Throwing Knives

A crazily addictive sport

Once your first knife sticks in the bulls eye with this authoritative "whomp", you'll be hooked. A wooden target and a set of throwing knives is all you need to have fun in your backyard. A session of throwing knives is strangely relaxing - you start stressed, maybe even angry, and finish relaxed. Throwing knives gets elevated to a new level of fun when you meet up with other throwers, sticking your knives together in games like the ladder or knife snooker.

Throwing Knives: How-To

Hammer grip for throwing knives

So, what's the deal in throwing knives?, you ask. Well, the physics of a throw mean that thrown knives will turn end-over-end in their flight. They will only stick in the target if they happen to get there tip first. The Big Secret to throwing knives hence is: Do train to get a consistent, almost clockwork -like throwing motion, then do find the distance where the knives stick.

Some pointers to get you throwing:

Grip the knife at the handle, like you would hold a hammer. The thumb is on the side. Now, loosen your grip. Stand at 3.2m (10.5 feet) from the target, and, coming from your back, make a motion as if you are cutting a branch in front of you - one for which you have to stretch. That is the basic motion for throwing knives! Now repeat 20 times.

Next time you make the motion, let the knife slip from your hand when it is pointing directly at the target, Now, repeat 50 times. By chance, some knives will stick, but remember that at the start, it's all about getting down a consistent motion for throwing knives. To find the right sticking distance then, read up on how to adjust your distance for knife throwing, which boils down to: "If the handle is up, move closer ½ foot."

Which Throwing Knives are Good?

Unfortunately, many throwing knives are designed to look cool, not to throw well. Here is what to look for in knives for fun and safe throwing:

Pure design, no fancy ornaments or cut-outs that will catch your palm. Straight handle for smooth release.

Dull edges - a pointy tip is all it takes for reliable sticks.

Weight at least 200g (7 ounces). Thrown knives with less heft tend to bounce back from the target erratically.

Memorise these recommendations, and then get more tips and knife selection help:

More Throwing




Christian Thiel in Forni Avoltri 2012 at the European Championship.

Dr. Christian Thiel is the vice-chairman of the European Knife Throwing Association (EuroThrowers), and author of special-interest articles on knife throwing (e.g. on the physics of the throw). He runs, a renowned website with throwing tips and knife reviews.

Spear Style

You know, those magic throwing knives that fly with the tip always facing the target? They do exist! It's just that they are not thrown in the standard fashion described above, but like a miniature spear. So, if you are eager for fast sticks, give the Gyro Dart knife a try.

Visual Links

Fire throwing knives Knife throwers at Championship 2011 Target girls Reviews of throwing knives. Octopus on revolving knife throwing target. Map of knife throwers in Europe.