12 Homemade Weapons You Can Build to Defend Yourself [+Videos]

Comments: 10 Post Date: September 30, 2018

There’s a good chance you already have an adequate supply of weapons set aside, or you are in the process of collecting them. However, it’s important to consider homemade weapons, as well. In fact, even in today’s world, homemade weapons are becoming more prevalent.

Unfortunately, these are often used by criminals or by prison inmates, but homemade weapons can be very valuable to anyone preparing for disaster and societal collapse. Homemade self-defense weapons can help with the defense of your loved ones and property. Plus, the skill you develop in making these weapons can come in handy down the road.

Skills Are Everything

You see, even if you have a variety of store-bought weapons at your disposal, there is no guarantee that you will keep these in your possession. They can break, become lost, or get stolen from you. After all, nothing is guaranteed in this world, even if you have prepared adequately.

Should you find yourself without weapons, knowing how to make homemade weapons from basic items you have on hand is an invaluable skill. Plus, it’s just plain fun to make good home defense weapons. With that in mind, here are 12 of the best homemade weapons you can make yourself.

1. Pepper Spray

Pepper spray is one of the most basic homemade weapons, but it’s very useful. It’s easy to carry on your person, easy to conceal, and effective at disabling an opponent. It is also easy to make your own homemade pepper spray.


  • Spray bottle
  • Water
  • Extremely hot dried chili peppers
  • Black pepper


  • Pour a handful of chili peppers into a bowl.
  • Grind the chili peppers to expose the seeds.
  • Add water and black pepper to the chili peppers.
  • Stir the mixture.
  • Heat mixture to a boil on a stove top, in a microwave, or over a fire.
  • Let the mixture cool and transfer to a clean spray bottle.

2. Slingshot

Slingshots are handy to have in a pinch and it’s one of the easiest homemade weapons to make. Your ammo is literally lying on the ground all around you. You can use things like stones, pieces of broken glass, or pieces of broken building. Anything that will fit into the pouch of the slingshot is fair game.

Fortunately, making your own slingshot is easy. The first thing you will need to do is find a strong fork of wood, ideally hickory, dogwood, or oak. The fork should be a minimum of 30 degrees, and it should be well dried. Other materials you will need include:

  • ¼-inch latex surgical tubing
  • Leather strips
  • Fine string, such as dental floss
  • Saw
  • Knife


  • Notch each prong of the fork with your knife. You want the notches to be deep enough to keep the bands in place, but not so deep that the force of pulling the bands will break the prongs.
  • Wrap one end of the rubber tubing to the end of each prong until it doubles up on itself. Secure the tubing with a zip tie or wire.
  • Cut a 2-inch by 4-inch piece of leather and poke a hole in each end of it.
  • Put the loose ends of the tubing through the holes in the leather and tie them off. Remember that you might have to adjust the length of the pieces of tubing, depending on how long your arms are and how much power you want.

3. Bow and Arrows

A bow can be made out of a solid branch, sapling, or a piece of PVC pipe. It’s relatively easy to construct, and it makes one of the best homemade weapons you can use even when on the move. In this case, you are going to make a long bow, which is the traditional type of bow with one string. Here’s how to make the bow.


  • Straight sapling or branch that has few or no side branches, twists, or knots. This will create the stave of the box, and it should be 5 feet in length and about 1.5 to 2 inches in diameter. You can also use a 2-inch diameter piece of PVC pipe, but this won’t be as strong as the sapling.
  • Knife
  • Paracord or another type of cordage that is not too stretchy.


  1. Stand the sapling or branch on one end, and find the exact middle of it. This will be the middle of the stave. Mark 3 inches on either side of the middle to mark the handhold position.
  2. Take some time to bend the stave and find out which way it bends naturally. The inside of this bend will be the inside of the curve of the stave, or the belly. The other side is the back of the stave.
  3. Use your knife to whittle away the wood at the middle to form the belly of the stave. You want to remove wood only from the belly. You can bend the stave while doing this to make a nice curve. Don’t make it so thin it will snap.
  4. Use your knife to notch each end of the stave. The notch should be at a 45-degree angle when facing you while you are holding the bow.
  5. Secure the cordage to the bow at each end, known as stringing the bow. There should be a 5-inch gap between the string and the belly of the stave.
  6. Tiller the bow by hanging it horizontally from a tree branch from the handhold of the bow. Pull down on the string. If the bow curves evenly from both ends, then it’s well balanced. If one end curves less than the other, you will need to remove more wood from the belly at that end until the curve of both ends is even.

