All posts by tacTK808

What Should My Lead Foot Be Doing While Throwing Knives?

A reader asked this question this morning.  I’m sure there are other opinions about this, but my opinion is that when you throw your knife, you should be sure to keep your lead foot (the foot that’s in front, pointed at your target) planted firmly throughout the throw, and keep it there until you’ve assessed how your knife stuck and whether you need to move forward or back or throw from the exact same spot.

Before retrieving your knives from the target, be sure to take one last look down at that lead foot to remember where you want to stand when you come back to throw again.  You may even want to put a marker of some kind (stick, sheath, Snickers bar) on the ground to mark that spot.

Consistency is everything in knife throwing, and “finding your distance” is a key element to accurate throwing.  There is more to it than that, of course, because you can stand in the EXACT same spot and throw six knives, and some will stick parallel, some will stick handle up, some handle down, and you may even bounce one…all from the exact same distance.  So there’s more to it than distance alone.

See also the post on how to stick your knives every time for more info.

Are Small Throwing Knives Safer Than Large Throwing Knives?

No, they’re not.

Here’s why…

Small, lightweight throwing knives are likely to bounce back at you on bad throws against wood targets.  My son actually had one of those cheap 5 1/2″ Ridge Runner knives bounce back from a half spin throw and stab him in the cheek.  His 6″ Perfect Point knives also bounce hard.

But when we throw my big Cold Steel throwers — all of which are 12″ or longer and are pretty heavy — they don’t really bounce at all.

So yeah, it seems counter-intuitive, but large throwing knives are actually much safer than small throwing knives.

 

Hint:  To minimize bounce, always throw small knives (8″ and under) at cardboard targets or cardboard sheets laid over your wood targets.

Are There Throwing Knives That Don’t Spin?

Somebody came to my site searching on Google for “throwing knives that don’t spin,” so I figured I’d answer the question…

“Are there throwing knives that don’t spin?”

No.

Well..yes.

Yes and no.

It’s not really about the knife; it’s actually the way you hold it and throw it.  There are some throwing knives that are better than others for no-spin throwing techniques, but there’s no such thing as a “no-spin” knife (i.e. one that magically doesn’t spin when you throw it).  All knives will spin when you throw them, but if you practice so-called “no-spin” techniques, you can cause them to rotate so slowly in flight that they don’t seem to spin at all and travel straight to the target like a spear.

Check out these links to learn more about how to throw knives without them spinning…

Knife Throwing Techniques:  Spin Vs No Spin

How To Throw A Knife Combat Style (Ralph Thorn’s Style)

UPDATE:  COOLEST THING EVER…

Okay, well it turns out that there actually is a knife that is designed to be thrown like a spear and travel point-first all the way to the target, and it doesn’t require hundreds of hours to master the throwing technique.  In fact, this knife’s unique design makes it incredibly easy to throw without spin with minimal practice.

It’s a Spanish thrower called a “Gyro Dart,” and there’s a folding pocket-knife version called the “Gyro Pocket”  (check it out on YouTube).

gyro dart

Many thanks to Christian Thiel for telling me about this one.  He has a review of it RIGHT HERE on his website.

While you’re there, be sure to spend some time snooping around on the rest of Christian’s site too.  KnifeThrowing.info is a huge, valuable resource for knife throwing enthusiasts.  You’re gonna like it there!

How To Make A Throwing Knife Wood Target Board?

I guess there are tons of possibilities here.  Don’t spend a lot of money on brand new lumber, bolts, nuts, washers, hinges, etc. at Home Depot.  Remember, your goal is to destroy this thing by throwing big, heavy knives at it.  So just use the cheapest wood and nails you can find.

For my first knife throwing target board, I used recycled 2x4s and old, used nails that cost me a fraction of what HD would have charged me.  It was basically like a picnic table that I’d lean up against the back fence along my house.  You can just do the same or lean it up against a tree in the backyard — or living room — or whatever.

Here’s how I made it…

knife target board

Step 1

Lay out six or 8 2x4s side by side, with the edges flush to each other.  Nice and tight.  Cut the ends if necessary to make them all the same length.  Six feet is an excellent length.

