JD Spydo wrote:Another thing about Tanto designs I would like to know what the Japanese had intended that design for? I would have to say that the original design I'm sure would be self defense. But I'm sure there are some practical uses as well.
I'll TRY to give you a brief summary
. The tanto design started around 900 AD in the Heian Period in Japan. They were carried by the Samurai class of fuedal Japan. It was designed as a dagger 6-12 inches long and it was usually carried in addition to a Tachi (a 28"-31" sword). It's primary purpose was as a self defense weapon intended for stabbing. For strength, the blade had a generally flat uniform thickness for the full length and some (called yoroi toshi) were made with especially thick cross-sections for armor piercing duty. Unlike many of the "tactical tanto" designs we see today that use a "chisel point" tip (creating 2 effective tips), the original Japanese tantos always had a curved belly leading to the kissaki (tip).
There were many styles and designs and nearly all were intended for stabbing and sometimes slashing. The chisel tip that we call the "american tanto" tip today was not used in early tantos at all. Much later, the "chisel point" kissaki was created in Japan and American blade smiths used it so much that it became known as the "american tanto" tip although that reference is misleading.
Other than simply being easier to grind, the chisel tip is also a very effective shape for stabbing and slashing. However due to the shape, the tip itself can be more inclined to breaking due to the "pointier" and more acute tip, depending on the length of the kissaki. The chisel design is said to be good for "slash once, cut twice"...which means that in a slashing motion the lower of the 2 "tips" begins the cut and the end tip extends the depth of the cut. However, there isn't much evidence to suggest that the chisel tip cuts any deeper than traditional Japanese kissaki designs as there are many other factors that affect that result.
As for utility...a sharp knife will cut lots of stuff
. Every individual knife shape exists to be especially good for (usually) one specific purpose or type of cut. If stabbing and being able to puncture tough materials/substrates without breaking the knife is the main priority the "tanto" design was created to do the job exceptionally well. It will also do yard chores and open boxes or whatever else, but of course there are knives that were made specifically for those purposes that will be better suited to those tasks.
I suppose I could have accurately (and concisely) answered your question with simply "they were intended for stabbing". Sorry for the long boring explanation.