I have been an armed professional for over 40 years now, and quality knives have always been an important part of my personal kit. I have carried a wide variety over the years. The last one I carried in the Army and still carry is Cold Steel’s Recon Tanto.
The name ‘Tanto” is Japanese and describes the short blade that the traditional Samurai carried. However, the Recon Tanto’s 45 degree blade point is more like some traditional Katana swords.
This design was developed for maximum penetration. and the Tanto is certainly capable of it. Cold Steel tested it once by jabbing one through a car door 20 times without blade failure. The blade is 7″ long and made from Japanese Aus 8A Stainless. The blade is coated with what Cold Steel calls Black Tuff-Ex Finish which is basically a black epoxy. It gives the blade a dull non-reflective appearance. I find mine easy to sharpen and have used a number of different sharpeners on it. The handle is a hard rubber that I particularly like. I have used mine with sweaty, wet, and oily hands without loosing my grip on it. The hole in the end of the handle is great for attaching para cord.
The current sheath is what Cold Steel calls the Secure-Ex. Mine came with a pretty plain but functional nylon sheath,
As you can see from the picture, this sheath can be strapped to just about any mounting.
I bought my son a Recon Tanto when he deployed to his first tour in Afghanistan. He just finished his second, and still loves the knife.
Cold steel make a large variety of knives in the Tanto configuration.
Personally I think this knife is an excellent survival/fighting knife for the prepper, soldier, or police officer. Mine has served me well through the years.
4 thoughts on “Recon Tanto: Cold Steel’s Excellent Fighting/Survival Knife”
Have owned and carried a Cold Steel Tanto since 1986. The model I have is the origi nal with the brass end. The advertisement of jabbing a car door and then slicing a sheet of paper afterwards sold me on the product.
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Excellent fighting knife, certainly. I have one (and several other Cold Steel tantos). But none of them make it into any of my survival kits, since the blade shape is less effective for non-fighting survival tasks. I would have one as part of my bug-out equipment, in addition to “survival” knives, due to the philosophical differences between “emergency survival” and “disaster prepping” (in one, other people are your friends, in the other, they may well be your enemy). Cold Steel does makes good choices for survival knives, too, and I have them in some of my survival kits. Kukri or Trailmaster for chopping, Master Hunter or SRK for other tasks.
Cold Steel does indeed make a great line of knives. I consider my Recon Tanto a sort of “All Around” use blade. I also carry other designs including a Kukri I got from Nepal when I was in Afghanistan.
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