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Brass knuckles (also referred to as brass knucks, knuckle dusters, iron fist and paperweight, among other names) are a melee weapon used primarily in hand-to-hand combat. They are fitted and designed to be worn around the knuckles of the human hand. Despite their name, they are often made from other metals, plastics or carbon fibers and not necessarily brass. Designed to preserve and concentrate a punch's force by directing it toward a harder and smaller contact area, they result in increased tissue disruption, including an increased likelihood of fracturing the intended target's bones on impact. The extended and rounded palm grip also spreads the counter-force across the attacker's palm, which would otherwise have been absorbed primarily by the attacker's fingers. This reduces the likelihood of damage to the attacker's fingers. The weapon has been controversial for its easy concealability and is illegal to own and use in various countries. Brass knuckles are currently prohibited in 21 states of the US.

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