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Zombie Nation Personal Defense

DIY Zombie Kills: Up Close and Personal Combat in the Zombie Apocalypse

by Patrick Sweeney   |  April 3rd, 2012 24

What do you do when you run out of ammo and there are no more guns to take down the drooling walkers of the apocalypse? You have to stay alive, so you fall back a couple of centuries, and use blades and impact weapons — with proper precautions, splatter can be an irony.

First thing’s first: Kitchen implements and woodworking tools will be poor choices. You see, a blade that is meant to cut is likely to get stuck. Ever felled a tree, had the blade get stuck and have to wiggle it out? Do you want that happening when you’re hand-to-gory stub with the zombie hordes? And cheap, “surplus” machetes are even worse. Not only will they stick, but the low-grade stamped steel blades will bend.

You want a real-deal hand weapon, or tool that can work as a weapon, meant to chop and crush, not smoothly slice, not unless it has some horsepower and leverage behind it.

A chopper is something like the Hardcore Hardware tomahawk. With an aggressive edge, and a spike on the back end, it will open doors, break windows, even bust through cinder block walls to make firing ports. Made of super-tough D2 steel, it won’t weigh you down while serving you well. If you need more of a tool and less of a weapon, their Rhino works wonders at opening locks, among other things.

If you want a blade, then talk to the guys at Zombie Tools. They sent me their Apocatana, and it slices like nobody’s business. I really don’t think it would get stuck, slicing the top off of a zom’s skull, but if it does, you’ve got three feet of leverage to get it free, and can even walk it out, running on an angle.

As much as love a big Bowie knife, with zombies I’m not interested in creating sliced wounds. Zombies don’t bleed to death, they’re already undead.

A sledgehammer, you say? Do you need that much force, and how fast can you swing it? And when it comes to swinging, how long can you keep at it? No, you need something more agile. A roofing hammer? Just how long are your arms?

The perfect item might just be a police riot baton, 4 feet of hickory. However those might be a bit difficult to find, so let’s just jump right to the default tool, the ubiquitous baseball bat. As a traditionalist, I would be tempted to go with a classic American ash bat. But I would not want St. Peter to be noting my box score at the pearly gates as a “broken bat single” after the hordes overcame me.

No, I’ll get an up-to-date aluminum bat. It won’t break, the distinctive “ping” will let my friends know where I am and what I’m doing, and if I have to abandon it, there will be another in the next block. Plus, it will shrug off any disinfectant you care to use, up to and including burning alcohol.

Knives are for slicing rope, shredding fire-starter and cutting food. Once the apocalypse has come upon us, we’ll need bigger blades for the serious work.

Don’t forget the facemask or respirator. Viral plagues are no joke, and splatter can ruin your day.

What’s your ultimate instrument of zombie splatter?

  • Andrew

    For hand to hand, there are several options, the best of which being a Katana, or samurai sword. I have seen these cut through up to two whole pig carcasses in one swipe, so getting stuck is not much of an issue with me. Plus, the long blade give some leeway on the strike point, so you don't have to be as precise as using a hatched or ax. The problem is that it requires a lot of training to use properly, so without that a very high quality machete would be my choice. It's light, portable, and versatile. I would also like a hatchet with a flat back for a backup, but beggars can't be choosers.

  • Tom

    One of these would do the job.

  • noname

    Why zombies the web url is gunsandammo not zombies and blades.

  • Shannon

    Forget what "noname" said, I really enjoy the Zombie Nation articles!

    • Michael

      I agree, I enjoy them also.

  • TJPL4970

    The Stanley FUBAR tool looks useful:
    and I'm also a fan of the Woodman/s Pal:
    and for the traditionalist, Duluth Trading carries a nice 1/4" thick machete:

    • BigRed

      The FUBAR is a wonderful tool, I am a firefighter and we have the 30" version for forcible entry. I personally have destroyed many walls including cinder block and concrete ones with that tool, and as a bonus it is a fairly light tool.

  • John

    Please no more

  • Steve

    To the people who bitch and moan about the zombie page..Why do you even come here and read the articles? If I don't like or enjoy something, I don't go out of my way to search it out, read the article, think of clever things to say like "Please no more" and "Why zombies the web url is gunsandammo not zombies and blades." and then post about how much of a waste of time it is. BTW noname, great use of the English language. Next time, maybe not type like a second grader and people may give what you have to say an ounce of credit.

    • noname2


      • Steve

        What am I "looser" than? I think what you meant to say is "loser." If you are going to criticize, maybe try correct spelling and punctuation. It will help you get your point across and not look like a complete douche. At least by showing you are so dumb, you made my point for me, so thank you Mr. my name is so original I have to put a "2" behind it.

  • Shadow

    I'm a fan of the tomahawk myself.

  • Steven Wallman

    An old fashoned Navy cutlass, it handles like a machete but has a heavier blade. It was originaly designed to hand out to sailors with little or no training in handling a blade, just cut and slash.

    • Antonio

      With a Navy cutlass, you can cut and slash with style. I like it.

  • guest

    Another one of Sweeny's product pushing little substance articles. Glad to see someone is doing well in Bama's economy.

  • guest

    a good zombie melee weapon for me would be either a machete, or a crowbar.

  • @kaboomandy
  • dustin746

    I think a Cold Steel kukri machete would be a pretty good weapon

  • Guest

    Good artickle! But the part where he says that the aluminum bat wont break is true BUT it will bent after a hard fight. Id recommend the Cold Steels Brooklyn crusher/smasher. Google it. Its the real survival baseballbat.

  • Rgw

    English warhammer circa 1300

  • Cody

    If you know just how to use it (which is not hard to learn whatsoever), I would suggest a tomahawk or larger bladed throwing knife. You can come up behind and stab or chop brain stems or throw them from a distance. Get proper training and be safe with it though. They can and will be fatal to both prey and predator. Happy hunting!

  • Bonny

    Can't believe I didn't think of a tomahawk, but that totally makes sense. An ice pick might be useful for an up-close-and-personal through the eye socket kind of thing, too. I imagine it would be in and out.

  • Milgeek

    This is one area where we Brits have the advantage over you gun rich Americans! Almost every large town over here has a museum stuffed full of medieval weaponry! (I live near York and that museum could arm an army several times over!)… My personal choice would be the mace or war axe – something with a sharp piercing point but which could also scramble brains through force trauma.

    Co-incidently, if I chose a modern edged weapon it would be one of your excellent 'Vietnam axes' – like the SOG Fusion – for exactly the same reason.

    • Aaron

      yes that is quite the advantage or we could just order any one of those things on amazon and have it shipped to our door america style

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