Slightly more damaging than the Shiv, but also slightly slower.
The knife is a step up from the Shiv but still a relatively weak melee weapon with a faster cooldown and very low material cost. While the Plasteel Knife you start with in the Crashlanded scenario is decent in terms of damage output, you can make better weapons once you acquire a smithy at which point the knife is obsolete (unless you're in an extreme material crisis, then you can look at the knife as a very cheap and quick to make weapon, otherwise there are better options in even shortages such as the Gladius.)
As a smithy-only weapon, the Knife can be made out of all standard materials (except wood), and can't be made out of Stone Blocks or Jade either. Here's a table below that compares damage outputs between all materials this weapon can be made from (assuming Normal quality and full durability)...
|DPS (to 3 dp)||4.819||7.519||2.41||1.093||4.018|
DPS figures that are bold are those that are viable as they are greater than the base unarmed DPS (3.279), meaning those that aren't bold should generally be avoided as weapons.