Step 2

Cut up another 2×4 into three pieces of equal length for cross beams.  These will hold everthing together.

Step 3

Nail them all together, using plenty of heavy duty 4″ nails, but try not to place them too close to the edges to avoid splitting the wood.

knife target board 2

Step 4 (optional)

Now flip it around and nail or bolt log rounds (4-6″ thick) to the front of the target board.  Use these as your actual targets to spare the 2x4s from wearing out too quick.

Step 5 (also optional)

Paint bullseyes on your targets (while they’re lying flat on the ground).

 

Well, that’s about it, really.  I highly recommend adding the log rounds.  They’re gentler on your knife tips, and replacing them is a lot cheaper and easier then replacing 2x4s.  Bulleyes are a nice touch, although if you’re just starting out, getting the knife to stick anywhere on the board at all is an accomplishment.  My first board had no targets to aim at.  By the time I was good enough to give a rip about accuracy, my board was already shot to hell, so it wasn’t really necessary.

Have fun!

 

Check These Out Too…

Target Training:  How To Not Break Your Knives

What Is The Best Material For A Throwing Knife Target?

 

How To Train For The IKTHOF Knife Throwing World Championships In Blanco Texas

IKTHOF Master Knife Throwing Instructor Jonathan "Sinza" La'Flesh
IKTHOF Master Knife Throwing Instructor Jonathan “Sinza” La’Flesh

The International Knife Throwers Hall Of Fame (IKTHOF) World Championships is coming up in November, and the best knife throwers in the world are getting ready for the competition.  Since I’m very curious about how to train for this competition and am hoping to one day compete in it, I asked competitor Jonathan Sinza La’Flesh about his training regimen, and here was his response:

I was asked by a few people to write up something about how I’m training for Blanco 2013 knife throwing championship competition. I know it’s easy enough to just go in the backyard and throw, but my mind is a little more obsessive compulsive than that.

The game is 4 sets of 15 throws, a set is 3 throws from each of the 5 distances between 2 meters and 6 meters [.5 spin, 1 spin, 1.5 spin, 2 spin and 2.5 spin]. Last year, without getting much practice, I threw a score of 141 [out of possible 300]. My goal for 2013 is as high above 200 points as I can get.

When I started training this summer it was 150 days until competition; it’s now coming upon 100 days left to train. At the moment my score average is in the 220s out of a possible 300.

The way I’m training is throwing in sets of 100 throws for each distance, that gives me a % out of 100 for sticks, misses, and bullseyes. I try to throw at least 2 sets a day along with 2 practice game throws. So with warm up throws it’s about 350 throws a day, double or triple on weekends.

I have a note book and I check off each throw as stick (anywhere in target other than bullseye), a miss, or a bullseye. On my phone I have a graph making app, I use it to plot out a chart for each of my throws showing bullseye % and overall sticking %. That’s how I know that I’m currently sticking over 85% from all distances and bullseyes are 80% [.5 spin], 50% [1 spin], 40% [1.5 spin], 30% [2 spin], 20% [2.5 spin] — scores getting lower the further back I am from target.

My goal is to get all throws into the 80%+ bullseye range.

"Set Your Mind, Set Your Throw."

I am finding that for me to be really consistent I must quiet the mind chatter and focus. The way I do that is I have a ‘mantra’ that I repeat to myself in my head to get ready to throw.

“Set your mind, set your throw” This is a mental call back to focus.

“Set your distance, line up your throw.”(close eyes) “Breath”, (open eyes) “Focus, Robot arm, follow down”

It’s really at the part I close my eyes and breath that I push out other thoughts and FOCUS on what I’m doing. “Robot arm’ is just a code word for me to keep my body still, keep my feet planted, and let my arm do most of the work. “Follow down” is a reminder to follow thru, pointing at the ground when done.

When I clear my mind and do the mental preparations, my throws are vastly better than when I throw on autopilot. This really makes a huge difference. It’s called being aware, being in the moment.

A new thing I’m adding to training is sports motivational videos and visualization. The motivational videos are on YouTube, many to be found. I’ve made a playlist and I use these to get pumped up and motivated to go to work on training. They are a great way to get you up and going!

