This page is part of the official ARCHIVE COPY of the pioneering but abandoned Thrower website on knife throwing. Copyright and details
Complementary page on How many knives do I need?

Economics of Knife Throwing

Jan. 22, 1997

There are only two elements to the economics of knife throwing as a hobby. These are:

  • Targets
  • Knives
  • Sometimes there are other considerations like buying or making sheaths for your knives, but most sport knife throwers do very well without these, I will not consider them further, but recommend you check out the link.


    Knives consume targets. From time to time they must be replaced. Sometimes they cost next to nothing. Some people have access to lots of cardboard boxes which can be used to make indoor targets. Sometimes even log butts, the preferred target, are available for no cost other than a little chain-saw gas. For others, access to adequate free materials is not possible, and wood must be purchased. Again, the cost will vary from place to place. Log butts are sometimes very inexpensive from saw mills, and sometimes they are hard to find.

    In my case I must purchase my wood. I buy four foot long sections of Douglas Fir that are twelve inches wide, and four inches deep. I press three of these together with pipe clamps to make a target thirty six inches wide, and four feet high. I buy utility wood that costs about $3/ft, and that's the cheap stuff! Thus a single target costs me $36. Now these pieces can be used in various combinations, turned over, etc., so that one set of three pieces lasts me about 4 months (longer in winter, shorter in summer). Thus my total cost for wood throughout the year (and I throw almost every day) is about $100. I must also put a couple of wraps of duct tape at the top and bottom of the target to help hold the wood in place. One role of duct tape costs about $7 and lasts through three target changes, about 1 year. Finally there are the pipe clamps which cost me about $20. I've been using the same set for a couple of years now. They last indefinately.

    Besides wood, other targets can be purchased for indoor use with small knives. These are like dart-boards without the metal spokes, and run about $15. Some people have used certain archery targets made from something like compressed cellophane. These can be priced in various archery magazines and catalogs, but I do not know how long they stand up to knife throwing.


    The cost of throwing knives is deceptive. By this I mean they seem very inexpensive compared to real knives, but that cost is deceiving because you will typically want at least three of a kind when you really get into throwing, and some people prefer sets of five.

    Good professional, even hand made, throwing knives can cost as little as $25. The most expensive I've seen (Harald Moeller's Vipers) cost upwards of $200 (those are his most expensive models), with typical prices falling in the $45 to $75 range. This is very inexpensive compared to real knives as most knife enthusiasts will tell you. I even recommend that to get started, you purchase only ONE of a given knife to see how you like it. When you discover a thrower you really like (and this varies greatly from person to person as with many other things in life), you will want to purchase more of them because it is a pain in the neck to throw one knife and have to traverse to your target after each throw. Three knives seems to be a good minimum set, while some throwers like to have between five and eight. Personally I don't have more than three of anything!

    To some, even these prices will be too much to bear. Remember that throwing knives are easy to make from all sorts of random pieces of steel, and ready made implements like big nails, and screwdrivers can be thrown for just as much fun as throwing knives. Put another way, if you have target material and a few screwdrivers, chisels, or strong (and relatively heavy) kitchen knives lying around, you can have a lot of fun developing a throwing hobby for just about no cost at all!


    I didn't mention clothing above because, strictly speaking, you don't need any at all. Sure, go ahead and throw nude if you want. So long as the neighbors don't mind, I'm not going to tell anybody. Also, most people don't consider clothing as a part of the economics of knife throwing because they throw knives in what ever they happen to be wearing at the time. This too is perfectly acceptable.

    However, if you want to be a romantic/theatrical knife thrower, or just plain cool, then you must have:

  • Combat boots
  • Battle fatigue pants - suspenders recommended
  • Military green or brown shirt (green-brown plaids acceptable if striving for mountain man look).
  • An Indiana Jones hat (or reasonable facsimile)
  • Web, or other wide belt
  • Sheath knife on belt (six inch blade minimum)
  • A 10 ft. or longer bullwhip tied to belt on opposite side from knife
  • Throwing knife sheaths sewn into suspenders on front or carried in on-the-back sheaths. In the absence of suspenders, a leather vest with sewn-in knife sheaths is acceptable.
  • Five O'clock shadow
  • Total cost for above items can easily excede $1000 (you're going to get a good whip and knife aren't you)! Mix and match with your existing clothing to taste, and have fun!

    Mail to mjr, goto Survival, or back to Thrower

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