BLACKHAWK! Tatang Fixed Blade Knife - Plain Edge
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- Blade Material: 1085C high-carbon tool steel
- Edge Type: Plain
- Handle Material: Thermoplastic rubber with textured panels
- Overall Length: 13.50"
- Blade Style: Drop Point
- Employs the savage cutting power of a traditional Filipino barong in a leaner, more versatile package
- Tremendous reach and chopping power OR controlled cutting, trapping, and back cutting
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Tatang is a Tagalog term of address reserved for only the most feared and respected martial artists. In honor of this proud warrior tradition, Blackhawk! has made a knife that distills the savage cutting power of the traditional Filipino barong into a smaller, more versatile package. When gripped at the rear of the pistol-grip-style, thermoplastic rubber handle, the weight-forward balance of the Tatang's black epoxy-coated 1085C tool-steel blade gives it tremendous reach and chopping power. Choking up on the integral subhilt shifts the balance back for more controlled cutting, trapping, and backcutting with the sharpened false edge. Designed by edged-weapons expert Michael Janich, this incredible knife comes complete with a reinforced ballistic nylon sheath.
Top customer reviews
It's not for everybody, though. I would not suggest such a knife to the uninitiated (those not at least somewhat familiar with knives and their varying uses). While the Tatang can certainly handle some of the more mundane chores such as chopping and batoning, it is made primarily as a fighting knife. The top edge is NOT a false edge. Mine did not come as sharp as the bottom edge, but it was sharp enough to do damage if used with any significant amount of force. A handful of swipes on a simple ceramic knife sharpening device, and the top edge was PLENTY sharp.
There is plenty of space towards the handle for baton use, and the design of the knife makes it pretty clear where the edge on the top half begins, as opposed to where you can use the baton to strike the knife. That said, some folks need to look at this before choosing such a tool for those purposes. I'll also say this - this knife is indeed thick enough for some tough use, but it wouldn't be my first choice for batoning chores, though it will do fine as a chopper, assuming you don't apply this to rather large tasks.
I imagine this knife makes a good thrower if you're into that. Me, I prefer to keep a hand on my weapon as opposed to potentially giving it away or losing it. Fighting knives do not always = throwing knives. This is most definitely a fighting knife.
The handle is a little different than most because it is curved. I thought I might not like it, but having done some research on the original design (the Phillipino Barong), I understand it's use better. Here's the funny thing - understanding or not, it's actually comfortable, even when I reverse my grip. That said, I think most will find it more useful with the "normal" grip. The handle seems slim and is, but the palm swells are at just the right points and manage to fill the hand instead of making the holder feel like they have a ton of knife hanging off of a popsicle stick. Again, I think the knife makes a fine chopper with this handle, but not for bigger chopping jobs where a bigger/heavier blade is what is needed.
The Tatang also has good weight and balance. Enough weight and thickness to assure you that it is no fragile toy, but balanced right so that it doesn't feel like you're wielding a sharp brick.
I recommend the Tatang, but not to edged-weapon novices.
Anyway, now that the grip is more to my liking, this thing flies in the hand as nimbly as the ancient barong blades she was patterned after. I can't yet speak about its capability in the field. But it made short work out of kitchen patrol duty.
However, the handle and sheath seemed to be slapped on as afterthought.
I wrapped the handle in para cord, that helped. But I, like many other I know who got this knife, am going to start to look for a new sheath.