Among all the weapons, nothing requires more precision and technique than a throwing knife. It is not as easy as it looks to throw a knife and successfully stick to the target. If you want to be as good as Naruto with his Kunai or Clove from The Hunger Games, you will need a lot of practice and tons of broken knives before you can be half as good as these characters.
The knife itself is as important as the skills. Not all the knives are suitable for throwing and you might even hurt yourself if you throw the wrong one! On the other hand, a good knife can make your learning process more enjoyable and it is a good investment in your thrower career. Finding the best throwing knives is a real challenge but we have done the dirty job for you. Check out the comparison table below and find the one that suits you the best.
The pinnacle of stealth and precision, the Throwing Knife kills instantly on contact
— Call of Duty ELITE description
The Throwing Knife Comparison Chart
What is a Throwing Knife
Humans have invented the art of knife throwing long time ago and they were mainly used for hunting. The knives were further modified and developed into different styles and shapes. For example the Japanese Kunai, Shuriken or the Native American knives. They have later gained more popularity when knives-throwing become a signature circus show. In the modern days people still throw knives, but now they are doing it as a sport or competition.
Do I need to get specially made knives for throwing?
In theory, you can throw any types of knives, e.g. kitchen knives, survival knives etc. But throwing these knives would not be very efficient as they are either too chunky or too heavy. So there are knives that are made specifically for throwing. These throwing knives have a simple design – they are made of a single piece of metal. The top half of the metal is the blade and it is sharpened. And the bottom half of the metal is not sharpened so that you can grip onto it. You shouldn’t find any wooden or plastic handles because they could add weight to the knives and make them unbalance. The handles will also get in the way while throwing.
How to Find the Best Throwing Knives?
If you are a beginner, your knife will probably hit the walls or the concrete floor more than hitting the target unless you are a very talented thrower. Cheap knives tend to break (literally split in half) after a few fail throws. If you don’t want to keep buying new knives, make sure that you get the high quality knife sets because they last much longer than the cheap one. Also, buy 3 to 6 knives in one go just in case some of them get broken or blunt while practicing.
Here are a few things that you should watch out for when getting a throwing knife.
Most people think that knives should be sharp. But it is quite the opposite for throwing knives – they should be dull so that you don’t get cut while throwing. There is no point of a throwing knife having a sharp blade because all you need is to stick the tip of the knife into the target. Blade grip is one of the throwing technique that involves holding the blade of the knife when throwing. It would be very dangerous if the knife is too sharp. Check the sharpness of the knives before using them and be careful if they are too sharp.
A professional throwing knife shouldn’t have any handles. Handles can cause two problems to a throwing knife – they add frictions and weights. Handles increase the friction between your fingers and the knives which make it harder for the knife to escape from your hand while throwing.
Handles also add weights to the knife which could distort its weight balance.
In general, a balanced knife is better than an unbalance knife when it comes to knife throwing.
You can see whether a knife is balanced or not by looking for its center of gravity. To find the center, simply put the knife on one of your fingers. The knife will stay balanced when you got the right spot. A balanced throwing knife should have the center in the middle of the knife.
A balanced knife is good for 3 reasons: First, it can be thrown from both ends but an off balanced knife can only be thrown from either the handle or the blade, depending on which part is heavier. Second, a balanced knife makes a steady circular spin in the air so it is easier to adjust the trajectory. Third, when you switch from one set of knives to another, it is easier if they are both center-balanced. Because they both give you the similar feeling. You will need to adjust the feeling again if you are moving from one unbalanced knife to another.
Weight and length
A good throwing knife shouldn’t be too light otherwise it won’t hit very far. Throwing a light knife is like throwing a leaf or a piece of paper, it is hard to control. It may also be blown away by wind while throwing. As a rule of thumb, any knives around 300g (9oz) is a decent starting weight for beginners. Heavier knives are more stable and they can travel a longer distance. They also have a larger impact on the target and you will hear a very satisfying “thunk” sound when they stick to the wooden board. But they require stronger finger strength. I suggest beginners should stick with a 300g knife to start with. Then slowly increase or reduce the weight to find the perfect knife for you.
Throwing knives have different lengths ranging from 6 inches to 16 inches. They spin when they are in the air and the length determines the rotation speed. Beginners may want to get a longer knife because it spins slower and is easier to get used to the spinning speed. Short knives spin faster and the learning curve is steeper.
Cheap and low quality metal contains impurities and throwing knives made with these metal would break easily after a few throws. Getting the ones made with high quality metal will save you money in a long term.
Most throwing knives in the market are made of either stainless steel or carbon steel. Stainless steel is highly resistant to rust unless in extreme condition. It is a harder metal and it costs more than carbon steel. Carbon steel is softer in nature and more durable than stainless steel. It is therefore easier to sharpen but it is not as rust-resistant.
