Which is better for axe throwing? A straight or curved handle? This is a question that has puzzled many people over the years. In this blog post, we will explore the pros and cons of both options and see which one comes out on top.
Choosing the right axe for your throwing style is important and many times axe throwers don’t think about their handle pick until after they have already spent money on an axe. It’s important to understand the pros and cons of each so you can make the right pick for you.
Curved handles naturally give you more rotation to your throw since you throwing hand is angled with the curve of the handle. What this means for my throw is that I rotate more and faster which allows me to stand closer. Additional rotation also means that you are more likely to stick an axe at that ideal 45 degree angle which can mean less axes bouncing off.
My big frustration with curved handles is that it can feel inconsistent the amount of rotation you get if you throw with more of a flick. What I have found for me personal is that if I throw with a different release speed it is much less forgiving with a lot more variation in how the axe lands. Personally, for me that makes me less consistent especially going for kill shots or clutches.
Throwing axes that come with curved handles
- Fly fox
- Woox Thunderbird throwing axe
I’m biased here personally I love straight handles. The reason I love straight handles for axe throwing is my release feels so consistent with when I let go of the axe. I feel a lot more control with a straight handle if I want to replicate the “snappy” flick of a curved handle I can just tweak the way I hold the axe. With a more consistent release and control new I’m much more consistent with the angle I hit the board so I’m barely ever dropping even on a fresh board.
Depending on the way you throw an axe you may have to stand further back to give your axe time to rotate fully. There are a ton of other factors that affect axe rotation but I’ve found I had to take almost a full step back with my new straight handle. This means I’m further from the target which can affect some throwers’ accuracy.
Throwing axes that come with straight handles
- Axe Gang
- Infinity Axes
- Vaugh (kind of)
- WALT axes
- Queen of Spades
What if you like an axe that doesn’t come with a specific type of handle?
Let’s say you love the feel of the flying fox hatchet for axe throwing, but the curved handle isn’t for you. Rehandling axes for axe throwing isn’t as hard as you would expect, so you can always replace the handle with a straight handle. Another option is there are a lot of small businesses that create custom throwing axes and will do all of this for you, putting whatever axe head with any handle.
If you are having trouble with DIY or don’t have the money for a custom axe just ask around people are always willing to help it’s one of the reasons I love this sport.
At the end of the day axe throwing is all about feel. If a curved handle feels like you get a better release then that is probably the better option for you. A lot of picking your type of handle is about personal preference. I used to exclusively throw with straight handles then I tried a vaughn (kind of a straight handle) and threw that for almost a year before switching to a fly fox (curved handle) and now I’m throwing an Axe Gang (straight handle), and I love it. If you want to check out good examples of both then go to our list of top throwing axes here.
All I want to say is try multiple styles to help yourself understand which is a good fit for your throwing style before committing to one handle over the other. I’ve found that the axe throwing community is one of the most friendly I’ve ever been a part of, and I’ve regularly let people borough my axes and tried out theirs.