The Long Dark Wiki

An improvised knife made of scrap metal with a cloth-wrapped handle. Not as robust or nice to look at as one made by professional, but it'll do the trick.
In-game description

The Improvised Knife is a tool in The Long Dark for butchering, crafting and self defense.


Improvised Knives are functionally similar to Hunting Knives, though unlike Hunting Knives, Improvised Knives can be crafted, weigh slightly more and are slightly slower to craft/harvest with. Knives have number of uses: harvesting gut, hide and meat from animal carcasses, as well as cloth and tinder plugs. It may also serve as a makeshift can opener to avoid spillage, or to break through iced-over fishing holes for ice fishing, and as a self-defence weapon during wolf attacks.

Improvised Knives are particularly useful on Interloper mode, where Hunting Knives never spawn, or Custom sandbox with Loot Frequency set to "Low".

  • May be used to harvest frozen carcasses.
  • Knives are faster harvesting carcasses 50% frozen or less, as well as guts and hides. Hatchets are faster harvesting carcasses 51-100% frozen.
  • May be selected to defend oneself during wolf struggles.
  • May be used for crafting Arrow Shafts.
  • Unlike blunt tools, bladed tools like the improvised knife suffer increased condition loss when breaking fishing hut ice.

An improvised knife is required for some work bench crafting (and faster than the hatchet or improvised tools). These items are:


Improvised Knives may be rarely found in all regions, usually near frozen corpses or structures. They may also be found inside structures atop/beneath furniture or in drawers.

Forging improvised knives is only possible at a furnace with a heavy hammer; coal is required to a heat furnace hot enough for forging along with the necessary crafting materials: scrap metal and cloth.

In Interloper mode improvised knives and hunting knives will never spawn; requiring forging to create.


The improvised knife can be repaired using a whetstone and the bladed tool maintenance skill, restoring 3%-5% condition to the hunting knife (based on skill) and causing 5% condition damage to the whetstone.

The Milling Machine in Bleak Inlet may repair a non-ruined hunting knife to 100% condition for one piece of scrap metal, during an active Aurora. Repairing Improvised Knives or Improvised Hatchets with the Milling Machine is more efficient with Scrap Metal than forging new ones.


  • Like the Improvised Hatchet, the Improvised Knife is a flattened metal pipe with cloth for a grip.