Finally, the new Gladius Thrower from Cold Steel is available for purchase! Many of you have been eyeballing this one online and waiting for it to drop…well, it looks like the time has finally come.
At a Glance…
Weight: 10.7 oz.
Overall Length: 14 inches
Blade Thickness: 5 mm (about 1/5 inch)
Blade Length: 8 1/4 inches
Handle: 5 3/4 inches
Steel: S50C tempered steel
Check out the Cold Steel Gladius Thrower (Triple Set), Gladius Machete and Medieval Buckler (links below)…
Features & Stats
Constructed of S50C tempered steel, it measures in at a gigantic 14 inches. No other Cold Steel thrower matches its size, except for the massive CS Torpedo at 15 inches (the hefty CS Perfect Balance comes very close…13.5 inches).
But all that size does not make it the heaviest thrower in Cold Steel’s lineup. In fact, only the True Flight is lighter. At 10.7 ounces, the Gladius Thrower is almost an ounce heavier than the best-selling True Flight yet lighter than the Pro Balance, Sure Balance and Perfect Balance.
(NOTE: Okay, actually the new Sport series released last year has some relatively lightweight knives…nevermind.)
Blade length is 8 1/4″, which makes this thrower blade heavy, so expected uneven distances between your full spin and half spin throws.
That light handle, however, is specifically designed to accomodate paracord wrap or even handle scales, if you’re so inclined, and the blade’s steel is soft enough for sharpening, making the Gladius Thrower a versatile and potentially functional knife.
Take one look at the new Cold Steel Gladius Thrower and you know that thing is a medieval beast with its broad Roman point, inspired no doubt by the gladiators of old (and have you seen the the CS Gladius Machete? Hmm?). And like the other Cold Steel throwing knives, this one is durable and fun to throw.
It is not evenly balanced like some of your other throwing knives, but you just need to practice to find and dial in your distances…no different from learning to throw the Perfect Balance or G.I. Tanto.
At 14″, the Gladius will also qualify it to be used in knife throwing competitions.
There’s one more thing that should be pointed out: take a look again at that handle. Notice anything?
That’s right…it’s tapered at the end of the handle to make it possible to get a butt-stick on a bad throw! That’s a great feature to have in any tactical situation.
For competition, though, they won’t count that.
This is a pretty sweet throwing knife, and it has a very unique design, at least compared to the other throwers Cold Steel has produced…it really stands out. Actually, this even looks a bit like an unfinished Kit Rae knife!
The only grumble I have so far is that this one seems a bit light for its size. That’s where the blade thickness makes all the difference. A little more thickness would have given the Gladius Thrower enough mass to make it a true long distance thrower. A 14″ throwing knife weighing in at under 11 ounces just doesn’t feel as solid as I’d like, but that’s my personal preference.
All said, Cold Steel’s long-awaited Gladius Thrower (80TG) is a solid addition to their lineup and is sure to be a hit with any serious knife thrower.
These throwing knives and ninja stars have a black finish and all are easily concealable, measuring 10 inches or less. Also, all of these knives are constructed with thin, flat handles, so they are perfect for carrying in a sheath as triple sets.
Because of their flat handles, these are not ideal for handheld use. The grip is just a little awkward for heavy usage. But they are small and aerodynamic as f-ck and are perfect for throwing at short distances or indoors. However, their small size and light weight design will make accurate throws difficult at longer distances or under windy conditions, so keep that in mind.
Their black finish also means that they are nearly impossible to see coming when thrown under the cover of darkness.
These stars and throwers also come with sharpened edges, so be careful when practicing with them. They’re made of stainless steel with black coating, except for the stars…they are actually more durable than the knives because of their high carbon steel materials.
Here are links to the knives and stars, and down below are some additional notes on each specific knife…
SOG Fusion Black Throwing Knives (triple set w/ sheath)
The SOG Fusion throwers are a fun design, and they do have a little more heft to them for such small throwing knives. The SOG cut out on the handles is a known structural weakness, though, so repeated hard throws into hard wood targets are likely to cause breakage before long. Be sure to throw into end grain wood targets and log rounds softened with water during practice, to prolong their lifespan.
This blade design typically gets labeled as a “bowie fighting knife,” so if your state/county laws do not allow, you might be out of luck on this one. Fortunately, there are other options available…
Gil Hibben Cord Grip Throwers (triple set w/ sheath)
I’ve written about these knives before, so you already know how much I love them. The cord wrap will last a little longer if you throw at multiple bullseyes and avoid having the knives crashing into each other during practice. However, no matter what measures you take, that cord is coming off eventually with repeated use. But that’s no big deal, as throwing the naked blades does not throw off their balance and rotation. If anything, they actually will have less wind resistance and drag once that cording comes off.
