After 14 hours of research evaluating 750 products, we picked VIPERTEK VTS-989 as our top choice.
With 1.2 million violent crimes per year in the US, it's smart to have a plan for self-defense.
Here's what you can do:
Find yourself the best stun gun or taser available.
Rather than use something like a knife that could escalate the situation, your best option is to find a solution that incapacitates your attacker. A taser or stun gun could be the ideal solution.
Tasers are electroshock weapons that fire two darts that, once embedded in an attacker's flesh, send millions of volts racing through the body. Stun guns are handheld versions of a taser.
The two prongs have to be pressed to the attacker's body in order to electrocute them. Both stun guns and tasers provide a safe, effective solution for self-defense in a wide range of situations.
Note: Stun guns are illegal in Hawaii, New Jersey, Washington D.C., Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York.
The good news is:
We've looked through a variety of models of stun guns and tasers, tested a few ourselves and read through thousands of stun gun reviews.
We found the best taser for sale and best stun guns for most people. Enjoy the list.
Excellent design, very compact and durable, delivers a stinging shock, easy to activate, features a built-in safety switch, can be carried it in a pocket or bag, and incredibly reliable.
It's a bit too large for small hands, plus the charging process is a bit unclear and the case is prone to cracking.
If you're looking for a highly concealable sting ring (wearable form of stun gun), this is the best on the market. It doesn't have the stopping power to knock down your opponent, but it will deliver a stinging shock that will knock them back--enough to break free of an assailant.
The ring is small, compact, and mostly durable, though a few users have reported the plastic case is prone to cracking. However, the shock plate can survive many uses—it can even hold up under a strong punch to an attacker.
This sting ring has no buttons or triggers to activate; instead, all you have to do is squeeze it to send electricity crackling through your assailant. There is a built-in safety switch to keep you from accidentally electrocuting yourself.
The ring is designed for those with larger hands, so anyone with very slim fingers may find it a bit large or unwieldy. However, it's small enough to conceal in any pocket or purse and pull out when you need to defend yourself.
At $23, this is a pricey little gadget. The quality control issues and lack of warranty makes it not quite the top choice, but it's a good option for anyone who wants a truly compact, fully concealable protection solution.
Stun gun built into a pair of knuckledusters, potent electrical current on point of impact, squeeze and stun technology, built-in LED flashlight, rechargeable built-in battery, lifetime warranty, free carrying case included, and quick and easy to use.
Instructions unclear, and the carrying case is a bit awkward.
This little stun gun is designed to be worn over the three knuckles of your index, middle, and ring fingers (unlike regular knuckledusters, it doesn’t cover your pinky finger). When you find yourself in a dire situation, simply slip on the stun gun, squeeze, and punch.
You won’t even need to hit hard because the electric jolt will do the work for you—the neuromuscular inhibition charge will knock your assailant down and out for at least 30 seconds.
It’s quick, easy to use, and beautifully compact—perfect for carrying in your purse, pouch, or even a pocket.
The beauty of this little stun gun is that it doesn’t have any features—it doesn’t need any! The squeeze and stun technology means there is no need for buttons, knobs, or dials. When you squeeze the part of the stun gun that sits in your palm, it will trigger the electrical current.
There is a built-in flashlight that serves in a pinch, though it’s not the largest or brightest flashlight around. The stun gun comes with a carrying case, a cord to recharge the built-in battery pack, and, best of all, a lifetime warranty.
At just $26, this is a very well-priced self-defense weapon. You can strike first and strike hard, knocking down an assailant the moment they get within punching range, and the stun gun will finish them off before they can harm you.
The SABRE Tactical Stun Gun & LED Flashlight delivers an almost unbearable pain that will stun and temporarily disable any attackers. It's got an extremely bright LED flashlight and produces an intimidatingly loud noise.
The included belt loop has been reported by some users to not work properly.
This SABRE Tactical Stun Gun & LED Flashlight delivers an extreme pain inducing stun. You can stun from a distance or up close by deploying this stun gun towards attackers. It also provides a loud debilitating noise when used.
