Tag Archives: melee weapons

Surviving the End of the World Part III: Choosing your Melee-Weapon

Disclaimer: I am not sponsored or paid in any way for these reviews.  I am merely rather zombie-obsessed.  Some of these products are ones I own and have tested myself, while others are ones I’ve heavily researched in anticipation of buying them.  I also only advocate the use of these weapons against man-hungry corpses, not living human beings.

In the zombie apocalypse, it’s a kill-or-be-eaten kind of world.  Sadly, human beings are not yet equipped with built-in claws or cyborbtronic laser-swords- we must depend on using manufactured tools in order to defend ourselves.  While movies like Zombieland prove that almost anything can become a highly-effective weapon in a pinch (carnival strength-guage sledgehammer, anyone?), it pays to be prepared with actual products designed for the express purpose of killing adversaries and aiding in other survival activities.

Okay, but how useful would that sledgehammer be in building a shelter?

I’m pretty clueless when it comes to guns.  The closest I’ve come to firing a (non video game) weapon the tactical games of paintball I used to play in highschool, though I’m proud to say I now have experience shooting zombie-actors from my latest prepping escapade.  Now THAT was money well spent.

My area of “expertise” (and I’m using that term pretty loosely) comes with manual weapons.  And honestly, that doesn’t bother me too much.  In a true extinction-event, guns are a finite resource.  When the ammunition runs low, hand-to-hand combat will be the way to go, and my years of camping and chopping down trees on the family farm will definitely pay off.  I’ve spent a lot of time researching prospective additions to my B.O.B.  Here, I’ve rounded up some of the best zombie-killing weapons on the market:

 SOG Specialty Knives F01T Tactical Tomahawk:

The SOG has a 2.75 inch stainless-steel axe head that’s coated with oxide to reduce reflection from the sun, useful when you don’t want to be seen from far away.  Side-hammered checkering allows the axe to be used as a hammer-like tool as well, great news for the survivor who needs to pack light, and a steel ferrule (bracelet-like clamp) around the handle for added strength.  The glass-reinforced, ergonomic nylon handle is bolted to the axe head for secure chopping and a no-slip grip.  Weighing in at just 24 ounces, this packable weapon is great for younger warriors who want some security in their back pockets.  Reviewers stated that the tomahawk was amazingly sturdy considering how lightweight it is, slicing easily through cinder blocks, tree limbs, and even a truck hood (I cannot question the bad-assery of that particular reviewer).  Sure, a higher-priced axe head will give you more chopping power, but at only twenty-six dollars, this weapon is a true bang-for-your-buck quality zombie-wacking machine.  Purchase one on Amazon here.

RATING: High-quality back-up weapon AND a great builder’s multi-tool.

 Smith and Wesson Bullseye Search and Rescue Fixed Blade Knife:

This Smith & Wesson fixed blade is 5.88 inches and made of solid stainless steel, also coated with the same non-reflective black coating as the SOG tomahawk, a matte-finish which improves wear.  The most important feature of this knife is that it’s full tang, meaning that the blade travels all the way through the handle, resisting breakage much better than a cheaper knife.  I was a little bit iffy about the rubber/aluminum handle, but it seems to hold up well against heavy use.  At 9.4 ounces, this blade is solid, yet easy to wield.  In my opinion, a modest sized knife will do you much better in a survival situation than a huge, heavy weapon.  If you want to go big, go with a katana or a machete- the point of a survival knife is to have something sharp and sturdy that can be used as a weapon, yet kept on your person at all times.  The included sheathing is reinforced with steel and a hard inner liner for serious durability, and the knife even comes with a free sharping stone.  Priced at twenty-five dollars, it’s a little more expensive than other options, but definitely worth the extra money as it performs just as well as even pricer knives.  As a Smith & Wesson product, I wouldn’t expect anything less than good quality.  You can buy yours on Amazon here.

RATING: Cannot leave your side.

 M48 Ranger Hawk Weapon:

This.  This.  THIS.  When I think of the one, trusty blade I would have to have by my side at all times, the ranger hawk is my perfect weapon.  Zombease.com reviewed it as an excellent melee weapon: lightweight, sturdy, and easily wieldable, good news for all those zombie-killers on the smaller side.  At 1.9 pounds with a 4 inch frontal blade and a 3.5 inch back spike, the stainless steel edges hold up well against a variety of test surfaces.  The para-cord handle outdoes the SOG Tomahawk’s glass-reinforced nylon handle in my book for durability, and it even comes with a nylon sheath and built-in compass, always a useful addition to a multi-tool when you often have to leave possessions behind a la end of Walking Dead season 2.  The only thing I don’t like about this particular tomahawk is the absence of a full tang blade (a blade that continues all the way down through the handle to prevent breakage).  However, Zombease assured readers that the 3.5 inch tang was securely bolted through their most rigorous testing.  All-in-all, the pros MAJORLY outweigh the one small con on this weapon.  You can get your own M48 Tomahawk here.

RATING: Absolute must-have in a B.O.B.

These are only the creme-of-the-crop products I’ve found in my prepping research.  Some weapons, like the highly-recommended Innovation Factory’s Trucker’s Friend multi-tool, didn’t make my cut, because they seemed too heavy or too hard to wield in a close-quarters fight.  While some of these longer, larger multi-tools seem like a good idea in theory, they are more useful for certain body-types, namely taller and burlier warriors than my tiny 100 pound self.  When creating your own personal B.O.B. and weapons arsenal, be sure that the products you chose reflect the physical strength and skill level you yourself possess.  It doesn’t matter how many weapons you have if you can’t use them effectively.

It’s also highly advised to (carefully!) practice your kill stroke on non-threatening objects like pineapples.

playing this game does not count as zombie-killing practice.

[related links: Surviving the End of the World Part I: Getting out of Dodge means being Prepared][Surviving the End of the World Part II: Defending Against the Other]

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