Can anyone tell what I'm doing wrong from this YouTube video?

Joined
Jul 15, 2020
Messages
20

I used a plywood target .. too hard? I don't believe I actually got the point to impact the board once.

It looked as though the knife spun more than once, I wasn't standing too far from the target. I don't know how to control that, but I stepped about 6 inches back with each successive throw and still no successful throws.

I used Bud-K stainless steel throwing knives that I got for free from a friend. The second one missed completely, let's ignore that and try to refine the first and third if possible.

Ideas?
 
Joined
Jul 15, 2020
Messages
20
You have the wrong kind of target. Think something softer so they can stick. Also no angle at all.

So it's my understanding from what you said, that the target has to be perpendicular to the ground on which it is placed. However, does it also have to be placed essentially at "shoulder height" or "eye level" so that the knife is thrown with minimal vertical displacement? Do both these things matter or does only one of them matter?

I'm going to attempt pickup of a free wood pallet tomorrow, and will attempt an end grain target build. Let me know if that sort of thing would be soft enough, I have all of the woodworking equipment necessary to complete this.
 
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Feb 10, 2015
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22,740
So it's my understanding from what you said, that the target has to be perpendicular to the ground on which it is placed. However, does it also have to be placed essentially at "shoulder height" or "eye level" so that the knife is thrown with minimal vertical displacement? Do both these things matter or does only one of them matter?

I'm going to attempt pickup of a free wood pallet tomorrow, and will attempt an end grain target build. Let me know if that sort of thing would be soft enough, I have all of the woodworking equipment necessary to complete this.
It should be perpendicular. Any angle will increase the chance of a bounce. A "cookie" cut from softwood is a reasonable target.

chainsaw-slicing-wood.jpg
 
Joined
Mar 3, 2021
Messages
259
end grain is the best, practice lots and you will acquire muscle memory. move forward or backwards from the target in half steps or full steps, try from the blade or the handle, no spin is cool too. count your distance from target in paces, consistancy will come with practice. let this practice inform your self education. there are quite a few excelent you tubers with some great tips and demonstrations. enjoy, be prepared for what ever you throw to bounce back at you as fast as you thew it, be safe have fun and after you put in some hours you will see very satisfying results
 
Joined
Feb 17, 2013
Messages
5,998
Plywood is bad from a sticking aspect. Too much rebound. As others said, endgrain is best. Cottonwood and sycamore are best, pine is acceptable. Oak, pecan, mesquite, hickory, i.e., hardwoods should be avoided. Target butts angled back are not conducive to sticking either. The target butt face should be as close to vertical as possible.

Rotation is not a bad thing, but you must dial in your distances for each 1/2 spin and/or no-spin distance.

Looking at just rotational throwing - most people start out too far away for their initial throwing because the "cool factor" of sticking a knife from 20 or 30 feet is so seductive.

IKTHOF rotational throwing is from 5 distances/rotations - 2M- 1/2 spin, 3M- 1 spin, 4M-1-1/2 spin, 5M- 2 spin and 7M- 2-1/2 spin. Or 6.5 ft, 10 ft, 13 ft, etc. In IKTHOF throwing, the distance is the MINIMUM you can stand at for the specified number of rotations. If you want to, you could stand back at 50 feet for a 1/2 spin rotation throw and be legal. No sane reason to do so, but you could.

Euro throw rules are 3 distances, all full spin throws - Europe doesn't allow blade throws in competition - 1/2/3 spin from 3/5/7M.

Almost no one over rotates at the exact minimum distance, but it can happen IF the thrower is shorter than normal - arm length, body length, leg length and knife length affect rotational speed.

Shorter knives spin faster than longer knives. Lighter knives bounce back faster.

IKTHOF standards for rotational knives are 12 inches minimum, 16 inches maximum and a minimum 12 ounces in weight. The rule of thumb is an ounce per inch. My rotational knives vary between 12 inches and 16 inches, with weights ranging from 12 ounces to 20 ounces.