Uzi Throwing Knife I (single thrower w/ sheath)
These are very similar to the Hibben Cord Grip. And yes…this is the same company that created the legendary Uzi submachine gun back in the 1950s. Uzi Tactical (distributed through Campco) makes all kinds of great tac gear, in case you didn’t know, including throwing knives, combat knives, tactical pens, tactical flashlights and more. You can check out the official Uzi site HERE.
Black Ninja Stealth Kunai Throwing Knives
The Ninja Stealth Kunai are your basic Naruto-style, ninja kunai throwing knives. These ones are shorter than the ones we talked about in the Naruto article. We’re talking barely 6 inches total length for these little knives. Their small size limits their effectiveness at longer range, but that small size is also their strength, allowing a triple set to be easily carried in a pocket or wrist sheath. These are best thrown at targets 6-10 feet away.
In case you’re wondering if little blades like these have any real combat value, the answer – historically – is YES. Ninja effectively used small kunai, shuriken spikes and stars at short and medium distances to wound, disorient and distract sentries and oncoming attackers. They aren’t likely to take down an enemy by themselves, but they can definitely throw one off balance and create an opening for escape.
Cold Steel Sure Strike Black Throwing Stars
These traditional ninja weapons made by Cold Steel come in light, medium, and heavy sizes, with the heavy ones being a solid ¼ inch thick at the center. That added weight makes them moderately effective at longer ranges. But of course, the tradeoff is that carrying multiple thick, heavy stars is not so easy, so that’s where the lighter, skinnier ones come in.
Either way, these Cold Steel Sure Strikes are your basic four point stars with sharpened blade edges. Unlike the cheaper stars you often see online, these are made from heavy duty carbon steel and will last a lot longer than stainless steel stars during your practice sessions with wood targets.
I wish Cold Steel would make a sheath for these (triple, ideally). If you guys come across any that will fit the CS stars, please hit me up on my CONTACT page with a link.
As far as I know, throwing stars are not legal in CA, NY, VA, IN, and Canada, so as always, be sure to check your own state and local knife laws to be sure you are in compliance.
When choosing throwing knives to use indoors, smaller is usually better. There are two reasons for this:
You have limited space to set up your targets
You have limited space for throwing
Small, short throwing knives spin faster than longer knives, which makes them ideal for indoor use, throwing from short distances. Also, their lighter weight makes them flutter and blow off course more easily when thrown outdoors, even with only a slight breeze or no breeze at all. So again…that doesn’t make them worthless. It just means that they perform better when thrown indoors at shorter distances.
You can throw them at wood targets, but the tips aren’t going to last that long if you do, especially if throwing along or against the grain (e.g. long 2×4 targets), as opposed to throwing head-on into the grain (e.g. log rounds).
Better to use fairly small but thick cardboard targets with a sturdier backing (some kind of thin sheet wood). The backing will prevent the heavier knives from penetrating all the way through the cardboard sheets and into your bedroom drywall, and the layers of cardboard will grab onto the knives and prevent them from bouncing all over the place and breaking stuff. Even most of your bad throws will still sink in and stick to the target board.
A pizza box sized target board is perfect for indoor knife throwing.
How To Throw Small Throwing Knives
Or…you can watch this video. It’s old, but he does a pretty good job of explaining the technique…
Stainless Steel Construction
They’re mostly made of cheap stainless steel. Some have a black painted finish, while some are shiny and polished. Some have cheap cord wrapped grips (which is more for show than performance) that is likely to fall off before long haha. Don’t worry, they’ll still throw just fine.
All the knives I’ve included in this article come with a nylon sheath that either attaches to your belt or to your wrist. Like the knives, the sheaths themselves are pretty cheap material and will probably start wearing out eventually. But they’ll do a good job of holding your knives for you when you’re not throwing them.
Just a quick warning: these knives do have a sharpened edge to them, so be careful when handling them. You can swipe them along a concrete sidewalk to dull the edges if you prefer.
Small, Cheap & Fun
Prices are subject to change, but at the moment, all the knife sets on this list come in at under $3 per knife, with some priced under $2 per knife. So if you want cheap…well…that’s cheap. These knives are all 7 inches and under as well, so don’t have any illusions here…these are not high quality knives for serious knife throwing practice…not by any means.
