Following a discussion about various traditional weapons used against the undead, Zombie Research Society contributor Kelly Bell conducted a study of common improvised weapons to see what options an unarmed survivor might have.

Bell was inspired by the fact that an overwhelming majority of the world will not have access to firearms during the inevitable zombie apocalypse. However she concluded that there are many reliable alternatives that can provide both offensive and defensive support.

“For most of us, a real zombie outbreak won’t be like a computer game. We don’t all have shotguns with unlimited ammunition stashed miraculously in our back pockets, but that doesn’t mean we’re out of luck. Potentially deadly improvised weapons are all around us, just waiting to be made combat ready.”

Among her recommendations was the Millwall Brick, which stands out for both its availability and ease of use. Named for the infamously violent supporters of the Millwall Football Club of England in the late 1960s, the brick is constructed by rolling and folding newspaper sheets to create a solid club. A large nail or screwdriver can then be embedded into the head, effectively forming a crude nail bat which can pummel or pierce your undead enemy as needed.

Much like Millwall Bricks, improvised prison knives, called shivs or shanks, can be made from just about anything, including toothbrushes, combs, chair legs, bed posts, floor boards, plastic bottles, and even toilet seats.  So remember, anything sharp and solid has the potential to penetrate a zombie’s brain and render it incapacitated.

What are some other improvised weapons that would work particularly well against the undead?


  1. What if I have fifty guns and over 45,000 bullets, three new cars,two off road vehicles, three dirt bikes, water food for two years and anything else you could think of, even a deck of cards in case there’s some one that wants to play black jack with me

    • Guns break, ammunition runs out as does gasoline, tires go flat, water / food can become contaminated – Remember Murphy because he sure as hell hasn’t forgotten about you! In the event of an apocalypse you have to be prepared for anything!

  2. When thinking of creating decent, sturdy weapons, you want to stay away from stabbing weapons (i.e. spears, knives strapped to things, etc.) because of the time it would take to pull your weapon out of the zombie. The chance of your weapon becoming lodged in the zombie for even the smallest amount of time could prove fatal. You’d want to lean towards weapons that could either crush the zombie’s skull or decapitate it. Basically, if you don’t have time to sit down and construct a weapon, grab a shovel or a baseball bat. They give you a great melee weapon with enough range to stay safely away from the zombies as you fled.

    • i disagree i well maid spear like wepon gives plenty of distance away from a z. i my self have 3 diffrent kind of spear weapons and best resaltes on ply would have been with the dubble edge ones. u can cleave a head off. or stab just as ezly all are maid from 100% steel. there a bit heavy but in the testes ive preformed all prove to be equally dangares. blunt objects require to much energy to be practical when your starving dont have alot of energy to waste you know. have a nice cactch of other steel weapons mainly cuting types thay do well enough. best material ive fround is rebar steel. i forge my own weapons. a rebar blade holds a nice edge for a long time. even with alot of choping but hands down a spear or short spear the best weapon. get great killing power and uses minimal energy to thrust. i can perice 1 in ply wood no problem and that is harder than a z’s head. but geting stuck could happen thats why multiple weapons are needed. the just in case factor. but a pointed steel rod wont get stuck. and that is a type of spear so spears are still the best way to go. weather it a pointy stick or sum thing far more menacing looking. gets job done quick and ezy. also spears require almost no training even a child can use one, to effectively use a sword or singled edged weapon need sum training to be an efficient killer.

  3. Hey guys. Fencing gear. That shit’s tought. You’ve got your level 1 stuff which is 350N resistant, then your level 2 stuff which is 800N resistant and it’s all material so no noise. The mask can get up to 1600N. Even though it’s only the face it’s still something. They even have gloves and plastic chest plates.

  4. Denim is impossible for a human jaw to chomp through, so as defence against zombies jeans or at least boots that end up covering some portion of your calf to prevent anything getting a piece of your ankle is preferred when packing clothes for the apocalypse

    • The problem is that zombies are no longer “human” and from everything I have read in the literature the bite of a zombie is purported to be vastly more powerful than that of a human being.

      Interestingly there is a product currently available called “Tuff & Light” that, if the specifications are accurate, might fit the bill for a material that is zombie bite proof.

