Question of the Day: Flingin’ Steel Edition


This ammo-shortage has me jonesing for a target fix. Does anyone know anything about throwing knives?

This effing ammo-shortage has me bouncing off the walls.  I am comfortable with my current levels in most calibers, but burning through any is like the “Spongeworthy” episode of Seinfeld.  So I have been shooting my bow (Bob Lee Custom recurve), throwing darts and even playing around with a blowgun.

I was thinking it might be fun to experiment with a couple of throwing knives.  Does anyone have experience and advice with regards to shapes, sizes, and techniques for throwing steel?


  1. TXDadoo says:

    Yeah…I’d like to hear some thoughts on that one too.

  2. Aharon says:

    The basic rules for throwing knives:
    1) Always assume your throwing knife is sharp and dangerous or unsharpened and still dangerous.
    2) Don’t throw your knife at any thing you don’t want to destroy.
    3) Make sure there is nothing beyond your target that you don’t want to destroy.

    If you live in California it is probably illegal to throw knives into trees since trees are alive and have feelings too.

  3. Bob says:

    Check out some books by Harry K. McEvoy (in one books he talks about Tony Cascarella who hog hunts with throwing knives).

    A long heavy knife is easier to throw and less prone to ricocheting back into your face (learned from experience). I have knives like the ones in the header image and while fun, bad throws come back like dodge ball against an MLB pitcher.

    Just some quick wisdom, don’t throw your EDC knife until you know how to.

    1. Bob says:

      Knife throwing: A practical guide
      Knife & Tomahawk Throwing: The Art of the Experts

      Are both good and can be bought for $8-$10 I think the second book is a little better and contains about 75% of the first book in it. Has some great pictures and advice on some different gripes and stances. If you buy it from you can also get some decent knives for around $30 (Gil Hibbens and cold steel both have decent beginner knives).

      Again don’t throw your Benchmades or Emersons. It won’t go well.

  4. Hudson says:

    I use carbon steel knives with very simple handles (like the ones in the picture) and blades about 9″ long. Use fixed blades because folders will break. Throwing knives take a lot of abuse. so don’t spend a lot of money on a knife.
    The trick to knife throwing is a consistent throw at the right distance from the target. The knife needs to make a complete rotation and end up with the point in the target. Easier said than done. I have both throwing stars and knives, and throwing stars are much easier to stick than throwing knives. The knife can be held by blade or handle, and thrown overhand or underhand.

  5. J.Doe says:

    Been practicing different techniques with cheap kitchen knives. Probably move on to higher end stuff once I’m confident in my abilities. Good throwing knives are generally spring steel, quality ones priced in the $30s(Flying Steel) and the higher end stuff into the $90s(Branton Pro-Flyte)

    General rule of thumb is “throw the weight and hold opposite of that”.

    This article is a good intro:

    For the no-spin technique, google Ralph Thorn.

  6. VaqueroJustice says:

    McEvoys books are must reads on this subject.

    As for my observations,

    1) No side arm. Try to move your arm in a perfect vertical plane.
    2) No wrist movement, at least at first.
    3) Consistence of throw: Throw the same exact way every time.
    4) Don’t open your hand, just loosen your grip, to let the knife slip from your hand.
    5) Mark the position of your lead foot, which should be your off hand foot.
    6) Step forward as you throw, remember to follow through.
    7) If the knife hits point up, back up a step, point down, take a step forward.
    8) Once you get a few sticks, pace off the distance and remember it.
    9) Repeat, a lot. Throw and throw and throw and throw and… you get the idea
    10) Throw every day, don’t leave your target until you get the knife to stick.

    There are no 12 step programs for knife throwing, you have been warned.

  7. ChuckN says:

    Go slow. Start close and work your way out getting a feel for distance
    and speeds. Experiment and pick what works for you. Practicing with
    something you find uncomfortable to throw will just frustrate you.
    If your throwing light weight knives or stars it’s very easy to
    overextend elbow and shoulder.

    Build a good target, you’d be surprised how fast a thrower can chew
    up a 2×6. It’ll be very satisfying to have your knife sink into a target
    rather than bounce, also safer. When starting you’ll miss, a lot.
    Practice where there is little/close cut grass but sod is better than
    asphalt or gravel. You want to find your thrower easily, but if it lands
    point down the sod chip or destroy it.

  8. Luke says:

    Practice, practice, practice.

    If you can consistently stick your knife in your target, you’re doing it right. Unlike Vaquero, for me, it was all in the snap of the wrist. (Note: this technique works well with hilt-heavy knives. It doesn’t work nearly as well with balanced knives.) I also was generally in flagrant violation of J. Doe’s general rule of thumb (I could hold opposite the weight and stick reliably, but my accuracy suffered).

    I generally used cheap folders. Held at the end of the hilt between thumb and forefinger, blade perpendicular to target, and threw mainly with a flick of the wrist and a bit of arm. It doesn’t take a whole lot of force to stick a knife in the next hay bale down the row. Throw it too hard, and you’ll bury the knife.

  9. Derek says:

    Give yourself room… plenty of room. A thrown knife without the correct spin tends to bounce…

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Question of the Day: Flingin’ Steel Edition

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