They’re just small, lightweight, cheap throwing knives.
So when you bust out a set of these guys, don’t be thinking, “Knife Throwing World Championships this summer.” Instead think, “bar room dart board after work this Friday.” That’s more the vibe we’re going for with little throwing knives like these.
The bottom line is that these throwing knives are small, light and cheap. They’re not intended for serious competitors or real-life combat. Rather, they’re perfect for just having a little fun, that’s all. So you can still have a lot of fun with these little knives, hanging out in the garage with a few friends or just killing time by yourself in your room.
Who started out with shiny, cheap stainless steel knives when they first started throwing?
Another show of hands…
And who got really fricking irritated when half of those knives got bent and/or broken tips on the very first day that they started throwing them?
So now, who’s ready to get some throwing knives that don’t break so easily? If that’s you, then what you want to do is put out just a little more money and buy some knives made from high carbon steel. Those knives won’t be so shiny, and they will rust pretty quick if you leave them outside where the moisture can get to them.
But they ain’t gonna break on you any time soon.
Cold Steel Throwing Knives
If you’ve been coming around this site the past couple years, then you already know that I’m a big fan of Cold Steel throwers. They’re big, heavy, tough throwing knives. I’ll be honest…they’re not very pretty, at least compared to the stainless steel jobs put out by United Cutlery and Boker. But what they lack in purtiness, they more than make up for in durability and performance.
Those suckers are built to last.
Cold Steel has four main throwing knives in their lineup…
These are heavy duty, carbon steel throwing knives, and you’re going to be happy with how well they hold up. Yes, CS also has a new “Sport” line of smaller, lighter carbon steel throwing knives, but reviews are mixed, and they just don’t seem to be as high quality as these ones.
I’ll be looking into that…
But for now, check these out.
1. Cold Steel True Flight Thrower
The True Flight has a thick paracord grip wrap that is tight as a mofo. If you read reviews on Amazon, you’ll see that some folks had trouble with the cord coming undone, but I’d bet you my liver and left nut that they were throwing multiple knives AT THE SAME TARGET, and they nicked their True Flight’s cord with an incoming knife.
Word to the wise…
If you have multiple throwers and one has a cord wrap…don’t throw that one first. Or better yet…throw each knife at its own bullseye. You’ll keep that wrap from getting shredded.
And you should probably follow this advice for all your throwers…one knife per target will make your knives last ten times longer, since they won’t be banging into each other all day.
The True Flight is just about the best-selling throwing knife on the planet. I’ve written up a full review of this knife already, so I won’t cover that here. You can just go read my review for more info on it.
2. Cold Steel Perfect Balance Thrower
Another excellent thrower from CS. This knife is big and heavy. Well, maybe it’s a lightweight compared to many custom throwing bowies and stuff like that, but as far as assembly line, commercially made stuff, this one is a beast.
It’s got plastic composite scales on the handle, so as with the True Flight…don’t throw multiple knives at the same target if you want those scales to last.
Common sense, folks.
But the knife itself is big, fat and durable. It will not break from regular throwing.
If you’re looking for the most durable throwing knife for the money, then this one is it right here. If I’m wrong, please hit me up on the Contact page and let me know what other throwing knife in this price range is tougher.
It’s basically just one big ass piece of carbon steel, pointy on one end and butt ugly on the other. My god, what an ugly throwing knife haha. But it’s a brute, and it’ll take all the punishment you can dish out. It’s the longest and heaviest knife in this group, making it maintain its accuracy at longer distances and allowing it to really sink into your target.
I guess it is kinda beautiful, when you look at it like that! 😉
Anyways, if you’re tired of grinding out knife tips and replacing broken knives, try this one out and let me know what you think. Here’s more info on the Sure Balance.
4. Cold Steel Pro Balance Thrower
Last we come to the Pro Balance. Why is it last of the four? Because I don’t like it as much as I like the other three…but that’s just me. It’s a good throwing knife. Solid. Perfectly balanced for spin throwing. Durable carbon steel.
But I just don’t like how it looks. It looks like a knife for circus performers (my apologies to all the knife throwing circus performers out there…you clowns ROCK!). Anyways, I’m just not crazy about the look of it. Nuff said.
Yeah, I did mention in the title of this article that I’d talk about FIVE knives, so here’s the last one: the Condor Dismissal Thrower (aka Condor Dismissal Tool). The Dismissal comes in 12” and 14” sizes, and yeah…bigger is better. This is another heavy hitting, durable carbon steel throwing knife.