      • humans have built in limitation of a 3x factor. so expect the undead to be at least 3x as strong as the strongest human. with no feeling of pain they can go far beyond human ability. as for armor heavy leather like a welding aprion or jaket and chain mail over the leather youd have really nasty bruises but you should be alive!!! best best dont be in that position lol.

  5. I think the most realistic game out there for zombie survival is “The Last of Us”, you don’t have an unlimited amount if amo and depending were you are the resources change and so does how much resources are there.

  6. I would say a juggernaut suit or a swat team suit becuz the cover all of ur body juggernaut would prefered so get one if u can

  7. Sharpen the end of brooms, mops, hockey sticks, chair legs and table legs. Taping knives onto things with duct tape is a sure fire way to lose your knife after a few stabs, have you got an endless supply of duct tape? Every house has a mop and a broom. Keep your knives for close encounters. Cut up an old tin garbage bin or some sheet metal for lightweight limb armour.

  8. OOOOH another idea is a lamp. Take the shade off and you have a stick with a heavy base.
    Or, let’s be real, your foot. Never underestimate your own body weight! Knock em down and curb stomp the zombie till it stays down. (Probably only works on concrete or stone though)

  9. No one ever thinks about pencils and pens! If I ever got caught at school, I’d fight my way out with a pencil. Aim for the eyesocket and you’re golden. Also, a shard of glass with duct tape around the end for a handle would work nicely. Probably not best for long term use though…

  10. How about if your in the bathroom (why would you be in a zombie apocalypse) get the lid of the tank on the toilet, melee. there is also a flame thrower, get a hair spray can and a lighter, duct tape them together with the spray going over where the flame will be. A lance, get a kitchen knife (our any knife) and a broom stick, and duct tape them together with the knife at the end. There you go, three improvised weapons made simple.

  11. In a situation where you do not have any weapons handy except gym equipment:

    Make a hammer with a bench press pole and some weights on only one end, chances are if you have the equipment you have been using it and you can get a bit of force behind it. Steel wights would be perfect for smushing zombie heads and breaking limbs for an easier escape.

    Maces are made in a similar fashion, Dumbell bar with a few weights on one side. For a lightweight version of the mace simply screw on a few of the dumbell nuts and you have a little extra weight for a lot more damage.

    thrown like a discus the weights themselves could do some serious damage as well, imagine getting a five kilo disc of steel to the face, you aren’t going to be standing long after that one. Same goes for medicine balls of all sizes.

    Exercise balls may seem useless but if have ever bounced someone away with one you may just realise you have an ideal way to deflect single zombies effectively while escaping.

    Or if you are feeling the funny type of defence may be the best, set up a treadmill in the doorway on it’s fastest speed and see which zombies can last more than a single step on it. (this one is not really serious)

    • nonono, let’s be serious. zombies can’t think. Sure, to even the most uneducated man, they will realize that walking directly won’t work, because they can make more brain cells to think. Zombies can’t learn. They’ll keep on trying over and over, never getting anywhere. Make sure that the entire doorway is covered, so there’s a 100% chance that it never works.

      Zombies get more credit than they deserve for intelligence.

  12. You guys think too hard just to make a weapon. Your own body is a weapon! There is a higher risk of infection when you defend with your bare skin, but it really isnt hard to knock down a zombie so you can escape. It shouldn’t be hard to take down a zombie or even kill one with your bare hands if you are in good shape(physically and mentally -don’t use your bare fist to punch a zombie in the teeth or something), have good reaction time, and adequate protection against the infection: waterproofish and no open wounds.
    The best thing to have is a fit body, quick thinking, and an escape route because being a survivor isn’t about exterminating all the zombies. Think about that once you are in touch with a number of trustworthy, experienced survivors who can always watch your back and each other’s backs.
    I also want to clear up another misconception that the eye sockets leads directly to the brain. You can’t stab through and eye and hit the brain; there is a layer of bone that separates the eye and the brain. You will need enough force to go through the eye and the layer bone before you can reach the brain, and not just touch the brain either, but absolutely rip it beyond repair. There are plenty of stories where regular people have had nails or pipes stabbed into their brain with no fatal injury. This is why a mere brick or hammer to the head won’t end a zombie. You’ll need to confirm the death with the appearance of brain matter.. or complete brain destruction. Improvised weapons mostly shouldn’t be used for killing but for time to make an escape.
    I also recommend learning and mastering some good headlocking submission holds because putting rocks in your socks at the last second probably won’t do much as good as incapacitating a zombie. Maybe even learn some neck breaking moves if the zombies uses nerves to command muscles. Best thing however might be learning how to tackle/push away zombies and make an escape. Maybe kick them away also.
    Fire is a good improvised weapon for taking out zombies, but you’ll need time and ventilated areas as well as adequate amounts of flame to destroy the zombies. What’s most necessary is to liquidate the brain matter or destroy all the muscles and that can take time and high temperatures.

