Tanto Vs. Drop Point Dive Knives: Which Blade Shape Is Best For Spearfishing?

Key Takeaway:

  • The tanto and drop point blade shapes are both effective for spearfishing, but have different strengths and weaknesses. The tanto blade is great for piercing tough fish skin and cutting through tough materials, while the drop point is better suited for precise cuts and more delicate filleting tasks.
  • When choosing between the two blade shapes, consider your personal preference and the type of spearfishing you will be doing. If you plan on targeting larger, tougher fish, the tanto may be the better option, while the drop point may be ideal for more delicate cuts and smaller fish.
  • Regardless of the blade shape you choose, it is important to select a high-quality, corrosion-resistant material for your dive knife. Maintaining your knife properly by cleaning and sharpening it regularly is also key to ensuring its longevity and effectiveness while spearfishing.

Searching for a dive knife to make spearing simpler? Uncover the variations between tanto and drop point knives, to pick the ideal one for you.

Tanto Blade Shape

When it comes to selecting a dive knife for spearfishing, the blade shape is an essential consideration. The tanto blade shape is a popular choice, known for its sharp tip and straight edge. In this section, we will explore the unique characteristics of the tanto blade shape and how it compares to other blade shapes commonly used for spearfishing. Specifically, we will examine the strength and durability of the tanto blade and how it can withstand rigorous use in underwater environments. We will also discuss the cutting ability of the tanto blade and how its design facilitates precision and control while cutting.

Strength and Durability

Enthusiasts favor the Tanto blade shape due to its strength and durability, making it perfect for combat and survival knives. It has a high point and flat grind, and its angular shape and chisel point allow it to dig, pry, and hack.

The Kiritsuke and Bunka Bocho knives feature a K-tip and reverse tanto-style blade, respectively. They are renowned for their power and precision in slicing and chopping. The Sheepsfoot knife has a chisel point like the Tanto, making it great for skinning and peeling.

Spearfishermen and technical divers prefer the Tanto for its ability to pierce through fishing lines, nets, and seaweed. Recreational scuba divers might prefer the Drop Point for slicing fruits and veggies.

Tanto and Drop Point knives can be made from titanium and steel grades 300 and 400. Stainless steel is not rust-proof, so after diving, wash and dry your knife to avoid rust spots.

Choose a knife based on size, weight, and exposure to salt and debris. A folding blade is more compact but not as reliable. Serrations are great for sawing through plastic and natural fibers.

To maintain your knife, handle it safely and responsibly. Inspect it regularly, clean it with a silicone-based solution, sharpen it with a metal file or rod, and coat it in silicone grease. To restore a serrated blade, use a scallop or beveled edge.

Cutting Ability

The Tanto blade shape is a popular, versatile style of knife blade. It has an uninterrupted cutting edge, and a double bevel that ends in a convex curve at the tip. This makes it great for tasks like stabbing, piercing, and precision work. It can also be used for heavy duty tasks like batoning and digging.

The broad tip is great for cutting through kelp and rope. The notch on the spine can be used to pry open shells and mussels. Stainless steel is preferred for corrosion resistance in saltwater.

To keep the blade sharp, spearfishers should clean and dry it after use. Disassemble the blade for maintenance and sharpening. Gloves and a sharpening rod should be used when restoring the blade’s edge. Don’t use the knife as a safety tool or weapon – this will help it last longer. By following these guidelines, the Tanto blade will remain a reliable tool for years to come.

Drop Point Blade Shape

In the world of spearfishing, the type of knife you carry can make all the difference. One popular blade shape is the drop point, favored by many for its versatility and simplicity.

In this section, we’ll examine the drop point blade shape in greater detail, including its benefits and drawbacks. Our focus will be on two important aspects of this blade shape: its versatility in a variety of situations, and its ease of sharpening compared to other blade types. By the end of this section, you’ll have a clear understanding of just how well-suited the drop point blade shape is for spearfishing.


When it comes to picking the right blade shape for your dive knife, the Drop Point style offers advantages and versatility. The convex curve on the spine that extends to the point forms a “belly.” This makes it great for filleting fish, cleaning scallops, and doing other detailed tasks that need control and a sharp cutting edge. Drop Point blades are also less likely to corrode and rust, making them suitable for saltwater and freshwater. Brands like BladeOps provide various edge sharpness angles, so users can pick the one that works best for them.

To sum up, the choice between Tanto vs. Drop Point blades is up to personal preference and use. Tanto blades are good for heavy-duty tasks, while Drop Point blades offer precision. When selecting a dive knife, consider the material, performance, longevity, maintenance, and cost. Also, use and store the blade carefully to avoid harm and damage.

Sharpening Ease

When buying a drop point dive knife, there are several factors to think about. The drop point shape is good for both slicing and prying. Brands like Cold Steel or Chris Reeve Nyala offer different blade lengths, materials, and prices.

Maintenance, rusting, and sheath options also matter. Look for knives made of waterproof materials, like alloys, plastics, or rust-resistant metals. Think about the size and weight of the knife and if it works for your type of diving. E.g., a bigger knife could be better for kelp diving.

Drop point blades are also useful for a variety of cutting, slicing, and chopping tasks. The blunt tip and plain edge make it safer to use around hard-skinned fruits.

Remember to follow the manufacturer’s maintenance tips and clean with a proper solution. This keeps the knife in great shape and safe to use.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Tanto and Drop Point Blades

When selecting a blade for diving and spearfishing, tanto and drop point blades have their own advantages and disadvantages.

