When I was inspired to start throwing knives again about a year ago, I realized I was missing a crucial component of the hobby: throwing knives. The problem was I’d just spent a lot of money on the tools and materials necessary to build a quality throwing target in my back yard. I was on a budget.
When I was younger, I’d primarily thrown with old Gil Hibben throwers (review forthcoming) and I wanted something bigger. Generally speaking, larger throwing knives are easier for beginners to throw and for experienced throwers to throw at greater distances.
After about half a day poking around on Ebay and Amazon, I decided to buy some Cold Steel throwers. I opted for the Cold Steel “Sure Flight”, a 12″ model. At the time I didn’t see the “Pro Flight” model, which is 14″ long. All of Cold Steel’s “Flight” knives have the same profile regardless of size. They’re just scaled appropriately to length.
Since I received my Cold Steel knives in the mail, I have thrown the heck out of them as well as picked up some other knives along the way.
I add pieces of tape to all my throwing knives so I can find them if they try to hide in my grass.
- The price point
- Ease of throwing
- Style of throwing
In my opinion, Cold Steel knives are some of the best throwers one can buy if one is on a strict budget. They’ve actually even come down in price recently to less than $10 per knife on Amazon. I personally believe this drop in price is directly due to competition by pricier but higher quality competitors. That said, there are a lot of poor quality products floating around the market too, some of which are even dangerous. Cold Steel Sure Flights will serve a new thrower well.
At 12″, each sure flight is relatively easy for a novice knife thrower to stick at close ranges. In fact, despite the fact these knives are weighted for a half spin (the knife completing half a revolution before hitting the target), they can still be thrown pretty well with no spin at short ranges. Their relatively heavy weight allows them to stick with authority on a good throw too.
- Ease of throwing
- Style of throwing
- Spotty QC (quality control)
One of the biggest problems with the Sure Flights that I’ve noticed is how they’re weighted. They are not weighted /badly/ per se, but the difference in how one throws Cold Steel knives compared to higher quality manufacturers is noticeable to an active knife throwing enthusiast. Specifically, throwing at any length farther than about 15 feet can be challenging, especially for no-spin throwing which they are not weight for at all.
Where the Cold Steel throwers really shine is in half spin throwing, but most knife throwing hobbyists gravitate towards no-spin throwing eventually due to the universally applicable muscle memory. Basically, no-spin throwing allows for accurate knife throws at greater ranges with a wider variety of throwable knives. The Cold Steel Sure Flight knives are simply not weighted very well for this style of throwing, and the QC (quality control) is not perfect so each knife is weighted a tad differently. Once again, the difference in weight would not be apparent to someone who doesn’t throw knives at least a few times a week.
Illustrating the spotty QC in a visual way is easiest with the blade tips.
Both knives in the picture have been thrown for about a year at the same target the same number of times. There are no rocks or other hard surfaces in my yard that either has hit. Yet you can clearly see that one knife still sports a damn near perfect tip, and the other one looks like someone has been stabbing concrete with it. This is a sign that the heat treat and temper of these knives is different and is indicative of my overall experience with the Cold Steel brand.
I absolutely love some Cold Steel offerings, even the swords (which are usually not weighted properly). However, Cold Steel as a company obviously tries to keep the price point of its products on the lower side and the necessary byproduct of this effort is the occasional inconsistent QC.
I cannot give the Sure Flight knives one rating. For someone on a budget who may be new to throwing knives, I think the Cold Steel Sure Flight Sports knives get a solid 4.3 out of 5 stars. Much of this favorable rating comes from the fantastic price point and ease of practice for a beginner. Plus, I personally think that these knives perform fine for no-spin throwing at close ranges and excel at half spin throwing. A knife throwing novice would probably not be able to tell a difference between Sure Flight and a $100 custom knife.
For experienced throwers, these knives barely make 3 out of 5 stars. They’re usable, and there are a few well tempered gems like the knife with the intact point in the picture above, but experienced throwers will find the poor weight for no-spin throwing and spotty QC problematic.
TL:DR – if you are new to throwing or need to upgrade from cheap, no-name junk, you should pick these knives up. If you already have higher quality knives, you should probably pass.