REVIEW: Tanto Golf divot repair tools raise the stakes in the category
Equipment

REVIEW: Tanto Golf divot repair tools raise the stakes in the category



Everyone has their favorite golf accessories, but for me, one of my favorites is a switchblade-style divot-repair tool.

Part of its appeal is how the prongs flip out when I activate the spring. I like that it doesn't dig into my pockets. The biggest allure, though, is that I can have my divot-repair tool and my ball marker right there together. I love being able to fix a divot and then plop down my ball marker in what amounts to a nearly continuous motion without having to go back into my pocket.

Now a new company has come along, offering a switchblade-style tool that they say is built to last.

Tanto Golf has come to the market with several different models of divot-repair tools that they say last longer than their competitors because they use higher-quality materials and manufacturing techniques. That means Tanto Golf divot-repair tools cost significantly more than their peers, and it's up to you as a consumer to decide if those upgrades are worth the cost.

The company sent me two of their models, the Mini and the RP2, to try out.

I was more drawn to the Mini, primarily because of its compact shape that fits nicely in my pockets. It's 30 percent smaller than the RP2, which has a belt clip for placement.

However, the RP2 has something unique going for it: a bottle opener included in the switchblade prongs that pop out with the high-quality spring. It's really convenient to be able to pop open something already in my pocket for golf and use it to open a beverage.

Both models, though, have similar DNA. They're CNC milled from G10 composite for a higher-quality shell, and the stainless steel blades are coated with black titanium for an enhanced look. The blades themselves are thicker than you typically see with divot-repair tools, making them less likely to bend or break, even on those cold mornings when digging into the green is tougher. The magnet which holds a circular ball marker (and comes with one) is big, meaning it's less likely the ball marker will drop off the tool and perhaps out of my pocket entirely. The switchblade unit has a teflon washer to match up with the spring that is designed not to jam for years.

Each model is available in four colors, with the Mini coming in at $35 and the RP2 coming in at $45.

Are the Tanto Golf tools worth that price? That's somewhat in the eye of the beholder, I suppose. However, both units have been great. They work right away, flip out quickly, get through the turf without much effort and hold the ball marker without issue. The units are a little thicker than I accustomed to using, but they're not bulky or unwieldy. The tools do what Tanto says they do.

If you play a good amount of golf, then you probably have developed personal tastes in what you use on the course. That may mean that you want a high-end divot-repair tool, and if that's the case, then the Tanto products aren't overpriced. They work well, and that's worth a premium price.

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Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]thegolfnewsnet.com

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