Counter-Strike Wiki

Quiet and always available, the knife has a fast, low-damage primary attack and a slow, high-damage secondary attack. A backstab will earn quiet players an instant kill.
―Official description

The Knife is the staple melee weapon in the Counter-Strike series. It is available to all players by default, except in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive while playing Danger Zone, where it can be acquired from tool crates. The knife cannot be dropped, except in Global Offensive in the Danger Zone game mode or while the console command mp_drop_knife_enable is enabled.


In the entire Counter-Strike series, the knife is permanently equipped in the melee weapon slot. It cannot be purchased or dropped (without special commands).

The knife is a melee weapon, and thus has a very short range and makes little sound when slashed. The knife has a fast, low-damage primary attack and a slow, high-damage secondary attack. In Source and Global Offensive, the primary attack deals reduced damage on consecutive hits, reducing its spamming capability.

Damage from the knife is affected by different multipliers compared to other weapons. In Counter-Strike and Condition Zero, the knife is affected by the head hitbox in addition to a special backstab multiplier. In Source and Global Offensive, the head hitbox multiplier is removed and only the backstab multiplier is present. In general, a secondary attack that strikes the head in earlier games or the back will result in a one-hit kill.

In all games, players are able to run at the default speed when the knife is active, which is measured at 250 hammer units/second. In earlier games, some other weapons and grenades allow the same movement speed, and the Schmidt Scout increases the players' speed, but these attributes were removed in Global Offensive, leaving the knife with the top running speed.

In Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, this weapon offers the most amount of money as a reward for eliminating an opponent ($1500 in competitive mode and $750 in casual mode). Moreover in Deathmatch, eliminating an opponent with the knife awards the highest amount of points (20 points), and a bonus is offered at +10 points.

When armed with the Tactical Shield, users can only inflict small amounts of damage and suffer a low rate of fire. Moreover, players cannot perform an instant kill with a back-stab.

Bots will only use the knife if all firearms and equipment have been restricted, their weapons have run out of ammo, at the beginning of a round for rushing purposes, or they are attempting to leave a Bombsite before the C4 Explosive explodes. Bots set on higher difficulty will equip the knife first until they encounter the enemy.

Cosmetic Knives

In Counter-Strike: Global Offensive & Counter-Strike 2, multiple cosmetic knives are available in the game as alternative options to the stock knife, first added in the Arms Deal update. All cosmetic knives in Global Offensive are rare special (★) items except the Gold Knife which is available as the final weapon in Arms Race, the Spectral Shiv available in Casual during the Halloween update on October 23, 2018, & the duplicated Karambit created by Steam Support with no float. The Bayonet and Flip Knife also used to be stock knives in beta and were therefore not considered rare special (★) items until the release of Global Offensive when they were removed to be repurposed for the Arms Deal update. These rare special (★) items cannot be used in trade up contracts.

Purchasable (CS:GO and CS2)

Event/Mode Specific (CS:GO only)


Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Hitbox Primary Attack Secondary Attack
Armored Unarmored Armored Unarmored
Head 34 or 21* 40 or 25* 55 65
Chest & Arm 34 or 21* 40 or 25* 55 65
Stomach 34 or 21* 40 or 25* 55 65
Leg 34 or 21* 40 or 25* 55 65
Back 76 90 153 180
Red signifies a fatal hit

* Deals reduced damage on any consecutive swing.

Counter-Strike: Source
Hitbox Primary Attack Secondary Attack
Armored Unarmored Armored Unarmored
Head 20 or 15* 20 or 15* 55 65
Chest & Arm 20 or 15* 20 or 15* 55 65
Stomach 20 or 15* 20 or 15* 55 65
Leg 20 or 15* 20 or 15* 55 65
Back 20 or 15* 20 or 15* 195 195
Red signifies a fatal hit

* Deals reduced damage on any consecutive swing.

