21 feet. An attacker can move 21 feet in the time it takes a professionally trained person to reach for a firearm, draw, aim, and fire it. For someone who is not trained by the police or the military, it takes even longer, allowing an attacker to close a greater distance. That is why knives have seen a resurgence in popularity; particularly throwing knives which a person can draw and throw in a single motion to great effect. It also looks completely badass if you learn to chuck knives so that you can sink the point with every single toss.
Picking a throwing knife, whether for hunting, as a hobby, or for self-defense require the same considerations. You generally want a full tang body where the blade and handle are one material that holds a sharp edge and slides out of your fingers easily. You want weight that feels right for your throwing style, usually evenly distributed between front and back. Finally, you want it to be the right length for your needs. Longer, heavier knives are easy to throw and hit harder, but their range is limited. Smaller knives require more practice but can be deployed more quickly and thrown further. However you like your blade, one of our 6 best throwing knives is sure to pierce your heart.
Gil Hibben Cord Grip
Con: Light and short
Most for the Money: Gil Hibben is a name you’ll see again, and one synonymous with quality. He started out making knives for Browning in the 60’s and has been producing excellent stuff ever since. If it has Hibben’s name on it, it’s worthy of a place in your collection. These blades are the place to start if you want a decent option but for a very low price. They’re made from 420 J2 stainless steel – the same as higher-grade knives – and perfectly balanced. The 8 5/8″ length and 6.4oz weight make them too light for professionals, but will give new chuckers a chance to learn the ropes and develop a style. These are often kept for practice since they can be thrown repeatedly without fatigue. After a while, you’ll probably want to upgrade to the Hibben Thrower II. A little more costly, but a better overall knife.
Cold Steel 80PGTK GI Tanto
Pro: Can be used as a tactical knife and spearhead
Tactical Plus: Cold Steel creates throwing knives that are more than just sexy slingers, they are also useful for the tactical knife enthusiast who wants more than just a weapon that can whistle through the air. The angular Tonto is 12″ in overall length with a 7″ blade that can quickly become a spearhead and works for general duties around camp. Can even be used as a hatchet. It has a central balance that can be a little troublesome for beginners but allows those who alternate throwing from the blade and throwing from the handle the ability to do both with equal ease. The 1055 carbon is simple to sharpen and holds an edge for a good long time. For those that find the 10.6oz a little light might consider the Perfect Balance Thrower also from Cold Steel. It’s a little longer, a lot heavier, and easier for newbies to throw.
Smith and Wesson SWTK10CP
Pro: Holds an edge for a long time
Con: Very light for a long knife
Pure Killers: These are military grade knives that aren’t meant to be mounted on a wall or stuck in a tree stump. The deadly edges that emerge from the 2Cr13 High Carbon Steel on the sides and tip are intended to do damage. At 10″ and 7.36oz the weight is good for any range and the length gives you a little more spin with the intent of harming an attacker even if the point doesn’t sink. The unusual design is meant to cut down on weight and be thrown rapidly for maximum injury. These aren’t a hobbyists plaything but a serious mans weapon.
United Cutlery UC2772 Expendables Kunai
Pro: Can be thrown for long distances
Con: Handle requires practice to adjust to
Ultimate Distance: Normally we don’t get moist over a knife just because it was in a movie, even if it is the testosterone-soaked Expendables. These knives made an appearance at the hands of Lee Christmas (Jason Statham) but they were great throwing knives before they ever made it to the big screen. They use a finger ring on the end that both aids with drawing and control in close-quarters combat, but also cuts down on wind resistance when they become airborne. Couple that ring with 8oz of weight and high-grade AUS-6 stainless steel and you’ve got a piece that you can throw for long bombs. They’re still 12″ long to help with balance, but the concave, nylon-wrapped handle will take some time to adjust to.
Perfect Point PP-28-3BK
Pro: Fast spin increases likelihood of sinking the point
Little Monsters: Most of these knives are about a foot long because that length gives the easiest rotation and allows for the best balance. Those who are tired of bigger blades might want to think about the PP-28. These aren’t meant to really be thrown like knives but rather like shurikens. They work at moderate to near distances and are good when you are up close and personal with an attacker since they are very sharp and spin fast, making it more likely to sink the point with a panic throw. They are only about 5oz and 6.5″ in length making them the premier option for trick throwers who want to add speed to their routine. The dull edges and wrapped handles are good for beginners, though if you are new to the game you’ll want to switch between these and some of the longer, more traditional throwing knife styles.
United Cutlery GH2033 Gil Hibben
Pro: Accommodates multiple throwing styles
Con: Can easily slip out of your hand
Professional Grade: These are built with the more advanced thrower in mind. They have absolutely no handle grip, which will cause them to slip out of a new throwers fingers. The ergonomic build of the handle is meant to allow for experimentation with throwing style. You can use a standard hammer grip, but also throw underhand, over the shoulder, or even with tricky cross-body maneuvers if’n you’re feeling fancy. They have a slow, lazy spin that takes full advantage of the 12 1/8″ length and nearly 13oz weight. The 420 stainless steel won’t rust and does hold an edge longer than most. While meant for those with experience, these aren’t hard to use so beginners looking for a challenge can start with these and keep them as they progress in skill.