High Quality Shuriken (Throwing Stars)




About: Look at your man, now look at me, now back to your man, now back to me. Sadly, he isn't me, but he could be like me if he followed my instructables.

Hello again everyone! This time, I'll be showing you how to make high quality shuriken, more commonly known as throwing stars or ninja stars, out of steel plates. Old circular saw blades can also be used. Now, before we begin, I'd like to take a moment to make sure that everyone understands that these are not toys, they are real throwing stars. Never throw them at people or animals. I am not responsible for anything stupid that you do with them. Also, I'd like to point out that throwing stars are illegal in some states and countries, including Belgium, Canada, Germany, and the UK, as well as California, Indiana, and New York. Check the laws wherever you live first. That being said, let's get started!

Step 1: Parts List

Here is a list of all parts and tools you will need to make your throwing stars.

  • Steel plate between 1/8" and 1/4" thick or old circular saw blade (If you use a saw blade, expect to go through a LOT of drill bits trying to drill through the steel, as it is usually very hard. On the other hand, your star's points will not bend nearly as easily.)
  • Drill or Drill Press
  • Angle Grinder with metal cutoff disc (a bandsaw may also be used)
  • 1/2" Cobalt Drill Bit (get several if you are using a saw blade, unless you are using a really cheap one)
  • Bench Grinder (if you don't have one, you can just use a handheld grinder with a grinding disc)
  • Clamps
  • Dremel with grinding attachment (optional)
  • Wire buffing wheel and buffing compound (optional)
  • Hammer
  • Center Punch
  • Cutting Oil
  • Protractor
  • Ruler
  • Pencil (I used a sharpie in the instructable because the pencil lines didn't show up very well on the camera)

Step 2: Draw Your Pattern

Use your pencil, protractor, and ruler to draw out the outline of your star. You can make whatever pattern you like, although keep in mind that more points is a pain to cut out, and less points is less likely to hit a target point first when thrown. I find that 6 points is a good balance between the two. It also looks pretty cool. 6 points will give you a point every 60 degrees. Practice drawing patterns on paper until you find one that you like, then copy it onto your saw blade or steel plate. I would not recommend using a template as your tracing will probably be inaccurate enough to make the points of the star look a little off.

Step 3: Punch Hole Locations

Use a hammer and center punch to mark the locations where you will drill your holes. Try to be as accurate as possible or the holes will look wrong.

Step 4: Drill Holes

Use a drill or drill press (drill press is better) and a 1/2" cobalt drill bit to make your holes. Use plenty of cutting oil and set your drill press to the slowest speed (60 rpm is good) to prevent overheating. If you are using a handheld drill, take frequent breaks to prevent overheating.

Step 5: Cut Out Star

Clamp the metal plate to an immobile surface and use a grinder with a metal cutoff disc to cut along the outline of your star. Be careful that you do not nick the edges of the holes with the grinder. Clean up any rough edges by quickly running the cutoff disc over them.

Step 6: Polish Your Star

Use a wire buffing wheel and buffing compound to polish your star. The degree to which you polish it is up to you. If you want, you can skip this step and end up with an ugly but still perfectly functional star.

Step 7: Sharpen Your Star

Now use a bench grinder to sharpen your star. A handheld grinder may also be used if you do not have a bench grinder. Start with the coarse wheel to remove most of the metal, and then use the fine wheel to put the finished edges on your points. If you want your edges to be straight, draw the edges of the points straight across the grinding wheel, perpendicular to the wheel. If you want curved edges, you must rotate the star upwards as you draw the edge across the wheel. Watch the videos for more information and to see a demonstration of both sharpening techniques.

Step 8: Clean Up Holes

Now, use a dremel with a small grinding attachment to put a small bevel on the edges of the holes that we drilled before we cut the star out. This step is entirely optional, but does make your star look a bit neater.

Step 9: Finished!

Now go practice throwing your star, it's a lot harder than it looks! With a few hours practice, you'll be able to hit the broad side of a barn. You may also want to make some more throwing stars, as walking back and forth after throwing just one star is annoying. Another thing you can do is to use a mini forge to heat treat your stars so that the points last a bit longer. Have fun and don't do anything stupid!

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    7 Discussions


    2 years ago

    A tip I recently learned for drilling hard steel is to get a couple of washers with holes larger than your drill bit (1/4" drill bit = washer with 3/8 or 1/2" hole). Place it over your starter punch location and fill the hole of the washer with oil. This will provide a "constant" supply of oil to the bit plus some to leach off the heat. As washers are not always flat it may be necessary to true them on a grinding wheel or stone so that the oil stays inside. Hit them with a coat of bright paint so that you wont accidentally lose them or use them in another project. Of course this only works when drilling vertically into horizontal material. I still haven't found a trick for drilling horizontally into vertical material! BTW throwing stars are illegal in Virginia also. :(

    2 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    I stand corrected. Throwing stars are illegal to carry concealed in Virginia. I was misinterpreting this section of the Virginia Code to mean POSSESSION -OR- Possession with INTENT TO SELL. One of those tricky codes that needs to be cleared up. Thanks to whomever it was that corrected me as I no longer see your comment.

    § 18.2-311. Prohibiting the selling or having in possession blackjacks, etc.

    If any person sells or barters, or exhibits for sale or for barter, or gives or furnishes, or causes to be sold, bartered, given or furnished, or has in his possession, or under his control, with the intent of selling, bartering, giving or furnishing, any blackjack, brass or metal knucks, any disc of whatever configuration having at least two points or pointed blades which is designed to be thrown or propelled and which may be known as athrowing star or oriental dart, switchblade knife, ballistic knife as defined in § 18.2-307.1, or like weapons, such person is guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor. The having in one's possession of any such weapon shall be prima facie evidence, except in the case of a conservator of the peace, of his intent to sell, barter, give or furnish the same.


    Reply 2 years ago

    I corrected you and then, after reading a bit more, became so confused by the wording of the laws that I was no longer sure if my correction was correct, so I deleted it.


    Reply 2 years ago

    Real weapons generally aren't allowed at cosplay events unless they are being used for combat demonstrations.