BLADE Magazine

First-Rate Fliers: Top Throwing Knives Tested

Fun to fling, today’s throwing knives fly like the wind.

The Throwing Knives Tested:

We used a variety of throws to fully test the knives: handhold, blade hold, overhand, underhand, no-spin from three-to-five paces, half-spin from five to seven paces, and full-spin from seven to ten paces. Throwing at longer distances than this is, for me, frivolous and fruitless. Our targets were the sawn end of a pine stump on its side and a pine tree we are planning to take down. The stump was from a cut last year when we were clearing an area. It had seasoned somewhat and was a tougher target than the standing tree, so penetration was deeper in the standing tree.

Boker Magnum Mini Bo-Kri

Designed by veteran knife thrower John Bailey, the Boker Magnum Mini Bo-Kri is the kind of throwing knife a performer would choose to use on stage.

It has a flashy, fierce-looking recurve blade and you know at first glance it’s a throwing knife. The largest and heftiest of the three review knives, the Bo-Kri is well balanced and flew true with each throw, handle hold or blade hold. Its weight aided penetration in both stump and standing tree. Its design is best for handle throws—it just feels better that way.

CAUTION: A thing to keep in mind is that with the Bo-Kri’s recurve blade there’s a good deal of spinning edge, which means that not only the point is sharp. You should ensure your target area is clear of people when throwing any knife, but in this case a deflection would send a long edge spinning wildly. A nice leather sheath is included.

Boker Magnum Mini Bo-Kri Specs
Blade Length: 5.71”
Blade Steel: 420J2 stainless
Blade Thicknes: .25”
Blade Pattern: Drop point
Blade Grind: Sabre, recurve
Blade Finish: Brushed
Edge Type: Plain
Weight: 8.1 ozs.
Overall Length: 10.71”
Continent Of Origin: Asia
MSRP: $34.95


Kizlyar Supreme Strij

I have the strong impression that Russians are serious about throwing knives and actually use them in the field. The Strij by Kizlyar Supreme would be my choice if I were going to hunt rabbits with a throwing knife like that 10-year-old kid—which I would not. Now I know enough to use the knife to make a throwing stick, spear, bow, etc. Nonetheless, the Strij appears to have been designed with field use in mind. Kizlyar’s information says the knife was designed by Russian “Throwing Knife Instructor Grandmaster” V.S. Kovrov. I think it’s amazing there is such a thing as a Throwing Knife Grandmaster, and it illustrates just how serious Russians are about this skill.

The Strij is balanced precisely in the middle, which facilitates both handle and blade throws, as well as spin and no-spin throws. Kizlyar’s promotional material also says that “the Strij definitely requires a master’s touch to be accurate.” I disagree. My son, Justin, stuck it deep in the center of the target with his first throw. This one is a keeper.

Kizlyar Supreme Strij
Blade Length: 5.25”
Blade Steel: Stainless
Rockwell Hardness: 42 (spine) and 45 (edge) HRC
Blade Style: Modified dagger
Blade Grind: Sabre
Blade Finish: Brushed
Edge Type: Plain
Weight: 6.7 ozs.
Overall Length: 8.5”
Country Of Origin: Russia
MSRP: $42


Colonial Throwing Knife

My impression of Colonial’s throwing entries? They look like ninja knives—black, radically curved, lightweight, perfect for a ninja. Colonial promotes these as “sport” or “pastime” knives to be used like darts. I get that. They’re balanced like darts, weight forward, which makes accurate handle-hold, no-spin throws easy. Even so, we also threw them with a blade hold and a spin, which worked fine. I can see a group of folks with a handful of these knives and a dartboard-like target. I can also imagine a ninja slinging a handful of these at pursuing samurai. (I have an active imagination.)

If you’re going for penetration with these knives, velocity is the thing. With little mass and weight, velocity is what will give them the power to penetrate. Whipping your arm—not your wrist—adds velocity. These little guys are fun to throw. Well-made nylon sheaths house each of the two Colonial throwers (they come in a set) until needed.

Colonial Throwing Knife
Blade Length: 4.5”
Blade Steel: 440A stainless
Blade Thickness: .08”
Rockwell Hardness: 57 HRC
Blade Style: Dagger
Blade Grind: Sabre
Blade Finish: Brushed
Edge Type: Plain
Weight: 3.2 ozs.
Overall Length: 8.5”
Country Of Origin: China
MSRP: $29.99 (set of two; includes a nylon carry case and sheaths)


Tips On Throwing Knives

The Bo-Kri and the Colonial knives are clearly designed as dedicated throwing knives, not all-around tools. The Kizlyar Strij, though also designed as a throwing knife, is quite usable as a general-purpose knife. None of the test knives came with paper-cutting sharp edges, as is proper for throwing knives. They can, however, be sharpened. They are also tempered fairly soft, as is proper so they won’t break if a powerful throw misses the target and the knife hits something hard. This means they won’t hold an edge long if used much. That’s OK. Edge holding is much overrated. If you want these knives to have a sharp edge, a few strokes on a good stone will do it. So, too, when they go dull—a few strokes will re-sharpen them.

If you want to throw knives, here’s a couple of tips: keep your wrist stiff when releasing the knife. Do not snap your wrist. Let the power come from your body, as when throwing a football, baseball, or javelin. Throw at a big, soft target and make sure there’s a large, safe backstop for when you miss—as you will at first if you’re new to the game. Even veterans miss on occasion. As you progress you can move on to smaller targets and moving targets. Have patience and, most of all, have fun.

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