Stabbing is great and all, but wouldn’t it be nice to extend the range of your lethality?
Ninjas have been doing it for years and now it’s time to get you outfitted with the knowledge and gear to bring your blade game to the next level with a set of throwing knives.
Regardless if you’re a seasoned Samurai, a Marine looking for a silent option to add to the arsenal, or just someone looking to throw pointy objects at stuff, this guide has you covered.
We’ll cover everything from understanding the balance of a blade to what to look for in a throwing knife. You’ll come out of this guide ready to nail some bullseyes!
I’ll show you my favorite knives at different price points, as well as the best throwing knives for beginners all the way up to competition level throwers!
A piece of advice before we get started. Any professional in pretty much any discipline will tell you that the key to success is using the right tool.
Throwing knives are not all the same and their individual characteristics may or may not be a good fit for your stature, strength, and technique. Choosing the right throwing knife is crucial for getting started or moving on to the next level, so study up and be prepared before spending your hard-earned money! The reviews below should definitely get you on the right track.
- Here Are the Best Throwing Knives
- 1. United Cutlery Kunai Throwers (Editor’s Choice)
- 2. Perfect Point Knives (Best Value)
- 3. Perfect Point Balanced Series
- 4. Smith and Wesson Bullseye Set
- 5. SOG Clip Point Throwing Knives
- 6. Magnum Bailey Bo-Kri Ziel Set (Best Overall)
- 7. Magnum Bailey Mini Bo-Kri Knife Set
- 8. Smith and Wesson SWTK8BCP
- 9. Condor Tool and Knife Throwing Kit
- 10. Mountain Man Throwing Knife
- 11. United Cutlery Gil Hibben Triple Competition Set
- 12. Timber Wolf Diamond Throwers Triple Set
- 13. Grand Way Ninja Knife FL 15873
- 14. Cold Steel True Flight Thrower
- 15. Cold Steel Perfect Balance Thrower
- 16. Whetstone Cutlery 12 Piece Kunai Knife Set
- 17. Gil Hibben Tanto Throwers Three Pack
- 18. Cold Steel Sure Flight Sport Knife
- How to Choose the Right Throwing Knife (Buying Guide)
Here Are the Best Throwing Knives
1. United Cutlery Kunai Throwers (Editor’s Choice)
Estimated Price: $42.99
My Review: These Kunai Throwers are the most underrated throwing knives on the market right now. They have a great grip, are razor-sharp, and have a good weight to them.
These throwers are 12 inches long, making them among the longest throwing knives I’ve been able to review.
United Cutlery has had these manufactured out of some very fine AUS-6 stainless steel and immediately after unboxing you can just tell the quality is significantly higher than regular 420 stainless steel. These are exceptionally hard, though, which means that if you bounce them hard enough off of a hard surface, they will break, so be careful and make sure you hit your intended target!
The Kunai design itself was actually originally meant to be a Japanese farming tool that was later used as a weapon because they were shaped in a way that made field dressing the wound almost impossible, kind of like a bayonet.
These were the actual throwing knives used in the movie “The Expendables” which I thought was pretty cool. United Cutlery has a pretty solid brand and the fact they were recognized and used in such a large movie should speak well on behalf of their company!
These knives are easy to throw and are a ton of fun to throw. If I were a beginner and could only buy one set and wanted to spend less than 50 dollars, I’d pick these up. They’re super easy to throw!
A little pro tip when buying these: the knives come with tip protectors to protect them during shipping. When you get these, take them off and place them inside the sheath for a stronger and better fitment, otherwise, the sheath is a tad bit flimsy without them.
- This is a three-piece Kunai set that includes a nylon belt loop style sheath
- The 12” blades are made of AUS-6 Stainless steel
- The Kunai handles are covered in paracord
2. Perfect Point Knives (Best Value)
Estimated Price: $33.99
My Review: This is an insanely good deal! You get twelve throwing knives assorted in a nice little nylon carry case. Six of them are polished steel and six of them are black.
Each knife has a laser-cut hole for the attachment of ribbons and other than that, they’re very plain single piece steel knives that simply get the job done.
No money wasted on style points, these are meant to be practiced with on a daily basis.
The knives themselves are 8.5” in length and are meant to be thrown with a variety of different techniques and styles. I’d recommend these to beginners for sure. You get enough knives to share with a buddy and even though they are cheap if you divide the package cost by each knife, they are still well made and easy to learn with.
- Twelve knife kit encased in a very nice nylon zip-up carry case
- You’ll get six silver knives and six black knives, each with a laser-cut hole in the grip
- These 8.5” knives are excellent practice pieces
3. Perfect Point Balanced Series
Estimated Price: $13.69
My Review: This throwing knives set from Perfect Point is an excellent place for most people to start.