But I’ve heard that the very tip is prone to breakage, simply because it is tapered down to such a fine point. So I guess even high carbon blades aren’t indestructible, so be aware of that possibility if you’re considering this one. I haven’t done a review on it yet. Someday I’ll buy it and take it for a test drive, but that’s not super high on my to-do list right now.
I finally watched the video on Cold Steel’s website showing CS Prez Lynn C. Thompson throwing the Cold Steel Torpedo at…a building, and…a car, and…another car…
I am definitely going to be buying one of those suckers. That thing pretty much destroys any target you throw it at.
Have you seen it?
Stats & Features
Overall length: 15”
Weight: 32 oz.
Composition: cold rolled 1055 carbon steel
Finish: matte black
The Cold Steel Torpedo is a 15” long chunk of cold rolled 1055 carbon steel, sharpened to a fine point at both ends. Weighing in at a full two pounds, it’s like the Mighty Mo of throwing knives.
The center diameter is one inch thick around. So you get the idea…it’s a mini steel javelin that has twice the chance of sticking when thrown rotationally.
Due to its symmetry, the CS Torpedo is evenly balanced for spin throws, giving an even rotation no matter which end you hold and release it from. There are no features, ridges, bumps, edges or anything along its length, so it slides smoothly right through your fingertips upon release.
With both ends tapered to sharp points, you’ve got a higher chance of sticking your target on spin throws, so that definitely can have a positive result in intuitive throwing in a rushed tactical situation. As Thompson demonstrates pretty well in the video, this thing wouldn’t have to be limited to recreational throwing.
On their site, they talk about how you could use it for hunting birds and wild game, but I don’t know. If you miss (which is highly likely), good luck finding your Torpedo 30 yards away in the thick brush haha.
But what really makes the Torpedo so devastating is its sheer weight and bulk. It takes a lot of power to launch that thing, but put some muscle into it and not only will it travel long distances…it’ll smash right through whatever it connects with.
I’m not sure what to say here. As a weapon, it’s brutal. At close range, or even handheld — it could drop an attacker to his knees (or flat on his back). But how would you carry something like that around every day? They don’t make a sheath for it (yet), and it’s just too large to carry on your person in any kind of concealed manner, so I guess you’d have to stow it somewhere where it won’t be poking holes in your bag or whatever.
I suppose one more drawback is that its very simple design totally eliminates the possibility that it can be used for anything other than punching holes in stuff, unlike the other CS throwers that can be used like regular knives for cutting, batoning, etc.
But if you need to poke holes in shit, then this is what you want. 😉
I’m not sure what to say here. As a weapon, it’s brutal. At close range, or even handheld — it could drop an attacker to his knees (or flat on his back).
But how would you carry something like that around every day? They don’t make a sheath for it (yet), and it’s just too large to carry on your person in any kind of concealed manner, so I guess you’d have to stow it somewhere where it won’t be poking holes in your bag or whatever.
I suppose one more drawback is that its very simple design totally eliminates the possibility that it can be used for anything other than punching holes in stuff, unlike the other CS throwers that can be used like regular knives for cutting, batoning, etc.
But if you just need to punch holes in shit, then this is what you want. 😉
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.
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
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
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
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
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).
If you’re a serious knife collector, then yes, absolutely, go ahead and buy the SOG Fusion throwing knives. But if you’re a serious knife thrower, then no…these knives kinda suck.
I mean, they’re balanced just fine, and they look great. Very unique design. So if you love how they look, then go ahead and buy a set. And who knows? If you DON’T throw them, they might be worth a fortune one day? Why? Read on…
But their unique look – particularly the handle – is actually their weakness. Literally. The “S-O-G” cut out of the handle weakens the knife’s structural integrity and leads to the handle snapping in half.
SOG throwing knives are not built strong enough to survive thousands of throws. If you throw every day against wood targets, you’ll be lucky to get through the first month without one of them breaking.
The S.O.G.P.O.S. Lifetime Warranty
So what happens if your throwing knife breaks when you throw it? Don’t all SOG knives come with a lifetime warranty?
Yes, they do. But don’t forget to read the fine print.
Here’s an excerpt from the SOG website’s warranty page:
This guarantee is voided (as determined by SOG) by misuse, abuse, improper maintenance, or alterations of the product and does not cover any normal wear or tear that might occur. Using your SOG folding blade or fixed blade knife for any purpose other than cutting or puncturing is considered abuse and may void your warranty.