This stun gun is extremely durable with its aircraft aluminum construction. There is a belt holster, clip, and wrist strap for instant and easy access. The LED flashlight provides high, low, and strobe illumination that is easy to operate and very handy.
A great bonus feature is that when you purchase this stun gun, you'll have access to a free online training video. You can learn how to properly use and defend yourself with this stun gun.
This is a high-quality stun gun that is on sale for only $19.67 - it's definitely worth your investment.
This Rechargeable Stun Gun Flashlight has got a built-in LED flashlight and is compact - perfect for carrying in a purse or jacket pocket. It fits in the palm of your hand and lets out a harsh noise to scare attackers with just the push of a button.
Suitable for temporarily stunning an assailant - will most likely not temporarily disable.
This stun gun delivers quite the punch, especially considering its compact size. This is perfect for temporarily stunning - giving you enough time to get away from any attacker or assailant. This stun gun also delivers a loud sound that is sure to irritate, distract, or even scare off anyone who is trying to get near you.
This Rechargeable Stun Gun Flashlight has some great features. There is an on/off safety switch so you don't accidentally set it off along with an included holster that can loop onto your belt.
The stun gun has a built-in rechargeable battery that holds a charge for a long time. The two foldable integrated prongs can plug into any standard outlet. The built-in LED flashlight is perfect for illuminating small areas and a convenient added feature. This stun gun is available in three different designs.
Right now this stun gun is available on Amazon for only $10.99. It's incredibly worth the modest investment to keep yourself safe and protected.
The baton design of this stun gun features a very bright LED light, triple stun technology, and a wrist strap that keeps it securely on your wrist. It's solid without being too heavy and is also a good length. It includes multiple flashlight settings, and (our favorite part) comes with a lifetime warranty.
The design of the handle/button is flawed, and users report quality control issues.
The baton design of this stun gun means you have three weapons in one: a flashlight to scare people away, a stun gun to electrocute attackers, and a baton to clobber assailants over the head.
The baton is made of military-grade aluminum alloy, and it's able to deliver a beating without bending or cracking. The casing is lightweight but packs a wallop. At 19 inches long, it's a good length for men and women alike. But you may not even need to use it. The crackling of arcing electricity is very loud, and it should startle away any attackers before they get within striking range.
The flashlight comes with three light settings: 100% brightness, 50% brightness, and strobe light to disorient attackers. The 3-Watt LED light is very bright at its full setting, and will illuminate the face of your assailant for clear identification.
The baton is designed to deliver a 9 million volt electric shock not only at its tip, but also along the two sides. All you have to do is swing the baton and take your attacker down.
You'll find the built-in battery has a decent life, and you will only need to recharge the stun gun occasionally. The wrist strap makes it comfortable to carry and reduces the risk an assailant will tear it from your grip.
At $36, this is a slightly pricey stun baton. It's ideal for bouncers and security guards, though it's a tad large to fit in a purse. But, thanks to its lifetime warranty, you can always be protected when out and about!
Small and compact, fits in any purse or pocket, LED targeting laser, 15-foot range, contact stun, battery status indicator lets you know when it needs charging, 2 live cartridges included, comes with holster, lithium battery packs built in, and produces a knock-down electrical punch!
Too small for men with large hands, and the Chinese-made batteries are prone to losing their charge after a few months.
This little taser pistol is a smaller, lighter version of the #2 product on our list, and it’s great for those who want an easily concealed taser to carry in their purse, backpack, or pouch.
It feels just like a tiny pistol in your hand, but when you press the trigger, it shoots the taser prongs 15 feet to hit your attackers with a shock of electricity that will knock them down and limit muscular control for 30-60 seconds—more than enough time for you to make your getaway.
The taser pistol is battery powered, but the built-in lithium battery can typically hold enough charge for a few months without needing to be plugged in.
Aside from the Neuromuscular Incapacitation electric charge to knock an attacker down, the pistol comes with an LED laser sight that will help you to fire as accurately as possible.