They’re fairly balanced throwing knives that measure 8 inches each and for the price you pay, these are pretty tough to beat.
I wouldn’t compete with them, but if you’re a newbie trying to get your hands on your first throwers set, these are great!
These knives are constructed from stainless steel and powder-coated black. They do look incredible, but I will warn you that powder coated knives do get a banged up worn look very quickly since the paint chips off and holds on to dirt better than polished steel.
A lot of people really like adding a ribbon to the knife so they can see it fly and perhaps have different colors for different throwers. These have a laser-cut hole in the end for the attachment of a ribbon or string that isn’t annoying or causes interference.
The knife set has its own nylon stitched sheath that has a button lock for easy and safe transportation and encompasses all three blades in one sheath.
They are cheap and they aren’t scientifically manufactured to be the most aerodynamic pieces of metal possible, but they are also extremely durable and a fantastic way to get started into throwing. You can beat these things to hell and you’d be fairly hard-pressed to damage them or break them.
Bottom line: These knives certainly aren’t top of the line, but they are an amazing value and some of the best throwing knives for beginners.
- The kit includes a lockable sheath and three 8” blades
- Excellent starter kit, probably my number one recommendation for those starting out
- Blade heavy for half spin or full spin throwing but can be used for no spin throwing as well
4. Smith and Wesson Bullseye Set
Estimated Price: $31.69
My Review: Smith & Wesson is a very reliable brand. They usually go the route of cheap and reliable with an old school kind of design and with these throwing knives they check both of those boxes.
These knives are extremely sleek and stylish with a polished steel finish. They are, of course, constructed of stainless steel and offer three cutouts for weight reduction and ribbon tying. These are very balanced, feeling perhaps a tad bit heavier on the blade side making these excellent blade throwers.
The points are dual-edged but the actual blade itself does not extend down the side of the entirety of the blade which sets them up to be amazing blade throwers. They each weigh about 4.7oz and are 8 inches in length. These are like the happy medium of pretty much every throwing knife characteristic!
- You’ll be getting six 8” knives and a neat little nylon sheath with a velcro locking mechanism
- These blades are constructed from 2CR13 Stainless Steel and weigh roughly 4.7oz each
- Great for a full spin, no spin, or anything in between!
You can see these knives in action in this video.
5. SOG Clip Point Throwing Knives
Estimated Price: $40.72
My Review: These SOG knives are pretty nice throwers and as an added bonus they are some of the coolest looking throwing knives out there.
The clip point blade is a little odd for throwing knives but it does work well and I have no complaints there. The handle is a little, uh, it’s alright. Like I said in the guide, I’m not huge on the paracord, but it can easily be removed if you don’t like the feel of it.
The knives themselves are constructed from black 420 stainless steel and are 10” in length. They come with a multi-threaded nylon sheath that utilizes a belt loop and velcro locking mechanism.
Overall, these are excellent and stylish knives for a beginner. I wouldn’t expect to see a professional knife thrower using these, but I do think they’re a good value for someone looking to dip their toes into the sport.
- Three knife set that comes together in a nice SOG embroidered sheath
- The 10” knives are made from black 420 stainless steel
- The knives are full tang and the grip is wrapped in removable black paracord
6. Magnum Bailey Bo-Kri Ziel Set (Best Overall)
Estimated Price: $76.49
My Review: This three-piece throwing knife kit is expensive, there’s no getting around it, however, I strongly feel that if throwing knives is going to become a favored past time of yours, they’re a great investment.
Constructed in Solingen Germany of very fine 420J2 Stainless steel, these knives come in at a 13.25” length and 14oz weight.
They’re especially long compared to most other knives I’ve reviewed and I figured they’d be significantly heavier too, but actually, they appear to be finely balanced and although they do weigh a bit, they certainly aren’t too heavy for the average person.
These knives were purpose-built to meet the expectations of throwing clubs and the rules and regulations of competitions. You can carry these bad boys into the competition with the beautifully hand crafted leather sheath.
- The choice of several professional knife throwers worldwide
- German quality 420J2 stainless steel
- Triple compartment leather sheath with button locking mechanism
7. Magnum Bailey Mini Bo-Kri Knife Set
Estimated Price: $22.73
My Review: The good old German craftsmanship we know and love from the Ziel set but with quite a twist in design, the Mini Bo-Kri is a curvy, wavy looking throwing knife at an absolute steal of a price!
This triple pack of high-class throwers come in at 10.75” and weighs about 7.6 ounces fully constructed from 420J2 stainless steel, so they aren’t made for the young ones or the weak, these are some serious throwing cutlery that many expert users rave about.
