Instructables
Picture of How to Throw Throwing Knives
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Knife throwing is a practice that has been around for centuries. It is a rewarding, and easy to learn hobby who's popularity is making a comeback. Really nothing's more awesome than the sound of a knife hitting a target from yards away. Knife throwing can be done with anything from a hunting knife to official throwing knifes. In this instructable, you will learn safe and accurate methods of knife throwing. We will go over: choosing knives, throwing basics, types of throws, throwing stance, advanced throws, and general tips.

Enough talking, let's go find some knives!

 
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Step 1: Choosing a Knife

Your choice of knives are endless. Any knife with a semi-sharp point and a little weight will work, but keep in mind different knives require different techniques. Throwing a hunting knife does not use the same grip as throwing a true throwing knife. I will go over the difference in technique later on, but for now lets just go around your house, cabin, local store, or shed to find some knives.

The ideal throwing knife will have these traits:

-No sharp edges, just a sharp point.

-Rounded corners are ideal for safety.

-Thick enough so that the tip will not become bent.

-About 200 grams in weight. Anything less will take more throwing accuracy. (Christian Thiel describes this on his website)

-Keep in mind: fancy grips do not make a knife any better than the rest. Find a knife that won't require later upkeep.

-Knives with perforations are more prone to breakage than solid blades. So if you have a choice, find a knife with minimal perforation as any hole in the knife can lead to a shattered blade.

DV Customs3 months ago

I have been into throwing knives since I was about 6 years old, I started with a couple sharpened butter knives till my mother seen her knives started to come up missing. lol But I have always been able to throw just about anything from files to screw drivers even pencils. I also throw my darts backwards ( tip first ) steel or plastic.Nobody could beat me at any knife game of stretch or chicken.

When I bought my house one of the first things I did was to hang a target on each wall of the garage, this way I always had a target cross the room. When my son was eleven I made him his own custom made throwing spikes. He was the only 11 year old I knew that could stick a Phillips screw driver 8 out of 10 times. Now that he is 13 he has gotten very good at throwing under handed with the knife hid behind his wrist.

Practice is the key to every thing!!!!!!!

Store bought knives can be good if you pay enough for them but there's nothing better than throwing your own creations.

When you say you throw these items, are you throwing them in a traditional style ( rotation throw) or do know the art of the no-spin (a.k.a. combat throwing)? If not, look it up, it is right up your alley, especially considering the type of things you and your son are throwing. Ralph Thorn is America's ace when it comes to the no-spin technique, grab his book or DVD and enjoy!

Your mom must have been really patient! I've got 8 kids, and I can just imagine what would happen if one of them decided to start throwing knives....

Good Job

Dakota Joel982 months ago

This is a sport/art that requires a lot of patience, so don't quit when you realize its a lot harder than it looks

arjunmenon3 months ago

There is also one technique. Knowing the heavy end. The knife can be blade-heavy or handle-heavy. Which ever it is, hold the light end and then throw acc to what you read. It will always strike the target with the heavy end.

You can find the heavy end by trying to balance the knife using the finger, which ever way it tips, that is the heavy end.

jwc45203 months ago

As a youth, I was always trying to get one up on the other young men in the neighborhood . So naturally when it came to a throwing knife, I went extreme, using a WWI bayonet as for target two old trees 32 feet apart made throwing fun as I could throw, pull the blade out turn and throw again. I spent the best part of the summer throwing that blade. of course my buddies were impressed, since the difficulty of throwing such a heavy blade...well you understand. Then for years the blade collected dust, until the day I came home and found my sons throwing blades at a target they had built. They ask if I would try, I stuck 5 out of 6 which is where I should have left it.....I went in and got the old blade out, then paced almost three times the distance the boys had marked off, almost twenty years the blade had not left my hand, but it flew straight, hitting a shade low on the target, but destroying the target...Oops! I help them build a more substantial target and retired the old blade once more.

gammerguy3 months ago

Sweet

danzo3213 months ago

Stand up straight, not 'straightly', college boy! Proceeding, not preceding! Good instructions anyway.

Jack Moran3 months ago

You've got my vote!

brmarcum3 months ago

Nicely done. Just a tip that I found in a book that I have on knife throwing - don't use plywood as your target, use solid wood instead. The cross-grain construction that gives plywood it's strength makes it difficult for the knife to penetrate and the knife is therefore more prone to bouncing off erratically into places unknown.

bergerab (author)  brmarcum3 months ago

Excellent addition! Are you into knife throwing too? Or was that just something you read? As usual, thanks for the comment!

brownwiz bergerab3 months ago

Well done.You can easily read the knives.

point up = too close or throwing too fast

point down =too far or throwing too slow.

