14 Best common weapons for Home Defense. Ranked

As the saying goes, a man’s home is his castle. This holds true in many ways legally, physically, and conceptually. But what are the best weapons for home defense? As a man, it’s not uncommon to wake from a noise in the middle of the night that you aren’t sure what it is. Maybe your wife or girlfriend heard it and woke you. You lie there for a moment in the dark and wait. When you hear another noise, it’s time to get up and see what it is.

As you get up to investigate, you have a notion that it could be somebody breaking in so you reach for your home defense weapon. With weapon in hand and heart beating loud, you cautiously walk through your place to make sure nobody has broken in. After you find out that your cat got on the counter and knocked over a glass, you swear at the cat and go back to bed.


During that middle-of-the-night defense of your castle, what was your weapon of choice? For many Americans, that weapon is a firearm. Americans are by far the most armed citizens in the world. We own almost half of all available guns of the world totaling more than 393 million. This is a staggering figure as there are only around 330 million US residents. This means that there are sixty plus million more guns in America than there are men, women, and children.

With big numbers like this, you would think that nearly every American household has at least one gun. In truth, no one really knows how many households have guns, but the most reputable surveys estimate that much less than half don’t have them. This is an accurate number in terms of my personal life. I have a fairly diverse friend and acquaintance base and after asking everyone that I know if they have a gun at home, clearly less than half do.

Personally, I have guns and believe in having guns. Even in America, the concept of owning guns is somewhat polarized. There are good reasons for a society being armed and not armed and I’m not here to make a case either way. To me, on the topic of this article, a firearm is the by far the best weapon for home defense.

A good friend of mine has a shit-ton of guns. Recently, he went to dinner with a couple from his wife’s work and the other guy was from England. Now, this guy was that typical Englishman who is good at voicing his opinions like Simon Cowell from American Idol or Piers Morgan from America’s Got Talent. He, like many English, was against having guns so when the topic came up, he and my friend Bruce (yea, that’s not his real name) had a difference of opinion.

After this Brit learned that Bruce had so many guns, there were a few semi-heated exchanges between them on the subject. Finally, the guy asked Bruce, “You have so many guns, what are you so afraid of?”

My friend paused for a moment, looked him in the eye and said, “absolutely nothing.”


The following list is for worst-case scenario home defense. This means a human or humans with bad intentions are coming into someone else’s home and they know that someone is home and don’t care. It’s one thing to get robbed when nobody is home as that is the case with most home robberies. But when someone knows you are home and is coming in anyway, that’s a whole different story. Thank god (or whoever you want) that this isn’t common, but it does happen and can happen to almost any American household.

Also, this article is about defending your castle. It may be better to have a safe room built in your house (if you’re wealthy) or run out into your back yard and over to a neighbors when violent, drugged-out, assholes are coming into your place to steal and do physical harm. But this is if you either can’t or don’t want to escape to safety. This is for you’re physically confronting someone uninvited who is in your castle where you and your loved ones live and sleep.

14. Tennis Racket

This may seem like a joke but a lot of people have only things like a tennis racket or a stick or a boot to use to defend themselves against a home invasion. The sad part is that they think that they are equipped with something to help this extreme situation. And unless the homeowner is Roger Federer, who really knows how to swing that thing, a tennis racket is probably gonna do more harm than help.

PROS – This could help defend against maybe a teenager with a knife better than if you had nothing at all. And your children can’t get hurt or hurt someone with it.

CONS – A tennis racket has almost no ability to incapacitate a home invader.

13. Hammer

A hammer is a pretty nasty weapon. It has two different ends that both can provide a deadly blow. Still though, unless you are or have been a carpenter, you’ll need to practice swinging it. Without knowing how to generate a powerful blow with it, a hammer can just be something heavy in one of your hands.

PROS – With a proper swing and distance, it can do a lot of damage.

CONS – You have to be very close in order for a hammer to work. And it’s not great for defending against the weapon a home invader might have in his hands.

