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Thread: Are my cheap knives the problem with my throwing?

  1. #1
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    Are my cheap knives the problem with my throwing?


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    Hi guys. I'm not new to the forum, but I'm mostly a reader, not a poster. But I thought I'd ask a question here and see if anyone can help me out. I have been throwing for a few months, and I have a decent spin throw, but I can't seem to get any kind of no-spin technique working. I have seen Ralph Thorn's DVD, and have tried to use his method, but its not working for me. My knives tend to spiral when I throw them, sort of like a football, or the way a rifle spins a bullet. They also sometimes turn horizontally to the right, and hit the target flat. If I get in really close (around 6 feet or so) and throw hard, I can get sticks in the target, but a lot of them stick in the target upside down. By upside down I mean that the knife spirals (spins on its axis) 180 degrees before it gets to the target. I feel like it's a problem with my release. Could it have anything to do with the knives I'm using?

    They're super cheap. I got 10 of them on ebay for $30. I don't know who makes them, what they're made out of, or what the model is called. Some Chinese manufactured junk I'm sure. They have guards and the handles are really thin. They came wrapped with some cheap nylon string but I just cut it off because the little tail of it was getting in the way. The balance point is right on the guard. I don't know if they're too thin to hold them right for a good release, or if the guards are getting in the way of a good grip, or the little swells on the corner of the butt are messing up my release, but I feel like these things might be interfering with my throwing. I ground the top guard off one, but that didn't seem to help much. I was going to post pictures, but I am not permitted to post attachments for some reason.

    Here is a picture so you have an idea what I am talking about.



    -strick
    Last edited by Karda; 09-08-2012 at 04:53 AM. Reason: Links to ebay auctions are not allowed

  2. #2
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    Out of curiosity, what are you using for a target?

  3. #3
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    I nailed some boards to a pallet. It turned out REALLY heavy, but it works. Its about 4x4 ft, maybe a litte bigger. I staple a layer of cardboard to it and thats my target.

  4. #4
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    Well, they could be bouncing because of the wood, possibly you could be hitting nails. If you want to use a combination of wood and cardboard, try using a one inch thick stack of cardboard attached to the pallet. I'm sure that they will stick more and bounce less then.

  5. #5
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    I don't throw no-spin on a regular basis, but when I do sling a few down range, I notice that my heftier throwers always fly straight and true, hitting hard and sticking well. That being said, it may have nothing to do with the cost of the knife, where it's made, or its aerodynamic deficiencies. It may have more to do with weight and balance.

    Now, I can comment with experience if you're talking about spin throwing and cheap knives, but the answer kind of comes in the same way. Cheap knives are made with lesser quality steel. They are shorter and much lighter than good quality knives. They are not balanced well for throwing either. My less expensive knives (the ones I started out throwing a long time ago) were good up until one rotation, and after that, they always floated away.

    And, because they were lighter and poorly balanced, I was never able to put much force behind them in order to get them to stick hard into the target. Therefore, many just bounced off or fell out after lightly sticking.

  6. #6
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    Oh, it's not the target. The knives aren't sticking because they aren't hitting point on.

    So where should a throwing knife balance? On the guard? Or right in the middle of the knife? And does this balance stuff go for no-spin knives as well?
    I guess what I really need to know is, what kind of knife should I be looking for if I want to practice no-spin throwing? Keep in mind I'm going to probably destroy this knife as I try to figure out how to work this Ralph Thorn thing, so I would like to avoid paying more than $30 or so per knife.

    I'm asking a lot of different questions. Should I just start another thread? lol

  7. #7
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    Are you sure you are always holding the knives the same? Make sure you keep the same grip, if it doesnt stick, move a half step forward (or backwards). Make sure you watch how the knife hits...it should tell you which way to move. The hardest part of throwing knives, tomahawks, etc., is getting your distance down.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by strick284 View Post
    Oh, it's not the target. The knives aren't sticking because they aren't hitting point on.

    So where should a throwing knife balance? On the guard? Or right in the middle of the knife? And does this balance stuff go for no-spin knives as well?
    I guess what I really need to know is, what kind of knife should I be looking for if I want to practice no-spin throwing? Keep in mind I'm going to probably destroy this knife as I try to figure out how to work this Ralph Thorn thing, so I would like to avoid paying more than $30 or so per knife.

    I'm asking a lot of different questions. Should I just start another thread? lol
    A quality throwing knife should be blade-end heavy. All this garbage about hilt-heavy or center-balance is wrong. So your balance point should be closer to the point than the base.

    The very best knife I can think of that won't break your budget for no-spin throwing is Cold Steel's Tru Balance thrower. It has a flat spine from tip to base, it's big, and it's heavy. You also won't destroy it with practice no matter how hard you try. This is the knife I use when I throw an occasional no-spin, and it rarely lets me down.

    Just remember too -- you're not going to get the same force of impact with no-spin as you are a well-thrown knife using spin technique. That is, you won't until you've mastered it to the point of it being second nature. I see lots of people who throw no-spin, too, and they don't throw with "authority," especially once you get to the 15-20 foot mark.

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    Ok, after looking at Cold Steel throwers, I have found that they make one called the True Flight and one called the Perfect Balance, but no "Tru Balance". The Perfect Balance definitely looks blade heavy, as well as very tough. I assume this is the one you mean? I can eBay one right now for $27, so that's not too bad.

  10. #10
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    Sorry about the mix-up. Yes, you want the Perfect Balance. That's the knife to get if you're no-spin throwing!

