So You’re Interested In Learning The Art Of Knife Throwing?
Knife throwing has been around since the beginning of time. Kinda like knife sharpening, we’ve gotten better at it over the centuries. People throw knives for a number of reasons:
- It’s A Sport—Yup, believe it or not, knife throwing is a popular sport in the US and Europe. Ever hear of the International Knife Throwers Hall Of Fame (AKA IKTHOF)? Founded in 2003, they’re an organization that sanctions and organizes many knife throwing events. Kinda cool actually….click here to check them out!
- Combat Training—Knife throwing is considered a martial art by many. It’s a form of self defense. You can find tons of courses/workshops that focus on teaching this one skill to students.
- Because It’s Super Fun—If you’ve never thrown a knife before, let me be the first to tell you…..you’re missing out big time! It’s super addictive, and the rush you get from doing it right is incredible. Check out the video below from Cold Steel!
The Best Throwing Knives For Beginners! (In Order Of Preference)
Below are 3 of the best throwing knives for beginners. All 3 are designed ergonomically, thereby making it easy to grip and throw. Yes you do pay a little more, but it’s well worth it!
#1 Gil Hibben GH5029 GenX Pro Thrower Triple Set
You can’t ever go wrong with Gil Hibben knives! The perfect set for beginners and professionals alike.
Everything I Love About It (AKA The Good)
Made From Tempered AUS-6 Stainless Steel
If we were talking kitchen or pocket knives, I’d probably tell you how much I hate this Japanese entry level steel (known as AUS-6). It sucks at retaining an edge, and is incredibly soft. You can see why it’s not a great choice for the kitchen! However, it makes for a great throwing knife. For one it’s dull, and two, it can flex (instead of chip/break) because of how soft and malleable it is. As far as corrosion resistance is concerned, it does fairly well!
The Ergonomic Handle Design!
Notice how large and beefy the handle appears? It’s been designed this way on purpose, so you have “more” to grip. If you’re a beginner, this is exactly what you want. The fuller your grip, the more control you have on the knife, and subsequently the throw. Remember, it all starts with your grip. If that’s bad, everything that follows will be bad!
You Get A Nylon Belt Sheath!
I’m all about sheaths. What’s even better is a belt sheath! Strap up to your belt, and you can carry this on your person when throwing.
Everything I Dislike About It—Nothing!
Truly a quality set of throwers that are perfect for just about anyone, beginner or otherwise.
#2 Magnum Bailey Mini Bo-Kri Ziel Set
Not only one of the best throwing knives for beginners, but also meets the requirements to throw competitively. If you see yourself eventually participating in competitive events/tournaments, this set of 3 designed by John Bailey is worth considering. It’s constructed from 420J2 steel which is similar in many ways to the AUS-6 of the Gil Hibben set above. Although 420J2 is quite a bit more corrosion resistant. What I really love about it? It comes with a leather sheath (an upgrade to the nylon sheath above!), and features a lifetime warranty. What I don’t like about it? It’s a tad pricey. If you can afford the premium, it’s a great set to learn and also compete with!
#3 SOG FX41N-CP 3 Pack Throwing Knives
The best throwing knives for beginners on a budget, that’s what this is! For those not looking to spend too much, you ought to consider this set. What I love about it? I like the paracord wrap around the handles. In my opinion this significantly improves grip, and reduces the chance of knife slippage. If you have sweaty palms like me, you can relate! Also, it has a lifetime warranty. What I don’t like about it? It’s a short knife measuring about 9.5 inches in overall length. I prefer slightly longer blade lengths, as I find them easier to throw.
Recommendation For Beginner Knife Throwers
If you’re a beginner knife thrower, I strongly recommend you take a course/workshop. Watching DVD’s or YouTube videos, or reading an instructional book will only help you so much. On the contrary, practicing your technique with a master/expert will be much more beneficial. Not only this, but throwing knives in a controlled environment means you drastically reduce your chance of getting hurt/injured. I know what most of you are thinking…..”Why bother paying for expensive workshops when I can just YouTube it!”. Trust me when I say that the beginner workshops will pay off! However, make sure you do your homework and find the best one available in your area!
Consider These 10 Things Before Buying!
Below are 10 considerations all beginner knife throwers should think about before buying. Going through this list will help you determine the best throwing knife for your specific needs!
#1 Avoid Sharp Throwers If You Can!
This is probably the only time you’ll hear me say not to buy a sharp knife. Unlike traditional knives, throwers are designed to be dull. Why? Simply so you can hold and throw them from the blade without getting injured. Having said that, not all throwers are designed this way, and some may be sharp. Avoid sharp throwers if you can. The video below (all credit to Xolette) compares sharp and dull throwers. I encourage you to check it out!
#2 Always Buy A Set!
You should always buy a set of throwing knives, doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner, intermediate, or expert. Why? Because you don’t want to waste time walking back and forth to retrieve your one knife after throwing. My advice: at minimum, get a set of 3. A set of 6 would be even better!
#3 How Durable/Tough Are They?
Toughness is very important when it comes to throwing knives. You cannot have the steel bend or break upon impact when thrown. It needs to be able to flex and remain intact. The quality of the steel will determine how tough it is. Generally speaking, the harder the steel, the less tough it will be. I would suggest you sacrifice hardness to get better toughness.
