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) Knife.png
Name knife
Appearance knife
Damage vs. small 1d3
Damage vs. large 1d2
To-hit bonus +0
Weapon skill knife
Size one-handed
Base price 4 zm
Weight 5
Material iron

A knife is a kind of weapon. Samurai will know it as a shito. It can be used in melee or thrown.

Knives can be thrown multishot. The knife class is the only ranged weapon class that gives Healers a multishot bonus at Skilled level[1] (Healers do not get any multishot for darts until they reach Expert).

Knives are generally some of the lowest damage wielded weapons in nethack. The sole exception is the crysknife, one of the more coveted weapons in the game. Other than that, the next best knife is the rare scalpel, although its damage is only on par with an orcish dagger. Healers begin with a scalpel as their wielded weapon.

Knife skill

Max Role

The following weapons use the knife skill:

There are no artifact knives.


Knives make up about 2% of randomly generated weapons (on the floor, as death drops, or in shops).

Mordor orcs, orc-captains,[2] and skeletons[3] may be created with a single knife.

Soldiers in the Yendorian army have a 50% chance of getting a knife as a secondary weapon if their primary weapon is a polearm.[4]

Barrow wights and Nazgul get a knife and a long sword.[5]


In NetHack 3.4.3 and earlier versions, knives were not included in the list of weapons that could be multishot.[6] As of NetHack 3.6.0, any stackable weapon can be thrown multishot, if you are Skilled or higher in the appropriate weapon skill.[7]

Encyclopedia entries


Possibly perceiving an expression of dubiosity on their
faces, the globetrotter went on adhering to his adventures.

-- And I seen a man killed in Trieste by an Italian chap.
Knife in his back. Knife like that.

Whilst speaking he produced a dangerous looking clasp knife,
quite in keeping with his character, and held it in the
striking position.

-- In a knockingshop it was count of a tryon between two
smugglers. Fellow hid behind a door, come up behind him.
Like that. Prepare to meet your God, says he. Chuck! It
went into his back up to the butt.

[ Ulysses, by James Joyce ]


A Japanese stabbing knife.



This page may need to be updated for the current version of NetHack.

It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.6.0. Information on this page may be out of date.

Editors: After reviewing this page and making necessary edits, please change the {{nethack-360}} tag to the current version's tag or {{noversion}} as appropriate.