Shockingly Easy Self-Defense – Finding the Best Stun Gun and Taser

How safe is safe enough?

When it comes to your physical safety and the safety of your loved ones, at what point do you decide you’re safe enough?

The truth is, there’s no such thing as safe enough. Everybody is vulnerable to mugging and assault. You’ve got to protect yourself.

Some people carry handguns, which help deter criminals in some situations. In others, nonviolent crimes escalate when muggers take handguns away and fire upon their nervous victims.

That leaves stun guns and pepper sprays, which are effective and affordable. 

While pepper sprays are easier to use, determined attackers might be able to avoid a spray and wind blowback means you could hurt yourself in the process of spraying someone else.

The muscle spasms an electroshock weapon induces, on the other hand, cannot be ignored. If you hit one of the sweet spots, such as under the arm or just above the hip, the shock will bring your assailant to their knees no matter how big they are. 

The warning arc also emits a thunderous noise and an ominous light, which will most likely dissuade the attacker and defuse the situation before things get out of hand.

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Taser and Stun Gun Reviews

Taser Pulse+

Taser Pulse+ - best stun gun
PROS
  • Mobile app dispatches police as soon as the weapon is used

  • An exceptionally strong shock

  • Can subdue a target from 15 feet away

CONS
  • A steep price: $449.99

We hold the Taser Pulse+ model in very high regard. It’s the best taser for self defense and it has a price tag to match.

Imagine finding yourself in a dark alley with no one to hear you cry out for help. A burglar approaches and demands you hand over your belongings. Those are the moments you’re glad that you’ve invested in a self-defense option. 

Having a taser gun close at hand doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods yet – you could miss, or the weapon could misfire. With the Taser Pulse+, missing your target is not as detrimental – the Noonlight mobile app stays connected to the weapon at all times and contacts the authorities as soon as it fires.

When the shot does connect, you are free to run away and leave it behind. Axon’s Safe Escape product-replacement guarantee will provide you with a new weapon, if you provide evidence (an official police report) that it was used in self-defense.

There’s another failsafe if you miss; the taser turns into a melee-range stun gun after it has been fired. That said, the Pulse+ laser aiming system makes it difficult to miss the assailant in even the most stressful of situations. 

A direct hit will send 50,000 volts of electricity at 7 watts through the target’s body, rendering them unable to move and convulsing uncontrollably for 30 seconds. That’s ample time to escape and wait for the police, who have already been notified through the mobile app. 

The low-battery indicator will notify you when your weapon is close to dead. It uses CR123 batteries, which can be found in most retail stores. The ergonomic and streamlined design makes it easy to carry and conceal.

Vipertek VTS-989

Vipertek VTS-989 - best stun gun
PROS
  • The best stun gun

  • Electrodes on the top shock the assailant if they try to grab the weapon from your hand

  • Rechargeable battery

CONS
  • The safety mechanisms sometimes hinder the effectiveness of the device

Feel safe again when walking the streets with a Vipertek taser (which is actually a stun gun!) in your purse or pocket. Its small dimensions guarantee that nobody will suspect you are ready to deliver a devastating hit to anyone who tries to threaten you or compromise your safety. 

The metal straps at the top of the device deliver a debilitating shock to any attacker who tries to grab this taser stun gun from your hand. Right beside those strips are two ultra-sharp spike electrodes that can penetrate even the thickest clothes. 

Once you grab hold of it, there’s no dropping it – the deep contours on the sides ensure that the stun gun fits snugly into the palm of your hand.

There are two switches that need to be engaged for the stun gun to fire. On one side, the safety switch has three positions – off, flashlight, and stun. When in the middle position, a decent LED flashlight on the top will shine and you can warn your attacker or blind them enough to get a cleaner shot. When you put the switch in the final position, the safety is off and the weapon is ready to be used.

A red on/off switch on the other side creates an incredibly strong current. The terrifying noise alone is enough to deter most attackers. If they do engage and you have no choice but to defend yourself, the Vipertek VTS-989 produces a shock of 53 million volts. A current with that amount of voltage passes through any barrier.