There’s a safety switch so you don’t have to worry about your taser going off by accident, and the shaved safety and angled sights will allow you to shoot your pistol comfortably without snagging in your pocket or purse. There’s even a built-in LED light that uses color coding to let you know when the battery needs to be charged.
Starting at around $350 and going as high as $450, this little taser pistol is a great alternative to the high-priced Taser in the #2 spot on our list. It’s smaller, more compact, lower-priced, and just as reliable!
High-grade taser gun, comes with carrying case, includes stun gun backup, laser targeting assist, built-in LED light, 30-second runtime, and the warranty doesn't kick in until you fire it for the first time.
This taser is very expensive, and the battery must be replaced regularly.
For those who want a proper taser that shoots two darts connected to electrical wires, this is the product for you! It's designed to be durable, reliable, and highly efficient, with a 15-foot range that lets you shoot well before your assailant gets close enough to grab you. The electric jolt lasts for 30 seconds, more than enough time to flee. With 50,000 volts of electricity shooting through his nervous system, your attacker will be in no condition to chase you.
In addition to the darts, the taser also has a built-in stun gun in case your assailant gets close enough to grab you. The taser comes with 4 cartridges, a holster, carrying case, and practice target. It's compact and lightweight, making it easy to carry in your coat, briefcase, or purse. The battery must be replaced rather than recharged, but you get good battery life from the taser.
At $1,200, this is a VERY expensive self-defense solution. However, you'll find it's useful for keeping your attackers at bay and taking them down with ease. There is even a 1-year warranty that kicks in the moment you first fire the taser.
Very powerful and compact, comes with built-in LED flashlight, penetrates thick clothing, includes a lifetime warranty and rechargeable battery, features built-in shock plates, and is well-priced and extremely effective.
Flashlight tends to malfunction or burn out.
If you're looking for a stun gun with amazing stopping power, look no further. With 230 million volts of electricity, this will stop even a large-sized attacker in their tracks. The loud crackling sound will usually be warning enough for anyone thinking to threaten you.
The stun gun is solidly built, with a secure grip that will prevent your assailant from tearing it from your grasp. It's comfortable to hold, fits in your briefcase or pocket, and has excellent battery life. The built-in battery is quick to recharge, though the cable is a tad short. All in all, it's the best-performing stun gun on the market.
There are two features that make this a bad-ass stun gun:
First, it has two sharp spike electrodes that are able to pierce multiple layers of clothing. One user tested it with three layers of clothing and found it still delivered the stunning shock effectively.
Second, it has two shock plates on the side of the taser. If someone tries to grab it out of your hand, they'll be shocked!
The LED flashlight is beautifully bright, and it won't suck up the battery life. However, the quality of the flashlight is average at best, and multiple users have reported problems with its reliability.
At $24, this is one of the pricier stun guns on our list. However, the higher price tag is 100% worth it, considering the lifetime warranty, the rechargeable battery, and the unique design. It's the most reliable stun gun on the market, and an option definitely worth considering!
Stun guns are considered one of the safest options for self-defense. While there are many non-lethal options to consider—including pepper spray, batons, alarms, and even knives—stun guns are the ones that pack the most punch to your opponent without putting them at serious risk of bodily harm.
A stun gun is a handheld device that produces a strong electric shock to use against an attacker. Either electrically charged or battery-powered, they send a blast of electricity into an assailant via the two metal prongs at the end of the stun gun. When the prongs come in contact with your attacker’s skin (see below about skin contact vs. clothing), the electricity shoots through their body, causing a great deal of pain and causing them to lose muscle control—thereby giving you ample time to escape.
The electric shock is intended to be non-lethal, but it will be incapacitating. The low amperage of the electricity shouldn’t cause any long-term damage to their bodies, but the high voltage—anywhere from 50,000 to 1 million volts—will immobilize and stun them.
The electricity acts on the neural and muscular systems, causing muscles to contract rapidly, resulting in massive energy loss that renders the attacker’s muscles unable to function properly. Depending on the strength of the shock, that can last anywhere from 5 to 60 minutes. It takes their bodies time to replenish the drained muscles enough to be able to move. The sudden drain of energy also leaves them disorientated, off balance, and confused, all of which combines to make them far more passive and easier for you, their intended victim, to escape.
