Top 5 Best Throwing Knives You Can Buy [Updated 2018]
Whether you are learning how to throw knives for the first time or a seasoned vet, the most important tool in your arsenal is of course the knives themselves.
However, with so many available how do you know which are the best throwing knives you can buy in 2018?
Well reading this article should help. We’ve rounded up 5 top rated throwing knife sets available on the market today. Combined with testing, user reviews and industry opinion we have put the selection front and centre in the table below.
For analysis of each set plus our throwing knife buyer’s guide – keep on reading.
Top 5 Best Throwing Knives
|TOP PICKUnited CutleryGH2033 Gil HibbenThrowing Knife Set||Length: 12 1/8"Steel: 420 stainless|
|SOG SpecialtyKnives & Tools F041TN-CP Throwing Knives||Length: 10"Steel: 420 stainless|
|Boker Magnum 02GL193Throwing Knife Set||Length: 10 1/4"Steel: 420 stainless|
|United CutleryUC2772 KunaiKnife Thrower Set||Length: 12"Steel: AUS-6|
|Perfect PointPP-028-3BKThrowing Knife Set||Length: 6 1/5"Steel: stainless|
- Top 5 Best Throwing Knives
- 1. TOP PICK: United Cutlery GH2033 Gil Hibben Throwing Knife Set with Sheath
- 2. SOG Specialty Knives & Tools F041TN-CP Throwing Knives
- 3. Boker Magnum 02GL193 Throwing Knife Set
- 4. United Cutlery UC2772 Expendables Kunai Thrower Set
- 5. Perfect Point PP-028-3BK Throwing Knife Set
- Throwing Knife Buyers Guide
The Top 5 Throwing Knives Reviewed
After careful consideration there has been no change on our top pick throwing knife. The United Cutlery GH2033 Gil Hibben is still the best of the bunch in 2018.
There’s a number of reasons for our decision, however the bottom line is, United Cutlery have put together a very durable, extremely well balanced set of knives that will appeal to the experienced thrower as well as any beginner.
The GH2033s are actually a little larger than many of the other knives reviewed in our top 5. This is a good thing.
That extra heft makes judging the spin a lot easier. It also increases the distance from which you can throw the knives at the target.
First, let’s look at the build quality
As you would expect from a brand such as United Cutlery, the 420 stainless steel, one-piece construction is built to last. The fact the knives are forged from just one piece of steel assists in that all-important balance.
The 12-1/8 inch overall length allows the knife room to sit really well in the hand, (the ergonomic handle provides a natural grip that only adds to the overall comfortable level).
Combine all of this with the aforementioned weight and you have a very sturdy tool. The thunk you hear as the knife hits the target is incredibly satisfying.
The fact is, (and this will aid the beginner thrower) the knife’s mass allows the tip to penetrate further into the target surface with out the need for you to throw hard. You can concentrate on technique rather than force.
The three knife set comes sheathed together in a single leather sheath.
An excellent set of throwing knives that are built to last, have a good weight and length and are suitable for both beginner and experienced throwers. What more could you want from your throwing knife set. In our opinion United Cutlery have produced the best throwing knives you can buy today.
2. SOG Specialty Knives & Tools F041TN-CP Throwing Knives
SOG have a good set of throwing knives on their hands with their F041TN-CPs. 10 inches tip to tail these are a little smaller than our top pick United Cutlery knives, however there is little to separate them in regards to overall build quality.
420 stainless steel has been used here and SOG have gone for sharp edged blades with an extra pointy tip. Throwing these knives the right way will ensure firm and fast penetration into the target, rather than the disappointing sound of chinking metal hitting the floor.
The skeleton handles offer a variety of gripping options which in turn increases the potential method of throwing, however those sharp edges do make gripping the blade a non-starter.
The corded handles certainly look good on these knives, and also allow for firmer grip. On the downside is the fact these are just one more aspect to maintain. Anyone that has thrown knives before will realise that hitting other knives in the target is basically inevitable. At some stage this means the cord will feel the sharp end of an impact blade and will be worse the wear for it.
