A reader submitted a request to test and review the Bad Monkey Folding Modified Tanto manufactured by Southern Grind.
Tanto style knives were designed to penetrate armour worn by warriors in medieval Japan. The Bad Monkey version of the tanto blade has a sharpened wedge where the tip meets the spine.
Modern tanto blades can still be used for tactical purposes, particularly when thrusting into a target. This style of knife has plenty of metal at the blade tip, which gives piercing strength.
Southern Grind used quality materials to construct the medium-to-large sized folding knife.
The nearly four inch blade is made from Sandvik 14C28N stainless steel, while the slightly longer than five inch handle liner and lock is made from 6AL4V titanium. The handle scales are made from carbon fibre.
A black cerokote finish was applied to the test knife’s blade to make it non-reflective.
The Bad Monkey folding knives also have a bare metal tumbled satin finish option.
The stainless steel in the blade is a high quality material that heat-treated well.
The edge resisted chipping and rolling during tests and sharpened easily.
The Bad Monkey series comes in plain and partially serrated blade edges. The knives also have the patented Emerson Wave, which is a feature on the blade spine that may be used to hook a pocket seam to immediately deploy the blade as it is drawn.
The titanium lock and folding mechanism were strong with no play in any direction. The pivot felt fast and smooth, while the lock was strong and true.
The carbon fibre handle fit the hand, gripped well when wet and had rounded edges for comfort. Jimping along the handle and blade spine provided thumb traction.
The handle clip was shorter than most tactical folding knives but effectively secured the knife.
Southern Grind’s standard pocket clip orientation is for right-handed use, but customers may order a left-handed version.
The tanto design works for tactical purposes, but its straight edges and tip are less appropriate for general outdoor tasks.
Southern Grind also offers a drop point blade option with a curved edge in its Bad Monkey folding series for better wilderness use.
The Bad Monkey Folding Modified Tanto with black cerokote retails for about $270 US. Each knife also comes with a leather drink can koozy, leather keychain and paracord survival bracelet.
Southern Grind is a newer manufacturing company owned by popular musician Zac Brown and is still developing its retailers. Customers may browse products and order directly from its website at www.southerngrind.com.
The test knife had excellent fit and finish, was built from top quality materials, and was a joy to use.
Kim Quintin is a Saskatoon outdoor enthusiast and knife maker. He can be reached for column content suggestions at [email protected].