How to Start Knife Throwing

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Knife throwing is a skill deemed dangerous by many. But that’s just a misconception. Learning how to start knife throwing can be fun. It’s easy to learn and master when you put in a bit of practice and focus.

With the proper equipment, setting, and skill, you can enjoy an engaging, relaxing knife-throwing activity with your friends. The best thing when practicing how to throw a knife is that you don’t need a lot of supplies to get started. It’s just you, the knives and a board – well, the right knives, of course.

In this post, we’ll learn how to throw a knife, get the appropriate equipment, and master the technique.

Let’s roll.

Learning How to Start Knife Throwing 

Mastering how to throw a knife is all about consistency and smart aiming. Knives don’t use arrow-like trajectories while traveling through air to the target. Instead, they utilize lateral movements and rotations to circle their gravitational center towards the target.

To hit your target, you must be consistent. This means releasing the knife in the same way and position it all the time. The distance between the target face and your release point is vital. 

A good standing point allows you to hold your knife by the handle and have enough room to make a complete revolution. If you hold the knife by the blade, it should be able to complete a half, one and a half rotation, two and a half, and more. Your knife keeps rotating as it moves fast through the air. 

Things You Need to Get Started

Like any other sport or hobby, having the right equipment is crucial. It gives you much satisfaction to see the knife’s sharp tip hitting the target with each throw. To maximize your throws, you need well-balanced weapons both in build and specialty.


An excellent knife created for throwing has to have the correct balance, weight, and length. It should be 12 by 15 inches long and weigh between 12 and 20 ounces. This will ensure consistent and accurate throws without overly utilizing your muscle power.

Always go for the right size knife, forged from durable alloy steel (heat treated).

That being said, let’s explore the various types of throwing knives and which ones suit beginners like you.

There are three types of throwing knives, namely:

Balanced Throwing Knives

Balanced knives have a center of gravity in the middle, which makes it easy to throw them from the handle or blade. They are much more flexible, and their rotations are often predictable. You may have difficulty at first, but you’ll love them as you keep practicing.

Handle-Heavy Throwing Knives

Handle heavy knives have their handles carrying most of their weight. This only means that when throwing the knife, the handle has to go first. You’ll hold the blade end and throw it handle first.

Blade Heavy Throwing Knives

Blade-heavy types are the best for you to start with since they’re easy to learn. They have the weight concentrated in their blades. Typically, you’d want to throw the heaviest end of your knife first by gripping the handle.

The Target

There can’t be knife throwing without a target. You can build your target or have someone do it for you. A target made from soft pine wood would be ideal. 

Let the grain run vertically for easy knife sticking. Other types of wood to consider are cottonwood and poplar. Never use a tree because it can die from repetitive knife wounds.

As a beginner, you should avoid hard-to-penetrate hardwoods like plywood and oak. You can use them later when you’ve attained higher experience levels.

The best targets for knife throwing include:

  • Wooden planks
  • Firewood or scrap wood
  • Lumber yards

Place your target in an open area so you can see 30 feet in every direction. Make sure it’s situated on a soft surface, like grass, to prevent damage. You can set it against a continuous wall or a secure place where people or pets won’t get in your way. 

Getting Started with Knife Throwing

Before throwing your first knife;

  • Ensure your knifes tip is sharp and the guard is secure
  • Check for gouges or metal burs on the handle or blade
  • Check your stance too

Now that you have everything ready and set, it’s time to throw your first knife. These basic steps will act as your guide.

Step 1: Choose Your Grip

The most basic knife throwing grip for a beginner is the hammer grip. Hold the knife like you would the hammer. Your fingers should be wrapped around the knife’s handle, with the thumb touching the top of the handle for maximum control.

The other type of grip is a pinch grip. Unlike a hammer grip, in a pinch grip, you wrap your fingers around the handle while pressing your fingertips against it. 

This wrapping pinches the knife between your palm and fingers. You’ll have extra control over your knife’s release. Whichever grip you choose, know that it will affect how you release your hand.

While throwing, keep a firm wrist to ensure a controlled, repeatable, and consistent throw. 

Step 2: Choose the Best Knife Throwing Distance and Stance

The distance between you and the target will determine your knife’s rotation, depending on the ergonomics of your release and the style of your throw. There are two knife-throwing distance variations to choose from. The 10ft and 15ft distance variations. 

However, the two distances only demarcate fault lines. Some players like throwing further than 15ft lines because of remarkable knife rotation results.

For right-handed players, you’ll need to put the left foot forward and have the right foot drawn back to form an angle – 45 degrees, to be precise. Bend your knees slightly for stability. Your feet should be wide enough to allow you to rock your front foot’s center of gravity without tripping. 

Your left hand should point towards the target in an aiming position. With the knife in your right hand, raise it above your head. Propel your knife down the way a butcher does when making a chop. 

Knowing when to let your knife fly can be challenging. But with practice and consistency, you can master it. Shift your weight forward and release the knife. Practice by altering your throw and release time now and then.

