When we last spoke, I had just set up my target and was ready to start putting holes in it. First, I wrapped the knife handles with the green tape, as I had many a tense half hour in my youth searching for a knife that I had cast into leaf litter. Remind me to move to red tape for summer.
Through trial and error, I found a distance from which I could stick the majority of my throws and began to work from there. I throw from the handle; I know that many more people are blade throwers, but when one’s knives show up sharp enough to remove a finger, it just makes more sense to use the handle. This also allows me to throw any knife, dull or sharp, without the action feeling strange.
When I first started throwing, I had a table set up near the target so that I could array the knives and keep them off the ground. Then it occurred to me that my system was rather inefficient. Why didn’t I just use the sheaths they came with, you ask? They are nice leather, and in the case of the Bökers, the fit is very tight, and I didn’t want to muck them up with mud and leaf litter.
I needed something sturdy enough to stand up to the blades and loose enough to allow me to draw and store them easily. To my mind, that required a trip to Home Depot to get a toolbelt. After perusing the leather models and finding myself unable to justify the price, I settled on this $7.00 Husky utility pouch and a nylon belt.
I am now offically certified ready for the Zombie Apocalypse.
As you can see, the pouch rides quite low on my hip, like a gunslinger’s holster, which naturally means that I find myself, instead of drawing back and carefully taking aim, throwing knife after knife as quickly as I can let them fly, savoring the Hollywood sound of ringing metal. Now I throw both for accuracy, and to see how fast I can put a dagger into the heart of that oncoming zombie 😉
Enough backstory–Let’s meet the family, shall we?
Böker Mini Bo-kri
I got these because they were big knives, had a cool shape, and best of all were only about 20 bucks. I’m not even going to grace the site I bought them from with a mention. Terrible people. Incidentally, these are the knives that Glimmer uses in the movie version of The Hunger Games, probably because the design makes them look extra wicked. Or was that Clove? Cute girls held knives–that’s all I remember for sure. Anyway, when these guys stick, you know they hit. When I get back from the target, they sound much like my axe, sinking with a solid, satisfying thunk that I’m sure the neighbors can hear.
Kit Rae Black Jet Dagger
When I saw these, my jaw dropped and the 12-year-old boy in me squealed at the top of his lungs. I would say that these are what really launched my knife throwing renaissance. They are simply gorgeous, and if I had gotten them as a kid, I would have kept them in a box and only brought them out to polish them and call them my preciouses. I’ve always been partial to daggers, I suppose because of their design unabashedly screams their use: Single-blade knives can pass as respectable, but daggers are only for dark and nefarious purposes, and they don’t care who knows it. Very much like rogues, now that I think of it…
The etching on the blade gives them a real fantasy feel. While they may look delicate, they are actually large knives and quite tough, for all the abuse I’ve put them through. They stick very well and feel great to throw, but they do have a couple of downsides. The finger choil areas have very sharp edges and can easily cut if I grab the knife carelessly. They make the knives look epically cool, so I can forgive the occasional scratch. Second, they arrived very sharp, like the Bokers, but they soon dulled to a safe level. All in all, I think I’d buy more Kit Rae items again.
Gil Hibben Throwing Axe
I bought this one off of a friend who was moving away. I imagine at the time he paid quite a chunk of cash, as Gil Hibben had just started to take off as a reputable name then, but all I had with me was twelve bucks. Still, home it went, for he was a desperate man who needed some quick cash. I would feel bad about fleecing him, but when I look at the axe my morality suddenly becomes rather slippery. It’s been under my side of the bed for years now, but when I built the target, I remembered it and streaked to the bedroom to gleefully unsheath it and hurl it at some pine.
One thing I will say about axes: they will tear the crap out of a target. The Hibben is a heavy piece of steel, and when it hits, stick or not, the force is enough to knock the boards loose from their nails. And if the same area of the board gets hit, the chunks start flying, and this can be the result:
So there’s my new hobby. I hope to indulge in it more as the weather warms up. Next time, I may write a review of one or two of my recent acquisitions.