The Ontario TAK Knife: It’s Like a Tank

Ontario TAK knife review
February 1, 2021
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Categories:Stuff and Things

If you are in the market for a solid fixed blade knife, you may want to consider the Ontario TAK. We’ll be taking a close look at this one today.

This is a good general use knife that would suffice in various modes, such as survival, camping, hunting, or military/tactical use.

Ontario TAK Specs and Features

The TAK’s blade is made from 1095 Carbon Steel at an RC of 55- 56. This steel is fairly easy to sharpen and holds an edge well, while not being brittle or easy to chip. One of its best traits is that it’s extremely durable. These days with all the hype of the “super-steels”, 1095 is easy to overlook, but it would be a shame to do so.

The blade is 4.5 inches long and features a full flat grind in a drop point profile. It is .188 inches thick. This is relatively thick for a knife of these proportions, and the weight is just over one pound, with an overall length of ten inches.

The coating of the blade is a black, powder coat, which protects the metal from rusting.

The butt of the knife handle sports a lanyard hole in the event the user wishes to install a lanyard. The blade has a nice belly, which makes this one a very good slicer. Between the handle and the cutting edge, there is a choil, which allows the user to choke up on the blade for more control during precise cutting tasks.

Ontario TAK knife, sheath wrapped in paracord.

The sheath is robust. The author has wrapped his sheath with paracord. The back of the sheath features a loop and snap that is MOLLE compatible.

The TAK has enough weight to make it a capable chopper, while remaining light enough to be nimble in the hand. I’ve used mine for small chopping jobs such as limbing branches from tree trunks, and it can easily handle the smaller branches.

The edge also works well for smaller tasks such as making fuzz sticks for fire-starting or cutting small notches in wood. The flat spine works well for batoning the blade through wood.

The TAK is a part of a fire starting kit, including a multi tool dryer lint, and ferocium rod.

The TAK is a part of a fire starting kit, including a multi-tool, dryer lint, and ferrocerium rod.

About the Handle

The canvas micarta handle is a brownish color on my knife and is large and hand-filling, while still being comfortable. Whether the user is chopping branches or performing finer tasks, the handle remains comfortable in the grip and is a pleasure to use while still giving a good purchase. Micarta is extremely durable, and is one of my favorite handle materials, so this knife does not disappoint.

Ontario TAK knife handle

The handle fills the hand well and is comfortable.

The sheath is a black, nylon affair and serves its purpose well enough, securely containing the knife and securing it with a strap that has a snap. I’ve wrapped paracord around the sheath and through the grommets of the sheath so that I have some on hand for survival situations. The sheath has a loop on the back that secures with a snap and is MOLLE compatible. Overall, the sheath is robustly built.

I’ve used my TAK for many years and keep it in the “Get Home Bag” that I carry in my car, along with some other basic survival items. I feel that the TAK would handle most tasks that I would run into should I become stranded for whatever reason.

vehicle survival kit

The TAK is a good addition to a survival kit for the vehicle.

Ontario Tak Specs

  • BLADE COLOR: Black
  • BLADE FINISH: Powder Coat
  • BLADE GRIND: Full Flat Taper
  • BLADE LENGTH: 4.5 in (11.4 cm)
  • BLADE MATERIAL: 1075 Carbon Steel
  • BLADE THICKNESS: 0.188 in (0.478 cm)
  • EDGE TYPE: Plain
  • HARDNESS: 57-59 HRC
  • LOCK TYPE: Fixed
  • OVERALL LENGTH: 10 in (25.4 cm)
  • SHEATH TYPE: MOLLE Compatible
  • Weight: 1.05 (Lbs)

Ontario Tak 1

One thing that my readers will know about me is that I like good deals when I find them. The OntarioTak represents a stellar deal, in that it’s commonly priced around $80, and can even be found for lower than that at some places. For the package that you are getting, that is damn near a steal!

The materials are high quality, the design is well-founded, and the performance is outstanding. There’s really nothing to dislike in this package.

Some may criticize the finish, and I’ll admit, this is not a finely polished knife that someone is likely to put in a display case to impress his friends with. Nor is it a delicate, gentleman’s knife that slips into the pocket. If, on the other hand, you’re looking for a tank-like piece of gear that will get you home when conditions are less than frilly, this is a knife that you’ll want to have with you.

Survival bag, medical kit, knife

Some survival implements include a medical kit and a good knife such as the TAK.


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Jim Davis served in the PA Dept. of Corrections for 16 ½ years as a corrections officer in the State Correctional Institute at Graterford and later at SCI Phoenix. He served on the Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT), several of those years as a sniper, and also the Fire Emergency Response Team (FERT). For 25 years, he was a professional instructor, teaching topics including Defensive Tactics, Riot Control and Tactical Operations, Immediate Responder, and cognitive programs as an adjunct instructor at the DOC Training Academy. He was then promoted to the title of corrections counselor, where he ran a caseload and facilitated cognitive therapy classes to inmates. His total service time was close to 29 years. He was involved in many violent encounters on duty, including incidents of fatalities.