What did you notice there? If you use your knife for “any purpose other than cutting or puncturing,” they can void your warranty. That means they can theoretically void your warranty on your throwing knife if it breaks from you throwing it. Sounds kinda shitty, don’t it?
Here’s another excerpt, this time listing what SOG’s warranty will NOT cover:
rusted/spotted/stained blades or handles (coated or not)
broken or bent knife tips
dull/chipped knife blades
scratched blade/tool coatings
Hell, that list describes the way just about every throwing knife I’ve ever owned looks like within 24 hours of me taking it out of the box. Some knives even look spotted/scratched right out of the box, so what SOG is saying is that they reserve the right to void your warranty for practically any reason. If they sell you a crappy throwing knife that breaks on the first day, they don’t have to do anything about it.
For this reason, I wouldn’t recommend buying direct from SOG. As you know, I buy most of my commercial blades from Amazon; one reason for that is their return policy, and their drastically lower prices is the other reason. If you get a throwing knife on Amazon and it breaks, you can return it within 30 days for a refund. SOG may or may not refund or replace your throwing knives (it’s at their discretion), and at almost $60 per set (SOG’s prices) plus shipping, that’s a gamble I’m not willing to take.
So if you’re going to buy them, don’t get them direct from SOG. Go through Amazon or some other trusted retailer that offers a good return policy. Beware of cheap knockoffs on eBay, though. It’s true that SOG knives are now manufactured in China (and Taiwan and Japan), but their genuine knives are assembled and shipped from the USA. So if a seller is shipping from Asia, it’s almost guaranteed to be a counterfeit.
Why Knife Collectors SHOULD Buy SOG Throwing Knives
So why would a knife collector or knife enthusiast buy them? Well, first of all…if you just like how they look, then why not buy them? For every single knife I ever bought, aesthetics was part of my decision. So go buy it if you like it.
But for collector’s value, I think that the SOG knives could end up being a worthwhile purchase, because as the years go by, it’s going to be PRACTICALLY IMPOSSIBLE to find SOG throwers that are still intact! If you buy a set, keep them in mint condition and never throw them, you’ll have a rare collectible on your hands.
Click image to see Amazon prices
So What Throwing Knives SHOULD You Buy, Then?
For large knives, Cold Steel throwers are currently my favorites. If you prefer smaller knives, then maybe Flying Steel…
Whether or not you liked The Hunger Games movie adaptation, you have to admit that the knife throwing bad girl Clove made the movie a lot of fun to watch. That one girl turned a whole generation of girls (and quite a few boys) onto the hobby/sport of knife throwing.
There was a lot of speculation about which throwing knives Clove used in the movie, but the best attempt to ID those blades came from Liz “Sleepwalker” on Tumblr. I’m not completely sure about Liz’s Trademark/Whetstone ID (the holes in Clove’s handle look slightly larger than the Trademark ones), but her other picks are spot on.
If you want to learn how to throw knives like Clove, then you probably also want to have the same knives that Clove used in The Hunger Games. And you can buy Clove’s knives very cheap on Amazon. Personally, I think they’re a little small for serious throwing, but if you’re a fan of the movie, you’ll obviously want to get them.
All of these knives are pretty small (6 to 8 inches) except the Mini Bo-Kri (10 ¾ inches), are made of stainless steel, and are available in sets (so you get more knives and at a lower cost than purchasing them individually). They also come with nylon sheaths, except the Mini Bo-Kri, which comes with a leather sheath.
Trademark Whetstone Throwing Knives
These are the pretty generic looking throwers sheathed at the top of Clove’s vest. There are tons of similar knives from different manufacturers, and like I said above, it’s difficult to tell which of them it is. This one has 5 holes in the handle with a slight taper at the back with a square back edge.
United Cutlery UC0926 Lightning Bolt Throwing Knives (long slot in handle)
United Cutlery UC1255 Lightning Bolt Throwing Knives (holes in handle)
There are a couple styles of the Lightning Bolt throwers, but these are the ones Clove used in the training center. The ones above — with the long slotted handles — are visible in her vest.
United Cutlery Gil Hibben Small Cord Grip Throwers
These knives throw really well. I have the larger version in black and absolutely love them, but Clove had the smaller, silver ones. Comes as a triple set with sheath with individual pockets for each blade. I did a full review HERE.
