Choosing a good starter knife is pretty important when you’re first getting into throwing knives. A lot of people make the mistake of going super cheap right from the beginning, and they end up with a set of 12 little, broken throwing knives by the end of Day One.
Large Throwing Knives Are Best For Beginners
Throwing knives that are too short, too thin, and too light are only going to cause you a lot of frustration, so large throwing knives are best for beginners. Anything over 10 inches is ideal.
Larger knives are a bit more forgiving than the smaller ones and are easier to control. Their added weight also helps them to stick in the target better. But, you generally get what you pay for, so good starter throwing knives aren’t going to be the cheapest ones out there. Still, even the best throwing knives are a lot less costly than most entry level survival knives or tactical knives, so don’t freak out and think that price is going to be a huge roadblock to getting good blades.
Below are 6 high-quality, affordable, large throwing knives.
Gil Hibben Competition Triple Knife Throwing Set with Sheath
12 1/8 inch overall length
United Cutlery makes some pretty decent knives, and anything designed by Gil Hibben is likely to be a solid purchase. He’s one of the best throwing knife designers around, and he also has a great instructional guide to knife throwing that is worth checking out.
The United Cutlery GH2033 Competition throwers are really one of the best choices for your first knife. They’re nice and big and have some good weight to them. Also, the design is simple and well-balanced. Some knives have fancier handles – which you may end up liking – but many throwers find that simple handles provide for a smoother release and more consistent throws.
It’s a matter of personal preference, of course, but these knives may be just perfect for you. Plus, they’re not too expensive, either.
Gil Hibben Large Tanto Thrower Triple Knife Set
11 ¼ inch overall length
As already mentioned, just about anything by Gil Hibben is likely to be a well-designed throwing knife. The main difference with the tanto style is that distinct, angular blade point. Performance-wise, it doesn’t make a noticeable difference. Some people prefer the tanto look and some don’t.
If ordering online, be aware that this knife comes in two sizes; just be sure to get the large knife, not the small one.
Cold Steel Perfect Balance Thrower
13 ½ inch overall length
Check out the size of this monster. “Now THIS is a KNIFE.”
The blade length alone stretches the tape to 9 inches. That’s larger than most of the cheap knives measure from end to end! It looks pretty beastly too. Come on, you know that looks are 90% of your criteria for choosing one knife over another. Mine too.
This knife is big and heavy, which makes it perfect for beginners. The one potential drawback, though, is that handle. Repeated blows to that plastic handle can damage it, so if you’re throwing in an area with lots of concrete and bricks all around, this bad boy is gonna get broke. But if you’re in a grassy area, throwing at soft-ish targets, you should be okay. If throwing multiple knives, use separate bullseyes for each knife, so they don’t crash into each other and break.
Cold Steel True Flight Thrower
12 inch overall length
Another Cold Steel knife that throwers absolutely love is the True Flight with its paracord-wrapped handle. This knife flies really well, and if you prefer knives with distinct handles – as opposed to the simpler designs like the GH Competition knives have – then this is a great choice.
This single knife (and some others on this list) costs almost as much as a cheap 3-piece set, so you may be tempted to pass on it and go with something smaller and cheaper. Sorry…but that route is probably going to be a waste of time.
You’re going to learn a whole lot faster on larger knives than you will with smaller ones. You can always expand your collection with small cheapos for throwing indoors and stuff, but if you want to get good knife throwing, larger knives (12 inches and up) are the best way to go.
Boker Magnum Bailey Ziel 2 Throwing Knife
13 1/4 inches total length
John Bailey’s Ziel II is one of my favorite throwing knives of all time, and it’s one of the best stainless steel throwing knives for beginners and pros alike. I won’t go into too much detail about it here, since I’ve already covered it in depth in another article, but the bottom line is that this is an incredible throwing knife.
It can be purchased as a single with sheath or as a triple set with sheath (holds all three knives). The sheaths are good quality leather ones too, not cheap nylon or plastic.
I highly recommend the Ziel II triple set for beginners.
Kit Rae Large Black Jet Thrower Triple Set
10 ½ inch overall length
Last we have the Black Jet Thrower. Kit Rae makes some of the sweetest looking throwing knives around. Very flashy, very medieval, very Conan. If you’re planning on slaying some dragons in your backyard, then you need some Kit Rae knives, dagger, and throwing axes.
This one here is actually one of his more conservative designs, though. It’s a one-sided blade, so you’ll have more gripping options to choose from. Some beginners like running their finger along the dull-edge when throwing, and you may not want to try that on a dagger – even a dull one.
So, the Black Jet Thrower is shown here, but feel free to try out his other designs too.
This knife is actually the shortest one on the list, but it’s still a good size for beginners and it looks pretty cool, doesn’t it? It throws well too.