Getting three beautifully crafted throwers that are well balanced and extremely durable for under fifty bucks is quite a task, but with Magnum Bailey, they ensure anyone at any budget can get involved in knife throwing for a reasonable price and still enjoy the sport while using knives that rival top quality brands.
8. Smith and Wesson SWTK8BCP
Estimated Price: $16.99
My Review: These are quite similar to the other offering, the Bullseye series, by Smith & Wesson but there are a few key differences that may sway your opinion from one to the other. The major differences being size, as these are 4.1 ounces each which are roughly .6 ounces lighter than the Bullseye throwers but they’re still the same length and roughly the same design.
So, who are these made for? Well, I’d say if you’re a beginner, getting these over the Bullseye set is probably a safer bet. They’re slightly cheaper and slightly lighter, meaning they’ll be a bit easier to get your bearings with and from there, you can upgrade to something in a higher tier of knives.
These knives are slotted for weight reduction and coated with a black oxide finish, ensuring they are rust-resistant and elegant in visualization. They’re made of the same 2Cr13 stainless steel that you can expect decent reliability from while keeping costs extremely low. Included in both sets of knives from S&P I’ve reviewed in a nifty little belt sheath capable of holding three knives at once.
9. Condor Tool and Knife Throwing Kit
Estimated Price: $72.23
My Review: 11.8” inches of ultimate throwing knife destruction is what is brought to us by Condor Tool and Knife and I love it! These are hands down some of the best throwing knives out there regardless of skill level. That quality
These are flat out the rawest throwing knives I’ve reviewed. I’m not sure entirely how to describe the feeling of holding these.
They’re fairly hefty at 320 grams but they look like they would be lighter, that is until you pick them up and you feel their quality.
It’s a very weird feeling that’s almost impossible to describe.
These knives are simply tough. People have bumped them off of concrete walls, slammed them into other knives on target, and some people have even just simply hammered them down after the points get abused and they’re back to being good as new!
- 11.8” skeletonized competition built throwing knives
- Half spin or multi-technique
- You get three blades and a ballistic nylon sheath with a velcro lock mechanism
10. Mountain Man Throwing Knife
Estimated Price: $49.99
My Review: This is the Mountain Man throwing knife. That’s all folks.
Alright fine, I’ll review it! This knife is made for a different kind of person than the ninja wanna-be kind of dudes out there. These are the old fashioned Wild West style throwing knives that are meant to do some serious damage.
Lightweight, sleek, stylish. None of these describe this knife whatsoever
Instead, you’re getting a one pound slugger of a knife that feels more like throwing a small spear than a knife. It’s got a rustic old school appearance which, if that matches your get up, I guess that’s pretty cool too. It’s called the mountain man for a reason and I think it captures that feeling pretty well in its design.
But wait, this knife has a handle! That’s right, the mountain man isn’t messing around with no handle! Attached to this 9” monstrosity is a 5” interchangeable leather grip set fashioned to the blade with heavy duty industrial screws.
As a final note, these knives are forged, not machined, so they don’t come out perfect. Instead, they come out totally badass and are ready to destroy anything you throw them at!
- Top rated Premier Mountain Man Throwing competitive knife
- 14” in total length with 9” being the blade and 5” being the handle
- Constructed of forged high carbon steel
11. United Cutlery Gil Hibben Triple Competition Set
Estimated Price: $33.98
My Review: Before we get started I’d like to note that there are two size options available. The first, the small set, measures in at 8.5” and the large set is 11.5”.
These knives feel incredibly balanced and are actually among my top favorite knives to throw! They’re not only beautiful but they perform just so well, I find it hard to choose anything else on the market.
United Cutlery claims these are competition grade and to my knowledge, it would seem so.
I haven’t ever competed in a knife throwing competition so I can’t really tell you how well they would perform there, but I can say they are some pretty incredible knives that have seemingly increased my throwing capabilities considerably. They’re a lot of fun to practice with and despite putting them through hell and back, they hold up nicely.
These are roughly eleven bucks each and are some of the best knives I’ve ever seen, period. Whether you’re a seasoned knife throwing vet or just shopping around for your very first ever throwing knives, these are a great buy.
- Two sizing options available: 8.5” and 11.5” configurations
- Beautifully crafted double edged polished 420 stainless steel construction
- Each set contains three knives and a very high-quality leather sheath
12. Timber Wolf Diamond Throwers Triple Set
Note: Out of Stock
My Review: At just a tad over 10 bucks a knife, this three-knife set is a mistake to pass up on. For both beginners and experienced throwers, these knives are absolutely solid. They’re double-edged single piece stainless steel blades with a very simple but stylish diamond style design.
