Tantō were originally used in a traditional Japanese martial art called tantojutsu and were primarily carried by the Samurai class. More recently, tantō knives have gained popularity in the West as 'tactical knives' because they are well suited to stabbing and piercing.
Contemporary tantō blades normally have a straight spine, an angled tip and very little, or no belly. The lack of belly limits their usefulness as a general utility knife, but the tip of tantō knives can be very useful for delicate paring and scraping jobs.
In exchange, the tip area of a tantō knife can be relatively thick in cross-section, which enables them to absorb the impact forces that are generated when striking and piercing hard materials. So, a tantō is a fine choice if you need a strong, dependable tactical knife. Tantō can be single bevel ('chisel grind'), double bevel, or compound bevel.