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What Is a Throwing Knife?

Learn about throwing knives in this Howcast video with expert Dan Delavan.


Hi. My name's Dan Delavan. I'm the owner/operator of Plaza Cutlery in Costa Mesa, California. We have a great selection, we also have a website, and today we're going to be talking about knives.

A throwing knife basically is a knife designed that you can throw. In the design you want to look for something that has less chance to break because in most cases, especially when you're just starting you're not going to be able to throw very well and you're going to learn. So it's usually good to start out with something really basic and simple and not a lot of money.

This is a Sog throwing knife. It's just a basic one. It has a double hilt on it and you can throw either blade or handle.

This is a real simple one by United Cutlery. It is a real nice one to throw and again you can throw blade and handle.

Then Tomahawks are also fun to throw, they pivot all the weights in the head instead of distributed throughout the knife so they pivot off the head, so they're really easy to throw.

Basically when you're throwing a knife the basic way is to make sure you do not use your wrist and you hold the knife vertical. So when you come down you release it even. Let your hand relax and let the knife go out of your hand. Don't give it any wrist. If you give it wrist then you're going to throw the revolutions off and it's not going to be consistent, because you can never do it the same each time. Whether you throw by handle grip or blade grip, it does not matter too much. Whatever's comfortable for you. You have to be able to release it when you come down so the revolutions are even.

Once you get your distance down and the blade is hitting consistent, even if it's hitting butt end each time, all you have to do is move forward or back. If you've ever watched a professional and he's setting up, he'll go to his target, he'll pace it off, put a mark on the ground, whether it is a piece of chalk or a piece of tape, he'll make a couple of throws, adjust it and then he's set because he throws consistent each time. It doesn't work like it is in the movies where they stick every time. If you're breaking the tips or you're breaking the knife in two then obviously you're throwing it incorrectly and you're spinning it too much. Or you're throwing it horizontal, where when it goes into the target it;s going in this way. So all of the force is coming down this way and you're either going to bow the blade or you're going to break it. You want it to go into the target vertical, that way it has the whole strength of the blade.

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