Throwing Knives Guide Everything You Need to Know about Throwing Knives

Find the Best Throwing Knives for You

Throwing KnivesThrowing knives and the act of knife throwing maintain a level of motor discipline and mental concentration that has enthralled people everywhere to give them a cherished place in history, Hollywood, and individual homes. There is a long account that describes just where throwing knives originally came from and a more recent recollection that explains their rise in recreational use over the past 200 years. First we’ll explain what is a throwing knife and then take a look at the base origins of how a throwing knife originated and then get down to its most focused uses that have taken it to different places in society like theater and museums. Finally we’ll illustrate the main kinds of throwing knives found on the internet for purchase and which will be best served for you.

Throwing Knives Basics

A throwing knife is, very generally, a metal piece with a handle and a blade. Unlike traditional knives the throwing knife is made with one piece instead of a separate handle. The blade is not meant to be very sharp but rather the tip so it can penetrate a target. The blade file may be grasped to throw the knife in a proper trajectory. A center of gravity is necessary to have a good throw and experienced knife-throwers will be able to calculate the distance so that the blade tip hits the target and not the handle. Balanced knives are the best because the center of gravity is in the middle so your geometric center will be easier to utilize. Unbalanced knives present a challenge to the average knife thrower and can allow you to move the balances to affect knife equilibrium.

The throwing knife has a long history but it has made its way into popular culture through way of war, theater, and movies. Read on to learn more about throwing knives in general and then specific kinds.

How the Throwing Knife Came to Be

In prehistoric times there existed throwing wood which was one of the most basic forms of hunting for subsistence. Cultures such as the Australian Aborigines used boomerangs and tribes in Africa utilized throwing sticks. Evidence of throwing wood was also found when the tomb of King Tut was finally uncovered which helped date throwing wood in ancient Egypt around 1340 BC. Finally there are throwing wood weapons in larger forms like the tomahawk of Native Americans in North America.

Finally in 600 BC there was the advent of iron which changed foraging and fighting tactics greatly. Throwing wood became throwing metal which brings us to the first type of knife-throwing.

What are the Traditional Throwing Knives?

The most basic form of throwing knife that is imagined when one hears the phrase is actually something right out of historical Japan. Before the decline of honorable Samurai warriors in the Meiji era, they used two main types of throwing knives. Shuriken is the title given to any small metal object that can fit in your hand (because that’s what the name means) and there are two types:

  1. Bo Shuriken: long and made of metal which could be constructed out of ordinary every-day items.
  2. Hira Shuriken: more round with at least four blades.

For Samurai the throwing knife was used more as a distraction than a weapon to kill. Many times the throwing knife or “star” would be dipped in a poison or irritant so that when thrown it would affect the enemy long after the battle had finished. It could serve as a great time-saver in order to draw a blade or evade attack if necessary. Most throwing knifes cannot kill because they are simply not heavy and sharp enough to pierce a body very far but they can certainly hurt and aid in a kill.

Most modern throwing knives come from one of these basic designs. It is an interesting failure of modern thinking that throwing stars and knives come from China because the origins go mostly to Japan. Although China produces a large amount of Chinese throwing stars, production of them began in the 1800s and the title was copyrighted by individuals there who have capitalized on the original Japanese design.

 What is a Modern Throwing Knife?

Throwing knives take many different forms and have developed through various means. Here is a quick history as to the popularity of throwing knives. In the 1800s James Bowie was a Confederate soldier in the United States and became somewhat of a legend for his throwing knife skills in battle. His use of throwing knives extended as a form of fun among the soldiers and gained much momentum. Shortly after circuses such as the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey put on thrilling shows that captivated audiences including throwing knives and live human targets. The point of the act was to throw the knife as close to the target without hitting them as possible.

Now throwing knives are used in Impalement Arts sports and other events in which many different knives are used and skill is involved. Due to the high demand for these kinds of knives among the average public there are many types of throwing knives on the market, so here is a rundown of the kinds of throwing knives that exist for recreational use.

Different Kinds of Throwing Knives

The following is a list of the types of throwing knives you can purchase through websites like amazon.com or knife-depot.com. With each kind there is also an example of a throwing knife for sale and a basic review.

