7 Best Nerf Swords, Shields, & Maces (2020 Reviews)
It’s always a joy to see kids playing outside. Even in today’s highly digital world, young kids seem drawn to playing games where they fight monsters, battle bad guys, and – in some cases, battle each other. If the kids do have to take a swing at each other, however, they should do it with something soft, safe, and unlikely to do any harm.
That’s where the NERF company can be every parent’s best friend. For decades, Nerf has been making a variety of foam weaponry, their signature Nerf guns, and sports equipment. These items are not only safe but will make it nearly impossible for your children to harm each other – regardless of how rough they play.
In the following article, we’ll take a look at some of the best NERF swords, shields, and maces available on the market today. We’ll also give you some information on the company’s history and products, as well as discuss for what age these toys are most appropriate.
- Best Nerf Swords, Shields, and Maces
- Our #1 Choice – Vantage Nerf N-Force Toy Sword
- Our #2 Choice – NERF Zombie Strike Foam Axe
- Our #3 Choice – Nerf N-Force Stonewall Shield and Sword
- Our #4 Choice – NERF N-Force Battlemaster Mace Axe
- Our #5 Choice – Nerf Zombie Strike Survival System Chopstock
- Our #6 Choice – NERF Fortnite Rift Edge Harvesting Tool
- Our #7 Choice – Nerf Zombie Strike Blade Toy
- The History of NERF Products
- Are NERF Products Safe?
- For What Ages Are Nerf Toys Appropriate?
- Final Thoughts
Best Nerf Swords, Shields, and Maces
Before we go into the background on NERF products, we’ll take a look at some of the best NERF swords, shields, and maces on the market. For each item, we’ll provide a detailed product description, some pros and cons, and a link to the product itself.
Our #1 Choice – Vantage Nerf N-Force Toy Sword
Perfect for the make believe pirate.
- Plastic core covered in foam for softness and sturdiness
- Suitable for ages six and up
- Ambiguous design suits all types of looks (medieval, Viking, pirate, etc.)
- Plastic core can become exposed, leading to injury
- Will dent and bruise a bit over time, potentially causing it to fall apart
The Vantage Nerf N-Force Toy Sword is a sturdy, 32-inch long weapon designed for “the tough battle action of medieval knights and swashbuckling pirates.” Made of a plastic core covered in durable NERF foam, the sword is incredibly safe but sturdy enough to keep it from breaking during the battles mentioned above.
The Vantage Nerf N-Force Toy Sword is an all-around good choice for a toy sword. Kids will love the fact that it feels solid in their hands but still doesn’t cause any pain. It’s inexpensive as well, which most parents will appreciate. Though there have been some reports of the sword’s core becoming exposed, these all seem to relate to multiple weeks of heavy use.
Our #2 Choice – NERF Zombie Strike Foam Axe
This zombie slaying axe is ideal for every day play and costumes.
- Lightweight and stylish with an easy-grip handle
- Kids will like the improvised “apocalypse” look of the weapon
- No plastic core to become exposed
- Parts may break too easily
- Better suited for older kids
NERF has been doing its best to capitalize on the popularity of zombie movies, games, and television shows. The NERF Zombie Strike Foam Axe is just one such example. This unique weapon looks like an improvised axe made from a wrench. It is ultra-lightweight and features an easy-grip handle and a small rope to attach it to one’s outfit or tactical suit.
The axe is 19″ long and priced relatively low for such a popular product. According to the manufacturer, the NERF Zombie Strike Foam Axe is suitable for kids eight and up, and doesn’t feature any internal plastic parts that might become exposed. It is also designed to come apart so it can be interchanged with other weapons in NERF’s Zombie Strike line.
Our #3 Choice – Nerf N-Force Stonewall Shield and Sword
Need a shield and sword duo?
- Comes with both a sword and shield
- Extremely durable and tough
- Allows for serious defense during “battles”
- The sword is more of a “knife”
- This set bears quite a hefty price tag
Even though NERF has been putting a lot of swords, axes, and maces out on the market, they haven’t offered much in the way of shields. One exception to that rule comes from the NERF N-Force line. These items, while suitable for kids eight and up, are designed for pretty hardcore battlers. They are more durable and sturdy than other NERF products, and much more expensive.
The NERF N-Force Stonewall Shield and Sword can be very expensive because it comes from a discontinued line, but it is at least a two-for-one deal. That said, the sword is quite short, so it won’t offer much in the way of offense when participating in a “battle.” The shield is also quite small, but it’s tough enough that it should be able to withstand a lot of use.
Our #4 Choice – NERF N-Force Battlemaster Mace Axe
Perfect for Gothic-style battles.
- Durable and built-tough for long-lasting performance
- Three “edges” for maximum effectiveness in battle
- Solid, but not capable of causing real injury unless misused
- From a discontinued toy line – so quite expensive
- The “blades” can tear off if you hit them against something solid
Another durable item from the N-Force line, the NERF Battlemaster Mace Axe is a high-quality, gothic-style mace built for dealing out heavy-handed blows on the field of battle. Features three “edges” and a solid core, it’s very difficult to break. Also, because the N-Force items are hard to come by nowadays, this mace carries a pretty hefty price tag.
Though some users report that the “blades” can break off, most admit that they were using the toy against something much more solid than other NERF items. There have also been some complaints that the mace is on the small side, but – at 30″ long – it should be big enough to cater to the target demographic.
