Shockingly Easy Self-Defense — Finding the Best Stun Gun and TASER Devices

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? Is carrying the best stun gun with you at all times enough for protection?

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 at their nervous victims.

That leaves you with the challenge to find less dangerous options — the market’s best stun guns and pepper sprays. Both of these self-defense weapons are considered effective and affordable. However, finding the one that’s best suited for your needs can be quite a task. That’s why we’re here.

While pepper sprays are easier to use, determined attackers might be able to avoid a spray, and in case of wind blowback, you could end up being hurt and not the attacker.

On the other hand, muscle spasms electroshock weapons such as a self-defense stun gun induce 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, most likely dissuading the attacker and defusing the situation before things get out of hand.

Although the terms “stun gun” and “TASER” are often used interchangeably, they do not mean the same thing, and it’s important to understand the difference between stun gun vs. taser:

  • Developed and sold by the company called Axon (formerly TASER International), a TASER device is a projectile electroshock weapon that has a 15-foot range. Two probes connected to the casing by thin insulated wires deliver the voltage. Both TASER probes need to touch an attacker to close the circuit and activate the weapon. A handheld TASER will usually have only 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 electricity between the electrodes very loud and bright, which is often enough to diffuse a tense situation quickly. Stun guns are much easier to conceal than larger electroshock weapons.

We’ve compiled a list of the best TASER and stun guns on the market. Read on to find the most convenient option for you.

Our Top 3 Recommendations

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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 most appropriate 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 that you hand over your belongings. Those are the moments you’ll be glad you’ve invested in a self-defense option.

But having a TASER weapon close at hand doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods just yet — you could miss, or the weapon could misfire. With the TASER Pulse+, the best TASER for self-defense, 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 connects, you are free to run away and leave it behind. If you provide evidence (an official police report) that the weapon was used in self-defense, Axon’s Safe Escape product-replacement guarantee allows you to take a new weapon free of charge.

There’s another fail-safe if you miss; the device turns into a melee-range stun gun TASER after you fire. That said, the Pulse+ laser aiming system makes it difficult to miss the assailant in even the most stressful situations.

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

The low-battery indicator will notify you when your weapon’s battery is almost empty. It uses CR123 batteries that can be found in most retail stores. It’s also a great TASER gun for women as its ergonomic and streamlined design makes it easy to conceal and carry.

Vipertek VTS-989

Vipertek VTS-989 - best stun gun
PROS
  • The best option for mini stun guns

  • The metal shock plates on the sides shock an assailant if they try to grab the weapon from your hand

  • Rechargeable battery

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

A Vipertek stun gun in your purse or pocket will enable you to feel safe when walking the streets. Its small size guarantees 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 shock plates at the top of the device deliver a debilitating shock to any attacker who tries to grab it from your hand. Right beside them are two ultra-sharp spike electrodes that can penetrate even the thickest clothes.

Once you grasp this handheld stun gun, there’s no dropping it — the deep contours on the sides ensure that this piece of security equipment fits snugly in the palm of your hand.

You need to engage two switches to fire this stun gun. The safety switch on one side has three positions: off, flashlight, and stun. When the switch is in the middle position, a Vipertek stun gun flashlight on the top will shine, warning your attacker or blinding them enough to get a cleaner shot. When you put the switch in the final position, the safety is off, and the stun gun is ready to be used. This may sound complicated; however, the Vipertek VTS-989 is actually one of the easiest stun guns to use.

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 of the cheap stun guns to get when you feel you need an extra layer of close-range protection.

Maximum Strength Tactical SABRE 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
  • The flashlight could be stronger

Combining stun guns with flashlights has become more and more popular over the past couple of years. The utility of the flashlight perfectly fits the defensive features of a stun gun, especially since most attacks happen in the dead of night. Shining a flashlight at the attacker’s eyes can temporarily blind them and discourage them from continuing the assault.

Sabre produces the market’s best stun gun with a flashlight. 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 compromising the integrity of the piece.

With 2.517 microcoulombs of charge, Sabre has one of the highest amperage stun guns in the market that certainly causes intolerable pain to the person getting shocked.

The flashlight gives off a light of 130 lumens, while the stun gun generates a 95 dB 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 get into.