Also been watching videos on sports visualization. What I’ve done is made a video from my eye level going thru the steps of setting up a throw and throwing 3 perfect bullseyes. I have this video on my phone and desk computer and I try to watch it a little bit a day going along with the video in my mind:  breathing at the right times, mentally focusing, mentally throwing perfect bullseyes.

I also just bought an ear-mounted ‘spy’ camera that I will be using to record training sessions from my point of view.

On top of all that, I try to keep a positive mindset.

I CAN WIN! I CAN BE #1!

I understand that some throwers are averaging in the 270s. I have over 100 days to train and get my score up. With my score today being in the 220s and others scoring in the 270s do I think I have a chance to win?

HELL YES!

I’m not spending all this money and training all this time for a shiny 2nd place trophy! I’m training to WIN!
I will go to Texas and fight for 1st place! But either way, win or loose, I will be AWESOME!

So, in a nutshell….I throw 100s of throws a day keeping track of how I throw and making a graph chart, so I understand where my skill level is and what needs work. That’s training the body. I watch motivational and visualization videos to help train the mind. I take notes on what I’m doing wrong and make steps to correct it. I film practice sessions and then review what I was doing and when its working perfect.

And I try to stay positive.

How Sinza Trains

 Jonathan Sinza La’Flesh is certified by the IKTHOF as a Master Knife Throwing Instructor and is the organization’s representative for the state of Washington (USA).  Check out his crazy-wicked-awesome website: ExoticAutomatic

What Is The Best Material For A Throwing Knife Target?

Answer:  It depends on the throwing knives.

  • Stainless Steel, Under 6″  — Cardboard boxes are fine, don’t use cork — they’ll bounce back at your eyeballs
  • Stainless Steel, 6″-8″  —  Thick cardboard, cork (like a dartboard), or cork w/ cardboard in front of it
  • Stainless Steel, 8″-10″  —  Cardboard, soft “wood” targets (read this post) or wood with cardboard over it
  • Stainless Steel, 10″ and up  — Soft targets or wood targets, log rounds
  • 1055 Carbon Steel or better  —  Wood targets, log rounds

Stainless steel knives are affordable (i.e. cheap) and are great for starting out, but the tips bend when you throw against wood targets.  You can try hammering them back into shape or grinding them if the tips break off, but you get what you pay for.

1055 carbon steel (used in Cold Steel throwers) is much more durable and can withstand lots of abuse.  Your targets will wear out before your knives will (handle scales and paracord wrap are another story, though).  I hate to sound like a commercial for Cold Steel, but their knives are just better then the other popular commercial brands.  If you throw both stainless steel knives and Cold Steel knives, then you know what I mean.

And then of course, you can get stuff much better than Cold Steel from custom knife makers like Rob Crozier, Joe Darrah, Roger Mumford, or even Bo McNees (yeah, I like Bo’s lawnmower-blade knives…got a problem with that?).

See also: Why Do My Knives Stick In Cardboard But Not Wood?

More Tips: Aligning Your Blade With The Wood Grain

Worst:  throwing against the grain…

An example would be having 2x4s or 2x6s aligned horizontally but throwing your knives so that they stick vertically…across or against the grain.  This is really hard on your knife tips and on your target wood.  Expect to see huge chips of wood flying off your target, as well as bending or breaking knife tips (particularly with stainless steel throwers).

Better:  throwing with the grain…

In this case, the planks or 2x4s of your target board are aligned vertically, and when you throw your knives, they stick vertically as well.  This is much easier on your knives and target board and will make them both last longer.

Best: throwing into the grain…

But the best way to prolong the life of your knives is to throw straight into the grain, head first.  Examples of this would be throwing at log rounds or small 2×4 or 4×4 blocks grouped and screwed together.  Some folks glue them or use create other fancy contraptions to hold them in place, but I think screws work the best and allow for easy replacement of individual blocks.

An end grain target is the best way to go to keep your throwing knives from bending and breaking by simulating a log round and allowing your blades to stick straight into the grain.

There are lots of Youtube videos showing how to make such a target, but I like this one the best…

 

 

Why Do My Throwing Knives Stick In Cardboard But Not In Wood Targets?