Our #5 Choice – Nerf Zombie Strike Survival System Chopstock
Add this to your Zombie Apocalypse play collection.
- Built strong and durable
- Attaches to other weapons in the Zombie Survival line
- Soft enough to keep kids from doing any real damage
- Might be a little heavy for younger users
- A little on the small side for a melee weapon
Another item in the Zombie Strike series, the NERF Survival System Chopstock axe is a unique foam weapon designed to attach to blasters and other items in the series. The goal of these items is to mimic the improvised weaponry one might see if there were a real zombie apocalypse. Of course, it still serves as a sturdy and easy-to-wield axe on its own.
The 11″ axe features a plastic handle and foam axe head. The handle contains the necessary components to attach the axe to other items in the Zombie Strike line. While some users feel that the weapon is too heavy for younger kids (mostly due to the plastic shaft), others think that the axe has just the right amount of heft to appeal to older kids.
Our #6 Choice – NERF Fortnite Rift Edge Harvesting Tool
A “must have” for Fortnite fans.
- Recognizable weapon from the popular Fortnite video game
- A large weapon with a cool, sleek look
- Strong plastic core coated with super-safe foam
- The tool is bright pink, which some kids might not like
- The center core can become exposed with very heavy use
Fortnite, an online battle game, has become a real sensation among adolescents and teens. If you’re a parent of a kid between seven and sixteen, there’s little chance that you haven’t heard the game mentioned. In the NERF Fortnite Rift Edge Harvesting Tool, you see the NERF company’s attempt to cash in on the Fortnite craze, resulting in a cool looking weapon.
The Rift Edge Harvesting Tool is basically an axe. It features a 23-inch long handle and an 11-inch blade. The center of the axe, as well as a few of the decorative components, are plastic, and serve to keep the long, thin weapon more stable during melee battles. Kids who love Fortnite will likely love this weapon as well, though the fact that it is bright pink might turn a few of them off.
Our #7 Choice – Nerf Zombie Strike Blade Toy
A great addition to the Zombie Nerf collection or a sword all its own.
- The perfect fighting weapon for backyard melees
- A large weapon with a cool design
- Strong plastic core coated with super-safe foam
- Might be too thin to stand up to really rough play
- The center core can become exposed with very heavy use
Though this sword is technically another item in the Zombie Strike like, there’s no reason it can’t be used for any battle, regardless of the theme. The sword is 32-inches and features a black and green design. The blade itself is around 24-inches long, and features a plastic core wrapped in the familiar NERF safety foam.
Like other NERF weaponry, this sword will perform well in mock battles and melee combat in the backyard. However, if the plastic core is exposed, it will only be a matter of time before the sword comes apart – rendering it useless or dangerous.
The History of NERF Products
The NERF company was founded in 1969 by Parker Brothers. The line gets its name from the acronym “Non-Expanding Recreational Foam.” The first product the company produced was a small ball made out of polyurethane foam, which the company felt would revolutionize playing indoors. For the majority of these early years, sports-related products remained the company’s focus.
The NERF line made its way through the hands of many toy companies in the coming years, including Kenner and Hasbro. One of the most popular product lines proved to be a series of blasters, dart shooters, and other weaponry, all of which propelled foam darts, “bombs,” and bullets that were perfectly safe for kids.
Soon after, the company decided to make swords, shields, and other more “hands-on” toy weapons, many of which you can still find today.
Are NERF Products Safe?
NERF products utilize a soft, spongy material in their construction. The substance is the result of combining polyester, CO2, and diisocyanate – a chemical building block commonly used in making foams and sealants. The material is unique in that it is very soft and lightweight, yet firm enough to hold a wide variety of shapes. Depending on what you strike with the material, it is nearly impossible to do any damage.
The only real exception to the safety rule relates to the NERF dart guns, blasters, and bow and arrow weapons. In some of these cases, the projectiles are quite small and can damage someone’s eye if it strikes them at full force. Injury is a rare occurrence, of course, but not impossible. That said, most experts feel that the real danger comes from less-expensive “knock off” products posing as NERF items.
Though the NERF material is non-toxic, it does pose a risk if it is ingested. As you might expect, this stipulation is mostly directed at pets, who can suffer from significant blockages and impactions if they eat the indigestible material. All things considered, however, these products are perfectly safe for kids if fused properly.
For What Ages Are Nerf Toys Appropriate?
NERF has put a huge amount of toys onto the market, especially in recent years. Within this line of products, there are sub-lines targeted toward a specific age range. Most of the guns that fire darts are recommended for ages eight and up, though some of the more unique, high-powered models marked as suitable for teenagers.
There are a few guns, many of which feature softer darts and easier-to-use mechanisms, that the company markets toward kids as young as five. As far as NERF swords, shields, and maces go, the majority of them are in the five-to-seven range, while others are recommended for kids eight and up. Most products warn of “choking hazards” for kids under three.
Of course, the big question here is not whether kids can or can’t use these products, but whether or not they can use them safely. Of course, the definition of “safely” will vary quite a bit from child to child, so parents may want to put a little thought into their purchase before they make it. After all, a foam sword can still knock over a lamp and cause injury.
As you can see, there are plenty of options out there for parents who want to find the best NERF swords, shields, and maces for their kids. Though each product will have its own merits and features, most parents can rest assured that NERF products will be safe enough for their kids, even if they tend to get a little rough.