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) Stiletto.png
Name stiletto
Appearance stiletto
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 stiletto is a type of weapon that appears in NetHack. It is made of iron and uses the knife skill, and can double as a projectile weapon.


Stilettos make up about 0.5% of randomly generated weapons (on the floor, in shops, or as death drops).

Salamanders have a 121 chance of being generated with a stiletto.[1]


Stilettos are identical to knives and much rarer, making them impractical to collect for use as projectiles - standard knives are somewhat more common, and weapons such as daggers, spears and the similarly-rare shuriken offer much more damage.


The stiletto first appears in NetHack 3.1.0. Stilettos become stackable and eligible for multishot in NetHack 3.6.0.


A stiletto is a specialized dagger with a long slender blade and needle-like point, primarily intended as a thrusting and stabbing weapon - the blade's narrow width and sharply-tapered tip allow it to penetrate deeply for this purpose. While considered a form of dagger, most stilettos are not designed for cutting or slashing, even with edged examples.

Over time, the term stiletto has been used as a general descriptive term for a variety of narrow knife blades with minimal cutting surfaces and a needle-like point, and in American English can also refer to a switchblade knife with a stiletto- or bayonet-type blade design. The term may also describe any exaggeratedly thin and pointed feature, such as a stiletto heel.


Some variants of NetHack make the stiletto somewhat more common.


In dNetHack, several monsters can generate with stilettos:

  • A witch has a 910 chance of generating with a stiletto.
  • A maid has a 45 chance of generating with a stiletto if the player character is a Samurai, and a 310 chance otherwise.
  • A garo always generates with two different stilettos.
  • A garo master always generates with two different stilettos, both of which are cursed and enchanted to +4.
  • Glass golems and argentum golems have a 112 chance of generating with a stiletto of the same material as them, while gold golems have a 16 chance of generating with a stiletto of the same material as them.
  • Seyll Auzkovyn generates with a pair of blessed mithril stilettos.
  • Y-cultists have a 110 chance of generating with a stiletto - the stiletto can be made of iron (12 chance), obsidian (14 chance) or bone (12 chance), and has a 120 chance of being filth-poisoned.
  • Lady Constance generates with a +7 damp and psionic mineral stiletto.
  • Contaminated patients have a 14 chance of generating with a poisoned stiletto alongside a yellow robe.
  • The Master of Thieves generates with a blessed +4 stiletto.
  • Wizard driver and wizard leader Amm Kamerel generate with a small stiletto that will be at least +1 and has an equal chance of being made of bronze, silver or glass.
  • Oona generates with a blessed +3 stiletto as her offhand weapon, with the object property of her weapon dependent on her elemental affinity (e.g. a fiery Oona will have an "arcing" stiletto, a cold Oona has a "forge-hot" stiletto and so on).
  • Changed have an effective 45 chance of generating with a bone stiletto.
  • Deeper ones generated in the Anachrononaut quest have an effective 13 chance of being created with a mineral stiletto as part of their weapon set - the stiletto has a 12 chance of having the rustling property, and an independent 120 chance of being damp or faded (which can stack with the former property).
  • Duergar debilitators generate with a +2 stiletto, and standard duergar have a 45 chance of generate with a stiletto.
  • Angband orcs generated in the Mordor Ruins Quest are always created with a stiletto.
  • Carcosan courtiers generated outside of the Anachrononaut quest have a 34 chance of generating with a stiletto.


xNetHack removes the stiletto from the list of available objects.


In EvilHack, a stiletto can be created at a forge by combining 2 crossbow bolts and a knife. Stilettos can be used at a forge to create a few weapons:

  • Combining a stiletto with a spear creates a ranseur.
  • Combining a stiletto with a dagger creates an athame.
  • Combining a stiletto with a knife creates a scalpel.


In SlashTHEM, there are two artifact stilettos:

  • Oathkeeper, a neutral stiletto that has +7 to-hit and +9 damage, and is the first sacrifice gift for the Locksmith
  • Spineseeker, a chaotic stiletto that has +5 to-hit and +5 damage, with a 15 chance of +d5 damage and stunning the target for d5 turns


In Hack'EM, in addition to EvilHack forging recipes, upgrading a knife will produce a stiletto and vice versa.

Encyclopedia entry

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 ]