A Monk spade, also called a Shaolin spade, is a Chinese polearm consisting of a flat spade-like blade on one end and a crescent-shaped blade on the other. In old China, Buddhist monks used to carry around spades for two purposes: one was to bury any corpses they came across on their travels and give them Buddhist rites; the second was to fend off bandits if attacked (basically a shovel that doubles as a battle-axe and vice-versa). Eventually, they were stylized and given a crescent blade on the other end.
The weapon is most effective against the undead when used as a thrusting weapon (particularly to the face or cranium); it is slightly less effective as a slashing weapon, where attacks to the neck can sever the spinal column. Max Brooks controversially calls this the best hand-to-hand weapon in event of zombie outbreak since it combines the killing power of a katana with the range of a spear.
- Essentially a polearm; very effective for keeping zombies out of reach.
- Has two blades on either end so you can use both of those in combat.
- The shovel part can (obviously) be used to bury dead corpses.
- Bulky and sharp, so carrying it around will be hard.
- Weighted and used differently from many other melee weapons. Somewhat steep learning curve.
- Difficult to conceal from other humans.