We’ve all imagined ourselves in the zombie apocalypse, surrounded by a horde of zombies. Through this visual tension, however, we remain calm…our katana reflecting the light of the setting sun as we raise the blade in confidence.
As we swing, the heads of the undead soar away in musical unison. Not a single movement is lost to a wasted stride or step.
We are death to the dead. We are artists of survival; our blade is our brush, the land we defend…our canvas.
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.
Now here’s a half-naked warrior girl weilding a couple machetes to help break up this text:
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.
Below are the top 10 best melee weapons for surviving killing zombies and surviving the zombie apocalypse.
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.
#1 Ninja Forearm Machete
History: A weapon used in the BloodRayne and BloodRayne II video games, this replica is a full-tang arm blade sword.
Description: Single solid piece of hard-anodized black stainless steel, reaching an impressive 17-3/8 inches long. The handle features an ergonomic grip and a strap wraps around your forearm for support. This weapon was designed to be an extension of your own body; lightweight, functional and flawless. Cut some zombie heads clean off or go to the core of infection with a clean plunge through the jaw, straight to the brain.
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.
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.
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.
“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. 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.” Further information: Crossbow
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.
HONORABLE MENTION: AS SEEN ON THE WALKING DEAD, THIS NEW ZOMBIE MELEE WEAPON PREPAREDNESS KIT FROM GERBER.
This beautiful collection of zombie skull crushing, neck slicing glory comes complete in a portable, durable canvas case. Ahhhhh…beautiful.
As seen on The Walking Dead. Gerber Zombie Apocalypse Survival Kit
Includes: 7 Apolcalypse Survival Tools
- Gator Machete
- Camp Axe II
- Gator Machete Pro
- LMF II Infantry
- DMF Folder
- Durable canvas
- Handle for easy transportation
- Stud buttons to keep the case rolled up
- Reinforced case stitching