Introduction: Simple PVC Tonfa

Picture of Simple PVC Tonfa

A simple, lightweight tonfa that's great for practicing

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

A few feet of 1" Diameter Schedule 40 PVC
1x "T" connector (1")
PVC Cleaner/Primer/Cement

Step 2: Construction

Picture of Construction

Cut 2 lengths of PVC that are slightly longer than the width of your hand. Then, cut a longer piece that is a little bit longer than your forearm. After sanding the 3 pieces, you should clean and prime the ends of the pipes before cementing them in place. It should look like half of a lower-case "t".

If you wanted to add more weight to it, you could fill it with metal pellets or something and cement end caps onto the pipes.

Step 3: Finishing

Picture of Finishing

After the glue has dried, you will most likely want to paint it. I suggest black Plastidip textured paint, as acrylic would make it look very cheaply made. I ran out of Plastidip before I made this, so ended up using Rustoleum Rust-Converter, which gave it an interesting texture.

The result is a very lightweight practice tonfa. I tested it against a punching bag and it held up quite well. I'm not sure how effective it would actually be in combat, since it lacks weight.

For more information on how to wield and use a tonfa:

*Note: This is a weapon and can be dangerous if not used properly. I assume no responsiblity or liability for any injuries you or others sustain from the use of this instructable.


ash_45 (author)2009-04-26

I made a steampunked version. Copper pipes and fittings. ;)

jompon2547 (author)ash_452017-01-03

so they gonn have Steampunked Samurai

kntrytnt (author)ash_452015-05-26


DenzlH made it! (author)2015-04-08

Thanks. I made one for myself.

Danish M1Garand (author)2008-01-26

My daughter was 10 years old and whipped two grown men who were breaking into my car with a PR24. PR24 is the police equivalent to the Tonfa. She had only seen others use one. We did not believe her until a security guard across the street from the gym we were at wanted the Sensei to teach him how to use the Black Stick the little girl beat those guys with. These things work. The tonfa swings faster than you can swing you arm. It multiplies the force.

Henceforth why a tool such as this, by popular definition a weapon, is known as a force multiplier. It is truly sad that many police departments are moving more toward the telescopic baton and further away from the PR-24. There are expandable PR-24 versions out there though. Either way, the Tonfa is an excellent tool for self defense but was not this farm tool's initial purpose. It is awesome to hear about the little girl. Thanks for sharing.

de0509 (author)chilbert0072012-05-13

Yup, this weapon has something most other weapons dont have. defense capabilities. Sure, you can block a bo staff with an asp baton, but i dont think its intended for it and it may break easily, just because it is smaller and stores easier. its not that police go to work in boxers and tshirts. they have proper holsters for them. Plus, showcasing the baton will make civilians to comply easier. on the other hand, i think we may have found Big Daddy and Hit Girl

vader406 (author)Danish M1Garand2008-01-31

O.o Wow. You've got an awesome daughter. I assume you left her in the car alone?

Danish M1Garand (author)vader4062008-01-31

No she was in the Gym my Sensei just opened with the receptionist and Sensei's kids. I was parked out front. Sensei his wife and Me and Mine were just around the corner having a coffee at a cafe. Again I did not believe her until the Security Guy next door asked for lessons on "That Black Stick" the American Girl used. The PR24 was unknown to Spanish Law Enforcement at the time. Sensei was the first PR24 licensed instructor in Spain.

goldedrago (author)2012-02-10

i made them in under 10 mins!!!! my dad said we could fill them with sement to make them stronger lol

de0509 (author)goldedrago2012-05-13

Actually im not really thinking so, cement is not elastic and thus brittle. and these weapons are made to take beatings. it does make it more durable, but not much more durable as it will still crack easily. why dont people make diamond swords eh? they are hard as hell, but brittle. metals can deform. if say the blow is too strong, the sword will bend, but diamonds, they crack and cannot be used again at all. however, adding cement will make it heavier and increase power of blows. Id hate to get hit by a one kilogram spinning stick. Try making it out of galvanized pipe, no need glue at all. however, you would need a pipe threader, expensive.

5STARGBLOOD (author)2011-05-07

it depends on how strong and agile u are i tested mine which only the handle is plasti dip and electrical tape around the rest i have found out from expierience if wrap e tape tight enuf it hurts like hell and worked wonders for my nightstick

SWV1787 (author)2007-11-02

I like the idea but the "Lightweight" design would bother me somewhat. I would think about using end-caps and filling the rods with sand before cementing the last end-cap.

kthompson-2 (author)SWV17872011-03-22

tonfa im sorry to say are soppose to be very light and manuverable not heavy if its to heavy you can get blisters not be able to spin the weapon or the skin will rip so the lighter the better.assuming your adding more than a quarter of a pound

struckbyanarrow (author)SWV17872008-01-05

what do i do with it?

