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Extreme Defense: Turning Everyday Items Into Deadly Weapons

around-the-house items weapons

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There are times when you might need to reach for something, an object, piece of furniture, a tool, or otherwise, to act as a weapon in your time of need. When your life is on the line, just about anything can be a weapon if chosen wisely – and quickly.

First and foremost, if you have an appropriate defensive weapon handy, such as a Taser, handgun, long gun, baton, pepper spray or combat knife, you should not only reach for any of those items first – you should train with those items constantly. There might be times, however, when you are away from home or outside the reach of your normal weapons, yet still need an object to arm yourself with.

Enter weapons improvisation – as previously stated, just about anything can be a weapon if you need it to be. Similarly, you have many items in your home (not to mention, the homes and businesses of others) that could turn into weapons in a pinch. Under what circumstances might you feel the need to suddenly arm yourself? Let’s look at a few scenarios:

  • You’re enjoying coffee in the kitchen of a friend’s house when an unknown assailant forces his way in.
  • You’re at a convenience store just as it is being robbed by a man with a combat knife.
  • You’re patronizing a local business when an unhappy customer turns the event into a physical altercation.

There are literally hundreds of potential scenarios where you need to arm up – and being prepared for such a confrontation beforehand by being properly equipped is the best course of action. Realize, however, that there are times when you’re just not going to be armed, whether by virtue of the wishes of the home or business owner you are visiting, or by virtue of the fact that certain states have laws limiting where you can have a weapon. In those scenarios, you’ll need to improvise.

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What weapons to choose

If given the choice to reach for a bladed weapon or a club-like object, most people should be looking for the club-like object. There are several key reasons for this:

  • Bladed weapons require great skill to use effectively, regardless of what you’ve seen on the movies.
  • Bladed weapons can sometimes be just as dangerous to the user as they are to the attacker.
  • Bladed weapons are far less common in natural surroundings than blunt force weapons.

The last one is really the clincher here. You are far more likely to encounter a heavy soup can, a candelabra, a cast iron frying pan, a baseball bat, a cane, a walking stick, or a piece of pipe than you are a knife or razor. Blunt force trauma is also a great equalizer and can inflict serious damage, which is likely to subdue an attacker relatively fast.

Look around your home for a moment – the average home is chock full of items ranging from small appliances to hand tools that are capable of delivering formidable blunt force strength. For example, very little skill is required to pick up your average sauce pan, swing it, and smack someone in the face with it. Consequently, very few people are going to take a hit full force from something even as trivial as a three pound sauce pan – and remain standing. Blunt force is just very, very effective.

What about edged weapons?

There will be times when edged weapons are abundantly available. Don’t just think knives here, although knives do make up the bulk of the edged weapons around. Think tree shears, hand saws, machetes, or pitchforks as well – they are more common than you think. How dangerous are edged weapons? Consider that standard police practice when answering domestic violence calls is to ensure that when interviewing the fighting couple, the interview must not be conducted in the kitchen. This is because police are well aware that most every American kitchen is bursting with knives – there are steak knives, bread knives, cleavers, and butcher knives of all sizes. From a defensive standpoint, edged weapons require more skill to use than blunt force weapons, but are also capable of inflicting more damage if the knife strikes a vital area. Knives also pack one big advantage that other household weapons don’t: intimidation. Consider that you are an attacker for a moment: which is likely to dissuade you from fighting – a homeowner armed with a sauce pan in a defensive stance, or the same homeowner armed with a 12 inch butcher knife? Exactly.

Why even bother with a weapon?

Even if you have some martial arts training, a weapon is a force multiplier and, as stated above, can also be used purely for intimidation, which might diffuse an attack before it starts. Using simple physics, the average person is able to grab say, a shovel, and swing it with far more force than even a prize fighting boxer could deliver with his hands. Therefore, a weapon – any weapon – usually confers an advantage to those desperately in need of one.

Keep two final rules in mind when considering improvised weapons: 1) Always hide objects in your home that could be used against you by a burglar or home invader – things like knives and rolling pins should be safely tucked away in drawers or cupboards for your protection, and 2) When you are out and about, always scan your surroundings for weapons you can use in a pinch.

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  1. My two unconventional favourite weapons are 1) Pick ax handle – purchased in a hardware store – normally upright in a box or barrel. Using only two fingers, grip the pick ax handle and lift slightly. Proceed with the whole stock. The heaviest will be the densest. Can innocuously left in the corner of a room. Method: Do not swing it like a baseball bat. Hold it loosely in your left hand, with a very firm in your right hand. Aim for the solar plexus or stomach, and shoot the pick ax handle forward, as hard and rapidly as possible. The perp. will be incapacitated, and if you are feeling mean, now is the the time to swing it like a baseball bat. Avoid the head, as it could be lethal. A good wack on the knee is perfect. Dial 911, and let the cops take him to hospital. 2) This is for the ladies. At your local hardware store, purchase duct tape, a long broom handle, and the biggest, sharpest knife you can find. Tape the knife to the broom handle, and you have an effective spear, that you can use, and not allowing the perp. to get too close.

