The knife is an amazing thing, so common that we often dismiss its importance and value in our everyday lives.

The use of projectile weapons precedes modern humans by several hundred thousand years, according to archaeological research. More recently, thrown blades have taken a prominent place in the martial history of quite a few civilizations, even up to modern times.

There are three general styles of throwing knives; your knife will probably fall into one of them. They are:

  • Blade-heavy: the blade of the knife is heavier than the handle, and the center of gravity is located somewhere along the blade.
  • Handle-heavy: the handle is heavier than the blade, and the center of gravity is located in the handle.
  • Balanced: the center of gravity is located where the blade meets the handle, and both weigh about the same amount.

When throwing the knife for the first time, your goal is to allow the knife to make a single rotation before it hits the target. The correct distance for this is typically about five yards, but can depend on the size of the knife and the force with which you throw it. Practices throwing the knife until you find your throwing distance.


A combat-style throw is different than the traditional technique. It is harder to master the traditional throwing style, but it has the advantage that you are not relying on rotation, so you can reliably hit a target at any distance. In this style, you grip the handle of the knife the same way you would grip a spear, and throw it straight at the target.

Because this is a more difficult throw intended to be used in combat situations, it’s important to practice it until you can do it without thinking – once the knife leaves your hand, you want to be sure your target is going down.

Tarun Tripathi