This page is part of the official ARCHIVE COPY of the pioneering but abandoned Thrower website on knife throwing. Copyright and details

When you throw them, you sometimes loose them. This is especially true if your throwing range is the woods where you're hunting tree stumps, or critters that move. Sometimes knives get lost in the strangest places. That bounce one took, you were sure it was right around here.... It doesn't have to be a throwing knife either, we can loose our hunting knives can't we. In any case, we need to find them if possible. People have suggested magnets on a string (maybe if it has enough iron in it and it isn't too deep), a magnetometer (which can be expensive), or even a pitchfork or other raking device (good luck). Yet we can be more creative than this. Here is one of our most prolific reader's solution, and a testimonial to back it up on the subject of:


Date: Sun, 12 May 1996 18:07:39 -0700 (PDT)
From: Chris Smith (
Reply to:
Subject: Re: I found my knife!

Kevin Drysdale <> asked about the coat hanger dowsing rod that located an actual lost 'needle in a haystack' throwing knife for Keith. I don't know if this will ever be found anyplace else, so, I'll repeat it here.

Unwind two ordinary wire coat hangers and straighten them out so they look like a couple of long straight wires. Put a 90deg. bend about 4-6 inches from the end of both wires to fashion handles for this dowser. Size appropriately for your hands. They should both look like this (hope my crude ASCII diagram doesn't get scattered all over this page):

   *    *
   *    ***********************************

Now just grasp the handles in your fists with their pointed ends up. Hold them out in front of you about shoulder width apart or less (whatever's comfortable for carrying). Elbows are bent and tucked in at your sides. The rods should point ahead of you and are parallel along their length. Now grasping the handles firmly (not ridgidly) walk your search pattern. This should be walked systematically enough to at least not to walk past what you are looking for. As you pass over the object, the parallel coat hangers slowly start to cross into an "X" over it. Stopping and backing up will cause the coat hangers to "UN-X" and walking ahead again will cause the to cross again over the same spot. Try not to control the rods too much - they can swing about a bit, but shouldn't be held either too tightly or too loosely. The rods aren't the real dowser here, you are (I think) so don't forget who's dowsing, even though the rods seem to have a mind of their own. The rods can scrape lightly over each other as they cross, that won't matter. I don't know what all this dowser can find, but I've found metal, wiring, plumbing AND a posterboard pyramid hidden under random cardboard boxes, repeatedly in front of an audience of about 35 classmates and our physics teacher. I bet my gradepoint average and ended up with an "A" - what can I say? O.K. -- "X Marks The Spot." Dig here.

This works for me, but if it doesn't for you, well I wouldn't try to re-twist those wires back into coat hangers. They're history.

OK, so does it work? Read on...

Date: May 10, 1996
From: "Keith R. Kaderly" (
Subject: I found my knife!

hail hurlers
I found that Hibben I lost in the horse stall. You arn't going to believe how I found it, with a bent clothing hanger. Thats right It was sugested to me on this list to try and locate it with two bent close hangers L shaped. Useing them in the same way you would to find watter and sure enough I found the knife all I had to do was step over it and they crossed in the middle making an X over where my knife was and i simple dug it our from under the saw dust. I tried this after I had sifted threw the stall with a pitch fork and before I spent any money on a magnetic rake or a metal detector I was sceptical but it worked.

Thanks for your suggestions.

This discussion continued for a while. As it turns out, the dowser may do nothing more than stimulate the users' own subconscious knowledge of where he or she lost the knife. Of course since we are usually looking for knives or other implements that we have lost, this may be sufficient, especially if it works more or less consistently.

Mail to mjr, goto Survival, back to Thrower, or maybe Knives.

This page is part of the official ARCHIVE COPY of the pioneering but abandoned Thrower website on knife throwing. Copyright and details