The knives come with a high polish finish and a very small unobtrusive laser cut ribbon hole at the end. What really stands out to me is the ¼” thick handle that comes to a point, almost like the blade itself.
I am a big fan of symmetry and when knife manufacturers do this well, like Timber Wolf has done, it just looks amazing and feels even better in your hands.
To wrap it all up, this powerful trio of 11.75” knives comes cozy in a nice premium leather sheath that utilizes a button lock.
These knives are serious. I’m having trouble putting it into words, but when you hold them, you can tell they’re hefty heavy hitters. They’re fairly large, much larger than the average throwing knife and a bit heavier, so I’m not sure if they’re the best place to start, but they are a good place to practice or upgrade to from a smaller set.
- Three 11.75” knives that utilize smooth 6.5” blades attached to a stylish diamond grip
- The knives come together in a beautifully designed leather holster with a button press lock
- Large and heavy compared to most started knives, but not too heavy and not too large for most people
13. Grand Way Ninja Knife FL 15873
Estimated Price: $18.99
My Review: These knives are exceptionally high quality for the price. Constructed of 420 Stainless Steel and coated with a matte gray titanium nitride, these 5.12” knives are exceptionally weighted and durable.
The 420 steel is actually rather soft, softer than what many throwing knife manufacturers use, however, this softness is designed in a way that protects the knife from shattering upon impacting a hard surface.
The knives come wrapped in an OD green colored paracord which is nice, but as I said, not really my favorite thing but I know a lot of people appreciate it. As an added bonus, you’ll receive a nice nylon sheath, nothing special but nothing left out as it does have a velcro lock mechanism and seems to be of good quality.
This knife does come with razor sharp edges, meaning it is not recommended to throw from the blade. These knives are most “all around” types of knives and not really made for competitions but more so for the outdoor adventurer who wants a knife capable of being thrown but also capable of being used as an actual knife for survival related applications.
I think a lot of people looking to buy their first knife should probably find something they can get multiple different methods of usage out of, just in case they don’t like throwing knives so they can still get some value out of them.
- Multi-usage survival knife that behaves similarly to a throwing knife with a good weight
- 420 Stainless steel construction coated in titanium nitride to prevent rust and wear
- Included with the knife is a paracord grip and a button press lockable sheath
14. Cold Steel True Flight Thrower
Estimated Price: $22.99
My Review: If you want to hear me rave about Cold Steel, check out the review I did on the Perfect Balance throwers. Just like those, the True Flight Series are also manufactured and imported from Taiwan, a country who has created some of the worlds finest CNC and blade working operations in the world.
The Cold Steel True Flight Throwers are constructed of 1055 Carbon steel as a single-piece design with a paracord wrapped handle, all safely nested inside a Cor-Ex Sheath
Just like most Cold Steel throwing knives, the True Flight is bake-coated in that black anti-rust finish that gives it a functional but sleek tactical appearance.
The Tanto style throwing knife is 12” in total length and weighs in at 9.7oz, one of the lighter knives on my list of recommended throwing knives. Light knives are great for quick snappy throws at low to medium distance, which is precisely what these knives were designed to perform for!
The Cor-Ex sheath is constructed from ultra-light Cordura and comes in black. These sheaths are not the typical cheap “add-on” type of sheaths you find with most affordable knives, it is sturdy, tough, and designed to survive a beating. I usually replace sheaths that come with throwing knives or most knives for that matter, however, I think you’ll likely find that replacing this sheath with something better is a much more difficult task than it is for most other brands!
- A Tanto style 1055 carbon steel single-piece throwing knife that weighs approximately 9.7oz
- A green paracord wrapped handle that seems to be of much higher quality than most paracord wraps I’ve reviewed
- Included in this killer deal is a Cor-Ex sheath, notorious for its Cordua design and incredible toughness
15. Cold Steel Perfect Balance Thrower
Estimated Price: $45.00
My Review:Oh I do love Cold Steel products and I love them so much that I actually recommend multiple of their products, on this page and on many other pages across Marine Approved! Why Do I love Cold Steel?
Well, they purpose-build all of their products with performance at the forefront of their design and engineering efforts. Cold Steel is operated by professionals in the outdoor gear category like us and enjoy the little things, the small details that really separate good products from great products.
Cold Steel is an American company, but they don’t shy away from ordering parts and having knives manufactured in leading blade crafting markets such as Japan and Taiwan. Many people shy away from Asian based products without understanding that some of these countries have several hundred years of experience more than US blade crafters and have some of the most streamlined and proven manufacturing methods to date. The Cold Steel Perfect Balance knives are made in Taiwan.
