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throwing knife theory


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I am thinking of making some throwing knives and I don't know much about them. It seems to me that they would need a different temper, probably softer. Obviously the balance is important but I don't know what a good balance would be. Whats a good thickness weight /length? I'm thinking of using 5160. Let me know what you guys think!

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A book that I recommend is:

Knife & Tomahawk Throwing: The Art of the Experts [Paperback]
Harry K. McEvoy (Author)
 Paperback: 152 pages
 Publisher: Tuttle Publishing (May 1, 1988)
 Language: English
 ISBN-10: 0804815429
 ISBN-13: 978-0804815420
 Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 4.3 x 0.5 inches

About $6.50 to $10.25 on Amazon.

The book describes the properties, length, and balance in a throwing knife, how to throw each type of knife, and the evolution of the throwing knife.

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  • 2 months later...

search gil hibben. his throwing knives are very well made and balanced utility. knives. single edged.
when i was 17 i got a set of his knives it was amazingly easy to learn with gils knives and book. in two days i was throwing well enough to win competitions. but like i said his throwing knives dont follow the "traditional" design. they aren't symmetric in design, and strongly resemble kitchen knives.
the book i refer to Gil Hibben complete knife throwing guide, is a lesson on the art of throwing knives, and includes the most useful information on balance blade shape and handle shape. there is now a second edition available. i hope this helps.

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Throwing knives generally follow two styles: Blade heavy and "balanced". Which you like is up to you!

When I was throwing I was trying to learn to throw anything and would spend about an hour every evening throwing. I threw 14 *different* blades, everything from the old pro throw triplets to throwing spikes forged from coil spring. I was not nearly as good as someone learning to throw *1* knife; but then I was not restricted to *that* knife and could usually pick up *anything*, feel the balance and throw it with pretty good success.

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This will probably come across as overly esoteric - but I had the opportunity to study shuriken-jutsu as a teenager. We had a "Mr Miyagi" living near us (although he was a Nisei named Callaghan); I became friends with him. He practiced some form of jiujutsu that I'd never heard of - and can't recall the name now - but a large part of his art was throwing pointy things. We threw knives, axes, darts, short swords, bayonets, stars, etc. - if it was sharp, he would figure out some way to toss it. I got good enough to be dangerous within 10 yards - but never took on any bullies in a tournament...<LOL>

I could waste time burning bandwidth on that subject - but to answer your question, darts and stars are usually mild steel but knives and larger items are normally made from some sort of spring steel. If I were making them today, I'd use a moderate spring steel (5160 is fine) but would not heat treat. Balanced in the center of the knife is typically easier to learn and more versatile IMHO - I've thrown both and do not personally care for blade heavy styles. Knives also usually do better as a double edge and for me, feel better in the hand with some sort of scales or handles.

Just my 2 pence...

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