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When constructing a hasty shelter, defending the homestead, or building a campfire, there’s no comparison to  having a big sturdy knife. I have yet to wish my knife was not so sharp or not so big. as soon as they come out of the sheath they do a man’s work in a harsh environment. today a knife is an important piece of equipment and you will have a difficult journey without a great one. the Cold Steel Warcraft Tanto is meant for hard use by those  that have looked over hell and knew the meaning of it. it is one tough knife. the Warcraft Tanto is brought to you by the people that brought you the Trailmaster and the Recon Scout, again proving that a knife is a reasonable investment in your survival or future in a harsh environment.

THE BLADE

The Warcraft Tanto is constructed of CPM 3V steel. The steel is chosen for toughness and also for wear resistance. My sample is small- one blade and one knife. Just the same I find it as good as any other Cold Steel knife, which is good, but it suits my personal role in the scheme of things better than any other Cold Steel knife. This is the ideal steel, many believe, for a big knife.

The blade features a high grind which proceeds a little over half way up the blade. The edge is sharp, probably shaving sharp. Cold Steel calls the grind a taper grind, but the point is more true to the idea of a Tanto than most and a good example of the breed. The Tanto is a knife with a high point and a flat grind, which leads together into a hell for strong point. The Tanto features a lot of metal at the tip in order to promote strength. The knife will withstand plenty of use against hard materials. I think that the Tanto is designed for worst case scenarios, and  that is what many of us hope to prepare for. The Tanto isn’t as versatile in day-to-day use, but it is most useful in a worst case scenario requiring great strength and penetration.

If you clean the knife regularly, avoid grinding material into the edge as you sharpen it, and do not attempt to cut barbed wire too often, this steel will carry the day for many days to come. This isn’t stainless steel. I do  not mind that, as most stainless steel is actually stain-less not stain proof. Edge retention seems better with carbon steel, and the black powder coating provides a barrier against corrosion.

At almost 0.20 inches thick, the knife is stout enough for serious use. While a knife makes a poor crowbar, the Warcraft Tanto is thick enough for opening crates and hacking at almost anything.

“THE TANTO IS A KNIFE WITH A HIGH POINT AND A FLAT GRIND, WHICH LEADS TOGETHER INTO A HELL FOR STRONG POINT.”

THE HANDLE

The handle is a continuous glass woven fabric impregnated with epoxy resin binder known as G10. Formed under high pressure, this material is noted for low moisture absorption. Stability is good; the material doesn’t shrink over time. G10 is also noted for machining to exact tolerances and retaining those tolerances. The handles feature a whirled pattern and modest finger grooves. This design allows excellent retention with a good balance of adhesion and abrasion. The finger groove just aft of the choil helps form a lower guard to keep your hand from slipping toward the blade.

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The handle’s grip and texture are well-suited for hard use.

The top of the tang toward the front of the handle has three grooves for thumb support when doing close work. There is a hole in the handle near the pommel for those that prefer using a lanyard.

The jimping on the top of the tang is a welcome addition.

THE SHEATH

You must have something to carry the knife in. The Warcraft Tanto sheath is tightly held together by strong rivets. Constructed of Kydex this sheath is impervious to oil, solvent or moisture. There is a durable woven fabric belt attachment. The sheath may be adjusted for belt height. The sheath may ride hide for daily carry. If you have a heavy load and wish the knife to be out of the way when needed, for an easy draw when, kneeling, the sheath provides. When you look at the whole picture, the Cold Steel Warcraft Tanto stands above the crowd.

The Kydex sheath seems plenty rugged for all around use. There is considerable adjustment in the sheath, and that is always good.

Pros & Cons

There are considerations when using the Tanto. First, it is more difficult to sharpen than a conventional blade. There are first and secondary points with the Tanto, and two primary bevels. I do not consider this a serious drawback in a knife if care is taken during the sharpening process. Slicing cutting isn’t ideal due to the thickness of the blade.

The Cold Steel Warcraft Tanto is a good back up to other implements. Rugged, sharp and all business, the Warcraft Tanto is an impressive knife. Note the bevels and points found on the Tanto point

SPECIFICATIONS

Blade Length: 7.5 inches
Overall Length: 12.75 inches
Handle Length: 4.75 inches
Steel: U.S. CPM 3-V high-carbon
Weight: 13 ounces
Blade Thickness: 0.196 inches
Handle: Black G-10
Sheath: Secure-Ex Sheath

MSRP: $329

Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the August 2015 print issue of American Survival Guide.