- Our top picks
- Comparison Table
- 1# Survival Machete
- 2# Kukri
- 3# Axe
- 4# Baseball Bat
- 5# Katana
- 6# Trench Knife
- 7# Crowbar
- 8# Slingshot
- 9# Crossbow
- 10# Sledgehammer
- How to Pick the Good Survival Knife
- Things To Avoid
If an apocalypse began right after you left your boring desk job today, would you be ready? Would you have the skills and knowledge that you need to survive? It could happen at any moment, so you should be prepared to go at all times.
Having a quick escape bag packed with everything you need could mean the difference between getting out in time or not. If you have to spend 2 hours packing up what you have, you may not get out quick enough to having a fighting chance. Not to mention, you might not have simple things that will be vital resources in how to survive the apocalypse.
Ok, back to reality. Though we can’t downplay the importance of mental preparation, most of us will never even pick up a katana, let alone see one in person. Odds are, the skill required to wield such a weapon will forever remain a fantasy.
A prerequisite to using a melee weapon is that the zombie has to be within a dangerously close proximity to you. The mere fact that you’re in need of such a weapon probably means that you’re either going to be zombie food, or at the very least, infected – either of which is not a fate you would, most likely, decidedly partake in.
Anyways, choosing the right melee weapon for you, given your comfort level with the weapon and skill level to wield it, is the variable that will be the determining factor in giving you that fighting chance. That said, the list below may not necessarily apply to you, as personal preference should be the first variable considered in your deciding what weapon to wield.
Note: We do not recommend that you go into any zombie combat scenario unless absolutely necessary. If an escape route exists, take it. Using your melee weapon should be your last resort.
Best Melee Weapons Comparsion Table
Where to buy
Versatile, lightweight, and easy to maneuver. It also gives you a range advantage.
Heavy chopping power causes fatal injuries
Razor-sharp blade, excellent for cutting and slicing
Powerful chopping force, useful for both offense and defense
Can be used for both stabbing and slashing attacks, compact size for easy storage
Silent and long-range weapon, can be used for hunting and defense
Lightweight and easy to use, readily available ammunition (stones, pebbles)
Useful for opening doors and breaking through barriers, can be used as a bludgeoning weapon
Widely available, easy to use
Powerful bludgeoning force, can be used for breaking through walls and barricades
May require sharpening after prolonged use
May be heavy and unwieldy for some users
Requires specialized training to use effectively
May be heavy and cumbersome to carry
Requires close combat skills and training
Requires specialized maintenance and ammunition
Limited range and power
Limited range and offensive capability
Heavy and unwieldy for some users
#1 Survival Machete
History: Used in tropical and subtropical countries, the machete is used to cut through rainforest undergrowth, agricultural purposes and household tasks as a large kitchen knife (cutting large food items, using the tool as a meat cleaver, and other odd jobs around the house).
Description: The machete is a large cleaver-like cutting tool . The blade ranges anywhere from 12.8 to 24 inches long (32.5 to 60 cm) and is usually under .12 in thick (3 mm). Designed as a slashing tool and weapon, the machete is versatile enough to assist with daily zombie apocalyptic scenarios. SOG SOGfari 18″ Machete MC02-N – Hardcased Black Blade
History: The Kukri is a traditional Nepalese or Indian weapon. Used in ceremonies and religious rites, the kukri has many practical applications as well (clearing brush, chopping down small trees, splitting small logs, etc.). In many cases, it is still the basic and traditional utility knife of the Nepalese people.
Description: Ranging in length (up to two feet), we recommend choosing one of the longer blades. The kukri blade’s distinctive forward drop acts as a weighting mechanism on the end of the blade, allowing for a more forceful swing and harder hit. SOG SOGfari Kukri Machete
History: One of the oldest man-made weapons, the axe is built for everything from everyday survival (including chopping firewood and making your way into a potential safe-house) to combat. A major advantage and disadvantage of the axe is the weight.
A well-placed blow is enough to take down most barricades and most body parts. However, a misplaced swing can leave you committed and defenseless, as the swing cannot easily change course or be stopped. Always have a lightweight counterpart as backup.
Description: Most modern axes have steel heads and wooden handles. They are built for a specialized function, altering the size and form of each. The best axes for the zombie apocalypse are the fire-axe, the brush-axe, and lastly, the pick-axe due to weight and versatility.
#4 Baseball Bat
History: The most basic energy transfer melee bludgeoning weapon, the baseball bat has evolved over the years, as well as its name. Oina, a game still played in Romania, dates back to the era of the Dacians and Romans. “Oina”, meaning to take a herd of sheep from the mountains down to the field in Fall, is theorized to have actually begun as a game of war. Where sheep and war come together, we’re not sure, but the baseball bat can trace it’s origins back the the Oina “bata”.