If knife is not embedded in the target with the blade straight with the vertical grain of the wood target ,your wrist is rotating as you release.A firm nonflipping grip is important. Thanks for your efforts!Dm

robotjim bergerab3 months ago

brmarcum is correct, plywood makes a bad target (from past experience) I haven't thrown knives for a while now, but used to throw most anything from screwdrivers to hatchets. Nothing beats a nice pine board or dead tree! I always liked a hunting or combat type knife with a bit more weight to one end. It just seemed to feel and throw better. Oh, and by all means dull the edge!! (again from experience! :-(owwwch).

brmarcum bergerab3 months ago
I am into it but don't really have anywhere to actually practice. My wife got me a really nice set of Hibben knives and his book a while ago. I also became acquainted with a guy that knows Aikido and I could watch him throw for hours. He destroyed the IKEA couch cushion though :)
Jim Spartan3 months ago

My thoughts have always been to retard the spin as much as possible. Less rotation increases the odds of a proper stick. For example if you can keep your rotation at 180 degrees vs a full rotation then you have much greater odds of getting the point to strike optimally. In order to retard the spin I hold and release my knives very differently than I see pictured in most articles. I usually don't go for a full rotation until after about 24 feet depending on the knife type and throw style. 540 degrees after about 32 feet plus.

To increase the amount of practice throws within a given amount of time I usually have 10 or more knives available to throw. In the beginning it is important to have all identical knives to help get dialed in.

Have 2 targets spaced apart the distance you want to practice for a particular session. Throw all 10 - 20 identical knives at target #1. Retrieve the knives and simply turn around and throw all knives at target #2. Repeat. By having two targets your time between throws is reduced. You are not walking 30 feet back to throw again at the same target. This can allow several hundred throws per hour or two.

Take the time to evaluate the performance of each throw. If you find yourself in a pattern of under or over rotation make this the focal point until you get a solid stick. IMO accuracy of where the knife strikes should come later. It doesn't matter if you are 6 or 16 inches off from your bulls eye. That focus will come after you can consistently achieve a stick angle of less than 20 degrees from a right angle of the target surface. In other words if 90 degrees is a perfect stick from the surface strive for an under rotation of more than 80 and an over rotation of less than 100 degrees from the surface.

Once you are dialed in with the rotation go for accuracy. I usually try for sub 4 inch groups from around 28 feet. Adjust group size down for closer throw distances. Never go higher.

This next part is a little strange but it is the reason I throw. After awhile (years / tens of thousands of throws) you will know before the knife leaves your hand how it will stick. You will know if the rotation is under or over and how far off your accuracy is. When it is still in your hand before release you will also know when it will hit perfect. I can't describe the feeling, the connection.

After you have gotten the basics down you will want to try different knives and different styles of throwing. Most people start out with some variation of an overhand kind of baseball throw. There are many different ways that keep it interesting and fun trying different throwing techniques.

Lastly don't stop with knives. You should get to a point that you can pick up anything, scissors, screwdrivers etc. Feel the balance and snap throw with a proper stick within a couple of seconds. Very gratifying.

Take responsibility. After a few days of throwing at the same trees you can injure a tree that was around when your great grandfather was a boy. Just be aware.

Safety. Others mentioned about the bounce back with plywood and I agree. I don't mind plywood so much because of the potential bounce it just doesn't last. Very quickly there is fist size holes where the knives will go through. Any surface can bounce back. I've seen some bizarre bounce backs and ricochets that I still can't believe. You must be prepared to move quick. No matter the surface if it's hard can bring the knife back to you. I've thrown at a tree, bounce and stick in the tree behind my head. Just be aware that that energy going away from you can come back in a fraction of a second.

How you are perceived. To me it is just a hobby but others seeing you throw may read something else into it. Just be aware of this perception others may have of your hobby. I personally do not advertise or let people see me doing it much. I've never had a problem but I can't help to think if someone a few streets over was attacked with a knife what kind of rumors may start. IDK?

Above all have fun and be safe.

mist42nz3 months ago

#1 throwing rule for anything (or even golf) is _consistency_ . If you change stance, angle, distance, arm shape, power, all the time you'll never develop anything.

Once you've got consistency you can develop parts of the throw to improve

swilus3 months ago

Thank you for sharing.This was/is really helpful!

dragonbtv3 months ago

Nice job!

In my experience, what you need is SPEED only. You may throw anything in anyway. After realizing that, I quit my practice.

pfred23 months ago

I used to throw years ago. I had a fairly good sticking percentage throwing a two and a half spin. That is about a 25 foot long throw. I could sink those about 80% of the time when I practiced. I never met anyone else into the pastime and eventually I lost interest in it. It is still kind of fascinating how it works though. I worked out everything on my own, I just got some throwing knives and had at it so to speak.