If you’re wondering how come your throwing knives stick fine in cardboard but bounce off when you throw at wood, the problem is going to be either one of two things:

  1. You’re not throwing your knives properly
  2. You’re using the wrong knives

The second problem is easier to address, so let’s start with that.

Use Larger, Heavier Throwing Knives With Good Points

Butter Knife and Small Perfect Point Throwing Knives Stuck Into Wood Target
5″ Perfect Point knives and a butter knife stuck into our wood target board. Thrown from 1/2 spin (5-6 feet).

To stick into wood, your knives need to be sharp.  Not the edges, of course…those should actually be dull.  But the points should be sharp enough to stick in wood.  If the tip is bent or just really dull, it is more likely to bounce.  But you should know, even a dull butter knife can stick into wood on a good throw (see my photo of my son’s knives and an old butter knife).

My son has a cheap set of small Perfect Point throwing knives that we bought on eBay for 10 bucks or so.  The knives are all under 6″ overall length, and they’re pretty light too.  These are small and light, but when we throw them properly from 1/2 to 1 spin distances, they usually stick okay in wood, because they have really sharp tips.

But if our form is a little off, or if there’s some wind or we’re throwing from farther than 1 spin (8-10 feet or so), they tend to bounce all over the place.  In fact, my son actually stabbed himself in the face with one of these little knives on his first day throwing them.  He threw from 1/2 spin and it bounced back right into his cheek.

Because of this tendency to bounce, I do not recommend throwing small knives at wood targets (especially from as the 1/2 spin distance…too close) — only cardboard or wood with cardboard laid in front of it.

Little knives stick easily into cardboard, even on bad throws (if you throw hard enough, even the handles will stick into cardboard targets).  But to stick these lightweight knives into wood, your rotation has to be just right and you need to put a little power into it.  Heavier knives can stick more easily with less power behind them…their weight alone helps to push them in, even on “easy” throws, but lightweight knives need to be thrown a little harder.

So small throwing knives need to have good, sharp points to stick into wood.  But using larger, heavier knives will make all the difference in the world.  If you’re ready to graduate from cardboard to wood, then you’re also ready to graduate from 6 inch throwing knives to 12+ inch throwers.

Tighten Up Your Form

If the problem isn’t your knives (and if they have fairly sharp points and have enough size and weight to get good sticks), then you just need to work on your technique.  Cardboard is very soft and very forgiving.  You can still get sticks even when your form is off.  But with wood target boards, your form has to be much tighter to prevent bouncing.

Read this other post for help with your knife throwing technique.  Remember, consistency is EVERYTHING…

How To Stick Your Throwing Knives Every Time

Why Are There Holes In Throwing Knives

Someone recently came to my blog by googling the question above.  Unfortunately, the post they came to didn’t have the answer, so I also searched for the answer but couldn’t find anything in the top search results that really answered it.

So, in case that dude ever comes back — and in case YOU are wondering — here are a few reasons why knife makers put holes and slots in the handles and even in the blades of their throwing knives.

  1. Because it looks cool!  See for example, the SOG throwing knives or the Ninja Stealth silver throwing knives
  2. To secure cord-wrap or handle scales on the handle, like on the Cold Steel True Flight
  3. To take away weight from one end of the knife and make it more balanced for consistent rotational throws.
  4. To attach a streamer to the back end, like on some of the ninja kunais you see online.

NOTE:  There can be very good reasons for those holes (some practical, some aesthetic), but keep in mind that holes in the knife can weaken the structural integrity of the knife and can eventually lead to bending or breaking at that point of weakness.  The SOGs are notorious for this sort of thing.

I hope that helps.  Yes?  No?  Let me know in the comments section below…

What Is The Best Beginner Throwing Knife Set?

Probably the most common question asked on blogs, forums and social sites related to throwing knives is, “What is the best throwing knife for beginners?”  It’s a great question, but there’s no single right way to answer it.  It depends on your budget.  It depends on your preferred style of throwing.  It depends on your goals or reasons for throwing.  There are lots of great knives out there that are great for beginners.

