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A throwing knife is a knife that is specially designed and weighted so that it can be thrown effectively. They are a distinct category from ordinary knives.
Throwing knives are used by many cultures around the world, and as such different tactics for throwing them have been developed, as have different shapes and forms of throwing knife.
Throwing knives are also used in sport.
Throwing knives saw use in central Africa.The wide area they were used over means that they were referred to by a number of names such as Onzil , Kulbeda, Mambele , Pinga and Trombash . These weapons had multiple iron blades and were used for warfare and hunting. A maximum effective range of about 50 yards has been suggested. The weapon appears to have originated in central Sudan somewhere around 1000 AD from where it spread south. It has however been suggested that the same weapon is depicted in Libyan wall sculptures dating around 1350 BC.
The throwing knives were extensively collected by Europeans with the result that many European and American museums have extensive collections.However the collectors generally failed to record the origin of the blades or their use. As a result, the history and use of the throwing knives is poorly understood. A further complication is that the label Throwing knife was attached by ethnographers to various objects that didn't fit into other weapon categories even though they may not have been thrown.
Throwing knives are commonly made of a single piece of steel or other material, without handles, unlike other types of knives. The knife has two sections, the "blade" which is the sharpened half of the knife and the "grip" which is not sharpened. The purpose of the grip is to allow the knife to be safely handled by the user and also to balance the weight of the blade.
The knives are of two kinds, balanced knives and unbalanced knives. A balanced knife is made in such a way that the center of gravity is at the center of the knife. Such a balanced knife will follow a near circular trajectory in the flight. For an unbalanced knife, the center of gravity does not match the geometric center. If the knife's handle is heavier, then the circles of the handle and the circles of the blade in flight will be of different diameter, making the trajectory less predictable. The unbalanced knives are generally thrown by gripping the lighter end. There are also knives with adjustable weights which can slide on the length of the blade. This way, it can function both as a balanced or unbalanced knife depending upon the position of the weight. Balanced knives are generally preferred over unbalanced ones for two reasons: Balanced knives can be thrown from the handle as well as from the blade and it is easier to change from one balanced knife to another.
The weight of the throwing knife and the throwing speed determine the power of the impact. Lighter knives can be thrown with relative ease, but they may fail to penetrate the target properly, resulting in "bounce back". Heavy throwing knives are more stable in their flight and cause more damage to the target, but more strength is needed to throw them accurately.
Hans Talhoffer (c. 1410-1415 – after 1482) and Paulus Hector Mair (1517–1579) both mention throwing daggers in their treaties on combat and weapons. Talhoffer specifies a type of spiked dagger for throwing while Mair describes throwing the dagger at your opponents chest.
Willow Leaf Knives (柳葉刀 Liu Yeh Piao or Liu Ye Biao) are two sided throwing knives that can be curved or straight. It is designed exclusively for ranged combat.
Swallow Tail Flying Knives (燕子飞刀 Yen Tzu Fei Tao or Yan Zi Fei Dao), also known as Swallow Tail Darts, are traditional Chinese throwing weapons. Even though called knives they are actually more similar to shuriken. They get their name from the shape of a swallow's tail and the birds speed in flight.
A utility knife, sometimes generically called a Stanley knife, is a knife used for general or utility purposes. The utility knife was originally a fixed blade knife with a cutting edge suitable for general work such as cutting hides and cordage, scraping hides, butchering animals, cleaning fish, and other tasks. Craft knives are tools mostly used for crafts. Today, the term "utility knife" also includes small folding or retractable-blade knives suited for use in the general workplace or in the construction industry.
A knife is a tool with a cutting edge or blade often attached to a handle or hilt. One of the earliest tools used by humanity, knives appeared at least two-and-a-half million years ago, as evidenced by the Oldowan tools. Originally made of wood, bone, and stone, over the centuries, in step with improvements in both metallurgy and manufacturing, knife blades have been made from copper, bronze, iron, steel, ceramic, and titanium. Most modern knives have either fixed or folding blades; blade patterns and styles vary by maker and country of origin.
A shuriken is a Japanese concealed weapon that was used as a hidden dagger or metsubushi to distract or misdirect.
A tantō is one of the traditionally made Japanese swords (nihonto) that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate. Tantō were used in traditional martial arts (tantojutsu). The term has seen a resurgence in the West since the 1980s as a point style of modern tactical knives, designed for piercing or stabbing.