With a rechargeable battery and a price tag of only $25.99, this is the best stun gun to buy when you feel you need an extra layer of close-range protection.

SABRE Maximum Strength Tactical Stun Gun with LED Flashlight

SABRE Maximum Strength Tactical Stun Gun with LED Flashlight - best stun gun
PROS
  • Ergonomic design

  • The stun gun emits 95 decibels of noise

  • Made from durable materials

CONS
  • Flashlight could be stronger

Combining tasers with flashlights has become more and more popular over the past couple of years. The utility of the flashlight fits in perfectly with the defensive features of a stun gun, especially when keeping in mind that most attacks happen in the dead of night. Shining a flashlight at eye level can temporarily blind an attacker and discourage them from continuing the assault. 

Sabre produces the best stun gun flashlight on the market. Its ergonomic design stands out; the aluminum flashlight casing is lightweight and sits comfortably in the palm of your hand, while also fitting comfortably into a holster on your hip. The build quality is excellent, with no loose parts that compromise the integrity of the piece. 

Sabre is honest about the strength specifications of its product. The company says, rightfully, that a taser’s high voltage alone does not give it greater shocking strength. Coulombs and amperes contribute to the power of the weapon to a greater extent. With 2.517 microcoulombs of charge, this civilian taser causes intolerable pain to the person getting shocked.

The flashlight gives off a light of 120 lumens, while the stun gun generates a 95-decibel noise. For $39.99, you’ll get a weapon that will help you avoid most fights and give you an extreme edge in the ones you do end up getting into.

Streetwise Sting Ring Knuckle Stun Gun

Streetwise Sting Ring Knuckle Stun Gun - best stun gun
PROS
  • Fits perfectly into the palm of your hand

  • Squeeze-n-Stun technology for ease of activation

  • Low price

CONS
  • Low battery life

This is one of the most interesting self-defense options on the market. Shaped like a single finger knuckle-duster, the Sting Ring literally packs a punch. An 18 million-volt punch, to be exact. The high voltage guarantees that the current will reach the flesh through thick clothing.

Easily concealed in the palm of your hand, it gives you an extra boost of confidence in situations where you can become susceptible to attack. The revolutionary “Squeeze-n-Stun” technology enables you to throw a jab and electrocute the attacker at the same time. Of course, there’s an on/off safety switch to prevent accidental discharge.

You can charge the batteries with the cable that comes with the product; you’ll have to charge it for eight hours straight before first using it.

You’ll also receive a lifetime warranty and an instruction manual if you choose to buy this stun gun, which costs around $18. Bear in mind that stun batons and stun rings are illegal in the state of California.

Taser X2

Taser X2 - best stun gun
PROS
  • Loaded with a second shot in case you miss the first one

  • Made by the most prominent company in the industry

  • Replacement warranty if taser is used in a proven self-defense situation

CONS
  • Extremely expensive

An attacker is approaching you. The warning arc doesn’t scare him off. Then you panic and miss the first shot. This would usually mean game over. Not with the Taser X2 – this extra-reliable security taser has a backup shot ready to be deployed.

Testimonials by police officers who have tested this weapon in the field, however, indicate that the warning arc is enough to scare some sense into almost all assailants.

If they do not comply, the shock will cause debilitating pain and involuntary muscle spasms for more than enough time for you to escape. The duration of the electric shock is limited to five seconds – any more would risk serious injury, defeats the purpose of a less-than-lethal weapon.

The material and design quality is what we’ve come to expect from the company that has become almost synonymous with electroshock weapons. A laser-guided aiming system makes it easy to be accurate. To top it all off, even if you miss both your shots, the taser becomes a close-range stun gun. A package including the taser, a spare cartridge, and a holster costs around $1,100.

Streetwise Friphone

Streetwise Friphone - best stun gun
PROS
  • Maintain the element of surprise with a cleverly concealed weapon

  • Voltage in the millions passes through thick clothing

  • Flashlight included

CONS
  • Poor build quality

Sometimes the element of surprise is your biggest asset. What looks like a smartphone to the unknowing attacker is actually a highly potent, 14 million-volt personal taser. That’s more than enough power to penetrate thick clothing and bring even the biggest of brutes to their knees. The product also has a built-in alarm that releases an ear-piercing sound to discourage thugs from attacking you.

