Knives: the Tanto, Drop Point & Sheepsfoot Blades

I don’t sell knives any more. However, this series has proven so popular, I’ve left the info on this site.  Therefore, the photos are not clickable.


This is a series on knife blade types that appears occasionally. Today, the Tanto, Drop Point and Sheepsfoot Blades  are up for discussion.

Tanto Blade

The Tanto is based on an old Japanese Samurai design. It has a shallow grind on both sides of the single edge.  The American Tanto is fairly angular and has a chisel grind on one side of the edge.

Generally, the edge is parallel to the spine until it sharply angles about 45 degrees to a point.


Example of Tanto Blade

That leaves the point thick and incredibly strong.  This makes for great control in piercing and penetration.

It doesn’t hurt that the design LOOKS lethal and is very marketable because of its tactical persona. The military uses this design for some applications, bolstering its ‘Rambo’ looks.

Originally, the tanto was created to pierce armor. The main negative of this style of knife is that the cutting edge is secondary to the powerful thrust of the knife point.

Drop Point Blade


Example of Drop Point Knife

Most of MDH’s knives are drop points. It is one of the most popular styles because it does so many things well.

A shallow, convex curve lowers the point of the knife from the unsharpened spine. The deep belly, which  takes and keeps a sharp edge, rises up to meet the point. This increases tip strength.

The lowered point provides more control over the blade. This style is at home doing fine skinning, field dressing wild game, slicing  and even jointing.

Sheepsfoot Blade


Modified Sheepsfoot Blade

Slicing is the forte of the sheepsfoot blade. It is considered to be a better slicer than a clip point (Bowie knife).

This knife got its name from its likeness to the hoof of a sheep (Go figure).  The point is rounded and the blade is fairly straight. This specialized tool seems to slice best on a flat cutting area.

In recent years, this blade has become a favorite of first responders and emergency personnel.  The beauty of this folding knife is that it can be used to slice away a seat belt, without harming the injured.


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