12. Mace or pepper spray

When unexpected, pepper spray can be very effective at temporarily incapacitating a home invader. Temporarily though, so it may only be good at giving you enough time to get you and a loved one out of danger and out of the house.

PROS – Easy to use, small, and non-deadly.

CONS – Mace has no intimidation factor and will, at best, temporarily incapacitate the invader.

11. Taser

With a little practice, you should be able to confidently shoot a home invader with the kind of taser that shoots out. These are not as popular as they were when they first were sold but you can find them online fairly easily.

PROS – You don’t need much skill or practice to use. May provide a small degree of intimidation.

CONS – It’s really only good for one shot so if you miss, you might as well have your dick in your hand. Incapacitates for only a short period. Good for only one home invader.

10. Baseball bat

Don’t underestimate the value of a baseball bat for home defense. This is a potentially deadly weapon that is easy to use and with some practice or past baseball experience, you can whack the shit out of someone. Then you can hit them again.

PROS – Easy to use. Doesn’t need to fire or require batteries that may not work at the time. Has a degree of intimidation. Can be used again and again against more than one invader.

CONS – Still requires the user to be fairly close to the invader. Only effective if it is swung with conviction. Can be taken away.

9. Knife

Every household that at least has a hot plate, has a knife. Knives are deadly because they easily cut skin. Everybody knows this (including that cracked-out piece of shit loser that has decided to come into your house), so there’s a higher level intimidation with one. No real practice is needed for using a knife for self-defense, but it would help to have a plan. At least knowing ahead of time that you’ll have to be violent while using one in order for it to be effective will help a lot.

PROS – Deadly with a higher level of intimidation. Non-controversial and available everywhere. Many varieties to choose from. Can be easily concealed. Can be used by anyone.

CONS – Requires defender to be very close to work. Requires a high degree of violence and can be gory.

8. Sword

I would say swords are fairly rare in households. Usually, if someone has a sword, it’s a novelty and is just decoration. If you are into swords though and have trained some with them, then you’ll most likely consider one for your home defense weapon. Like Bruce Willis’s character in Pulp Fiction, Butch decided to use a sword to save Marcellus Wallace from the rapists.

A skilled swordsman can defend his castle quite well as they are designed to defend against and kill other humans.

PROS – High intimidation factor. Quiet and effective with a trained user. Good for multiple invaders.

CONS – Requires a fairly high degree of skill. Novelty swords are not as effective (swords have to be very sharp). Requires a high level of violence and creates gore. Can be a poor choice for a non-swordsman.

7. Machete

Machetes can be somewhat common with houses with yards as they are used for some landscaping maintenance. Most machetes aren’t very sharp but if you put an edge on one, they can be deadly as shit.

PROS – Easy to use. High level of intimidation. Effective if the blade is sharp. Somewhat effective with multiple invaders. Non-controversial.

CONS – Has to be used up close. Can be taken away. Requires a higher level of violence and makes gore.

6. Crossbow

There’s something about a crossbow that is more intimidating than maybe even a handgun. It’s probably the thought of an arrow sticking out of your chest. This is not the best weapon for home defense but it’s not bad either. I wouldn’t ever recommend threatening a home invader before shooting him. But if that’s what you want to do, showing him that you have a crossbow with a laser pointed at his chest will most likely give even the itchiest pill head pause.

PROS – High level of intimidation. Easy to use (especially with a laser or scope). Deadly

CONS – One shot and time-consuming for a reload. Deadly weapon for households with children. Bulky and hard to store.

5. Rifle

Rifles are for long distance hunting and not for in-home defense. But, they are deadly and will work quite well in defending yourself and family during a home invasion. It may have a long barrel with a scope designed to kill Bambi at 100 plus yards, but it’s still a firearm and will work better than most anything in the house at dealing with uninvited assholes in your house.

PROS – Can defend from a long distance. A high degree of intimidation. Extremely deadly.

