya
Marcia Spencer California, United States
Dec 01, 2022 12:14

Have not given the item I purchased as a gift yet.

Customer service is wonderful! Their response time was quick and they were extremely helpful.

One Piece  Roronoa Zoro Wado Ichimonji Real Katana Samurai Sword Replica With White Scabbard One Piece Roronoa Zoro Wado Ichimonji Real Katana Samurai Sword Replica With White Scabbard
Johnny Fields Florida, United States
Nov 13, 2022 05:06

I didn't read the warning disclosure in time. Product is awesome.

Handmade Chokuto Ninjato Sword T10 Carbon Steel Real Hamon Handmade Chokuto Ninjato Sword T10 Carbon Steel Real Hamon
Demitrius Marrufo New Mexico, United States
Oct 29, 2022 20:32

Good quality, got here in a week. Very happy with more purchase, and will definitely grab a few more blades.

High-performance Japanese Katana Sword T10 Folded Clay Tempered Steel High-performance Japanese Katana Sword T10 Folded Clay Tempered Steel
Chase Harner Maryland, United States
Oct 10, 2022 17:32

My second time buying from this site, and my second time being extremely satisfied with my purchase

One Piece  Roronoa Zoro Wado Ichimonji Real Katana Samurai Sword Replica With White Scabbard One Piece Roronoa Zoro Wado Ichimonji Real Katana Samurai Sword Replica With White Scabbard
Keith Nagata Maryland, United States
Sep 22, 2022 13:29

Excellent product! Minimal plastic, heavy steel, solid craftsmanship. Sharp blade, steel, quality weaving on the handle, black lacquered, wood sheath. Well made. Great purchase!

Handmade Japanese Naginata Sword T10 Folded Clay Tempered Steel Real Hamon Handmade Japanese Naginata Sword T10 Folded Clay Tempered Steel Real Hamon
Kevin Deaton Alabama, United States
Sep 21, 2022 00:35

I have always loved the look of wood. From the lines to the hue it has always been beautiful to me. Now True Katana has paired this magnificent wood with equally high-quality " true " hamon top of the line steel. You will find no better set in quality and awesome appearance for the money anywhere. Look no further. You have found the set you have been looking for.

Real Hamon Japanese Daisho Set Shirasaya Katana, Wakizashi And Tanto Sword Without Tsuba 3 Set Real Hamon Japanese Daisho Set Shirasaya Katana, Wakizashi And Tanto Sword Without Tsuba 3 Set
Jayden Buckley Michigan, United States
Sep 15, 2022 13:42

Surprisingly good quality for such a low price and perfect for display. It does come semi sharp but don't expect to cut anything with it. Will definitely be buying another one soon.

Handmade Tsushima Ghost Clan Sakai Katana Swords Cosplay Replica With Blue Blade Handmade Tsushima Ghost Clan Sakai Katana Swords Cosplay Replica With Blue Blade
Justin Jahng Wisconsin, United States
Sep 10, 2022 15:35

Chipped paint and scratches. Ink rubbed off. Good sword

The Walking Dead Michonne's Katana, Zombie Slayer Katana Sword With Strap The Walking Dead Michonne's Katana, Zombie Slayer Katana Sword With Strap
Jose Cardenas California, United States
Sep 10, 2022 13:07

I’ve seen multiple people post about the katanas from the store and I knew I had to get one! Everything about it is amazing high quality and amazing craftsmanship! Definitely looking for more in the future.

Handmade Japanese Ninjato Sword With Black Blade Handmade Japanese Ninjato Sword With Black Blade

Tanto Size

Overall Length: 20 in

Blade Length: 12 in

Handle Length: 6.5 in

Scabbard Handle: 13 in

Blade Width: 0.8 in

Blade Thickness: 0.27 in

Weight: 1.2 lb

History of Tanto

The Tanto, an iconic weapon with a rich Japanese history, has roots that date back as early as the 10th century. While its artistic style and structure has changed since then, its design as a short sword ideal for stabbing and slashing has remained consistent for centuries. Known for the length of its blade, which can vary anywhere between six and twelve inches, the Tanto knife comes in either a single or double-edged knife or dagger.


The tanto blade is one of the oldest and most respected samurai weapons by Japanese and lovers of Japanese history. It is a weapon that often looks like a knife and many others looks like a small sword. And that, throughout history, has always accompanied the samurai in their lives as warriors.


The japanese tanto uses have varied significantly throughout history, alternating from combat weapon specialized in piercing armor, to weapon to carry out the famous seppuku, and in turn to ceremonial weapon to worship the gods.


The tanto is one of Japan’s most famous traditional swords. Its uses have varied over the years, as have its designs and combat techniques.


From its creation, to its rise as a backup weapon, to its struggle to maintain its position -which was increasingly usurped by the novel Wakizashi-, the history of Tanto is a history of ups and downs.

Types of Tanto

Samurai tanto can be classified based on its different blade shapes and mounting styles:


  • Tsuba – that has a hand guard
  • Aikuchi – Style which uses no hand guard
  • Hamadashi – style that has a small hand guard


Among these three mounting styles, aikuchi and Hamadashi style are more popular than tsuba. The use of tsuba is not popular because it creates a hindrance in carrying the Tanto blade.


Bear in mind that samurai tanto is not use in fencing hence there is no need for a guard like those found in tsuba. In terms of shape Hira-zukuri is the most common shape. This type of shape is specifically designed for armor piercing where the blade is narrow and is very thick.


This shape allows the blade to penetrate even hard armor. The traditional japanese tanto short sword uses the blade geometry of a normal blade with curve edge and flat back. This back is dull to allow the fingers to concentrate force.


This makes the Tanto heavy and strong for its size. An advantage of having this shape allows this knife to be capable to chop, pick and slice.

Uses Of Tanto

Just like the original tantō short swords, modern tanto blades have strong tips, which makes them great for piercing cuts. This is where the knife truly excels: stabbing. That strong piercing tip is excellent for penetrating and piercing.


For this reason tanto blades are found in a lot of tactical knives. They look cool and fit the tactical knife theme, but they could also be used in a martial arts or self defense capacity.


What are the Benefits of a Tanto Blade?

Tanto blades are great for stabbing things. That reinforced tip is tough to beat as far as durable penetrating power is concerned. If you use your knife to stab things primarily, then the tanto could be a great choice.


Tanto blades also have a secondary point (a “yokote”) that is good for draw cuts, clipping coupons, and that sort of thing. They are great for cutting thin objects like paper against flat surfaces. They can be used to remove stickers and trim tape.


You can also use a tanto blade as a quasi chisel. It can be potentially good for certain types of carving and scraping. I don’t use my knives that way, and generally would suggest buying a chisel if you need a chisel, but some people like the versatility.

Changes in the design of the Tanto

Throughout history, and especially during its “golden age”, many different designs have appeared for it. Some of them have a clear benefit, like piercing armor, but others seem made like that just for style. In this section we will take a look at some of its variations.


