Several visitors to TacticalThrowingKnives.com recently asked, “What is the best metal for throwing knives?” There are three main factors that will help you determine the best type of metal for a throwing knife. They are…
- ability to resist bending or breaking
- ability to resist corrosion
Generally, materials that excel in one of those areas leave something to be desired in other areas. For the most part, all commercially made throwing knives will either be constructed from some type of stainless steel or some type of high carbon steel. And as is often the case in life, you get what you pay for.
Just about every throwing knife on Amazon and similar sites will be made of some type of stainless steel. These knives look really nice and shiny, and many of them throw very well, but stainless steel knives are more likely to get bent or broken tips, or even to break in half (certain knives have holes or designs cutout of them, and those are obviously where breaks will occur).
On the bright side, stainless steel knives are usually a lot more affordable, so you can buy more of them for the same amount of money. Plus, if you are vigilant about it, you can usually bend the tips right back in line without too much trouble. Broken tips can be reground too. If a lot of length is lost, that will certainly affect rotation, but you’ll adjust.
So just because a knife is made of stainless steel, that doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy it.
My favorite stainless steel knives are the Magnum Bailey Ziel II and the large Gil Hibben Cord Grip Throwers. There are tons of other good ones, of course, but I like those ones best. The Ziel is freaking awesome!
High Carbon Steel
This type of metal is going to be far more durable and will practically last forever, but it corrodes more easily than stainless steel, and knives made from this material will cost a bit more. For this reason, throwing knives with higher levels of carbon will usually be coated to prevent rusting. I have several 1055 carbon blades from Cold Steel, and I love them.
Technically, you can also make knives from other materials like wood, plastic or rubber, but they will not have the same weight to them, and that is going to negatively impact their performance. Training knives might look like the real thing, but using them for throwing practice is probably a waste of time.