How To Throw Throwing Knives or Use Properly in 5 Steps

Origin of knife throwing begins from the prehistoric times. How to throw a knife was the question that has been popping up in the minds of American, African, and Japanese tribes. In the recent past, it has emerged again as a sport or an outdoor hobby in the US because the ecstasy of hitting targets with accuracy is unmatchable.

What Does This Mean For You?

In this guide, you will be educated about a brief history of knife throwing, types of knives, and brands. Also, how to choose, hold, and throw knives and what techniques you should opt for in order to learn how to throw a knife straight. If you are interested to find out the 10 best throwing knives check out: The 10 Best Throwing Knives of 2020, Reviews & Buyer’s Guide + FAQs

Video Representation of 5 easy Steps to throw knives:

How to Throw a Knife Step by Step Guide:

Step 1: Knife Selection

How to Throw a Knife

The types of knives are blade heavy, handle heavy, and balanced knives from which you can choose from. The recommendation is to start with a blade heavy or handle heavy knife rather than a balanced knife as it is used mostly by professionals.

The fact of the matter is you have a plethora of options of knives to choose with but a weighted knife with a dual-edged sharp point would typically work. The differentiating factor is the grip and the technique of the knife. No knife is one fit for all.

What specifications would ideally a throwing knife should have to start with:

  • It must have sharp points rather than being sharp from edges.
  • Corners that are rounded makes the knife more secure.
  • Thickness of the blade makes the knife sturdy.
  • The suitable weight of the knife should be nearing 200 grams. More weight than this would demand a better expertise level of the user.

Step 2: Holding a Knife:

How to Throw a Knife

People who have just started learning about how to throw a knife are strictly advised to stick with the grips recommended for beginners whereas after making your hands dirty with the throwing knives for beginners you can opt for the grips and knives that the professionals use.

How to Throw a Knife Beginners Method:

Hammer Grip:


How to Throw a Knife

The easiest grip to start with if you want to learn how to throw a knife is a hammer grip. Here’s how to start:

  • Your palms should be across the handle also pointing towards the knuckles.
  • Cover the handle with your fingers beneath the handle with firmness whereas the thumb should be positioned at the top. As the name suggests the grip would be similar to how you hold a hammer.

Pinch Grip:  

Pinch Grip

Since a beginner throwing a knife would be a lightweight knife so the ideal grip would be Pinch Grip.

  • Grip the knife in between the index finger and thumb in such a way that your arm is of a straight extension.
  • ⅔ of fingers that are beside your hand and thumb should be used to hold the knife.

Professionals Method:

There are several ways to hold a knife but this is what the professionals recommend:

  • Your index, middle, and ring fingers should be placed at the center of the handle. Pinky finger can just be hanging at the end.
  • The opposite side of the handle is where your thumbs should be placed.

Step 3: Stance About How To Throw Throwing Knives

 How To Throw a Knife

This is a fun outdoor activity but it has some prerequisites in terms of stance to follow before you start. The posture of your body and the footing is the basic thing to focus on whereas the common traits that you’re in a good posture or position to throw a knife are as follows:

  • Calm body: One of the prime reasons why your throws could be inconsistent is when your body isn’t calm and you’re overthrowing.
  • Standing in An Upright Position: To hit the target straight with complete precision it’s imperative to stand straight.

When throwing with the right hand, move your right foot forward and left foot a little behind it while in the case of the left hand do the opposite. Once you get familiar with the stance for knife throwing then you should wear a pair of shoes and start upskilling in the art of throwing knives.

Now Let’s Throw It!

Step 4: Knife Throwing Techniques for Beginners

  • Half-Spin Knife Throwing Technique:

How to Throw a Knife

As a beginner, you should start with the technique of half-spin throw because it is the best way to throw throwing knives. Once you learn to hit the target with accuracy with this technique you can move towards more advanced throws.

The distance between you and the target you are is a point you must ponder on before throwing because it will also depend on whether you hit the target with accuracy or not. As a rule of thumb, you should be at a distance of 6 feet from the target in half-spin throw but you must try at different distances so that you can find the sweet spot.

Keep the blade in front of your face and release the knife with a modest force. Exerting excessive force isn’t required. A modest force would be sufficient for you to hit the target.

  • One-Spin Knife Throwing Technique: 

How to Throw a Knife

This is a more advanced level of the best technique for throwing knives and needs more accuracy and skill as compared to the half-spin method. Once you get your hands dirty with half-spin then move to this method.

The rule of thumb is you should stand at a distance from 10 to 11 feet from the target. The distance mentioned is not a hard and fast rule, being a good thrower you should find the sweet spot by trial and testing different distances. It all depends on your knife and the stance you have opted for.