Here’s how to make the arrows.


  • Branches for the arrows. These should be straight and pliable, such as from maple, willow, or dogwood.
  • Feathers or pine needles


  1. Cut off any small branches from the branches you have chosen to use as arrows, and remove the bark. Ensure the branches are smooth when done.
  2. If there are bends in the branches, you will need to heat the bend over a fire and bend the branch in the opposite direction of the natural bend to remove it. Then hold the arrow in place while it cools.
  3. Cut the arrows to the chosen length.
  4. Cut a nock in one end of the arrow. This is where the string of the bow will sit when you are getting ready to shoot.
  5. Glue feathers or pine needles to the end near the notch. These will help give some air resistance to the arrows.
  6. Sharpen the other end to a fine point. You can attach an arrowhead if desired. These can be make of stone, shell, or steel.

4. Bullwhip

Okay, you might not be Indiana Jones, but that doesn’t mean a bullwhip won’t still be useful. And it is so easy to make, with only two materials required:

  • 550 paracord (250 to 300 feet)
  • 5 ½ feet of ¾-inch nylon cord
  • ¾-inch steel rod (10 inches long)
  • Strong electrical tape
  • Lighter
  • File of sanding wheel
  • Tape measure
  • BBs
  • A vice


  • Hollow out the nylon cord.
  • File the ends of the steel rod, and insert it into the end of the nylon cord and secure it with electrical tape. This will be the handle.
  • Fold the nylon cord in half, not including the length of cord containing the steel rod, and mark the halfway point with electrical tape.
  • Open the non-handle end of the nylon cord and put BBs into it, filling it to the center mark.
  • Tie a knot in the nylon cord where the BBs end to keep them in place. Make sure there are no spaces between the BBs.
  • Remove the tape from the cord.
  • Cut a 2-foot length of paracord and take out the core of it. Use one of the core strands to tightly bind the cord where the BBs end so they will stay in place.
  • Bind the handle of the whip with electrical tape.
  • Cut two 10-foot lengths of paracord and pull the core out of each.
  • Weave the paracord around the whip handle and whip. This is a multistage process that is shown in this video.

5. Kubaton

A kubaton is a small Japanese weapon, like a short stick, that fits easily in the hand. It is used to strike the pressure points of the body to cause pain. This is one of the homemade melee weapons that is easy to carry with you and conceal. In fact, it can be used as a keychain, meaning you’ll have it with you all the time.

You can fashion kubatons out of wood or metal, but you can also make one easily using a long screw and paracord.


  • 3- to 4-inch screw (or whatever length will fit into your hand with the ends sticking out about half an inch)
  • Electrical or duct tape
  • Paracord
  • Lighter


  1. Use the electrical or duct tape to cover the head of the screw and wrap the shaft. This will prevent any metal from sticking out of the paracord wrap later on. It will also prevent the paracord from fraying due to rubbing on the threads of the screw.
  2. Weave your paracord in a box weave that will leave it hollow on the inside. Below is a video that shows you how to do it.
  3. Once you have an inch of the box weave done, place the end of the screw into it, then keep weaving.
  4. Tie off the ends of the paracord and melt them in place with a lighter. You can melt down both ends to make them harder for striking a combatant.

6. Knife

Knives can be made from many different kinds of materials, and they are one of the easiest homemade weapons to make. You will want something strong, with a solid handle. Obviously, you can make a fully functional, proper knife with a wooden handle and a good blade. However, you also need to know how to make what you have into a knife with ease.

To make a knife, you can forge metal (even a wrench will do) into a knife handle and blade. Fortunately, you can do something simple, like take an old saw blade and make it into a knife or shape a butter knife into something sharper and more lethal.

