How to Throw an Axe? (Pro Tips)

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By Lora Blandon

Axes were used as tools long before they turned into the sport we know today, but even now, the idea of swinging an axe around in a circle and throwing it can be pretty frightening, especially for newbies.

The amazing news is that learning how to throw an axe doesn’t have to be overwhelming, and with these tips from people who have been there, you’ll be on your way to knocking out bull’s eyes in no time.

What is Axe Throwing?

In today’s day and age, throwers of all skill levels flock to axe throwing bars. This is a great hobby, but it also becomes an excellent team-building exercise.

We’ll walk you through everything there is to know about throwing axes, from beginner basics to advanced skills and strategies.  Before we dive into things, let’s talk about what axe throwing is all about. Simply put, it involves tossing various hatchets at a wooden target for fun or sport. Each game usually begins with a toss-off, where each thrower gets three tries to hit their mark—the wood.

Once all players are finished throwing, whoever scored the most points wins that round and throws again until someone claims victory. Along with being incredibly entertaining as a spectator sport, axe throwing can serve as an excellent pastime activity or even become part of your standard weekly routine if done enough times.

What axe should I use?

When learning how to throw an axe, it’s crucial to have a good axe. I like axes that are slightly head-heavy and long. Start with a lighter axe, then move up in weight as you get better. Don’t get too tense on what type of axe to buy right away. There are three primary axes for throwing: 

  • The single-bit
  • The bit and 
  • The tomahawks

What type of thrower are you? You ought to know your strengths and weaknesses, and even some pros who throw other types of objects use these axes exclusively when they want to train.

It all boils down to your throwing style and comfort level. If you’re starting, ask around or check out YouTube videos—you can get pretty far with something simple like a basic camping axe from Walmart. You might also look into getting something custom-made just for throwing!

Axe Throwing Target Design

When designing your target, you’ll want it to be large enough that you can fit multiple axes in its centre. On that note, remember that each axe is different. Some axes will stick better than others. Ultimately, there are many factors at play regarding how much force you need for a successful throw, and the design of your target should reflect that.

You may even have to make some adjustments with your axe before throwing, as they don’t all operate quite like they were designed. Consider spending more money on higher quality axes if you find yourself struggling with other ones because they stay closer to their targets. The general rule of thumb is 2-3 feet away from your target, while lighter-weight axes are 4-5 feet away if heavier.

But as mentioned earlier, these aren’t hard-and-fast rules; use your best judgment based on skill level or work closely with an instructor. And don’t forget “ safety first!”

Axe Safety

The foremost thing you ought to know about throwing axes is that they are safe, provided you follow a few safety rules. Firstly, always wear protective gear – Always remember that safety should be your number one priority when throwing axes.

Remember, even with proper safety precautions, accidents happen, so it’s better to be safe than sorry! You can find protective headgear at any sports or outdoor equipment store. Just ask for a helmet— most stores will have them in stock for those who wish to throw axes in their shop or backyard.

Depending on the level you intend to protect yourself during your practice sessions, you may also purchase knee pads, elbow pads, and other pads in your arsenal. Never try new techniques alone – As exciting as trying new moves can be, always ensure at least a friend is present during your practice sessions.

This way, if you get into trouble, someone else will be there to help you out. Finally, don’t underestimate technique – Even though throwing axes sounds easy enough (stick it in a target), beginners often rush into things without knowing much about technique.

Axe Throwing Stance

To begin, you’ll want to find your throwing stance. If you have a friend with you, have them stand behind you and look at your form. It would help if you held both handles facing forward (away from you) with your thumbs. If not, adjust yourself accordingly. Ensure your shoulders are back and down – don’t lean forward, and don’t throw like a javelin! Now, raise both arms out and make a V shape.

Your body should be as loose as possible; imagine throwing something so heavy that nothing but your hands could move it through space. Now look at that V shape and imagine cutting off one point of it so that only two points remain – when you throw your axe, these two points will form between your index finger and thumb.

That is your pinch grip, which you’ll hold while throwing. Thumb position also varies depending on what type of thrower you are: if you throw underhand, put your thumb on top; if you throw overhand, put your thumb underneath.

Two-Handed Axe Throwing Technique for Beginners

Pick up a long-handled axe, with your dominant hand at one end and your non-dominant hand at the opposite end. You may wish to let go of your axe handles while they are in midair when throwing.

  • The axe should be picked up with a loose but strong grip at the base of the handle using your dominant hand.
  • Take a step forward with your opposing foot or 170 inches from the target.
  • Perpendicular to your forearm, your wrist should be locked.
  • Assist your dominant hand by clasping your other arm around it
  • While inhaling, draw the axe back and shift your weight to your rear foot.
  • Inhale, puff your chest, and lead with your chest as you begin to exhale, driving your body and axe toward the target while shifting your weight to your front foot and releasing the axe


Throwing axes is a fun, exciting and safe activity that you can enjoy with your friends and family. With practice, dedication and patience, anyone can learn how to throw an axe.

Follow our tips above for a great start in learning how to throw axes, and you’ll be on your way to throwing like a pro!  

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