The Bowie style Perfect Balance series from Cold Steel offers a 1055 full carbon steel two-piece design that utilizes an ultra-lightweight composite plastic 4.5″ handle. The 9″ blade is 5MM thick, which seems to be in the area of industry-leading thickness and has a weight of 15.4oz, a fantastic sweet spot for those who love balanced throwers.
After the forging process, the knives are finished off with a very stealthy looking rust-resistant flat black coating that is as functional to the longevity of your throwers as it is great looking. Both the blade and the handle are color matched and looked fantastically tactical!
- A 9”1055 carbon steel Bowie style blade with a 4.5” Composite plastic handle
- A black anti-corrosion finish applied to each and every knife at the end of manufacturing
- An incredible balance with an overall weight of 15.4oz.
16. Whetstone Cutlery 12 Piece Kunai Knife Set
Estimated Price: $18.02
My Review: A twelve-piece throwing knife kit for under twenty bucks? It must be a sham, that’s a ridiculous deal, right?
Well, give them a throw first before you count them out. Whetstone Cutlery has a mission, and that mission is to create rugged and durable knives at a cost that anyone can afford. I like it and I like their products! Low cost doesn’t always mean low quality and low quality is not words I’d use to describe this Kunai set of throwers.
Okay, fine, the included carry case is a bit cheap, but the knives themselves are amazing. All twelve knives have the same specifications, which put them at roughly 6.5” in total length with 3.12″ blade lengths. The full tang blades are constructed of full stainless steel with a very nice baked-on black coating and have handles wrapped up nicely in paracord.
The Kunai, as discussed in the guide section of this blog post is an excellent double-edged style of knife that offers incredible versatility when it comes to sticking your targets. Nothing like impressing your range buddies with a quick flip around the thumb with the ring at the bottom and nailing a target twelve consecutive times!
Like most low-cost knives that have paracord wraps, the wraps on these will begin to come off soon after breaking them in. It’s certainly not a problem that warrants skipping over them, but it is annoying! Simply melt the ends with a lighter and keep them tight and you won’t have a problem.
- Full tang Kunai style stainless steel 6.5” S-Force throwers
- A nylon carry case included in the deal with a handy velcro locking strap and belt loop attachment
- Roughly 3” of Paracord wrapped handles
17. Gil Hibben Tanto Throwers Three Pack
Estimated Price: $52.99
My Review: Oh these are expensive and they’re amazing! If you have a little money to spend on some throwing knife action, anything from Gil Hibben will likely impress. The Tanto throwers triple pack comes in two sizes, large and small.
The large versions of these knives are roughly 11.5” long and the small versions are 7” in length. Both are constructed from the very fine AUS-6 stainless steel in single piece configurations
The Tanto throwers are finished in a very flashy polished steel appearance which I absolutely adore. You could probably blind your enemies with these things if you can send the sunlight into their eyes with the right angles!
The Tanto style blades are especially amazing at cutting things. Line up some string across a board and launch these suckers at it and as long as you’re precise, these will slash the strings instantly without breaking a metallic sweat. Something I really liked about these knives was the trigger grip-style handles which makes the user experience so much better and seemingly increases confidence with control.
To sweeten the pot, you’ll get an alright leather sheath. I say it’s just alright because many people do report some quality issues after a bit of abuse. My initial thoughts were that the sheath was of pretty fair quality, though, and it really compliments the design and appearance of the knives, if that’s something you’re concerned about.
- A one-piece Tanto designed blade that is available in two sizes
- Each kit, despite which size you choose, comes in a three-pack with a leather holster
- The blades are constructed of AUS-6 stainless steel and come in a polished steel finish with a trigger-style bare handle
18. Cold Steel Sure Flight Sport Knife
Estimated Price: Out of stock
My Review: You’ve seen many Cold Steel products on this list but none embody the Cold Steel spirit quite like the Sure Flight Sport knives. Simply put, they’re simple, they’re tough as nails, and they get the job done, all of what Cold Steel really stands out for.
These blades are 3.5mm thick with a 12” or 14” overall length and are excellently balanced for both handle and blade throwers. The Sure Flights are constructed from 1055 Carbon Steel with extremely hard spring tempering rivaling much more expensive throwing knives.
I’d recommend the Sure Flight blades to really anyone. They’re excellent for beginners to learn with and they’re high quality enough to satisfy more experienced throwers too. They’re incredibly simple, no paracord that falls off or weird edging that doesn’t make sense. They are simply throwing knives and that’s what I love about Cold Steel, you pay for what you need and they leave all the other crap out, keeping their products priced well and offering great value.
