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"An improvised knife-like weapon."

Dmg Type
96 ticks (1.6 secs)
10 x Material Value

The shiv is a melee weapon in RimWorld that does a low amount of damage, has a short cooldown, and deals sharp damage.

As is typical with any sharp weapon, shiv attacks cause bleeding, and generally fares poorly against armor when compared to blunt weapons.

Shivs are the worst 'real' melee weapon in the game, but also by far the cheapest, which makes them rather unique in that respect. A direct upgrade to the shiv would be the knife, offering one more point of damage for quadruple the resource cost. Needless to say that if you're extremely short on resources, have at least a level 10 crafter, and badly need a melee weapon, then the shiv might just be your saving grace here. That being said though, a normal steel shiv only holds a 15% DPS lead over fists, and that advantage quickly disappears against armored opponents, so the aforementioned use case is only really prevalent in the early game.

Still, a plasteel shiv is considerably better than a steel longsword, and also significantly more skill-friendly.

Against armor, a steel shiv offers abysmal performance; even a legendary quality steel shiv will underperform compared to fists. When factoring plasteel into the equation, a normal plasteel shiv still comes off about 3% worse compared to fists, but a legendary quality plasteel shiv practically achieves parity with a normal plasteel mace.


Shivs can be purchased from any outlander and orbital combat suppliers, or obtained from outlander and pirate raiders. Knives can also be crafted at a crafting spot, or any smithy without any research required; from 10 of any metallic, wooden, or stony material, and 400 ticks (6.67 secs) of work.

Combat Performance per Material

Normal Quality:

Materials Wood Stone A[1] Stone B[2] Stone C[3] Steel Plasteel Silver Gold Uranium Jade
Damage 2 4 5 5 8 10 4 2 9 6
Cooldown 1.44s 2.16s 2.16s 2.16s 1.6s 1.26s 1.6s 1.76s 2.16s 1.76s
Base DPS [4] 1.389 1.852 2.315 2.315 5 7.813 2.5 1.136 4.167 3.409
Armored DPS [5] 0.625 0.833 1.25 1.25 2.25 3.516 1.125 0.511 2.083 1.534

Legendary Quality:

Materials Wood Stone A Stone B Stone C Steel Plasteel Silver Gold Uranium Jade
Damage 4 6 7 8 12 15 6 4 14 10
Cooldown 1.44s 2.16s 2.16s 2.16s 1.6s 1.26s 1.6s 1.76s 2.16s 1.76s
Base DPS 2.778 2.778 3.241 3.704 7.5 11.719 3.75 2.273 6.481 5.682
Armored DPS 1.25 1.25 1.667 1.667 3.375 5.625 1.688 1.023 2.917 2.557
  1. Sandstone (50% damage multiplier)
  2. Limestone, Marble, Slate (60% damage multiplier)
  3. Granite (65% damage multiplier)
  4. Damage per second
  5. Normal quality armor vest (50% sharp damage reduction and 10% deflection; 20% blunt damage reduction)