Boker Magnum Bailey Mini Bo-Kri Throwing Knife
This is the throwing knife that Clove held to Katniss’ throat. Designed by the legendary John Bailey, this is a crazy wicked looking knife. Only evil people have knives that look like this. Clove was evil, so if you’re kinda evil too, then you probably want this knife. The single knife is about $20 or less, but buying the triple set will save you at least 10 bucks.
If you’re used to buying cheap throwing knives on Amazon, then you already know how quickly the knife tips can become bent or broken when you throw those knives at wood targets. Some of the cheaper ones will even break on the first day!
So you might have looked at high quality, custom knives and found that they can cost you 10x as much as those ones you usually buy. If your budget just can’t stretch that far, what can you do?
Are there any throwing knives that you can buy on Amazon that can withstand the impact of hundreds or even thousands of throws? Yup. What you want to do is buy yourself some Cold Steel throwing knives. They aren’t made out of stainless steel, and they cost a little more than those cheaper ones (about $20 to $25 each), but they’ll last you much, much longer.
1055 Carbon Steel Vs Stainless Steel
I was fortunate that my very first throwing knife was a Cold Steel Perfect Balance. The CS throwers are made from 1055 carbon steel, which is much tougher than the stainless steel other knives are made from. Sure I also bought some of the stainless steel ones, even the higher quality ones like the John Bailey Ziel II (that’s a great knife!). But if I hadn’t bought the Cold Steel one at the start, I would have been very frustrated and probably wasted a lot of money buying low quality stainless steel knives.
But I discovered CS right from the start and never bothered with buying more stainless steel after that. My son still likes the little stainless steel ones, so I have had a chance to throw lots of other knives. But the CS ones are the best.
Cold Steel Throwing Knives
You’re going to have six throwers to choose from. Two of them are actually designed to be tactical knives, but they’re extremely well balanced for throwing. Those are the G.I. Tanto and the Shanghai Shadow.
The other four are perfectly designed for throwing, but a couple of them can work well for other purposes too. They are the True Flight, Perfect Balance, Pro Balance, and Sure Balance. If you’re looking for a knife that offers real tactical value and yet is perfectly balanced for throwing, you will want to buy the True Flight.
I’ve already covered these knives in other articles on here, so check those knife reviews out if you want more details. See the “Cold Steel Throwing Knives” section in the sidebar for links to all those in-depth reviews.
If you’re ready to go check out the pricing and reviews of them on Amazon, just follow the image links below.
UPDATE: The New Cold Steel Sport Series Throwing Knives
Cold Steel released a new series this year (2014). The “Sport” throwing knives are basically just remakes of their other throwing knife designs — including some sweet, older designs not shown above — but they are thinner. So that means, they are lighter and they cost less. I haven’t tried them out yet, so I can’t say for sure if they are still just as durable as their thicker, heavier predecessors.
I will get some soon and let you know what I think.
These throwing knives from the Assassin’s Creed video game series are a must have item for gamers and throwers alike. If you are a fan of the game, then you will want to get these. They aren’t expensive at all, and crap – YOU GET 12 KNIVES AND A CASE!!!
As the name suggests, this set consists of 12 throwing knives! Overall length is just 6”. Blade length is half that. The knives are constructed from 440 stainless steel, and they have the Assassin’s Creed artwork painted on the handle and centerpoint of the knife.
They can be sharpened if you want, but there’s really no need for that. Actually, if you just throw knives for fun, then the edges shouldn’t be sharp anyways.
Set comes with a black folding nylon carrying case that neatly stores away each knife in its own pocket.
These small throwing knives are pretty well-balanced for consistent throws. You’ll want to use a pinch grip on them, even when throwing from the handle, due to their small size and thin design. It’s nice that you get 12 knives – no more walking back and forth across the yard to retrieve your knives every 5 seconds.
The points are sharp enough for wood targets or cardboard, but I wouldn’t recommend throwing against wood, as they can easily bounce back on bad throws. Stick with thick cardboard targets or similar materials.
They’re only 6 inches long and are fairly light, so throwing outdoors can be tricky if it’s windy or if you’re attempting distances beyond 2 spin.
They’re also made of thin, stainless steel, so throwing them at wood targets like 2x4s and plywood will bend the tips pretty quickly. They’ll last a lot longer if you just stick with cardboard targets.
One more issue is that the artwork is not baked in or anything. It can wear off with lots of use, so just be ready for that.
All things considered, a dozen well-balanced throwing knives with a carrying case for under 20 dollars is a pretty good deal. If you like them, then just buy them!