Have you ever watched a zombie movie and seen the feeble, almost comic efforts from characters trying to fend off the zombie hordes? Maybe they used weapons they didn’t know how to operate or they tried to fight close range with an enemy that’s better kept at a distance. Maybe they used weapons that were ineffective or they just simply didn’t have the right tools to defend themselves.

You might have thought to yourself, “I know what I would do if I were in that situation.” Have you thought about which weapons would be most effective against zombies? What would be your best defense or offense against an army of the undead?

We want to share with you our top 10 picks for weapons to use when the zombies attack. At the end of the world, when all that’s left is you, your wits, and a bunch of zombies, these are the weapons you want by your side.

When making our picks, we’re considering a few factors. One of those is your ability to use the weapon. Some weapons require extensive training to use effectively, and others are easy to pick up and use no matter who you are what your life experience has been like.

We’re also factoring in the range. You probably want to keep a little distance between you and zombies, so the more range a weapon gives you, the better off you’ll be. If you can avoid close combat fights with zombies, your chances of survival will greatly increase. After all, a zombie can’t bite you if it can’t touch you.

Another factor to consider is how heavy the weapon is. If you’re not very strong, you’ll want a weapon you can swing affectively. Heavier weapons mean slower swings, but they may offer advantages like range and power as well.

We are also considering the available ammo as well for our rankings. Firearms and bows require ammo that may be finite. It might not always be easy to find ammo in the zombie apocalypse when resources are scarce and you’re on the run.

With that being said, let’s get to the list.

10. Sledgehammer

The sledgehammer isn’t for everyone because of its massive weight and size, but if you can wield one of these, you’ll be a powerhouse in the zombie apocalypse. You can use this bad boy to knock down a door, smash out a window, and of course knock off a zombie’s head. You’ll send zombies flying if the sledgehammer is your weapon of choice.

If you have the option to pick between a regular claw hammer and a sledgehammer, definitely go for the sledgehammer. It will help you get into more places, and it gives you more range. You don’t want to be in arm’s reach of zombies if you can help it, and the sledgehammer gives you a little distance.

Because of the power, length, and range of a sledgehammer, you can knock down a few zombies in one swing. You won’t necessarily kill one only every time you swing this weapon, but if you can just knock them back or down, you can get the advantage and then use it to finish off the zombies or make a clean break from them.

9. Baseball Bat

This one’s a little more manageable for people who have trouble with the sledgehammer. The lightweight design makes for easy handling, and one swing from a bat can do some real damage. One of the advantages to using this weapon is that it’s pretty easy to find. Big box retailers, schools, stadiums, and sporting supply stores are all good places to pick up a baseball bat.

You can choose between a lightweight but incredibly strong aluminum bat or a denser wooden bat. You may even want to pound some nails into the end of your bat to give it the power to tear zombie flesh. 

Like the sledgehammer, a bat is a good room clearer. You can use it to push back zombies, knock them down, and get them out of your way as you try to escape. Because of its length, bats are good for keeping zombies at a distance. It may not be the most lethal weapon you could pick up, but it is certainly one of the better options if you want unlimited ammo, reliability, and a powerful swing with little energy required. 

8. Magnum

The magnum is known for its stopping power, and if you do your hands on one of these, you’ll be able to take out zombies left and right. The incredible power of the magnum pistol means that a single shot should be able to stop a zombie.

Unfortunately, magnums can’t hold many bullets at once, and the recoil is so bad on this gun that you could hurt yourself when you use it. If you’re used to wielding a magnum, though, it’s a great weapon to keep distance between you and the zombies, picking them off one at a time without having to get close. 

You may have some trouble sourcing ammo for the gun, but reloading is quick and painless. You can keep yourself very far from the zombies and not worry about reduced impact, as magnum bullets have incredible speed and power that makes them lethal for over 1,500 yards.

7. Hatchet

If you’re going to be standing close to zombies, you want something that is powerful and fast. A hatchet gives you a lot of maneuverability, and it is one of the better short-range weapons. It’s a lightweight weapon that’s strong and sharp enough to cut a zombie down to size in a couple blows. Even a single swing aimed well could be enough to put a zombie down for the count.

Another advantage of the hatchet is its versatility. You can use this for more than just chopping limbs and hacking at zombie flesh. It’s a multi-functional tool that can be used to chop through wood, break windows, and even smash locks if you’re strong enough. The flat side of the hatchet can be used to pound in nails or cause blunt force damage.

The small size of the hatchet means that you can take it just about anywhere. It can be strapped to your backpack, slipped under your belt like a knife, or packed into a small bag. It’s as much a hunting, surviving, and woodworking tool as it is a weapon, meaning it’s something you want to have with you no matter what your favorite zombie apocalypse weapon is.

6. Shotgun

This is one of those standard zombie-killing weapons you find in most pieces of media, and there’s good reason for it. First of all, a shotgun is incredibly powerful. It has the stopping power of a much larger weapon and enough spread to possibly take out a few zombies in one shot, depending on your distance from them.

It’s also an easy enough weapon to find, which means it easy to find ammo for it too. Shotguns are one of the most widely used firearms in the world thanks to their usefulness in self-defense and hunting scenarios. You may be able to find extra ammo or a new shotgun in sporting goods stores and even some department stores. It’s a kind of weapon a lot of people will have in their home as well.

