Throwing Knives for Self-Defense?

Posted on: February 19, 2018


In the last couple of days, I’ve seen a few references to throwing knives on survival-related social media. So, I guess this is a thing now? I don’t know, maybe I just never noticed or paid attention to it before. But, okay, let’s talk about throwing knives for a bit.

Any knife can be thrown. I mean, as long as you can pick it up, you can probably toss it, right? Some knives work better than others, though. A thin bladed kitchen knife tends to be unbalanced and thus is a bit more difficult to throw accurately than a knife that is purpose-built for throwing.

Something to consider, too, is that most throwing knives, meaning knives that are made for the primary purpose of accuracy when thrown, don’t have sharp blades. The points, while sharp, don’t come to a needle tip, simply because they’d likely roll or bend under the force of impact against a wooden target. A true throwing knife just isn’t going to be all that useful for other knife-related tasks.

That said, there are some combat blades that are balanced enough to spin properly when thrown.  Balance is the key for a successful throw.

The question, though, is whether throwing a knife is a good idea for self-defense? Here’s the entire list of situations where throwing a knife makes good sense as a defense weapon.

1) You are being attacked by a scantily-clad woman who is tied to a giant wheel.

End of list.

See, here’s the thing. The moment that knife leaves your fingers, you’ve lost your weapon. Regardless of whether you hit your target or not, the knife is lost to you until or unless you can recover it later. If you want to throw something, grab some rocks off the ground.

Real life isn’t like the movies, either. Let’s say you manage to hit the person. It isn’t like they are going to just crumple up and fall to the ground upon being nailed in the midsection with your magic throwing knife. If the person is wearing a thick coat, the knife may not do much more than break the skin. And that’s assuming the knife strikes them point first, which may be questionable.

There’s also the distinct possibility of your attacker picking the knife up and using it against you. Wouldn’t that be a kick in the teeth? Here you’ve spent hours and hours honing your knife throwing abilities, biding your time to use your skills for real, only to end up on the receiving end of one of your own blades? Boy, won’t your face be red from embarrassment.

This is real life, not Hollywood. If you are going to carry a knife for defense purposes, the only way it will prove useful is if you keep it in your hand during an altercation.



Cover image credit – By – Own work, Reviews of all knives available at, CC BY-SA 3.0,

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