What are the best weapons for surviving the zombie apocalypse?

Zombie Survival: Weapons

Recently I’ve been thinking a fair amount about the best weapons for surviving the zombie apocalypse. Before I get myself put on a list somewhere! I should explain…

There’s a good reason for this (other than it’s kind of fun to speculate) In this case I’ve been looking at the best way to arm the survivors in my zombie outbreak novel. Use the sign-up form in the sidebar if you want me to drop you an email when it’s released (no spam I promise!)

Scenario – Outbreak

The outbreak takes place in an urban environment and it is also set in the UK. This setting brings two major factors into play. One, the city is a densely populated urban centre, stacked full of people. If that’s where you find yourself during the outbreak, especially if the first wave spreads rapidly, then speed, agility and close combat are going to come into play in a major way. Two, the average city dweller in the UK probably isn’t going to have access to a firearm. So if guns are out – at least for civilians, then what’s left?

Without revealing any spoilers and after a bit of research, here are my thoughts on the best weapons for surviving the zombie apocalypse.


When using a blunt weapon as a bludgeon against a zombie, the goal is to crush the brain. Standard hammers, have enough power, but not much reach. Using one of these as a weapon will bring you into close contact with snapping teeth, possible infection and (un)death.

On the other hand, sledgehammers and other heavy-duty tools would certainly work if you could lift them (which I couldn’t!) This renders them impractical for carting around as a long-term option.

A baseball bat is a good choice, they have a long reach and can be found relatively easily, even in the UK, although a cricket bat could be a very British alternative. These types of weapons take a powerful swing to create the necessary damage and so you need strength but also space. For this reason, they may be less effective when fighting in close quarters. If you go for a bat, the wooden variety is the most durable (I’m going from the zombie survival guide here – so I’m not sure whether this is strictly a scientific fact!)

Spiking a bat, which on the surface seems quite a good idea, is not recommended. The nails may bend, it may weaken the structure of the bat and worse the nails may get stuck in the skull. Plus there would be no way to holster a spiked bat.

Police batons are deliberately designed not to crack skulls and so these would be of little use. My top choice would be a crowbar. Lightweight and durable. Its sharp, curved end is perfect for smashing skulls and it can also be pretty handy for non-zombie survival related situations.


One distinct advantage here is a quick, swift decapitation. In order to totally incapacitate a zombie, you have to destroy the brain. The severed head of a zombie is still able to bite once decapitated, so one of your bludgeons or a smaller knife may come in handy to finish off the job.

You can also use a blade to take out a zombie by chopping off a leg or two. Of course, they can still crawl after you, but this buys you time for your best option – running away!

An axe is a good choice, although it might be slightly unwieldy in close combat, where something like a hatchet may be a better option.

You could go for a full on sword, Michonne style if you can get your hands on one. I Googled it and apparently, you can get them on eBay, which is slightly disturbing. A Japanese Samuir sword would be ideal, although I imagine it would be easy to get overconfident. Remember a flesh wound or even a serious injury that would take down a living human, is no good against the living dead. You have to chop off its head with the first swing, otherwise, you are off balance and in trouble.

If you can’t wait for your sword to arrive from eBay, or you’re not in a specialist weapons store when the outbreak occurs, there are all sorts of less fancy options.

A machete would be a good choice. They are lightweight and durable and best yet, readily available. An ordinary knife could be driven through an eye, temple or base of the skull. A serrated edge is a big no-no, as they can get stuck in bone and render you disarmed and vulnerable.


Do any of you know how to shoot (fire?) a bow? No, me either. In my scenario A) A bow and arrow isn’t something that is readily available and B) Archery takes practice and training. Arrows aren’t designed to pierce bone, but a well-placed shot could pierce a skull. Unfortunately, if this is your first time picking up a bow, the chances of this happening are pretty slim.

More practically, bows also have a limited range, bulky ammunition, and a slow fire rate, so I’d probably leave the bows to the experts. Of course, if you could get your hands on a crossbow – that might be another matter


Fire, explosives and a good solid boot might also be valuable resources in a zombie scenario. If you want to get medieval about it, there are all sorts of weird and wonderful weapons out there. Zombiepedia has a good roundup of these if that sort of thing floats your boat.


So what, if anything has all this research taught me. Well more than anything, it’s taught me I probably need to get out more. So I hope you enjoyed the article… I’m off to the pub.

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