Counter-Strike and Counter-Strike: Condition Zero
Hitbox Primary Attack Secondary Attack
Armored Unarmored Armored Unarmored
Head 51 60 221 260
Chest & Arm 12 15 55 65
Stomach 15 18 69 81
Leg 11 11 48 48
Back 12 15 165 (663 head) 195 (780 head)
Red signifies a fatal hit
Movement speed in hammer units per second
Running 250
Walking 130
Crouch walking 85


  • The knife, being a light weapon, is useful for a boost of speed, such as when leaving a bombsite that is about to explode.
    • The only weapons that beat the knife in movement speed are the Schmidt Scout in older games and the Fist from the Danger Zone game mode.
  • If a silenced firearm is not available, the knife can be used to sneak around and eliminate enemies armed with sniper rifles. Depending on their skills, luck, and the situation, they may stand still to camp a choke point or are distracted.
  • Keep in mind that the secondary attack has shorter range. As an example, the secondary attack does not reach the ground you're standing on unless you crouch, but the primary attack does.
  • If confronting an opponent at close to mid-range and both of you have used most, if not all, of your ammunition for both your primary and secondary weapons, quickly draw out your knife to go for the kill as it is quicker than reloading and both of you are already moderately injured. Thus, the first one to hit the other will usually win. However, this tactic is not recommended if you are facing more than one opponent or for long ranges.
    • Be warned, however, depending on how hasty enemies are, they may simply run backward while reloading their weapons instead of challenging you with the knife. If you are unable to hit any retreating foes, quickly fall back far away from the position of assailants and quickly reload your weapon. However, if they do switch to the knife, killing enemies will depend on your reaction, skill, and luck.
  • In Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, the fastest way to kill a full health enemy with a knife (when you are unable to backstab e.g. in a knife fight) is by using the primary fire twice then using the secondary fire once.
  • When an enemy target is unaware of your location or they are attacking your teammates while you are behind him, you can sneak behind the enemy and stab him; a single backstab will kill the target instantly. This is not recommended when multiple enemies are in same area unless they are not paying attention.
    • Footsteps play an important role when attempting to backstab someone. If you run too much, you will be detected. Stab at the back of a target and run only if they are distracted or when reaching close proximity.
    • Despite being a quiet weapon, knife attacks are still audible at short ranges.
    • It should also be noted that drawing a knife makes a slight noise in Counter-Strike only. Enemy player who's high on alert may turn back once they hear it. Either switch to knife sooner (while remaining be quiet), or switch when there's enough noise to masks the knife drawing noise out.
  • When engaged in a knife fight in Counter-Strike or Condition Zero, aim for the face of the target, as the primary attack will kill in two hits, and the secondary attack in one.
    • In Source games, where knives no longer headshot, fighting in a knife fight involves a lot more movement. Move close to bait the enemy's attack so you can counterattack with your own knife attack.
  • If an enemy is rushing towards you with a knife, avoid engaging the enemy head-on when your health is below 55, as a secondary attack will kill you instantly.
  • The knife is useful for breaking objects since it does not use ammunition and makes little noise.
  • The knife can be considered useful, however it is considered unwise to entirely depend on the knife and abandoning all uses of other guns.


In the Tour of Duty, the knife kill challenge appears in:

Map Difficulty Challenge
Havana tod wide
Hard / Expert Kill an enemy
Torn tod wide
Expert Kill an enemy and survive the round

In most levels in the Deleted Scenes, the player starts with a knife and will keep it for the rest of the mission. There are several exceptions of its presence:

  • Counter Terrorist Training: Does not appear at all.
  • Building Recon: The player does not start with a knife, which is instead found in the room where they take the picture of the nuke.
  • Downed Pilot: The knife is lost when the player is captured, but there's another one in their cell, hidden behind a cracked wall.
  • Turn of the Crank: Does not appear at all.
  • Rise Hard: The knife is lost when the player is captured, but another one is next to them just before they initially confront the terrorist leader.

Main article: Revolution

Up Close And Personal  (607)

Mission Unlock(s) Reward
Score 15 Melee kills in Arms Race matches.

