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The 10 Best Throwing Knives in 2021
Throwing knives. They’re great for taking out bad guys at great distances, or for blowing off steam after a long, hard day of taking out bad guys.
But for those of us who aren’t hardened assassins, throwing knives are more often used for competitive sport, or for backyard knife throwing with friends. No matter how you choose to put your throwing knives to use, it’s important that you do two things:
- Learn how to use a throwing knife safely.
- Get a set of good-quality throwing knives.
That first thing is really, really important, and if you’re new to throwing knives, it’s a good idea to find someone more experienced who can show you the ropes. As for getting a good set of knives, you may want to consider the following 10.
1. Gil Hibben GenX Pro Throwing Knives
The Gil Hibben GenX Pro Throwing Knives are impeccably designed for speed and accuracy. They’re beautiful to look at and superbly balanced. These are versatile 11″ knives that are easy to use with a wide range of throwing styles.
The tempered AUS-6 stainless steel may need to be sharpened more often than a carbon steel blade but is also less prone to breaking. These knives hold up well to repeated heavy use. The three-knife set comes with a sheath for safe and easy carry.
The handle of the Gil Hibben GenX Pro Throwing Knife is beautifully designed for a smooth release. It’s like butter. But if you’re new to throwing knives, they can slip out of your hand if you’re not careful. Just something to be aware of.
Gill Hibben is an iconic name in the knife world. He designed the original line of Browning hunting knives in 1968 and created knives for the Rambo films. When you see the Gill Hibben name on a knife, that’s usually a good sign.
2. Magnum Bailey Bo-Kri Ziel Set
The knives of choice for many knife throwing pros, the Magnum Bailey Mini Bo-Kri Ziel Set is about as good as it gets. These knives are pricey, no doubt about it. But there aren’t many knives out there that are better designed for throwing.
Each knife is 13.25″ long and weighs 14 oz. That’s big and heavy. But these knives are so well balanced that their weight doesn’t make them hard to throw. And in fairness, these aren’t made with beginners in mind.
Your arm might tire a little faster than it would with a lighter knife. But the grooves and depressions make the Magnum Bailey Mini Bo-Kri knives aerodynamic, with excellent grip and smooth release.
The handsome leather sheath that comes with these knives is also a nice touch. All three knives fit snugly in separate compartments, and it’s several steps above the simple black nylon sheaths that come with most throwing knife sets.
3. Smith & Wesson SWTK8BCP Throwing Knives
I’m as surprised as anyone to see the names Smith & Wessen on the handle of a quality throwing knife. These guys have been making rifles and revolvers since the 1800s, but they’re not exactly known for knives.
But once you put that aside, the Smith & Wesson SWTK8BCP Throwing Knives are a set of well-made and highly affordable throwers. They’re well-balanced, sturdy, and have a simple design that looks great and grips comfortably in your hand.
Each knife in this set of three is 8″ long and weighs 4.1 oz. In the grand scheme of things, that’s pretty small and light for a throwing knife. If you’re used to something bigger, they take getting used to.
But for a relative newbie – and at the end of the day, that’s who these knives are for – they’re perfect. Their light weight makes them great for practicing at relatively short distances. They’re budget-friendly, but they’re not toys.
4. Expendables Kunai 3 Piece Thrower Set
With a 12″ overall length and substantial heft, the knives in the Expendables Kunai 3 Piece Thrower Set are made for long, powerful throws. And yes, they are modeled after the ones Jason Statham used in The Expendables.
Should you buy a knife just because it was in a movie? I don’t know; I’m not here to tell you what to do with your hard-earned cash. The real question is, are these good throwing knives?
Turns out they’re pretty good! Made of AUS-6 stainless steel with cord-wrapped handles, these knives are well-balanced and made for performance and durability. The handles have a unique design that will take some getting used to for experienced throwers. But these are definitely more than movie-themed gimmicks.
5. SOG F041TN-CP Throwing Knives
A versatile knife set that’s equally apt for training, practicing, or competing, the SOG F041TN-CP Throwing Knives are an all-around good choice for knife throwers of all experience levels. They come in a secure sheath that holds all three knives with a handy belt loop.
SOG F041TN-CP Throwing Knives are made with 420 hardcased black stainless steel, which is corrosion-resistant and easy to sharpen. They’re tough, and also surprisingly light for 10″ full-tang knives.