When teaching someone to throw, I start them out at the 3M/10ft distance which is a 1 full spin throw. This takes the "oh my god I'm holding a knife by the blade and throwing it" concern out of the newbie's mind. It also provides an additional 3 feet of reaction space for a bad bounce.

Start out 10 feet from the target. Throw at the target. WATCH the knife. Does it hit point up or point down. If it hits point up, move 3 to 6 inches back and try again. Rinse and repeat until the knife is hitting point first. If it hits point down at a range of 10 feet, you have to change either your stance, your release, the throwing speed or some combination of the three. This is because 10 feet is the MINIMUM distance for a 1 spin throw and moving closer would violate the "rules".

After you have your 1 spin distance dialed in, then and only then should you add a distance.

You have choices - move closer to 2M for a 1/2 spin throw, move out to 4Mfor a 1-1./2 spin throw or further out to 5M for a 2 spin throw.

I usually move folks in to the 1/2 spin distance. My recommendation to folks is when first learning to throw, pick your starting distance (1/2 or 1 spin) and only throw that distance until you can reliably stick a knife 25 times in a row without a bounce off before adding a new distance.

As above, start at the 2M mark, hold your knife by the blade and throw, again watching how the knife hits - point up or down. Move back as required.

I like to have folks move only 3 to 4 inches at a time. The most I have folks move is the distance of 1 foot length of the thrower. That's not "1 foot", i.e., 12 inches. That's the length of ONE of the thrower's feet. That comes from the method of finding your mark when throwing in a mountain man style of throw where your ONLY reference point on the ground is a 10 foot indicator.

One steps off XX feet lengths from the 10 ft mark to the throwers 1 or 2 spin knife distance or the throwers 1, 1-1/2 and 2 spin hawk distances.

Throwing knives do NOT require a live edge. They simply need to be pointy enough to stick and have enough of a grind on the edge to not be a blunt piece of steel. One CAN throw live edge knives, but that takes special practice, special grips, etc.

No-spin is a whole nother kettle of fish.
 

MolokaiRider

Gold Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2017
Messages
4,660
Plywood is bad from a sticking aspect. Too much rebound. As others said, endgrain is best. Cottonwood and sycamore are best, pine is acceptable. Oak, pecan, mesquite, hickory, i.e., hardwoods should be avoided. Target butts angled back are not conducive to sticking either. The target butt face should be as close to vertical as possible.

Rotation is not a bad thing, but you must dial in your distances for each 1/2 spin and/or no-spin distance.

Looking at just rotational throwing - most people start out too far away for their initial throwing because the "cool factor" of sticking a knife from 20 or 30 feet is so seductive.

IKTHOF rotational throwing is from 5 distances/rotations - 2M- 1/2 spin, 3M- 1 spin, 4M-1-1/2 spin, 5M- 2 spin and 7M- 2-1/2 spin. Or 6.5 ft, 10 ft, 13 ft, etc. In IKTHOF throwing, the distance is the MINIMUM you can stand at for the specified number of rotations. If you want to, you could stand back at 50 feet for a 1/2 spin rotation throw and be legal. No sane reason to do so, but you could.

Euro throw rules are 3 distances, all full spin throws - Europe doesn't allow blade throws in competition - 1/2/3 spin from 3/5/7M.

Almost no one over rotates at the exact minimum distance, but it can happen IF the thrower is shorter than normal - arm length, body length, leg length and knife length affect rotational speed.

Shorter knives spin faster than longer knives. Lighter knives bounce back faster.

IKTHOF standards for rotational knives are 12 inches minimum, 16 inches maximum and a minimum 12 ounces in weight. The rule of thumb is an ounce per inch. My rotational knives vary between 12 inches and 16 inches, with weights ranging from 12 ounces to 20 ounces.

When teaching someone to throw, I start them out at the 3M/10ft distance which is a 1 full spin throw. This takes the "oh my god I'm holding a knife by the blade and throwing it" concern out of the newbie's mind. It also provides an additional 3 feet of reaction space for a bad bounce.

