- In order to correctly and accurately throw a knife, you must grip the knife at its center of gravity or 'fulcrum'. To find the fulcrum, try to balance the knife sideways across your index finger. Adjust the position of your finger on the knife until it balances horizontally on your finger. This is the fulcrum, and will be the point where your grip the knife.
- With the blade facing you, grip the knife with your thumb and the side of your index finger immediately at the fulcrum. Your thumb (on top) and your finger(on bottom) should cross at a 90 degree angle, so the knife is essentially still balancing on the side of your finger, with the thumb holding it in place.
- With your thumb facing the sky, raise your elbow to about eye level, bending your arm to where the knife is a couple of inches above and to the side of your head.
- Take a comfortable step out with your opposite leg and bring your arm down and out in a FLUID motion. Be sure to keep your wrist straight but relaxed.
- As your arm comes down to a fully extended position, look down your wrist and line up your thumb, the handle of the knife, and your intended target.
- At the point where your hand reaches eye level, you should be able to draw and imaginary line from the tip of your thumb, up the center of the handle, and through your target, immediately at the butt of the handle. This is the release point.
- Releasing a knife is similar to throwing a baseball, but with a reversed grip. Let go with your thumb first, allowing the knife to roll slightly off your index finger. This creates the rotation the knife needs to fly true. Timing is extremely important, as too much pressure from your finger will cause the knife to over-rotate and fly down at an angle, and will slow down the horizontal flight of the knife. Another way is to hold at the bottom of of the handle following these same steps.
- Knife throwing is more about finesse than sheer strength. It is most important to keep the entire movement fluid, and only apply as much force as is needed. Once you get the hang of it, you will be amazed at how little force is needed to be accurate and deadly (why else would you need to throw a knife?)
- Different knives will have differing blade to handle weight ratios, and thus the location of their fulcrums will differ. Knives that have the center of gravity located directly at the hilt (where the blade meets the handle) are better suited for learning to throw. They tend to be easier to control. So don't try this with a Bowie knife right off.
- As always, heavier objects will require more force to propel them at the desired speed over the required distance. Instead of increasing the strength of your throw beyond the point of losing fluidity and control, you might consider aiming for a point slightly above your intended target when throwing with larger/heavier knives.
- It helps to count your paces away from the target (assuming it is stationary) so that you get a feel for how hard you have to throw the knife and can use the distance for a reference.
- If you find that you hit the target with the butt of the knife instead of the blade, adjust one pace forward or backward. DO NOT change the amount of force applied in your throw. You simply need to allow more or less distance for rotation. A good rule of thumb is that 1 pace equals 1/2 rotation of the knife. You want to be at the correct distance (or multiple) for the blade to be pointing at the target when the knife reaches it.
- You want the knife to fly with a smooth rotation, which if should not be a problem if you grip it at the fulcrum.
- Practice, Practice, Practice!
- After completing a practice session, always clean the blade of the knife. Oils from your hand can degrade the metal in the blade and cause it to rust.
- Throwing knives, even dull ones, are extremely dangerous. Use common sense. Never aim at a person. Never do this where any person or property might be damaged. Adult supervision is required.
- The knife might bounce back if you miss, so stand back and don't take your eyes off the knife until you know it is safely at rest.
- When throwing do not grip the blade too hard, you can easily cut yourself.
- Always use common sense, and DO NOT practice with a sharp knife. All it needs is a point, not a ginzu edge!
- DO NOT use a non-locking, folding knife. Beginners should experiment only with fixed blade knives.
- It is a good idea NOT to use your mom's cooking knives or other house knives
Things You'll Need
- A well balanced (1 to 1 blade/handle weight ratio) fixed blade knife. No Swiss Army Knives or Leathermans.
- A block of wood or other suitable target that is soft enough to allow the blade to stick, but tough enough to keep the knife from completely going through the other side.
- A first-aid kit. Always a good idea when playing with knives
Related Hows To's
Sources and Citations
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