Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a chaotic NERF war? Suddenly you run out of ammo, things get a bit hectic and you reach for your trusty melee weapon.
My ultimate go-to melee weapon has to be the NERF sword. Of course you can simply opt for using some foam noodles, but if you want something that looks a bit cooler, or you’re thinking of getting a bit more into cosplay and acting out a medieval scene, or maybe you just want to be the ultimate NERF fighting Ninja. Whatever your reasons are for wanting to up your melee weapon game, I salute you.
Adding NERF melee weapons to your loadout will bring a whole new dimension of fun to your game play. So, sit back and enjoy the next few minutes whilst I take you through my thoughts on the best NERF swords and melee weapons available, and how to safely play with them.
Top 5 NERF Swords and Melee Weapons
NERF N-Force Line
A few years ago NERF produced an entire line of melee weapons under the N-Force banner. These were made of foam and generally had a core of plastic, which meant you could hit people with them and not hurt….well not hurt too much anyway. I can promise you that getting a whack on the ankle or other “softer” areas hurts….a lot!
I really liked this range and some of them were really cool, but unfortunately, this range has been discontinued. These days the only NERF products with any sort of melee weapons are the Zombie Strike range.
Some of the old weapons have been essentially re-issued with a different color scheme for this, while there are other ones that have been introduced with a more zombie-flavor.
There are some of the old N-Force line still around, but they are getting harder to find, but where there are some available I have linked to the ones I like the most.
NERF N-Force Battlemaster Mace
The Battlemaster Mace is another cracker from the N-Force line!
Similarly heavy to the Warlock, The mace features three blunted edges, which give it a really mean look, but even solid clouts barely got a whimper from the kids (there were a few much wimpier ‘adults’ though…
The foam is the same high-quality stuff used in the axe and again but the core is much stiffer and it has held up well to a lot of use, much better than the swords.
When messing around with melee weapons I really like this one – not a namby-pamby as a sword, you can really be the big bad monster when playing with your kids, it is great fun and has lasted really well.
NERF Zombie Strike Blade
A few years ago NERF made an entire range of melee weapons under the N-Force name. These have now been discontinued and the range of medieval melee weapons has shrunk, which is a shame. However, the Zombie Strike range has come to the rescue to some degree and the old has been relaunched as the NERF Zombie Strike Blade.
The foam is well made, it will get beaten up and the tip can break off (it is the most vulnerable bit) but I have not seen them actually break. They are about 3 feet long, so they won’t get in the way if you sheath it, but have enough length to be effective and can be easily wielded one-handed.
Overall it is a really good little sword and great fun.
NERF N-Force Warlock Axe
When I saw the N-Force line, this was the one that stood out – it looked so cool!
When you pick it up it is heavy and the foam is really high quality, but the core is a little on the flimsy side for something of this weight. It is a pretty easy fix to cut out the core and put in a stiffer core, but this is the reason it has only come in as my third pick.
The blade itself is really well padded, so you will not hurt anyone with it, but if you use the flat, it produces a similar effect to being paddled!
From a practical point of view, it isn’t great – it is a bit too heavy to be wielded one-handed and lacks range and is very bulky to carry….but it does look so cool!!
NERF N-Force Klaw Hatchet
This is another one of the N-Force line, but still fairly widely available. At first glance it doesn’t look like much, it does not have any reach to it and the foam is OK, but not the very best.
The reason I have picked this hatchet is because, of all the weapons listed here, this is the one I take out more than any other. It is small enough to tuck into your waistband and can be used to tag people at close range, plus it throws really well!
This means that rather than having a Jolt as your last resort, you can use this in either close combat or throwing at about the same range.
I do suggest that you use some duct tape on it as the foam isn’t the very best, but it is an excellent back-up weapon.
NERF Zombie Strike Brainsaw
The Brainsaw is a bit of a left-field choice for this list – it is essentially a Roughcut with a chainsaw attached to the front! So you get an 8 shot blaster with slam-fire, that has a chainsaw!
On the melee weapon side, the chainsaw spins when you pull on the cable down the side and has a handle on the top that makes wielding this as a chainsaw much easier. The big downside is that this is made of plastic rather than foam, so hitting people with it carries much more risk of hurting someone than the foam ones above.
On the blaster side, it takes 8 darts (4 on each side) and is primed with a handle on the underside that is shaped like a screwdriver.
So if you want something that looks cool and can operate as either a blaster or a melee weapon, then this might be just what you are looking for
How Safe are NERF Swords?
NERF foam was originally marketed as a ball that was soft and safe enough to be played with indoors. NERF used their signature foam to form the shapes of blunted melee weapons around a plastic core. This adds enough stiffness that it doesn’t flap around too much, but not so much that it will cause real damage. The core ends well before the end, so the flopping tip ensures they will not cause too much harm.
Beyond a wince when I got whacked on the shin by a sneak attack from a 7-year-old I have not known anyone to come to any serious harm. The flimsy tip ensures these are far safer to run around with than if your kids run off and play fight with sticks or similar.
Naturally there needs to be some responsible play as whacking someone around the head can hit eyes and there are other areas that are not going to enjoy being clattered, no matter how much foam is involved!
So, make sure to teach your kids to play safely and responsibly with these toys, and they should provide hours of fun for all.
Sadly, NERF has decided not to focus so much on their swords and melee weapons, which, in my opinion, is a real shame. I hope that they will change this stance and begin to add more to their other weapon line. I’m particularly keen to see a new version of the N-Force range, as they are great fun and give NERF wars a whole new dimension. So, in summary, the list above that I have provided is, for right now, the best options available. Keep checking back to see if I have updated anything – watch this space!
Check out my reviews for other available NERF products: