Introduction: Cheap, Good Quality Shuriken Throwing Star

Picture of Cheap, Good Quality Shuriken Throwing Star

I've searched and searched, but no where could I find instructions on how to make a nice, high quality, amateur throwing star. In this instructable, I will guide you through the process of making a steel shuriken for under 10$ (if you already have the tools).

DISCLAIMER: This is a WEAPON and is not for just throwing around at people, pets etc. It can SERIOUSLY injure or even KILL somebody. The blades are extremely SHARP. I am not responsible for anything that you do with this. If you are foolish enough to throw it at a person or a pet then just stop reading now.
Have fun and BE SAFE!!

Step 1: Getting the Stuff

Picture of Getting the Stuff

A minimum of what you need:
-A metal plate of some sort, relatively thick. It should be no larger than 5 inches or you will waste a lot of material. I used a galvanized steel electrical box cover I got from home depot for about $0.60. This works VERY well.
-An angle tool, or something that can measure and draw straight lines exactly perpendicular to the sides of the plate
-A pencil
-A jigsaw OR:
-A hacksaw with steel cutting blades (much slower and harder)
-If a jigsaw, high speed steel cutting blades. A pack of 3 cost me about 5 bucks.
-A bench grinder or equivalent (steel belt grinder, dremel, etc)
-3/8" steel drill bit. Mine was a zirconium coated bit from a big set my dad got. You could also buy a cobalt bit, but a 3/8" one would run you about $10. Ouch
-A drill that can run at least 800 RPM, hopefully with a lot of torque
-Metal file
-240 grit metal sanding sand paper (needed to make the pencil marks show up on the plate)

-A drill press (I didn't have one so I was just careful. It isn't vital for the holes to be that precise)
-Some silicon carbide metal sandpaper (60, 120, 240, and if you want it really smooth, 400 and/or even 600 grit paper. Whatever you want to do.

Step 2: Prepping the Plate

In order to draw on the plate with pencil, it needs a rougher texture than the glass smooth-ness that it comes with. You only need to prep one side.
Start with 60 grit silicon carbide sandpaper if the metal has lots of bumps. If not just use 240 and sand in small circles until the whole thing is done. You should be able to make a mark with your pencil.

Step 3: Drawing the Base Square

Picture of Drawing the Base Square

Find two touching sides that are perfectly flat. If all of them are flat, then just pick a top and a side and scribble close to the very edge. Only put the flat of the right angle tool on these sides and only measure from these two sides. Now measure and draw a 2 1/2 inch square in the very center of the plate. For example, on my 4 inch plate, I had to measure in 3/4 of an inch in from the edge and drew a line. Then I measured 2 1/2 inches farther and drew a line there. So now I have 2 parallel lines that are 2 1/2 inches apart. Repeat this in the other direction and you will have a perfect square. Now, find the midpoint of each side of the square and mark them. Now draw a straight line between them. You should now have 4 small squares. The picture can better show what I mean.

Step 4: Drawing the Star

Picture of Drawing the Star

From each midpoint, measure 3/8" straight in and mark there. These are the inside points of the star. From there, draw a line from the two nearest points of the square to the newly marked spot. Repeat this 4 times on each side. You should now have a basic star shape. See the picture if you don't quite get it.

Step 5: Drilling the Holes (optional But Looks Way Cooler)

Picture of Drilling the Holes (optional But Looks Way Cooler)

Now if you have a drill press, this step will be a breeze. If not, then, like me, you just have to be careful. You are going to be drilling at inside star points. It's kind of hard to explain, so look at the image for reference. You are going to use the 3/8" drill bit for these holes. If you don't have a drill press, it would probably be easier if you use a bit about half the size to drill a hole first. It's hard to get a big bit to go exactly where you want in one shot. You can be more precise with smaller bits. Also, if you want to counter any wind blowing it off target, drill a hole in the center.

Step 6: Cutting It Out

Picture of Cutting It Out

Now it's time to cut the thing out. If you have a jigsaw and you drilled the holes, start from the inside of the holes and go out. If you didn't drill the holes, then you just have to start from the outside. If you don't have a jigsaw, then don't bother trying to start from the inside of the holes. You need to clamp the plate down, I shouldn't need to explain the reason for that.
(The ideal tool for this step would be a bandsaw, but most people don't have one of those, and they're pretty expensive. However, you could go down to your local machine shop and see if they'll cut it out for you)

Step 7: Cleaning It Up

Picture of Cleaning It Up

Now you need to clean up the edges of the star, since they will probably be pretty rough. So, using the grinder, flatten the edges up, or use a file, which will take a lot longer.

Step 8: Sharpening

Picture of Sharpening

This step is semi-optional, but I would recommend it. Now that your sides are flat, use the grinder (or a file) and grind edges onto the star. They should be at about a 45 degree angle. When you finish grinding an edge with the grinder, quench it in some water and slosh it around to cool it off (its SUPER hot).

Step 9: Finish!

Now your star is complete! If you want, you can make the edges razor sharp with a fine file, or whatever, but remember this isn't super high quality steel, so it probably won't hold an edge for long.
Now remember, Have Fun but BE SAFE!!!


space143 made it! (author)2017-12-14

works great! thanks for the great instructable!

made mine out of a fire extinguisher.

ice hawk (author)2008-01-27

aaghr how hard will it be to make one of theses with a hacksaw and file ..... i can find any metal at my harware store ... and these shuriken stars are sooo awsome

ryan7071 (author)ice hawk2016-12-14

I made one without cutting or filing

technologydecoding42 (author)2016-07-18

Thank you for this reliable information.

KennyN1 (author)2015-03-08

Weapons are designed primarily to cause death. Certain poisons might enhance a weapon's ability to stun or keep the target down. I agree that poisons aren't something to play around with, but I also believe that poisons make for effective weapons.

spenfisher12 (author)2010-03-25

if you heat it up to red hot and throw it in water it gets harder but more brittle its a give take thing it can hold an edge or not chip or break

 actually, you want an orange heat on the steel, and yeah throw it in oil, heads for flare-ups.  also, when you're done with that, polish it with sandpaper, and then take a blowtorch to it.  the polished surface will change colors, so pay attention.  when it hits a gold to dark yellow color, let it cool and you're good to go.  don't hold the torch in one spot, though, keep it moving so you get an even temper.

depends on the steel alloy. tempering is more in-depth than that, and varries from one metal to another. there ARE charts on the internet though, if you happen to know what kind of steel you actualy have....

for the source of the plates, i'd say that'd be hard to track down. i would also worry about galvanized steel. if it's zinc plated, at the very least people do this where it is /very/ well ventilated. safety!

this is a good technique, origionally used for knifes, but it is very hard, not easily done for a person mot knowledge in the subject, it takes practice

harley_rly (author)spenfisher122010-03-27

i've heard of doin somethin similar, its just instead of water, you use oil, and it increases the carbon content of the steel, of coarse with thowing weapons you typically dont want something very brittle, due to the amount of shock force caused from impact

triumphman (author)2012-02-10

made some of these once, got a nice scar to prove it! It spun free when I was drilling the hole. Not pretty site. Red stuff on stainless steel. My own. Now I wear gloves, thick gloves, leather re-enforced gloves for welding! We learn by our mistakes and sometimes stupidity, too late! I eventually gave them away. Everytime I reached for them I got a cut! Not practical or worth the effort to make. So don't bother. Ninjas can keep them. I'll keep my 44 magnum!

badideasrus (author)triumphman2015-02-20

i'd like to suggest to anyone who's going to try and make these that you drill the hole first.... then cut out the sharp bits. though i abhor gloves /anywhere/ near a drill or saw... for the same reason you dont wear a ring or other jewlry around power tools.

asside from the points, the sharp edges should be the /last/ thing to be put on, and that goes for anything sharp. the points are inevitable due to the shape, but dont you dare sharpen them till they're finished. and even then be careful. square edges still cut, especialy if they get caught by a drill.

TheCommander (author)2015-02-18

very cool I will use this.