CONS – Long and bulky. Deadly weapon for households with children. Requires a higher degree of skill and confidence.

4. Semi-automatic handgun

This is perhaps the first thought that most Americans have when considering home defense weapons. Semi-autos are super popular as they hold and can fire multiple shots rapidly. Semi-autos do require practice on at least a somewhat regular basis as each have different safety designs. Not knowing whether you have kept one (bullet) in the chamber or how the safety works could be the difference between life and death for the defender. This is why the semi-auto handgun is only at number four on this list.

PROS – Deadly. Can be used to defend at a distance. Multiple shots are effective for multiple invaders. A high degree of intimidation. Easy to store

CONS – Deadly weapon for households with children. Requires some knowledge and practice for each specific semi-auto handgun.

3. Revolver handgun

Revolvers aren’t as popular as they used to be as most of them only have six shots and don’t reload fast. Most Americans think bigger and more is better in everything. They think they are going to need to fire off forty or fifty shots real quick so they prefer the quicker reloading and more round holding semi-autos. In truth, a gunfight or home defense is only going to need a few shots. Multiple gunfire is really only good for gaining ground, like in a field of war.

For me, the revolver is a much better handgun type for home defense. Revolvers don’t require making the decision of whether or not to keep one in the chamber. Some will decide to keep the next fire chamber empty in a revolver as a safety precaution, but even with that, the shooter is only two pulls from firing. A revolver has no cocking mechanism so there’s no confusion with its firing status. All that you can do with one is point and shoot. If there are bullets in it, it will fire. Period. This simple design makes it easier for your loved ones to use it if you aren’t around.

PROS – Deadly. Easier to use point and shoot. High intimidation factor. Can be used to defend from a distance. Multiple shots are effective for multiple invaders. Easy to store

CONS – Deadly weapon for households with children. Requires at least one practice session to build confidence.

2. Mean dog

Having a mean and biting dog carries a higher level of daily responsibility. Few things will make you sleep sounder though as a mean dog will wake easily at any noise and risk his life defending you and your family.

I had a mean dog years ago and I slept like a baby. I don’t have one anymore though because it wasn’t worth constantly worrying about him biting someone.

PROS – Number one deterrent for most home invaders. Their barking will give you plenty of warning. Effective even when you are away from your home and family. Good companionship.

CONS – Constant threat of biting someone. It can be neutralized by invaders isolating the dog in a closed room or let outside while they are inside (This happened to my friend). Can shit on the floor.

1. Shotgun

For good reason, there is nothing more intimidating than the distinct sound of the cocking of a shotgun. Hands down the shotgun is the best weapon for home defense. Everyone knows that an eighty-nine-year-old granny who’s been almost blind now for twenty years, can aim poorly and still blast a shot in your chest from across the room. No one challenges a shotgun! They see someone with one and run for cover.

PROS – Highly deadly. Doesn’t require a high degree of skill. Multiple shots for multiple invaders. The highest degree of intimidation. Creates instant confidence.

CONS – Deadly weapon for households with children. It requires at least one practice session and occasional handling. Bulky for storage. Has some kickback when firing.


For most who have experienced a home invasion while they were home, it’s maybe the most traumatic experience in their lives. There’s something about the level of protection and feeling of being safe where you sleep that, when challenged, can affect you in some of the deepest and instinctual ways. And let’s be honest here. It’s fucking scary as hell with even the thought of a couple of hopped-up drug addicts coming into where you live knowing you are home.

Dealing with a home invasion is gonna take the meanest and manliest version of who you are, so it’s best to get your head right about it beforehand. You may be really good with words but you’re not going to be very convincing to these assholes. And you may be a giant muscle-bound gym rat with a Harley and a mean-looking beard. These crackheads won’t at all give a fuck about your seven percent body fat percentage. They are gonna come at you like wild animals.

In short, making a plan in your head prior to something like this can be the difference between freezing in absolute fear (which can happen to almost anyone), or doing what is necessary to defend your castle and your loved ones.

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