  13. The wise man prepares now so he doesn’t have to improvise later.

  14. Napalm, dipshits. Fill Empty beer bottle with napalm, shoot from PVC Cannon into crowd of Zombies, Drink another Beer.

  15. I’m kinda tired of everone always saying medieval plate armor has no application in Zombie outbreak. I agree that its a terrible idea to wear the full suit, what if you just wore it on your forearms and lower legs, and possibly also on your upper arms and thighs? These areas are the places you are most likely to be bit, and no Zombie could penetrate it. There would be little noise, (No plates clanking together) and by only wearing a few pieces the weight would probably be negligible assuming you’re in decent shape.

    • Yeah I agree with you on this, it’s seriously under rated. I was thinking more chainmail with gauntlets for hand protection (also good for punching). As for improvised weapons, you’d be amazed at what there is around the house. A shovel for instance is a good weapon, or methylated spirits. Even just a deodorant can, those things go BANG!!

    • Chainmail/sharksuit=perfect platemail, not so good

  16. richard(zsnipe)stewart

    Improvised and available anywhere in canada…HOCKEY GEAR. they play intensly and fast in it, its built to protect against sharp skates and 100mph pucks so both force and sharpness of jaws and teeth are covered. its found at the same place that you grab the baseball bat at and while youre at it grab a cue ball and soccer sock as versions previously mentioned. thats what i got to get me to my excaliber hunting crossbow with sniper scope 😛

  17. my chinese kitchen cleaver should prove quite handy, its good at chopping pork, should be good at chopping zombies too

  18. i have a suggestion for armour. get a leather jacket/pants and then glue light chainmaille to it and more leather on to cover it. no chinking from moving chainmaille, no glinting off the chainmaille, more protection but not restricting movement much (you only need thin leather), easy to make, less damage from stabbing, slashing if armed humans attack and the leather can help take the blunt damage, and you can attach stuff to it well so you dont need to worry about strapping on as much gear eg. glue down sheaths for knives, tools, equipment (torches, flint, lighters, matches, etc), ammo, there are heaps more possibilties so its really versatile

  19. i think you pop off to the garden, lop the branches off of the trees, cut branches to appropriate sizes, brake end off of knives, bend some branches to make an arch and take the washing line rope and BAM!! you have bow and arrow….

  20. You’re all over thinking this a bit, whilst busy trying to find enough newspaper to form an effective bat your legs arms and head will already have been chewed off! It stands to reason that if you have newspaper, you have a chair in which to sit in whilst reading the newspaper, why not just break off a chair leg? I totally appreciate everyones inventiveness but I think the quote “over thinking, over analysing separates the body from the mind” pretty much sums up my arguement

  21. Break off a toilet seat and shoelace and/or duct tape it to a pole (i.e. broomstick etc.) and you have yourself an on the spot ‘Mancatcher’. Perfect for keeping those pesky brain eaters at a controlled distance. Also, good for keeping them steady while a buddy takes their face out.

  22. evry thing has the potential to killfrom toilet paper toa crow bar it all works u just gotta know how to use it.

  23. How do you make that millwall brick thing?

  24. anything can be used as a weapon really. if you asked me to find someone who could kill you with a sheet of paper, i could. but it doesnt mean that every thing is as effective as swinging a hammer around. really anything that is close by can be used… unless ur in a padded room.

