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Good Throwing Knives That Don’t Break After One Throw


NOTE:  You might want to just skip the original article and scroll down to the bottom for an UPDATE…


For the throwing knives enthusiasts out there, Amazon offers a decent selection. Like anything else though it’s best to get the lowdown on the knives before buying, because even they have their fair share of cheap ones on the site that break after only a few tosses. Therefore, if you’re looking for durable throwing knives that don’t suck then start with this top 5 list.

Gil Hibben Large Cord Grip – Black

For starters, it’s hard to beat this price for a quality blade these days, and this is definitely a quality blade. It’s not the sharpest out there — which is actually a good thing with throwing knives — but it’s a very well-balanced throwing knife.

They are pretty durable too, and can withstand a good amount of abuse before they start chipping away. The Cord Grip comes in black and that includes the blade as well. It has a blade length of 4-1/4 inches, and an overall length of 8-5/8 inches.  Really a great thrower all around.

If there is a knock on the Gil Hibben Cord Grip, it’s that the cord wrapping can begin to unravel after only a few uses.  But this tends to be true of any throwing knife with a cord-wrapped handle.  Knife #1 sticks good, but then it gets nicked by Knife #2’s blade, and the next thing you know, everything starts to unravel.  If you only throw one knife at a time or throw at multiple targets, it’s not a problem.  But if you throw several knives at one target before retrieving them, then the grip tends to get sliced up by the other knives.  And sometimes they just work loose and start to unravel anyway.

Again, just about every cord grip thrower has this problem.

It’s a shame too, because you can quickly get to love that feature on this knife. Still, there’s plenty to like about this one.  The having that cording come off has a negligible effect on balance, so you may not even notice any difference when throwing the naked blade (I never noticed any difference).  If you prefer, just rewrap it and add some super glue, try “soldering” the ends with a hot nail, or just ditch the cord and wrap the handle with electrical tape.

Bottom line:  it’s a pretty durable little knife, and considering it’s modest size and price, this thrower is a great buy.  And let’s face it — this knife just looks pretty wicked.  Any thrower out there who says that it’s all about performance and that aesthetics don’t matter is a big, fat liar.

It’s sold as a triple set (3 knives) with a nylon sheath on Amazon for under 20 bucks. That’s not bad.  And they come in either black or chrome/silver.  There’s also a smaller version of the silver ones — 6 1/4 inch — but larger knives tend to be last longer (and throw longer), so go with the 8 5/8 inch.

United Cutlery GH2033 Gil Hibben Competition

One thing that is apparent right out of the gate about holding the Competition knife is how much heavier it is from similar-sized throwing knives. You get the feeling that you could throw it through a brick wall with enough elbow grease behind it. They also have a good length.

Together, this makes them great for hitting longer targets without having a crazy rotation on them. The grip is ergonomically designed for a smooth release, and will feel pretty natural in the palm of your hand. It doesn’t have the cord grip, which some people prefer anyway.

It’s all one continuous 420 stainless steel color from tip to handle and has a nice weight to it.  They are 12-1/8 inches long, and the set of three can be tucked away in a sheath. Overall, this set is aptly named Competition, and you’ll find no shortage of YouTube videos displaying people competing at several distances with them.

Kit Rae HellHawk 9 3/4 Inch Throwing Knife

Aesthetically, there is no cooler looking set of throwing knives on the market today. The HellHawk looks like it is straight out of the Medieval days, typical of Kit Rae’s epic collection of fantasy swords and knives.

As for the knife itself, they’ve cut no corners here either.

The leather grip holds together much better than many cord grips do, and this allows it to be more form fitting on your hand over time. The blade is 5-1/8 inches long and is extremely durable to nicks and chipping from miscues. It’s made from an AUS-6 stainless steel that is multicolored along the blade with unique design features, and has brown leather for the grip. For the price, these 3-piece sets are a great score.

Cold Steel Sure Balance

This monster is rock solid at 13 1/2 inches and 18.5 ounces.  The Sure Balance is made of durable 1055 carbon steel and is coated with that baked on, weatherproof, flat black that comes standard on many of Cold Steel’s best pro-quality throwers.

