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All CSGO knives ranked: worst to best

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All knives are beautiful in CS2, but when ranked side by side, some are clearly more beautiful than others.

Skins are so ingrained in Counter-Strike 2 culture that quite a few players consider them more important than the actual game. For skin savants and cosmetic connoisseurs, a knife is often the crown jewel of their collections. It’s the only weapon guaranteed to be seen every round regardless of side or economy. Valve knows this all too well, and the developer has taken pains to keep melee skins rare ever since the original Arms Deal update. Opening a knife has become both a goal and a rite of passage for players, but it can be hard to tell just how good a knife is.

We’ve ranked all the knives in CS2 from worst to best so players can see just how good their case opening really was.

Tier list for CS2 knives

Here’s a quick breakdown for the different ranked sections of the CS2 knives tier list.

  • S – The absolute best knives, guaranteed to fetch a high price regardless of skin
  • A – Fantastic knives that have a high price floor and very high ceiling
  • B – Solid knives that are highly valuable with the right float and finish
  • C – Mediocre knives where only the best will fetch a pretty penny
  • D – The worst knives with a very low maximum price tag

Remember that opening even a terrible knife is still pretty great. The absolute cheapest knife currently sells for around $100. Even if players would much rather get a perfect blue gem Karambit, a filthy pair of Shadow Daggers is still a great case opening.

CS2 knives ranked tier list

Our ranking is based on a combination of community opinion, finish compatibility, market price, and our personal takes on each knife. Players who disagree should consider themselves lucky. Picking up a gorgeous Navaja will cost much less money than a top-tier Butterfly.

The worst knives in CS2 ranked

CS2 Navaja Knife

The Navaja is the worst knife in the game by a significant margin. It’s almost embarrassing to own one, and it’s not uncommon to see players who have no knife at all bully those with Navajas. This is largely due to its size. The Navaja is comedically small, which causes detailed patterns like the Freehand or Crimson Web to look like mush. There’s also not enough space to show off good-looking solid patterns. This makes it one of the absolute cheapest knives to pick up off the Steam market.

Shadow Daggers

CS2 Shadow Daggers

Ah, the Shadow Daggers. While the Navaja is easy to forget, the daggers share no such upside. Their most common nickname is related to a piece of adult paraphernalia that will not be named. Their tiny size is the biggest of many flaws. Similar to the Navaja, even a great finish looks underwhelming on them. Its one claim to fame is that it’s technically two knives in one. Considering their rock-bottom prices, that’s a lot of bang for a player’s buck.

Gut Knife

CS2 Gut Knife

The humble Gut Knife is the first of many CS2 knives ranked on this list with a cult following. It’s the original bad knife, appearing in the very first weapon crate way back in 2013. It was the worst knife to open 12 years ago, but it has since been outmatched. Battle-scarred Guts are a fan favorite with certain collectors for their nostalgia. The community frowns upon its simple, almost brutal shape that screams everything but elegant. After all, players want to feel like James Bond when they stab an opponent in the back. This makes them feel like Elmer Fudd.

Falchion Knife

CS2 Falchion Knife

The Falchion rounds out the bottom of our CS2 knives tier list. It has the same flaw as the Daggers and Navaja, namely that it’s just too small. The tiny blade doesn’t show off a pattern very well, though many finishes extend to the handle as a nice detail. The Falchion also has a rare special inspect animation where the player balances it in their palm. Aside from that, there really isn’t much else to say. The community doesn’t like it, so it sells for cheap. Maybe it’d be worth more if the balancing act was more common.

All C tier knives in CS2

Bowie Knife

CS2 Bowie Knife

Valve probably expected the Bowie to be a hit with the community. It’s got all the hallmarks of an expensive knife. It’s absolutely huge, which makes intricate patterns like the Lore and Freehand stand out. It has a fun animation where the player swings it onto the screen. It’s also ripped straight out of pop culture as the go-to blade for tough guys. However, the CS2 community strongly disagrees. Its gigantic size makes it look almost cartoony, and its animation pales in comparison to newer options. The Bowie is also a literal massive disappointment to open from a Dreams & Nightmares or Riptide case. Every Chroma-pattern Bowie is a Butterfly in an alternate dimension.