  • Shinogi: This is a common design for swords, but rare to see in a Tanto. If a Tanto somewhat possesses this blade design, chances are it was created from the remains of a larger sword.
  • Hira: These are usually the most common ones. They do not have shinogi (that line that runs through the blade of the sword, characteristic of Katanas). That’s why most of them are flat.
  • Shobu: Tanto with this blade similar to shinogi are more common. Unlike the shinogi, which has a more abrupt finish, it curves progressively at the tip of the blade, giving a smoother finish.
  • Kanmuri-otoshi: The Tantos with this design are similar to those with a hira or shobu design, with the only difference that they have a second edge at the top near the tip of the blade.
  • Unokubi: It’s unusual to see a Tanto with this design. Its back becomes thinner in the middle of the blade. Usually it also comes with a small groove. Apparently, these Tantos would have been pretty fast, but not good for a fight against an armored enemy. Due to its scarcity, this is also one of the most expensive designs when it comes to antique swords.
  • Kissaki-moroha: This is another type of Tanto very rare. It also has a double edge, like the one mentioned above, but with the difference that here it is more curved. Sometimes they come with a wide groove in the middle. These little swords would have been used for slashing and chopping.
  • Hochogata: One of the favorites of the legendary Masamune. It is like the hira, but shorter and wider. It allows fast stabs, but, unlike the one above, it can’t be used for slashing.
  • Osoraku: In the middle of the blade, this type of Tantos have a long and pronounced o-kissaki. That gives to it a recognizable design.
  • Katakiriha: This is a rare type of Tanto, with an asymmetrical edge on only one side of the blade. It’s characteristic edge makes of this a unique design.
  • Moroha: This is another double blade, with the difference that it has a thick diamond shaped center. This adds to the blade a extra consistency, and makes it look strong.
  • Kubikiri: This is one of the rarest Tantos. It has a curved design, similar to the famous kukri. It also does not have a sharpened tip, so it does not serve to stab. It is known as a “head cutter”, and just looking at it is easy to identify why. Its shape is perfect for severing, but it doesn’t seem too effective in combat. In fact, it is believed that those who owned it were doctors or high-ranking officials.
  • Yoroi toshi: This Tanto is specifically made for penetrating armor and has a thick cross section in the body.

Characteristics of Tanto

At first, the Tanto is a sword for stabbing, but its sharp edge can also be used for cutting. Thus, they can be used even in cutting test as tameshigiri, cutting cleanly through tatami. Some Tantos, in the other hand, are designed completely straight and with particularly thick cross sections with the aim of penetrating armor.


It should also be noted that most of the Tanto are produced without that thick line in the blade that gives its particular shape to the Katana (ridgeline), so they are usually flatter.


The size halfway between a knife and a sword of the Tanto makes it an ideal combat weapon for enclosed spaces, or even an excellent choice to use it a self-defense weapon in varied situations. Some Tantos are even so small that they can be carried inside the folding of the clothes —thing that may have been done during the feudal japan—.


This is a fast weapon, with a longer range than most knives, but not big enough to be a nuisance to use.


In addition to this, thanks to its consistent structure, it is a weapon that can withstand a lot of damage and many types of blows without resenting. It has no weak points, unlike other knives, in which it is especially vulnerable. This doesn’t mean that it can be used a some of those “survival knives”, but it surely can endure a lot of damage, so it’s definitely a blade in which one can trust.


In case of a combat, the Tanto can be used either in the conventional way or grabbing it with an inverted grip, which decreases its range, but improves its defensive capacity, and makes it ideal in hyper closed environments, when you have the enemy so close that you can feel his breath.


The Tanto is a weapon that successfully combines the best of a portable weapon, such as a knife, with the range and power of ancient samurai swords, such as the Katana.


And also, just as the Katana, it’s a form of art; with its engravings, its ito and ray skin, its designs for the blade.


It is as beautiful and emblematic as it is lethal.


Throughout the world, there have been knives made by different cultures, however, what makes Tanto stand out is its style. Tanto blade is used at close quarter combat. Japanese Tanto is a perfect specimen of a superior blade.


This is a Japanese dagger that is worn on the sleeve or belt. The intricate process of forging, folding, differential heat treating and extensive polishing to create such a unique blade makes it a work of art.


The Tanto might be a thing of beauty but, it is lethal when used during close quarters fighting. This knife is a perfect example of form and function. No less than the American market has a close fascination with this genre of legendary swords of the Samurai.

Tanto Evolution

The Tanto was invented in the Heian period. However, it was during the Kamakura period when this knife was forged to look aesthetically impressive. The more popular styles includes hira and uchi sori.