  • Stainless Steel Weighted Knife. This is one of the most common types of throwing knife in modern times and usually has an average length of about 8 inches. It will fit comfortably in the palm of your hand and be heavy enough for a great throw. Great for long distance throws and used in knife throwing competitions around the world.
    • Example: United Cutlery GH2033 Gil Hibben Competition Triple Knife Throwing Set with Sheath
      • $34.22
      • Not very sharp out of the box (but they don’t need to be)
      • Heavy and sturdy
      • Sheath holds up to 2 knives at once
  • Weighted Knife Sample Set. This type of throwing knife will have a few stylistic changes to them for variety. The sets may include some knives with serrated edges and others that are shorter with no serration. There will most likely be a traditional stainless steel throwing knife as well as some without a perfect center of gravity or just one side with a blade.
    • Example: Ridge Runner Bullseye Throwing Knives 24 pc Set
      • $24.99
      • Comes with a nice quality case
      • 24 different pieces with unique styles
      • Kind of small so must be thrown with force to stick
  • Throwing Star. This type of throwing knife most resembles the Japanese Hira Shuriken and is commonly referred to as Chinese in origin. It can have any number of points but most commonly 4 to 5. More lightweight than the throwing knife they are popular and fun for recreational use.
    • Example: Fury Thrower Stainless with Pouch, 3mm Thick, 4” Diameter
      • $8.95
      • Good center balance throwing
      • Can’t pierce much but great with cardboard
      • Nylon sheath was flimsy
      • Heavier than expected
  • Double-Bladed Axe. This is not quite a throwing knife but rather a throwing axe in metal form that most resembles the tomahawk of Native American tribes. It is usually purchased for its aesthetic appeal and is larger than a traditional throwing knife.
    • Example: Timber Wolf Gen 2 Throwing Axe With Sheath
      • $15.88
      • 10 inches overall, small axe
      • Nicely balanced
      • Rubber handle and blade crack after 10 good throws, better as a showpiece

How to Find the Right Throwing Knife for You

Throwing KnivesWith so many choices it may be difficult to decide upon the right throwing knife for you, but that just means there probably is one that is just perfect for your needs. It may have been explained a bit earlier, but some knives are better for use in sports, recreational use, and as display. Sets of knives can come in 3-24 knives so you don’t want to shell out some big bucks without knowing what you need.

If your purpose is to actually compete in knife-throwing competitions then you probably need something close to the modern throwing knife that is a one-piece tool made out of stainless steel. Although average length is about 8 inches you can get longer from 12-14 inches. These can last many years if handled properly and you can discover better quality after practicing your knife-throwing skills. Abusive throwing can damage knife blades and tips.

If you just want something fun to use around the house or as a gift for a child then the throwing star is probably best. You can easily find brands that come unsharpened if you have fear of being cut. Even if the throwing star does come sharpened it will not be extremely dangerous and with proper instruction can be a lot of fun for kids to hit cardboard targets. The throwing star cannot pierce much more than just that, and it’s a great tool to increase fine motor skills and boost confidence in yourself.

Perhaps you just want something that looks really awesome and has a nice presence. The throwing axe is probably your best bet because it is a nice piece of metalwork that can come in fancy versions. These are for people who never intend on really participating in sport or for those who want to give a fun gift. The axe point is usually dull and can’t stick into anything unless sharpened by the owner. They do make throwing axes for competition and serious recreational use, but they are most commonly purchased for looks so be cautious if this is something you truly want to pursue. Don’t forget that limitations do exist due to strict state and city regulations. Check out your zip code to be certain throwing knives are legal in your area.

The Best Throwing Knife

After some lengthy research and lots of reviews, we have narrowed down, what is according to many sources, the best throwing knife around. This throwing knife is perfect for beginners, pros, recreational use, and even as a survival too. The type of knife is a Cold Steel Thrower Knife and you can find it purchase at amazon.com here: Site Info. The stats for this knife are impressive but even more so are the amazing user reviews. Out of almost 100 customer reviews over 70 of them gave a 5/5 star rating for the Cold Steel True Flight Thrower Paracord Wrapped Handle. Check out these stats for the best throwing knife for any skill level:

  • $15-$24
  • Carbon steel with baked-on-black protective coating
  • Paracord handle wrap for good grip
  • 12 inches
  • Sheath included

So now you have a complete brief history, adequate description, and manual on throwing knives. Knowing what a throwing knife is helps to decide which throwing knife is right for you and once you have narrowed it down you can make your first purchase. From ancient throwing knives to modern throwing knives the popularity has done anything but dwindle and I’m sure they will keep popping up in contemporary culture.

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