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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.
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 mankind, 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.
The kukri or khukuri is a type of machete, originating from the Indian subcontinent, associated with the Nepali speaking Gurkhas of Nepal and India. The knife has a distinct recurve in the blade. It is used as both a tool and as a weapon in the Indian subcontinent. Traditionally, it was, and in many cases still is, the basic utility knife of the Gurkha. It is a characteristic weapon of the Nepalese Army, the Royal Gurkha Rifles of the British Army, the Assam Rifles, the Kumaon Regiment, the Garhwal Rifles, the Gorkha regiments of the Indian Army, and of all Gurkha regiments throughout the world, so much so that some English-speakers refer to the weapon as a "Gurkha blade" or "Gurkha knife". The kukri often appears in Nepalese and Indian Gorkha heraldry and is used in many traditional rites such as wedding ceremonies.
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.
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 folding pocketknife from 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 balisong typically has the latch on the handle facing the cutting edge, and is commonly called the bite handle.
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 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.
The butterfly sword is a short dao, or single-edged sword, originally from southern China, though it has also seen use in the north. It is thought that butterfly swords date from the early 19th century. Several English language accounts from the 1840s describe local militia in Guangdong being trained in the "double swords", short swords with a hook extending from the guard, and fitting into a single scabbard.
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, and a small paring knife – there are also many specialized knives that are designed for specific tasks. Kitchen knives can be made from several different materials.
In cooking, a chef's knife, also known as a cook's knife, is a cutting tool used in food preparation. The chef's knife was originally designed primarily to slice and disjoint large cuts of beef. Today it is the primary general-utility knife for most western cooks.
The Santoku bōchō or Bunka bōchō (文化包丁) is a general-purpose kitchen knife originating in Japan. Its blade is typically between 13 and 20 cm long, and has a flat edge and a sheepsfoot blade that curves down an angle approaching 60 degrees at the point. The term Santoku may refer to the wide variety of ingredients that the knife can handle: meat, fish and vegetables, or to the tasks it can perform: slicing, chopping and dicing, either interpretation indicating a multi-use, general-purpose kitchen knife. The Santoku's blade and handle are designed to work in harmony by matching the blade's width and weight to the weight of the tang and the handle.
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 concepts which the two men initiated 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.
Ek Commando Knife Co. or Ek Knives is an American combat knife brand produced by several different companies since the original founded by John Ek in 1941. In May 2014 the Ek brand was purchased by Ka-Bar which began selling its versions of Ek knife designs in 2015. Although not officially issued gear, Ek Knives have seen use by US forces in six major conflicts: World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, Afghanistan, and the Iraq War. Ek Knives manufactures Bowie-style blades, daggers, and a Fairbairn-Sykes MkII. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Clark Gable, and General George S. Patton have been identified as Ek knife owners.
The Mark I trench knife is an American trench knife designed by officers of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) for use in World War I. It has a 6.75 in (17.1 cm) double-edged dagger blade useful for both thrusting and slashing strokes, unlike previous U.S. trench knives such as the M1917 and M1918. The handle is made of cast bronze and uses a conical steel nut to hold the blade in place. The Mark I's blade was blued with a black oxide finish, the bronze handle was chemically blackened, with cast spikes on the bow of each knuckle. The spikes were intended to prevent an opponent from grabbing the knife hand, as well as to provide a more concentrated striking surface when employed in hand-to-hand combat.
Native American weaponry was used by Native American warriors to hunt and to do battle with other Native American tribes and European colonizers.