On the plus side, the included Includes ballistic nylon carry/storage sheath for all three pieces is very well made and looks the part. This storage solution is particularly pleasing and compliments the overall quality of the SOG’s very well indeed.
Overall the SOGs are a well made, durable set of throwing knives that will please most. However, the corded handles and shorter length and weight means they do not hold up when pitted against our number 1 pick. A recommended set all the same.
3. Boker Magnum 02GL193 Throwing Knife Set
The Boker Magnum 02GL193 throwing knife set is another in our top 5 list that sports a full steel construction of 420 stainless.
Carefully designed with balance in mind, these are relatively light weight knives weighing in at just 7oz. Length is good too at 10 ¼ inches long.
Recommended for beginner knife throwers they are easy to handle and feel sturdy enough in the hand.
However, one complaint would be the extra thin tip. Great for penetration yes, robust enough for constant use? A few users have complained that they are prone to chipping should you miss the target, (or hit another knife that successfully resides in the target).
Another quibble would be the quality of the sheath. This is a tad on the lacklustre side and doesn’t really match up to the standard of the knives.
The Boker knife throwing set has a mixture of good and bad points that stop them being the great knives that they so nearly are. These are an affordable option however. Should you be on a tight budget these are worth checking out.
4. United Cutlery UC2772 Expendables Kunai Thrower Set
Another set of knives from United Cutlery makes our top 5 list. This shows that these guys know what they are doing when it comes to manufacturing a good set of throwers.
This time it’s a Kunai thrower set that we are reviewing.
Build quality is again of the highest order, with each knife being constructed from a single pieces of anodized AUS-6 stainless steel.
Length again is very good, with the 12 inch long knives enabling extended handle area and slower rotation while in the air. Target impact force is second to none with these bad boys.
The black cord-wrapped handle with a finger hole is a really nice design, however does lend it self to the complaint we raised with the SOG knives; namely, the more extras the knife has the harder they are to maintain.
A rather nice inclusion is the custom nylon sheath with boot clip and leg strap for multiple carrying options. This compliments the knife set wonderfully, while increasing the already great value for money you are getting with this set.
Each knife bears a laser-etched logo and includes a Certificate of Authenticity from a very reliable brand.
Another really well made set of throwing knives from United Cutlery. This are equally as robust as our number one pick, along with a build quality that prioritises balance and performance. If the handle design and sharp edges are your thing, then these could well be the best throwing knives for you.
5. Perfect Point PP-028-3BK Throwing Knife Set
If you have been looking to buy a set of throwing knives you may have seen that there are many available for around 10 dollars a set.
We here at sharpen-up would encourage you to think carefully before you purchase such a budget set of knives. The reason being, cheap, badly constructed knives will just make life difficult for you.
If you are starting out, the logic of buying a low priced set just to test the waters isn’t recommended. You will find it more difficult to hit the target (and more importantly stay in it) with poor quality throwing tools.
With all that said, we thought it would be amiss of us not to include at least one set more suited to smaller pockets.
Our choice is the Perfect Point PP-028-3BK Throwing Knife Set.
Granted they are a bit on the small side, (each knife measures 6-1/2 inches overall), they are nonetheless really well balanced for a knife in this price range.
The set includes three silver stainless steel throwers with an engraved bulls-eye decoration, (some might consider this motif a little cheesy).
The knives also feature cord-wrapped handles for a superior grip and a black nylon sheath for easy and safe transport.
A very affordable set of knives with a superior build quality. However, the fact they are light and small makes them more difficult to throw for beginners. Best suited to experienced throwers that want a disposable pair of practice knives.
Throwing Knife Buyers Guide
What is a throwing knife and how does it differ from other knives?
We will start with a very obvious point – Throwing knives are specifically designed to be thrown. Breaking that down further will lead to the attributes that make a good throwing knife compared to a tactical or any other type of knife.
This is one of the most important aspects of a throwing knife. Because the knives are required to rotate in the air, they have to be properly balanced in order to do this. Designers of a regular knife will not have this in mind.
