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Throwing Knives: A Comprehensive Buying Guide for Beginners and Knife Enthusiasts
Knife throwing may be one of the few sports that you think you will not enjoy, but not really. In fact, there are various knife throwing competitions being held in different parts of the world, particularly is the US and Europe. There are even associations where knife enthusiasts can join so they will know more about the sport and some safety guidelines.
History of Throwing Knives
The evolution of history of throwing knives dates back to prehistoric times when man used throwing sticks as their weapon when they hunt birds and other animals. When metal weapons became popular, knives became a practical device. Historical evidences show that shurikens (or ninja stars) were the weapons of samurai warriors in Japan.
Various tribes in Africa were known to be using throwing knives in battles. On the other hand, Native American tribes prefer to use a tomahawk, or a throwing axe. But during the 1800s, knife throwing began to be more known as a form of entertainment. In 1971, knife throwing became a formal sport and associations such as American Knife Throwing Alliance (AKTA) were established.
How to Throw a Knife
Knife throwing as a sport looks easy and thrilling. But just like other sports, you should learn the different techniques so that you can hit your target effectively. Before you throw a knife, you should first know how to hold it properly. Here are some of the most common types of grips being used in competitions:
- Hammer grip – As the name suggests, you hold your knife as if you are holding a hammer. Simply wrap your four fingers around the handle (not the blade) and place your thumb over the top. To control its rotation, your wrist should be in a firm position during the throw. This style is usually being used for heavy and double-edged knives.
- Pinch grip – You can use this style if you are using a lighter and single-edged knife. Grip (or pinch) the blade using your thumb and index finger with the handle pointing away from you. Make sure that you are not pressing the tip or the sharpened edge. If your knife is heavy, you can also use your middle finger as an additional pinch force.
- Blade grip – For safety purposes, use this style only if your knife is not sharpened. If one edge is sharp, hold the knife tightly using your thumb and middle finger. But of course, the sharp edge should not be facing your palm. Just like the pinch style, this grip is also lighter knives and for faster throwing. In either of all the styles you use, you should be relaxed and firm.
Knife throwing is often being compared to bowling, wherein stance is a very important factor. You should step on a certain marker. One of your feet should be behind the other and your knees must be bent slightly. Aim your knife at the target and bring the dominant arm backward. Step forward and go for the delivery swing and throw your knife in a very smooth manner. The trajectory (or the distance between your knife and your target) depends on the number of turns of your knife while it is in motion.
Throwing Knives Buying Guide
Unlike other knives, throwing knives do not really need to be sharp. A knife with sharp edges can hurt you. It can also be very dangerous once it accidentally bounce back. However, its tip should be pointed enough so that it can penetrate the target efficiently.
A better throwing knife is a one-piece tool along with its handle. Those with riveted handles that are made of wood or plastic may come off anytime. If you prefer a wooden handle, make sure that it is smooth and properly attached.
Weight is a very important factor when choosing the right throwing knife. Heavy throwing knives are more likely to be stable when being thrown. However, you might not be able to throw them accurately due to its weight. If you are a beginner in the sport, experts recommend a 200-gram throwing knife with a length of 20-25 cm long.
How to Choose the Right Type of Throwing Knife
There are three major types or throwing knives to choose from. It is important to understand each type before you buy one.
- Blade-heavy throwing knife – The blade is heavier than the handle. This is ideal for beginners because it is easier to throw using the hammer grip.
- Handle-heavy throwing knife - The handle is heavier than the blade, you should grip the blade (not the handle) and therefore not recommended for starters.
- Balanced throwing knives - The blade and handle have the same weight, making its center of gravity at the middle. Therefore, you can hold it either way and provides more flexibility to the user.
For more information, check out our wide selection of affordable and high quality throwing knives.