Many, many moons ago, Sinza, over at our automatic knife forum Exotic Automatic, had posted about an interesting throwing knife that had set a world record for throwing distance. It was used to hit an 8″ bullseye from almost 60 feet away. 59’6″ away, to be exact. You can view the thread here if you are interested. The knife in question was the Flying Knife. The site has all the details you may want to know.
Now I personally thought the Flying Knife was a very interesting design, completely forgoing any attempt to conform to the appearance of a traditional throwing knife, in favor of a highly specialized design requiring an equally specialized throwing technique. This knife was designed to spin in flight, like a bullet fired from the rifled barrel of a sniper rifle, and thus maintain much greater in-flight stability.
And as you might surmise from the diagram below, the ideal throwing technique for this design has much more in common with throwing a baseball, than it does any traditional knife.
Interestingly, this is not the only throwing knife design that has left the beaten path for more exclusive territory. There was also the Easy Stick Pro thrower from AccuFlight. I think they may have gone out of business, but this thrower, in contrast to the Flying Knife, both looks, feels and throws like a somewhat over sized dart, and much like a dart, it’s tail imparts a self correcting attribute to it’s flight. :
Both of these knives have one thing in common. They both attempt to replicate a way of throwing that is familiar to most people. Baseballs and darts are quite common pastimes, and so throwing one of these should be equally easy to learn. However, for first time throwers who intend to pick up knife throwing as a hobby, I have reservations about these kinds of throwers.
Knife throwing is a cool sport in it’s own right. However, to me, knife throwing is even more fun because once you have mastered the basics, you can apply those basics to almost any knife. Table knives, paring knives, kitchen knives, cleavers, whatever. This is one of the knife throwing skills that you may not pick up if you learn to throw using specialty knives like the Flying knife, or the Easy Stick Pro.
I have a personal set of criteria for throwing knives which I will share, since it may be helpful to others, especially if you are a first time thrower planning to get into the sport. My first criteria for a throwing knife is that it not be too small, or too light. When I first started throwing, I picked up a set of small throwing knives, like these:
They were dirt cheap, and I got quite a few of them. However in retrospect, I realize now that although they were the perfect shape, and properly balanced, they were much too short/small and light. I wasn’t getting enough feedback from them, they were too easily affected by even the smallest variation in my throwing technique, and too light to resist any random disturbances in the airflow around them, and consequently, it took me ages to figure out how to throw them with even a modicum of consistency. So I’d advise against getting cheapo knives like these.
You will also want to avoid the fancy schmancy looking throwers like this one:
These may be fine for seasoned throwers, but if you are just starting out, avoid complex knives with multiple curves, or handles with knobs, sharp divots or asymmetrical lines, as they will make getting a handle on consistent throws more difficult because of the irregularity of the grip area. What I’d recommend is something more like this:
Notice the lateral symmetry of the grip and the blade? Both have relatively straight lines, the blade and grip often have roughly the same effective length, and even when they do not, they are still symmetrically balanced, (ie center of gravity coincides with the geometric center of knife) with a nice heft, which helps with feedback, and in-flight stability. Also with heavier knives, you can feel what the knife is doing as it leaves your hand, and this will help you learn proper technique.
Yes, knives like these may be a bit more expensive, but you don’t have to get name brand knives either. Any knife constructed of any good steel, (ie won’t snap in two if it hits a target sideways) at least 9″ long overall (this should be your bare minimum length), with a weight of around an ounce per inch in length (give or take a few ounces) should make a good thrower. Heck you can even make them yourself.
Anyway, just thought I’d put my thoughts out there, I hear less and less about knife throwing these days, so I’m either seriously out of the loop or it’s slowly becoming a dying sport. Hopefully my experiences will be useful to someone. Anyway you should give it a try. It is an engaging sport, and plenty of fun, but please do be careful!!
Easy Stick Pro – [AccuFlight]
Cold Steel Naga Thrower – [True Swords]
The Flying Knife – [The Flying Knife Co.]
Exotic Automatic Forum – [Exotic Automatic]
Boker Zeil Throwing Knife – [True Swords]
Cold Steel Sure Flight Thrower – [True Swords]