But you know what it does NOT depend on?  Your skill level.  A good throwing knife is a good throwing knife.  Period.  Doesn’t matter if you’ve been throwing for 40 years or if this is Day One for you.  As with most things in life, you get what you pay for, and that’s pretty much how it goes with buying throwing knives too.

The knives on this list are on the low end, price-wise, and the reason for that is because most beginners are just trying this thing out and aren’t ready to commit big money to it.

For those beginners who have a little more to spend and want high quality knives, I’ll be writing another article on high end throwing knives soon, so look for it (I’ll link it up in from this article once its written).

Sneak Peak: Beginner Throwing Knife Sets…

Do Yourself A Favor: Buy  A Set

You’ll also notice that I included the word “set” in the title of this article.  When you’re learning how to throw knives, you will want multiple knives – all the same type – to build consistency, speed up your learning curve, and to keep you from going insane walking back and forth after every single knife throw.

You can also just find knives that are sold as singles…and buy 3 or more of them to make your own set.  If you want to go that route, I recommend Cold Steel throwing knives, as they are more durable than cheap stainless steel blades and are still pretty affordable.

I would not recommend mixing and matching individual knives, though, until you are moving out of the pure beginner phase and have some skills already.  Every knife is different, and that means that every knife rotates differently, so sticking with a set of knives that are all the same will help you improve faster.  Consistency is everything when it comes to learning to throw knives (go read that article).

What Features Make A Knife Good For Beginners?

I didn’t know anything about knife throwing when I first got into it, so I just picked out some throwing knives on Amazon that looked cool.  That was it.  But now I know a little better.  If you’re trying to decide on your first thrower, here are a few things to consider…

What Are The Best Size Throwing Knives For Beginners?

In many other areas of life, it seems like beginners should start out with something small, lightweight, or low-powered…and then move up as skill improves.  That makes a lot of sense when it comes to truck driving, jumbo jet flying, Olympic weight lifting, and whiskey drinking.

Start with something simple first, then move up to the big boy toys later on, right?

But knife throwing seems to be a little different.

Having a little more weight and decent size to hold onto actually helps you pick up the feel for it faster.  With those teeny tiny knives, you can barely feel what’s happening as you grip and release the knife.  But put a solid chunk of steel in your hands, and now you have something registering in your brain.  Your fingers can feel what’s going on.

Not only that, but a heavier knife will be less likely to get blown off course by wind and air resistance, and that weight will also make it more likely to sink into the target board and get a solid stick.

So larger throwing knives are typically going to be easier to learn with.  Don’t be afraid of it.  Suck it up, Buttercup!  Grab that big knife and throw it like you mean it!

Should Throwing Knives Be Sharp?

The “official” answer is NO.  Whether you’re a total newbie or a seasoned pro, throwing knives should never be sharpened and should not have any edge at all.  That way you can throw them safely and easily from both the handle and the blade without hurting yourself.

That’s the official answer used by hobbyists, stage performers and competitors.  You might come up with a different answer.  But that’s up to you.

Regardless of how you intend to use your knives, the danger of slicing into your fingers with sharp knives is real enough.  Fortunately, there are techniques for throwing sharpened knives without cutting yourself (go read that article too).

Should Beginners Use Perfectly Balanced Throwing Knives?

I recently read an article by Timothy Martinez Jr. on Knife-Depot.com where he says that beginners will have the easiest time learning to throw a blade heavy knife with a hammer grip.  I definitely agree that beginners should start with a simple hammer grip (Mike “Alamo” Bainton recommends that too, and I first learned from one of his videos).  But I think that for rotational/spin throwing, it’s easier to start out with an evenly balanced knife rather than a blade heavy or handle heavy one.

But I am not an expert on these things, so if I am wrong…sorry about that.  But it just seems easier (i.e. less frustrating for beginners) to figure out your distances for both half and full spins if your knife is perfectly balanced, as the distances will be spread out more evenly.

All the knives I’m about to recommend to you are evenly balanced for throwing, so your half spin and full spin distances will be fairly evenly spaced apart.

Come to think of it, if you’re a beginner, you might not understand what I’m talking about.  If that’s you, take a peek at the entry in my Throwing Knife FAQ series to help you understand what is half spin and full spin throws.

Top Throwing Knives For Beginners

Here are some great throwing knife sets you can get.  All are “triple sets” (3 knife sets), and all can be good for beginners, but again…it depends on the beginner.  I prefer larger knives (minimum 12 inches) and am convinced that those are some of the best throwing knives for beginners.  I think that it’s easier to learn with a knife that has good length and weight, but I am including knives of various sizes, because some people just prefer smaller knives (especially if throwing indoors).  So look over this list and see if any of these seem right for you.

Under 7 Inches:  Ninja Stealth Silver Throwing Knives

Ninja Stealth Throwing Knives
Click Image For Pricing/Reviews

I don’t recommend throwing knives this small at wood targets, because they will bounce back at you if they don’t stick.  My son actually had a 6” knife bounce back and stab him in the face.  So yeah…not recommended.

However, if you’re throwing at cardboard targets, you should be okay.

For small knives, the Ninja Stealth silver throwing knives are pretty good.  You’ll also find them on Amazon listed under Ninja Stealth and also under Whetstone Cutlery throwing knives.

They’re just under 7” total length, are made of stainless steel, and weigh practically nothing.  So that makes them more of a novelty item for serious knife throwers.  Their size limits their value to short distance throwing, ideally indoors or outdoors with zero wind.

Despite them having sharpened edges, they really have little tactical value, they suck hard at longer distances (like, beyond 2 spins), and they are basically worthless for hunting, camping, survival, or any practical purpose.  So why do so many people love these little throwing knives?  Why are they one of the best selling throwing knives in the world?

Because they’re super cheap, they look cool, and they’re great for killing time in your bedroom, throwing at pizza boxes. 😉

7 – 9 Inches:  Gil Hibben Gen. 2 Throwing Knives

Gil Hibben Throwing Knives
Click Image For Pricing/Reviews

Just about anything designed by Gil Hibben is going to make you happy.  The guy designed the weaponry for the Klingons in Star Trek, plus stuff for Rambo and Expendables, so obviously there’s some fun stuff here.  There are many great GH models to choose from in this size range, so singling one of them out is kind of arbitrary.

The Generation 2 throwers come in a large (8 5/8 inches) and small size (7 1/8 inches).  Kids will do well with either size, but for adults, you’ll appreciate having that extra 1 ½ inches of length on the large one.  Still, for those who are into competitions, these are more like toys and wouldn’t even be long enough to compete with.

But they look pretty cool, right?

9 – 12 Inches:  Gil Hibben Large Tanto Throwers

Gil Hibben Tanto Thrower
Click Image For Pricing/Reviews

It’s nice to have throwing knives that were designed by someone who actually throws, and Gil Hibben is a great thrower as well as designer.  One of his trademarks is that “trigger grip” – a little nub that sticks out right where a trigger would be on a gun.  That little curve of metal acts to slow that knife’s rotation as it leaves your hand, allowing for greater control, especially at longer distances.

Gil’s Tanto throwers also have the distinct tanto point on the blade, which was pioneered by the American knife company Cold Steel (I love their throwing knives, but they aren’t on this list because they aren’t sold as sets).  The GH Tantos come in large and small sizes, so make sure to get the right one.  The large Hibben Tanto is about 11 1/2 inches, while the small one is only 7 inches overall length.

Get the large one. 😉

12 To 14 Inches:  Boker Magnum Bailey Ziel II Throwing Knives

Boker Magnum Bailey Ziel II Set
Click Image For Pricing/Reviews

***WINNER***

Like the GH knives above, the Ziel II was also designed by a legendary knife thrower/maker:  John Bailey.  This knife is one of the most beautiful knives I’ve ever bought, and it throws really well.  Being made of stainless steel, though, it’s susceptible to bending and breaking at the tip after repeated throws against wood targets.  But that’s the only drawback.  These throwing knives are awesome and are highly recommended.

The Ziel II looks totally badass and lethal, but in reality this is a knife designed for professional competition knife throwers.  It has no edge, is perfectly balanced for spin throwing, and is one of the safest and best performing throwing knives on the market.  It has perfect length and weight.  Dammit, it’s just such an awesome throwing knife!

