We have our Knives available at our new knife location in Niles, Michigan at The Market Place Flea Market on 2428 S 11th St, close to South Bend, Notre Dame University, Indiana and also close to Berrien Springs, Andrews University and St Joseph Michigan. We are carrying some cool Japanese style Swords and Katanas, Blowguns, Pistol Crossbows, Butterfly Knives, and other cool weapons.
How to Make a Good Throwing Knife
by Jason Earls
The worst thing you can do to a good knife is throw it. A finely tempered steel blade has a high chance of snapping from the impact of hitting a wooden (or any other type) of target. The point of any knife is the part most susceptible to snapping; but even if the tip of the blade does not break, other parts, such as the handle, guard, or edge can become chipped or damaged. Many knife enthusiasts commonly break a dozen or more knives before they realize just how damaging throwing a knife can be.
In magazine articles, various knife manufacturers occasionally list how they subject their knives to rigorous testing, with the basic tactics being: bending, chopping, stabbing the point repeatedly; but almost never will you see tests that include actually throwing the knife, which is the harshest test of all.
Why would anyone need to throw a knife anyway? In most survival situations you certainly wouldn’t want to throw your knife and take a chance on losing it. Even in knife-fighting manuals they don't list knife-throwing among the necessary tactics, even though one would think throwing a knife to end a fight would be much safer since (presumably) one would be far removed from their opponent. But knives don’t always stick, do they?
Knife throwing can be extremely fun, however. Plus it can improve a person’s hand-eye coordination, while being a moderate form of exercise. But remember to always be careful when throwing a knife; and always throw at cross-cut sections of trees as targets.
Now let's learn how to make a knife specifically for throwing. The first thing to consider is that a good throwing knife should be made from steel of a lower “temper” than other knives (tempering is changing the hardness or overall “texture” of steel by using a heating and cooling process), which gives it more overall durability, rather than quality steel that is of a higher temper, which is used mainly for “holding” an edge and remaining sharp.
To obtain the material for your throwing knife, you have a few different options: Use scrap metal found at a metal salvage yard; buy a piece from a local metal-working shop; or find some scrap steel laying around your property. (Certain knife enthusiasts believe the best type of steel to use for throwing knives is type “EN 1.4301 / AISI 304 (V2A)” which should be in stock at any metal-working shop.) In general, your steel should be about 10 to 11 inches long and 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 inches wide, but the size of your knife will depend mainly on your personal preference and the availability of material. Make sure the steel is at least an 1/8 of an inch thick however, so that it won’t bend much from the impact of throwing and striking a target (although some bending is to be expected, and you can straighten out the blade again using two bricks and laying the knife across them, or you can bend the blade back to shape using a vise). If you make several throwing knives, try to make them from the same piece of material so they retain the same size and weight.
Begin making your throwing knife by cutting the steel to proper length. Then draw the basic design of your knife on the steel using a black permanent marker. (For the overall design, Googling images of 'throwing knife' will provide many options, or you can simply invent a design of your own – one extremely minimal throwing knife design would be to shape a basic point on one end of the blade, then leave the rest of the steel in its natural state; but of course more sophisticated designs are possible). After making your design first on paper, transfer it to a piece of stiff cardboard with glue, then place the cardboard on top of your steel and hold it in place with a small hammer. Mark around the cardboard using a black magic marker, then use a vise to clamp the piece of steel in securely for working – you may want to place a thick piece of paper between the jaws of your vise and the steel to avoid scratching the blade. Now simply cut out the entire shape with a hacksaw. (Metal-working shops commonly use a CNC machine to cut out knife designs with ease; consider this option if you don’t want to perform the hard work of cutting the design yourself with a hack saw). After cutting out the blade, the edges will need to be beveled with a file near the point so that it will pierce the target and stick more efficiently. Remember that with a throwing knife, a good point is more important than having a sharp cutting edge – you don’t want the long edge so sharp that it cuts your hand in the act of throwing.
After filing the point down, you will need to remove any rough corners from the handle area by rounding and smoothing them over with a file (this may require a hacksaw also). Smooth and polish the entire knife with sand paper or emory paper to remove any sharp edges or burrs that could cut your hand while throwing. For hand protection, you can wrap the handle with a strip of thin leather if desired, or use a red strip of cloth to make the knife easier to find after it has been thrown.
Throwing a knife and getting it to stick every time usually involves a simple process of gauging distance and accounting for the number of revolutions the knife makes in the air before it hits the target. Simply observe how many times the knife will need to turn before the point of the blade makes contact with the target, then make distance adjustments as necessary.
Remember to always be as safe as possible while throwing knives of any kind! Refrain from throwing knives at living trees and instead throw them at cross-cut sections of wood. And if you ever get the urge to hunt dangerous game with your throwing knife, be sure to have a skilled marksman with a powerful gun as back-up. Also while throwing, always check around you frequently for any living things so you don't accidentally hit them!
by Jason Earls