    • provided you can get free of the straightjacket, you could rip out a tooth and use that or something. It may sound illogical, but hey, you’re in a padded room for a reason 🙂

  25. Best weapon? Dish soap and/or cooking oil. Especially cooking oil. On stairs or tile, those zeds aren’t going anywhere. You could hold the top of some stairs with a table barricade and a couple sharpened sticks for days. As a last ditch resort, light the oil, and watch them fry!

    • True but when they start piling up on one another they would eventually be able to climb right to you. I really like the idea as an improvised way to improve an escape though!

  26. Here I go… place soccer shin guards on upper and lower arms, (and shins back and front) Umpires chest plate (lightweight) paintball mask (in case of splatter) leather gloves, elbow, knee, and maybe wrist guards, sliding shorts (cant bite though them) small Backpack (for storage and protection). and carry two (one spare) tee ball bats, they are small and light so you can swing hard and not get as tired so easily.

    The only thing i havent found to protect is my butt…

    You can find all this at you local sporting goods departments… thats right shop smart shop S-Mart… YOU GOT THAT

  27. If you get caught by surprise and have absolutely nothing but the clothes you are wearing:

    Put rocks in your socks…

  28. For long range I’d use a 22 rifle it may seem small but the bullet will bounce around in the zombie head and turn the brain into swiss cheese. Close combat use a machete or hatchet.

  29. Stap a metal pole to your wrist, like a construction pole ( 2 cm thick ) and sharpen the point.
    its not sujested as a primary weapon but if you are ever unlucky enough to get close and personal with a zombie, a last resort would be to stab the zombie through the eye and hopefuly the pole would reach the brain. Inspiered by assasins creed this weapon would only be good at close range, but easy to use.

  30. Get a pool cue, a broom stick, or anything long. use steel wire, reinforced with glue and/or tape to affix a strong knife, or nail to the tip. for even more strength, fix the sharp implement inside the pole-arm, native american style.

    build extra to account for breakage, or even more importantly for when you cross another survivor.

    a dozen or more people performing a semi-disciplined spear-wall provide time to retreat, push and split through masses of zeds, or pin down the zeds for a clean killing blow.

    of course a shorter, close-combat weapon is also necessary for when the target becomes immobilized, or within tight corners.

  31. I just had a thought on exterminating a zombie population. What about flies? Wouldn’t they lay maggots into the dead flesh of the zombie and slowly eat away at them, massing in numbers as time goes on. I do know maggots are used medically to remove dead flesh from living humans.

    • all of the zombies cells can’t be dead and decaying or it would cease to function. maggots would help them because they only eat the rotting flesh. this will slow the decay rate and let them move faster for longer (not saying they’re running, just not shuffling like someone with venous stasis).

      • Fortunatley, its a special kind of mosquito/maggots breed that ONLY feeds on dead flesh, which are imported to medical facilities for use, from Exotic enviorments, but common known flies lay thier eggs (later then maggots) on flesh dead or alive, so Dom is offering a rather revolutionary solution, the endemic might be a matter of waiting actually if nature introduces this idea, and then cleaning up the fly population is rather easy if you think about it. If this apocalyptic event is caused through scientific action then the idea of being dead but active is not likely in our lifetime. The thought of ressurection or coming back from a dead state seems Biblical which is hard to explain or calculate in logical means. Though once again i think Dom’s idea is acceptable. Good Job

        This is one of my first posts here, and i would like to introduce myself as the youngest researcher in this organization located in Florida.

    • if the flies or maggots will even touch infected flesh

  32. You could always put any kind of brick, doorknobs, rocks, or some other solid object(s), and place them into a shirt, tarp, towel or something, tie it up, and KABANG! You have a mace!

    Or you can use an “Smell-Good flamethrower”: Take some kind of cologne, or spray on deodorant, use pencils, pens, toothbrushes etc., and Duct Tape to attach a refillable lighter about 4-5 inches away from the nozzle to create a flamethrower.

    • Aaron Wolfsteller

      In regard to the “Smell-good flamethrower” I wouldnt recommend it. You have to be extremely careful when using fire against the undead. In the days of the witchhunts it’s been reported that it could take up to 2 hours for the victim to die. Given that I would imagine it would take a awhile for the Zombie to become incapacitated by it’s burns, and in the mean time you’d have an infectious ball of fire shuffling towards you.