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    I'm ordering one today. Thanks for all your help!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 10thMtn View Post
    A quality throwing knife should be blade-end heavy. All this garbage about hilt-heavy or center-balance is wrong. So your balance point should be closer to the point than the base.
    I disagree. Throwing knives should be about center balanced. That way, it is easier to change from handle-grip to blade-grip and to other, also center-balanced knives.

    Quote Originally Posted by 10thMtn View Post
    The very best knife I can think of that won't break your budget for no-spin throwing is Cold Steel's Tru Balance thrower. It has a flat spine from tip to base, it's big, and it's heavy. You also won't destroy it with practice no matter how hard you try. This is the knife I use when I throw an occasional no-spin, and it rarely lets me down.
    I am no expert on no-spin. But I have seen 10 people use it. And none of them used heavy knives! They all had small sub-200g knives with a straight spine.

  13. #13
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    Straight spine and football-rotation

    @strick284: I think the protrusion at the handle's end is a big problem for release. A straight spine is important to whip it out of your hand.

    The football-rotation of the knives can also be observed sometimes with "normal" throwing styles, it's not a problem there, and stabilizes the flight.

  14. #14
    yeah the cold steel knife will help you out a lot i think. i started having better luck when i got mine and can hit a no spin every time now. the straight spine is much better for no spin and i think the length of the knife helped me out too. i assume your cheaper knives are much smaller? the long knife allows you to let you finger brush off on it better to stop the spinning in my opinion. its not the best for spin throws to me though

  15. #15
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    throwing knives, help on what to buy

    This will help you out.SMKW goto there throwing knife page.I cant post pic's for some reason but look at there condor and the arrow headthere $8.00 to $12.00 bucks and there both grate knives.In my opinion" your knife needs to be 12 inches long at least"P.S And True balance knife com,makes grate knives.

  16. #16
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    For no spin throwing with the thorn style, you want a handle heavy balance.

    The knife you are using appears to be very light weight.


    Heavier, and longer will be much easier to learn on.

    As an added bonus, heavier knives also stick with a lot more authority.


    Blade heavy, neutral, or handle heavy affect how the knife behaves when using a handle hold, or blade hold.

    But if you figure out the rotation, you can still stick a handle heavy or blade heavy knife reliably. The key is repeatability.


    I have a foot and a half long bayonet that is handle heavy. I have been throwing it for 23 years,and it throws very well for me!

  17. #17
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    Bayonets are often used to throw with very slow rotation. 4m throws with 1/4 are no problem. The geometry (long, handle-heava, throw by the blade) promotes the slow rotation.

    I have never seen anybody using a bayonet for true no-spin throwing.

  18. #18
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    I would also recommend a perfect balance thrower Hope you got yours. Don't worry the tree was dead.


  19. #19
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    Hi guys. I'm not new to the forum, but I'm mostly a reader, not a poster. But I thought I'd ask a question here and see if anyone can help me out. I have been throwing for a few months, and I have a decent spin throw, but I can't seem to get any kind of no-spin technique working. I have seen Ralph Thorn's DVD, and have tried to use his method, but its not working for me. My knives tend to spiral when I throw them, sort of like a football, or the way a rifle spins a bullet. They also sometimes turn horizontally to the right, and hit the target flat. If I get in really close (around 6 feet or so) and throw hard, I can get sticks in the target, but a lot of them stick in the target upside down. By upside down I mean that the knife spirals (spins on its axis) 180 degrees before it gets to the target. I feel like it's a problem with my release. Could it have anything to do with the knives I'm using?

    They're super cheap. I got 10 of them on ebay for $30. I don't know who makes them, what they're made out of, or what the model is called. Some Chinese manufactured junk I'm sure. They have guards and the handles are really thin. They came wrapped with some cheap nylon string but I just cut it off because the little tail of it was getting in the way. The balance point is right on the guard. I don't know if they're too thin to hold them right for a good release, or if the guards are getting in the way of a good grip, or the little swells on the corner of the butt are messing up my release, but I feel like these things might be interfering with my throwing. I ground the top guard off one, but that didn't seem to help much. I was going to post pictures, but I am not permitted to post attachments for some reason.

    Here is a link to an ebay auction for a knife just like mine with a picture so you have an idea what I am talking about.
    Light knives from my experience have not worked well...I had/have some cold steel knives that work very well... one looks like an arrow and the other a cleaver/bowie looking thing.

    I have also nailed boards together and found that the knives would not stick worth a crap. Try getting a round of a tree (i used evergreen) and prop it up on the ground and voila... they can take thousands of throws and are easily transportable.

    also when i was first learning, it tooks me about twelve hours for me to get them to stick in (even up close). Maybe its because im slow and steady with learning most things but i had a much harder time than some others i have seen. But after about 6 months of practice i could stand about twenty feet away and make some throws... so just keep hacking away at it.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfattyt View Post
    For no spin throwing with the thorn style, you want a handle heavy balance.

    The knife you are using appears to be very light weight.


    Heavier, and longer will be much easier to learn on.

    As an added bonus, heavier knives also stick with a lot more authority.


    Blade heavy, neutral, or handle heavy affect how the knife behaves when using a handle hold, or blade hold.

    But if you figure out the rotation, you can still stick a handle heavy or blade heavy knife reliably. The key is repeatability.


    I have a foot and a half long bayonet that is handle heavy. I have been throwing it for 23 years,and it throws very well for me!
    He's..right.
    http://youtu.be/Xxvod75TdxM
    used..your..finger..control..your..knife.
    The..knife..slipped..from..your..fore..finger.Bye.
    Last edited by libra05; 08-20-2012 at 03:08 AM. Reason: wrongspell

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