How to Choose the Right Throwing Knife (Buying Guide)
This section is for those of you who want to learn more about how to choose the best knives for you before reading reviews.
Factors to Consider
Weighing In Our Options:
Arguably one of the most crucial characteristics of a good throwing knife is its weight. Weight affects the behavior and usage of the knife and even may determine the method in which that particular knife is used.
We know that the heavier the knife is, the more kinetic energy it will harness, thus enabling it to pierce deeper into the target. Furthermore, a heavier blade may help seasoned throwers be more accurate over greater distances.
As a general idea, professional knife throwers generally stick to the 1-ounce for 1-inch rule, which basically just means that for every inch in length the knife is, it should weigh 1 ounce. Of course, this is personal preference, though, and people use a very wide range of weights, but I’ve found this rule to be pretty consistent with how I like to throw as well.
For the most part, shoot for something in the 10 to 18-ounce range with a length in the 10 to 15 inches area. This range tends to be the accepted range for most professionals.
Length Does Matter:
As mentioned before, length does have a tight relationship with weight, but why should we consider length? Is length more important than weight? Is weight more important than length?
Answering those questions is a bit difficult since there are so many options and styles to choose from. At the end of the day, what works for you is what you should use, but if you’re new to knife throwing and you don’t know where to start, a good idea would be a knife around 12 to 14 inches long.
Length impacts the behavior of a thrown knife by determining its rotation speed. The longer the knife, the heavier it will be, but also the slower it will rotate while traveling to its destination. The typical length range of professionals is in the 10 to 15-inch realm, however, there are certainly outliers that make do with even smaller or much longer knives.
The Incredibly Sharp Balancing Act:
The balance of a throwing knife is the relationship between length and weight. Once you’ve dialed in what length you like to use and how heavy of a knife you need to match your physical strength and technique, you’ll need to consider how the two work together in tandem to further your knife throwing capabilities!
Balance is the key to most things in almost any sport. Many people believe great athletes are so skillful because they are quick on their feet and display incredible levels of strength, but truly, balance is one of the most important factors in almost all athletes’ success.
In the world of throwing knives, you’ll get three different options to choose from in terms of weight distribution.
Evenly Balanced: A completely balanced throwing knife means it has a 50/50 weight distribution and a perfect center of gravity. These blades weigh the same over the entire length, including the handle. This creates a very predictable nearly circular rotational pattern that makes throwing far more enjoyable for those that are decently experienced with this sport. This particular weight distribution is also very attractive to many people since it allows for both handle throwing and blade throwing.
Blade Weighted: A knife whose blade consists of the majority of its weight is meant to be held and thrown from the handle, sending the heavier section of the knife, the blade, into rotation first. These are the most ideal knives for beginners since there is little chance of self-induced injury and most people are far more comfortable throwing with the handle instead of the blade itself. This style also feels similar to hammer or ax throwing, which makes transitions from those sports into knife throwing much easier.
Handle Weighted: A knife that is heavier in the handle than the blade is ideal for those who enjoy throwing a knife solely from its blade. This weight configuration is primarily used only by experts since it requires you to hold and throw from the blade. Some professionals believe they have better success throwing from the blade because they can feel how the blade will rotate quicker, allowing them to predict the knife’s rotation with higher accuracy.
Already bought a knife but aren’t sure how the knife is weighed and how its meant to be thrown? No problem! Set the knifes center on a thin point and see which way it tips. If you can balance it perfectly in the center, its a balanced knife. If the knife tips to one side or the other, you’ll be able to see which side is heavier.
Not All Metal Is Created Equally
In the world of knives, we can find tons of blades crafted out of just about every type of metal we’ve discovered. Of course, some are better for throwing knives than others and although other categories of knives, such as pocket knives, have a wider range of acceptable materials, throwing knives are pretty much constricted to stainless steel.
There are other options besides stainless steel, such as aluminum, but stainless steel seems to be the king of the hill so to speak. Firstly, stainless steel holds up to weather significantly better and will take much longer to rust than most other knife materials. Stainless steel is also heavier than aluminum which is ideal since a heavier knife is typically more sought after.
But wait, not all stainless is created equally either. I won’t go into super crazy detail here because choosing a piece of good stainless steel is done by your wallet. Spending money is how you get nice stuff, crazy right? Simply put, cheap stainless steel knives are softer than high-quality knives and thus have a higher chance of breaking and lower chance of maintaining a point.
So, pick your weight and length and most likely you’ll be able to find a stainless steel knife that meets those criteria. It’s pretty rare for anyone to use a throwing knife in a competition that isn’t stainless steel. Some competitions even have rules that mandate all knives to be stainless steel.