SWV1787 (author)struckbyanarrow2008-01-05

it is a type of hand-to-hand combat weapon. the police used to carry them regularly but now it has gone by the way-side

chilbert007 (author)SWV17872010-02-26

Little known fact, police officers have to be trained in the use of something before they are allowed to use it in a law enforcement capacity. Therefore, an officer must be trained in baton use before they can consider defending themselves with their flashlight/nightstick/baton/etc and many programs are now tazer and gun centric so that is what they will likely reach for.

halberdear (author)chilbert0072010-05-10

Um, little know? 

itak365 (author)2009-07-27

Can this be modified to an armtgard/boffer? Like pad the edges enough but still allow for mobility?

doby162 (author)itak3652010-10-14

I made a couple of these but when i hit people with them they don't like it. I wonder how I could pad it... the problem with swimming noodles is they only sell them during summer.

corey_caffeine (author)itak3652010-07-24

punch weapons are illegal in most amtgard kingdoms, but for backyard boffer fighting i'm sure it will work

GnomeMaster (author)itak3652009-08-29

well, i know how to make boffer swords you just take a long piece of pvc and put a pool noodle over it and leav a handle and duck tape it in place and i sopose that technieq could be used for this aswell, just pool noodleing the blade though

sporeknight123 (author)2009-02-23

fill it with foam to absorb the shock waves once it makes impact

Iridium7 (author)sporeknight1232010-09-19

nah. a light concrete

skimmo (author)2010-04-16

could you use steel pipe, or fill it full of sand?

DannyAmazing (author)2009-12-29

I used a 1 inch dowel and slid it inside the PVC to  give it some weight, then put end caps on it.
I'm thinking about putting 1 1/4in PVC around the shaft to make it even with the T.

phoenix12 (author)DannyAmazing2010-03-18

You might want to think about putting something with a little more substance into that,  cement or some other high density material.  You'll get better results.

torned00 (author)2010-01-27

is pvc pipe hard enough to be a tonfa?

chilbert007 (author)torned002010-02-26

If you are worried about strength issues, may I suggest looking for outdoor PVC as it is a bit stronger than the indoor version and already a dark gray color. You can find the necessary pieces for the assembly and may be able to forgo gluing altogether because the outdoor PVC is usually already threaded. This may cost more as well, but will likely last longer and give you more options as you could disassemble the whole setup. Use your imagination and have fun with this.

fingrd (author)2009-03-26

just fill the things with silicon, it adds weight. Full the center with silicon, then the middle of the long bit with fillafoam, and the end with silicon again. should make it more weighty at the end but still balanced

chicks dig me (author)2009-03-20


hulma (author)2009-02-08

and if a ninja approves it then it's good to go.

hulma (author)2009-02-08

lacks weight !? hahaha thats fine dude, this is pretty cool, and trust me I don't throw props out much

imthereal (author)2008-10-19

i made some similar to these a few months ago but i put swimming noodles around the outside as padding so me and my friends could hit each other with them haha.. but when i was learning how to use them on my punching bag, i wasn't using the noodles on the. i flipped one around so i was holding it like a sword and hit the bag with it and the tonfa snapped in half.. i still have one though :)

mas9779 (author)2008-08-01

fill it with the spraycan foam and it can do some real damage

hellpilot (author)2008-06-19


Lemon_Asakura (author)2008-04-15

This is my tonfa. I mod it and tweaked it a bit.

liMePod (author)2008-01-16

the link on how to use it stopped working

Aburame Shino (author)2007-09-23

Wow. Very nice. I tend to try and train myself with a variety with weapons, and making something like this will definitely help! It is lightweight, and somewhat cheap. =] Great for sparring, and training on punching bags. Definitely a favorite!

engineer_01 (author)2007-07-25

U can make it out of copper tubing or put endcaps on the thing and fill it all the way up with sand.

ninja lord (author)2007-04-30

you should make a grappling hook go with that other instructible

m00n3r (author)2007-04-10

thanks for the comments. any suggestions for another ninja weapon instructable?

phyco_ninja (author)m00n3r2007-04-25 i just cant get it public if you can help with that that would be cool

ninja lord (author)2007-04-25

i made one and hit my broter with it and now hes in a coma

John Culbertson (author)2007-04-10

make it out of wood. If you fill some thing that big with lead shot you will be swinging a brick. cool instructable though I might make one of these.

phyco_ninja (author)2007-04-09

pretty neat but wouldnt pvc be far too light for use i know you said something about bbs or something all and all i give you a 4/5 -1 (only cuz im more of a blade man)

"If you wanted to add more weight to it, you could fill it with metal pellets or something and cement end caps onto the pipes."

better idea fill a copper tube with solder and put it inside the pipe. yo ucould use expanding foam to hold it in and keep it's sleak look. i like the cement endcaps idea but pvc flexes and cement.. not so much. it would probabl wiggle itself out or crack.

a copper tube with solder? Solder's really light, and for that much, it would be a waste. I would just fill it up with cement, or something like that.

"solders really light" huh? its 50% (approximately) lead. the other 50% is tin, neither are light. what have you been smoking? do you have some for the rest of us.

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