A blade is the portion of a tool, weapon, or machine with an edge that is designed to puncture, chop, slice or scrape surfaces or materials. Blades are typically made from materials that are harder than those they are to be used on. Historically, humans have made blades from flaking stones such as flint or obsidian, and from various metal such as copper, bronze and iron. Modern blades are often made of steel or ceramic. Blades are one of humanity's oldest tools, and continue to be used for combat, food preparation, and other purposes.
A Japanese kitchen knife is a type of a knife used for food preparation. These knives come in many different varieties and are often made using traditional Japanese blacksmithing techniques. They can be made from stainless steel, or hagane, which is the same kind of steel used to make Japanese swords. Most knives are referred to as hōchō or the variation -bōchō in compound words but can have other names including -kiri. There are four general categories used to distinguish the Japanese knife designs: handle, blade grind, steel, and construction.
A maguro bōchō, also known as a maguro kiri bōchō is an extremely long, highly specialized knife used in Japan to generally fillet tuna, as well as many other types of large ocean fish.
A switchblade is a type of knife with a folding or sliding blade contained in the handle which is extended automatically by a spring when a button, lever or switch on the handle or bolster is activated. Most switchblade designs incorporate a locking blade, in which the blade is locked against closure when the spring extends the blade to the fully opened position. The blade is unlocked by manually operating a mechanism that unlocks the blade and allows it to be folded and locked in the closed position.
Knife throwing is an art, sport, combat skill, or variously an entertainment technique, involving an artist skilled in the art of throwing knives, the weapons thrown, and a target. In some stage performances, the knife thrower ties an assistant to the target, and throws to miss them.
A balisong, also known as a fan knife, butterfly knife or Batangas knife, is a type of folding pocketknife that originated in the Philippines. Its distinct features are two handles counter-rotating around the tang such that, when closed, the blade is concealed within grooves in the handles. A latch holds the handles together, typically mounted on the one facing the cutting edge.
A kunai is a Japanese tool thought to be originally derived from the masonry trowel. The two widely recognized variations of the kunai are short kunai and the big kunai. Although a basic tool, in the hands of a martial arts expert, the kunai could be used as a multi-functional weapon. The kunai is commonly associated with the ninja, who used it to gouge holes in walls. Many popular manga characters use kunai as both their primary and secondary weapons.
A stiletto is a knife or dagger with a long slender blade and needle-like point, primarily intended as a stabbing weapon.
A trench knife is a combat knife designed to kill or incapacitate an enemy at close quarters, such as in a trench or other confined area. It was developed as a close combat weapon for soldiers attacking enemy trenches during the First World War. An example of a World War I trench knife is the German Army's Nahkampfmesser.
A kitchen knife is any knife that is intended to be used in food preparation. While much of this work can be accomplished with a few general-purpose knives – notably a large chef's knife, a tough cleaver, a small paring knife and some sort of serrated blade – there are also many specialized knives that are designed for specific tasks. Kitchen knives can be made from several different materials.
A tang or shank is the back portion of the blade component of a tool where it extends into stock material or connects to a handle – as on a knife, sword, spear, arrowhead, chisel, file, coulter, pike, scythe, screwdriver, etc. One can classify various tang designs by their appearance, by the manner in which they attach to a handle, and by their length in relation to the handle.
The Fairbairn–Sykes fighting knife is a double-edged fighting knife resembling a dagger or poignard with a foil grip developed by William Ewart Fairbairn and Eric Anthony Sykes in Shanghai based on ideas which the two men had before World War II while serving on the Shanghai Municipal Police in China.
Knife juggling is a variant of toss juggling using blunt knives as props which are thrown and caught. Although knives are sometimes juggled recreationally, it is generally a performance art. Knife juggling is typically seen performed by street entertainers as part of a routine, or at art or historical festivals.
Knife legislation is defined as the body of statutory law or case law promulgated or enacted by a government or other governing jurisdiction that prohibits, criminalizes, or restricts the otherwise legal manufacture, importation, sale, transfer, possession, transport, or use of knives.
The Applegate–Fairbairn fighting knife is a combat knife designed by Colonel Rex Applegate and William E. Fairbairn as a version of the Fairbairn–Sykes fighting knife. The blade has a similar double-edged dagger profile, but is wider and more durable. It features a different handle, made most commonly of lexan plastic with adjustable lead weights which can change the knife's balance-point. Later models and some custom variants included weights made from pure Teflon, tungsten, stainless steel and aluminum. The blade profile was also changed from a V-grind to a convex, or "appleseed" profile. While this changed the overall effectiveness of the blade to puncture, cut and slice, it does not lend itself to be field sharpened by an inexperienced user.
Native American weaponry was used by Native American warriors to hunt and to do battle with other Native American tribes and European colonizers.