#4 Customer Service & Warranty—Important!
You will wreck your throwing knives. If it hasn’t happened yet, it will eventually (it always does!). It doesn’t matter how careful you are, it’s just one of those things that happens when you’re learning how to throw. Depending on the situation, some manufacturers may offer you a free replacement for damaged knives. Obviously you’re unlikely to get a free replacement, if you blatantly caused the damage! However, you still want to ensure you buy from a reputable company that offers a good warranty program.
#5 Look For Sets That Come With Sheaths
If you can, look for knife sets that come with protective sheaths (preferably leather). Sheaths are great because they protect your knives not only from physical damage, but also from moisture and rust. Some people have sheaths and don’t bother to use them; don’t be like these people. Get in the habit of covering your knives when they’re not in use!
#6 How Does It Feel?
How does it feel in your hand? If it feels awkward, unnatural, or too big, don’t buy. We’re all different and what works for one may not work for another. Comfort is incredibly important especially if you’re a beginner just starting out. If you’re buying online, you have no idea how it feels. In this case, read as many reviews as possible and see what people are saying. Online is typically quite a bit cheaper than in store, but you can’t physically hold a knife before buying…..there’s a bit of a trade off!
#7 Custom Knives—If You Appreciate The Finer Details!
Why custom made over mass produced? Simply because you don’t get the quality and detail in a mass produced model as you would with a custom made design. The only downside with custom designs…..they will burn a fat one in your wallet! If you appreciate the finer details and don’t mind paying the premium, go for a custom made knife.
#8 Get Started With Butter Knives!
If you can’t afford a set of throwers just yet, get started with butter knives! You probably have a couple of them collecting dust in your kitchen drawer anyways. Butter knives are great for throwing because they have a dull edge. Also, they don’t cost much!
#9 Don’t Cheap Out!
If you’ve been following my posts, you’ll know I’m all about spending less and exploring the cheapest options. Do this with throwing knives, and you may eventually find yourself at a loss. Cheap knives are great because they cost less, but most don’t perform well when thrown. They also break and chip far too easily. That’s not to say you can’t find budget deals that still function well. Buy from a reputable company, do your due diligence by reading reviews and asking questions, and you should be fine. Avoid counterfeits and knock-offs at all costs!
#10 Don’t Forget The Wealth Of Resources Available To You!
Do a quick Google search and you’ll find there are many awesome knife throwing resources that are willing to help answer your questions. There are some cool forums you can join and start posting on (bladeforums, coldsteelforums, and throwzini are all very good!). You can also go on Facebook and join the groups on there. In general, most people are kind and willing to help others out, so don’t be afraid to ask/post a question! Lastly, there’s tons of highly educational YouTube videos that address the different areas of knife throwing (technique, knife reviews etc.). One of my favorite YouTubers is Xolette. She’s got a wealth of experience, so you can trust her recommendations. Below are 3 awesome videos specifically tailored for the beginner/novice thrower (all credit to Xolette). I highly recommend you watch all 3!
4 Do’s & Don’ts Of Knife Throwing!
Before I end this post, I want to share 4 very important things you should and shouldn’t do when throwing knives. By no means is this list exhaustive! I only list these 4, as they are the most critical in my humble opinion. If you have some additional pointers, feel free to drop a comment and if I agree, I’ll consider adding it to the list!
#1 Do Throw In A Safe, Controlled Environment!
If you’re practicing knife throwing at home, always ensure it’s done in a safe environment. If it’s indoors, you’ll want to build a large enough target board to catch all your misplaced throws. After all, you don’t want tiny holes all over your walls! Also, I know it seems kinda obvious, but don’t throw knives with your dog or cat running around. Don’t have expensive stuff (cutlery, glassware, electronics) lying around either…..keep in mind, a ricocheting knife can and will destroy your expensive purchases!
#2 Do Start With The Basics!
This is very important. As a beginner, you should only be practicing the most basic knife throwing technique, AKA the hammer grip. Hammer grip, as the name suggests is a technique where you hold the knife with your fingers curled around the handle, and your thumb pointing in the same direction as the knife tip. Use whatever hand your most comfortable with to grip the knife. I am left handed, but I throw with my right hand. The video below goes over this basic technique and how simple it is to execute. Pay attention to her stance and posture! (all credit to Rated Red).
Once you completely nail down this basic technique, then and only then should you attempt more advanced throws.
#3 Don’t Get Discouraged!
Easy to get discouraged when your failed attempts don’t hit the target. Be patient and realize that you will get it right in time. Keep a positive mindset, and ensure you consistently work on your technique!
#4 Don’t Throw Knives That Aren’t Meant For Throwing! (AKA Don’t Be An Idiot)
Guys, throwing knives exist for a reason……please don’t go about throwing your folders and chef knives. You and anyone around you will get hurt! If you’re serious about knife throwing, you owe it to yourself to spend $$$ to buy the right knives.
You Now Have All The Information To Get Started!
As mentioned earlier, you can start by throwing butter knives, so build yourself a target and practice those throws! If you want the best throwing knives for beginners, I strongly suggest you consider the 3 throwers recommended earlier in the post. Finally, if you enjoyed reading this post, a share would be appreciated. As always, leave me your questions and comments below, and I’ll be sure to get back to you.