Left 4 Dead Wiki

"It's machete time..."
"Can save some bullets with this one."

The Machete is a close combat weapon, introduced in Left 4 Dead 2.

It can be obtained in the following campaigns:

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

Pros and Cons[]


  • Fast swings with short attack intervals.
  • Can be used to cut a Smoker's tongue.


  • Short reach.
  • 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.


Machete in action during the second level of "The Parish"

Ellis holding Machete in "Cold Stream"

  • A machete is a large cleaver-like cutting tool usually used for agricultural purposes (e.g. cutting sugar cane and clearing vegetation for crops). It can also be used for other purposes such as chopping bamboo for housing, carving wood and gardening. Machetes are standard issue to troops operating in tropical theatres for cutting through jungle and preparing bivouacs. Due to its ubiquitous presence, blade size and everyday familiarity, machetes are also commonly used as a weapon in tropical countries in times of civil unrest and rebellion.
    • In the game, the Machete's appearance consists of a South American-bladed machete with a hand-carved, light brown wooden handle.
  • The Machete, in many aspects, is quite similar to the Kukri, the Sniper's default melee weapon in Team Fortress 2, another game made by Valve.
  • The Machete, the Baseball Bat, and the Cricket Bat all have three different animations compared to only two animations that all the other weapons have.
  • The Machete's shove attack shares its movement with the Frying Pan, although its shove is faster.
  • If the Machete is used on the Riot Infected's protected area, it will not cause any damage. However, the Riot Infected will still bleed and spew blood on the screen. This is likely an overlooked glitch.
    • This glitch is also present in all melee weapons, even bladed weapons such as the Axe and the Katana.
  • Like all melee weapons, blood stains will appear on the Machete after attacking an Infected.
  • It has not yet been explained why Machetes are commonly found in The Parish, but it can be assumed that they were brought to New Orleans by refugees from the nearby countryside. Another possibility is that some residents of the city have been using them as a traditional tool for tending plants in their gardens or may have kept them in their homes for self-defense purposes.
    • It is possible that the soldiers in the military who were stationed in the nearby parishes surrounding New Orleans may have been using machetes to cut through the swamps, given the machetes that can be found in "The Bridge" alongside the abandoned military vehicles throughout the area.
    • The Machete's inclusion in the campaign may be best explained through the Nightstick. Both weapons are best known for their remarkable speed. However, the Nightstick seems to have more critical flaws than the Machete (e.g. poor hit detection and mediocre swing arc). For this reason, many players find it difficult to fight Hordes of Infected using the former, and the Machete therefore may have been placed to serve as a substitute since it is easier to use.
    • Civilians and refugees could have been smuggling around machetes because CEDA generally disapproved firearms and the private security forces (now the Riot Infected) would probably confiscate such weapons.
  • Prior to the December 16, 2011 update, Machetes could only be obtained in The Parish and Swamp Fever campaigns. Following the said update, the ported versions of Death Toll and Blood Harvest (along with Cold Stream) now feature the Machete in their respective maps. More recently, Machetes make another appearance in the Left 4 Dead 2 version of The Last Stand.
  • With the exception of the Chainsaw, the Machete is the third fastest melee weapon. It is just marginally slower than the Nightstick. It is the second fastest if the Combat Knife is discounted.
  • With the exception of Cold Stream and custom campaigns, Katanas and Machetes never appear in the same campaign together.
  • There used to be a bug present while playing the game with high FOV using the Machete; the Survivors' left thumb completely broke. It has been fixed in the Last Stand update for PC version of Left 4 Dead 2.
  • The Machete can often be found on top of a white table inside a dilapidated shack past the bus blocking the Survivors' path at The Cemetery.

Exernal Links[]

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)