You want to talk about non-breakage…what is there to break?  There are no handle pieces to break off.  No razor thin tips to break off in your target board.  No fancy, decorative anything.  This is one big chunk of sleek, aerodynamic, perfectly balanced steel, and it can take a lot of abuse.  The only thing that’s going to break is your target board or whatever other unfortunate object gets in the way of this knife.

Get some.

Cold Steel Shanghai Shadow

This knife is large and funky. In fact, if you’re used to smaller, cheaper throwers, then this might take some getting used to.

The Shanghai Shadow is actually pretty sharp right from the manufacturer, and that includes both of the edges. The tip of it is simply lethal, and with a good throw sticks every time in all sorts of materials. It’s also extremely resistant to drops or misses that would normally nick up a lesser quality blade.

The blade is made out of 1055 carbon steel and weighs 9.4 ounces.  It has a blade length of 7 inches with the overall length at 13.25 inches, and it also comes in black with a rugged, matching sheath. Overall, this is a great knife to add to your collection.

The polypropylene handle scales are described as “practically indestructible,” but that’s an exaggeration.  They’re not likely to break off just by hitting the target board, though.

So, which of these is the best?

In the end, it really boils down to personal preference.

The Hellhawk has a unique, intimidating look. If you want to throw at longer targets, then the Gil Hibben Competition set is a good way to go. The GH Cord Grip has excellent balance and isn’t too heavy, while the Shanghai Shadow is just nice and big. And for the minimalist, the Sure Balance is as basic as it gets.

Either way, these are five of the best throwing knives you can get online that won’t break after one throw.

Have fun!

Related Article…

How To NOT Break Your Throwing Knives


UPDATE —  So You Want Indestructible Throwing Knives?  —  UPDATE

Okay, this was one of my first articles on this site, and I still stand by these knives…they’re good knives.

But my current favorites — as far as heavy duty throwing knives that don’t break easily — are the 3 main throwing knives made by Cold Steel:  the Perfect Balance, the Sure Balance (mentioned above) and the Pro Balance.  These are very rugged throwers.

Carbon Steel Vs Stainless Steel

Many of my first throwing knives were made from stainless steel:  the Boker Magnum Ziel II, the Gil Hibben Cord Grip throwers, and even some cheap Perfect Point and Ridge Runner knives.  However, after trying out a lot of different knives from different manufacturers, I’ve got to say that the most durable throwing knives you can get are going to be fairly large, heavy knives made from carbon steel.  Stainless steel just doesn’t last, not even the heavy stuff like the Ziel.

That’s why I’m gravitating more towards the Cold Steel throwing knives.  Check out the sidebar and read my reviews of these knives.  Cold Steel throwers are typically going to be a lot less expensive than custom/professional throwing knives made by specialty dealers and designers, and they are solid and perfectly balanced for throwing.

If you’re looking for true tactical throwers, then the Cold Steel True Flight, G.I. Tanto, and even the Shangai Shadow (mentioned above) are excellent choices that will last you for hundreds or even thousands of throws before suffering any damage.  But for just recreational throwing, the 3 CS throwers (Perfect Balance, Pro Balance, Sure Balance) are ideal.  As far as finding good quality throwing knives under $30 online, the Cold Steel knives made from 1055 carbon steel are all I buy in that price range nowadays.

If you can afford to go $30 and up per knife, then there are great custom knives from Joe Darrah and Bill Page.  The best commercially made throwing knives might be John Goss’ Dragon Knives I’ve seen on the Throwzini site (I don’t know personally — since I haven’t used them yet — but I trust the guys who oooh and aaah over them).  They aren’t indestructible, but they hold up pretty well, and they’re backed by a lifetime, money-back guarantee.  LIFETIME.  MONEY.  BACK.

So what do you think?  Are there any throwing knives you’ve tried that have proved themselves to be practically indestructible?  Let me know.