You will have to know how to work with whatever you have at hand. Here is how to make a knife out of a butter knife that is strong and functional.


  • Butter knife
  • Drill (optional)
  • Paracord or other type of cordage
  • Marker (optional)
  • File


  1. If you want, you can drill a hole in each end of the knife handle to make attaching the paracord easier.
  2. Wrap the handle in the cord. If it’s nylon, then make sure it’s wet when you wrap it. If it’s a natural, cellulous fiber, wrap it dry. Leave a tail halfway down the handle as you start wrapping and wrap over the tail.
  3. Finish wrapping and tie it off. You can add a loop in the handle if you want.
  4. At this point, you can cut the blade down if you want. Use the marker to mark where you want to cut it, and score the blade at that spot. You can then snap off the end. Otherwise, work with the knife blade as is.
  5. File the blade and sharpen it so it has a sharp edge and point. You can do this with a file or whetstone, or use a stone you find outside. Even the curb outside your home would work in a pinch.

7. Throwing Stars

Throwing stars are easy to make and can be very useful when you need a weapon you can easily carry and use from a distance. In fact, throwing stars can be made from any scrap metal you find lying around. And in an emergency or apocalyptic situation, scrap metal is bound to be everywhere.

In a pinch, you can take small pieces of scrap metal you find and bend them into throwing star shapes. If you have the tools required, you can make more refined throwing stars. Here’s how.


  • Paper
  • Hardened steel (This can be an old shovel or saw blade or anything else you have on hand.)
  • Hole puncher and hammer
  • Spray paint
  • Drill
  • Metal saw
  • Sandpaper


  1. Draw a star pattern on paper and cut it out.
  2. Place the pattern on the metal.
  3. Use the hole punch and hammer to mark where to drill any holes you want.
  4. Use the spray paint over the pattern to leave its outline on the metal.
  5. Cut the shape out of the metal.
  6. Drill the holes.
  7. Grind or file the edges of the star points to finish them nicely. You can dunk it in cold water every once in a while to cool it down.
  8. Sand the piece if necessary.
  9. Use a knife grinder or whetstone to sharpen the edges.

8. Spiked Bat

If you need homemade weapons for the zombie apocalypse, what better one to have than a spiked bat. So easy to make and so very effective against not only zombies, but dangerous people and animals. And since so many people are familiar with The Walking Dead, just the sight of this weapon is guaranteed to strike fear into people, even if you use nails in it, instead of simply wrapping it in barbed wire.


  • Wooden baseball bat or other strong length of wood
  • At least three dozen 6-inch nails
  • A drill
  • A hammer
  • A vice


  1. Secure the bat and drill a series of holes at the non-handle end of the bat. Drill these holes through the center of the bat so they go through from one side to the other. Drill the holes in lines – the more holes, the more spikes you’ll have.
  2. With the bat in a vice, hammer the nails into the holes so the head of the nail is flush with the surface of the bat. The ends of the nails should be long enough to stick out the other side of the bat.

9. Taser/Stun Gun

Stun guns or tasers are great homemade melee weapons. This weapon in not out of your league when it comes to what you can make at home.


  • Continuous piezo electric sparker (with batteries) – This is what you use to light barbecues, so they are easy to find.
  • 2 AAA batteries with holder
  • Thick and normal electrical wire
  • Dremel
  • Pliers
  • Soldering iron
  • Hot glue gun
  • Cutter
  • Screwdriver


  1. Take the lighter apart, take out the lighting mechanism, and set the casing and screws aside for later.
  2. Remove all the inner wiring, including cutting out the wires from the base of the metal neck.
  3. Place 2 thick pieces of electrical wire to the contacts where you just cut out the wires. These wires should be longer than the metal neck.
  4. Ensure the battery holder is attached to the battery wire.
  5. Put everything back into the lighter casing. Where things don’t fit well, use the Dremel to polish the plastic.
  6. Cut the ends of the thick wire near the base, strip the ends, and tin the ends.
  7. Cut two pieces of normal wire, 2.5 cm each. Tin the ends and connect them to the thick wire.
  8. Glue the wires in place.
  9. Test the system.
  10. Close the casing.

