Knife throwing has been a traditional sport, art, and combat skill for many decades. It recent years it has become popular among hobbyists and those looking for a little entertainment. However, many beginners struggle to become good due to a lack of information. A variety of factors including accuracy, number of rotations, distance, and placement may come into play when you throw a knife at a wooden board.
When preparing for this type of sport, selecting the right type of wood to use is just as important as what knife you decide to throw. In this article we will cover what the best types of wood for knife throwing are.
The 5 best types of wood for knife throwing are the following:
Why Wood Makes a Great Knife-Throwing Target
Wood can make an great target for Tomahawk, axe, and knife throwing. It is sturdy, shock-resistant, and generally does not make a lot of noise. It is also very affordable. All you need is a few planks of cheap wood and you can put together a target in just a couple of hours.
5 Best Types of Wood for Knife Throwing
The wood that you choose as the target for knife throwing must not be too hard, as the knife may bounce off or not stick in enough. Therefore, for knife throwing, you need to avoid hardwoods such as oak. Softwood can be a better choice when you want to set them as a target. Below are the 5 best types of wood that you can use for knife throwing.
The non-resinous wooden parts of poplar are popular and commonly used for knife throwing. The wood has a smooth surface along with certain self-healing properties due to which it can last longer. You may find that the poplar boards fill their cuts and holes and move back to their original position after the knife/axe is removed. The wood has straight grains and a uniform structure so the knife can stick easily inside the wooden grains.
Poplar can also be a more affordable choice due to its high durability. A knife-throwing target that is made using poplar wood can last up to 7 times longer when compared to other kinds of wooden boards.
Advantages of Poplar
- Self-healing properties
- The knife can stick easily
- Can be used both indoors and outdoors
- An aesthetically pleasing and uniform structure
Disadvantages of Poplar
- Doesn’t resist moisture and mold as well as other wood types
Cottonwood is another popular wood used for knife and axe throwing. It can soak up all the moisture and is generally preferred for outdoor sports. Just like poplar wood, cottonwood also has specific self-healing properties. The hole marks will seal to a certain extent once you remove the knife. Furthermore, the wood is durable and long-lasting even when compared to other kinds of soft wood such as pine.
Your knife-throwing target can last much longer when it is made using cottonwood. The grains of the wood can resist cracking and splitting, while also allowing the blade to stick easily. As it is a softwood with straight and vertical grains, the blade can move easily inside it through the wooden fibers while keeping the wood intact.
Most people who are beginners at knife throwing choose cotton wood due to its durability and other capabilities. An important property due to which cottonwood is favored for knife throwing is that it is soundproof. As the wood can absorb water easily, it can possess soundproofing and shock-resistant qualities. Therefore, cottonwood proves to be better than other kinds of wood including plywood which may make lots of noise during knife throwing.
Advantages of Cottonwood
- Soundproofing capability
- Shock resistant
- Absorbs water and moisture easily
- Knife sticks easily
Disadvantages of Cottonwood
- Prone to mold attacks
- Has limited weather resistance
- Some people can be allergic to it
Pine can be used for knife throwing and can be set as a target. It has a mediocre hardness, which is neither too soft nor too hard. Therefore, the wood can be easily worked with. You will be able to cut, screw, or nail your target easily when it is made of pinewood. It is also the reason pine is preferred in many commercial woodworking projects. Pine is also available easily when compared to other kinds of wood. You can easily find it in any hardwood store as it is used for making a wide variety of products (including furniture).
When you want a strong target that has good bending and compressive strength, pine becomes a natural choice. The pine targets can be used for extended periods for knife throwing. It holds for all kinds of pine varieties (including the wide and yellow pine). Its strength is the reason it is used for both outdoor and indoor projects and knife-throwing games. Your pine target will retain its strength and shape even after repeated throwing and use.
Furthermore, the wood has better resistance to weather conditions and can be used in a variety of scenarios. The wood will not swell or shrink under man-made conditions and will not crack for extended periods.
Advantages of Pine
- Better workability
- Easy availability
- Better moisture and weather resistance
- Resistant to shrinkage, swelling, and cracking
Disadvantages of Pine
- Does not self-heal
- More prone to dents and scratches
- Can tear up rather easily
While willow is a hardwood, it is softer when compared to other hardwoods like oak. Willow can resist cracks and dents better and is a durable material. Therefore, a knife-throwing target made of willow can last a long time. The wood has good workability as well and can be painted, sanded, and glued easily. Such properties of beneficial when you are crafting and making your hassle-free and convenient knife-throwing target.
It is also less noisy and possesses certain soundproofing capabilities that are preferred for knife throwing. When the knife hits a willow target, most of the noise and shock are absorbed by the wood itself. Willow is one of the better-looking woods as well. You can give a unique appearance to your knife-throwing target by choosing willow.
Advantages of Willow
- Lightweight wood with high workability
- Mediocre softness and hardness bring you the best of both worlds. The wood can last long while also allowing the knife to stick easily
- Beautiful aesthetics and appearance
- Resistance to shock with soundproofing capabilities
- Resistance to cracks and dense
Disadvantages of Willow
- Less durable when compared to other woods
- More susceptible to pest attacks
- Has subdued resistance to decay
Cedar wood is known for its aromatic properties that repel insects. The softwood can be used as a knife-throwing target due to its immense durability. The aroma and the ingredients of cedar wood can repel insects, which makes it less susceptible to decay. Wood also can resist other kinds of weather agents and rot. Therefore, a knife-throwing target made using cedar wood can last for a long period.
Cedarwood can also resist moisture and can be used as an outdoor knife-throwing target. It will not warp even after prolonged usage and give you years of service. Cedar is lightweight and therefore you can hang your target anywhere easily. The wood also has high workability and finishing properties, which allows you to screw and nail it without any inconvenience.
Advantages of Cedar
- Light in weight and can be used for making knife-throwing targets that can be easily transported and hung around
- High workability
- Pleasing aesthetics
- Better durability to render years of service
Disadvantages of Cedar
- Can be more expensive when compared to other kinds of wood
- More flammable
Frequently Asked Questions
What kinds of wood should I avoid as a knife-throwing target?
Exceptionally hard wood should not be used for making a knife-throwing target as the knife won’t be able to stick, and might bounce away upon throwing. Some of the hardwoods that you should avoid include oak, maple, and plywood.
Can I also use a tree as a knife-throwing target?
You should not use trees as a knife-throwing target, as it would hurt them and lead to their premature death.
Which wooden type and structure can be the best target for knife throwing?
Planks made of wood varieties listed above can make for good knife-throwing targets. To be a durable target where the knife can easily stick, the wood should not be extremely hard or incredibly soft. Cottonwood, Willow, Poplar, Pine, and Cedar all carry mediocre hardness and other beneficial properties