Another question already asked about weapon damage per second (DPS; damage per hit and 'reload time'). The accepted answer basically states that "they are different in terms of reload time, however, they are not different in terms of damage done per hit."

I'm curious about how melee weapons compare to each other in terms of swing arc and reach, as this is another significant factor in melee weapon choice, aside from 'reload time'. Is there a ranking of melee weapons in terms of swing arc or reach?

The Left 4 Dead Wiki doesn't seem to go into detail about this part of the melee weapons' stats.

  • 1
    possible duplicate of How Do the Melee Weapons Compare to One Another? The original question isn't limited to hits per second and damage. A bounty can be placed on it to encourage an answer that takes these things into account.
    – kotekzot
    Dec 24, 2012 at 14:41
  • 1
    @kotekzot I disagree. This question is not an exact duplicate (close vote reason) of that other one. The inquiry in that other question clearly asks for the DPS of melee weapons only. That is not what I am asking here. Dec 24, 2012 at 16:29
  • Basically do you wanna know if the weapon A hits more targets (reach and swing) than the weapon B.
    – Michel
    Dec 24, 2012 at 19:31
  • @MichelAyres Yes. Weapon reach and swing arc are factors on why a player could prefer a certain weapon (depending on his play style). Knowing how they compare to each other (rank) in terms of those stats could be useful in helping a player make his melee weapon choice in a situation. Dec 25, 2012 at 3:43

1 Answer 1


A lot of the information you're after is already covered on the other question/answer so I'm not going to duplicate it here. In regards to which melee weapons have the largest swing arcs and which reach the furthest, the obvious choice for both is going to be the Katana with the worst being the Nightstick.

Weapons with a large arc allow you to hit multiple infected with a single swing, weapons with a larger reach allows you to hit multiple enemies deep with a single swing. This means if you have a zombie behind a zombie and hit the front zombie with a Katana at very close range, you'll also hit the zombie behind the front zombie, in addition to any zombies to the immediate left and right of the front zombie.

Large arcs and furthest reach;

  • Katana
  • Guitar
  • Axe
  • Golf Club
  • Baseball/Cricket Bat

The remaining melee weapons are all shorter range with smaller arcs;

  • Crowbar
  • Frying Pan
  • Nightstick
  • Machete
  • Chainsaw

As discussed in the other answer the damage per hit of each weapon is the same, with the exception of the chainsaw. The main difference between the weapons is attack speed, which is detailed in the other answer as well.

  • 3
    I am well aware of that other question and its answer. I am only asking for the swing arc and reach of the melee weapons, in comparison to each other, which is not covered in that question (which asks for DPS only) and its answer (which covers DPS only). Dec 24, 2012 at 16:33
  • Within the 'large arcs/reach' group, how do they compare (or rank) to each other in terms of swing arc and weapon reach? Same question with the 'short reach/arc' group. As a side note, this comment of mine reminds me of the Quicksort algorithm. =) Dec 24, 2012 at 16:45
  • 2
    What about Gnome Chompski?
    – GnomeSlice
    Dec 24, 2012 at 16:58

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