10. Flamethrower

Honestly, a lighter and a can of hairspray will make a fine flamethrower. If you want to get more elaborate, you can turn a fire extinguisher into a flamethrower. This is a much more involved process, and you can see how it’s done here.

11. Glock

As homemade weapons go, a Glock is great if you can do it. It’s something you can have at your disposal at any time. There is no serial number and no need to register the weapon. When you make this, you can get real Glock parts, or if you’re on a budget, you can get non-Glock parts. Here’s how to make your Glock.


  • Pistol frame
  • Lower parts
  • Slide
  • Barrel
  • Slide parts
  • Sights
  • Magazine

When you have all the parts, you need to assemble them. Here is a great video that shows you how to actually make all the pieces and assemble them.

12. Stun Grenade

A stun grenade is one of the best homemade weapons because it’s nonlethal and gives you a chance to get away from the bad guys in one piece. This is actually pretty easy to build. Here’s how.


  • 1 ¼-inch PVC coupling
  • Two 1 ¼-inch PVC plugs
  • ¾-inch PVC coupling
  • ¾-inch PVC plug
  • PVC glue
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar or citric acid powder
  • Water


  1. Glue one of the 1 ¼-inch plugs to one end of the 1 ¼-inch coupling. Do the same with the ¾-inch plug and coupling.
  2. Fill the ¾-inch coupling with baking soda.
  3. Fill the 1 ¼-inch coupling with vinegar. Alternatively, use 1 tablespoon of citric acid powder and fill with water.
  4. Place the ¾-inch tube inside the 1 ¼-inch tube.
  5. Place the second 1 ¼-inch plug on the open end and push it in as hard as you can.

This would be made far more dangerous if you glued the second plug in place and/or if you used flash powder or gun powder.


Obviously, you want to have store-bought weapons on hand or in your bug out bag for a SHTF situation. But we all know that during a widespread emergency, or if society takes a vacation, we might not get keep what we have.

Our store-bought weapons can be stolen, lost, or broken. If there is nowhere to buy new ones, you need to know how to make your own. Period. And besides, when you make your own homemade weapons, you will find it incredibly satisfying.

If you have any other homemade weapons you’d like to tell us about, please let us know in the comments section below.

Comments (10)

  • Tia Calvert Reply

    These are really cool and work really well.

    March 13, 2021 at 17:26
  • Henry Reply

    Cool advice. I am making a book and I needed some ideas. Thanks for the tip. Also, maybe put a DIY mallet hammer. That would be epic. Also, put like a staff, and a tennis ball launcher. Thyks

    January 23, 2021 at 09:02
    • Ryan Reply

      Where/when can I get your book?

      February 3, 2021 at 21:59
  • Danny Reply

    Enjoyed the article. Our brain is the most important tool/weapon we have. If we can’t use what we create….

    December 12, 2020 at 18:08
  • Monte Negro Reply

    you forget hands one of the most deadly weapon which human kind have since we were born.

    October 28, 2020 at 04:54
    • Dwain Reply

      Extremely helpful!

      December 11, 2020 at 10:35
    • Leonie Lundy Reply

      Is there any way to take ae a car battery to make a globe for light or to recharge your phone please

      March 9, 2021 at 15:19
  • Tom grey Reply

    one more idea is a hammer with spikes in the TOP of the handle

    April 22, 2020 at 01:56
  • Evan Cormier Reply

    I like the idea of all of these weapons but i also have another idea for this site, take a harness clip, a 3 to 5 foot chain, a big wrench, and a tow hook or tow hook eye and put that on the end of the chain and now you have a version of the bull whip that can break a cinder block.

    February 9, 2019 at 09:20
    • Roman Zrazhevskiy Reply

      Nice suggestion, Evan. Thanks for sharing. I guess the combinations for things you can use to defend yourself are endless. Even medieval artillery is making a comeback with homemade trebuchet’s!

      February 9, 2019 at 16:15

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