Woman making a spear

If you are gearing up for survival, a multipurpose throwing spear is a useful tool to have in your arsenal. Throwing spears have been used as one of the most common hunting tools as well as personal weapons throughout human history. According to researchers, humans actually started making throwing spears half a million years ago. And, with a bit of work, you can make one yourself! Here’s precisely what you need to know if you want to make a throwing spear.

What type of throwing spear do you want?

The first step in making a throwing spear is to determine what kind of spear you really need, as your spear design will depend on your requirements.

Begin by asking yourself why you need a spear. For hunting? Self-defense? Fishing? If you don’t have a very specific use in mind, you can always go with a javelin spear. It is the most basic kind of throwing spear. It is lightweight with a sharp tip that works well under most circumstances.

How to Make a Javelin Spear

Here is the step by step process you can follow to make a sturdy javelin spear that Achilles from Troy would be proud of:

Materials Required

In order to make a simple javelin spear, here’s what you’ll need:

  1. An old shovel (to use its parts)
  2. The handle from a long broom or a rake
  3. A lawn mower blade
  4. For heat treating: microwave oven, motor oil, a butane torch
  5. A few long nails, a saw, a hammer, gorilla glue

Stage 1: Making the Shaft

You can use the handle of a long broom, rake, or something similar to get a durable, heavy, straight spear shaft.

Why not just use the handle of the old shovel? Here’s the answer: most likely it’s too short for your purpose.

Now, there are different types of wood available in the marketplace, however, we recommend using any kind of hardwood – maple, oak, ash, or hickory. Since we want your spear to be strong and long-lasting, softwood species (except maybe pine) are just not going to cut it.

Stage 2: Making the Spearhead

  1. Start by wrenching the shovel head off the handle. Pry out the nails by using the back of a hammer.
  2. Cut the pipe with an angle grinder. Make sure to get only the straight part.
  3. Now take the lawnmower blade and cut it into a spearhead shape. You can use a belt sander to clean up and sharpen the edges.
  4. Now it’s time to give the blade a heat treatment. Use the butane torch to heat the tip of the blade. Then dip the tip into the motor oil container.
  5. Finally, bake the blade on 425 degrees Fahrenheit temperature inside your microwave oven. The blade needs to turn a good golden hue before you can begin the tempering process. How long will it take to turn a golden color? That depends on how thick the blade is.
  6. You are ready for the last step! You now have your blade, the spear shaft, and the pipe which will clasp the former two together. In order to hold everything together, you’d need to hammer a couple of nails so make sure to punch holes through each part. Make sure everything is in alignment.

Your javelin spear is complete.

How to Make a Fishing Spear

Maybe you don’t want a simple javelin, but a fishing spear with multiple prongs. Why aim for multiple prongs? Well, more prongs usually mean a higher chance of accurately striking your prey.

Here’s how you can make your fishing spear:

  1. Split the end of your spear shaft.
  2. Insert crossbars into it.
  3. Secure it with a thin rope or a piece of twine.
  4. As you can see, it takes very simple tools and easy-to-find materials to do this.

If you want to go fishing, three-pronged and four-pronged spearheads will work like a charm for your purposes. Even if you find yourself stuck in the wild or middle of nowhere, this fishing spear can be effectively used for hunting.

How to Make a Barbed Spear

A barbed spearhead is more suitable for you if you want to keep your prey from escaping. This type of spear sinks into the prey’s flesh and keeps it right where it lies, preventing the animal from trying to exert pressure to get away. This also saves the animal from causing any further damage.

Here are the steps you need to take to make a barbed spear:

  1. To make a barbed spear, craft a throwing spear first with a two-pronged wooden top.
  2. Then apply the same splitting technique as used for making the fishing spear.
  3. If you want, you can take an extra step of modeling two barbs alongside each of the prongs with a knife.

Bonus Tip: How to Make a Wooden Spearhead

For a homemade throwing spear, a metal point is a salient choice of course, but how about making the most effective and sturdy wood spear tip?

Why? Because it’s fine and dandy working with easily available metal supplies in your backyard, but it is a whole other ball game when you are lost in the woods and survival is the only priority. In that case, sapling branches might be the only supplies you’ll find to work with.

So let’s imagine you have found a branch that looks good enough to work as a spear shaft and you have sharpened its tip. Now you are going to want to make it super strong by fire-hardening it, which is easier said than done.

This process could be quite tricky, but following the steps below you will be able to make an impressive wooden spearhead. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Hold out the spear over the flames and rotate it slowly so the wood can “bake” evenly.
  2. At the same time, you have to be really careful not to let the wood catch fire.
  3. The wood should be darkened really slowly so as to appear “toasted”.
  4. Finally, you’ll need to rub a bit of oil all over the tip and re-sharpen it.

Don’t forget to test your newly crafted throwing spear once you have completed it! Hay bales are excellent for this. So there you have it, a handy guide to making a range of spears all with some supplies and your own two hands.