The best throwing knives on the market depend highly on personal preference. With current trends leaning toward colored knives that look fancier and knives with no real handle for better concealment, finding a perfect black knife may be a bit more difficult than in the past. In this article we’ll go over the best of the most popular throwing knife categories, even outlining their strengths and weaknesses for you.
What Is a Throwing Knife?
Throwing knives are compact knives designed to flip end over end and bury themselves in their targets. They were some of the first projectile weapons used, along with axes and arrows, and they are incredibly effective. From small animal hunting to self-protection, or even simple sporting competitions, throwing knives is seeing a distinct rise in popularity.
Learning to throw is simple with the best throwing knives in the market on your belt, and most of these are very budget-friendly for those who are just getting their feet wet in knives.
Best Throwing Knives – Top 9 Picks
A great self-defense product should be reliable and easy to use. A throwing knife can make a very intimidating weapon and would deter most attackers. However, there are a few things to know about how to use a knife for self-defense, and which products to use. Our tips and selection of the best throwing knives will help you choose the right product for self-defense.
1. Best Kunai: Perfect Point PP-060-9
The Perfect Point PP-060-9 is a set of 9 well-balanced kunai style knives. A kunai is a Japanese style throwing knife, made in the shape of a small shovel or trowel. True kunais will always have a loop at the end of the handle, with non-Japanese kunai usually having a small pommel instead of a ring.
This set holds its edge and points well even after multiple heavy wood target throws.
Length: 6.25″ Material: Stainless Steel Color: Black Set and Number: Yes. 9 knives are included in this set. Wrapping and Color: Yes. Red cord is wrapped around each individual knife to give the thrower a better grip.
2. Best Black: SOG Throwing Knives F041TN-CP
SOG has been the go-to for “tactical” appearance knives for a long time. These knives look like they’ve fallen out of an action hero flick and are sharpened right out of the box. The holes in the handle help to absorb shock from target throwing, giving them a bit more life than some other brands. They also come with a limited lifetime warranty. If not abused, SOG is usually willing to abide by the warranty and replace blades that have warped or broken through normal use. SOG makes some of the best throwing knives on the market, and with their warranty, there’s little reason not to give them a try.
Length: 6″ Material: 420 Stainless Steel Color: Black Set and Number: Yes. Three in a set. Comes with 3-slot belt pouch. Wrapping and Color: Yes. Black paracord is wrapped around the hilt of each knife.
3. Best Colored: Perfect Point Colored Set
This set looks like a rainbow hit it head on! Perfect for bright demonstrations or eye-catching competition work. Of the best throwing knives mentioned here, these are the only ones that have such an array of colors. Best of all, the colors are heat treated onto the knives for less fading even under heavy use.
Length: 6.5″ Material: Stainless Steel Color: Each one is a different color. Colors included with the set are yellow, orange, blue, green, pink and the ever popular black. Set and Number: Yes. Set contains six, one of each color. Wrapping and Color: Yes. These handles are wrapped with nylon in the same color as the blade, allowing wrapping and blade to match stylishly.
4. Best Balance: SOG FX41N-CP Fling Throwing Knife
A well-balanced blade can mean the difference between hitting your target and simply smacking the flat of a blade against a chunk of wood. Let’s be honest: misthrows are embarrassing, especially for those who are well practiced and looking to show off a little. Even worse, if being used for self-defense, a misthrow can be downright harmful.
The FX41N-CP fling knife is a “semi-handleless” blade, meaning that the blade is actually part of the area you hold on to when throwing it. While technically a handle, this is by virtue alone. This helps its balance since newer knife throwers don’t have to compensate for a true handle’s heavier weight. This is also the smallest of our picks today and thus easier to conceal for personal use.
Length: 5″ Material: Carbon Steel Color: Silver/Metallic Set and Number: Yes. This is a three pack that comes complete with a small belt loop wallet for all three blades. Wrapping and Color: Yes. The wrapping on this is tan and green, especially pretty for those who enjoy camo type coloring.
5. Best Handleless: Smith and Wesson SWTK8CP
Smith and Wesson is far better known for guns than their blade line, but that doesn’t mean that they make a lesser product. In fact, these little Smith and Wesson blades made it into our best throwing knives list.
As with all throwing knives, these technically have a handle. You can’t throw a blade unless it has something not sharpened to hold on to, you’d cut yourself. This is simply a slice of metal that’s been shaped with a sharp end and a flat end. A flat-ended piece of metal does not make a handle, thus making this “handleless”. Handleless blades are often easier for beginners to throw since each side of the blade weighs the same and they don’t have to compensate for plastic or resin handles.
