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Trader Knife.png
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"Your movement speed is affected by your weight total. You can also run faster with a Knife rather than a gun."

The Knife is the most basic melee weapon, which every player carries. It has a very fast attack rate and can easily cut off the heads of Clots, Bloats and Gorefasts. The Knife has an alt-fire attack, which is stronger but slower than the primary-fire and can easily kill a Gorefast with one swipe. It is a weaker version of the Machete, which has a slightly slower primary attack rate but is more powerful than the Knife. The Knife is often used to conserve ammo on the first wave of each game; a strategy for most players is to choose the Berserker perk and then simply slash all the specimens' heads off during the first wave.

The Knife also enables players to run faster while equipped. This is ideal for players who are low on health and need to find safety, or for players who wish to reach the Trader quickly.

The Knife may be seen lying on the ground after a player is killed while wielding it; however, it cannot be picked up because every player spawns with it and it cannot be discarded.

When in viewed in first person mode, a set of six tally-marks can be seen on the near side of the blade


The berserker perk receives bonuses for the use of a Knife.

Level Hit damage Fire mode DPS
Primary Alternate Primary Alternate
Base 19 55 26 50
0 20 60 29 55
1 22 66 33 63
2 26 77 41 77
3 30 88 47 88
4 34 99 55 103
5 38 110 64 120
6 38 110 66 125


  • Hit-and-run tactics work with the knife: run forward and slash, then run backwards to wait for the cool-down, then run forward and slash again, etc.
  • When confronted with overwhelming odds and a route of escape exists, swap to the knife and run away to a relatively safe area. Heal or find better positioning to deal with the rough situation.
  • Avoid engaging Sirens, Fleshpounds, Scrakes and other dangerous close-range fighters.
  • Don't underestimate the power of the knife, especially if low on ammo and facing weak specimens. With practice, the knife can kill a group of four Clots faster than the standard issue 9mm.
  • Use alt-fire to decap clots, gorefasts & stalkers on any difficulty by aiming for their heads.

Advantages and disadvantages[edit]


  • Fast attack rate
  • Able to cut off a Clot's head in a slash or two (especially with its 1.25x on headshots)
  • Free
  • A real ammo saver during the first wave
  • No weight-blocks needed
  • Players move faster while equipped (with it being the lightest melee weapon)
  • A trained player can kill every Zed (beside of the SC and the Patry) save even on Hell on Earth with 6 players with the knive


  • Limited range
  • Nearly useless against the Scrake, and definitely useless against the Patriarch. It is also generally ineffective against enemies other than Clots and Gorefasts, or for rushing in and decapitating a Bloat right before it can puke.
  • Weak damage
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