With just a short contact—as little as ¼ of a second—the electricity will do its job and knock them off balance. Leave it in contact for a second or two, and they’ll experience intense pain, muscle spasms, and feel dazed. More than three seconds, and they’ll be seriously affected: loss of balance, disorientation, loss of muscle control, mental confusion, and intense pain. Essentially, the longer you leave the metal prongs in contact with their body, the longer it’ll take them to recover and the more intense the effects.
You may feel nervous when using a stun gun for the first time, but don’t be! It’s perfectly safe for you, the user, and it’s designed to only harm those who intend you harm.
Step 1: Hold it right. Make sure the prongs are pointed away from you, and place your finger on the trigger button—typically set into the side of the stun gun.
Step 2: Have it handy. If you’re going down a dark alley or an empty parking lot, keep your hand on your stun gun in your purse or pocket. You don’t want to waste valuable seconds rummaging to find your stun gun, so make sure you’ve got it in hand (though out of sight is always better, so potential attackers don’t know you have it).
Step 3: Pick a large muscle group. Chest, abdomen, back, legs, the groin, and the legs are all good areas to target, as the larger muscle groups require more energy to power and thus drain your body of energy more quickly. The larger groups are also larger targets that will be easier to aim for. However, use the electricity anywhere you can reach.
Step 4: Press and hold. Press the button quickly and hold it against your attacker’s skin or clothing for as long as necessary. Remember: 1-2 seconds will throw them off-balance, break their hold on you, and give you a moment to run; 3-5 seconds will send them to the ground and render them immobile for longer.
Step 5: Run and call the police. If your attacker is down hard (after long seconds of stunning), you may have enough time to snap a picture of their face and clothing. However, unless you’re VERY certain you have a few seconds to spare, use your time to run away and back to safety as fast as you can. Once you’re safe, call the police and give them a detailed description of your assailant. You may not have to worry about being attacked again (though you never know), but you can help protect someone else by calling the police.
It’s as simple as that!
In 42 states, stun guns are perfectly legal for people to carry. While each state (and many specific cities) have their own laws regarding the possession, carrying, and use of stun guns and TASERs, most of the states do permit them. However, they are ONLY to be used in self-defense. If there is evidence that you used the stun gun for any other purpose, you may be criminally liable.
Six states do not permit the use of stun guns or TASERs at all:
In Illinois, you must provide a valid copy of a Firearms or Ammunition ID Card in order to carry or use a stun gun or TASER. In Wisconsin, if you can provide a valid copy of your Concealed Carry Weapon permit, you are also permitted to own and use a stun gun or TASER.
Certain cities have banned the use of stun guns for any non-law enforcement personnel:
Outside of the U.S., you need to be very careful to research the laws before bringing your stun gun or TASER. There are a number of countries that restrict the use of stun guns, including:
Before you go out and buy a stunning device, make sure to do research to find out whether or not they’re legal in your city, county, and state.
If you plan on traveling with your stun gun, the TSA does permit non-lethal self-defense weapons like pepper spray, stun guns, and self-defense sprays. However, they must be stowed in your checked luggage, and are never permitted in your carry-on luggage.
As with any weapon, even one used for self-defense, there are certain risks associated with using stun guns and TASERs. The truth is that you’re using the stun gun to pump electricity through an attacker’s body, which means they are at risk of injuries or health problems as a result of the sudden electric shock. While stun devices are designed with low amperage as a means of reducing the chance of injury, there is still a chance, however small.
According to Medical News Today, there is a chance that stun guns and TASERs can actually stop the heart, causing sudden cardiac arrest. Scientists from Indiana University’s School of Medicine discovered that applying an electric shock directly to the chest could affect the heartbeat, causing the heart to suddenly stop beating.
Their research involved eight case studies of adult males that had lost consciousness after being stunned, which proved fatal in seven of the cases. The autopsies discovered that the electric shock can cause ventricular tachycardia, leading to ventricular fibrillation and stopping normal blood flow.
