How to Throw an Axe Correctly? | An Easy Step-by-Step Guide

If you are looking for a guide on how to throw an axe, you came to the right place. Axe throwing has gained popularity over the years. Like you, more people are enjoying trying this sport.

So, where should you start?

Well, you must familiarize yourself with axe throwing basics. First, you need a very sharp axe for the sport.


Because a sharp axe sticks on the target board without exerting too much force. In addition, blunt axes are suitable for splitting, while in this case, you are not looking to split the board in half.

Once you’ve got yourself a sharp axe, obtain a target board. If you want to practice at home, you can buy or design one. Alternatively, join an axe-throwing club.

Next, learn about axe throwing stances. There are many stances, but the most efficient ones are one-handed and two-handed throws.

When using the two-handed stance, you should stand 12 feet away from the board but directly in line with the bull’s eye. On the other hand, throwing arm and shoulder should be in line with the bull’s eye when throwing using one hand.

Finally, familiarize yourself with axe throwing safety tips. You wouldn’t want an axe lodged in your or your partner’s back. Therefore, I will provide more information about staying safe further in the guide.

But first, let’s take a quick sneak peek at the guide.

Quick Overview

Here is a quick overview of the basics of throwing an axe that I will cover in this detailed guide: 

  • How to throw an axe correctly: one-handed axe throw and two-handed axe throw.
  • How to line up your shot.
  • Axe throwing safety tips.

Let’s dive in.

How to Throw an Axe Correctly

For you to throw an axe correctly, maintain the 12-feet throwing distance between you and the target. 

Then, ensure that one foot stays behind the 12-feet marker every time you throw the axe.

How about the other foot?

Amazingly, there are no limitations to how far the foot can stretch as long as one foot stands behind the line.

Once you are in an axe-throwing position, start practicing how to throw the axe using two hands.

Two-Handed Axe Throw Over Your Head

This method requires you to grip the axe using both hands, draw the axe back over your head before pulling back before throwing.

The two-handed technique is ideal for beginners because one does not need to exert a lot of force when throwing.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to go about it.

Method 1

  • Step 1: Take your position at the 15 feet mark.
  • Step 2: Place the dominant hand on top of the axe with the thumb up.
  • Step 3: Place the non-dominant hand on the bottom with the thumb up to grip the axe. To better understand the grip, hold the axe as you would a golf club. It should neither be too tight nor loose.
  • Step 4: Line your shot.
  • Step 5: Step forward in a smooth motion.
  • Step 6: Rock the axe backward, then forward as you bring it over the top of your head.
  • Step 7: Move your hands forward until they are at your eye level.
  • Step 8: Release the axe.
  • Step 9: Maintain fluid movement when throwing. What this means is, your elbows and body should move in the same direction.

Alternatively, you can also try out this technique.

Method 2

  • Step 1: Grip the base of the handle with your dominant hand.
  • Step 2: Put your opposite foot in front of the throwing line.
  • Step 3: Stretch out your dominant hand and aim your fist at the bull’s eye.
  •  Step 4: Make sure the axe is perpendicular to your forearm.
  • Step 5: Wrap the non-dominant hand on the dominant hand to offer support and guidance.
  • Step 6: Take a deep breath, draw back the axe over your head and shift your weight to the back foot.
  • Step 7: Exhale, move the axe and your body towards the bull’s eye and transfer the weight to the opposite foot.
  • Step 8: Throw the axe.

To throw an axe correctly, here are more pointers:

  • Do not lift any side of your head when lifting the axe. Instead, lift your elbows to have the axe directly above your head. Next, lock the elbows and rotate your shoulders.
  • Practice the above technique a few times and stop where you started. Doing so will help your body develop muscle memory.
  • Do not flip your wrist when throwing the axe in an attempt to spin the axe. Axes rotate naturally because of their shape but not from flipping.

