7 Days to Die: How to Craft and Use the Steel Knuckles

An in-depth guide for Steel Knuckles

If you’ve mastered the way of the fist in 7 Days to Die and are searching for a top-of-the-line weapon to augment your punches, then the Steel Knuckles are where your search ends. These hefty fist weapons are quite similar to the Iron Knuckles in shape but sport a few improvements that make them that much more deadly.

This guide will walk you through how to craft Steel Knuckles in 7 Days to Die and offer advice on utilizing them best.

How to craft Steel Knuckles in 7 Days to Die

Steel Knuckles Crafting Recipe in 7 Days to Die
Steel Knuckles Crafting Recipe

Steel Knuckles are weightier, sturdier, and more deadly than regular old Brass Knuckles, and will require solid steel and a few special components to craft. You’ll need to have reached the final tier of the Knuckles crafting skill and have access to a Workbench before you can successfully assemble this weapon. The amount of materials required will depend on the quality of the knuckles being constructed:

MaterialQuality 1Quality 2Quality 3Quality 4Quality 5
Steel Knuckles Parts12345
Forged Steel1020304050
Duct Tape3691215
Knuckles Crafting Skill3948576675
  • Steel Knuckles Parts cannot be crafted but can be collected by scrapping Steel Knuckles or searching gun safes and weapon chests or can be purchased from traders.
  • Forged Steel can be crafted at a Forge or salvaged from advanced machines like street lamps and vending machines.
  • Leather can be collected by harvesting animal carcasses or salvaged from leather furniture such as car seats and office chairs.
  • Duct Tape may be crafted by combining Glue and Cloth Fragments or scavenged from household or parts containers.
  • The Knuckles crafting skill can only be improved by finding and reading issues of the Furious Fists skill magazine.

Steel Knuckles Overview

Inspecting the Steel Knuckles (Quality 6)
Inspecting the Steel Knuckles (Quality 6)

Base Stats

PropertyQuality 1Quality 2Quality 3Quality 4Quality 5Quality 6
Melee Damage19.621.223.524.126.228.4
Power Attack Damage38.240.242.543.145.247.4
Block Damage6.
Stamina Cost10.
Attacks / Minute100100100100100100
Max Durability700840980112012601400
Mod Slots333444


Wielding a Pair of Modded Steel Knuckles in 7 Days to Die
Wielding a Pair of Modded Steel Knuckles

The Steel Knuckles accept the following mods. Note that only one mod of any category may be attached at a time except accessory mods.

  • Blade: Serrated, Tempered
  • Accessory: Structural Brace, Wood Splitter, Bunker Buster, Grave Digger, Iron Breaker, Diamond Tip Blade
  • Tech: The Hunter, Rad Remover
  • Grip: Fortifying Grip, Ergonomic Grip

Tips and tricks for using the Steel Knuckles

Knocking Back Approaching Zombies in 7 Days to Die
Knocking Back Approaching Zombies

As a member of the Knuckles weapon class, the Steel Knuckles scale in power with the player’s Fortitude attribute and The Brawler perk. The attack speed of this weapon can also be increased by investing in the Lightning Hands perk.

Knuckle weapons specialize in dealing rapid damage up close and personal. Knuckles attack very quickly and can stack up damage against a single target with repeated attacks.

Steel Knuckles are designed to increase the survivability of face-to-face fighting with zombies by applying debilitating effects that keep the wielder out of trouble. After investing in The Brawler perk, headshots against opponents can begin to negate their ability to infect the player, stagger enemies, knock them to the ground, stun them, and even blow up their heads with a single punch.

Punching Off a Zombie's Head with Steel Knuckles in 7 Days to Die
Punching Off a Zombie’s Head

The main disadvantage of using fist weapons is the short range of their attacks. Players must be right in front of a target for their punches to connect, which risks retaliatory attacks. Striking with a power attack as soon as an enemy is within range can help stagger them and open them up for follow-up attacks. Additionally, we recommend wearing heavy armor if you intend to use knuckles as your main weapon.

When choosing mods and perks to compliment your Steel Knuckles, we suggest choosing anything that will increase your attack speed, reduce stamina consumption, and improve the chances of procing status effects such as stagger and knockdown. The Weighted Head and Ergonomic Grip mods are two great choices for improving your weapon.

The Steel Knuckles offer a set of additional bonuses over lower-tier fist weapons. The blades welded onto these knuckles can be augmented with blade mods to add even more status effects, such as bleeding to your attacks.

Punching a Zombie's Arm Off with the Steel Knuckles in 7 Days to Die
Punching a Zombie’s Arm Off

These blades also make dismembering zombies with this weapon much simpler. Note that blade mods and the Weighted Head mod cannot be equipped at the same time. The Diamond Tip Blade mod and the Structural Brace mod cannot be attached simultaneously, as they apply similar effects.

The blades on the ends of these knuckles can also be used to effectively harvest animal carcasses for resources such as meat, Bone, and Animal Fat.

Final thoughts on the Steel Knuckles

The Fun Pimps designed this weapon for those survivors who prefer to get their hands dirty. If you have a personal vendetta against the undead that can only be solved with hand-to-hand combat, you might as well ensure you have the upper hand.

Looking for some more pointers to help you survive 7D2D? Check out our 10 Tips for Getting Started or our in-depth Beginner’s Guide.

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About Aaron Van Dyck

Aaron Van Dyck is a thriller novelist with a passion for survival games and exploration. He started writing at the age of 13 and has always been drawn to the sense of self-reliance and freedom found in open worlds. An avid urban explorer and RPG enthusiast, he enjoys dungeon crawling and has a particular love for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Far Cry 5, and Cataclysm: DDA. He's also a fan of shooters and action games with immersive stories and unique monsters to encounter.

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