Knife Care & Tips
Bullseye Blades Knife Care
Thank you for purchasing your new custom throwing knives from Bullseye Blades! Here are some helpful tips to make your knives last a lifetime (or more).
1. Clean and oil your knives after each use. High Carbon Steel is prone to rusting if not cared for, but a simple whipedown with with a clean cloth to remove dirt, followed by a light coat of oil will go a long way to keep your knives looking new. WD40, 3-in-1 oil, or even cooking oils will work.
2. Throw into separate targets! The fastest way to ruin a knife is to hit it with another knife, and this is even more important when throwing a knife with handles. I highly recommend a Blade Aces or IKTHOF Style 3 target set up, but if space is limited adding 3 Bullseye's on one board is best. Throwing in a "Grouping" might look cool, but hitting 3 distinct targets is a true test of skill and accuracy.
3. Throw over gravel, grass, or wood chips, and avoid concrete and asphalt. If you have to throw over hard surfaces I recommend laying down a sheet of plywood, foam floor pads, thick carpeting, or even cardboard to help prevent damage.
4. Carry a fine "bastard" file to knock off nicks and burrs to avoid cutting your hands.
The Sport of Knife throwing can be very safe is common sense is applied. Here are some simple tips to keep you and those around you safe.
1. Never ever throw knives at or around people! You may see stage performances with knife throwing acts, but these are done by professionals who have thousands of hours of practice and will often have safety measures in place that are not apparent to the uninitiated.
2. Always have spectators stand behind the thrower, and at least 30' away from the target.
3. Use a backboard that is significantly bigger than your targets. Sheath your knives that are not being thrown.
4. Never throw into live trees!
5. Never throw a sharp knife, especially by the blade. Besides the obvious hazard of getting cut, typically "Live Edges" knives are heat treated for edge retention and are too hard and brittle to withstand the vibration.
Without going too in depth, here are some simple tips to get more enjoyment out of the Sport of Knife Throwing.
1. Do what feels right to you. Don't mimic what you see experiences throwers doing if it feels really awkward for your body. We all have different body types and limits and doing what feels the most natural to YOU will give you the best results.
2. Be loose and relaxed and don't force it! You will be amazed at what your body can do if the mind gets out of the way.
3. Only change one aspect of your throw at a time (Grip location, grip tension, release, follow through, step etc) to see what is working and what isn't.
4. Try your left and right foot forward.
5. Use your feet, legs, and core/body to generate power, not your arm and shoulder! Move your body etc first and let your arm follow.
6. Warm up with some aerobic activity and light stretching. Throwing cold, especially No-Spin is brutal on the muscles and joints.
Rotational Throwing Tips
1. Focus on throwing from the IKTHOF Foul line distances (2m from the blade, 3m from the handle and so on), and adjust your throw to suit, rather than moving your feet. This way if you ever compete you will be behind the lines with no issues.
2. Experiment with different grips. For rotational the most common the Hammer grip, the modified hammer grip with your thumb on the spine, and the handshake. Each style changes the way the knife is released and will effect the rotation of the knife, and in turn (no pun intended) will change the distance required to make it stick.
3. Use the indexing cues. Most Bullseye Blades Knives have some form of indexing, to allow ergonomic, consistent and repeatable grip location, because choking up or down on the knife can make a big difference. Most knives with have a notch on the spine of the blade or the belly of the handle for your finger, so start there, and adjust accordingly. This design feature is particularly useful in Sheath to Target style throwing
For a more in depth look at Rotational throwing I highly recommend Bobby Branton's book called "The Ultimate Guide to Knife Throwing"
No-Spin Throwing Tips
No-Spin, or Instinctive Throwing is very subjective and in my opinion there is no "Right way" just "Your way", so with that in mind these tips are what works for ME and may not be the answer for you. These are all things that I pick up from other throwers and combined to make a style that works for me.
1. Start close and don't move back until you are consistent at your current distance. When you do move back, only go 10-12" back at a time, and fight the urge to overreach or lean forward as your technique will suffer.
2. Change the location of your index finger on the spine, and/or the depth of the knife in your hand. Placing the butt of the knife center of the palm and the tip of the index on or below the balance point of the knife is the best place to start.
3. Use the indexing cues. Most Bullseye Blades Knives have some form of indexing to allow ergonomic, consistent, and repeatable grip location, because choking up or down on the knife can make a big difference. Most knives will have a small ramp or dip on the spine for your index finger, a hole or screw head for your thumb and a small flat section on the butt for your pinky or ring finger, so start there, and adjust accordingly.
4. Throw with your index on the "spine" or top of the knife from 2-4m and from the "belly" or bottom of the knife from 5m+. The handles are designed to give more backspin, and increase the release angle when thrown from the belly which is a huge assist when throwing from longer distance without changing technique.
5. This is a breakdown of my technique. This all happens quickly, and needs to be a chain reaction or whip like a motion.
- Stand with back straight and your shoulders square to the target with your throwing arm aligned to the bullseye.
- Put your feet shoulder width apart with the foot you plan to step with slightly in front of the other and shift your weight over the back foot. Experiment with which foot you step with.
- Present the knife to the target (ie hold it up and aim/visualize the throw)
- Draw back in a relaxed but quick motion, focusing on the elbow and let the hand follow. Expand the chest and roll your shoulder back, and allow the knife to get behind your shoulder.
- When your body reaches maximum tension begin the forward motion, starting with a small step, followed by your hips, chest, shoulder, elbow, and then the hand. It is critical that your elbow leads your hand. To get the right motion and tension I like to pretend that the knife is being held back by a huge magnet and I am trying to pull it away. You need to pull the knife to the target not push it.
- Release the knife 90* to the ground or pointed back a few degrees. Your grip should be loose enough to allow the knife to slide out without opening the hand, and index finger should brush the spine to create backspin.
- Follow through in a relaxed manner, but intent and with your eyes focused on target.
- Stay relaxed and don't force it!!