29 Best James Bond Gadgets

Like cars, watches, and women, James Bond inventions and gadgets remain integral to the franchise’s overall popularity. It’s a tradition that leaps straight out of Ian Fleming’s original novels and onto the big screen, one instalment at a time. Even as early as the first film—aka “Dr. No”—Bond is requesting a special Geiger counter from British intelligence. Nifty 007 inventions have been an ongoing franchise fixture ever since.

Of course, no discussion of the best 007 gadgets is complete without mention of Q and his namesake branch. With help from his team, Q crafts killer cufflinks, weaponised wristwatches, tiny cameras, hidden detonators, jet packs, tracking devices, and various car gadgets for James Bond. It all goes down behind the scenes and then comes to life before the audience’s very eyes.

With “No Time to Die” just around the corner, folks are naturally eager to see what kind of James Bond inventions will pop up next. In the meantime, we’re counting down the most memorable ones from previous films. Here are the best 007 gadgets to date.

1. Spiked Umbrella

Film: For Your Eyes Only
Year of Release: 1981
Actor who played James Bond: Roger Moore

The Roger Moore-era Bond films went big on gadgetry and this one was no exception. While strolling through Q’s amazing laboratory, 007 witnesses the spiked umbrella in action. It resembles your everyday umbrella until activated, which is when deadly spikes emerge from the edges. Bond never used it because to do so would probably result in the franchise’s first R rating.

2. Bagpipe Flamethrower

Film: The World is Not Enough
Year of Release: 1999
Actor who played James Bond: Pierce Brosnan

You might see the words “bagpipe flamethrower” and think this James Bond invention came straight out of Sean Connery’s head. Alas, the Scottish actor had long since retired from the franchise by the time it rolled around. The name pretty much says it all, though this 007 gadget also functions as a machine gun. Like the spiked umbrella, it was never used in the field.

3. False Fingerprints

Film: Diamonds are Forever
Year of Release: 1971
Actor who played James Bond: Sean Connery

While masquerading as a smuggler, Bond hides his identity by applying these false fingerprints. It’s a wise move since fellow smuggler Tiffany Case does indeed have a quick-acting (and enormous) fingerprint-tester in her bedroom. That puts her well ahead of most police departments in 1971!

4. Combination Safecracker Copying Machine

Film: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Year of Release: 1969
Actor who played James Bond: George Lazenby

When you need to both crack a safe and copy secret files, there’s only one 007 gadget up to the task. Invented by Q branch, the combination safecracker copying machine is every bit as convoluted as its verbose name might suggest. George Lazenby uses it for the job and then to copy pages of a Playboy Magazine before disappearing from the franchise forever.

5. Remote Control BMW Car

Film: Tomorrow Never Dies
Year of Release: 1997
Actor who played James Bond: Pierce Brosnan

To be clear, this novel invention isn’t some toy car with an adjoining remote control or even one of James Bond’s car gadgets. On the contrary, it’s a full-sized BMW 750iL that can be summoned and even controlled by an Ericsson phone. What’s more, the phone also doubles as a stun gun, fingerprint scanner and transmitter, and lock pick. And this was all in 1997. Take that, Steve Jobs!

6. Geiger Counter

Film: Dr. No
Year of Release: 1962
Actor who played James Bond: Sean Connery

Let’s give it up for the first 007 gadget! Employed by Sean Connery’s Bond in the first film, it determines the amount of radioactivity coming from Crab Key, home to Dr. No’s underground lair. Proving that Geiger counters weren’t easy to come by back then, Bond special orders his from British intelligence.

7. Voice Changer

Film: Diamonds are Forever
Year of Release: 1971
Actor who played James Bond: Sean Connery

After supervillain Ernst Stavro Blofeld uses a voice-changing mechanism as part of his devious plot, it’s only natural that Bond gets one too. For Q and his branch, the job is a walk in the park. In fact, Q claims, he “made one of these for the kids, last Christmas.”

8. X-Ray Glasses

Film: The World is Not Enough
Year of Release: 1999
Actor who played James Bond: Pierce Brosnan

When James Bond throws on a pair of these polarising sunglasses, he’s granted the power of x-ray vision. Keeping it strictly business, he uses them to check for concealed weapons. These are actually the second pair of x-ray specs to appear in the franchise, whereas Roger Moore used a similar invention to peer through tinted glass in 1985’s “A View to a Kill.”