Out of all the shiny, stainless steel knives you can buy online, this one is hands down my favorite, and I believe it is just about the best throwing knife for a total beginner.  I wrote up a full article about it a while back, so check that one out if you’re interested.

Custom Made Throwing Knives

All the knives above are commercially made (mostly made in China or Taiwan) and are mass produced using some type of stainless steel.  This makes them very affordable and easy to obtain.  Knives like these are great for beginners, because many beginners just want to try out this whole knife throwing thing and see how they like it without spending a lot of money on premium knives.

But some beginners prefer to jump in headfirst and buy only the best.

If that’s you, then you will likely not be buying cheap knives on typical e-commerce sites.  Amazon does have some higher quality knives at reasonable prices (see our article “Cold Steel Throwing Knives”), but even those are just entry level.  If you are serious about getting into competition, then you may want to get even bigger, heavier knives by custom knife makers like Joe Darrah, Rob Crozier, and Bill Page.  Be prepared to spend $30 and up (way up) per individual knife.

Be sure to check out the links to those guys for custom throwing knife ideas, and to make some new friends 🙂  Many custom knife makers just sell their stuff via eBay and social media rather than full-blown e-commerce websites.  So yeah, go say hi, LIKE them or whatever, browse through their photos, and go check out their products.

And as I mentioned, I’ll be following up with an article on high end throwing knives before too long.

No Spin Throwing Knives For Beginners

I should also mention knives specifically designed for no-spin techniques.  If you’re learning to throw without spin, then you should also check out Flying Steel throwing knives.  They are very simple and sleek (but very high quality), which is what you want for no spin knives.  They are a bit more high end and don’t come in sets (to my knowledge), but if you’re serious about this type of throwing, then at some point you’ll want to move to FS throwers and spikes.

If you are looking for cheaper no spin throwing knives, then you might take a look at Cold Steel’s Pro Balance thrower and Pro Balance Sport (it’s lighter, cheaper cousin).

Here they are in action…

Interview With Knife Thrower “Fast Action Blades” On Youtube

Note:  This is an email interview with Shane from the YouTube channel “Fast Action Blades.”  Shane was one of the first guys I made friends with on YouTube when I got into throwing knives, and he was my first follower on my knife channel, so it was a no-brainer to ask him to do the first interview on my knife throwing blog.

If you don’t already know Shane, he’s a cool guy (as you’re about to find out) and a good knife thrower (as you’ll see in his videos).  I’ve had fun watching his videos and chatting with him, and I’m sure you will too!

Be sure to sub him on YT and say, “Hi” for me!

1.  How long have you been into knife throwing? How did you first get into it? What were your first throwing knives? Do you still have those first blades?

I have been interested in knife throwing and anything martial arts and self-defense related for as long as I can remember.  Probably since about age 7 or 8.  I actually used to throw really cheap dollar store pocket knives at cardboard in my basement around the age of 8 or so (without any proper style or equipment).  My first real throwers were no namers from a flea market that were purchased probably around the age of 18.  I never even got to use them until about a year ago and I am now 34.  That’s a long time to collect dust.  I still have the set and they are pretty decent for short distance throws (1/2 spin and full spin).  Anything beyond that range is a little iffy.

2. How did your family and friends react to your new hobby in the beginning, and what do they think about all of it today?

Family members thought that I was crazy at first and didn’t understand the enjoyment that I got from throwing bladed weapons.  My parents are really supportive of it and I am trying to get my dad to throw with me more often (I think he’s starting to like it).  Plus it’s an excellent way for us to bond.  My wife is really cool about it as well, I keep coming home with new weapons and she hasn’t said too much about it.  I am trying to get her to throw with me a little more as well.  So it’s really just the wife’s side of the family that feels that knife throwing is “stupid” and “dangerous”.  Oh well, don’t really care what they think.  Ha Ha.

3. What knives were your favorites in the beginning? What knives are your favorites today? What knives are on your wish list? Do you have certain favorite knives for different throws, or are your favorites good for all kinds of throws?