Even though the build quality of this product is not the greatest and it’s more of a novelty item than a serious stun gun, we chose to include it in our list because of its creativity and unique design.

It has a flashlight on the back, it comes with a USB charger for the battery, and it costs around $18.

So, imagine a burglar tells you to empty your purse. You start pulling out various items – lipstick, tissues, a box of mints… Just by chance, you keep a mobile phone in your hand while you’re rummaging for your wallet. The crook’s attention is so fixated on the upcoming reward that they let their guard down. That’s your moment to strike. You give the thug a taste of your Friphone then make a break for it.

Gladiator Ultra Powerful Mini Stun Gun Police Rechargeable With Flashlight

Gladiator Ultra Powerful Mini Stun Gun Police Rechargeable With Flashlight - best stun gun
PROS
  • Small in size, easily concealed

  • Rubber casing reduces slippage

  • Long battery life

CONS
  • Activation button can jam after it has been used

The stylish and fashionable design of this item makes it the perfect taser for women. For a negligible $10, you’ll be able to defend yourself against all attackers. The rubber casing makes it difficult for the weapon to slip out of your hand, and the hit is strong enough to bring the assailant to their knees, no matter how large they are. 

With it, you get a blinding flashlight that ensures a clean shot. The batteries need to be charged only once every five months with the accompanying USB charger.

The most important detail is its small size, which makes it easy to hide, even in the palm of your hand. This makes it the best mini stun gun on the market.

Of course, this product doesn’t discriminate against men who carry it as a way of boosting their self-defense options. Even the sound alone will scare off most potential attackers. You can combine this handheld taser with pepper spray for a complete sense of security when walking the streets.

For the modest price $9.99, you can buy yourself or your loved one a self-defense option and, more importantly, peace of mind.

Taser X26p Professional Series

Taser X26p Professional Series - best stun gun
PROS
  • Professional-grade product quality

  • Trusted by police forces around the world

  • Causes extreme muscle contractions when it lands

CONS
  • Steep price

  • Both barbs need to land for effectiveness

Taser is a registered trademark of the Axon company. Up until 2017, the company was even called Taser. It top-of-the-line product is the best personal protection taser on the market: the Taser X26P Professional Series. 

The electrical current this less-than-lethal electroshock weapon delivers is in the true sweet spot – its amperage and voltage are just enough to neutralize the target without risking cardiac arrest. It causes neuro-muscular incapacitation (NMI), which temporarily tampers with the person’s sensory and motor neurons, causing severe muscle spasms and loss of bodily control for five seconds. After that, the victim is stunned and subdued for a long enough period for the police to arrive.

Speaking of the police, the X26P is the taser of choice for law enforcement officials around the world. The professional holster, lengthy battery life, ergonomic design, and quality of materials all come together to make it the industry standard for a long-range taser gun. The range at which it can deliver a current to a target’s body is 15 feet, a safe enough distance in any situation.

The laser installed on the X26P will greatly improve your accuracy. If, by some chance, a taser barb does not connect and hand-to-hand combat ensues, the X26P can be used as a melee stun gun. 

The price tag is in line with the high-grade professional protection the X26P provides. The price listed on the official taser site is $1,199.99.

Stun Master Lipstick Stun Gun

Stun Master Lipstick Stun Gun - best stun gun
PROS
  • None will be the wiser - perfectly disguised as lipstick

  • High-ampere shock

  • For women, this is the best stun gun to buy

CONS
  • The design makes it difficult to handle sometimes

  • Small activation buttons

In today’s world of online dating, you never really know what’s in store with the total strangers you encounter. Someone might get too pushy and cross the boundaries of decency. In that sort of situation, it’s crucial that you have a way to defend yourself. A stun gun is the perfect non-lethal self-defense option.

