The best throwing knives are designed to be thrown at a target and land point first. To achieve that, a feat easier said than done, throwing knives are made with different features in mind than typical knives.
- Handle: Throwing knives don’t have a typical knife handle simply because a clunky handle will be impossible to throw accurately. Some knives have light wraps or rubber for added grip, but most just have smooth or straight handles.
- Balance: Balance is essential in a throwing knife and depending on how you plan to throw the knife, it’s important to know the center of gravity of the blade. Many throwing knives have the center of gravity in the middle because that’s the most balanced: Neither the handle nor the blade is heavier than the other, so it will spin predictably. However, some knives are designed to be blade-heavy and thrown from the handle, while other knives are handle-heavy, useful for throwing from the blade and for no-spin throwing.
- Length + Weight: After balance, the length and weight of the knife may be the most important characteristics. Lightweight and short blades are more difficult to throw because the weight gives you accuracy and the length gives you better control during release. Of course, a well-made short throwing knife, like one under 8 inches, will still hit its target, it just requires more practice and skill.
- Construction: Throwing knives, like most knives, will be made of stainless steel or carbon steel. If you don’t really care about the long-term usability of the throwing knives and just want some cheaper, easy-care knives to chuck around, stainless steel will work. But carbon steel is often used for its malleability and edge stability. If the knife tip gets bent out of shape from repeat throwing and removing, it can be hammered or filed back into a nice point. But carbon steel knives will generally cost more.
With those qualities in mind, we rounded up some of the best throwing knives around. Whether you’re a beginner, an active hobbyist or a knife-throwing pro, you’ll find options below. We also included some targets you can buy too if you don’t have access to any natural targets, like a tree.
1. Smith & Wesson 8-Inch Throwing Knives
The Smith & Wesson 8-Inch Throwing Knives are fun for either the practiced thrower or the novice. You get six stainless steel knives with a nylon sheath to hold them, and they’re lightweight, sturdy and fairly easy to throw with a nice spear point. We do wish the knives were a bit heavier for their length — each knife is 8 inches long and weighs 4.7 ounces — but they throw well enough and come at a totally reasonable price point. All things considered, the Smith & Wesson knives get the job done and even if you break a couple of the knives over the long term, you’ll still have years of throwing to come with the other knives.
2. Condor Tool & Knife Dismissal Throwing Knife
In our research, Condor Tool & Knife knives kept coming up as a great option for throwing knives, frequently in reviews for other inferior throwing knives. Reviews for the Condor Tool & Knife Dismissal Throwing Knife bear that out. Throwers praised the sheer sticking ability of this blade. Wherever or however you throw it, this knife sticks, though users had particular praise for this knife for no spin throwing. Both of those facts mean this knife will work for those just getting into throwing and more experienced throwers. And the knife is 12-inches long overall for easier throwing and made from carbon steel so you can maintain the blade over the long term. At its price point, the Dismissal Throwing Knife is a steal.
3. Cold Steel 12-Inch Black Throwing Knives
GREAT FOR BEGINNERS
For true beginners, it’s best to start with some really simple throwing knives. Cold Steel is well-known for its wide variety of quality knives, and the Cold Steel 12-Inch Black Throwing Knives don’t change that impression. These 12-inch carbon steel blades might feel a bit light to experienced hands, at about 8 ounces, but they’re nonetheless well-balanced and easy to throw. Some reviewers said the points of the blades broke off, which makes sense given the carbon steel. But even more reviewers had no durability issues and many of the beginner reviewers said the knives were perfect for them. Given the basic construction of the Cold Steel knives, we agree and think they’re some of the best throwing knives for beginners.
4. Perfect Point Throwing Knives
Sometimes the best way to learn is to get something cheap and just mess around. The Perfect Point Throwing Knives are, well, perfect for that. You get three stainless steel 8-inch knives, with a black nylon sheath, at an extremely reasonable price. They’re well-balanced and the points stick and last. It’d be nice if they were a bit longer, but realistically, for the best budget throwing knives, what more could you ask for?
5. Spyderco Large SpyderThrowers
Spyderco is responsible for some of the best folding knives around and their Large SpyderThrowers are some of the best throwing knives around. These three 11-inch knives are made from high-quality steel, they have a solid weight at 10.2 ounces and have excellent balance in the middle. You can throw these by the blade or the handle, with a little spin or a lot spin, and they’ll stick in the target anyways.
6. AceJet Excalibur Throwing Knives
BEST FOR SERIOUS THROWERS
For the true professional knife thrower, check out the AceJet Excalibur Throwing Knives. Developed by five-time world champion knife thrower Adam Čeladín, these three 9.5-inch knives are thick as hell, weighing in around 8.5 ounces, and practically unbreakable. They’re well-balanced with a heavy center of gravity in the middle of the knife and their heavy weight and size are guaranteed to stick into any target and do serious damage. If you’re looking to elevate your knife-throwing game with a seriously quality throwing knife, these will be some of the best throwing knives for you.
7. Glock Field Knife Fixed Blade
We’ve been looking at knives designed to be used primarily as throwing knives, but there are lots of great knives that can be thrown well, even if not designed for that purpose. The Glock Field Knife Fixed Blade is one such knife. It’s sturdy, durable and made from spring steel, which is typically a carbon steel, with a clip point and serrated edge. That makes it useful for stabbing, cutting and, to some extent, throwing. It has a full tang and is balanced enough to stick its point with a well-placed throw. Overall, the Glock Field knife may not be one of the best throwing knives, but it’s definitely one of the best knives that can also be thrown.
8. Cold Steel True Flight Thrower
I know one person who is a real weapons pro because he’s active military and when I asked him if he had any go-to throwing knives, he recommended the Cold Steel True Flight Thrower. His case for the knife was simple: He said this knife is “really good just for throwing,” and everything I know about this knife supports that. It’s 12-inches long and weighs 11.2 ounces, which is just about perfect in terms of length and width. It’s made from carbon steel, so you can file and maintain the tip as needed, and the paracord wrapped handle offers extra control for the experienced thrower. I’ve also thrown this knife before and though I can’t hit water falling out of a boat, I was still able to hit my target. Plus, the sharp edge allows it to double as a utility knife in a pinch.
Unfortunately, either because it’s no longer manufactured or was just too popular, this knife is sold out on Amazon and the Cold Steel website. But if it ever returns to stock, this is an overall excellent throwing knife.
Also Consider: Bigshot Wooden Axe Throwing Target
Not everyone has access to trees or junk wood to use as targets, which is when the Bigshot Wooden Axe Throwing Target can be handy. It’s 35.5 by 27.5 inches, so you’ve got plenty of room for error, and the wood is backed by high-strength plywood, so you’re pretty unlikely to get your knife all the way through the target. Plus it’s got built-in hardware for hanging and a built-in bottle opener, which is totally kitschy, but we respect it.
Just wet the target a little bit before throwing for the best sticking results.
Also Consider: Black Hole 4-Sided Archery Target
For just a cheaper object that will safely receive thrown knives, check out the Black Hole 4-Sided Archery Target. Sure, it’s designed with arrows in mind, but if it can stop arrow tips, it can stop throwing knives too. Measuring in at 18 by 16 by 11 inches, there’s plenty of surface area to target, and the target comes with a carrying handle, which we’d bet can be used to hang the target. Alternatively, you can set the target on top of something to give it more height if you don’t have a convenient way to hang it.
Just be careful to use it in a place where wild throws won’t stick into anything important. The target is sizable, but it’s definitely missable.