Flip Knife

CS2 Flip Knife

The Flip Knife is synonymous with mediocrity. It’s considered the second-worst knife of the original models. The Gut Knife has a meme factor as the absolute worst, but the Flip is just plain forgettable. It has the same vibe problem as the Gut where it looks more at home on a fish carving table than in the hands of a professional killer. And yet, that also gives it a nostalgia factor. A Flip Knife with a solid pattern can still go for quite a bit of money. However, a sapphire or ruby Flip is just lipstick on a pig.

Kukri

CS2 Kukri knife

The newest of all the knives in CS2, the Kukri is sadly ranked quite low on the tier list. It suffers from the same flaws as the Bowie. It’s absolutely massive but has nothing new in the animation department. The giant edge, ridged handle, and rope hole make it look like something from a mall kiosk rather than a survival tool. Still, it fetches a good price as the newest knife to the game. Just don’t expect an investment in a Kukri to pay off in the long run.

Paracord Knife

CS2 Paracord Knife

When Operation Shattered Web introduced a new batch of knife models, fans immediately clamored over the Skeleton and Ursus. The Paracord, meanwhile, was quickly left by the wayside. It simply fails to stand out. Its titular feature, a band of paracord around the handle, really only serves to cover up the pattern that presumably still exists under it. Being able to take it off like an M4A1-S silencer is a missed feature that surely keeps at least one developer up at night. Frankly, a naked Paracord should have been the new default T knife in CS2.

These knives are solid to open

Huntsman

CS2 Huntsman

The Huntsman made quite a splash when it first dropped in the Global Offensive days. It was the first knife to get its very own special case where every gold was guaranteed to be one. It was a cute gimmick then, and it still garners respect from veterans. However, it also rides the edge of nostalgia and flashiness. It doesn’t fall far enough into either camp to appeal to a specific crowd. Nobody is unhappy to open a Huntsman, but few are overjoyed to see it.

Survival Knife

CS2 Survival Knife

The mall ninja stylings of the Kukri are a miss, but the Survival Knife pulled it off pretty nicely during Operation Shattered Web. The hollow blade, ergonomic handle, and integrated bottle opener combine to make something so ugly it becomes strangely beautiful. It’s like a train wreck where one train is filled with dish soap and the other is full of sparkling water. They collide to create something flashy, shocking, unique, and gorgeous despite its origins as a product of needless violence. In short, it’s mid.

Stiletto

CS2 Stiletto

When it comes to pure vibes, few CS2 knives can be ranked next to the Stiletto. It’s the perfect visual aid for sneaking up on an unsuspecting CT player and trading his life for $1,500. In terms of price, it varies wildly based on the pattern. Particular standouts are the Marble Fade, Rust Coat, and Crimson Web. On the flip side, the more traditional skins like the Forest DDPAT and Stained just don’t fit with the classic vendetta-ender. It’s feast or famine with the Stilleto, which is a problem the top knives just don’t have.

Bayonet

CS2 Bayonet

Depending on who players ask, the Bayonet is either a fantastic knife or utterly forgettable. It’s a simple and realistic knife that looks good with any pattern, which is the primary motivator for players who love it. On the downside, it’s the little brother to the bigger and beefier M9 Bayonet. Prices for Bayonets start low but can reach very high with the right pattern. Regardless of its polarity, the Bayonet holds the line as the gatekeeper of CS2’s best knives.

The A-ranked CS2 knives start to get pricy

Nomad Knife

CS2 Nomad Knife

Sleek. Stylish. Sophisticated. The Nomad is everything the Navaja, Flip, and Falchion wish they were. In fact, Valve may have been inspired by the latter to make a hinged knife that CS2 players actually like. The Nomad is the result, and the experiment was fairly successful. Nomads fetch solid prices on the market thanks to their tastefully thick blade and textured handle, which even changes colors for certain finishes. That’s why a clean Forest DDPAT sells for more than a Slaughter. Nice one, Valve.