Streetwise Sting Ring Knuckle Stun Gun

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

  • Squeeze-N-Stun technology for ease of activation

  • Low price

CONS
  • Low battery life

  • Illegal in California

This is one of the strongest stun gun devices in the market. Shaped like a single finger knuckle-duster, 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.

It may be lightweight (it weighs only 0.32 lbs), but it surely packs an impressive punch. By remaining easily concealed in the palm of your hand, this device qualifies as the best stun gun for self-defense that 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. However, you’ll have to charge them for eight hours straight before the first use.
You’ll also receive a lifetime warranty and an instruction manual if you choose to buy this small stun gun that costs around $18. However, bear in mind that electric 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 the weapon is used in a proven self-defense situation

CONS
  • Extremely expensive, as you’d expect from such a product

An attacker is approaching you. The warning arc doesn’t scare him off. So you panic and miss the first shot. This would usually mean game over for other stun guns and TASERs. But not with the TASER X2. This extra-reliable security device has a backup shot ready to be deployed.

The police officers who have tested this TASER device claim 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 to give you enough time to escape. The electric shock duration is limited to five seconds — any more would risk serious injury, defeating the purpose of a less-than-lethal weapon.

Material and design quality is what characterizes this best TASER gun on the market. A laser-guided aiming system makes it easy to be accurate. To top it all off, even if you miss both your shots, this TASER gun becomes a close-range stun gun. A package including the device, a spare cartridge, and a holster costs around $1,100, which is way more costly than your run-of-the-mill flashlight TASER.

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 casing quality

Sometimes the element of surprise is your biggest asset. What looks like a smartphone to the unknowing attacker actually is the best stun gun concerning voltage. The electric pressure of 14 million volts is more than enough 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 this product’s build quality 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.

The Streetwise FRiPHONE rechargeable stun gun comes with a flashlight on the back, a USB charger for the battery, and a price of around $18.

So, imagine a burglar tells you to empty your purse. You start pulling out various items — lipstick, tissues, a box of mints, and similar. 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. Although it is one of the cheaper and smaller stun guns, you can rest assured that this device won’t fail you when you need it most.

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
  • The activation button can jam after it has been used

The stylish and fashionable design of this item makes it the best stun gun for women. For a negligible $10, you’ll be able to defend yourself against all attackers. The rubber casing ensures the weapon will stay in 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.

Although it’s often regarded as a great stun gun for women, men can also carry it to boost their safety. Even the sound alone will scare off most potential attackers. You can combine this handheld weapon with the best pepper spray for a complete sense of security when walking the streets.

With a $9.99 price tag, this is one of the cheapest best-quality stun guns you can buy for yourself or your loved one for self-defense 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 used

CONS
  • Steep price

  • Both probes need to land for effectiveness

TASER is a registered trademark of the Axon company. Until 2017, the company was even called TASER. As a top-of-the-line product, the X26P Professional Series is considered one of the most powerful TASER devices on the market.

The electrical current this less-than-lethal electroshock weapon delivers is ideal. Its amperage and voltage are strong enough to neutralize the target without risking cardiac arrest.

It causes neuro-muscular incapacitation (NMI) that temporarily tampers with the person’s sensory and motor neurons, causing severe muscle spasms and bodily control loss for five seconds. After that, the victim is stunned and subdued for a period long enough for the police to arrive.

Speaking of the police, the X26P makes for a great police TASER gun for law enforcement officials worldwide. The professional holster, long battery life, ergonomic design, and quality of materials come together to make it the industry standard for a long-range TASER device. Its safety range is 15 feet — a safe enough distance in any situation.

The laser installed on the X26P will significantly improve your accuracy, which is another characteristic that makes it the best TASER to buy. If by any chance, the TASER gun probes fail to fire and hand-to-hand combat occurs, 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 company’s official site is $1,399.99.

Stun Master Lipstick Stun Gun

Stun Master Lipstick Stun Gun - best stun gun
PROS
  • Perfectly disguised as lipstick

  • High-amperage shock

  • This is the best stun gun for women

CONS
  • The design makes it difficult to handle sometimes

  • Small activation buttons

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

The best stun gun for a woman has to be inconspicuous and easily concealed but pack enough of a punch to allow enough 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.

