Dalmo Mariano from Brazil has been throwing knives all his life. Over countless iterations in his workshop, he finally came up with a perfect throwing knife design - the Faka (Portuguese for "knife").
Dalmo was training the knife thrower artists of Circo Hiran, leading to specific demands on a throwing knife: "In a show and while practising, it is very convenient to carry many knives in one hand, so you can “peel and throw” them in a sequence. Thus, the knife had to be sleek and not too heavy." Also, spectators expect a knife thrower's knife to definitely look the part. Hence the Fakas pleasing design as an elementary knife.
It is essential how a throwing knife can be handled: The Faka has a hefty thickness (5 mm), and its centre of gravity is middle-balanced, with a slight shift towards the handle. When gripping the knife, both characteristics tell your palm that you can feel confident in handling the Faka.
Personally, I get perfectly straight sticks from a distance of 3.3m. The weight (385 g / 13.6 oz) is well chosen to prevent in-flight flutter, but still allows throwing distances up to 10m with medium effort. The knife responds well to small changes of your grip, letting you control the in-flight rotation.
The Faka can be throw from the handle and from the blade. This means you can effortlessly try out full-spin and half-spin throwing styles in your training sessions. It also makes the Faka perfect knife for advanced throwers: The Walk Back event of the World Championship sets specific distances that require you to throw in different styles.
The steel (40HNMA, equivalent to AISI 4340) is hardened well enough to prevent any banana-forming of the knife. Still, it's soft enough to allow for on-the-spot repair using a file, should a knife collision put a dent into the knife. For optimum stability, the blade retains the full thickness until the very onset of the tip.
Pro Tip: Throw the Faka with the back of the blade facing forward - it is counter-intuitive, but that way the tip will bite into the wood at a steeper angle, and will even stick for under-rotated throws.
The throwing knife is manufactured by Melontools in Poland. The machines are operated manually, so the grinding varies. Paweł specialises in protective coatings, so the Faka has a sturdy rust-preventing zinc coating that will even self-heal small scratches. Though there is an additional polymer coating, when you work yourself in a sweat throwing the knives, the zinc can show up as a grey shadow on your palms. If that's the case, just wash it off when you are done practicing. As with the Nieto Gran Lanxador, the coatings lead to a very secure grip and the Faka will not slip out of your palm early.
The Faka is my personal "Standard Throwing Knife". Even in my sleep, I can do my Faka constant throwing motion and stick it. So the Faka is the throwing knife I come back to when I feel unsure with other knives or techniques.
With its stable flight and easy target penetration, the forgiving Faka is well suited for beginners. Professional throwers will like the sturdy Faka for its perfect weight and overall versatility - it's well suited for a rather wide variety of throwing styles.