Axe throwing. It’s a thing. Remember the episode of The Simpsons where Homer is missing the Springfield Chili Cook-Off? He’s dancing around the house like a 3-year-old who’s guzzled a six-pack of juice boxes but is too busy to use the bathroom, urging Marge to hurry. Homer’s excitement over chili reminds me of my reaction when I heard about axe throwing for the first time. I may or may not have danced around the house, imploring my family to hurry up, so we could go to the new hatchet throwing bar (yes, bar — although if you’re a beginner, we definitely don’t recommend drinking and axe-throwing at the same time).
What is there to love about an axe throwing bar? To quote our new president, c’mon man! They’re handing you an axe. They’re allowing you to throw it at a target. They’re also letting you drink beer. They might even serve chili. Then you get to do it again and again, competing against other axe throwers, and we all know dads love any competition. #nirvana-medivalstyle
As with any new sport that dads try, we may choose to go overboard a bit. We may become a little over-competitive. We may decide we need to start practicing at home in the backyard with the best axes for throwing … safely, of course. (Mrs. Stephens’ damn yippy toy poodle, Muffy, next door must be protected at all costs, after all.)
For the Chili Cook-Off, Homer had his special chili boots and wooden spoon he carved himself from a bigger spoon. For your axe throwing equipment, we would not recommend making your own axe. (If your homemade throwing tomahawk blade pops loose and comes within 50 feet of Muffy, police will be at your door in minutes, ticketing you for violating the f***ing dog’s restraining order against you.)
We’ve put together a list of the best axe throwing equipment, so you can practice at home. Beer is optional. (Kidding.)
Some people like to jump right into axe throwing immediately. Just pick up the axe and chuck it toward the target. Drink more beer. Repeat.
Hey, it might work. And you might only scare others in the vicinity instead of hitting someone.
If, on the other hand, you’re the kind of person who prefers to have at least a vague idea of what you’re doing before you jump in, this book gives you advice on how to start with your axe throwing sport. Believe it or not, there is a technique to this sport that will help you have more success.
Yeah, we know. Books? Psssshhh. But no one has to know. Just hide it in the bathroom for morning constitutional reading material. No one dares to check on what you’re doing in the bathroom during that time of the morning.
For beginners, this axe might seem a little too big, but this is the right size for a throwing axe, with good balance and handle length, making it one of the best axes for throwing. The axe weighs only 2.22 pounds total, so it’s not as heavy as it may look.
With a 16-inch handle, you can cut it down to a shorter length as needed to match your throwing technique.
It has a curved design in the blade that will help beginners keep the axe on target. Any axe throwing equipment that can make you look better while trying to learn this sport is well worth the investment. And when you’re using an axe with the official league logo printed on the head, you’re going to look like a pro … even if you are definitely not a pro. (Here’s a hint: You aren’t.)
If you want a bit more of an advanced axe — while keeping the World Axe Throwing League logo on it to show how serious you are about this sport — this model is a strong contender. It has an extremely sharp blade, giving it a better chance of sticking in the target.
It uses a flat blade design, so it may not be the best option for beginners, who may struggle to keep it on track toward the target.
You can cut down the 16-inch wooden to match your needs.
Plus it has a name: “The Corporal.” If your axe has a name, how can you go wrong?
Sometimes, axe throwing equipment is more about the look of the axe blade than your accuracy. There’s nothing wrong with having an axe blade that makes you look medieval while you’re working on your sport.
This throwing tomahawk has a curved blade that looks positively dangerous, which is part of the fun. It has a 19-inch handle that you can cut down to a shorter length as needed.
We do have to mention that this blade fits onto the hickory handle using a friction fit system. This means that the axe head may separate from the handle through the normal course of use. See? Even more danger. Cool.
We understand not everyone can purchase a competition-level throwing axe. Kids need braces, school clothes, and the type of overindulgent, extravagant birthday parties that put Jamie’s dad to shame. (No one can stand that guy, but if he wants to start an expensive kids birthday party war, we are ready to one-up him at every turn.)
So you may need to cut back a bit on your spending for your throwing axe. This versatile Stansport axe has a 14-inch handle with a balanced weight, making it a better option than some other general-use axes for throwing.
The blade is made for chopping firewood and kindling, rather than for sticking in a target, so it isn’t the perfect option. However, when you need an axe that you can use equally well at a campsite and at a throwing lane, this is an option that should fit in your budget.