These knives come with paracord-wrapped handles, a feature that tends to spark debate. On one hand, it provides great grip. But it can also make the knife unbalanced, and the cord tends to come undone with repeated use. Some folks choose to simply remove it.
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6. Cold Steel 12 Inch Black Carbon Throwing Knives
With a sleek, simple design, the Cold Steel 12 Inch Black Carbon Throwing Knives are for the knife thrower who wants a set of no-frills knives that are made not for show, but for real use.
These knives are honed to a fine spear point, well balanced, and aerodynamically shaped for accuracy. The 1055 carbon steel construction of these knives is very hard if a bit thinner than your average throwing knife. That has its pros and cons.
On one hand, that lightness makes these knives relatively easy to throw. But the thin Cold Steel blades are also easy to break on a bad throw, which makes them, perhaps, not the best choice for an absolute beginner.
7. SZCO Supplies 10” Stainless-Steel Throwing Knives
Available in a pack of three that fit neatly into a nylon sheath, the SZCO Supplies 10” Stainless-Steel Throwing Knives are simply and sturdily designed. They’re great for experienced and novice knife throwers alike.
The 10″ overall length is divided into a 4″ spear-point head and a 6″ handle. They’re hefty and well-balanced, with a contoured handle shape that provides good grip. The blades are nice and sharp right out of the box.
These knives are 5 mm thick, which is a little on the heavy side. It can make them challenging to stick in hardwood targets, but also makes them just about unbreakable. If you’re looking for a knife that withstands heavy use, the SZCO Supplies 10” knife is it.
8. Gil Hibben Corded Grip Throwing Knives
Prized by collectors and active users alike, the Gil Hibben Corded Grip Throwing Knives are durable, easy to sharpen, and hold up well to heavy use. The knives come in small (6 ⅝”) and large (8 ⅝”) sizes.
They’re made from 420 J2 stainless steel, which has good strength and corrosion resistance. The corded grip offers a great non-slip surface. These knives feel very comfortable in your hand.
Like most throwing knives with wrapped handles, the cord will eventually start to come apart with repeated use. In this case, when that happens you’ll be left with a set of three standard, non-corded Gil Hibben knives, which is not the worst fate.
9. SOG Fling Classic Throwing Knives
SOG Fling Classic Throwing Knives are perfect practice throwing knives. They’re well-made and durable, and they hold a point well even if you throw often. These knives have 2.8″ spear blades (only sharp near the tip), with a full 9.5″ tang.
The SOG Fling Classic Throwing Knives are a little on the light side at 5.4 oz. That makes them great for beginners, but can be challenging for long-distance throwing.
The paracord handle will be seen as a pro for some and a con for others. It may start to fray after a while, but the knives are also perfectly usable without it. The knives come in a set of three, which all fit snugly into the included Velcro nylon sheath.
10. Cold Steel 9733 80PGTK GI Tanto
The Cold Steel 9733 80PGTK GI Tanto is the ideal option for anyone who wants a throwing knife that also has a wide range of uses. This is a solid hunting, bushcraft, and camp knife that also happens to be well-balanced for throwing.
You can also use the Tanto as a tactical knife, and it can be converted into a spearhead. It’s 12″ in overall length with a 7″ blade. The full-tang blade is 1055 carbon steel with a black rust-resistant finish. It’s super hard and keeps an edge beautifully.
The Cold Steel Tanto is a best-of-both-worlds knife. There are better throwing knives, and there are better bushcraft knives, but there aren’t many that offer a better balance of both.
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Throwing Knives FAQs
Throwing knives are designed specifically for throwing, and they are quite different in appearance and construction from other knives. For starters, most throwing knives are only sharp at the very tip of the blade, which allows a safer grip.
In addition, they are usually made from a single piece of steel, and balanced so that the center of gravity is at the center of the knife (unbalanced knives are much more challenging to throw with any accuracy).
Modern throwing knives are used almost exclusively for recreational and competitive knife throwing. Contrary to what you might see in movies, their utility for combat or self-defense is limited, and they are not used by today’s military.
That being said, throwing knives of different kinds have been used for hunting and fighting in various parts of the world throughout history, most notably in Africa and Asia.
Look for knives that are well balanced, and of a weight that makes sense given your level of experience. Lighter knives are generally better for beginners because they are easier to throw, especially at the relatively short distances beginners start at.
Heavier knives stick in targets more effectively but require more skill and strength to throw. Throwing knives are available to suit any budget, and knives for experienced throwers are not necessarily more expensive than “beginner” knives.