    • good flamethrower, tape a streached-out coat hanger onto a garden sprayer, filled with gas, DO NOT TURN IT TO MIST POSITION!I know this from experience.

  33. i thought u culd use a like a 30cm steel rod.
    good in comfined spaces, really hard to break and can shatter a skull with 1 clean shot.
    you could also plug up one end using a welder and then put some gunpowder in it with a stone. and vwala make shift gun

  34. for improv weapons, as last ditch go, grab your stool and bust some heads, you know those nice logs for your fire? grab em,that 2 liter, fill it with water and bang, not very durable but still last ditch. rocks, one kill thren throw weapon. and if your on a tower defense point throw some down.that muffler off the broken car, unless t0he threat is immediate, shop around get the best improv you can, a golf clubs great but rebar is better.

  35. Unfortunately, Titan, most armor doesn’t work too well against zombies. Medieval plate armor and chain mail offer very slight protection, but this comes at a huge cost. EXHAUSTION. It’s blisteringly hot inside that armor, it’s heavy, and you have to be at your physical best. Soaked with sweat and panting is a state not at all desirable with sixty zombies snapping at your heels. These armors also make too much noise. Zombies have excellent hearing, and tramping through the streets sounding like a one man percussion section will draw them like flies to corpses. Corpses like what you and your buddies soon will be.

    • Be careful about making declarative statements. Zombies MAY have excellent hearing, but at most that is a theory. And armor doesn’t have to be metal. What about a hooded sweatshirt wrapped in duct tape? If a human can’t bite through it, a zombie probably can’t bite through it either.

      • Just because something is a theory does not mean it is not true. Evolution is also a theory as well as gravity.

      • 1. It’s the LAW of gravity, not the theory of it, it is true… I will accept the possibility that evolution is not true though that is highly unlikely.

        2. In a perfect world world, aside for the zombies, I would go with nice full body leather armor (or at least upper body); Protects against knives and bites and can still be stealthy.

        3. As is already on this site, a human can’t bite though more than a few layers of duct tape, So unless our zombies gain super human strength, neither can they. (Note: 28days do have “super human” strength; you are screwed, deal with it).

        Also, though this would make you REALLY warm, if you put chain mail between two shirts (or wear it under your shirt which is really uncomfortable) it doesn’t make much noise and chain mail isn’t THAT heavy, any University student carries more with their textbooks. Though that said, I would still rather do leather.

        • Sorry for the late response, but I feel I should inform you that the law of gravity is part of the theory of gravity. In science, theories do not advance to law. Laws are formulaic expressions of an observed predictable relationship of factors. Theories explain how and why these things happen.

  36. Guns Are Illegal in MOST states in Australia but having Kitchen Knives and Brooms + Any kind of Tape is a Javlin / Spear waiting to Happen Not to mention Most House Hold Cleaning Products can be used to provide a very Effective Fuel Source for a Flame Thrower if you have Any Kind of Water Gun or Spray Bottle

    Also i think too Many People OVERLOOK the use of Medievil armor…Chainmail…that stuff is Highly Flexable giving you room to Move…and Zombies Cannot Tear or Bite Through it…jus get a Head to Toe full suit of Chain Mail off of the Net and BANG BANG Zombie Proof Armor.

    • Now for another of my unappreciated opinions. First, chainmail is heavy and as you said bang bang, loud as hell. Second, spears=bad day, they get stuck, they get snapped, and they get grabbed. 12 zombies could pull you down in a heartbeat. And finally lucky for you all, third, I lit my hands on fire with a homemade flamethrower, bad time. Now you can have a Undead torch light you up if it touches you. Also flames can go back into the body of the bottle where the compond is held, or a zombie touches it and lights it ablaze. Now your a chainmail human torch with a spear being eaten bu the undead. Happy valentines day.

    • I made mine

  37. You could bring shopping carts on top of malls, and then throw them on zombies,

    I would deviae a thermite sort of gernade device that would burn through zombies like they are paper.

    Thermite will melt metal like its butter. It burns at 4,500 degrees farenheight, 2,700 degrees C.

    come git some thermite zombies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Yeah but you cant be accurate with theremite…

    • and where would you even get it?

