Open Question: Melee Weapon of Choice?

How much of a role (if any) do weapons, that are not firearms, play in your personal defense?

By personal, I mean “you” singular as well as those around you (including family).

For me they play a small role but it is there. Inside about seven feet is where blades and impact weapons come in. I very much love blades, but if I am starring down an attacker at that range then a whole set of somethings has gone terribly wrong (which sometimes happens).

At really close distances, against one attacker, I can reasonably see batons, knives, swords, etc. being effective. That is just me. I am in relatively good shape and I am still relatively young. Not everybody is in that boat.

Again, I love “other” weapons, both modern and historical, but I am a realist who very much recognizes (and loves) the effectiveness of modern firearms. I am also cognizant of the fact not everyone has the same physical abilities. Some people have more money and some don’t. Due to age, location, or other legalities not everyone can own a firearm. Some (many) TTAK readers are not from the good Ol’ USA. Your thoughts and experiences matter too.
So there is the question. We would love to here from you!


  1. dph says:

    For me a fish bonker (think billy club) is the ticket. Short for mobility and light enough to get some real bat speed. Handle wrapped with grip tape and equipped with a lanyard. Preferably made of straight grain hickory. Mine’s made from a broken shovel handle. I carry it in the truck regardless of jurisdiction as a tire checker.

  2. cmeat says:

    i watched a medium sized guy keep inflicting pain on a very large man that he held at bay with a light jacket. he kept twirling it up and snapping it like a towel so that the steel zipper would lacerate his opponent.
    a lock in a sock is limited by the fabrics tensile strength. kids (girls) around here carry heavy chains with padlocks (in purse).
    the axe handle deal whatever is great until (snap) it’s not.
    i suggest an aluminum t– ball bat.

  3. Cadeyrn says:

    Depends. If it is a mob, my favorite weapon would be my feet. If it is one-on-one or even two or three, and I have my real choice, I’d choose a smallsword. Alternatively, a katana. I know how to use both and although I’m nowhere near as fast as I once was, I was good enough back in the day to get a gold medal in fencing at my state’s annual State Games.

    If it is a going-into-the-wilderness to fight who-knows-what, I’d choose a spear every time. Useful as a walking stick, thumper and poker, the occasional slice, it helps keep nasty things of every kind at a safe distance.

  4. Mike L. says:

    By my bedside for last couple of decades is my shoehorn…go ahead and laugh. That is until you see its solid brass and 12-14 inches long. Weighs about half a pound. Plus it works great to put my shoes on !

    1. John F. MacMichael says:

      I like your shoehorn idea. Not only does it look it would be pretty effective for whacking someone over the head with it also looks perfectly innocent. That can be important if one finds oneself involved with the legal system after defending yourself. “A deadly weapon?! Certainly not! That is just the shoehorn I use to put my shoes on every morning. Obviously, Officer/Your Honor/Gentlemen of the Jury, I was in fear for my life and in a blind panic when I snatched it up to defend myself against this vicious intruder.”

  5. PeterK says:

    None, honestly, but I’d love to get some krav maga training, and some HEMA, and learn to properly wield a dagger. It’d be awesome.

  6. Bob G. says:

    For carry in public, my #1 choice is a stock cane from a feed store. Mine is a very solid piece of hickory. I cut a small piece from the horn to “open” it. It’s now a half-circle, so it can be used to hook an arm, leg, collarbone, neck or groin. I carefully reshaped the end of the horn to a very dull point. I also used some stain/polyurethane to apply an attractive finish. This cane goes with me into controlled areas with no problem.

  7. Honzo says:

    I am continually surprised at all the mundane and exotic items listed, and canes are ignored. They are protected by the ADA and can be carried almost anywhere in the US. If someone takes yours away as you enter a restricted area, they have to give you a replacement. A cane gives you reach over any edged weapon you are likely to encounter. To me, carrying one in a no-weapon zone is a no-brainer.
    Ka-bar makes a (too) heavy duty aluminum self-defense cane. Robaina sells a similar but lighter, excellent (very expensive) aluminum cane (my favorite). Tractor Supply sells an inexpensive 60″ U.S. Whip Wooden Sheep Hook that can be cut to cane length. It is a good option for trips on which you may forget it somewhere it would be inconvenient to return to. Wood is also preferable in really cold weather and during electrical storms, as aluminum canes are electrical conductors, and heat sinks that suck the warmth out of your hand.

  8. OneDay says:

    I have flown to China and around the US with a modified cane, slightly opening the hook and putting a point on it, without a problem. I am getting pretty old, 66, and have started to slow down and suffer a lot of movement associated ailments; it’s really nice having the extra reach. I personally prefer it to a knife even though I usually carry both when possible.

    I’ve studied a bit of Escrima, Dos Pares tradition, and would highly recommend getting at least an introduction for anyone considering carrying a stick as a weapon. Some of the striking methods are not obvious from just handling a stick.

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Open Question: Melee Weapon of Choice?

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