Sharpening a Tanto Blade


Tanto blades are a Japanese-designed weapon that is extremely sharp and durable. The blades are typically sought after by knife and sword enthusiasts, and the Tanto blade is generally used in tactical operations by those in law enforcement. Tanto manufactures a large selection of blades including swords, daggers, locking pocket knives and survival knives. The blade is made form a high-tinsel steel, and many are carbon-coated or polished to a high shine. The Tanto blade is already extremely sharp when bought new, though as with all blades, over time the blade must be sharpened to keep the steel at an optimal performance level.

Things You'll Need

  • Rough/smooth sharpening stone
  • Honing oil
  • Lightly rub in honing oil on the rough side of a sharpening stone. Let the oil soak in for a few minutes.

  • Place the blade edge--near the hilt--flat onto the stone and lift up to a 12-degree angle. Drag the blade evenly down the stone until you reach the tip. Flip the blade over and repeat. The sharpening stone's rough side will remove any burrs or nicks from the blade. Perform about four strokes on both sides of the blade.

  • Turn the stone over to the smooth side and add a few drops of honing oil. Repeat the same process with the smooth side of the stone, about four or five strokes on both sides of the blade.

  • Rinse the blade off in warm water to remove any gritty debris from sharpening. Dry the blade thoroughly prior to storage.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use extreme caution when sharpening the blade. Keep your fingers clear of the cutting edge at all times.


  • Photo Credit knife sharpener image by Alison Bowden from
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