The best stun gun for women has to be inconspicuous and easily concealed, but pack enough of a punch to allow ample time to escape. The Stun Master lipstick stun gun has both of those qualities.

Cleverly disguised in a five-inch plastic case, this lipstick stun gun delivers a 4.2 milliampere shock with the force of three million volts. Not even the strongest and most-determined attacker will be able to withstand the muscle-spasming pain that the shock produces, especially when taken by surprise. 

A self-defense weapon should make you feel safe. If you, heaven forbid, do end up in a situation where using it is necessary, the shock-and-run tactic is your best bet.

This concealed weapon costs $17.95, which is not a lot for the peace of mind it provides.

Mace Compact Stun Gun

Mace Compact Stun Gun - best stun gun
PROS
  • A 7.6 microcoulombs hit

  • Flashlight-stun gun combo

  • Quality build

  • Clip makes it easy to hang on hip

CONS
  • You can find stronger stun guns for less money

From the famous Mace company, which produces the best pepper sprays on the market, comes a fresh take on another popular self-defense weapon: the stun gun flashlight

The classic distract-and-attack tactic should be deployed when using this weapon. Distract the aggressor with the flashlight, which also has a strobe mode for maximum effect.

Then, either discharge the weapon in the air, creating an intimidating audio-visual effect, or go in for the attack. The best spots to shock someone are the shoulder, hip, below the rib cage, or on the buttocks.

It’s worth noting that the numbers Mace lists on its site seem overinflated. The company claims its product delivers a shock of up to 7.6 microcoulombs, which is highly unlikely. 

Stunning an assailant for three to five seconds will render them unable to move and give you ample time to escape.

Some users have complained about the build quality of the shock gun, but our piece was sturdy and well-made. 

For $29.99, you’ll get a product that is high in the running for the title of best stun gun flashlight combo on the market.

The Meaning and Myth of Taser Voltage

Stun gun manufacturers seem to have a competition to see who can put the biggest number of volts in the specifications of their product. The uninformed consumer assumes that the bigger number, the stronger the shock, and that the most powerful stun gun needs to be in the million volt category.

Unfortunately, physics begs to differ. Remember that the Taser X26P has a voltage of 50,000 and is still used by police forces around the world. The potential difference in a current, measured in volts, is just part of the equation for determining the power of a current. It is the “force” or “pressure” with which electricity is pushed through the current.

The other part of the equation is the amount of electricity, measured in amperes or coulombs. 

The water hose metaphor explains it best: Volts represent the water pressure, amps are the quantity of water. Ramping up the volts is equivalent to putting your thumb on the mouth of the hose – it does not increase the amount of water being sprayed. Increasing the amps is equivalent to turning the faucet up.

Volts play an important part of the stun gun formula – they determine how effective it will be in penetrating thick clothing and surmounting the natural resistance of the human body. It also helps “jump the gap” and create the intimidating bright lightning arc between electrodes.

But the volts do not deliver the true punch. The pain is in the amperes, the amount of electricity (measured in coulombs) that goes through a given point in a second. A 4-5 milliampere current hits the sweet spot – strong enough to cause pain, but not strong enough to do any serious damage or interfere with a pacemaker.

So, while manufacturers selling cheap tasers boast about the millions of volts their products produce, the police-grade M26 taser made by Axon delivers its 3.6 milliamperes at 50,000 volts.

FAQ

How does a taser work?

A taser gun is a ranged weapon, usually with a 15-foot reach. A stun gun is a melee weapon. A taser shoots two sharp barbs using compressed air. These barbs are actually electrodes connected to a power source with wires that trail behind them when fired. If both barbs connect, preferably breaking the target’s skin, an electrical current passes through him or her. The target experiences excruciating pain and muscle convulsions that render them unable to move or speak, let alone attack or hurt anyone.

Which states allow tasers?

Tasers are completely illegal in only two states - Hawaii and Rhode Island. Taser gun laws in Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Minnesota require a background check before you purchase an electroshock weapon. All other states hold no major restrictions, although you need to be 18 or over to hold or purchase one in most states.

Can a taser to the head kill you?