Start out 10 feet from the target. Throw at the target. WATCH the knife. Does it hit point up or point down. If it hits point up, move 3 to 6 inches back and try again. Rinse and repeat until the knife is hitting point first. If it hits point down at a range of 10 feet, you have to change either your stance, your release, the throwing speed or some combination of the three. This is because 10 feet is the MINIMUM distance for a 1 spin throw and moving closer would violate the "rules".

After you have your 1 spin distance dialed in, then and only then should you add a distance.

You have choices - move closer to 2M for a 1/2 spin throw, move out to 4Mfor a 1-1./2 spin throw or further out to 5M for a 2 spin throw.

I usually move folks in to the 1/2 spin distance. My recommendation to folks is when first learning to throw, pick your starting distance (1/2 or 1 spin) and only throw that distance until you can reliably stick a knife 25 times in a row without a bounce off before adding a new distance.

As above, start at the 2M mark, hold your knife by the blade and throw, again watching how the knife hits - point up or down. Move back as required.

I like to have folks move only 3 to 4 inches at a time. The most I have folks move is the distance of 1 foot length of the thrower. That's not "1 foot", i.e., 12 inches. That's the length of ONE of the thrower's feet. That comes from the method of finding your mark when throwing in a mountain man style of throw where your ONLY reference point on the ground is a 10 foot indicator.

One steps off XX feet lengths from the 10 ft mark to the throwers 1 or 2 spin knife distance or the throwers 1, 1-1/2 and 2 spin hawk distances.

Throwing knives do NOT require a live edge. They simply need to be pointy enough to stick and have enough of a grind on the edge to not be a blunt piece of steel. One CAN throw live edge knives, but that takes special practice, special grips, etc.

No-spin is a whole nother kettle of fish.
Great post.

I would reiterate the statements made about NOT using hardwoods or plywood.

I have split ironwood that was well seasoned and many, many times an axe just bounces off. A throwing knife has very little chance of sticking.
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2006
Messages
296
Plywood is bad from a sticking aspect. Too much rebound. As others said, endgrain is best. Cottonwood and sycamore are best, pine is acceptable. Oak, pecan, mesquite, hickory, i.e., hardwoods should be avoided. Target butts angled back are not conducive to sticking either. The target butt face should be as close to vertical as possible.

Rotation is not a bad thing, but you must dial in your distances for each 1/2 spin and/or no-spin distance.

Looking at just rotational throwing - most people start out too far away for their initial throwing because the "cool factor" of sticking a knife from 20 or 30 feet is so seductive.

IKTHOF rotational throwing is from 5 distances/rotations - 2M- 1/2 spin, 3M- 1 spin, 4M-1-1/2 spin, 5M- 2 spin and 7M- 2-1/2 spin. Or 6.5 ft, 10 ft, 13 ft, etc. In IKTHOF throwing, the distance is the MINIMUM you can stand at for the specified number of rotations. If you want to, you could stand back at 50 feet for a 1/2 spin rotation throw and be legal. No sane reason to do so, but you could.

Euro throw rules are 3 distances, all full spin throws - Europe doesn't allow blade throws in competition - 1/2/3 spin from 3/5/7M.

Almost no one over rotates at the exact minimum distance, but it can happen IF the thrower is shorter than normal - arm length, body length, leg length and knife length affect rotational speed.

Shorter knives spin faster than longer knives. Lighter knives bounce back faster.

IKTHOF standards for rotational knives are 12 inches minimum, 16 inches maximum and a minimum 12 ounces in weight. The rule of thumb is an ounce per inch. My rotational knives vary between 12 inches and 16 inches, with weights ranging from 12 ounces to 20 ounces.

When teaching someone to throw, I start them out at the 3M/10ft distance which is a 1 full spin throw. This takes the "oh my god I'm holding a knife by the blade and throwing it" concern out of the newbie's mind. It also provides an additional 3 feet of reaction space for a bad bounce.

Start out 10 feet from the target. Throw at the target. WATCH the knife. Does it hit point up or point down. If it hits point up, move 3 to 6 inches back and try again. Rinse and repeat until the knife is hitting point first. If it hits point down at a range of 10 feet, you have to change either your stance, your release, the throwing speed or some combination of the three. This is because 10 feet is the MINIMUM distance for a 1 spin throw and moving closer would violate the "rules".