Other key rules remain the same, the blade should be in front of your face and a moderate force while throwing it is required. The only difference is, a little more patience is required if the knife doesn’t hit the target in the first few attempts.

  • No Spin or Professional Knife Throwing Technique:    

Professionals throw knives in 2 different styles. Either you have to learn how to throw a knife no spins or to throw it with more spins.

The good news is there is a formula given by knife throwing experts which can be seen here to know the distance while throwing knife: “Mathematical Formula” 

Another technique for the professionals is the “No-Spin” throwing technique in which you learn how to throw a knife without spin or at ¼ of the rotation. The tip of the knife must always be facing the target it’s thrown at. Although there are other techniques too these are the professional knife throwing techniques that are sufficient to move from the half-spin and one-spin technique to the advanced levels.

Step 5: Practice Regularly & Throw Safely

How to Throw a Knife

In the end, it is imperative to learn how to throw a knife just like every other sport requires practicing to master a particular craft. The more you work on your skill the chances of you hitting the bulls-eye on every throw would increase. Hence you would be enjoying this sport or hobby.

How to Throw a Kunai? 

In order to learn throwing a kunai you have to follow the step-by-step process defined below: 

  • Holding It: 

To know how to throw a Kunai you need to know how to hold it first. The process is to put your ring, index, and middle finger in the mid-point of the handle. The thumb should also be on the middle of the handle but on the other side of the knife.      

  • Positioning It: 

Decide the throwing line and position yourself for the throw. A common mistake throwers make is that they step on the throwing line. You need to be behind the line for the perfect throw. 

  • Distance: 

When it comes about how to throw a kunai, distance matters a lot and you need to be at a good distance to hit the bullseye. The difference it makes is that from a distance the knife rotates more and increases the chance to land on the target with accuracy. 

  • Facing Target: 

The rule of thumb is to put your weak hand facing the knife throwing target. For instance, if anyone wants to throw with the right hand then the left shoulder of yours should be facing the target. 

  • Throw the Knife: 

Extend yourself to the target a bit and keep the Kunai knife in a horizontal position so that it can rotate well. Your arms should be in an extended position before you release the knife. 

Now, just throw the knife with full force so that it can hit the target with complete precision. A half hearted attempt won’t make you successful in hitting the target.

Best Target Material for Throwing Knives: 

best target material for throwing knives

The best material of the knife depends on the user’s expertise level. Below we have mentioned the best material for throwing knives:

  • Plank Wood:

The most convenient method for target material is a plank of wood which can be easily made at home with wood pieces or board. To have the best shot keep the grain of the target in a vertical position. Although the thin material can be used at the beginning it isn’t a recommended practice because they aren’t the best options out there.

  • Log Rounds:

A log with a diameter of 20 inches is the best target material for throwing knives because according to the competitions held in the US of throwing knives the targets are of 16 inches. The log must also be wide to make it a good target material because then you may hit more targets. A target point with a wider log would also increase the life of your target throwing material.

The log round should be as thick as possible and if one side gets rough you can use the opposite side by painting the bulls-eye. The other option is to trim a few inches each side with a chainsaw.

Best Wood for Throwing Knives:

How to Throw a Knife

There are both soft and hardwood available but the drawback of hardwood is that if the knife misses the target then it would bounce back or not stick to it perfectly. Oakwood is the material you should avoid.

The best material for wood is “Cottonwood material”. Its uniqueness is that after pulling the knife from the target it covers and seals itself where it has been hit. Although there are other softer woods too that would work well the top choices are Palm and Pinewood.

Places to Find Target Material:  

  • Lumberyard.
  • Junkyards.
  • Friends & Family.

How to Sharpen Throwing Knives?   

How to Sharpen Throwing Knives

The 2 best options are to use a slot sharpener or a whetstone. Let’s dig into the details:

  • A slot sharpener to work efficiently should be placed close as near to the V slot as possible because a throwing knife may be dual-edged. The trick is to pull the knife through the slot and this action needs to be repeated for 4 times each side of the knife to sharpen it.
  • Using a Whetstone is a more professional method that would require a file and honing oil. Put some oil on the file so that the risk of clogging would be minimized due to the metal shavings. In order to sharpen the knife equally, count the passes you’ve made on the file.

Final Verdict:

Recently the knife throwing sport has taken the internet with the storm as a sport so why not also become a part of this alluring outdoor activity?

Just like every outdoor sport or hobby, knife throwing also requires practice to master this craft. From 5 easy steps of how to throw knives, best target material and wood for throwing knives, and how to sharpen throwing knives we have passed you from each of the processes which would require to kickstart your knife throwing adventures.

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