    • simple thing to do with thermite is put carriable pounds of bag, drop them from a high enough surface, obtain gasoline to accomplish accuracy, and then light a simple match, throw, and there you go….but thermite doesnt explode, it burns! but not explode, that would be a dream weapon haha…
      thermite is composed of metal powder such as alluminum (works best),steel, copper, and bronze or i think lead, i havent seen it yet—and metal oxide which is basicly rust. metal powder can be obtained by grinding metal but if its hard, try scraping aluminum or [magnesium (firestarter-sportshops)] with a knife. Though a careless incident can be extremely fatal, but yeah thermite will melt their heads, limbs, bones, bacteria even the disease like wrapping paper.

      • Thermite actually is a composition of aluminum powder, magnesium powder, and iron oxide (pulverized iron rust). Thermite is actually relatively easy to acquire, well civilian grade that is since it is used in many applications, such as railroad work, and other welding applications. The unobtainable version is nano- thermite which is used in military grade weapons, such as incendiary grenades. If anything thermite would be useful in corpse disposal in the event of one holding a defensible area, but mass quantities of thermite is not easy to come by to purchase, and if my memory serves correctly, one must have a license to purchase. However it is possible to produce it on your own.

        • Thermite cannot traditionally be ignited by open flame (such as gas, matches, diesel, etc…)
          It must have ain ignition source involving a hotter chemical reaction.
          Case in point:
          Railway Thermite Welding
          We use a sparkler that burns anywhere from 3x to 8x hotter than your average party sparkler.

          I have tried lighting with a blow torch, doesn’t work. Gas, won’t work.
          Must be ignited with a strong, heat creating chemical reaction.

  38. Cut pcv pipe at a 45 degree angle, improvised spears.

    use ball peen hammers (strike with the ball end) there very light and will crack a skull.

    use dumb bell bars as striking tools (wrap in duct tape to absorb shock when hitting something)

  39. -Any weight (like a brick or rock) can be put in a shopping bag (or more than one bag), enabling you to swing it like a flail.
    alternatively, attach the brick to a short “rope” made of duct tape.

    – Attach a small bundle of barbs (pencils, bicycle spokes, wooden skewers) to the end of a stick, like a a fishing spear. Place barbs against a lone zombie’s eye socket and lean in, HARD. Most barbs will break, but hopefully at least one will penetrate the eyeball and stab into the brain. (just a theory. obviously untested)

    -As a last resort, what i call “Bag & Gag.” Assuming we can paralyze zombies by snapping their necks (this is arguable), one can “bag” a zombie by putting a bag, jacket or other garment over a zombie’s head and face (to eliminate the bite threat), and then snap the zombie’s neck. Alternatively, “gagging” involves shoving something into the z’s mouth to stop it from biting (wad of paper, bottle, can, etc).
    This won’t kill a zombie, but it would possibly immobilize it from the neck down.

    What do you guys think?

    (as you can see, unorthodox zombie defense theory is one of my favorite areas of zombie research.)

  40. do what they do in the film braindead and use a lawnmower! Also another idea is something like a guitar or a good old criket bat!

  41. My suggestion depends on two things. One, you are killing zombies from a high, defensive position and owning a piano.

    Piano wire Garrote. Yep, I said it.

    Two ways you can do this. One is the standard piano wire tied to two pieces of dow rod type wood. The other is more preferable. Piano wire noose. One end has a simple slipknot and the other is tied to a dow rod.

    Now it is time to go fishing. Two problems being length and strength of piano wire.

  42. i sugessted this article on facebook

  43. well, if you took the wooden pole out of a closet, the one for hanging clothes, you could sharpen one end or attatch something sharp to the end and essentially have a spear, good for stabbing while keeping a safe distance

    • Stabbing weapons are effective but only once. It takes a few seconds to unstick a stabbing weapon which is plenty of time to become zombie lunch. Clubs and slashing weapons are good when facing multiple opponents because they allow for rapid multiple strikes. A shovel is ideal because it has a sharp blunt blade on one side and a club on the other and a 4-5 foot striking range.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Scroll To Top