Throwing Knife Basics

After seeing Jason Statham’s throwing knives in the The Expendables or some of the high quality blades at a local Renaissance Faire, the interest in melee weapons has no doubt peaked in recent years. With entries from such companies as Cold Steel and SOG becoming higher quality and more attractive, the interest in throwing knives is definitely increasing.

Getting Started With Throwing Knives

As there are throwing knife sets on Amazon for less than 10 bucks, it is not that hard for anyone to get into the hobby. Although they are affordable, care needs to be taken when using throwing knives; all of the usual warnings apply to the weapons, from taking all appropriate cautions to making sure that training is done on a regular basis. With throwing knives there are some additional issues that need to be debated, especially if the knives are meant for children.

Make Sure You Are Legal

A first issue is that it is advisable is to check out the legality of throwing blades in your area. Although some areas tend to give the knives a pass, other jurisdictions tend to dislike any form of weaponry, especially if there have been problems with concealed weapons. In general rural areas are likely to have fewer issues, and urban areas are likely to have them on the banned lists, but check out the local laws to make sure. Also, they are going to have to be stowed away in checked-in luggage if they are to be transported any long distance.

Safe Practices

When you first start practicing with the knives, keep in mind that the knives are sharp, and so take precautions to make sure that you are not cut by the blades. Like any other weapon, do not make the mistake of assuming that they are safe for the wielder. A thrower may want some masking tape to provide a better grip on the knife. Make sure that the target is soft until you get used to throwing it; cork boards make for the perfect target, and harder woods may cause a poorly thrown knife to bounce off. Beginners tend to make a number of mistakes, and so try to allow for those mistakes when you are first starting.

A Few Good Points About Knives

Throwing blades are a good weapon for beginners to learn; they teach basic respect, they do not take up a lot of space, and they can be practiced in the back yard. As such they are fun for almost anyone to learn with. If the person is unable to handle them, then they are unlikely to be able to handle any other weapon. These should be one of a person’s first weapons in order to insure that the person can handle them responsibly. For those looking for weapon that does not require ammunition, does not jam, and can be used in a variety of scenarios, these are a great weapon to start with.

How To Throw A Throwing Knife Like A Pro

Learning how to throw a throwing knife can be fairly simple in theory, but it still requires regular practice for beginners.

Some martial artists and military personnel debate the tactical value of throwing knives in combat or self-defense situations, but proficiency in throwing knife techniques can be useful at some point in time. If not for the sheer fun of having a quirky talent, then for the simple possibility that some day it may save your life.

Knife throwing is also a sport with competitions taking place all around the world, and there are many associations that organize competitions and support practitioners, such as the American Knife Throwers Alliance (AKTA) and the International Knife Throwers Hall Of Fame (IKTHOF).

The bottom line, though, is that throwing knives are a lot of fun.


There are things beginning knife throwers must know in order to successfully throw a knife. One important thing is knowing the types of knives available. This knowledge will help you better gauge how to throw a knife. For instance, the usual types of knives manufactured are well balance or even balanced blades, handle-heavy blades and blade-heavy blades.

Most folding knives fall into the category of handle-heavy blades and are not all that great for throwing.  Many survival knives and bowies are blade heavy and are going to be difficult to throw too.  But keep in mind that almost any bladed weapon – throwing knives, combat knives, machetes, tomahawks, and even butterknives –  can be thrown.  But don’t rush out and just grab any kind of knife and start throwing it.  To be a good knife thrower, you need to start out practicing with knives designed for that purpose.

Having said that…

Cold Steel Recon 1 folder as throwing knife
Can a folding knife double as a thrower?  (Click to watch video)

If you’re wondering, “Who the heck throws folding knives?” — watch this video on YouTube by TopCityGear using the Cold Steel Recon 1 as a throwing knife.  That is one tough knife!  But let’s face it…throwing it over and over like that is a waste of a good knife.

As for tactical use…I’m not going to tell you what to do in a self-defense situation (except in THIS POST).  You can consult a self-defense expert on that (unless he’s an idiot he’ll tell you that you shouldn’t throw it).  But if you insist on knowing how to consistently and proficiently throw every blade you own, and the only way to throw a knife effectively is to practice throwing it a lot.