Top-rated stun guns should be small enough to carry around and easy enough to use. After all, their sole purpose is to make you feel safe. If you end up in a situation where using these weapons 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
  • 7.6 microcoulombs hit

  • Flashlight-stun gun combo

  • Quality build

  • Clip makes it easy to hang on the hip

CONS
  • You can find stronger stun guns for less money

From the famous Mace company that 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 that also has a strobe mode for maximum effect, making it one of the best stun baton devices.

Then, either discharge the weapon in the air, creating an intimidating visual effect, or fire at the attacker. 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.

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

Some users have complained about the shock gun’s build quality, but we found this device to be sturdy and well-made.

The Meaning and Myth of the Most Powerful Stun Guns

Stun gun manufacturers seem to compete when it comes to putting the biggest number of volts in their product specifications. The uninformed consumer assumes that the bigger the number, the stronger the shock and that the best devices need to be in a million-volt category.

Unfortunately, physics begs to differ when it comes to electroshock weapons. You don’t need a stun gun pistol or TASER with the highest voltage. 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 a part of the equation for determining a weapon’s power. It is the “force” or “pressure” with which the source pushes electric current.

The other part of the equation that determines the most powerful stun gun or other electrical weapon is the amount of electricity, measured in amperes or coulombs.

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

Increasing the amps is equivalent to turning the faucet up. With this in mind, the highest amp stun gun is considerably more powerful than the one with the highest voltage.

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

But the volts do not deliver the true punch. The pain depends on amperes — the amount of electricity (measured in coulombs) that goes through a given point in a second.

A 50 milliamp stun gun will bring even the largest attacker to their knees. 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 electroshock weapons boast about the millions of volts their products deliver, the police-grade TASER M26 delivers its 3.6 milliamperes at 50,000 volts.

FAQ

How does a stun gun work?

As a non-lethal electroshock weapon, a stun gun uses high voltage to stop an assailant. To temporarily immobilize an attacker, all you have to do is touch the person with the device's probes. Consider that the amperage these self-defense weapons come with is very low; no serious or permanent injury can be caused.

Even though they'll give you enough time to escape an attacker and notify the authorities, even stun guns with the highest amperage won't do any lasting damage.

Where can I buy a stun gun?

Nowadays, you can buy a stun gun or TASER for your personal safety practically anywhere. You can buy from physical stores, such as Walmart, or choose from a wider selection of online stores like Amazon. You can even buy online directly from some companies and have it shipped straight to your door.

The only two states where stun guns are illegal are Hawaii and Rhode Island. Moreover, to purchase the best stun guns in 2020, states like Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Minnesota require a background check.

All other states hold no significant restrictions, although you need to be 18 or over to hold or purchase one in most states, which is fair since you’re still buying a weapon, albeit generally a non-lethal one.

How much is a stun gun?

Prices vary depending on the capacity, brand, and features of the stun gun you’re looking to buy. However, it ranges from a little under $10 to over $1,000.

One of the cheapest ones you can buy is the Vipertek VTS-880. For the price of $9.98, you can get a pocket stun gun with a flashlight and rechargeable batteries.

On the more expensive side, you can get a TASER X2 package that includes the device, a spare cartridge, and a holster for $1,100.

What is the best stun gun to buy?

The answer would have to be the Vipertek VTS-989. 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 metal shock plates on the top. If an attacker tries to grab the weapon from your hand, the exposed plates will also deliver a shock.

This is an excellent way of decreasing the biggest drawback stun guns have — they are a melee weapon.

How long does a stun gun incapacitate?

When using a stun gun to subdue an attacker, it’s best to keep the weapon in contact with the attacker for longer than three seconds. This is because the effects of a stun gun vary depending on the time it comes in contact with the target.

If it’s half a second, the target will only be startled and likely jump back. If it’s one to two seconds, the target will be dazed and have muscle spasms.

Lastly, going over three seconds would incapacitate the target for 5–60 minutes, which is more than enough time to run away and call the police.

Who makes the best stun gun?

After thorough research, our team of experts has found that the best go-to brand for stun guns is Vipertek. Their stun guns are compact, easy to conceal, affordable, and really pack a punch against attackers.

You could get the VTS-989 for $24.99, the VTS-880 for $9.98, or the VTS-195 for $18.98. However, the best stun gun is Vipertek VTS-989. It provides great handgrip and extra protection against potential attackers through its anti-grab electrodes.

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