After you have your 1 spin distance dialed in, then and only then should you add a distance.

You have choices - move closer to 2M for a 1/2 spin throw, move out to 4Mfor a 1-1./2 spin throw or further out to 5M for a 2 spin throw.

I usually move folks in to the 1/2 spin distance. My recommendation to folks is when first learning to throw, pick your starting distance (1/2 or 1 spin) and only throw that distance until you can reliably stick a knife 25 times in a row without a bounce off before adding a new distance.

As above, start at the 2M mark, hold your knife by the blade and throw, again watching how the knife hits - point up or down. Move back as required.

I like to have folks move only 3 to 4 inches at a time. The most I have folks move is the distance of 1 foot length of the thrower. That's not "1 foot", i.e., 12 inches. That's the length of ONE of the thrower's feet. That comes from the method of finding your mark when throwing in a mountain man style of throw where your ONLY reference point on the ground is a 10 foot indicator.

One steps off XX feet lengths from the 10 ft mark to the throwers 1 or 2 spin knife distance or the throwers 1, 1-1/2 and 2 spin hawk distances.

Throwing knives do NOT require a live edge. They simply need to be pointy enough to stick and have enough of a grind on the edge to not be a blunt piece of steel. One CAN throw live edge knives, but that takes special practice, special grips, etc.

No-spin is a whole nother kettle of fish.
Listen to this guy!
Ive thrown a lot of pointy things, but this all good advice!!! you can look into "Flat throwing" as well, but all knife throwing is about combining distance judgement with good technique. Simple knives, simple targets, measured distances...make it quicker to learn.
Consistency before flair, should be your goal! Good luck, n watch out for bounce backs! Remember a spinning knife has no handle!!
 
Joined
Feb 17, 2013
Messages
5,998
Listen to this guy!
Ive thrown a lot of pointy things, but this all good advice!!! you can look into "Flat throwing" as well, but all knife throwing is about combining distance judgement with good technique. Simple knives, simple targets, measured distances...make it quicker to learn.
Consistency before flair, should be your goal! Good luck, n watch out for bounce backs! Remember a spinning knife has no handle!!

Weeellll,,,,,,, It depends on the throwing style/method and the knife.

Bowies used in Mountain Man Style are REQUIRED to have handles or wood, bone, stag or leather and the knives are thrown 1 and 2 spin only by the handle. I have throwing Bowies with leather, wood and micarta scales, as well as some without any scales.

Some of my sets of rotational throwing knives also have leather handles. I have scaled and scaleless no-spin knives.

I also have sets of knives with and without handles used for "combat" throwing where the knives are thrown 1/2 spin by the blade from any distance, How fast the knife makes its 1/2 spin is controlled by thumb-walking your grip down the blade.
 

Ote

Joined
Mar 4, 2012
Messages
56
Put a layer (or 2) of corrugated cardboard on your target... it will do 3 things for you
1. accepts the point of the knife well (helps the knife stick)
2. substantially reduces rebound (the knife coming back at you)
3. if/when you throw off rotation (your distance is incorrect) the knife will leave an imprint in the cardboard.. this will allow you to have a visual on your knifes rotation.. handle down-your not far enough away from the target... handle up - the knife is over rotating, your too far away. if you see the side of the knife, your grip/release is an issue.
Been throwing for years, this is how I teach the girls to throw.... works great. Good luck
 

David Mary

pass the mustard - after you cut it
Moderator
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
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Jul 23, 2015
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Read "Combat Knife Throwing" by Ralph Thorn and watch his videos.
 

tiguy7

Gold Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2008
Messages
7,522
Cutlery Hall of Famer Harry McEvoy wrote good book on knife throwing called “Knife Throwing”. It is available in paperback from Amazon.
 
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Dec 12, 2007
Messages
2,141
I would say it is more the knives and less the target. Smaller lightweight shorter knives really suck, long heavy knives are best for everyone but especially beginners. It looks like too much rotation and not enough weight to stick. Everyone makes the same mistake with smaller lighter cheaper throwing knives , I did same thing.
 
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