Throwing Knives


Knife (Photo credit: DBduo Photography)

Throwing knives are knives designed, of course, specifically for being thrown. Throwing knives are normally used as self-defense knives hidden on the person, small and easy to whip out and throw at an attacker. Besides this use, though, today the main purpose of throwing knives are for sport; competition and just fun practicing. I myself have a couple throwing knives, and they are incredibly fun, especially when it sticks point first.

These knives normally do not have any handle material, other than the plain tang, as the knife maker does not want to fashion a brilliant deep brown walnut handle, just to have it knocked off when the throwing knife bounces off a target.

Throwing knives are very much different from other knives. Throwing knives have to be specifically designed so they would have the center of gravity in the center of the knife, just in front of where the handle would end, so that the whole knife would rotate evenly in the air. Otherwise, rotation is very uneven, and this can cause much instabilization and shaking of the knife while it is in flight, and that in turn severely moves the knife off-target. Look at these pictures and try to detect any similarities in design:

throwing knife

throwing knife (Photo credit: Joanna Bourne)

that each knife has a rounded, small pommel, for ease of release. Also,
notice the careful design so the center of gravity is precisely after
the handle changes to the blade.

When throwing a knife, one of the most vital things is distance from a target. The knife has to make full revolutions to hit point first. For example, you throw a knife from five paces (holding the handle) and it may have only enough space between your arm and the target to make two and a half revolutions, which would mean the knife would hit pommel first. Taking a step back from the target would give enough room for 3 whole revolutions, which means the knife lands point first into the target. A step forward instead of back means room for 2 full revolutions, and thwack, that target is dead.

In a life-death situation, even if you hit pommel first, throwing knives have heavy metal handles, and the concussion would kill the attacker. For self-defense, other than a gun, a good knife would be the best way to go. Simple, useful in non-combat situations, and deadly.


African throwing knives

African throwing knives (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Very exotic, designed for war, these “knives” are made so any way they hit, they kill


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7 thoughts on “Throwing Knives

  1. Vanhen Satterwhite

    Do you use your throwing-knives a lot?
    Cool page. Is there a picture of the knives you use up there? And do you make your own, or just buy them? I would think it’d be easier to buy them because of what you mentioned about balance, getting it just right to have the most effectiveness.

  2. Captain Belaq Post author

    I used to throw quite a lot, and still do occasionally. None of the knives pictured are my own (unfortunately). My dad bought my current knives for me a while back, though the hunting knife I made throws wonderfully.

  3. Captain Belaq Post author

    Nah, I don’t go for animals. Very low chance I would be the correct distance from one, and if I am not the correct distance, the knife could injure the beast yet not kill it. Anyway, I need to be within fifteen yards to have any chance of hitting anything.

    I used to use trees for the backing of the target, though now I use a foam board down at our archery range.

  4. Vanhen Satterwhite

    Yeah I see…I know what you mean about animals. I hit a rabbit with a rock once (actually I convinced my little brother to, but he chickened out after he threw it) and didn’t quite kill it, then I felt bad and tried to hunt it down to kill it, but I guess it went and hid to die or something…:/
    (This is Sav btw. JSYK, and aren’t creeped out by a random person commenting. =P)

  5. Vanhen Satterwhite

    Oh, I just made “Vanhen” up. That’d be a pretty cool name to have, though; Savanna is my real name. ^_^


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