Dakota Joel98 (author)2014-07-31

I actually make these on a semi-regular basis, but I hardened mine with Oil, so you can throw them at concrete, and it barely dulls the blade, so with a wood target they work beautifully!

bcavaciuti (author)2013-06-10

could use an angle grinder with a cutting disk in it. if you concentrate its easy to be accurate :D

silvertinkerer (author)2012-10-13

Try using a dremal for de burring. Mine was great for that. I polished mine up to a shine as sugested by pearldrummer. I was able to use it to reflect the sun light into a friends eyes befor throwing it, getting a better score because I could see the target. He could not see it as well for a few mins.

qwerty2008 (author)2011-09-10

Too bad these are illegal in California :(

doughnutguy1 (author)qwerty20082011-10-18

Good thing I live in Missouri. No one cares here! I can ship ANYTHING from Trueswords to my house, and it tells you states it cant ship t

Takeda8 (author)qwerty20082011-10-10

Too bad these are illegal in Holland and many country's aswell.. but in my opinion if you practice safe and without bothering anyone.. the who cares ;)

Takeda8 (author)2011-10-10

This has to be the best shuriken tutorial i've seen so far ;)

fkhalsa (author)2011-06-10

Using a metal punch will help your bit stay centered.
This looks kinda like a metal handle with a sharp pin coming out of it, and it's sprung load so that it will 'click' when you press it all the way down, creating a small dent in the metal.
Should be easy to find at any hardware store.

ninja of suburbia (author)2010-06-01

 yeah, im with you man.  guys, this isn't even something funny.  these are actual weapons that could kill someone.  you could literally cripple or kill someone by screwing around with these.  as for poison, unless you have studied them extensively, and know precisely what you're doing, you could kill yourself, not whoever you're aiming for.  a knife that is poisoned enough to kill someone you don't know the metabolism and other stuff could easily kill you from a scrape across the knuckles. don't mess around with poisons guys. play it smart.

I disagree entirely. People who ask these questions should be given the information they seek. In fact, there should be a detailed instructable on how to create the poison, including a step where they should taste it to make sure it's functional. We need to quit protecting the morons and allowing them to breed.

Otaconmgs (author)2008-09-11

The reason it gets discolored is because it's tempered metal. The discoloration indicates the temper being taken out of the metal, causing it to be brittle, and more easily chipped.

Andyman3k (author)Otaconmgs2008-09-16

Actually, I thought that the softer a metal is, the less likely is is to break but more likely to dent and bend. Its the really HARD steels that are more subject to cracking and fractures. Also, ALL steels will discolor if heated, even the non tempering and non carbon steels. Temper only relates to a metal losing hardness, but this metal was never hard to begin with. I think the discoloration might have something to do with rapid oxidization during heating.

your'e both right.   the softer a metal is the easier it is to deform.  the harder it is, the more likely it will break.  All commercial metals are hardened and tempered. The discoloration is due not only to losing its temper, but impurities in the metal coming to the surface.  Or, if the metal turned a really dark blue, congrats! you just tempered the metal as far as it will go.  btw, metals only change color if they are heated really hot, like with a blow torch. as for oxidization, it depends on the metal. personally i doubt it, seeing as you would have to get a very low grade steel or high grade iron, which is not made very much anymore.  props for the ninja stars, though!  fyi, plasma cams are easier, if you can get ahold of one.

in order to nip this whole issue in the butt...just constantly cool the metal in a water bin as you work. In doing this, the grain structure of the material will stay in tact and keep you from altering the properties of the metals..

as a note, when you super heat the metal...(lets just say anything too hot to handle with with thin gloves or bare hands) if the metal is dunked into a water bath (quenched) it has become much a cool natural state, the molecules of the metal are in a Body Centered Cubic (BCC) pattern, which is very structurally stable. when heated, the molecules transform into Face Centered Cubic (FCC)...if allowed to cool slowly over time, the material will return to its original structure, if quenched the molecules will the shape of the Body Centered Tetragonal (BCT)...this is where the weakness comes from...the larger molecular structure adds hardness, and like you mentioned brittleness...if you want to fix this all you have to do is heat the metal up and allow it to cool slowly over time...this is called annealing

yet another are using galvanized steel...who cares?? if you had cobalt tool steel, then you worry about heat effects on the metal...other wise, it was a good instructable, and keep having fun!

that is one way to soften the metal, you are right, but tempering the steel will also return the metal to a more stable pattern, with the benefit that,by watching the colors in the polished metal, you can get it very precisely softened, depending on the task at hand, for example a very light temper on a chisel, but a deeper temper on a knife

netbus (author)2010-06-26

Guys, I miss most of the mentioned tools, so I will attempt using a frying pan as a plate and a hacksaw(with a steel cutting blade). Think it gonna work? I'm too lame for that project(lol) so I will also use a file. I just don't want to buy anything especially for this... Darn, I'm not sure if I'll make it to the end...

coocooachoo568 (author)2010-06-20

yesss! i made this and it is amazing! i used the exact same metal electrical box cover you used! thanks for this instructable! turned out great! :DD

the_burrito_master (author)2010-06-01

If you make the square on a  45* angle then you can make them bigger.

the_burrito_master (author)2010-05-05

I love this instructable I've made a few ninja stars from it. here's a batarang that your instructable inspired me to make.

used an electric panel for the blade and some sheet metal to hold the 2 parts together.

Gonna stick it in my forge and try to smelt them all together soon.

 um dude, smelting is the process of melting the ore out of stone.  welding is putting two pieces of metal together.  also, unless your forge can turn the metal white, where its like bubbling and spitting sparks, your best bet is to get a welding torch. just saying.

ninja of suburbia (author)2010-05-31

 heads up with galvanized steel.  when heated, it releases a deadly gas.  work in a ventilated area!

Kaiven (author)2010-03-20

You think I am an irresponsible kid that doesn't understand how to handle weapons.
This post is 2 years old. I'm pretty sure that I don't need poison anymore, and if I do, I already have some.
I know many people on the internet seem stupid, but at least check their background before assuming people don't have any credibility.
Well... I'm glad we got a few things cleared up.

Andyman3k (author)Kaiven2010-03-20

Sorry if it sounded like that last post was directed at you, it was more a generic message after countless email notifications of a new comment that 90% of the time were about making poison.
I rarely see a comment about the actual instructable anymore; its always about making poison ;_; and it's spamming and cluttering the comments section.
Also, i dont know how a 2 year old post appeared above the most recent comment...

Kaiven (author)Andyman3k2010-03-21

If someone replies to the comment, then it gets bumped up.
No problem about the misunderstanding, happens to the best of us.
You should just turn your email notifications off.

Vladamier (author)Kaiven2010-05-26

Now now, Cowscankill, what would Mr. La'flesh think about you asking about poison?

ShadowofaNinja (author)2010-05-16

oh i didnt follow this step, mine failed... :(

Don,t try this at home (author)2010-05-16

So why do you have a hole in one star and not the other does the one with the hole make it fly better??? 

DestroyerOfWorlds (author)2010-04-20

 Umm, just curious...what do you mean by "Find two side that are perfectly flat"

or draw a template on graph paper like i did.

Speedmite (author)2010-05-03

This is a really good instructable. I made one of my own, and it looks epic. Also made a 6 pointed one.  I used a drill press, a hacksaw(horribly slow) and a bench grinder

reoga13 (author)2010-04-18

 wow you should never compair an un-tracedle natural poison goten from a special seed to anthrax thats just wrong

An Villain (author)2010-04-12

the most dangerous poison in the world is, spoiled potato salad.

x z i t (author)2010-02-25

if you dont want it to be bent or broken, heat it up and cool it
all you need to do is put the throwing star on a hot fire ( gas range, or torch is even better but i dont have one) 
and make the star red hot and while its red hot, quickly wash it with very cold water.
the metal will be much harder and will stick to stuff alot better.

i never tried making a throwing star, but i made a throwing knife before and i could easlily bend it with my hand. but after heating, it was much stronger.

Andyman3k (author)x z i t2010-02-25

The steel you used was probably relatively high carbon content then. Steel will only harden through heat treating if is a carbon steel. The stuff i used had very little carbon content so heat treating it did not have any noticeable effect on the hardness.
Then again, the only way to find out if something is a carbon steel is to heat treat it and see what happens...

scoobbrandon (author)Andyman3k2010-02-27

 you can heat treat it by heating it red hot and dipping it in used moter oil the carbon in the used moter oil will make the metal carbon steel. it will probobly lite on fire so do it outside and have a fire extinguisher near by

x z i t (author)scoobbrandon2010-03-20

water works.
it will just discolor it but sanding will make it better

victoranthony7 (author)Andyman3k2010-02-28

Heat treat will do nothing if you don't know what kind of steel it is. a spark test is more effective when trying to figure out what kind of steel it is. Be careful when heat treating, because you can cause the steel to become softer if you don't follow the right process. Good luck!

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