Knives of various sorts are common weapons throughout the Silent Hill series. Knives are universally very fast on the attack, but weak in damage.
Though they change in style and appearance, much like pipes, radios, and flashlights, they appear in some form or another in every game in the series, excluding Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, since there is no combat system. In spite of this, it is possible for Harry Mason to acquire a hunting knife memento.
"Hard to use, but better than nothing."
In Silent Hill, Harry Mason's first melee weapon is a simple kitchen knife. He finds this item laying on the counter of the Cafe 5to2. Although Harry soon finds a three-foot pipe afterwards, the knife retains its usefulness throughout a majority of the game, being perfect for quickly dealing with weak enemies that the pipe would be too slow to handle, and where firearms would be a waste. The knife is the most powerful white weapon in the game, but it's hard to use in combat with larger enemies and escape unscathed with its short range.
Silent Hill 2
"Knife from Angela. I don't plan on using this as a weapon."
James Sunderland never actually finds a knife that can be used as a weapon throughout Silent Hill 2, but a knife is still an item that James carries with him. After meeting Angela Orosco a second time, he finds her holding a slightly bloodied knife. After she admits to contemplating suicide, she convinces James to take it from her, which he does after a brief mental episode on her part. Angela's knife is a simple kitchen knife, but not a combat-ready tool. Observing Angela's knife in the inventory screen is another action that counts towards obtaining the "In Water" ending of the game.
"Massive weapon wielded by Pyramid Head. Hard to use, but lethal."
Silent Hill 3
"It's a switchblade for self-defense. I've never used it, but just in case."
Heather Mason begins Silent Hill 3 with a knife already in her inventory. It is her first melee weapon and it appears in several cutscenes. Heather's knife is a simple retractable knife, like a switchblade. The knife retains its ability as a swift but weak weapon; however, its usefulness is much more underplayed than in the previous game. The Memory of Alessa also uses a knife as her first weapon. At the end of the game, Heather threatens to stab Douglas Cartland with the knife, as a joke. (Or actually does so, if the player gets the "Possessed" ending.)
Silent Hill 4: The Room
"Originally made for cutting paper. It's hard to use as a weapon."
In Silent Hill 4: The Room, the Paper Cutting Knife is found in the Hospital World, inside the office on the first floor on a desk. It is widely regarded as the worst possible weapon in the game, even above the bug spray found in the Apartment World. It is also the only "Knife" weapon found in the game, and is the equivalent of Harry Mason's kitchen knife from Silent Hill.
However, practice has shown that the Paper Cutting Knife is very useful in one-on-one battles, as it can land many blows without foes' retaliation.
Silent Hill: Origins
"A steel chopping knife. Nicely sharpened, this steel blade looks like the kind of thing you'd expect to see in a decent chef's set."
Travis Grady has access to kitchen knives during his adventure in Silent Hill: Origins. Though not quite as common as other items, they can still be useful in combat. Although the knife of Silent Hill is also kitchen-used, Travis uses much bigger and sharper versions. Knives that Travis has access to can be broken just like any other melee weapon, so several replacements can be found throughout the game. Though the knife serves its role as a light melee weapon, several other temporary weapons fill this need as well. Travis uses the kitchen knife in-game by jabbing it forward abruptly, unlike the ordinary slashing manner, and will land the killing blow into a monster by taking the weapon's handle in both hands, lifting it over his shoulder, and stabbing the blade into the fallen body.
Silent Hill: Homecoming
Alex Shepherd uses a Combat Knife as his first weapon in Silent Hill: Homecoming. This knife is a military-issue weapon, with a curved edge and serrated teeth along its back. Alex finds this weapon lodged in a mirror during his nightmare, and it remains undisclosed as to whether or not this was his real method of obtaining the weapon. It remains fast and weak, though the speed of other weapons is noticeably slower than the knife, making Alex's knife well-used throughout the game. It is also the only weapon Alex can use to "cut" through thin materials blocking his path, like fabrics and fleshy membranes.
His Combat Knife is replaced with a Ceremonial Dagger in the basement of the town hall, surrounded by Nurses, which functions exactly the same as his previous knife. It does slightly more damage and can be used to open special locks, making it the only "upgrade" item required to obtain. The Ceremonial Dagger is very intricate and well-forged, appearing almost fragile in design. There are several of these knives seen, as the torture chamber Alex is sent to has another such dagger for his use after all his equipment is taken. It is possible that these knives have the same function as the original, but this is unlikely.
Silent Hill: Downpour
Murphy Pendleton has the ability to pick up many knives in Silent Hill: Downpour and use them to fight monsters. Like all other weapons in the game, it is degradable and will break after a certain amount of use. This, along with the Ladder Hook, Great Hammer, plank, and fire axe, are the five weapons that the player is required to equip.
- There is an obtainable memento called "A Moveable Feast" in Silent Hill: Shattered Memories that resembles a well-used hunter's knife. However, Harry Mason cannot use it as a weapon.
- Cheryl Heather Mason used a knife to stab Malcolm, a security guard, in Silent Hill: Shattered Memories. Harry can find this knife, bloodied, in a zipper bag inside a locker.
- In her "Punk Girl" alter, Dahlia Mason is seen "practicing [her] signature" with a pocket switchblade, not unlike Heather's, when Harry first meets her at The Balkan, in Silent Hill: Shattered Memories.
- The knife in Silent Hill was originally called "Petty knife" in the demo version of the game. It was renamed to "Kitchen knife" in the final version.
- In Homecoming, the words "where are you" are discreetly written beside the combat knife when found stabbed into the mirror.