Something's been bothering me for a while now, even though I don't actually own the game (yet).

It seems to me that different melee weapons in Left 4 Dead 2 operate differently. For example, I've noticed that the Machete seems to have a shorter 'reload time' than say, the Fireman's Axe, or the Garden Gnome. Can anyone confirm whether or not this is a product of my imagination?

In addition, is there a difference between melee weapons in terms of damage? Do certain weapons do more damage than others? If so, are these values listed in a convenient, and readable format somewhere?

1 Answer 1


They are different in terms of reload time, however, they are not different in terms of damage done per hit. The differing reload times will make for an effective difference in DPS though. Melee weapons will one-shot all Common Infected on all difficulties. They will also one shot all Special Infected on all difficulties, except for the Chargers (2 hits), Witches (4 hits), and Tanks (20 hits).

The following is a table in ascending order of rate of fire.

  Weapon      Hit time

Nightstick    .650 sec
Machete       .675 sec
Katana        .750 sec
Golf Club     .750 sec
Frying Pan    .800 sec
Crowbar       .830 sec
Guitar        .830 sec
Baseball Bat  .850 sec
Cricket Bat   .850 sec
Fireman's Axe .910 sec

The Chainsaw is a special case, and it does 100 damage per hit and hits every .1 seconds for 1,000 DPS. All other melee weapons do 500 damage per hit (as calculated on the L4D wiki for the Level A Charge achievement).

Information is from the individual pages of the Melee Weapons on the L4D wiki, which I conglomerated here. Unfortunately, they don't seem to have any information on Gnome Chompski's reload time. :(

  • 3
    Every time I read Gnome Chompski I think, "that sounds familiar" and then facepalm as I realize the pun AGAIN. Commented Oct 7, 2010 at 14:11
  • 4
    Whilst I can't disagree with your figures, the correct answer was the Katana. Let's face it - it's the coolest, it has a long reach, and it (given that it is a 2-handed weapon) is it appears have an integrated flashlight somewhere! ;)
    – CJM
    Commented Oct 7, 2010 at 15:32
  • 1
    In all honesty, I would say katana as well - this answer does not take reach into account Commented Oct 7, 2010 at 16:29
  • 3
    As CJM said, these figures don't take into account the weapons' 'reach'. Also - some uncommon infected are highly resistant to blunt melee weapons, such as the construction worker (left4dead.wikia.com/wiki/Fallen_Survivor#Worker_Infected).
    – idan315
    Commented Oct 7, 2010 at 20:01
  • 3
    I didn't include reach information because it's not available on the wiki for all weapons, only some, and I'm not sure how best to quantify it in subjective experience. "I think the machete is shorter than the baseball bat but longer than the frying pan" isn't a great answer. I wasn't trying to answer the "best" part of @GnomeSlice's question because that can vary based on subjective experience. The katana may be "best" in terms of reach, but someone may still prefer using the guitar just to hear the disjointed chords every time they hit someone and thus say that is "best." :)
    – FAE
    Commented Oct 7, 2010 at 20:30

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