Gripping Your Weapon
I have already mentioned a few times that throwing knives typically consist of a single piece of steel without a handle. That’s not always true, though, as some throwing knives do have handles. You can find throwing knives with wood handles, ABS plastic, etc. These, of course, aren’t ideal, but they are there if you so desire.
Accepting that single piece handleless throwing knives are the norm and are, for the most part, better, we can talk about the ergonomics of the grips themselves. Although there is no handle, there is still something there you can grip and that’s especially important if you’re throwing from the grip and not the blade.
There are tons of designs out there and its hard to recommend just one since many people will gravitate to what they feel better suits them and their tastes. Some throwing knives consist of a smooth piece of steel with nothing obstructing your hands. Other manufacturers have tried to give off a type of trigger grip or some way of releasing the knife with a specific finger as opposed to the whole knife leaving your handle all at once.
Either way, it’s impossible to really say what the best grip is. Furthermore, it gets more complicated since some knife manufacturers choose a smooth grip and then cover it in something like paracord. For me personally, I take the paracord off as it doesn’t really seem to serve any great purpose. Paracord may serve a good purpose if you’re throwing in hot weather since your hands will be sweaty, but I can’t attest to that because I’ve only thrown in cold weather!
One Alone is Little Fun But Three’s a Party
Most throwing knives are manufactured and sold in sets. These sets can range anywhere from two to twenty. Of course, you can always just buy one to save some money and be cheap, but let’s be real here. Buying one single knife means walking to your target (or past it if you suck) each and every time you throw, which is a major drag and probably a big reason why a lot of people quit after buying their first throwing knife.
Walking the range after each throw certainly adds fatigue and time to your training session but that’s not the worst part. Instead, having to reset after each throw won’t allow you to learn from your mistakes. Being able to quickly transition to your next knife, while maintaining the same position allows you to fine tune your technique and address your accuracy issues on the spot instead of trying to remember how it felt several minutes ago after you’ve retrieved your one knife.
To the beginner, I would advise you to buy a set of three or maybe even five. Sets of three and five are very popular and are found all over the place! This usually gets you a little discount over buying them individually and this should be enough to gauge whether or not this is a hobby you’d like to take up. Furthermore, if you’re planning on using these in self-defense as I mentioned before, you’ll have multiple attempts before being disarmed!
When buying multiple throwing knives, I’d advise you to buy all of the same knives. This gives you the chance to figure out how a specific weight and length behaves and lets you hone your skills with a very specific combination of attributes. If you buy a bunch of different knives, each throw will be significantly different, which to a beginner is an absolute nightmare and may actually make learning and practicing more difficult.
What is a Throwing Knife?
A throwing knife is typically a single piece handleless knife that can have one edge or have double sided edges that are specifically engineering for aerodynamics and specific weights and balances that are optimum for being thrown. These knives are significantly different than a traditional pocket knife or kitchen cutlery and we’ll talk about those differences later in the guide.
Throwing knives have been dated all the way back to 1350 BC in Libya. Someone, somewhere, got tired of throwing sticks and stones and once the art of metallurgy surfaced, it wasn’t long before humans were throwing sharp pointed metal objects at each other!
Surprisingly, the history of throwing knives is much less clear than other weapons. Historians believe they were first used to hunt small game since they were incredibly silent and easy to retrieve after usage. In a way, these were easier to the manufacturer for some civilizations than a bow and arrow and since the knives manufactured from metal, they didn’t break on impact like a lot of arrows did.
Throwing knives were carried by soldiers in ancient times as a supplemental weapon in regards to if their primary weapon became lost or damaged. Many throwing knives used in Ancient Asia were poisoned or rolled in the dirt and other grime to ensure infection after wounding their enemies, since early throwing knives weren’t very deadly and the art of throwing them hadn’t been refined.
Since their unknown inception, many groups of people around the world quickly adopted throwing knives and of course, began to figure out how to kill each other with them. It didn’t take long for knives to be designed specifically for human conflict and surprisingly enough, throwing knives are still used in combat today.
My Knife Arrived Dull. What Gives?
Nothing is worse than doing all the research, picking out your model, pulling the trigger on the purchase, waiting all that time for your product to arrive, and then finding out it’s not as you expected it.
Getting a dull knife in pretty much any other category would be a major drag, perhaps even grounds for some negative feedback on the seller’s page, however, if you ordered a throwing knife and it came dull, the seller got it right!
Throwing knives aren’t meant to be sharp. You aren’t filleting a fish with it, you aren’t cutting a rope with it, you aren’t using it as a camping tool. Your throwing knife is meant to be thrown and pierce something, which means the blade isn’t nearly as important as the point.