The research did make it clear that the stunned males all had structural heart disease when they were shocked, which was the primary contributor to their deaths. However, the fact that so many people in the world today are at risk for heart disease means you need to be very careful how you use the stun gun, where you stun your assailant, and how long you maintain the stunning for.
An ABC article shared the results of a Canadian study, which discovered that stun guns may cause brain injuries, including seizures, confusion, and loss of consciousness. This is typically only the case when the electric shock is applied to the upper back, neck, or head.
If you’re going to stun an assailant, try your best to apply the electric shock below the chest: to their stomach, sides, groin, or thighs. That way, there is the lowest risk of causing them serious, long-term, potentially life-threatening injuries. Given that you are in a potentially life-threatening situation of your own, you may have only a split second to decide where to stun them.
Stun guns are all battery-powered, which means you’re dependent on the quality of the battery for your protection. Typically, they don’t operate on standard batteries—AA, AAA, or D—but on a built-in rechargeable unit.
Note: Some of the cheaper models will use standard batteries, but they won’t have enough power to be worth your purchase.
The average stun gun battery will last for about 50 seconds of sustained electricity production. That means you get 50 one-second pulses, 25 two-second pulses, or 10 five-second pulses. However, better-quality stun guns can last upwards of 100 seconds before needing to be charged.
Battery recharges will depend on the quality of the unit. You can expect anywhere from 50 to 200 recharges before you have to replace the rechargeable unit.
Sadly, most stun guns are built without a “battery life indicator”, which means your only way of knowing if the stun gun is low on energy is by testing it. You’ll hear and see the current weakening when the battery is running out of juice.
Charge time will vary from device to device, but the average is around 6 to 8 hours for proper recharging. If you don’t use the stun gun, you should get up to 5 or 10 years of use before the battery starts to lose power on its own. If you do use the stun gun, you should consider charging it at least once every two months.
Stunning devices include both TASERs and stun guns, but you’ll find that despite their similarities (a personal handheld device capable of producing a lot of electricity), there are a number of important differences between the two:
Stun Gun – A stun gun is handheld and intended to be used in close proximity. They come in all shapes and sizes, and they are more cost-effective than a TASER. They are also safer—there is no risk the electricity will be passed back to you, so you can use them with greater security. They also come in a broader range of designs, everything from a baton to knuckle grips to flashlights.
TASER – TASERs are designed to be used at close range as well as at a distance. They shoot two metal probes up to 15 feet, capable of penetrating up to 2 inches of clothing to make contact with the skin. Once the probes are in contact with your attacker’s skin, they work just like the prongs of a stun gun, sending electricity shooting through their bodies.
In addition to the long-range capacity, they also are designed to be used in close quarters, with a direct contact back-up in case you miss your shot. However, if both barbs don’t hit their target, the TASER won’t work. There is also a risk that you accidentally get shocked if you touch the wires attached to the prongs. And, TASERs are also significantly more expensive than stun guns.
When you are being attacked, it’s very unlikely that your assailant will be bare-chested or have a lot of skin exposed (unless you’re at a beach). Most people will have to try to shock an attacker through their clothing.
The question is, will the electricity even pass through the clothing? Or, are stun guns only going to work when they touch skin?
For the stun gun or TASER to have maximum effect, it’s always best for the metal prongs to be in full contact with bare skin. That means it’s best to hit a part of their body that is exposed: arms, neck, etc.
However, even if they are clothed, you’ll find the stun gun’s prongs are designed in such a way that they poke through clothing. The barbs of a TASER are actually designed to penetrate up to 2 inches of clothing, and stun gun prongs are set at just the right angle to poke through clothing and come in contact with skin.
The stun gun will NOT work through a heavy coat, jacket, or sweater, and it may only work on denim jeans if you can ensure the prongs poke through properly. The good news is that it will work through lightweight fabric—think T-shirt material or a light windbreaker.
When buying a stun gun, there are a few factors to take into account: