10 Factors to Consider When Choosing Throwing Knives
Did you know that the number of violent crimes in the United States is up to 6 million?
To avoid becoming a victim, one of your first lines of protection is using a self-defense weapon like a knife. Especially when you're in areas where crime is rampant. But if you're not used to defending yourself using this tool, you won't know what to get.
Don’t feel discouraged!
With this guide, you'll learn various things to remember when choosing throwing knives. Read on and find out how a proper knife can improve your chances of successfully defending yourself.
A few states won't permit you to carry a knife, while others put restrictions on the length of the blade. Some will have laws on what’s legal for both concealed and open carry. That's why when looking for types of knives, you must consider legality as the primary factor.
The good news is that these laws are all cut and dry. But what’s legal in Florida might be illegal in Arizona, for example. That's why if you wish to know the specifics of knife laws in your state, check the American Knife and Tool Institute’s resource. It summarizes the states' laws along with the District of Columbia.
After nailing down the knives you can and cannot carry, deciding on a throwing knife becomes easier. It eliminates the unnecessary choices that would otherwise take more time out of you.
Are you running at night to get fit? Learn how to guarantee your safety with a few practical tips you can easily follow.
It’s more difficult to choose the right throwing knife because of its dual purpose. That’s why when choosing throwing knives, the size will greatly affect its effectiveness in actual combat. So, what’s the best size for throwing knives?
The general rule is that the bigger the knife, the better. Small knives have insufficient weight to gather enough momentum and stick to a target. To keep yourself safe, ensure that your throwing knife of choice is no shorter than 10”.
Professional knife-throwers often use tools as long as 13". If you opt for smaller knives, they're likely to ricochet off the target. This will likely result in the knife hitting you or another object or person within its vicinity.
For beginners with small hands, practice knife throwing using 10" knives. Longer tools make them easier to grip and have a slower rate of spin when thrown. This makes it more likely for you to hit targets horizontally.
Good throwing knives should always feel like it has some heft to it. Lighter knives have a lower rate of penetration, making them unsuitable when your aim is to make them stick to a target. To ensure you’re getting the right weight for your knife, you must follow a simple guide.
That means for every inch of knife length, it must have 1-1.25oz in weight. That means the ideal weight range of a 13" thrower is 13-16.25oz. The exact weight is subjective since it's all about whether you're comfortable using it.
Using that same logic, a 10" throwing knife for people with small hands must weigh between 10-10.25 oz. Regardless of what you’re comfortable with, use this formula to guide your decision.
If you're using knives exclusively for throwing, know that it exclusively needs a sharp point. It means the other components of the blade must be dull. That way, you won't risk cutting yourself whenever you hold and throw.
It matters not what grip you prefer or whether you prefer a heavy blade or a heavy handle. It applies even when your throwing knife set strikes the perfect balance between the two. If you throw it successfully, the only thing that matters is whether the point of the knife lands and sticks to your intended target.
Competitive pro throwers sometimes grind the point a little since the point need not be razor-sharp. It only needs to be sharp enough for penetrating targets when they compete.
When searching through thousands of various throwing knives on the market, you’re bound to see lots of ornaments and designs. The trick to find a reliable knife is to keep it simple. Some throwers will have weird shapes or ornaments like protrusions.
Avoid these frivolous features since it can throw off your grip technique and its aerodynamics. Pick throwing knives with a simple leaf or triangular shape. Do this to ensure your safety and preserve the effectiveness of your throwing knife.
Using the same line of thinking, you must avoid throwing knives with handles wrapped in paracords and other cordage types. At first glance, an emergency cord seems like a good touch on your throwing knife. But eventually, these will unravel when you least expect it.
Also, paracord-wrapped throwing knives won't always mean getting a better grip when compared to their bare counterpart. That's why never settle for a frivolous but ultimately unreliable knife design. After all, you don't want to become part of the 434,000 people who suffer from knife-related injuries each year because of accidents.
6. Set Number
When investing in a throwing knife, it’s better to get a set instead of one. A set of six doesn't mean having lots of backups in case you lose a couple. But these are enough if you want to maintain the momentum of getting better in throwing them.
Throwing 1-2 knives then walking to the target to retrieve them and returning back to your throwing distance is a taxing task. This also decreases your likelihood of developing muscle memory to ensure a good throw consistency. With a set of six, you’re more informed on your exact distance from your target.
