Gear

The Best Nerf Guns and Blasters for Every Kid

There's no one best Nerf gun, but these are the best in specific areas.

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four powerful nerf guns displayed on multicolored background

Quit calling them Nerf guns — Nerf blasters have been around for decades, providing a means of fun foam combat across generations. Sure, some may be leery of toy weapons, but the best Nerf blasters resemble something more likely found in Starship Troopers than in Scarface. Whether you’re looking for some rainy day fun or building out your son or daughter’s soft-tipped arsenal, few toys can act, paradoxically enough, as a peacemaker in childhood conflicts.

Over the past 30-odd years, Nerf has expanded one of its most popular categories with a broad selection of products. And that can make finding the right blaster for you and your child a chore. Some hold two darts and are powered by an inch-long spring; others hold dozens and are powered by massive batteries. There are Nerf rifles, Nerf shotguns, manual Nerf blasters, automatic Nerf blasters, and even Nerf blasters made to look like nail guns. There’s no one best Nerf gun. Rather, there’s the best Nerf gun for you and your kid.

If it’s a kid who likes to take their time and employ patience, a tripod-enabled sniper-style blaster might be a good pick. If they’re drawn to high-energy havoc and fog-of-war decision-making, a light, quick-firing option will do the trick. If they like variety, consider one that can be customized for different firing styles, whether that’s ambush or in the role of the hunter. There may not be a single best Nerf blaster, but there are blasters that excel in certain areas, namely distance, speed, modularity, accuracy, and what we’re calling beefiness. There’s also, in our estimation, the best jack-of-all-trades. Here are our favorites for all types of Nerf fans.

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