Guide: Zombie Killing Weapons & Self-Defense

Battling against a Zombie takes a certain amount of finesse. You must avoid being bitten, scratched, or coming into contact with bodily fluids or debris, and you must try to finish the job as quickly and cleanly as possible… all while remaining calm and continuing to be aware of your surroundings. The longer and messier you make the situation, the more likely it is that you will be harmed and/or come into contact with a contagion that could easily cause an end to your life.

While bashing in a few Zombie heads might sound like fun to some folks; you should never fight a Zombie if you don’t have to. Involving yourself in a battle to the death (or re-death as the case may be) is an extremely dangerous thing to do and confrontations with Zombies should be avoided whenever possible.

The time to reach for a weapon is when all else fails… then it’s up to you, your weapons, and a basic set of skills.

Zombie Killing: What It Takes

Brandon Zombie Dead

1. Destroy the brain and/or sever the brain-stem. This is the classic “go-to” for Zombie killing, but it sounds easier than it really is. The Human skull can withstand a surprising amount of force before it opens up to the brain. Well places strikes to the temples are your best bet when using blunt force instruments… and chops to the back of the neck or just under the chin work well for bladed weapons.

2. Realize that not all Zombie types (see: 5 types of Zombies) can be killed or are easy to destroy. Sometimes you can only slow them down. To properly slow an attacking Zombie down you should focus on a few main areas such as the back of the knee, Achilles tendon, eyes, and spinal column. Causing trauma to any one or all of these areas should effectively slow most Zombie types down, giving you enough time to make an escape.

Weapon Attributes

Not all weapons are created equally. Some take more maintenance and training than others, while some aren’t really effective at all. Each type of zombie killing weapon has its place, but the more versatile your weapon is, the better chance you have at survival.

  • Quick and clean
  • Allows you to keep a safe distance
  • Highly durable
  • Multifunctional
  • Low maintenance
  • Needs little or no training to use

Melee Weapons (close combat non-projectiles):

While melee weapons require to you close the gap between you and your aggressor, they are needed for close-quarter combat in small or semi-confined spaces. The use of a melee weapon often allows for a heightened level of stealth, which could be a life saver.

Machete – Most bladed weapons are a bit of a joke, or require a lot or training to be effective, but just about anyone can pick up a well-made machete and swing it with effect. A great weapon for severing the head, spinal cord, and/or limbs of a Zombie, machetes are also useful tools when working your way through dense brush and heavily wooded areas.

Baseball Bat – Easy to find, carry, and maintain, baseball bats are great weapons when fighting against a Zombie or two. While non-lethal in some instances, baseball bats can buy a survivor both time and distance, which is always priceless in a fight against a Zombie. The lighter weight of an aluminum bat will take it easier on your body and muscles, especially when used for long periods of time or when carried long distances, but the solid core of a wooden bat lends a bit more hitting power and a level of durability that can’t be beat by it’s aluminum counterpart… but we still prefer the quick and easy swing that the lighter of the two offers.

Crowbar –  The crowbar is a personal favorite of ours for fending off and dispatching Zombies. A crowbar offers the ability to be used as both a weapon and a multipurpose tool. While an average crowbar is made of steel, making it heavy and difficult to use for longer fights, or against multiple attackers, a great alternative is to find one made out of titanium. Lighter in weight and much more durable than a steel crowbar, titanium crowbars are more expensive than their steel counterparts, but are well worth the investment if the money is there to spend.

Hammer – This extremely short-range weapon is one of the easiest to find and easiest to use… but it puts you well within biting distance, and that is not a place you really want to be. While a hammer is a great anti-zombie weapon for close quarters combat, they should not be relied upon as a primary weapon.

Hatchet multi-tool – Capable of completely destroying a wooden pallet in a matter of minutes, or decimating a Zombie brain with one good swing, hatchet style multi-tools, like the Trucker’s Friend, are both amazing tools and Anti-Zombie weapons. Relatively lightweight, extremely durable, and highly versatile, these are a favorite for all of us at Zombease.

Homemade – Simple yet effective anti-zombie weapons can be put together using everyday objects found around the home. Tools like the Pummel Pipe and the Rip Stick are two of our favorites, but anything from a heavy frying pan, to the leg of a chair, or even a kitchen knife, can help buy you time to save your life.

Medium To Long-Range Projectiles:


We are resistant to the use of firearms in Zombie killing, and we’ve got good reason why. Firearms require ammo, maintenance, and lots of training to make them a truly effective weapon… though you might get lucky with a simple point and shoot.

Unless you are a properly trained and skilled individual, a gun in a Zombie fight can be dangerous to not only you, but to other survivors in the area. Not only can the sound of a firearm going off reverberate far into the distance – signaling any nearby Zombies of your location – there is always the risk of cross-fire, misfires, and stray bullets.

If a firearm must be used, we recommend choosing a weapon that allows for distance (which keeps you clean), silencers (which keep you stealthy), and relatively standard ammo (which helps keep you stocked). If we had to choose a firearm for Zombie killing, we’d likely go with a handgun like you see in the photos above, or a bolt action rifle. The simplicity and standard design of each lends to ease of use and ease of maintenance.

Incendiaries, Explosives, And Corrosives:

While they might sound like fun, incendiaries, explosives, and corrosives are extremely dangerous and most often impractical for use against a Zombie attack, especially during one on one situations or when fighting small groups of the undead.

Fire – Flaming Zombies present a major problems, they keep on coming. Many Zombie types ignore pain or lack the ability to feel it at all, and so they will continue to pursue their potential victim… even if they remain on fire the whole time. Setting fire to a Zombie simply takes too long to affect the brain and body enough to remove the threat… unless you’ve got a well maintained fire-proof barrier between you and it.

Explosives – These are loud, difficult to use, and very dangerous… even in the hands of a professional. Explosives should only be used as a last resort and you have ample knowledge of how they work. However, if you happen to find yourself surrounded by Zombies with no way out, a big bang would be a hell of a way to say goodbye.

Corrosives – Corrosives, such as acid, are dangerous to handle and not very effective against most Zombie types. While you might blind or temporarily incapacitate a Zombie with a bit of corrosive, they really aren’t worth the effort or worth the personal handling risks.

In Conclusion

Avoid battling with Zombies whenever possible. But, if and when you do find yourself in a situation that you have to fight your way out of, do it quickly and cleanly with whatever is at hand. Focus on the head and brain-stem to properly destroy the Zombie, use common sense, don’t panic, and always treat a weapon with respect.

Zombie Killing


Zombie Pop and the staff of Zombie Pop do not condone or recommend violence or the use of weaponry as practice for Zombie fights. We are not responsible for any accidents, damage to persons or property and/or loss of life occurring from the above stated advice.