"One of mankind's oldest manufactured objects. The knife has taken many forms, but the concept has always remained the same: A handle for holding and a sharp edge for cutting."
The knife is a primitive melee weapon, it that does a low amount of damage, has a short cooldown, and deals sharp damage. As is typical with any sharp weapon, knife attacks cause bleeding, and generally fares poorly against armor when compared to blunt weapons. Due to its low cooldown, knives are skill-friendly weapons; even if a pawn equipped with a knife misses their attack, another attack will follow not long after.
Knives can be crafted at the crafting spot, fueled smithy or smithy with 40 units of any metallic or wooden material, and 4,000 (66.67 secs) of work. As well as purchased from any outlander and orbital combat suppliers, or from outlander and pirate raiders drops.
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Knives are lower-tier melee weapons with a slightly below average damage output, but knives are also cheap to produce. That being said, the gladius offers significantly better performance for little more in the way of resource costs, so you're better off making gladii than knives unless you're somehow in an exceptional circumstance where you urgently need melee weapons and can't obtain any more resources. Plasteel knives are somewhat better as melee weapons, handily out-DPSing a steel longsword.
Against armor, a steel knife actually performs slightly better than its gladius counterpart, probably owing to the shorter cooldown. That being said, a stone club still performs considerably better. When talking about plasteel, the knife continues to outperform its gladius equivalent, but the steel club is still better here.