There is nothing like the sound of knife throwing. You either get a loud thump as the knife sticks into the target, or a musical note of mishap when the metal bounces off the target handle first. SOG’s new Fulcrum I, II and Spirit are sure to turn that “clang” into a “thump” every time.
I remember fondly an issue of TK, about 10 years ago, where Michael Janich described a small green book entitled, Knife Throwing: A Practical Guide. I became familiar with the book, met up with a group of knife throwers in my area, and learned some of the important techniques of knife throwing. I wish the group were still around, as I think they would have found the Fulcrum throwers to be interesting. Even more interesting is the new Spirit throwing tool. These new throwers gave me a chance to break in the freshly painted throwing rounds on the range in my backyard.
Designed For Total Control
A “fulcrum” is defined as a support about which a lever turns. While there may not be a lever on the new throwing knives, SOG has incorporated an out-of-the-ordinary feature where you can adjust the balance point of the knife, yielding different results on the rotation during knife flight. For this article, we are going to focus on the standard 12-foot rotation. There are many different throwing styles, from half turns, to straight blade, and even underhand throws, but I’ll start with simple throws that work.
For the evaluation, I was given both a Fulcrum I, a 7.4-ounce, 9-1/2-inch blade and a Fulcrum II, a 12.4-ounce knife 12-1/4 inches in length. I’m a fan of throwing larger blades because they seem to have more control, so I initially threw the larger Fulcrum II the most. It would be good to point out that International Knife Throwers Hall of Fame rules state that your throwers have to be over 12 inches in length. If there are any problems with the weights on the end, you can simply just remove them. The SOG throwing knives function great without the weights, too. Both of the Fulcrum throwers have unsharpened false edges all the way to the point, so you can throw by the blade comfortably without the worry of cutting your hand open.
Built For Balance
The two throwers sport a unique balancing feature on the blades, giving the user the option of changing the weight distribution of the knives. Constructed of brass discs connected by a screw through the knives, these weights can be adjusted anywhere along the handle of the knife. The knobs are easily tightened by hand, and there is a large flathead screwdriver notch should the user want to tighten or loosen it more. I talked about how I like to throw bigger blades, but what happens when the small blade starts acting like its big brother? That is just what happened when throwing the Fulcrum I thrower with the balance is adjusted to the butt end. The rotation is much slower than when the weight was in the middle. I continued to modify the balance points on both throwers to see what kind of rotation they yielded, probably for more than a few hours, but I refused to look at my watch. Time and steel fly when you are having fun.
On The Point
Throwing a knife is just about one of the worst things you can do if you care at all about the blade, even with dedicated throwing knives. Points, especially, are subject to damage. The knife’s purpose is to stick, and with a dull point it won’t do this well. The SOG Fulcrum I and II points are composed of four bevels joining together, two on each side coming to a point. These generous bevels act as a sharpening guide and the tip may be touched up much like a Scandinavian knife edge. The point can be kept even on all sides by filing all four points the same amount. Doing this quickly without use of a belt sander is a great feature for people who throw often, especially during tournaments.
One of the oldest weapons known to man, the spear has made a name for itself in many different cultures throughout history. The SOG Spirit is more of a spearing tool than anything else, as it can be attached to a shaft or sapling. The new SOG Spirit is a spear that doubles as a throwing knife and cutting tool. It features a detachable handle made of thermo plastic. The business end has a trick to it, as the metal portion of the blade has a female end that will accept any broomstick handle. When throwing anything with a wood handle, breakage can occur. At competitions, tomahawk throwers usually have a spare handle with them in case one needs repair. Spears undergo less handle breakage due to the nature of the toss, which does not use a rotation. Still, when one does have to use a specific size spear shaft, the frustration can escalate if the shaft can only be found from one source. SOG has tackled this problem, making it so that one can go to any hardware store and procure the means necessary to make a formidable handle and grab a few spares at the same time.
Broom of Doom
I attached the piercing weapon onto the end of a broomstick, stepped back about 20 feet and took aim at my pumpkin foe. On the second try the tip went through the pumpkin cleanly and into the wood behind it. I have other spears, but the head on the SOG Spirit is smaller, so it can be thrown farther with less effort. This size spear, more of a javelin, is rare on the market and is a welcome addition.
You don’t have to throw a spear to get the idea of what you can do with it. It is essentially a blade on a stick. However, if it were my only cutting tool, I wouldn’t be throwing it at all. You could use the SOG Spirit spear to dispatch a dangerous animal that might be a danger up close. I would much rather go up against, say, a porcupine with the SOG Spirit than any other cutting tool.
The spear is not limited to harvesting meat. The extra reach the broom handle gave the blade was highly useful when I wanted to forage for some wild persimmons high up in a tree, away from where the deer could reach. Despite all of the abuse, the throwing, the prying, even dropping it from a tree, the spear shaft held on. It needed tightening every once in a while. There is a tension screw on the side that helps if you attach a smaller pole inside the opening. Of course, I threw just the spear head, too, as the weight near the bottom made the rotation interesting as well. Throwing the Spirit head and the SOG Fulcrum I has helped me gain more insight into what happens in a rotation during a knife throw, utilizing a size that I would not normally think of.
The Final Throw
SOG has carried on the tradition of providing very functional, fun throwing tools, adding in unique turns here and there. With the increasing popularity of more unique and specialized cutting and throwing tools, the knife enthusiast has a myriad of options to turn to. I would recommend the SOG Fulcrum I and II, or the Spirit to anyone starting out in the “impalement arts.”
There is nothing like the sound of knife throwing. You either get a loud thump…
by Tactical Knives / Nov 3, 2009