A Crysknife is a knife whose blade comes from the tooth of a dead Sandworm.

The Definitive Glossary for Dune

Used by the Fremen, the Crysknife is a weapon held sacred. With double-edges and curved sides, the knife has a tactical advantage that makes it maneuverable when in hand-to-hand combat with an enemy.

Crysknife in Dune

The Sacred Crysknife

The word Crysknife gets pronounced as “Criss-knife.” The Crysknife is a sacred weapon of the Fremen which gets made from the tooth of a dead sandworm. The Crysknife is a weapon of deadly consequence because of its sharpness and flexibility. Crysknives are of two types, categorized by the properties that make them self-destruct when not in proximity to their owners.

The Crysknife’s Relevance in Dune

The Crysknife first gets mentioned in ‘Dune.’ Very little knowledge of the blade is available to foreigners on Arrakis. After landing on Arrakis, Shadeout Mapes, a Fremen woman who acted as a housekeeper on Arrakeen, meets Jessica with a blade in her possession. On inquiring about what she hidden in her cloth, Shadeout shows Jessica the milk-white knife in her possession; this leads Jessica to realize the weapon presented to her was a Crysknife, an ancient weapon forged in utmost secrecy by the Fremen. Calling it the maker, Jessica learns that the blade is a weapon whose roots lie in the prophecy delivered to the Fremen through the Missionaria Protectiva by the Bene Gesserit. The Crysknife is the weapon Paul uses to kill Feyd-Rautha after he gets challenged to a duel by the successor of Baron Harkonnen.

In ‘Dune Messiah,’ the Crysknife features as a weapon Paul uses. When Scytale kills Lichna and threatens Paul’s infant children, Paul sees through the eyes of Leto II, his son, and throws a Crysknife at Scytale; this leads to the Face Dancer’s death.

In ‘Children of Dune,’ a fact about the weapon gets revealed by Leto II, who says that the knife dissolves after its owner dies.

History of the Crysknife

The history of the Crysknife holds religious significance to the Fremen. To confirm adulthood, every young Fremen warrior goes through a ritual, and on completing the rites, they get a Crysknife to show their new status as adults in the communities. 

Many superstitious beliefs surround the Crysknife due to its secrecy among the Fremen. After the Bene Gesserit came to Arrakis, they used Missionaria Protectiva to instill superstitious knowledge of a Messiah, who will have the power to see the future. With the superstitions evolving over hundreds of years, weapons like the Crysknife solidified into the tale of the legendary Messiah who will lead the Fremen into a Jihad.

The first known user of the Crysknife as established in ‘Legends of Dune,’ is Selim Wormrider, and it got used by him during the Butlerian Jihad.

Physical Structure and Description of the Crysknife

The Crysknife not only looks stunning but, its design makes it a superior weapon when fighting with an enemy at a close range. With unparalleled sharpness, the Crysknife is so dangerous that the Fremen believed that once taken out, anyone apart from the owner who sees it had to be cleansed or die.

The 20-centimeter-long blade comes in an unfixed and fixed form. In the unfixed form, the knife disintegrates when placed away from the electrical field created by the human body. The fixed blade is treated and does not disintegrate when not close to the human body.

Glossary Terms Associated with the Crysknife

Here is a list of words associated with the Crysknife:

  1. Sandworm: Sandworms are massive creatures that live on Arrakis and are worshipped as agents of God by the Fremen.
  2. Shia’Hulud: This is the Fremen term for the Sandworm of Arrakis.


How deadly is a Crysknife?

A Crysknife is a weapon believed to be so deadly that it must draw blood when removed from its sheath. Throughout ‘Dune,’ the Crysknife was used for duels. When Paul and Feyd-Rautha fight, Paul kills Fyeud with a Crysknife. The Crysknife was also the weapon Paul used in killing Scytale. Sometimes a Crysknife gets laced with poison to make it fatal when it slices an opponent.

How did Jessica get the Crysknife?

After arriving on planet Arrakis, Jessica singles out Shadeout Mapes after discovering she harbored a weapon. On requesting to see what she hid, Shadeout takes out the Crysknife and shows it to Jessica. Believing Jessica passed the test required to own the Crysknife, Shadeout hands it over to her.

What are the types of Crysknife?

Crysknives come in two types, unfixed and fixed. An unfixed Crysknife disintegrates when not placed close to the electrical field generated by the human body. Fixed Crysknives are the opposite of the unfixed as they will not disintegrate when not close to a human.

What is a Crysknife made from

A Crysknife is a 20 centimeter-long blade made from the tooth of a sandworm. The blade gets sharpened to a level that makes it one of the sharpest blades in existence.

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