A knuckle duster is a type of weapon that consists of metal plates or "knuckles" worn on the fingers. These knuckles have variously been given different names, including "daggers", "knuckle dusters", and "skeletons". The origin of the term "brass knuckles" is not clear, but one possible derivation is from the description of how they were made—by punching them out in brass molds. 

Another theory suggests that it was derived from folk etymology involving pirates and their use of bladed weapons such as cutlasses. It has also been suggested that they are called "brass knuckles" because of the sound one makes when punching someone wearing them.

History of Brass Knuckles

As a melee weapon, it is used most often to strike a blow and break or dislocate a target's nose—as the name implies, the recipient's nose resembles the appearance of a knuckle after such abuse. These knuckles are also sometimes used as weapons to give the fist extra weight for punching through glass and in bar fights. 

Some persons have been known to put several pairs on one hand so that it can be used as an effective weapon without losing any contact with an opponent during hand-to-hand combat situations. These weapons were popular during the Prohibition era, when "cocksuckers" and "sleepers" entered the American criminal underworld. These knuckles are available in varying degrees of protection from weapons-grade to neon pink plastic models with rubber covers for women; they can also be customized with intricate designs. 

These knuckles are a legal weapon in some jurisdictions but are banned by martial arts organizations such as the United States' largest self-defense organization, Florida's Combative Sports Commission. Police and law enforcement argue that brass knuckles increase the risk of injury by allowing the wearer to apply greater force without directly striking or punching an assailant (as opposed to other types of hand weapons that permit direct strikes on an opponent). 

The use of knuckles to kill a human in an assault or fight is rare but possible. In the former Soviet Union, brass knuckle-like instruments called "kofuns" (kofun being Russian for "mound") were a common weapon used by criminals and by the politotdel (Communist Party's secret service). In Russia these days they are prohibited.

Benefits of Having Brass Knuckles

Brass Knuckles are a weapon typically associated with the criminal underworld, but they have been found in ancient civilizations like those of African empires. Of course, these knuckles are just as popular today as they were then — if not more so. 

Knuckles really are a versatile weapon that can be used both for offense and defense. They're often worn by bouncers at nightclubs and bars to prevent fights from breaking out or to serve as a conspicuous reminder that violence is not tolerated there. They come in many forms — different sizes, weights, and material types — so you can find the one that best suits your needs. Take a look at their major benefits:

1. Easily Concealed Weapon

These knuckles are not an easy weapon to spot, so you can easily conceal them in your clothing. This is particularly important when you're drinking or socializing with friends and family members.

2. Less Dangerous Knuckle Weapons

In addition to knuckles, there are also other types of weapons that traditional martial artists use as part of their training. For example, a staff, short sticks, floor spikes, and nunchucks (or kunai) are more dangerous weapons than knuckles because they require training to achieve proficiency with them as you do with your brass knuckles fighting skills.

3. Self Defense Against Attackers

Brass knuckles are particularly useful as self defense weapons because of their size and weight. If you're attacked, you can easily hit your attacker in the face with your knuckles. 

This is more than likely to cause a temporary loss of vision and hearing due to the pain of hitting those sensitive parts of their head, followed by an immediate resulting loss of balance which will put them on the ground where you have a better chance at escaping or fighting back. You can also use the brass knuckles as a weapon against other people if need be even though it may not be legal depending on where you live.

4. Knuckles for Punching Bags

If you want to improve your punching skills, you can use knuckle dusters for your punching bag even though they can damage it from repeated impacts.

5. Effective Training Tool

Another major benefit of brass knuckles is that they are an effective training tool. When you use them in training, you'll learn to strike harder using a variety of techniques. Both beginner and experienced martial arts users will find training with brass knuckles useful and beneficial. 

6. Easy to Clean Up

These knuckles are relatively easy to clean up after you're done using them. You can easily wash them with warm water and soap and dry them so they're ready for the next time you need them.

7. Protects Hands

Brass knuckles will protect your hands from injuring each other during martial arts training or self-defense situations like a street fight or an attack on the street. In addition, they can protect your hands from repeated impacts if you use your brass knuckles as a punching bag or focus mitts.

Read More: How to Wear Brass Knuckles?

Drawbacks of Brass Knuckles

Now, take a look at the drawbacks of Brass Knuckles:

1. Powerful Punch

Because these knuckles are so hard and heavy, they may inflict more damage than you originally intended. You may also injure the fingers on your hand that you use to wield them during training or practice.

2. Knuckles as a Weapon

These knuckles can be used as a weapon in self-defense situations like in fighting off an attacker and escaping or fighting back if attacked. This could lead to serious consequences if the police find out that it was you who used brass knuckles as a weapon rather than for defensive purposes.

3. Limitations on Where You Can Carry Them

Not all states allow you to carry brass knuckles, so if you're traveling from state to state, it's a good idea to check if the place you're going allows a person to carry knuckles in that state. This could prevent serious legal repercussions if the local authorities find out that you have them.

4. Glove Size Affects Training

Most types of gloves are designed for specific hand sizes. If your knuckles are too large or too small, they may inhibit your training or worse — literally hurt your hands when you use them as striking tools in martial arts training or practice.

5. Dangerous Weapons

Just like other weapons, brass knuckles are dangerous weapons. They have been associated with crimes that include murder, rape, and robbery. So, you need to be careful about where you carry them and who you show them to if you want to keep your name out of the police blotter while traveling or living in a certain city or state. 

The two major elements that make brass knuckles dangerous are firstly the metal casing which can cause severe injury if they hit someone in the mouth or if they break during heavy use or training. Secondly, the weight of the weapon itself can cause severe injuries if it breaks during training.

6. Losing One Can Cause Serious Consequences

If you lose one of your brass knuckles, it can cause serious problems for you because they are a tool of self-defense that you need to have on hand at all times. It can make it extremely hard for you to find a replacement unless you have another pair of the same type of knuckles that resembles the one that got lost. It's also going to be very difficult for you to replace the lost brass knuckles if they've caused physical harm or if they were used in crimes like robbery or assault.

7. Knuckles are Heavier and Larger Sometimes

Because brass knuckles are relatively heavy, they can give you a good workout with their weight during training or practice, but they can limit your hand speed and make your strikes slower than if you were using some of the other weapons used in martial arts depending on how heavy the weapon is. 

These knuckles also take longer to master because of the frequency of impact on specific targets or how quickly you can strike a target. This limits the number of strikes you can throw in a short period of time like when fighting off an attacker. In addition, knuckle duster training requires more balance and precision, which takes some getting used to for beginners.