Here is another versatile tomahawk that you can use for all kinds of work at an acreage, at a campsite, or for throwing.
It has a polymer handle that will last a long time. The head consists of stainless steel and a hard cased black coating for durability.
Plus it’s just a cool piece of hardware. Having success with a throwing axe isn’t as easy as owning an impressive looking axe … but it sure doesn’t hurt.
As a dad, you know that certain things you want to do can never be done alone. Make yourself some nachos? The kids will be on you like locusts. Want to run to the hardware store quickly? The kids will tag along, begging for candy, picking up every item in the store, and asking non-stop questions, turning a 20-minute trip into a 2-hour slog.
So when you want to start throwing axes as a hobby, chances are you won’t be able to do it yourself. Once the kids get involved, sharp axes being flung over several feet sounds a lot less fun and a lot more bloody and put-an-eye-out-y.
So why not have this foam axe throwing game set on hand for times when the kids want to join in? The chances of someone ending up bloody with this foam set are quite a bit less. Not zero, mind you. After all, these are your kids, and they routinely accomplish the impossible. Let’s just say almost zero.
Another great option for littles, this axe throwing game is perfect for outdoor or indoor fun. The board and axes are made of foam, so if they hit anyone or any wall, nobody gets hurt. The set comes with one board and four axes, and the board is collapsable, and you can easily hang it up on the wall (the material is light enough to not damage surfaces).
If you have purchased some of the best axes for throwing (not made of foam), you will need to sharpen them from time to time. After all, a dull axe will not stick in the target as well as a sharp one.
This is a highly regarded sharpening stone that also works to sharpen your other tools. It has a 150-grit on the dark gray side and a 320-grit on the light-colored side for finishing work on the blade. It fits in the palm of your hand for convenience.
It even ships in a sharp-looking bamboo box to protect it when it’s not in use, which your wife will appreciate.
The downside? You no longer can use the excuse that the dull axe blade is preventing you from sticking the axe in the target. (Sooner or later, the blame lies with your technique.)
Although some people may want to practice with their best throwing tomahawk on a tree in the backyard, we do not recommend this. The round tree and rough bark will make the axe bounce at odd angles. There’s no extra wood to catch a stray throw to the side.
Not to mention, you’re going to kill the tree eventually, meaning your wife will probably want to kill you.
Instead, build yourself a target with a large backstop. To build a target area, make sure it’s huge to catch any stray axes. (Remember Muffy.) Connect several 8-foot long 2x4s to make up the frame, which should be free-standing. A frame 5 or 6 feet wide should catch most errant throws.
Then use screws to mount a large piece of plywood (about 2.5 by 2.5 feet) onto the frame of 2x4s and paint the target on the plywood. The outer ring of the target should be about 27 inches in diameter with smaller rings at 17 and 7 inches in diameter. The center of the target should be about 5 feet off the ground.
As the plywood becomes damaged after dozens of axe strikes, you can simply replace the plywood with a new sheet. The 2x4s will be tough enough to stand up to stray axe strikes when you miss the target. Try to build the frame so that you can replace a chewed-up single 2×4 in the future, if needed.
If this sounds like too much construction work for your skills, there’s always the foam axe throwing set. (Muffy will laugh her ass off at you, but you’ll survive.)
If you’re going to practice with your axe throwing equipment inside your garage, you’re going to want some protection on the concrete floor. (Believe it or not, we’re guessing you’re going to miss sticking the throwing tomahawk in the target a time or two … or 200.)
Using this roll of rubber on the floor protects the concrete from damage from the axe blade. Additionally, you’ll keep the blade sharper if it falls to the rubber instead of on the concrete. You should use rubber under an outdoor target too, to protect the blade as it hits the ground.
Cut this rubber roll to fit the space. For extra protection for the floor, cut the 4-by-10-foot roll in half and stack the pieces.
Some dads love their T-shirts with bad puns on them. Some dads just need a T-shirt for anything and everything in which they or the kids participate. (Although the “My Kid Won a Participation Ribbon at the 3rd Grade Science Fair” T-shirt is a bit much in our opinion.)
Regardless of why we dads love T-shirts, we can never have enough of them. So to commemorate your new love of hatchet throwing, here’s a t-shirt you can wear with a semi-dirty double meaning on it … a bad pun that clearly identifies you as a dad. You’re welcome.
Although we only recommend picks we really love, we may earn a commission on purchases made through links from our site.