Can any knife be a throwing knife? Important Things to Know

If you are diving into the world of knife throwing, you may be wondering whether you can throw any knife. Well, maybe. You can throw any knife, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you should throw every knife.

Any knife can be a throwing knife. If you put a random knife in the hands of a decent knife thrower, they can probably make it work. However, some knives are not strong enough to withstand the applied forces upon throwing and can break or shatter upon impact. 

Let’s explain in a bit more depth, shall we?

Why is a non-throwing knife not a good choice?

Technically, any knife can be thrown. If it has a pointed end, then it could be used as a throwing knife. However, this doesn’t mean that you should be throwing any knife. Despite its ability to be thrown, non-throwing knives won’t throw very well.

For starters, throwing a knife that has not been designed for throwing can be challenging. A non-throwing knife is purely for cutting things. It doesn’t need to be balanced for throwing. This means that while you may be able to throw it, it can be challenging to aim the knife.

Your standard knife will be balanced. However, it won’t be balanced for throwing. It will be balanced for cutting. This means that if you throw it, the movement can be somewhat unpredictable. In fact, the knife is likely to end up moving at an odd angle. It may not even get close to your intended target.

While a decent knife thrower may be able to make a non-throwing knife work, it takes a lot of skill and practice to perform on top of that. They probably would never want to throw a non-throwing knife simply because it isn’t the best way to show off their skills.

If that wasn’t enough, even the toughest of non-throwing knives wouldn’t be able to withstand being thrown constantly.

 This means that they will probably break after a couple of throws. We have seen thinner knives (particularly thin chef’s knives) break after a single throw. 

How Does a Throwing Knife Differ From a Non-Throwing Knife?

If you compare the look of a throwing knife to a non-throwing knife, you will very quickly realize why they aren’t interchangeable.

A throwing knife is purely for throwing. It is essentially a single piece of steel split into two distinct sections: a grip and a pointed upper part. It would never function like a standard knife. Only the upper part of the knife is sharp. That is the only part that needs to be. Throwing knives have been designed with one goal: to be thrown and stick to their target.

Throwing Knife
Throwing Knife

A throwing knife will have been balanced so that it remains fairly level as it travels through the air. This allows accuracy with the throwing. However, the balancing also ensures that the knife won’t rotate unpredictably, which will impact the accuracy.

Because a standard knife isn’t designed for throwing, it doesn’t need to be balanced for throwing. That is the last thing on the designer’s mind. Their goal is to make a knife that cuts incredibly well. If you attempt to throw a standard knife, it will move unpredictably through the air, which in some cases, can be dangerous. 

Can You Practice Knife Throwing With Normal Knives?

You can practice knife throwing with a standard knife, but it is not recommended. It certainly isn’t recommended if you have no experience with knife throwing. 

You would be practicing using the completely wrong tool for the job. You may develop a few skills, but nothing compared to using a proper throwing knife.

Knife throwing is all about learning to control the knife. It is about developing accuracy and learning how the knife will travel from your hand to its destination. Unlike throwing knives, non-throwing knives have unpredictable movement.

If you picked up a quality throwing knife and learned how to throw that, you could pick up any throwing knife and make it work for you. Of course, you may need to get familiar with the intricacies of the second throwing knife, but nothing a skilled knife thrower shouldn’t be able to pick up.

The same doesn’t happen with a non-throwing knife. Every knife is different. Learning to throw one doesn’t mean you will learn to throw another. Instead, you’ll be getting good at throwing one knife and totally unfamiliar with the rest. If you throw a non-throwing knife, you learn barely anything that will help you to throw an actual throwing knife.

What Knives Should You Avoid Throwing?

While you should avoid throwing any knife that isn’t a proper throwing knife, there are some knives you need to avoid throwing. These ones could break and cause injuries.

Here is a list of some of the types of knives that you should avoid using for knife throwing:

  • Kitchen knives
  • Pocket knives
  • Utility knives
  • Serrated knives
  • Fillet knives
  • Any knife that is not specifically designed for throwing

A detailed explanation of each category in the list:

  • Kitchen knives are knives that are typically used for preparing food. They come in many different shapes and sizes and are designed for chopping, slicing, dicing, and mincing. 
  • Pocket knives are small folding knives carried in a pocket or on a keychain. They are typically used for tasks such as opening packages, cutting string, and peeling fruit.
  • Utility knives are knives designed for various tasks, such as cutting paper, cardboard, and other materials. They often have a retractable blade.
  • Serrated knives are knives that have a saw-like edge on the blade. They are typically used for cutting through tough or fibrous materials, such as bread or meats with gristle. 
  • Fillet knives are long, thin knives that are designed for filleting fish. They have a flexible blade that makes removing the bones from a fish fillet easier. 
  • Knives that are not specifically designed for throwing are any other type of knife that is not made for this purpose. This could include knives such as hunting knives, tactical knives, and decorative knives. 

These knives are not suitable for throwing, as they are not designed for this purpose and could break or cause injury.

Finally, give any knife that doesn’t have a full tang (i.e., the blade doesn’t go all the way into the handle) a skip. You could probably get away with non-throwing knives with thicker metal, e.g., your standard butter knife or a cleaver. However, you are still going to be dealing with poor balancing issues.


Any knife can be a throwing knife, but it doesn’t mean you should use a standard knife as a throwing knife. A throwing knife has been designed specifically for throwing. They can take a beating. They have good aerodynamic qualities. A standard knife does not. You will probably throw a standard knife a couple of times before it breaks. They are useless at throwing. If you want to get into knife throwing, only buy a knife designed for the job.


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