Left 4 Dead Wiki

"Yeah, always wanted to be an axe murderer!"
"Axe me a question, I dare you."

The Fireaxe is a close combat weapon from Left 4 Dead 2.

It is found the following campaigns:

Official Description[]

Great for clearing out crowds of infected, this handy lumberjack-approved melee weapon will have you stacking up the zombies like cordwood.[1]

Melee Mechanics[]

Melee weapons replace Pistols in the secondary weapon slot. Unlike Pistols, close combat weapons never need to be reloaded and cannot run out of ammo (excluding the Chainsaw). They have two main drawbacks: a limited reach and (with a few exceptions) relatively long cooldown periods. Close combat weapons cause minimal friendly fire damage to the Survivors, even on Advanced and Expert difficulty levels (the Chainsaw is an exception).

These weapons are extremely effective. All melee weapons, on all difficulties, kill Common Infected and most Special Infected in one hit, aside from the Charger (which takes two—but see point below), the Witch (which takes four), and the Tank (which takes twenty, excluding the Chainsaw). Due to their death effects, it is generally advised to melee neither the Boomer (unless there is no choice) nor the Spitter (unless it is possible to move away immediately from the resulting acid splash).

The melee weapons appear to do more damage if an Infected's head or upper body is targeted. With the correct timing it is possible to kill a Charger with one hit while it is charging, allowing a Survivor to "level" a charge without first dealing damage to the Charger and to gain the achievement "Level a Charge".

The Fireaxe is classified as a slashing weapon: it will sever limbs and spew blood on the screen.

Pros and Cons[]


  • Wide swing.
  • High spawn rate.
  • Extremely consistent hit registration.
  • Predictable attack pattern.
  • Can be used to cut a Smoker's tongue.


  • Slow swing rate resulting in low DPS.
  • Attacks may obstruct the user's vision.
  • Not recommended for killing Boomers due to bile showering attacker and any nearby Survivors.


Main article: Achievements

Confedaracy of crunches.jpg
Finish a campaign using only melee weapons.

Head honcho.jpg
Decapitate 200 Infected with a melee weapon.

Tank burger.jpg
Kill a Tank with melee weapons.

Beat the rush.jpg
In a Survival round, get a medal only using melee weapons.

Club dead.jpg
Use every melee weapon to kill Common Infected.

Level a charge.jpg
Kill a Charger with a melee weapon while they are charging.

PC exclusive[]

Achievement Lickety-split.png
With a sharp melee weapon, cut a Smoker's tongue before he ensnares you.

Achievement New Haircut.png
Kill a Witch using only a sharp melee weapon, without anyone getting incapacitated or killed.


Coach holding Fireaxe in "Dead Center"

  • The Fireaxe's design is based on a firefighter's axe and usually used to slash through certain obstacles such as wooden gates. It's normally found lying on the floor or on a wooden crate; in the case of Swamp Fever, a usable axe may sometimes be found stuck in a tree, suggesting that a previous unknown Survivor had used it as an improvised wood-cutting axe.
  • A Fireaxe can be found in Whitaker's shop in The Streets in Dead Center.
  • It was originally planned that you could decapitate a Witch by sneaking up on her and swinging the Fireaxe at her head but this capability was subsequently scrapped.
  • In early gameplay video, the Fireaxe had an animation in which the Survivor brings it over their head and slices downward, probably chopping the Infected in half. This too was later abandoned.
    • Vertical slash animations were never included for melee weapons aside from the Pitchfork.
  • In the beta version, Fireaxes could be found in The Parish campaign (it still can be found during Developer Commentary).
    • Following the September 24, 2020 update, the Fireaxe can now also be found in Death Toll. This is the case only for the PC version, however.
  • There is a texture of the Team Fortress 2 Fire Axe in the game files, located in the materials/models/weapons/melee/fireaxe folder. A small difference is that it only has a texture and in its VMT file it does not have the toon-shading and lightwarps etc.


  • When attacking with the Fireaxe as one of the Left 4 Dead 2 survivors, Coach's grunt noise is sometimes played.[2]
    • As of the Last Stand update, this has been fixed; the Left 4 Dead 2 Survivors start using their own grunt(s) when swinging the Fireaxe.
  • If the player increase the weapon's FOV (cl_viewmodelfovsurvivor) higher than 60 (default is 51) the player can see survivor left arm on the screen and partially obstructing the view. This is especially noticeable if the player uses custom survivor models that may have larger arms.
    • Following the Last Stand update, this issue has also been fixed.


Primary Weapons
Tier 1 Chrome invert.png Chrome Shotgun / Pump invert.png Pump Shotgun / MP5 Invert.png MP5 / Mac10 invert.png Silenced Submachine Gun / Uzi invert.png Submachine Gun
Tier 2 Ak invert.png AK-47 / Icon weapon rifle desert inverted.png Combat Rifle / M16 invert.png M-16 Assault Rifle / SIG Invert.png SG 552 / Auto invert.png Auto Shotgun / Spas12 invert.png Combat Shotgun / AWSM Invert.png AWP / Hunting invert.png Hunting Rifle / Steyr Invert.png Scout / G3 invert.png Sniper Rifle
Special Tier Grenade launcher inverted.png Grenade Launcher / M60Icon.png M60 Machine Gun
Secondary Weapons
Sidearms Pistol inverted.png M1911 Pistol / Deagle invert.png Magnum Pistol / Pistol inverted.png P220 Pistol
Melee Weapons Bat invert.png Baseball Bat / Cricket invert.png Cricket Bat / Crowbar invert.png Crowbar / Axe invert.png Fireaxe / Pan invert.png Frying Pan / GolfClubIcon.png Golf Club / Guitar invert.png Guitar / Katana invert.png Katana / Knife Invert.png Knife / Machete invert.png Machete / Baton invert.png Nightstick / Icon pitchfork inverted.png Pitchfork / Icon shovel inverted.png Shovel
Special Tier Chainsaw invert.png Chainsaw
Other Weapons
Grenades Bile invert.png Bile Bomb / Molotov inverted.png Molotov Cocktail / Pipebomb invert.png Pipe Bomb
Upgrades L4D2 ammo explosive.png Explosive Ammunition / L4D2 ammo incendiary.png Incendiary Ammunition / Laser sight HUD invert.PNG Laser Sight
Fixed Weapons MMG Icon.png Heavy Machine Gun / Minigun icon.png Minigun
Usable Items Explosive Barrel HUD invert.png Explosive barrel / Fireworks icon.png Fireworks / Gas canister HUD invert.png Gas can / Oxytank icon.png Oxygen tank / Propane tank icon.png Propane tank
Special Items Cola.png Cola / Gnome icon.png Gnome Chompski
Featured in both games / L4D1-exclusive / L4D2-exclusive (Counter-Strike weapons / PC-exclusive)