When practicing the two-handed throw, the chances are that you will have one of these three outcomes:

  • The axe blade hits parallel to the bull’s eye – This is proof that you threw the axe from a perfect distance.
  • The top part of axe strikes the board – This means that you over-rotated. To correct this, take a half-step towards the target.
  • The bottom of the axe strikes the board – This happens when you under-rotate. However, you can correct this by taking a half-step away.

Now that we are familiar with two-handed axe throwing, it’s time we looked into a one-handed axe throw.

One-Handed Axe Throw Over the Shoulder

This is an advanced hand throwing technique. It demands more strength than the two-handed axe throw. You can try this throw from a stationary station or have one foot in front of the other.

Here is how to go about it:

  • Step 1: Grip the axe with your dominant hand. Do not tighten the grip, as it can cause the axe to spin sideways from the bull’s eye.
  • Step 2: Draw the axe back. Ensure it is past your ear and almost touching your shoulder.
  • Step 3: Move your arm in a forward motion.
  • Step 4: Only release when the handle is straight and throw the axe like a dart.
  • Step 5: Make the necessary distance adjustments depending on your strikes.

It is a great idea to chalk your hands before throwing. Chalk helps the axe slide quickly from your hand, which gives you better control.

If the idea of chalking up does not intrigue you, dry your hands and the handle instead. Remember, the presence of moisture can prevent smooth sliding, which in turn affects your aim.

Speaking about aim, how can you perfect your axe throwing shot?

Read on.

How to Line Up Your Shot

When taking a shot, ensure that the tip of the axe lines up with your target. After a few throws, your aim should either hit the bull’s eye, hit higher or lower than the intended aim.

Should the axe go higher than your target after several attempts, aim a few inches lower and vice versa. Remember to keep your eye on the bull’s eye when lining your shot.

My Recommendation

National Axe Throwing Federation (NATF) specifies that axes should be lightweight, have a small head length and blade. I recommend the Snow & Nealley Outdoorsmans Belt Axe as the best for throwing because it complies with these specifications.

The axe has a total weight of 1.9 lbs. with a head weight of 1.25 lbs. The handle measures 14.5″ and is made of Grade A American hickory. It is easy to throw, sharp to stick on target, and durable.

This outdoorsman’s axe also meets World Axe Throwing League (WATF) rules. Its steelhead maintains its sharp edge for long periods- a vital asset in axe-throwing competitions.

This axe is perfect for beginners and pros.

Axe Throwing Safety Tips

Safety is of the essence when throwing axes. Therefore, ensure you follow these axe throwing safety rules:

  • Always stand 12 feet from the target. You do not want the axe bouncing back and hitting you.
  • Ensure there is no one between you and the target board when throwing an axe.
  • Observe a 6-foot radius between you and other participants for your safety and theirs.
  • Collect the axe once it has rested on the target board or the floor.
  • Throw axes simultaneously with your partner.
  • Retrieve the axes together.
  • When you are done throwing, return the axe to the holster.


I believe that you are better informed on how to throw an axe correctly after reading this guide. Do you feel confident to try this new sport?

Well, start with the two-handed axe throw before advancing to one hand. It is easier and less demanding.

Also, remember to line up your shot for more accuracy. It is only through practice and patience that you will learn the skill.

Lastly, observe safety measures.

Related Questions

Which is the Best Way to Throw An Axe?

There is no best way of throwing an axe. It all depends on your body mechanics, sports abilities, and experience. 

What works for you may not work for others and vice versa. Therefore, take time to experiment with different styles until you find one that suits you.

How Can I Get Better at Axe Throwing?

It would help if you had a solid stance, a consistent grip on your axe, keep your throws simple, identify your starting point, and choose your axe carefully. Balance your footing and use easy, repeatable throws to achieve perfection.

James Thomas

James Thomas

Tool Enthusiast

2 thoughts on “How to Throw an Axe Correctly? | An Easy Step-by-Step Guide”

  1. Thanks for telling me I should throw axes at the same time with my partner and stay at least six-foot away from them for safety reasons. My husband and I plan on going to an axe-throwing facility together since we love fun activities like that. Since it’s our first time, I appreciate all the safety tips you’ve listed. I’ll note them all for the both of us.

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