Bladesmith Walter Sorrells demonstrates how to make a basic throwing knife in this video, using an number of tools that can be found in an average guy’s shop. He starts with an anecdote on how when he was a kid, he saved up to buy a throwing knife, and used it to kill a tree – so he has the knife-throwing thing in his blood.
The primary tools used in this project are a bench grinder and an angle grinder. He uses a steel called 5160, which is a medium to high-carbon steel with some chromium. It’s shock-resistant and is easy to heat-treat. He prints out a pattern, cuts it out and lays it on the piece of steel.
He then makes two holes in the tang of the knife without cutting the steel to its shape. He’s not going to put a handle, but the holes are for a different video. There’s no need to make one for this project, but he says it’s alright to make a hole for hanging. He also gives advice on how to clamp and drill the holes.
Walter uses an angle grinder to cut out the pattern on the steel then grinds the bevels using the belt grinder. This is the difficult part, as this is a hollow grind, he says. He gives some pointers on how to properly grind, discussing free-hand grinding and using jigs to grind. He uses some “grinding aids” to finish the shape and design of the knife. He describes the process that he followed in making the bevels, so that they turn out evenly.
It takes plenty of time, focus and skill to perfectly make the bevels and sharpen the throwing knife. He uses a file to hone the edges, heat-treats the knife using a blowtorch, and uses the file again to finish the design. Any further cosmetic work can be done by buffing the knife, and it’s done!