My favorite knives in the beginning had to be Perfect Point which were around 9 inches in length.  Since then I have stepped it up to 12-14 inch knives and now my favorites are the Cold Steel True Flight Thrower, Cold Steel Perfect Balance Thrower, Cold Steel Shanghai Shadow, and I recently picked up the 14 inch Condor Dismissal which I absolutely love.  The knives that I would like to get are more of the Condor Dismissals as I only picked up 1 as a test.  I want to get a couple knives from known knife makers such as Roger Mumford of EpicBladeTime, and a couple others like Joe Darrah and Rob Crozier.  As for using different knives for different throws, I think the Cold Steel are great for spin throws, I think they are too sharp for throwing with no spin.  I really like the condor as you can spin it, no spin it, overhand, underhand, even spear throw.  Highly recommend the Condor.

4. How much money have you spent on this stuff so far (knives, targets, instructional materials, memberships/fees, etc)?

If I answer this, my wife might see it and get mad at how much I am spending on blades.  I make my own targets so there is not much expense there, but I love to get new blades very often.

5. Have you ever competed? Any plans to compete in the future?

I have not had the chance to compete.  Not many competitions close to where I live.  I would love to compete and meet some great throwers but it is tough with my job and current family situation.  I have been invited by fellow throwers to the world championships in Texas and I got an invite to the Cold Steel Challenge but I don’t think it will be possible to attend, at least this year.

6. How much do you throw per day or per week, on average?

I wish I threw daily, that would be awesome.  I hear stories of guys throwing 5000 throws a day, I would be happy with a couple hundred.  I probably throw on average of 2-4 hours a week which doesn’t feel like enough to me.

7. Do you make your own wood targets? About how long does a target board last you?

I do make my own targets, I made one for home and one that is portable that I keep in my trunk.  In order for me to throw outside, I have to travel a good bit and hike out into the woods.  It can be a bit of a pain but it’s worth it.

8. Did you ever hurt yourself — or anyone else — with your throwing knives? Ever damaged anything from a bad throw (or a good one hahaha).

I have hurt myself on a couple occasions with knives flying back at me, but it was my own stupidity.  I like to think I can catch the knives when they bounce back in my direction.  I stabbed my hand with one and cut a finger pretty good with another.  Nothing major though.  As for damaging other things, I have only damaged my own blades.  I have taken a good chip out of the handle on my SOG Tomahawk, I have broken a knife by hitting the butt end of another, and I have broken another bowie knife that was not meant to be thrown.  I think that’s it.

9. Are there any knife throwers that have had a big influence on you? Any heroes, mentors, or friends that you’ve learned from or been inspired or encouraged by?

Yes, Pat Minter and Roger Mumford have been a big influence.  I love their throwing and I aspire to be as good as they are (good luck to me).  I am pretty much self-taught but I watch these guys regularly which helps me learn new throws and gives me new ideas for original throws.

10. How did you come up with the name “Fast Action Blades”?

I uploaded some throwing videos on my other channel on youtube (greengetter), and someone gave me the idea to start a channel strictly for my throwing and blade activities.  I thought this was a good idea but I needed a name that would go along with what I am doing.  I think I thought about it for about 10 seconds and Fast Action Blades was the first thing that came to mind.  I was surprised how fast I came up with the name but I thought that it suited me nicely.  Then I went to make my avatar and my nickname FAB was born.  It worked out very well.

11. Which of your own videos are your favorites? Is there one that you’re most proud of?

I like all of my videos, I think if you were to watch all my videos from the first one to the last, you would see a huge improvement.  I do like my newer videos better as I don’t seem as nervous in front of the camera plus my skills have improved.  As for a video that I am most proud of, I think my tutorials on how to throw and how to make a target as they are geared to help others improve.

12. Any tips or advice you’d be willing to pass along to those new to the sport?

I think persistence is key, if you are not sticking the knife, keep trying, it will happen.  I have days where I can’t stick anything and I am sure that I am not the only one.

I would highly recommend reading “Knife Throwing:  A Practical Guide” written by Harry K McEvoy.  This is a great book for anyone looking to learn or improve their skills.  It will teach you everything you need to know.

Thank you very much for interviewing me, it has been fun answering these questions and I hope we can do it again in the future.

Fast Action Blades
Click here to check out Fast Action Blades on YouTube…

Shane Meyer A.K.A. Fast Action Blades (FAB)