Length: a whopping 8″. These are very large knives. Material: Stainless Steel Color: Silver Set and Number: This is indeed a set, but they can be purchased individually through Smith and Wesson’s site. This set contains six, pre-sharpened knives. Wrapping and Color: No. There is no wrapping on these, making them truly handleless.
It must be noted that the best throwing knives on the market, even ones not included on this list, will take an edge and keep it. Never throw a knife by the blade, even in a quick situation. The knives listed in this best throwing knives list can injure you if mistreated. Stay safe.
6. Perfect Point PAK-712-12 Throwing Knife Set
- 12-piece throwing knife set provides a well balanced throw every time
- Six silver stainless steel throwers and six black stainless steel throwers
- Lanyard hole in the handle
This set includes 12 quality throwing knives. You will get six silver stainless steel knives and 6 black stainless steel knives.
The knives come with a nylon sheath and measure 8 ½.”
These asymmetrical throwing knives feature a sharp edge and a blunt side. The sharp point is a great feature since it will help you hit your target.
The manufacturing recommends using these knives for the no-spin throwing technique. The 8 ½” length makes the knives versatile and suitable for self-defense, but the manufacturer doesn’t have any information about the weight. Shoppers describe the knives as lightweight.
The design seems balanced, and we think this set is worth considering because you get 12 knives for a good price.
- Nylon sheath
- 8 ½” length
- One-piece construction
- Two colors
- Lanyard hole
- Sharp point
- Asymmetrical design
- No information about weight
- Doesn’t come with a paracord handle
7. SOG Classic Throwing Knives Set
- 3-PACK THROWING BLADES KIT: Perfect practice throwing knives for those who throw often and hard; use as professional…
- 9.5 INCH FULL-TANG STAINLESS STEEL KNIVES FOR THROWING: More durable than generic throwing weapons and martial arts…
- TACTICAL THROWING KNIFE CONSTRUCTION: Well-crafted for many professional target throwing styles; no spin, combative…
This set comes with three wide throwing knives. The wide blades make these knives stand out. They have a well-balanced design, and the 2.8” steel blade makes them ideal for self-defense.
These throwing knives feature a 2.8” blade and weigh 5.4 oz. The overall length of the knives is 9.5.”
The knives come with a nylon sheath that you can clip on your belt for easy access. The wide blade helps balance the knives and features straight edges on both sides.
The knives are ideal for throwing thanks to their sharp point. They come with a lightweight paracord handle that improves your grip.
The stainless steel one-piece construction makes the knives durable and requires no maintenance.
SOG offers a lifetime warranty on all their products as long as you properly maintain them. The warranty won’t cover excessive wear and tear.
- Suitable for any throwing style
- Wide blade design
- Sharp point
- Full-tang blade
- Stainless steel knives
- Paracord handle
- More expensive than other options
- Blade length makes it illegal in some places
- Might not be for beginners
8. Smith & Wesson SWTK8BCP Three 8in Stainless Steel Throwing Knives Set
- DIMENSIONS: 8 inch (20.3 cm) length with an individual weight of 4.1 ounces and an overall weight of 12.3 ounces
- DURABLE: Blade is made of reliable 2Cr13 S.S.
- DEPENDABLE: Quick and easy access with the convenient black, nylon belt sheath that holds all 3 knives
We recommend this product because you can get a set of three quality knives for a great price. The knives come with a small sheath that allows you to carry the three knives. The balance and quality of the steel make these knives a great option for self-defense.
This set includes three black stainless steel throwing knives and a small nylon sheath that fits the three knives. The knives measure 8,” and weigh 12.3 oz. We like the blade design because it’s a spear point that helps you hit your target, and the sharp edges look intimidating.
The weight and length ratio of the knives will help you throw them further. It’s something you have to get used to, and it might be best to practice with lighter knives before upgrading to this set.
We recommend this product because Smith & Wesson is a manufacturer with an excellent reputation.
There is a limited lifetime warranty on these knives. It covers manufacturing flaws, but won’t cover damage linked to corrosion or normal wear and tear.
- Good weight and length ratio
- Easy access thanks to nylon belt sheath
- Sharp spear point
- Holes for lanyard of paracord
- Great value
- Other sets come with more knives
- Heavier than other products
- You have to sharpen the knives yourself
9. Cold Steel True Flight Thrower
- 1055 Carbon
- Cor-Ex Sheath
- Strong, reliable, accurate throwing knife made of 1055 carbon steel with baked-on black protective coating
This knife is a versatile option. You can use it as a throwing knife thanks to its shape and balance, but the 12-inch length makes it suitable for other uses.