It doesn’t really matter which steel you choose. In my opinion it is more like a personal preference. The important part is that the knife needs to be crafted with high quality metal. “I am not a blacksmith, how on earth do I know what quality it is?” It’s easy. Buy from a renowned knife manufacturers and you can be sure of the quality.
A quick sum up:
If you are new to knife throwing, here are what I recommend in choosing a beginner throwing knife.
- Sharpness: dull
- balance: center of gravity in the middle
- handle: no handles
- weight: around 300 – 400g (9 – 13oz)
- length: around 12 inches long (30 cm)
- shape: keep it simple and round – no funny shapes or spikes
- metal quality: high quality (from a reputable manufacturer)
- quantity: get 6 or more (unless you like walking more than throwing)
My Top 5 Favorite Throwing Knives
I have used these knives and they are my personal favorites. They might not be the right one for everyone but they are definitely very good knives for beginners. After tons of practice with these knives, you will develop your own throwing style and you can start looking for the one that suits you.
The Gil Hibben GH2033 is one of the best throwing knives for beginner. They are heavy, long and easy to stick. More importantly, the price is not expansive for these knives. Each set has three knives and a sheath.
These knives are just above 12 inches long with a weight of 12 ounces. So it is about 1 ounce per inch, which is actually a standard ratio for competition throwing knives.
They are perfect for beginners because of the long length, heavy weight and the good balance. These knives are easy to control as they spin slowly in the flight. They allow you to judge the rotation speed and the throwing distance quite easily. They also feel solid in your hand as they are quite heavy. It is actually a good thing for beginners because the weight allows the throwing knife to dive into the target and stick to it. You can also throw this knife from a long distance because of the weight.
What I also like about the GH2033 is the simple shape. It has a round, smooth shape and it doesn’t have any unusual spikes or edges that can cut your fingers by accident. You can tell that this knife is simply designed for throwing.
The knife is made of 420 steel and to be honest, it is a pretty standard quality metal for throwing knives. For this price, I can’t really complaint much. Overall it is a very good set of knives and you will have loads of fun throwing them.
The next knife is also designed by Gil Hibben. He is an expert in knife making and he has designed lots of high quality knives including the one in the movie Rambo. He is also a great knife thrower and he has written some knife throwing books which are quite useful for beginners.
This Cord Grip Thrower Knife Set consists of three black throwing knives and a black sheath. These knives have a black finish and some people would think that they are made of carbon steel. In fact, they are made of 420 J2 stainless steel which is the same metal they use for GH2033.
These knives are 8-5/8 inches long with 4-1/4 inches blade. They are very well balanced and they spin uniformly in the air. If you want to practice blade throw, e.g. holding the blade instead of the handle when you throw, this is a great choice because of its single-edged blade. It is not as easy to hurt yourself as using a double-edged blade.
The feature of this knife set is the nylon cord grip but it is a bit pointless. The wrapping will begin to loosen up and come off eventually after a few throws. Some throwers suggest using super glue on the string but in my opinion, the wrapping doesn’t make much difference. It bears no weights so it won’t change the balance point when it falls off. And the handle is quite well made so it is still very good for gripping even without the wrap. Overall, these knives are not bad and the price is very attractive which makes them perfect for new learner.
The True Flight Thrower manufactured by Cold Steel is a very serious and excellent throwing knife. It is 12 inches long with a weight of 9.7 ounce. First, the length and the weight are perfect for any beginners. Second, it is easy to control and it is perfectly balanced – the center of gravity is about in the middle of the knife. Third, this knife is solid and tough – you can use it as a utility knife as well as a throwing knife.
The greatest thing about this knife is the 1055 carbon steel construction. This metal is very durable and strong. It can take a lot of abuses before the knife breaks. Even better, it is finished with a baked-on protective coat which makes it corrosive and rust resisting. The True Flight is probably one of the best knives I have ever used and it is well worth the money.
With 13 inch length and 18.5 ounce weight, the Cold Steel Sure Balance Throwing Knife is one big heavy thrower. It uses the same 1055 carbon steel as the True Flight Thrower so there’s no doubt that the knife is strong and resilient. The design for this knife is very simple – it is simply a piece of metal with a sharpen point and edge. This is purely made for throwing.
The only downside is that this knife is sold individually, unlike some other brands where they sell throwing knives in a set. You may want to buy a couple of these in one go but it will cost quite a bit. So this might not be ideal for beginners unless you are rich. However this is definitely a great choice if you are an intermediate thrower.
The RC-179-3 knife set comes with 3 pieces with a nylon sheath. The knife is 8-inch long and made of stainless steel. Even with low price, it is not a bad knife at all. It is balanced, sturdy and thick. Some users have thrown these for more than 300 times and they are still in one piece. If you have just started and do not want to spend too much on throwing knives, this is the one for you.