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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 that does a low amount of sharp damage and has a short cooldown. As is typical with any sharp weapon, shiv attacks cause bleeding, and generally fare poorly against armor when compared to blunt weapons. Shivs can be crafted at a crafting spot, fueled smithy, or electric smithy without any research required; from 10 of any metallic, wooden, or stony material and 400 ticks (6.67 secs) of work. They can also be purchased from outlander and orbital combat suppliers, or obtained from outlander and pirate raiders.

Shivs are generally the worst melee weapons in the game, but also by far the cheapest and fastest to produce. Much like clubs, shivs are not generated with a quality level - in essence, all shivs are "normal." A steel shiv provides only 15% better DPS against an unarmored opponent than fighting unarmed, and its performance quickly plummets against armored foes. Plasteel shivs are markedly better, however, and cost very little to produce. In situations where you have no pawns capable of producing high-quality melee weapons, crafting a few plasteel shivs may be a worthwhile use of the material, especially for pawns with poor melee skills who would be ineffective with slower weapons. However, if you do have even moderately skilled craftsmen and aren't starved for resources, knives are unambiguously superior weapons.

Shivs will be removed in 1.0.

Combat Performance per Material

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
  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)


Prior to Beta 18, shivs were generated with a quality value. Due to their rapid rate of attack, extremely high-quality plasteel shivs were very capable weapons even in the late-game.