Throwing Knife Target Training – How To NOT Break Your Knives

How To Break Your Throwing Knives In 5 Minutes

  1. First, start with the cheapest, thinnest throwing knives you can find.
  2. Throw them wrong.  Every time.
  3. Only use throwing knife target boards made of hard wood and throw against the grain as much as possible.
  4. Make sure your throwing area has concrete floors and lots of hard objects surrounding it.
  5. Throw multiple knives at the same bullseye, so they smash into each other and bounce off.
  6. Throw them as hard as possible.  Like a boss.  Like A Ninja Boss.
  7. Throw them against a concrete wall on a military base in Kuwait, like THESE GUYS.
  8. Pound them into a concrete wall with a sledgehammer, like THOSE SAME GUYS again.

Oh Wait…

I’m sorry, you wanted to know how to prevent your throwing knives from breaking, right?  Well then, you should probably do the exact opposite of everything on that list above to minimize the chances of damaging your blades.

Nobody gets mad at their target board for getting shredded to pieces in less than a week, but when the tips break off of their 50 cent throwing knives, they throw a temper tantrum and jump on Amazon to leave a flaming 1-star review and follow up with a 5 minute YouTube rant.

Okay, most knife throwers aren’t that juvenile (not even the juvenile ones), but the point is that we sometimes forget that throwing one hard object against another hard object is a great way to end up with two broken objects.  And even high-quality knives can break on us, despite our best efforts.

No Throwing Knife Is Indestructible

Throwing knives don’t last forever, not even the best ones.  But in general, you do get what you pay for.  So the starting point for making your knives last longer is to simply start out with higher quality knives.

I’m putting together a massive throwing knife guide to help you compare lots of knives side by side and decide which knives are best for your purposes and budget.

For now though, just keep in mind that if you want to throw against wood targets, then you’re going to want to shell out a little more money to get some decent knives.  If you’re just killing time in your room throwing at pizza boxes, then any little thrower will do.  But for more serious throwing, be prepared to spend $10 to $30 per knife.  And if you’re REALLY serious about this sport, or if your knife needs go beyond personal entertainment, then be prepared to spend $50, $100 or more for pro/tactical quality commercial blades and custom throwers.

Throwing Multiple Knives

Also, whenever you’re throwing a variety of knives at your target, throw the simpler, “naked” blades first (those that are just a solid piece of metal with nothing to break off), and then throw the ones with cord grips and handle scales.  Also, throw at target boards with more than one bullseye on them or even at multiple targets.  That way you can spread out your knives and keep them from crashing into each other so much.

No Throwing Knife Target Board Is Indestructible, Either

Depending on how much you throw – and on how big and heavy your knives are – you could be going through target boards fairly quickly.  This is especially true with softer targets.

If you’re throwing indoors and using small knives, maybe 6 inches or less, then you should probably just use cardboard.  Flatten out some boxes, cut them into pieces 2-3 feet on each side, and glue the layers together to make a soft target board that is 1-2 inches thick.  This is perfect for all those cheap ninja throwing knives you see on Amazon for $10 and under.  The knives are cheap.  The targets are cheap.  You’ll improve your technique.  Your knives will last longer.  You’ll have lots of fun, impress your friends, and you’ll still have money to spare.

When you’re using larger, heavier knives though, you’ll want to place your cardboard target over the face of your wood target to soften those blows.

Now, you don’t need to do this all the time.

When you’re just starting out, you’ll definitely want to use soft targets until you’re consistently sticking the knives.  But even more experienced knife throwers will lengthen the life of their knives by using soft targets sometimes too, like when trying out a new knife that they haven’t quite got the hang of yet, or when trying out a new distance or a new technique, or when throwing knives with long, tapered points (like kunai, for instance).

Using Recycled Materials For Throwing Knife Target Boards

You don’t have to spend $40 or more for brand new 2x4s and hardware at the big chain hardware store to make a good target.

Instead, try googling, “recycled building materials” (or “reclaimed/repurposed…”).  Hopefully, you’ll find a local business in your area that sells used construction materials on the cheap.  Some will even GIVE AWAY materials for free.

Throwing Knife Target Destroyed By Cold Steel Perfect BalanceWhat these companies do is they go demolish an old house or whatever and haul away the materials.  This saves the property owners a lot of money in demo and cleanup costs.  Then the company resells those materials for pennies on the dollar.  So forget the giant warehouse construction store; go green and save some money at the same time.

When I first started throwing, I got several used interior doors and a table top for free at one of these places.  Yeah, they’re partially hollow and only lasted two or three days each (thanks to my Cold Steel Perfect Balance and Boker Magnum Bailey Ziel II), but they made great soft targets.  These allowed me to learn good technique and find my distances without trashing my new knives.  And as far as prices go, “free stuff” is pretty hard to beat.