Classic Knife

CS2 Classic Knife

The Classic is the final polarizer on the list where some players love it and others can’t stand it. It’s a copy of the knife from Counter-Strike 1.6 and Source updated for the newest engine. This gives it the ultimate nostalgia factor. Players who were around for those games love to get their hands on them. However, players who started with CS2 or Global Offensive tend to have them ranked pretty low in desirability among knives. Valve made it for the boomers, not the zoomers. Guess which one of those groups has the money to buy them.

Ursus Knife

CS2 Ursus Knife

Few models can match the brutality of the Ursus. The thin and simple blade doesn’t distract from whatever finish it sports, be it a complex Slaughter pattern or a dazzling blue gem Case-Hardened. The sanded-down edge gives it a modern military feel with a touch of outdoorsy flair. Prices remain high for the Ursus thanks to its mass appeal and skin compatibility. The Ursus is also a favorite of Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyljev, which no doubt boosts its desirability among pro scene fans. Everyone is happy to open an Ursus, even if it’s just to flip it for something else.

Talon Knife

CS2 Talon Knife

Usually, being another knife’s little brother is a death sentence. However, the Karambit is a very good knife to have in the family. The Talon is Valve’s newer, more modern riff on the pencak silat icon. It brings the same flashy unsheathing animation and pattern-warping curve at a much cheaper price. The finish also extends to the small handle ring, which is fun to look at in the inspect animation. If the Karambit wasn’t in the game, the Talon would easily rank in the top three. Instead, it settles for being in the top five.

The holy grail of golds

Skeleton Knife

CS2 Skeleton Knife

The king of the mall ninjas, the Skeleton Knife strikes a perfect balance of edginess and simplicity. The symmetrical blade’s only gimmick is a giant hole in the handle which makes for some of the sickest inspect animations in the game. Unlike the Paracord, the loose handle wraps show peeks of the pattern in the lower half of the blade. The wide surface gives plenty of room for all sorts of patterns to shine. All-over prints look fantastic, and Valve is guaranteed to make millions when it finally releases Chroma finishes. Throw in the awesome rare unsheating animation and the Skeleton Knife deserves to be ranked among the very best knives in CS2.

M9 Bayonet

CS2 M9 Bayonet

Players who want a big knife have plenty of options, but there’s a reason they always want an M9 Bayonet. Despite its age, this original knife model appears this high up for a reason. Its based on a bayonet used by the United States military, which gives it massive credibility for realism. The monolith of a blade is perfect for showing off high-end patterns with double points for Doppler gems. If the edge doesn’t catch the sun, the ridges on the back certainly will. It’s a knife that looks good no matter the lighting. The M9 is a favorite of pro players and collectors alike for its varied surface, tasteful size, and truly realistic appearance.

Karambit

CS2 Karambit

The story of CS2 knives begins with the Karambit. When custom knife skins were first introduced, the Karambit was the absolute king. From the twirly inspect animation to the buttery-smooth unsheathe, nothing else could match the visual joy of owning a Karambit. They continue to fetch extremely high prices to this day regardless of skin. For reference, the cheapest Karambit is worth seven of the cheapest Navaja. This is despite the Karambit appearing in 16 different cases, tied with the other classics for the most of any knife model. Everyone who has ever opened a Karambit has been overjoyed to see it pop up on their screen. What’s worth more than a guaranteed smile?

Butterfly Knife

CS2 Butterfly Knife

When it comes to the absolute best knife in CS2, the Butterfly is the almost unanimous victor. A small minority of players will pick the Karambit, but if so, players can just hit the inspect key to prove them wrong. The Butterfly has the most animations of any knife in the game, with two options for pulling it out and three tricks for the inspect. Unlike in real life, there’s no risk of cutting a finger. It’s a frequent sight in tournaments, with gems being the gold standard at the majors. Most importantly, it proved that Valve could devote an entire case to just one knife and still have the community tripping over its shoes to open them. Even in 2024, Valve is still chasing butterflies.

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