In many ways the weight is connected to the balance as the weight has to be distributed throughout the shape of the knife in the correct way. Furthermore, weight will determine the throwing technique employed. A heavier knife will require less force from the thrower to penetrate the target, as the mass will accomplish this instead.
Blade shapes and edges differ on a throwing knife when compared to any other knife. For example, you would not expect to buy a regular knife and it be shipped with a dull edge. Some throwing knives do not have sharpened edges so that it becomes possible to safely grip the blade for throwing.
What to look for when buying a throwing knife set
When you begin your search for the best throwing knife for your needs, you should pay attention to the overall build quality and the way the knives have been forged.
Blades made of one sheet of stainless steel metal are definitely recommended. These are more hardwearing and will stand up to the types of abuse a throwing knife needs to handle, (especially in the beginner stages where your knife will inevitably end up clattering the floor quite often).
The vast amount of low-end knives available on the market today, will not be forged from one piece of steel. Furthermore, manufacturing the knives at rock bottom prices comes at a price – the type of steel that is used will be low quality. Soft steel will potentially snap in half, or at the tip after a very short period of use.
Throwing knife sets of a high quality construction will feature a pointed, sturdy tip. This will be designed with efficient penetration in mind, and will be tough enough to break through strong materials on impact.
As we have mentioned, many throwing knives will also feature a dull edge. The area between the blade and the handle is of particular importance as this is the area most prone to fracturing. This is why a strong all in one steel construction is the way to go.
Weight and length
Weight and length are extremely important considerations when you are looking to buy a new throwing knife.
If you are a beginner, a longer knife will actually be easier to learn with. Longer knives spin slower in the air, so it is easier to judge the rotation and work on your technique. Longer knives are generally heavier too. The extra mass makes them penetrate the target with greater consistency and even allows for throwing over longer distance – this is obviously a real plus point for the beginner knife thrower.
Shorter knives spin faster, cover more rotations and are harder to stick into the target. A helpful buying formula to remember is that the knife should weigh 1.5 oz for every inch in length.
The length range of throwing knives on the market today is between 6 and 12 inches long. As we have already recommended, beginner knife throwers should opt for longer weapons.
However, experienced throwers also very often buy knives of higher length and weight. Skilled knife throwers do use lighter, shorter blades because of the challenge that they represent, as well as their satisfying spinning speed.
Throwing Knife Handles
Some throwers will disagree with this, however we here at Sharpen-up recommend knives that do not feature any discernible handle.
A handle with cord grip or rubber coating will make it harder for you to release the knife during a throw. Handles can also impact the overall balance of the knife with the centre of gravity being impaired as a result.
Also, as we mentioned in a few of the above reviews – a handle design is just one more area that needs to be maintained. Corded handles can become frayed and loose over time.
However, should you wish to have a handle on your throwing knife the following materials are what you will often see used:
Cord Covered Grip
One of the most frequently used embellishment on throwing knife handles is the corded or rope covering. While this definitely increases user grip, the trade off lies in the fact the cord will suffer from wear and tear. There is also the issue of too much grip meaning the knife doesn’t leave your hand during the throwing action, as smoothly as you might like.
Wooden handles are a good choice if you have smaller hands or require a throwing knife with a firmer grip. Aesthetically, wooden handled knives are very often more beautiful.
A negative aspect of a wooden handled throwing knife is the fact the steel has to be riveted into the wood. This creates a weak spot in the knife that reduces the overall longevity.
Plastic or rubber handles
Plastic or rubber handles are often used on lower budget throwing knives. While the grip can be increased as a result, these two are made constructed by riveting the steel into the handle material. The end result is a weaker knife over the long term.
Because throwing knives are a collectible item, there are many custom knives available that utilise all manner of materials in their design. This can include stag horns, bone handles, brass guards and any other ornate type decoration.
While these do make for very beautiful throwing knives, they will not necessarily hold up to the brutal process of being thrown into a wooden target over and over again. These types of knives are more to be looked at than used in practice.