405 XP
Bonus: +27 XP per kill-when the map is Lake.

Brief Audio
“If you want to fight for change, there’s something I need you to do. Kill a man with a knife. Feel his blood on your hands, Do not ignore it, Do not sugar coat it, Accept it.(sic) For The Phoenix does not lie… not to the sleeping world… nor to ourselves.”
Valeria Jenner


Knife Expert css Knife Expert
Kill 100 enemy players with the knife
Make the Cut css Make the Cut
Win a knife fight
Sknifed css Sknifed
Kill a zoomed-in enemy sniper with a knife
Street Fighter css Street Fighter
Kill an enemy player with a knife during the pistol round
The Bleeding Edge css The Bleeding Edge
Win 100 knife fights

Weapon Specialist
Knife Expert csgo Knife Expert
Kill 100 enemies with the knife.
Combat Skills
Make the Cut csgo Make the Cut
Win a knife fight.
The Bleeding Edge csgo The Bleeding Edge
Win 100 knife fights.
Sknifed csgo Sknifed
Kill a zoomed-in enemy sniper with a knife.
Street Fighter csgo Street Fighter
Kill an enemy with a knife during the Pistol Round in Competitive mode.
Arms Race & Demolition
Knife on Knife csgo Knife on Knife
Kill an enemy who is on gold knife level with your own knife in Arms Race or Demolition mode.
Csgo-achievement-gun game select suicide with knife Seppuku
Kill yourself while on gold knife level in Arms Race mode.
This achievement was available in the Beta, but was later removed.

Behind the scenes

  • The knife in Counter-Strike 1.0 - 1.5 and Deleted Scenes were modeled after the SOG Seal 2000 knife. The Counter-Strike beta knife, however, seems to be at least partially based off of the Eickhorn FK 1000 knife.
    • The kill icon in Counter-Strike 1.6 and Condition Zero is reused from Counter-Strike 1.0's knife world model.
    • In Counter-Strike 1.6, the world model and the Tactical Shield player model of the knife is reused from Counter-Strike 1.5.
  • The knife in Counter-Strike 1.6, Condition Zero, and Counter-Strike: Source (As well as the Knife in the German version of Left 4 Dead 2) is modeled after the Bad Land Bowie made by custom knifemaker Mick Strider.
  • In Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, the Counter-Terrorists use a military grade combat knife, modeled after the German Eickhorn Recondo IV. The Terrorists use a traditional Persian blade shape knife.
  • The first version of the knife in Counter-Strike beta did not have a secondary attack. The secondary attack was added in Beta 7.0 along with the new knife model.
  • In Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Beta, the knife had different attack animations.
  • In the alpha version of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, the Bayonet was the Counter-Terrorist knife, while the Flip Knife was the Terrorist knife.
  • Knife textures in Counter-Strike: Source is calledknife_tin-game files, despite separate team knife models being introduced later in Global Offensive.
  • In Global Offensive, after the January 27, 2016 update, the Knife can be dropped at will if the console command mp_drop_knife_enableis set to 1 in a community server.


  • The knife in Deleted Scenes does not have an idle animation. The knife's secondary attack also has a unique animation in Deleted Scenes.
  • In Counter-Strike: Condition Zero, there are new animations and sounds for the knife. If the player is to use the secondary attack with the knife equipped on a solid surface or on another player, the knife has a stab animation in which the knife twists. Otherwise, the animation does not occur if the player is swinging the knife at empty space.
  • In Counter-Strike and in Condition Zero, if a player is killed with a knife, some unique dying animations may be used.
  • In Counter-Strike: Source, the slash and stab animations are switched.
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive includes special animations for backstabbing. For the primary attack, the character thrusts with the tip of the knife, and the secondary attack is a stab with a backhand grip.
  • All cosmetic knives share the same range as the default knife, despite their blades being different lengths.
  • The Knife's appearance remained the same prior to the alpha and beta version of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive where it was replaced with the Bayonet for CT side and Flip Knife for the Terrorist side by default. 
    • The default for the current version of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is modeled after the German Eickhorn Recondo IV Knife for CT side.

See also

External links