This kotanto blade combines the geometry and design elements of full sized classical tanto into a minimalist fusion style knife suited for daily carry.
The hand forged blade is made of reclaimed shear steel from a horse-drawn carriage leaf spring. The century old steel was hand forged in a charcoal fire, shaped with files, differentially hardened using traditional water quench yaki-ire, and polished by hand with water stones to reveal a subtle suguha hamon with a graceful turn back.
The tang is constructed in a similar manner to a Japanese sword requiring only a single hardwood peg to hold the knife assembly together. In addition to the sense of beautiful simplicity, this design allows the knife to be taken apart for cleaning, polishing, detailed cutting tasks, or major resharpening work.
The handle is carved from Sapele wood, accented by Wenge wood, and enhanced with traditional fukiurushi lacquer. A forged copper guard completes the mounting and a removable peg carved from Wenge holds the knife together.
Blade construction is muku with a hira-zukuri profile and slightly mitsu mune. The blade is just under 3.5″ long, overall length is around 7.5″, and the overall length when sheathed is about 8″.
長さ/刃長 Nagasa (blade length): 88mm
元幅 Motohaba (blade width): 22.5mm
重ね/元重 Motokasane (blade thickness): 5.5mm
反り Sori (curve): uchizori
中心/茎 Nakago (tang): 97mm
柄長 Tsuka (handle): 103mm
拵全長 Koshirae (overall): 205mm
形 Katachi (geometry): hira-zukuri, mitsu-mune
刃文 Hamon (edge pattern): suguha
帽子/鋩子 Boshi (tip pattern): ko-maru
中心/茎 Nakago (tang shape): futsu, kuri-jiri, one mekugi-ana, signed near the tip
銘 Mei (signature): hot stamped katabami-ken kamon
拵 Koshirae (mounting style): kaiken, issaku
Materials: reclaimed carriage spring shear steel, reclaimed copper bus bar, Sapele wood, Wenge wood, natural urushi lacquer
Read more about the process of making this fusion style outdoor knife:
Case Study: Making an Outdoor Knife
Design your own custom handmade bespoke knife here: Tools for Satoyama