This allows you to adjust faster while practicing fast-throwing while you improve. Is a set of six knives too much for your budget? If so, your bare minimum is a set of three to ensure your progress.
7. Knife Material
The two things that destroy a good throwing knife are point abuse and rust. Take note, no blade steel on the market can claim they're completely immune to these. You need not strive to get a throwing knife that excels in these areas because they're likely to lack a lot in other important aspects.
When thinking about the right throwing knife blade material, the environment and frequency of use are your biggest factors. But if you want to keep your knife from rusting, pick one made from a highly-stainless steel blade since it has high a chromium concentration.
If your primary concern is its sharpness, pick blade steel with lots of carbon. These blades retain their sharpness for a long time, but their downside is they often rust without constant maintenance. With a rusted knife, its blade edge will fail eventually, making it useless.
So, this means your best choice for knife blade material is the middle ground. Find steel that resists corrosion while holding an edge, easy to sharpen, and with optimal levels of purity. That way, it can function even when you use it constantly.
8. Knife Throwing Location
Your knife choice also depends on where you'll throw it, as well as the target types you'll use. For example, when you're throwing your knives outside at wooden targets, use the standard size and weight guidelines mentioned above. But if you’re throwing it indoors, you’re likely to have a shorter distance and use weaker targets like cardboard.
You’re also free from the influence of the wind when throwing knives indoors. So, to prevent wall damage while saving on targets, you must pick lightweight knives instead. In this case, your length-to-weight ratio is 0.5oz per inch, unless you’re willing to get a tough target for your powerful knives.
When turning, the balance will determine the knife’s radius while in this state. As a general rule, throwing knives will spin around its center of mass. A 12” knife with a middle center of mass will make a 6” radius or a 12” circle when thrown.
If its center of mass is 4” from the knife’s center, it will then make 16” circles with a radius of 8”. For beginners, the knife’s balance isn’t as important. But this factor will determine whether it’s suited for throwing or handling instead.
Handle-heavy knives are easier to throw using the blade while blade-heavy knives are better when thrown while gripping the handles. With a center-point balance, you can throw a knife using either method and have a great experience nonetheless.
This will greatly affect your throwing experience since using one method and transitioning to the other takes a while to get used to. So, if you switch from an off-balance throwing knife to a balanced one, you’ll need to learn how to throw it properly.
Another important aspect of your throwing knife choice, you must always ask yourself how much you’re willing to spend on throwing knives. But a good rule to live by is to avoid paying too much or too little. But when practicing the former, know that you lose some money while practicing the latter might lead you to lose everything.
The reason why spending too much is the lesser evil is that you at least know that the knife you bought is capable of what it’s meant to do. But regardless, never skimp on your throwing knives while ensuring you aren’t burning a hole on your wallet. Look for the best throwing knives within your budget and stick to them.
Best Practices for Throwing Knives
Picking a good throwing knife is only the first step. Learning the best practices for knife-throwing is important since it makes your experience enriching and safe. The most important habit to develop is to watch your knife handle instead of the point.
When throwing the knife and it hits the target with its handle up, walk forward a bit. This means the knife had lots of time to spin before it connected to the target. Otherwise, when the handle is down, move back a bit since it didn’t have enough time to spin.
It’s important to maintain your consistency with every part of your knife throw. The stance, grip, wind up, release, and follow-through affects the knife spin as it approaches the target. Get a smooth release while keeping your wrist locked.
Are you using logs as your knife-throwing practice targets? If so, ensure that they’re at least 4” thick since anything thinner than that won’t last long. That’s why the thicker the log is, the longer you’ll get to use it for target practice.
Knife Throwing Competitions
Once you’re confident of your knife-throwing skills, it’s time to put them into the test. Whenever you get a chance, join a knife and tomahawk throwing competitions. They aren’t that hard to find since there are competitions happening regardless of your location in the United States.
Most participants consider themselves as the peak of the sport. Even when you’re not competitive, visit a competition since you’ll meet lots of nice, friendly people with the same interests. These folks are also invaluable sources of information, enabling you to learn more useful tips and best practices.
These competitions also feature demonstration that lets you learn new things to throw. You can even improve your techniques when you join this activity. But if you’re unfamiliar with the location, take the time to learn how to become more observant of your surroundings.
Start Choosing Throwing Knives Today!
These are things you must consider when choosing throwing knives. Use this to guide your decision and get the best knife at the best value.
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