Is the butcher's knife really better than the combat knife at butchering?

I thought butchering had to do with the level of cut on a particular weapon. But while the butcher’s knife has a lower cut score than the combat knife, the description says it’s the best item for butchering. How does this work?

Butchers knife is good for chopping bones and pieces off , while combat knife is good at slicing which is really unnecessary.
Also sharper knives damage skins and leathers.

So i’m guessing there is an “invisible” value for butchering? And maybe this value is fixed for every cutting weapon?

IIRC butchering quality is double for knives with cutting damage less than 20, so butchering knife with 18 is 36 quality-wise when combat knife is 22 at 22.

Unless someone has rewritten the butchering code (which IIRC nobody has), then yes, butchers knife is the absolute best tool for butchering. At one point I had worked out a list of the top 10 or so butchering tools (which I can’t seem to find :confused: ).

Thanks for the info!

[quote=“i2amroy, post:763, topic:42”]As such the top butchering implements are:
1)Powered on chainsaw
3)Butcher knife
5)steak knife
6)combat knife[/quote]

Thank you Ziusudra. (Though actually now that weight has been rebalanced those numbers could change for the experimental version. Here’s a quick and dirty rehash of the previous top 6).

  1. Chainsaw (on) - (literally 4x better then the number 2)
  2. Butcher’s knife
  3. Steak knife
  4. Combat knife
  5. Broadsword

6+++) Machete - (Huge drop in butchering efficiency from before)

It’s also possible that some of the newer weapons (fire swords, I’m looking at you) could be better. If you want to calculate how good a weapon is at butchering the basic equation in the dev version is:
(volume * 5) - (weight / 75) - (cutting damage) = (butchering factor)
If (cutting damage) <= 20
butchering factor * 2

The lower a number is the better the weapon is at butchering.

I could see a chainsaw being the best butchering weapon, not very good for skinning the animal mind you, but good at cutting meat IF the cutting safety is removed.

once you get survival to 5 it doesn’t really matter what you use.

For purposes of what items you get, maybe (though an exceptionally bad tool can make you get less items), but the only thing that affects the amount of time that it takes to butcher is the factor of the weapon; skill has absolutely no effect in that aspect.

If you carry multiple blades, will the game automatically use the most “butchering-friendly” one when you hit B?

Yes, the game looks through your entire inventory and picks whatever tool is the best.

Relevant code for reference:

int player::butcher_factor()
 int lowest_factor = 999;
 if (has_bionic("bio_tools"))
 int inv_factor = inv.butcher_factor();
 if (inv_factor < lowest_factor) {
  lowest_factor = inv_factor;
 if (weapon.damage_cut() >= 10 && !weapon.has_flag("SPEAR")) {
  int factor = weapon.volume() * 5 - weapon.weight() / 75 -
  if (weapon.damage_cut() <= 20)
   factor *= 2;
  if (factor < lowest_factor)
   lowest_factor = factor;
 return lowest_factor;


int inventory::butcher_factor() const
    int lowest_factor = 999;
    for (invstack::const_iterator iter = items.begin(); iter != items.end(); ++iter)
        for (std::list<item>::const_iterator stack_iter = iter->begin();
             stack_iter != iter->end();
            const item& cur_item = *stack_iter;
            if (cur_item.damage_cut() >= 10 && !cur_item.has_flag("SPEAR"))
                int factor = cur_item.volume() * 5 - cur_item.weight() / 75 -
                if (cur_item.damage_cut() <= 20)
                    factor *= 2;
                if (factor < lowest_factor)
                    lowest_factor = factor;
    return lowest_factor;

I don’t see it.
Chainsaws don’t cut things so much as rip through them, the ‘cutting’ area is wide, and the whole thing is bulky.

I’m pretty sure it would ruin anything it directly touched, which would leave decidedly less useful material behind.

A chainsaw might be effective for carving steaks out of a deer, but I have a hard time picturing it being used effectively on a squirrel corpse.

As far as I could tell, the code doesn’t check knives insides your boots. Could we make it so?

We need electric carving knives!

Looking through the code, this seems to be somewhat accounted for already. Squirrels are tiny, right? Tiny corpses take 200 movement points to butcher by default, then you apply the butcher factor (-485 for an active chainsaw by my math). Anything below 250 after that gets defaulted to 250, so a chainsaw won’t help you with a squirrel or other tiny/small critters very much.

Relevant code if anyone is interested:

for (int i = corpses.size() - 1; i >= 0; i--) { mtype *corpse = m.i_at(u.posx, u.posy)[corpses[i]].corpse; if (query_yn(_("Butcher the %s corpse?"), corpse->name.c_str())) { int time_to_cut = 0; switch (corpse->size) { // Time in turns to cut up te corpse case MS_TINY: time_to_cut = 2; break; case MS_SMALL: time_to_cut = 5; break; case MS_MEDIUM: time_to_cut = 10; break; case MS_LARGE: time_to_cut = 18; break; case MS_HUGE: time_to_cut = 40; break; } time_to_cut *= 100; // Convert to movement points time_to_cut += factor * 5; // Penalty for poor tool if (time_to_cut < 250) time_to_cut = 250; u.assign_activity(this, ACT_BUTCHER, time_to_cut, corpses[i]); u.moves = 0; return; } }

On the topic of butcher knives, going off the weight and volume from the latest experimental at least, I think pocket knives might actually be more useful in a sense. A butcher knife will take 10 fewer points than a pocket knife to butcher something (that isn’t tiny), but a pocket knife only weighs 141 and has 0 volume.

Butcher factor by my calculations (including the *5 when it is applied to movement point cost) for some items if anyone is curious:
Chainsaw: -485
Chainsaw(off): -135 (lol? I don’t actually know if an off chainsaw can be used to butcher corpses, but this is what the equation gives for its stats)
Butcher Knife: -120
Pocket Knife/Steak Knife: -110
Combat Knife: -95
Broadsword: -75
Rapier: -55
Machete: +25
Makeshift Machete: +65
Zweihander: +90 (in experimental)
Katana: +100
Makeshift halberd: +120

by 5 survival it doesn’t really matter. you may get a little more stuff with a better item,but animals are so common it just doesn’t matter. you dont need the resources that much. how much fur do you need? after a bit its just for training? bones? are useful as needles. I dont know any other use than that. the fibre is the most useful for string to train up your tailoring.

you guys are spending time on something that doesn’t really make you better. it just doesn’t matter.