10 Best Non-Lethal Self Defense Weapons
By Jeremy Pollack
In most cases of self-defense, lethal force will not be necessary or legal. Typically, arguments escalate, emotions run high, and individuals attack because they feel threatened or disrespected. In these situations, where an imminent threat to life is neither intended nor perceived, it would serve to have self-defense weapons that are practical, easy to use, and non-lethal. The following 10 items are, in my opinion, the best non-lethal self-defense weapons available.
If I have the option, I always prefer a self-defense weapon that could be used at a distance, that can incapacitate an attacker, that is quick to deploy, simple to use, easy to carry, and of course legal. While Tasers are not legal to carry in every city or state, they are legal in many locations and offer all of the above features. Which is why I recommend a Taser first and foremost to anyone looking for a non-lethal self-defense weapon in a state where Tasers are legal to carry.
Second to Tasers, I recommend pepper spray. That’s because the best pepper spray is also simple to use, can be used at a distance, easy to carry, and is legal in all 50 states. The only detriment is that it relies mostly on pain, as it does not incapacitate individuals by attacking any sort of physiological structure like the Taser does. That being said, pepper spray can inflame the area around the eyes when used appropriately and therefore make it much harder for the attacker to see and carry out an attack.
Stun guns are also highly effective as non-lethal self-defense weapons. They are easy to carry, quick to deploy, and can deliver a powerful and painful shock. It’s also very easy to understand how to use a stun gun for self-defense. When comparing Tasers or pepper spray vs stun gun, stun guns, unfortunately, cannot be used at a distance and they are not generally able to completely incapacitate an attacker; however, they are worth carrying in the absence of a Taser or pepper spray. Plus, stun guns are typically very affordable.
I love these little keychains knuckle weapons. They pack a lot of power in a small, easy to carry, and affordable package. Using one’s natural ability to strike with the hands, these keychain knuckle self-defense items make your hands twice as powerful and effective in protecting yourself.
A baton is quite a versatile tool, as it can be used for a variety of reasons including self-defense. Batons mimic the most basic of self-defense weapons -- the stick -- which makes it extremely easy for any individual to wield. That being said, I highly recommend training in baton self defense techniques if you choose to carry one for defensive purposes. That’s because when used for physical protection, a baton can be taken away from an inexperienced user and subsequently used against them. Also, some states and cities do not allow civilians to carry batons, so be sure to check local regulations before purchasing this self-defense weapon.
A strong, metal flashlight can also be used as a great self-defense weapon. Similar to the baton, when used to strike the collar bone, arms, or legs of an attacker, a flashlight is certainly a non-lethal form of self-defense. When striking the face or head, on the other hand, using a metal clubbing tool such as a flashlight might be considered lethal force, depending on the nature of the attack. Of course, flashlights are legal to carry everywhere and are generally a great device; but make sure you know the law and understand when it is legal to strike the face versus the body with a flashlight or any clubbing weapon.
Tactical pens are easy to carry, legal to carry, and can be deployed quickly and effectively for self-defense. Not much training is needed to effectively use these strong, compact weapons for personal protection. Simply grip the tactical pen with a tight fist and strike the opponent in the chest, clavicle, or face area depending on the nature and severity of the attack. When striking the eyes, throat, or top or back of the head, this weapon, although compact, can turn potentially lethal. So be careful to understand how much force you are using and where exactly you intend on striking.
Very similar to the tactical pen, the kubotan is also lightweight, easy to carry, simple to use, and quite effective when used with defensive intention. You can use these types of weapons against the sternum to back someone up or, in the worst case scenario, against the neck or face to deter a more severe attack. Kubotans can be carried easily in purses or pockets, and they fit nicely onto keychains.
In lieu of a physical weapon, these noise-based weapons can be quite effective in defending an attack. Not only are personal safety alarms piercing to an attacker’s ears, potentially causing confusion and disorientation to ward off an attack, they also alert passersby and other potential witnesses so as to diminish an attacker’s opportunity to freely carry out an assault. Easy to carry, legal everywhere, and totally safe to deploy, personal safety alarms can truly be lifesavers.
When no other weapons exist, you always have your hands and feet to ward off an attack. Of course, martial arts or self-defense training is highly recommended to use your hands and feet effectively in a self-defense scenario. However, without training, just remember a few key tips: strike towards soft target areas, such as the groin, throat, and eyes; strike as hard as you can until you have safely escaped the attack; do not give up, keep fighting in whatever way you can; and finally, protect your head at all times, since we cannot fight when we are asleep and we don’t want an attacker taking away our consciousness.
These 10 weapons can provide non-lethal means to defending against a variety of attacks. Know your laws, your particular anticipated environments, and your physical capabilities to determine which of these weapons are suitable for you. All of these defensive weapons can be found here at The Home Security Superstore, so equip yourself as soon as possible. Good luck and stay safe!
Jeremy Pollack has been teaching martial arts and self-defense for more than 20 years. He holds a Black Belt in Hapkido, Instructor rankings in Muay Thai and Krav Maga, and belts in several other martial systems. He is also a former member of the California State Military Reserve, Military Police Unit. You can read more about him at CoachJeremyPollack.com and PollackPeacebuilding.com.