9. Tape Recorder Camera

Film: From Russia with Love
Year of Release: 1963
Actor who played James Bond: Sean Connery

A true relic of its time, this James Bond invention hides a reel-to-reel tape recorder device inside a giant camera rig. It’s a gadget that’s aged about as well as Connery’s chauvinistic puns, but don’t take that to mean it’s not without a certain analog charm.

10. X-Ray Polaroid

Film: Licence to Kill
Year of Release: 1989
Actor who played James Bond: Timothy Dalton

During the short-lived Timothy Dalton era, 007 had tons of gadgets to play with. Among them was the world’s most radioactive Polaroid camera, which shot lasers and took x-ray pictures.

11. Clothing Brush Communicator

Film: Live and Let Die
Year of Release: 1973
Actor who played James Bond: Roger Moore

Despite the absence of Q, this instalment goes bigger on the gadgetry than any other from the Roger Moore era. Coming straight out of some whiz kid’s grooming arsenal is the clothing brush communicator, i.e. a lint brush that can relay both verbal communications and Morse code.

12. Yo-Yo Saw

Film: Octopussy
Year of Release: 1983
Actor who played James Bond: Roger Moore

Sometimes the bad guys get the best weapons. After sneaking into Octopussy’s bedroom for a late-night tryst, Bond is nearly sliced in half by a swooping yo-yo saw. Picture a giant yo-yo with a saw at the end and you get the idea.

13. Radioactive Lint

Film: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Year of Release: 1969
Actor who played James Bond: George Lazenby

Decades before wearable tech was even a thing, Q developed a homing device made out of lint. It appears inside a glass box that sits atop a desk, just waiting for someone to put it to use. Anyone? Anyone?

14. Dentonite Toothpaste

Film: Licence to Kill
Year of Release: 1989
Actor who played James Bond: Timothy Dalton

What looks like a tube of ordinary “Dentonite” toothpaste is actually a powerful explosive. Given how much alcohol Bond drinks, he’s lucky he didn’t brush his teeth with this stuff by accident. Speaking of things that could go horribly wrong while drunk, the detonator was disguised as a pack of cigarettes.

15. Prosthetic Arm

Film: Live and Let Die
Year of Release: 1973
Actor who played James Bond: Roger Moore

If you thought the one-armed man from “The Fugitive” was bad news, wait until you get a load of Bond villain Tee-Hee. Making the most of his handicap, Tee Hee’s prosthetic arm doubles as a mechanical claw with crushing and cutting potential.

16. Sky Hook

Film: Thunderball
Year of Release: 1965
Actor who played James Bond: Sean Connery

Bond is nothing if not a master of getting out of a jam. In “Thunderball,” he uses grappling suspenders, a weather balloon, a utility belt, and a B-17 aircraft to take to the skies. Naturally, he brings a lovely lady along for the ride.

17. Dagger Shoe

Film: From Russia with Love
Year of Release: 1963
Actor who played James Bond: Sean Connery

Few inventions are as simple and iconic as the beloved dagger shoe, which has even appeared in non-007 films like “The Dark Knight.” Worn by SPECTRE agents, it consists of a shoe with a hidden blade at the end. To make a deadly thing that much more so, the blade tip is poisoned.

18. Grapple Gun

Film: GoldenEye
Year of Release: 1995
Actor who played James Bond: Pierce Brosnan

By 1995, a grapple gun didn’t exactly make for a groundbreaking gadget, but it was a classic one, nevertheless. Plus, it featured a sleek design and built-in laser. If you’ve got a better way to infiltrate the Arkangel Chemical Weapons Facility, we’d like to hear it!

19. Ghetto Blaster

Film: The Living Daylights
Year of Release: 1987
Actor who played James Bond: Timothy Dalton

Like something out of Ronald Reagan’s worst nightmares, the ghetto blaster is a boombox with the ability to fire rockets. Presented by Q but never used by Bond, it’ll blow the roof off.