In the middle of the Kamakura period, more artisans were seen which create an abundant supply of this weapon. The designs were wider and longer. Hachiman faith inspired carvings on the hilt. Even the length was forged to be as long as 40 centimeters as opposed to the standard length. The blades became thinner.


Two styles of hamon were employed which are: older style; subtle and artistic and the new style; more popular one. During the Muromachi period, due to constant fighting there rose a demand in the production of these blades. This only mean lower quality blades. Blades must be custom forged to avoid failing. At the end of this period, the average blade became narrow and the curve shallow.

Tanto On The Battlefield

The Tanto blades was used by warriors to penetrate feudal era armor when they were up close and grappling their opponent. You can see some Samurai art depicting this scenario where warriors are engage in such a struggle.


A part of the Samurai training is devoted on learning how to do grappling in armor. Even if the Katana and tachi were more popular than Tanto these swords are not designed for armor piercing purposes.


The kissaki Japanese swords for instance were design for cutting points. the tanto knife was designed to serve a greater purpose. Tanto can be used both for slashing and stabbing. Even Samurai women were taught how to use the tanto.


This hopefully protects them from those who will attempt on their honor or anybody who might want to take their life. Tanto is also used by Samurai men to commit seppuku or ritual suicide. This only happens when their honor is at stake or circumstances dictates that it is the only option that they have.


Suffice to say, that the Tanto has serve the Samurai throughout the centuries during close quarter battles.

Tanto In Peacetime

Two hundred fifty years of peace unified Japan. This means there is less need for Tanto. There were less Tanto forged.


The only ones produce during this time were copies from the earlier era. During the Meiji period when the Emperor was restored to power, members of the Imperial Court began wearing this knife once more. This gave way to the growing number of existing knives of this kind.


However, during World War II, restriction was place on forging this knife causing production to go down. It was actually the demand from the American and European market that created a demand for Japanese Tanto from the 1960s up to the present.


There is a difference in the Westernised knife. It has somewhat chisel like point which is thick towards the point. This makes the spine that strong. At this point it has similar points on most Japanese long and short swords.

Origin and creation of Tanto

The history of the creation of the Tanto —whose name means “short blade”— dates back to the mid-Heian period (794-1185). It was then designed to be a short-range murder weapon.


The Heian period was dominated by the Fujiwara family, who had seized power through their political strategies to exert control over the emperor. At that time, they were in charge in Japan.


But no mandate comes without opposition, and the Fujiwara family was threatened by many enemies. A wide variety of rebels and dissidents had risen up against them, growing in number and threatening their power more and more. With this reason, the Fujiwara began to relegate their security into the hands of professional warriors, capable of protecting their territories and facing their enemies.


Those men who served the Fujiwara, among other noble families of the time, defined themselves as “those who serve”. Definition that would be included within the word “samurai”.


With the increase in conflicts and the increase in levels of violence, the need for these warriors to be armed and ready for any kind of fight at any time had become vital.


At first samurai had their reliable Tachi, which had proven to be more than effective as a combat weapon in great open-field battles. However, this enormous sword had proved rather inefficient when it came to attacking and defending in confined spaces, where it could easily stumble upon furniture and see its efficiency hindered.


To remedy this problem a shorter personal weapon was created, no longer than a foot long. This new “small sword” was light and small, but strong, designed to stab an opponent in a close combat. Its name was Tanto.


When World War II came, there was a renewed fervor to emulate the ancient warriors. The ancient weapons of the samurai were in demand again, and Tantos experienced a momentary resurgence. It was short-lived, and the quality of those mass-produced Tantos was very low.


However, after Japan’s defeat to the Allied forces, the production of weapons, and especially those associated with strong political movements, was banned.


The history of the Tanto would have ended there were it not for the combined efforts of thousands of people throughout the world to see these swords re-emerge. Thanks to which, from 1960 to the present day, it is possible to obtain authentic Tantos as the samurai would have used in feudal Japan.