How To Make Primitive Tools And Weapons To Survive

How To Make Primitive Tools And Weapons In A Survival Situation

What if you find yourself in a situation with no modern tools or weapons? To survive in the wild, you may have to rely on primitive tools and weapons used by our ancestor’s thousands of years ago. The tools and weapons worked perfectly for them to hunt and gather food. So, you may wonder how to make primitive tools and weapons.

Making primitive tools needs some practice, but it is not hard. Spears, slingshots, axes, and bow drill tools are among the most useful primitive tools to make. You can use rocks, wood, natural glue, animal hides, vines, and other natural resources to make them. 

In this article, I will talk about primitive tools and weapons that are possible to make in the wild. Knowing how to make them can help you survive in the wild. Besides, using the same weapons as our ancestors is fun and exciting. 

How To Craft Primitive Tools And Weapons For Survival?

The primitive humans used to have smaller brain sizes than modern humans, and they did not have modern technology to help them build weapons and tools. So, most of their equipment is actually quite simple. 

However, making them from scratch will take some time and lots of patience. 

Here are some weapons and tools you will find convenient for survival in the forests or wilderness.  

1. Wooden Spear

One of the earliest weapons was the wooden spear, also known as a humble stick. Archeologists found one of the oldest wooden spears in Germany dating back to c. 400,000 BCE. It was used for hunting, killing threats, and hiking. 

 To make this weapon, find a sturdy branch or pole. You can choose any length, but the longer it is, the better it is for hunting animals. The diameter of the tree branch should be around 1 to 1.5 inches. Clean any extra branches or leaves coming out from the pole. 

Choose the tapering point of the pole and use a sharp broken piece of rock to sharpen the tip of the wood. Then grease the tip with animal fat to harden it by heating. Plunge the greased head of the spear on hot coal or fire. After that, use a stone to rub it. You will find a glossy look. If everything goes well, you will have a spear tip harder than copper. 

2. A Stone Hammer

If you want to make better weapons and tools, you will need a hammer. Primitive people used stone hammers to chip flints to create sharp and pointy weapons and tools. Besides, a hammer can help build structures, process foods, and break bones. 

There are a few ways stone hammers are crafted. No matter the method, first, find a suitable stone for the hammer. Find a nearly square-shaped rock with a blunt head to use as the head of the hammer. During the earliest time of tools and weapon use, humans used only a rock as a hammer, later they added a handle.

You can make the handle with a tree branch from a live tree. A live tree branch has more flexibility and less possibility to snap. It should be as long as your forearm. The next step is attaching the stone to the handle. 

For that, tie a vine, rope, or lash made of animal hide tightly 6 to 8 inches below the handle. Then split the handle from the top to the tied cord with a sharpened stone. Next, insert the stone and secure it tightly to the handle with strong fines, ropes, and a lash. 

3. Spear

Now that you can make a hammer, you can use it for crafting a spear with a sharp stone head. You will need a rock, natural glue, vines, and a wooden handle. 

Hard, brittle rocks are best for making sharp spearheads. So, search for stones like flint, quartzite, chert, and quartz. Use the hammer to shape the stone into a spearhead. You can make it long or short. After shaping with the hammer, rub the spearhead on another stone to make its tip sharp and pointy. 

Same as the wooden spear, you need a branch or pole. The tree branch or stick should be easy to cut and strong enough to use as a tool or weapon. Avoid using tender green wood or dead wood. Use a sharp stone to shave off the extra branches or knobs from the stick. 

Choose an edge of the pole or branch to attach the spearhead. Use a sharp knife or rock to split open the edge about 4 inches. Then insert the spearhead in the gap. The sharp pointy head should be outward. 

 You can apply animal glue made of animal tissues or plant gum where the spearhead is attached. Let it dry for a day. It will make sure the spearhead will be well attached to the pole. 

Finally, use some vines or ropes made of animal hide to tie it around the spot where the spearhead is attached to the pole. This way, you will get a sturdy spear to hunt animals and fish. 

4. The Slingshot

The slingshot is an amazing projectile weapon for hunting and gathering food. By using the weapon, you can hunt down birds or animals a bit far from you. The tool is also excellent for picking fruits from trees. 

You can easily make a slingshot. You will need to make two cords and a pouch made of leather or clots. Attach the pouch in the middle of two lengths of cord. Take a square piece of leather and make two slots on the sides to attach the cords. At the end of one cord, make one loop, and then make a couple of knots at the other cord’s end. 

The slingshots can shoot one or more stones at the target. So, look for stones to make ammunition. Place the stone or stones in the leather pouch. The cord loop should fit in your index finger and, at the same hand, hold the knotted cord. Then swing the sling and release the knotted cord to hit a target. 

5. Bow Drill Tools

Another important tool for survival in the wild is the bow drill. It is the tool to make a fire without any match, lighter or gasoline. You will need a fireboard, a bow, a drill stick, and a socket made of stone or wood piece. 

You make a dry flat wood having a diameter of about ½ to 1 inches and 1 to 2 feet long for the firewood. Make a V shape notch on the board and a depression to catch the ember. 

For the bow, use a flexible branch or wood that bends, but does not break. Attach a string or cord on both ends of the tree branch to make the bow. Next, you will have to collect a suitable stick as the drill. 

When you want to make a fire, loop the bow around the drill stick and place one end of the stick in the V-shaped notch of the fireboard. Use a flat stone or wood piece that fits in your hand to put pressure on the drill.

 Next, move the bow back and forth to rub the stick on the fireboard. Eventually, burning ash will accumulate under the fireboard. You have to transfer the ash to a tender next to raise your fire.

6. Stone Axe

You may need to make structures for shelter, storage, or traps in the wild. For that, you will need to cut down some trees or plants. So, you need to know how to make an ax. Crafting an ax is similar to a hammer or spear. 

A short to medium-size tree branch or wood is required to make the shaft or handle. Pick a piece of granite or basalt stone appropriate for making an ax. Then use your hammer to batter the rock to shape into a blade. After that, grind the rock against another stone to sharpen it. 

As usual, prepare a branch to make the handle. Tie around a cord or rope 6 inches below the stick from one end. After that, split the end of the handle above the tied cord. Place the rock blade between the splits and use animal glue to plant glue to fill up the gaps. You can also use pieces of wood or stones to make the blade stable. 

Now, tie ropes or coil vines to tighten the blade firmly with the handle to complete your axe. It may not be too sharp or strong to cut down large trees, but you can cut medium-size trees, plants, and vines with it if you put your mind to it. 


Hopefully, you have learned how to make primitive tools and weapons. Many primitive tools and weapons of our ancestors are useful even in this modern age. All you need is a little bit of practice to master them.

So, instead of waiting for a survival situation, practice crafting and using primitive tools and weapons whenever you have free time.

Kevin Noyes

Hey there, I'm Kevin, a former infantry soldier in the U.S. Army. I've been through it all - from grueling training to intense combat situations. Now, I'm here to spill the beans on survival. None of that dry, textbook stuff - I'm talking real-world, practical tips to help you conquer any wild situation. From setting up camp to keeping your cool, we'll tackle it all together! So let's dive in and get ready to rock the survival game!

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