  • Tanto Point Blades: Originating from Japanese cutlery and samurai armor, the tanto point is built thick and perfect for piercing. It’s great for serious spearfishing and survival knives. It can even cut through nylon rope and hoses. The blade is reliable and low-maintenance. However, the price tag is usually higher.
  • Drop Point Blades: The drop point style is more versatile. It’s good for slicing and chopping, as well as hacking and chiseling underwater. The tip is more flexible, reducing the chance of breakage. But it’s not suitable for heavy-duty work. Plus, it’s easier to carry, clean and maneuver underwater.

In the end, it all depends on individual needs. Tanto is best for spearfishing and hunting, while the drop point is multipurpose. Remember to use safely when diving with a knife blade.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Tanto and Drop Point Blades -Tanto vs. Drop Point Dive Knives: Which Blade Shape is Best for Spearfishing?,

Image credits: spearfishinglog.com by Joel Jones

Considerations for Choosing a Blade Shape for Spearfishing

When it comes to spearfishing, the right knife can mean the difference between a successful catch and a dangerous situation. Two of the most popular blade shapes for dive knives are the tanto and the drop point. But which one is best for spearfishing, and why? In this section, we’ll discuss the important considerations to keep in mind when choosing a blade shape for spearfishing. Specifically, we’ll focus on the types of fish that you’ll be hunting and the underwater conditions in which you’ll be diving. These factors will help determine which blade shape is most suitable for your individual spearfishing needs.

Types of Fish

When it comes to spearfishing, the blade shape of your dive knife is essential. Two popular options are the Tanto and Drop Point blades.

Tanto blades are strong and durable, making them great for defensive and survival purposes. They have a chisel-like point that pierces well and can also slice various items like fish, pineapples, and pumpkins.

Drop Point blades are more versatile than Tanto blades. They have a curved edge for easy slicing and a thick point that can handle heavy use. The clip-point drop point style is common in tactical and hunting knives.

When spearfishing, several factors must be considered:

  • the types of fish,
  • the depth and conditions of the diving location, and
  • personal preferences.

Tanto blades may be better for strong currents, but a drop-point blade is good for cleaning fish and cutting through anchor lines, etc. Choose a knife that fits comfortably in your hand and is easily accessible. Finally, opt for a maintenance-free dive knife that can withstand salt water exposure or cleaning solutions.

Underwater Conditions

When choosing a blade shape for spearfishing, consider the underwater conditions. Tanto blades are great for cutting through difficult materials. They are popular for hunting and survival knives. Drop point blades have a curved shape and may have a serrated edge. This makes them good for slicing tasks, as well as all-purpose, tactical and kitchen knives.

For spearfishing, tanto blades are ideal. Their sharp point can easily reach fish in rocks or crevices. Plus, their flat edge can be used as a tank-knocker. And, they don’t need maintenance in saltwater. In freshwater sea bed conditions with heavy currents, a drop point blade is better. The curved blade and extra weight makes it easier to cut through the current.

When selecting your dive knife, consider your dive accessories. If it’s too bulky or heavy, it will hinder your mobility. Pick a versatile blade that is comfortable to use. The right blade shape makes a difference!

Five Facts About Tanto vs. Drop Point Dive Knives:

  • ✅ Tanto blades are known for their piercing power and durability while Drop Point blades are more versatile and easier to sharpen. (Source: Dive Knife Guide)
  • ✅ Tanto blades have a straight edge and sharp point, while Drop Point blades have a curved edge and a point that drops for precision cutting. (Source: Spearfishing Today)
  • ✅ Tanto blades are better suited for tougher materials like thick rope or bone, while Drop Point blades are better suited for general diving and fishing tasks like cutting fishing line or scaling fish. (Source: Scuba Diving)
  • ✅ The shape of the blade is a matter of personal preference and should be chosen based on individual needs and the type of diving or fishing being done. (Source: Divers Direct)
  • ✅ Both Tanto and Drop Point blades are popular among spearfishers and divers, and the choice ultimately lies in the hands of the user. (Source: Spearboard)

FAQs about Tanto Vs. Drop Point Dive Knives: Which Blade Shape Is Best For Spearfishing?

What is the difference between a tanto and drop point dive knife?

A tanto blade is designed for piercing and stabbing, while a drop point blade is best for slicing and general purpose use. For spearfishing, a drop point blade is typically preferred as it can be used for cutting line, cleaning fish, and other tasks. Tanto blades may be more suited for use as a defensive tool or survival knife.

Can I use a kitchen knife for spearfishing?

No, it is not recommended to use a kitchen knife for spearfishing. Kitchen knives are not designed for use in saltwater and may corrode or become damaged. It is important to use a knife that is specifically designed for diving and has a rust-resistant stainless steel blade.

What is the difference between a sujihiki and santoku knife?

A sujihiki knife has a long, narrow blade that is best suited for slicing raw fish and meat. A santoku knife, on the other hand, has a shorter, wider blade that is ideal for chopping and dicing vegetables and other foods. Neither knife is typically used for diving or spearfishing.

What should I look for in a dive knife blade?

A good dive knife blade should be made from high-quality stainless steel that is corrosion-resistant and maintenance-free. The blade should have a sharp edge that can easily cut through fishing line, kelp, and other underwater obstacles. It is also important to choose a blade size and shape that best fits your diving needs.

What are some other types of knives that can be used for diving?

Tactical knives, hunting knives, and survival knives can also be used for diving and spearfishing. These knives typically have a strong, durable blade that can withstand exposure to saltwater and other harsh environments. Some all-purpose blade designs may also work, but it is important to choose a knife that is specifically designed for diving and has the necessary features and safety requirements.

Where is the best place to buy a dive knife?

Dive shops or online retailers that specialize in scuba diving equipment are the best places to buy a dive knife. These retailers typically carry a wide selection of knives that are specifically designed for diving and have the necessary safety features. When buying a knife, be sure to consider the blade size and shape, handle design, and overall quality.