Thursday, August 11, 2011
Cold Steel Mini-Tac Tanto & Kiridashi
I continue the quest to find small fixed knives for offhand carry. A solid choice for offhand carry is the Mini-Tac line from Cold Steel. Of these four knives, I own two. The Tanto and the Kiridashi. Both are lightweight and constructed from AUS8 steel and feature excellent textured G10 handles. The handles are honestly the best feature of this series. They are what is known as a subhilt. Subhilts do not fully lock the index finger like the ring on a LaGriff style, but still provide considerable extra security. It is difficult to get a hand disengaged from a subhilt. This is a bonus in safety that cannot be understated. Even the slipperiest conditions, you will not have to be concerned with your hand riding up to the blade or the knife slipping out of your hand to hit your foot.
The Kiridashi's blade style is very similar to a box cutter. It is after all a version of an ancient utility blade style from Japan. Its deadly easy to sharp its straight edge, but being AUS8 be very mindful of your tip. Its easy to bend. However, its sharp enough to easily slice open any sort of meat you might have to deal with.
The Tanto is about 1/2 an inch longer, and seems a lot more sturdy. I carry this a lot offhand in my pocket. I also like the straight spine and the fine jimping. The AUS8 sharpens well enough, too. Unfortunately, I have quickly realized that I am not a fan of the Americanize tanto style. The true tanto style is a pretty conventional curve instead of the less useful angular double point. Curves are much better slicers and slashers. Tantos are good stabbers, even with the American style and in stainless steel. I do have faith in its ability to penetrate.
Both come with metal chains and cheap plastic neck sheaths that cover the subhilt. A poor design. The subhilt adds too much in drawing to be so covered. Also, they do not come with belt clips. To carry them, I use something I've taken to calling 'carbiner carry' which is a cheap way to get some better use out of simple neck knife sheaths.
For less than $40 each, these are a solid buy. A good choice for offhand carry or just plain EDC that won't break the bank. Check out the others in the mini-tac line. A fat beavertail blade and a skinner. I wish Cold Steel would do a spear point version or at least give the tanto a traditional curve.