10 Tips for Axe Throwing [2022 Update]

Updated on October 17, 2022 by

The best ways to improve your axe throwing are to choose the right axe, keep your blade sharp, align your shot, and follow through.

Axe throwing requires practice. Following specific advice and tips can also help you improve your technique. 

Want to know more? Here are 10 tips for axe throwing.

1. Practice Proper Safety 

Always make safety a top concern when practicing axe throwing. Only throw when the throwing area is clear of all other people. Maintain at least a six-foot radius around the throwing area. 

Public venues also have additional safety practices. For example, you should wait to retrieve your axe until you are sure no one else is throwing an axe. 

How to Throw an Axe – 3 Axe Throw...
How to Throw an Axe – 3 Axe Throwing Techniques [2022 Update]
axe throwing tips

2. Choose the Right Type of Axe

The main three considerations when choosing a throwing axe include:

  1. Weight
  2. Handle length
  3. Handle thickness

A heavier axe is easier to lodge into the target but is also more tiring. My accuracy decreases with each throw if the axe is too heavy. 

A lighter axe can increase the consistency of your throws. Throwing consistently is essential for analyzing and improving your technique.

Competition throwing axes weigh between 1.5 and 2.5 pounds, including the handle:

Editor’s CommentsBest Value for MoneySuited to Strong ThrowersBest Overall
ProductSOG Survival TomahawkEstwing Sportsman’s AxeWATL Competition Thrower
PreviewSOG survival tomahawkEstwing Sportsmans AxeWATL Competition Thrower Axe
Total Length12.1 inches13.7 inches16 inches
Cutting Edge3.0 inches3.2 inches3.5 inches
Weight19.5 ounces20.8 ounces37.6 ounces
More InfoCheck Latest PriceCheck Latest PriceCheck Latest Price

A longer handle gives you more leverage, allowing you to throw further. However, a long handle can cause you to overthrow when standing too close to the target. 

You may want to try a few different axes with handles of varying lengths to find what works best for you.

The thickness of the handle should also match your grip. Use a thinner-handled axe if you have smaller hands to maintain a better grip as you throw. 

You may also need to prepare a target. The traditional target consists of five 2×10-inch wood planks arranged vertically. Use a magic marker or paint to draw the bullseye and rings. The target should sit against a wall at least eight feet tall and four feet wide. 

3. Keep Your Axe Blade Sharp 

Always sharpen your blade before practicing. You need a sharp blade to ensure your axe goes into the target. A dull blade is more likely to smack the target and fall to the ground instead of digging in. 

Sharpening an axe blade typically requires the following materials:

  • A flat work area
  • Clamp
  • File
  • Honing oil
  • Gloves and rags

Clamp the axe to a flat work area. You may need a stiff-bristled brush to remove any buildup before sharpening. 

Slowly and carefully pass a file over one edge of the axe. Move the file in one direction instead of back and forth to avoid dulling the file. 

Flip the axe over and file the other side. You may need to clean the file between filing on each side. 

Lightly coat the blade with honing oil or beeswax. The oil will protect the axe head against corrosion and chips. 

You can also sharpen an axe using a sharpening stone or a grinding wheel. A sharpening stone is a traditional choice but also costs more as sharpening stones can be costly. 

choose the right axe

4. Keep Your Stance Relaxed

Maintain a relaxed stance when you’re ready to throw. You should face the target with your legs slightly apart. Keep your arms and shoulders relaxed.

You want to stay relaxed yet stable and balanced. Competition throwing requires you to stand 12 feet from the target. Stand at least half a step away to give yourself leeway to adjust your position.

5. Practice Your Breathing 

Inhale as you prepare your throw, and exhale as you throw. Keeping your breathing even and consistent can help with the consistency of your throws. Relaxed breathing allows you to focus on your technique. 

6. Keep the Blade Aligned with Your Target

The axe’s blade should remain aligned with the target throughout the entire motion of your swing. 

Keeping the blade vertical throughout the entire swing can increase your accuracy. It decreases the risk of the axe tilting to the left or right after release. It also forces you to pay attention to the blade’s position instead of focusing on your grip and the handle. 

class axe throwing

7. Avoid Throwing the Axe Too Hard

Throwing too hard limits your accuracy. It also limits your ability to consistently repeat your throws. You should allow the momentum of your swing to carry the axe through to the target and into the wood.

Maintain a light yet firm grip toward the middle of the palm. A lighter grip can help keep you from throwing the axe too hard.

8. Follow Through on Your Throw

Following through is another important step for an accurate throw. Not following through may cause the axe to become off-center at release. A lack of follow-through can also cause the axe to fly too high or reduce the power of your throw. 

Imagine throwing a football, swinging a bat, or shooting a pool cue. Your body should complete the entire arc of the throw, even after your release the handle. 

9. Start with the Two-Handed Throw

Beginners should start with the two-handed throw. The two-handed throw allows you to keep your torso straight, which can help with your accuracy. It keeps the axe straight throughout the entire arc of your throw.

The two-handed throw requires you to hold the axe in both hands and bring it back over your head. Swiftly bring your arms forward and over your head when ready to throw. Release the axe when the blade is at eye level. 

The blade should be parallel to the target when it strikes the wood. Take a small step forward if the top of the blade hits the target. Take a small step backward if the bottom of the blade hits the target.

You can try switching to the one-handed throw after mastering the two-handed technique. The one-handed throw involves bringing the axe back just past your ear. Release the handle when the axe is completely vertical and follow through after releasing. 

10. Analyze Your Performance

Continue to analyze and tweak your axe-throwing technique. Try to work on one specific issue during each practice session. 

Consider recording your practice sessions and rewatching your performance. Analyzing your throws and improving your weak areas can significantly improve your accuracy. 


Photo of author

Michael Culligan

I am a lumber worker who performs logging services for the forestry industry. I have spent years honing my skills and experience to become a well-rounded axeman. I'm exited to share my knowledge of axes and lumber tools with everyone to help.