Step 3: Align Your Shoulders with the Target

Facing your target, align your shoulders square to the board. This will help you set up your throw for maximum efficiency.

Step 4: Tuck in Your Elbows

As you lift the knife, ready to throw, your arm should be up, straight over your shoulder. The elbow should be tucked in, raising the knife slightly beside your head. 

Step 5: Get Your Knife through the Bullseye

Look through your shot to visualize your knife’s release. With practice, you will develop muscle memory, which will help you execute your vision. Eventually, your body will be tuned, allowing you to visualize your shots as they head straight to the board and even feel your successful throws.

Remember, power comes from force and controlled, consistent, and repeatable throws. This will be possible when you maintain momentum throughout the shot.

The Trick

The trick of this whole procedure is to;

  • Raise your arm above your head and bend the elbow slightly
  • From your shoulder, swing your arm downward and forward
  • Let the knife go, with your hand pointed towards the board
  • Open your hand and release the knife swiftly without snapping the wrist.
  • Once you release, let the arm follow.

The key here is consistency. Always release your blade in the same way, at the same position at all times. Once you get the distance right (between the release position and target face) that makes your knife stick on the board, toss from that particular distance every time.

Knife Throwing Techniques You Should Know

These are the most popular knife throwing techniques suitable for a beginner like you.

Half-Spin Throw

The half-spin technique is when your knife performs a half spin as it leaves your hand to reach the target. 

To throw a half spin, you need to position yourself 15ft from your target. You can adjust this distance to your comfort.

  • Assume a comfortable stance, with shoulders square towards your target.
  • Grip the knife to your preferred style.
  • Raise your knife like you’re about to hammer a nail into the wall. The blade has to be at eye level.
  • With your arm pulled back, step forward using the knife’s weight for trajectory. This will put you in a moderate throw. 
  • Release your body and arm as if you’re throwing a baseball.

The No Spin Throw

In the no spin knife throwing technique, the knife makes a ¼ spin before it strikes the target. To perform it, you’ll have to move closer to your target. The best rule of thumb is to half the distance to the target. Instead of 15ft, it will be 7.5ft. 

A balanced knife will ensure the best grip for this throw.

Here’s how to go about it.

  • Take your best stance.
  • Hold the knife’s handle between the thumb and middle finger’s second knuckle. 
  • With your index finger on the back edge of the handle, curl the other fingers over.
  • Raise the knife, with the blade’s tip pointing upwards.
  • Bend your shoulder while remaining relaxed.
  • Then point the knife’s tip toward your target.
  • Step forward into your throw and release the knife from your hand.
  • As you follow through with the arm, ensure the index finger is pointing at the ground when finishing your throw.

The Full-Spin Throw

This is where you double the distance to 30ft.

  • Take a comfortable stance and choose your best grip
  • Raise the knife like when hammering a nail in the wall
  • With the arm pulled back, use the knife’s weight and not the full force of the throw.
  • Release the knife when it’s right before you. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Will it Take Me to Master Knife Throwing?

Mastering knife throwing will depend on the time you put in to practice this skill. With practice and consistency, you can master knife throwing within six months (with the input of six hours a week)

Must the Knives Spin? Or Can I Just Throw them Straight like Spears?

Throwing knives are designed to spin during flight. The handle and blade take turns to point to the target. This is because circular motions from the throwing movement are transferred to the knives.

What are the Three Rules of Knife Throwing?

The three basic rules of knife throwing include;

  • Safety: Safety is a priority in knife throwing. Always set targets away from the house, cars, shed, gas containers, and more. Don’t practice your techniques in an area with people, pets, and kids.
  • Accuracy: Your accuracy should start from purchasing the right throwing knife, adopting proper techniques, and practicing. 
  • Consistency: Consistency is about the constant practice to attain accuracy in all your throws. Develop your skill set by trying different techniques until you master them.

How High Should My Target Be?

The bullseye space (the unmarked 5 ring and inner circle) has to be 3.5 inches (diameter) in the center. The center part of your bullseye has to be 24 inches (60.96cm) from the lower part of the body. This will ensure your bullseye is 60 inches from the floor.

Is it Difficult to Learn Knife Throwing?

Not at all. As long as you concentrate, follow the rule of thumb, and practice, you can attain knife throwing skills in no time. 


Hopefully, you now know how to start knife throwing. Please note that becoming a knife-throwing expert can take months and hours of practice. You’ll miss too many throws, make miscalculated stances, and choose incorrect grips before you become the master of combat knife throwing. 

But the satisfaction of having some of your throws sticking in the target will keep you going. All you need is to remember the rules and techniques, and the rest will just flow.

Tom Williams

Tom Williams

With a large collection of knives and too much free time, I decided that I would open my blog and tell you all about my greatest love in life (besides my wife)

Tom Williams

Tom Williams

With a large collection of knives and too much free time, I decided that I would open my blog and tell you all about my greatest love in life (besides my wife)

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