That’s right, whether your knife sticks into its target or disappointingly thumps off of it comes down to the point of the knife rather than how sharp its blade is. This holds especially true for knives designed to be thrown from the blade. Of course, you’re protecting your fingers from the blade regardless, but why take on the extra risk for absolutely no benefit?
Don’t believe me? Throw a knife at a wood block and see how much of the blade actually enters the board. Even with a well designed and flawlessly sharpened edge, the knife will hardly penetrate past the point. Having a sharp blade is pointless! Pun intended!
A throwing knife with an extremely small but durable point is all you need, the blade can be pretty much useless for cutting anything and so long as that point is on point, you are good to go!
Why Should You Own a Throwing Knife?
Some people may think that owning a throwing knife, or a plethora of throwing knives is impractical and perhaps a tad bit dangerous. The very sport surrounding the idea of throwing blades at targets is a bit of a dark horse in the world of sports and throughout history, throwing knives were meant to kill, which doesn’t exactly make for the perfect hobby. Furthermore, getting to a decent level of accuracy and precision is quite difficult, requiring many hours of hard work, practice, and concentration.
The plus side to having throwing knives is that they’re incredibly durable if you choose a high-quality knife or set of knives which means you can throw and throw to your little heart’s desire and never have to spend another dime! We all know how costly a day at the gun range can be but throwing knives can give you a very similar adrenaline rush and steam blow off effect without costing you hundreds of dollars every time you partake!
There are global competitions for knife throwing and although I don’t personally participate, I have seen several of these and they are really a lot of fun. These competitions bring together tons of different people and allow us to test our strength, accuracy, and discipline. Honestly, these competitions are among the healthiest competitions I’ve ever been to with people truly enjoying the sport for what it is and helping others improve their skills. If you’re interested in competing, check out this link by The American Knife Throwers Association (ATKA).
A throwing knife in a self-defense situation is a tricky subject. Some will say its completely pointless to attempt to use a throwing knife in a self-defense manner, others will say it’s their go-to weapon if someone busts down their door. I’d imagine this decision hinges largely on your level of skill and confidence. Once that knife leaves your hand, it’s unlikely you’re getting it back, and if you only have one, you better hit your target or you’ve likely just escalated the situation. For me, I’d probably hold on to that bad boy and close some distance instead of throwing it but if you have hundreds of hours of practice, it might be a good way to shut down a thug in silence!
Throwing Knives Versus Regular Knives
There are many differences here and to most people, it’s probably obvious, but a quick look through Youtube yields tons of videos where people are trying to stick things from 15 feet away with a steak knife.
First off, throwing your cutlery at anything certainly isn’t what it was designed for and will most definitely ruin those knives. Cutlery usually doesn’t come with a sharp small point and instead is made for cutting, sawing, etc. Cutlery knives are pretty much the exact opposite of a throwing knife in that a throwing knife doesn’t rely on a sharp edge but more importantly, a very hard point.
Cutlery usually has some kind of ergonomic or visually pleasing handle and almost always consists of multiple pieces. A high-quality throwing knife is cast from one single piece of metal and has no handle at all. Of course, having some kind of handle throws off the aerodynamics, the weight, the balance, etc, making for a terrible throwing experience. On the flip side, cutting something with a throwing knife is very dangerous, since the edges aren’t sharp forcing you to use a lot more strength, causing slips and such.
Hopefully, you’ve read and found my guide useful. Knife throwing is a particular art that I think most people just have to try and experiment with until you get a feel for what you like and with that said, it’s incredibly hard to actually recommend a specific knife to a specific person. What may be the best throwing knife for one person may be a very difficult knife to be accurate with for another person.
This buying guide consists of knives that I personally really like and that I think will suit most beginners fairly well. After buying your first set and getting some serious range time in, you may disagree with me or you may find that you like the same styles and designs, who knows?
What I do know, though, is that there are a ton of options available and I cannot possibly review them all, so I’ll just show you a few that I like at different price points and categories. If I’ve missed one you really enjoy using, let us know in the comments and I’ll do my best to review it!
Corporal Wabo is a former Infantry Squad Leader with 3rd Bn 4th Marines that specialized in Mortars. In his free time, he enjoys hunting, hiking, running, shooting guns, and reviewing gear. He started this website while transitioning out of the Marines, and since has recruited several other Marines to help him work on the Marine Approved website. We are currently looking for former Marines to join the team who are interested in writing about tactical gear, survival gear, hiking supplies, etc. For more information about us or joining the team, check out the “About Us” tab.