20. Whistle-Activated Keychain

Film: The Living Daylights
Year of Release: 1987
Actor who played James Bond: Timothy Dalton

That’s not a keychain. This is a keychain. And by that, we mean it’s a tricked-out 007 keychain, complete with (near) universal lock pick, explosive charge, and stun gas. To activate, whistle the tune to “Rule, Britannia!”

21. TV Watch

Film: Octopussy
Year of Release: 1983
Actor who played James Bond: Roger Moore

Upon strapping up with this invention, James Bond basically gains access to a smartwatch prototype. Features include a homing device tracker and live video feed, the latter of which syncs up to Q Branch surveillance cameras.

22. Deadly Briefcase

Film: From Russia with Love
Year of Release: 1963
Actor who played James Bond: Sean Connery

When you become a 00 agent, you get a truly legendary briefcase, which features a .22 calibre survival rifle with infrared telescope and detachable suppressor, ammunition, 50 gold sovereigns, and a spring-loaded throwing knife. Oh, and let’s not forget the tear gas cartridge that automatically activates when the briefcase is opened by anyone but its owner. Where do we sign up?

23. Cigarette Darts

Film: You Only Live Twice
Year of Release: 1967
Actor who played James Bond: Sean Connery

Concealed within Bond’s cigarette is a rocket-powered projectile, with a range of up to 30 yards. When advancing upon Blofield’s hidden layer, 007 uses the dart to kill a technician. The health warning jokes basically write themselves.

24. Garrote Watch

Film: From Russia with Love
Year of Release: 1963
Actor who played James Bond: Sean Connery

If there’s one entry that introduced more iconic 007 gadgets than any other, it might very well be “From Russia with Love.” Along with the shoe dagger and deadly briefcase, the film delivered the first tricked-out watch. While used by a villain and not Bond himself, it nevertheless set an important precedent.

25. Bowler Hat

Film: Goldfinger
Year of Release: 1964
Actor who played James Bond: Sean Connery

If there are two things everyone remembers from “Goldfinger,” it’s a woman drenched in gold and Oddjob’s special bowler hat. Equipped with a sharp metal ring, the hat can slice through either hard materials or human flesh. The franchise was never quite the same from this point forward.

26. Steel Teeth

Film: The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker
Year of Release: 1977, 1979
Actor who played James Bond: Roger Moore

Henchman Jaws and his steel teeth might very well be the best thing about these two films from the Roger Moore era. Made of stainless steel, the deadly dentures can chomp through everything from shark skin to human jugulars to steel cables. Just don’t bring them close to any industrial-sized super-magnets.

27. Ski Pole Gun

Film: The Spy Who Loved Me
Year of Release: 1977
Actor who played James Bond: Roger Moore

Out on the slopes, Bond puts this nifty ski pole to use. It fires bullets from a four-shot magazine in the handle and totally steers the course on those brutal Black Diamonds.

28. Rocket Pack

Film: Thunderball
Year of Release: 1965
Actor who played James Bond: Sean Connery

After killing SPECTRE member Jaques Bouvar, Bond soars away via Bell Rocket Belt jetpack. It’s certainly one way to travel. Fun fact: a similar rocket pack from the same brand reappears in “Die Another Day.”

29. Car Invisibility Cloak

Film: Die Another Day
Year of Release: 2002
Actor who played James Bond: Pierce Brosnan

It would be irresponsible of us not to include one full-blown James Bond car gadget or invention. How about this one from “Die Another Day,” which gave his Aston Martin the power of invisibility? That’ll do!

General FAQ

Here are some common questions (and their answers) that people ask about the best 007 gadgets, weapons, and inventions.

Who is the gadget guy in James Bond?

James Bond's primary supplier of gadgets and inventions is Q, who went by the name of Major Boothroyd in the earliest films. Q oversees his own branch of research and development, better known as Q Branch.

What gun did James Bond use before the PPK?

Before using the PPK in 'Dr. No' and subsequent films, James Bond relied on a Beretta M1934, which allegedly jammed with too much frequency.

What knife does James Bond use?

In 'Spectre,' James Bond is equipped with a Gerber 06 Automatic S30V Drop Point knife.

Who was the original James Bond?

James Bond was originally played by actor Sean Connery, who would return to the role at different points in the series.

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