Throwing axe

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Traditional form tomahawk Tomahawk in stump.jpg
Traditional form tomahawk

A throwing axe is a weapon used from Antiquity to the Middle Ages by foot soldiers and occasionally by mounted soldiers. Usually, they are thrown in an overhand motion in a manner that causes the axe to rotate as it travels through the air.


Axe throwing is a sport in which the competitor throws an axe at a target, attempting to hit the bullseye as near as possible like that of the archery. Axe throwing is an event held in most lumberjack competitions. A skilled axe thrower will rotate the throwing axe exactly once throughout the flight so that the sharpened edge of the head will penetrate the target. Throwing axes are becoming popular among outdoor enthusiasts as a throwing tool.


Different types of the Francisca Franziska.png
Different types of the Francisca

The francisca is a throwing axe associated with the Franks in the 3rd century CE. Its design was also used by other Germanic peoples of the period including the Anglo-Saxons. The francisca is characterised by its distinctly arch-shaped head, widening toward the cutting edge and terminating in a prominent point at both the upper and lower corners. The top of the head is usually either S-shaped or convex with the lower portion curving inward and forming an elbow with the short wooden haft. Sometimes the head is more up-swept, forming a wider angle with the haft. Most franciscas have a round or teardrop-shaped eye designed to fit the tapered haft, similar to Viking axes. Even this New World weapon experienced some influence by the francisca in the French territories. Tomahawk throwing competitions still take place today.


A hurlbat (or whirlbat, whorlbat) is the term used for a type of weapon with unclear original definition. Older reference works refer to it largely as a type of club, either held in the hand or possibly thrown. Modern usage appears to refer to a type of throwing-axe.

Nzappa zap

Ceremonial axe, Songe people, Honolulu Museum of Art, 3023 Ceremonial axe, Songe people, Honolulu Museum of Art, 3023.JPG
Ceremonial axe, Songe people, Honolulu Museum of Art, 3023

The Nzappa zap is a weapon from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and can be considered one of the more unusual-looking throwing axes. The Nzappa zaps sometimes had an iron head with two or three human faces. The handle had the shape of a club with a round upper part. The head is attached to the club via struts, giving the weapon its unique design. Besides being thrown, these axes were sometimes used to injure the enemy directly by hand. This can be used both for short distances throw and as a melee weapon in hand-to-hand combat.

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A boomerang is a thrown tool, typically constructed as a flat airfoil, that is designed to spin about an axis perpendicular to the direction of its flight. A returning boomerang is designed to return to the thrower. It is well-known as a weapon used by some Aboriginal Australian peoples for hunting.

Polearm Pole-mounted cold weapon

A polearm or pole weapon is a close combat weapon in which the main fighting part of the weapon is fitted to the end of a long shaft, typically of wood, thereby extending the user's effective range and striking power. Polearms are predominantly melee weapons, with a subclass of spear-like designs fit for both thrusting and throwing. Because many polearms were adapted from agricultural implements or other fairly abundant tools, and contained relatively little metal, they were cheap to make and readily available. When warfare would break out and the belligerents had a poorer class who could not pay for dedicated military weapons, leaders would often appropriate tools as cheap weapons. The cost of training was comparatively minimal, since these conscripted farmers had spent most of their lives using these "weapons" in the fields. This made polearms the favored weapon of peasant levies and peasant rebellions the world over.

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Tomahawk Axe from North America

A tomahawk is a type of single-handed axe native to the many Indigenous peoples and nations of North America, traditionally resembling a hatchet with a straight shaft. The term came into the English language in the 17th century as an adaptation of the Powhatan word.

Knife throwing Throwing of knives at targets for entertainment or sport

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A battle axe is an axe specifically designed for combat. Battle axes were specialized versions of utility axes. Many were suitable for use in one hand, while others were larger and were deployed two-handed.

Francisca Frankish throwing axe

The francisca is a throwing axe used as a weapon during the Early Middle Ages by the Franks, among whom it was a characteristic national weapon at the time of the Merovingians from about 500 to 750 and is known to have been used during the reign of Charlemagne (768–814). Although generally associated with the Franks, it was also used by other Germanic peoples of the period, including the Anglo-Saxons; several examples have been found in England.

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A froe, shake axe or paling knife is a tool for cleaving wood by splitting it along the grain. It is an L-shaped tool, used by hammering one edge of its blade into the end of a piece of wood in the direction of the grain, then twisting the blade in the wood by rotating the haft (handle).

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Nzappa zap

The Nzappa zap is a traditional weapon from the Congo similar to an axe or hatchet.

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Grenade Small bomb that can be thrown by hand

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Native American weaponry Weapons used by Native Americans for hunting and warfare with other Native American tribes

Native American weaponry was used by Native American warriors to hunt and to do battle with other Native American tribes and European colonizers.