Most tantos seen on the American cutlery market are Americanized formats. Like the Japanese tanto, the Americanized tanto has a high point in-line with the pivot. A flat grind is applied to the point, leaving it very thick and extraordinarily strong. This thick area helps absorb the impact from piercing, as the tanto was originally designed for armor piercing. The front edge meets the bottom edge at an obtuse angle rather than curving to meet it as seen in the Japanese tanto. The only negative aspect of the tanto blade shape is the cutting surface area is sacrificed to gain tip strength.
A slow convex-curved drop in the point characterizes a drop-point blade. This blade format lowers the point for control but adds strength to the tip. It is a very popular blade shape that ranges from a slight drop to a radical downward curve providing endless styles. In fixed blades this blades shape easily sheaths. Usually coupled with plenty of belly for slicing, this format is often used for hunting knives. Drop points are a great all-around blade format.
A clip point is technically a variant of a drop point. Instead of a “slow convex-curve” to lower the point; the profile is “clipped” to bring the point down. Sometimes a concave curve will be referred to as a “clipped point”. This is usually associated with bowie styles.
This blade shape has no point on the tip, very little to no belly and the spine of the blade curves down to meet the edge. It is used in applications where slicing is the main requirement, and a point is either not needed or would actively get in the way. Emergency rescue blades are usually of this design. The lack of a point prevents the rescuer from inadvertently injuring a victim who is being cut free from something restrictive.