This 12-inch knife is perfect for self-defense due to its intimidating aspect. The long and balanced blade will help you throw the knife further, but it’s more than a throwing knife thanks to its length and shape.
The knife weighs 9.7 oz, which makes it ideal for long throws. It’s a durable option thanks to the protective black coating and one-piece construction.
There is a paracord handle that provides a comfortable grip. The asymmetrical design of the blade makes the knife more versatile. There are a sharp edge and a sharp point for throwing. The knife comes with a convenient nylon sheath.
There is a limited warranty for this product. It covers manufacturing defects.
- 12” length
- Carbon steel blade
- Great length and weight ratio
- Versatile product
- Protective coating
- Not a set
- More expensive than other products
- Not for beginners
How We Selected Throwing Knives for Self-Defense
We researched different throwing knives and selected the ones that are suitable for self-defense. The quality of the blade is one of the main factors we considered.
Low-quality blades can break when you throw them. Breaking or damaging the blade could render your knife useless in a life-or-death situation.
We also paid attention to weight, length, and balance. These three factors are important because you need a knife that is easy to throw.
We selected throwing knives with different designs and blade lengths so you can find a product that is legal to carry in your state.
How to Choose a Knife for Self-Defense
What sets the best throwing knives apart from other products? These are the features to consider:
- Weight and length. A longer knife rotates at a slower pace, which means it has a better chance of hitting its target. A heavier weight will help the knife maintain a steady trajectory and should help you throw the knife further.
- Stainless steel. We recommend choosing stainless steel blades because they don’t require a lot of maintenance.
- Balance. It’s crucial to choose a well-balanced throwing knife. You won’t be able to throw a poorly balanced knife with accuracy.
- Handle design. Look for a knife with a lightweight handle. A lot of knives use a one-piece construction to improve the structural integrity of the weapon.
- Sharp point. It’s important to have a sharp point so the knife can stick into its target. You can find throwing knives with sharp edges, which adds to the intimidation factor, but keep in mind that the edge of the blade doesn’t come into play when you throw the knife.
You can find original and colorful designs when shopping for throwing knives. We recommend avoiding bright colors and novelty designs.
It’s best to choose to throw knives that look like tactical weapons. Look for black or stainless steel knives, so a potential attacker doesn’t mistake your self-defense weapon for a toy or novelty knife.
Product FAQs: Best Throwing Knives
A self-defense weapon shouldn’t be an impulse buy. Here are some things you need to know about throwing knives.
1. Can you legally use throwing knives for self-defense?
Check state laws about owning and carrying knives, so you don’t get in trouble. Laws typically won’t restrict what you can carry and use on private property, which makes throwing knives a good option for an at-home self-defense weapon in case you ever have to face an intruder.
Most states allow you to own and carry a knife as long as the blade doesn’t exceed three inches in length. Longer knives are either illegal or allowed as long as you open carry.
It’s illegal to carry ballistic knives in Kansas, Maryland, and Indiana. The legal definition of ballistic knives in these states applies to most throwing knives.
Virginia is one of the states with the strictest knife laws. You can own a pocket knife, but most other types of knives aren’t legal.
We recommend that you look up the laws that apply to your state and pay attention to how state laws define different types of knives. The difference between a legal self-defense product and an illegal knife could lay in the length of the blade, or in whether or not your knife has a folding blade.
2. Are throwing knives an effective self-defense product?
Throwing knives are an effective self-defense option in some scenarios. A knife can be very intimidating and deter a would-be attacker or intruder before you even throw it.
However, there is a risk of not hitting your target when you throw the knife. Keep in mind that you will use throwing knives in a very stressful situation.
Throwing knives can be a good option for self-defense if you take the time to practice and develop good aiming skills. There are other self-defense options to consider if you don’t have time to practice or if you want to reduce the risks of missing your target.
Final Verdict: Which Product Is the Best Throwing Knife for Self-Defense?
We recommend the SOG set if you are new to using knives for self-defense. The lightweight design and sharp point will help you practice and develop good throwing skills. You can use these knives with different throwing techniques to see which moves you feel the most comfortable using.
Once you gain more experience with throwing knives, the Smith & Wesson set is an upgrade worth considering. These heavier knives will help you make longer throws and improve your accuracy.
If you have a lot of experience with knives, we recommend the 12” Cold Steel knife. It has an intimidating effect due to the length of the blade, and the length and weight ratio will help you make long and accurate throws if you have a good technique.