The contact spot of a taser attack is not as important in determining fatality as the period of contact and the overall health and current state of the victim. For example, a target who is under a lot of exertion and already has an elevated heart rate can suffer from cardiac arrest. Of course, this could lead to sudden death if no help arrives. This also holds for people under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

How many amps are in a police grade taser?

The Taser X26P, which is most commonly used by police forces globally, delivers a current that is around 0.0021 amps strong. There is a lot of confusion surrounding the way taser strength is measured, most notably in the voltage race that is taking place in the industry. Every manufacturer seems to be vying to produce the highest-voltage weapon. In reality, electricity doesn’t work that way. Voltage is the “force” or “pressure” of the current. By itself, it means little to nothing. The amperes or coulombs are the measure of the actual amount of electricity, and thus the strength of the current. So, while some manufacturers boast about their multi-million volt counts, the X26P police taser has a voltage of only 50,000 volts. That is more than enough to penetrate thick clothing.

Which is better taser or stun gun?

Taser vs. stun gun - although these terms are often used interchangeably in everyday speech, they denote different things. Unintuitively, a stun gun is a close range weapon. The electrodes are attached to the case and the only way to shock your target is to be in immediate contact. A taser shoots two barbed electrodes with thin, flexible wires that connect it to a cartridge at a range of 15 feet. It administers a shock only if both electrodes connect. You will usually have only one shot, but most tasers turn into stun guns after their electrodes are deployed.

What is the best stun gun to buy?

The Vipertek VTS-989 is currently the best stun gun on the market. Its long battery life, strength, ergonomic design, and affordable price tag make it the perfect self-defense option for you or your loved ones. Its best features include the two steel prongs on the far end of the VTS-989. If an attacker tries to grab the weapon from your hand, the exposed prongs will also deliver a shock. This is an excellent way of decreasing the biggest drawback stun guns have - they are a melee weapon.

What's the best Taser to buy?

Our pick for the best taser has to be the Axon Taser Pulse+. It’s the perfect civilian-grade long range electroshock weapon. It has a range of 15 feet, has laser-guided aiming, a very respectable battery life, and a mobile app that contacts the police as soon as you fire it. The best part is when your shot connects, you can just run and leave your weapon behind. If it is used in a proven self-defense situation, Axon will replace your weapon with a brand new one. If the shot doesn’t connect and the situation unfolds, the taser becomes a close range stun gun. While this is the cheapest model Axon manufactures, the price is still a little steep. However, when considering your personal safety or that of your loved ones - money should be the last thing on your mind.

What does getting stunned feel like?

In a word - shocking. Excruciating and unexpected pain starts to radiate from the point of impact. After a few seconds, the muscles spasm as if in a strong cramp. The sensory and moto-neurons lose contact with the brain and stop obeying orders - the target is subdued. The electrical specifications of the weapon ensure that the shock is strong enough to defuse the situation and give you ample time to escape and call the authorities, but not strong enough to cause any lasting damage. When using the best stun gun, you will not have to keep the weapon in contact with your target for longer than five seconds to get the desired effect. If you decide to test the weapon on yourself - which we strongly advise you not to - be sure to create a safe situation - have a mattress ready for you to fall down on and have at least two people ready to catch you when you fall. Because you will fall. The people touching you at that moment will not get shocked.

Although the terms “stun gun” and “taser” are often used interchangeably, they do not mean the same thing. 

A taser is a projectile weapon that has a 15-foot range. Two barbed electrodes, connected to the casing with thin insulated wires, deliver the taser volts. They both need to connect to the target in order for the circuit to close and the weapon to be effective. Most tasers have a single shot, so you will need to make it count.

A stun gun is a close-range weapon. The electrodes are firmly attached to the case, meaning you can only use it for hand-to-hand combat. The high voltage makes the arc of lightning between the electrodes be very loud and bright, which is often enough to defuse a tense situation. Stun guns are much easier to conceal than tasers. 

It’s high time you found protection for yourself and your loved ones. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best stun guns and tasers on the market. Read on to find the best option for you.

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