Moving on…

Knowing the type of blade or knife you are using will give you a better understanding of how the knife will rotate through the air which is extremely important when assessing your target and deciding on throwing with spin or no spin.  Getting a feel for the blade length, weight, and balance are important to know, and that will mostly just come from practice.  Longer, heavier blades are often recommended for beginners, since they are a bit easier to control.

See our reviews of various knives featured in the sidebars to help you decide what your next blade will be.


Another important aspect is gripping the knife correctly.  We’ve got a whole article about how to hold your knife, but here’s an intro to the topic…

There are many different ways to grip a knife, each having different pros and cons. It is recommended that a person place the tips of their index, middle and ring fingers in the middle of the blade or handle. The pinky may or may not touch the knife. On the opposite side, place the thumb in the middle of the knife as well. When throwing with this grip, all one has to do is simply open up the hand suddenly (abrupt release), or let the knife slide out of your hand by using a loose grip.

Another grip used is a full grip where the fingers wrap around the knife completely. Some call this the hammer grip or a handshake grip.  17-time World Champion knife thrower Mike “Alamo” Bainton (Executive Director of IKTHOF) uses this grip amazingly well.  Some find the hammer grip may cause interference with the throw since the fingers may get in the way during release and cause the knife to wobble. Handles with rubber grips or loose paracord grips sometimes prevent a smooth release.  Despite those obstacles, it is a very popular grip.  You’ll have to experiment to see which knives it works well on for you.

Most practitioners prefer to use a pinch grip. This is simply pinching the knife by the blade or the handle. With a blade pinch grip, the thumb would go on the middle tip of the blade and on the opposite side, the blade would be held by the middle of the index and possibly middle finger.

One variation of these grips is stretching out your index finger along the unsharpened edge of the blade to guide the throw. This would resemble pointing at something as you hold the knife. This variation is also sometimes used to throw a knife without spin, which may be done with a close target.

It should be pointed out here that using unsharpened blades is a really, really good idea when you’re first learning to throw.  Nothing cuts a throwing session short like slicing your finger open, and most throwing knives will come dull right out of the box for this very reason.  Many pros will go so far to insist that a throwing knife should never have a sharpened edge anyways.  That is a personal preference, of course, but it’s a no-brainer if you’re just starting out.

Start with a dull blade.  Only the point should be sharp to help it stick.


Some throwers will start out throwing overhand with a baseball-style throw and just stick with that for years, so we’re addressing that in this article.  But you can also experiment with competition-style throwing, along with underhand and sidearm techniques too.

To throw a knife like a baseball, you…well…just throw it like a baseball.

no spin knife throwing accuracy
Great video on no-spin throwing accuracy by knifethrower72194 on Youtube. (click to watch video)

The knife is held in the rear hand with the opposite foot and shoulder facing forward. The opposite foot steps forward and the knife is thrown using full motion and follow through. As with many sports, follow through is extremely important in order to ensure proper speed, targeting and power.

Knifethrower72194 on Youtube has a nice, loose baseball-style technique that works so well for him.  Check him out.  In my opinion, he’s one of the most talented and most versatile knife throwers currently posting on YouTube.

Speed will play a large part in how accurate your throws are, as the speed at which you throw could affect rotation. Understanding distance and speed will aid in determining how to throw a knife. This is where practice comes into play, since a person can only gauge and enhance their skill by practicing over and over again.  Just start out at a distance of 5-7 feet out from your target, and increase as your accuracy improves.

So as you can see, knowing the basics of throwing a knife is simple and straightforward; acquiring some cheap yet decent quality throwing knives is quick and easy as well. As a person advances they will pick up different techniques that will improve their throwing accuracy, and as the practitioner gains a ‘feel’ for different blades, higher-quality knives will be preferred.

Knife throwing is fun and entertaining. However, like with any sport, caution should be taken and the sport should only be practiced responsibly.

Take A Closer Look At These Different Elements Of Throwing…