CAS Knives Turns Heads with Non-Traditional Tanto

CAS Knives recently put the finishing touches on a blade they’ve dubbed the Non-Traditional Tanto. The impressive fixed blade channels Japanese influences through the over the top CAS Knives style, and given its success on social media it could lead to similar projects for CAS in the future.

The Non-Traditional Tanto sports a 12.5-inch san mai steel blade, made from CAS’ in-house produced 1095 steel clad in 420 outer layers. The finish echoes the look of a traditional Japanese hamon line while still showcasing the aggressive visuals of a CAS knife. Argentina-based CAS produced the tsuba, or hand guard, from Damascus steel, also made by them in their shop. To round out this four-figure premium package CAS fitted the Non-Traditional Tanto with a handle of Ironwood, and of course, the knife comes in a handmade, in-house produced leather sheath.

“It is not a traditional knife, but we love the aesthetics of those classic Japanese knives,” explains Claudio Sobral, one-third of the team of brothers that comprises CAS Knives. The more pronounced curve on the blade and the easily identifiable CAS Knives finish separate their Tanto from the pack. But there is one specific characteristic of Japanese bladesmithing that CAS sought to emulate. “We at least wanted to be able to assemble and disassemble the Tanto, as is done with traditional ones,” Sobral says. He tells us that users – or, more likely, collectors – can take this knife apart quickly and easily. “It takes more adjustment work to make it like this,” he says. “There is no adhesive, and everything must lock with a conical wooden pin. But it is very easy to assemble and disassemble.”

CAS Knives Non-Traditional Tanto

CAS Knives’ photogenic blades make a great impression on social media, and the shop garnered a lot of initial momentum by turning heads through those channels. CAS played with the tanto style several years ago but this latest model really took off thanks to their enlarged online presence. “We got an order to do one again and we did it,” Sobral says. “The knife has been liked a lot in social networks.”

The Non-Traditional Tanto’s popularity lead to a serious consideration of future models in a Japanese-inspired style. Sobral tells us they may go down that path, but the ultimate destination would be a fusion of tradition and their own unmistakable style, somewhat like Lucas Burnley recently attempted with the Nishi. Sobral tells us they might end up making a knife that will marry Japanese style with the larger than life CAS Knives attitude in a hybrid Bowie. “We may continue to dabble in this style, although I would like to move even further away from the traditional.”

Knife featured in image: CAS Knives Non-Traditional Tanto

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