    • I raised cattle for many years. I carried a hickory pick-axe handle every time I was working them. I could stop a 1500 lb cow, dead in her tracks, with this weapon. A person with a knife would be in a serious pickle taking on another with this weapon.

  2. I’ve learned long ago you don’t always have the luxury of getting into a scrap with the weapon you want, only the one you’ve got.

    And if all you’ve got is your pocket knife or a true improvised weapon, then you better know how to make-do. So don’t fall in love with anything in particular and disregard the rest.

    However, a word of wisdom from Canada, where gun use for self-defence will most likely end with you in jail and any and all self-defence will see you treated with worse suspicion than your aggressor, watch the purposeful stashing of improvised weapons. That makeshift spear won’t look to the cops or the soccer mom jury as a last-ditch-or-I’m-gonna-die thing, it will look purposeful. Same with having an axe handle in every room.

    But my 4 year old daughter’s pink miniature baseball bat? I keep it in our room, near the bed, because she likes swinging it around aimlessly in the house so I keep it somewhere safe and out of the way. Conveniently, though, it is in arms reach if I wake up to an unwanted guest.

    And other very effective improvised weapons include the piping-hot coffee in your hand. I’ve personally had to use an extra-large Tim Hortons black coffee against an angry patron who thought it was his God-given right to shove to the front of the line. I didn’t cause any real damage to him past having to get his suit dry-cleaned but it ended things right there, got lucky. But I would have had all the time in the world to take him down barehanded or if need be to get my pocket knife out.

    But if it had been in a porcelain cup instead of paper, that full-arm toss of mine would have knocked the wind out of him at least, likely broken his nose or cut him good and proper if I can manage to hit his head.

  3. Wasp spray. The foaming kind that shoots out several feet.

    • The foaming wasp spray will stick to eyes and skin and mucous membranes and really incapacitate an aggressor. But having some hand-to-hand skills conveys enough confidence to not panic when the schumer hits the fan.

    • Or a water gun filled with liquid bleach..

  4. I used to teach Judo and women’s self defense. This was a very good article !

  5. Good article and thought provoking. Here’s another take. Years ago I hired a rather large bubba-type for a wrecking crew hand. Fine worker, decent enough guy. Had one bad habit, he liked to get toasted after work and go home to thump his wife. Bragged about it. One day he didn’t show for work and didn’t for three days. On the fourth day he came in, face blown-up, black blue and yellow, with a smashed nose. I was going to fire him until he handed me the sheet metal campfire skillet his wife had clocked him with. It had a perfect imprint of his face in the bottom of it. He was a much more docile, non-drinking fellow thereafter…..

  6. You should get the book written by a general several decades ago. I consider that my goto book about fighting when you ain’t got a gun. All I can say is the method and the book is MEAN!

  7. I have a weapon with 5 feet of me anywhere in the home. Outside is the ice pick. Oversize the hole a bit , spray full of lube ,insert the ice pick and hang your planter on it and no one knows and yes the planter is a weapon also. My axes and mauls are placed thru out the property as well as a rifle and pistol hidden in all the out buildings, along with Gen. 1 nigh vision.
    The rest of the protection system comes from 40 years with D.O.D.
    The only oh $hit moment so far, a cougar got real close before I saw it I looked it square in the eyes, and gave it my best martial arts yell, and we both headed for cover.:-]
    I now carry even if I am going to the barn.

  8. Not a tremendous story on my part, but it is a story of an unconventional weapon:
    In my younger days I got in an argument in a bar. The guy I was arguing with suddenly flipped a bar stool up and smacked me in the mouth with it. I lost most of a front tooth. While I was dealing with the pain and a mouthful of blood, he quickly left the bar before I had recovered enough to retaliate.

  9. marshall reagan

    I have a legal weapon that I carry with me where ever I go & unless someone provokes me to use it in self-defense there is nothing anyone can legally do . it is my walking cane .I use it because I have to have it to keep steady when walking, bit if I ever need it I will have it close by. I understand that there is some countries where you have to register it if you are visiting.

  10. A medium size padlock and some 550 cord, devastating weapon. Swing fast. Try it on a 2×4 and look at the damage, nobody’s head or face could withstand a blow from it.

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