One of the advantages of this firearm is that you don’t have to be the top shot to splatter zombie brains everywhere with it. The shotgun is designed for medium range, and the spread is large enough that it is going to hit a wide area in any direction you aim it. That means you’re bound to at least hit your target if not completely annihilate it every time you pull the trigger.

5. Bow

I would recommend a regular bow as opposed to a crossbow or compound bow for one very simple reason- ammunition. Sure, a compound bow or crossbow is going to be more powerful and easier to use than a regular bow, but these bows are so strong that they require specialized ammunition. That’s not something you can get just anywhere. 

In the zombie apocalypse, you have to consider your limited resources and access to ammo. With a regular bow, you can make arrows out of just about anything. You can cut arrows from tree branches and even use pieces of metal as arrows, if they’re properly balanced.

One of the biggest benefits of the bow is that you can reuse ammo. If you can take out some zombies with your arrows and then retrieve those arrows again, you will basically enjoy an unlimited supply of ammunition. When practicing with a bow, you don’t have to worry about wasting ammo. You can simply retrieve your arrows from the target.

The bow is also incredibly silent. You can take out foes without anyone hearing you, and that’s a big plus when dealing with zombies. You don’t want to attract more than you can handle at once. A silent weapon like the bow is perfect for clearing a path and picking off zombies one by one without alerting any more to your location

The disadvantage of the bow and the reason it’s not in the number one spot is because it can be very difficult to train with. There’s a big learning curve associated with the bow, and it’s going to take you a while to get good enough with it that you can pull off a headshot at a distance on your first try. Other than that, this is the perfect weapon for fighting zombies.

4. Axe

The axe can function as a multitool, breaking locks, smashing windows, powering through doors, and even being used to push back the zombies. Of course, it’s also an effective and deadly weapon, strong and sharp enough to cut off limbs or heads if you get close enough.

The problem with the axe is how heavy it is. You will wear yourself out quickly trying to take out a zombie horde with something like this. However, you should only need a swing or two to put a zombie out of commission.

You will find the axe comes in useful for daily tasks like breaking and entering abandoned buildings, chopping firewood, clearing land, and even hammering nails. It’s hard to beat the versatility of the axe, and it’s a weapon that’s readily available. If you lose yours or it becomes dull from overuse, you can simply find the nearest fire safety box, woodshed, or fire station to replace it.

3. Machete

This classic zombie fighting weapon offers range and speed, but you still have to get pretty close and personal with the zombies when using a machete. The advantage to using this weapon is that you can hack off some of the most dangerous parts of the zombie in a swing or two and keep the zombies at a greater distance than you would with something like a knife or hammer.

A machete is also very versatile, and you can use it to skin animals, break windows, or cut a path through heavy foliage. It’s a great survival tool for when you’re on your own as well as an excellent defensive and offensive weapon. 

One of the biggest advantages of this weapon is that you can swing it very quickly, faster than an axe or a shovel. It’s not very heavy, but it’s very effective at lopping off limbs and keeping zombies away from you. You don’t have to be very strong to wield the machete and do a lot of serious damage with it, which is why it ranks so high on our list.

2. Assault Rifle

Certain kinds of assault rifles work better than others, and the availability of something like the AR-15 makes it a good option. These give you a lot of firepower, allowing you to take out most of zombies in a shot or two. Even if all you do is cripple the zombie, that’s still going to reduce its danger to you.

Assault rifles have incredible stopping power, and most of them should be able to take off a limb or completely incapacitate a zombie in just a couple shots.

Of course, an assault rifle will be loud, drawing attention from nearby zombies, but it makes up for that with its stopping power, large magazine, and impressive range. Most assault rifles allow you to set them to fire just a single shot at a time, improving your accuracy and ammo conservation.

There’s a pretty big learning curve on this one, but if you’re comfortable with rifles of any kind, the assault rifle shouldn’t be too hard to pick up and use. Ammo may be limited with this weapon, and you may have to scrounge around in gun stores, in abandoned homes, and at deserted military bases to find more. Once you find an assault rifle, though, you are almost guaranteed to find some ammo with it. 

1. Flamethrower

Our top recommendation is the flamethrower because of its range and effectiveness. High intensity heat can destroy nerve endings and melt flesh, rendering a horde of zombies helpless and dead (again) in seconds. Best of all, the fire can spread from zombie to zombie, especially if they are wearing old, tattered clothes that will catch fire easily.

The big drawback to the flamethrower is a lack of fuel, but depending on the kind of flamethrower you’re using, that may not be much of a problem. Some of them are gas powered, while others require specialized fuel like butane or an oil-based fuel (think Greek fire). If your flamethrower is gas powered and you are one of the few survivors left, you should be able to fill up at any gas station.

The flamethrower isn’t the most versatile weapon on this list, but it’s a great way to whittle down hordes of zombies quickly without using a lot of your resources at once. You can combine the flamethrower with environmental factors like wooden structures or flammable liquids to destroy a lot of zombies at once. It’s probably one of the most effective zombie-killing tools that the majority of people could learn to use quickly and safely.

Final Thoughts

Who knows when the apocalypse is coming or what shape it will take. When it does, though, you want to be ready to pick the right weapon to defend yourself. After reading through this list, you probably already decided on which weapon will be best for you based on your ability, combat style, and how much distance you want to keep between you and the zombies.

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