Crescent Knife Works’ Claw Z and the Pierce Arrow easily penetrate the surface of this throwing round. Each model has a large beveled lanyard hole for more aesthetic appeal than a smaller one. TERRILL HOFFMAN PHOTO
If you want to be bored by a game of darts, pick up knife throwing. Getting your friends into the “impalement arts” is easy too—one stick and they are hooked. One does not have to be an expert to teach others, but with Crescent Knife Works custom-made throwing knives, it is hard not to feel like it. Mainly because Bob Patrick, owner, maker and thrower, mixes the right heat treat, curves and custom touch into each one. Making knives since 1960, Bob Patrick has the know how to put steel into the hands of the right people, and then ultimately, into the air.
Canada-based Crescent Knife Works caters to several pretty unique cutlery niches, not only throwing blades, but custom crooked knives and chisels as well. His throwers cater to those that compete or are at least very serious about the sport. For professional blade slingers, most normally prefer knives over 12 inches, but Bob has received orders for knives 16 inches long! Between his Claw-Z and SlimJim models, the width can vary drastically while length stays the same. With the input from other recreational knife throwers, Crescent Knife Works has created throwing knives that work for experts and novices alike.
Up top, the extremely thin and curvy SlimJim, in the middle, the Pierce-Arrow, and down on the bottom, the extremely wide Claw-Z. Differences in the knives are entirely based on a thrower’s preference. TERRILL HOFFMAN PHOTOS
For the abuse associated with throwing, Bob chose 5160 spring alloy, a carbon steel once found only in handmade knives that is starting to find a home in many production knives such as the Buck Hoodlum, and high-performance swords from CAS-Iberia. It is tough steel, and if cars can ride on it, it must be a good choice for a knife that is meant to endure extreme abuse. The physics of throwing a knife are extremely hard on a blade, so Crescent throwers are treated in the mid to lower 40s on the Rockwell scale. Knives over 56 Rockwell will most likely snap at some point if thrown. The most common reasons for retiring a throwing knife are snapped point or a bent blade, but the SlimJim, Nev-R-Mis and Claw-Z will never see that day. “I’ve never seen one of my throwers wear out,” reports Bob.
To keep a rabbit stick, a hiking stick, or even a baton from splitting, the ends are normally beveled. In wood, this beveling helps disperse the physical strain from impacts. On the outer edges of the Crescent throwing knives, the borders of the spine are beveled as well. This helps with the impact on the knife if it doesn’t stick, but also if another blade collides with one in the target. This happens often and results in chips on the blade that can even cut a micro sliver of steel off that may imbed in your hand. A 90-degree corner fragments easier than the obtuse angle these bevels create. Not only that, but the knife feels smoother when sliding out of the hand during the toss.
Crescent Knife Works’ Claw Z and the Pierce Arrow easily penetrate the surface of this…
by Jay Langston / May 1, 2012