Description: You may think choosing a baseball bat would be simple enough; just pick one up and swing, right? This would not be a good strategy, long term. There are several materials used for making bats: wood (the most traditional) can break over a short period of time, aluminum (becoming more and more common-place) are lighter than wood and are not at risk of cracking or breaking (use over time can lead to warping, however). Composite fiber bats, although more expensive, can be the victim of cracking and even shattering in cold weather.
History: The katana is arguably the deadliest edged weapon ever made. Used by the Japanese samurai as their primary weapon, the katana’s curved blade was designed to slice clean through its target.
Description: Curved, sleek and single-edged, the katana’s blade ranges between 70-73 cm (27.6-28.7 in) long. Proper use of the katana requires a sure, confident, yet relaxed grip. Trust in the blade is necessary to achieve use of it’s full potential. Strike target about 3 inches from the tip of the blade for maximum power and leverage and you will have no issues slicing through rotting zombie flesh and bone.
Wielding the katana, however, especially with decapitation as your end goal, requires the proper skill, strength and technique. For that reason, the katana is only deadly in the right hands. Less sure hands wielding this weapon should rather use a stabbing motion, aiming towards the bottom jaw of the zombie and thrusting upwards to the base of the skull, thus taking out the infected portion of the zombie’s brain.
#6 Trench Knife
History: Used in World War One, the trench knife was designed for hand-to-hand combat in the trenches of the Western Front. Probably the most recognizable trench knife in the U.S. would be the Mark I. Ironically, the Mark I was introduced too late in World War I to actually service in the trenches, but was adopted by U.S. paratroopers in World War II.
Description: The most known trench knife design, the Mark I, is a full-tang design with a double-edged blade and brass hilt incorporating a guard shaped as a knuckle duster (may also be used as brass knuckles). The pommel included a ‘skull-crusher’, which extended beyond the grip, increasing the weapons lethal capabilities and versatility.
History: Designed as means of separating two objects, this tool was first forged around 1400, known as crows or iron crows.
Description: Usually made of medium-carbon steel, crowbars or pry-bars can also be made using titanium – having the advantage of being lighter in weight and nonmagnetic. There are generally three types of shaft designs. The least expensive bars are forged from hexagonal or cylindrical stock. More costly designs are sometimes forged with an I-shaped cross-section shaft.
Use this tool as a means for opening locked doors or windows, removing wooden beams, etc. The crowbar or pry-bar allows the zombie survivalist access to most of the apocalyptic world. As a weapon, it’s imbalance, lack of grip and lengthy penetration should be considered.
A slingshot is a primitive weapon that can be made on the fly if you are in a pinch. During a zombie apocalypse survival situation, a slingshot might just be the best weapon you can create.You can use it for hunting, offense, and defense all at the same time.
Guns are obviously one of the most effective weapons in this situation because they can do so much damage with so little effort. The problem is that you can’t run to Walmart when you run out of ammo and a gun is only as effective as the bullets you put in them.
“A crossbow is a type of weapon based on the bow and consisting of a horizontal bow-like assembly mounted on a stock. It shoots projectiles called bolts or quarrels. The medieval crossbow was called by many names, most of which were derived from the word ballista, a torsion siege engine resembling a crossbow.
Historically, crossbows played a significant role in the warfare of East Asia and Europe.The earliest crossbows in the world were invented in ancient China and caused a major shift in the role of projectile weaponry. The traditional bow and arrow had long been a specialized weapon that required a considerable training, physical strength, and expertise to operate with any degree of efficiency. In many cultures, bowmen were considered a separate and superior caste, despite usually being drawn from the common class, as their archery skill-set was essentially developed from birth (similar to many horseman cultures) and was impossible to reproduce outside a pre-established cultural tradition, which many nations lacked.
Mission Crossbows Sub-1 – Pro Kit
CenterPoint Amped 425 SC
In contrast, the crossbow was the first projectile weapon to be simple, cheap, and physically undemanding enough to be operated by large numbers of conscript soldiers, thus enabling virtually any nation to field a potent force of ranged crossbowmen with little expense beyond the cost of the weapons themselves.
In modern times, crossbows have been largely supplanted by firearms in most roles, but are still widely used for shooting sports, hunting, and when shooting in relative silence is an important consideration.
History: Designed for destruction, this weapon was originally built for breaking through drywall or masonry walls. Though useful for fracturing stone or concrete as well, the sledgehammer had a significant building role in the history of the railroad.
Description: The handle ranges anywhere from 1 foot 8 inches to 3 feet 3inches long, depending on the mass of the head which usually ranges from 2.2 to 6.6 lbs., though modern day heavy duty sledgehammers can be equipped with 10 to 20 lb. heads. That said, sledgehammers can be far heavier than axes and therefore less receptive to any alteration in swing.
Remember, close combat means just that. Tight quarters or spaces will limit the longer melee weapons that require an extended arm for optimal impact and use of the weapon.