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Pepper Spray vs. Tasers: Which Is Right For You?

pepper spray vs tasers
Whether you’re walking through a parking lot at night, considering a self defense item to bring with you to college, or you awaken to a strange sound near your patio door, you’ll want a powerful self-defense tool on hand. But which self-defense weapons are right for you? Two popular and portable options are pepper spray and Tasers. Let’s take a look at how you can decide whether a canister of pepper spray or if a Taser is the best choice for your personal safety. 


Distance from Attacker Using Taser and Pepper Sprays

One common concern for people seeking out new self-defense tools is how close they will have to get to their attacker to deploy an effective offense. The good news is that both pepper spray and a Taser gun can be used with a few feet of distance between you and another person.

When looking at the distance of an attacker, pepper spray is most effective when the assailant is:

  • 3 - 8 FEET AWAY Using Pepper Spray
  • 2 - 5 FEET AWAY Using a Taser 

While both offer some distance, pepper spray can be wafted away by the wind to some extent, or back into your own face. In other words, you may want to get closer to be more effective. A Taser is as effective as your aim, so if you’re able to make contact with the torso, it doesn’t matter how close you are. If the distance is important to you, a Taser may be your best bet. 

Lethal Force Potential of Taser vs. Pepper Spray

Pepper spray is an eye, nose, and throat irritant. It will temporarily blind your attacker but even with the strongest pepper spray, there is no risk of fatality. Tasers for women, while generally considered non-lethal self defense weapon, do carry a small risk of causing cardiac arrest. If using a non-lethal method of self-defense is a top priority for you, pepper spray is the right weapon for you. 

Taser vs Pepper Spray Legality in Your State

Pepper spray is legal in all 50 states (though your state may regulate how large the canister can be and have age restrictions), while Tasers are not legal for use by civilians in Hawaii, New York, or Rhode Island. Some states allow Tasers but require a permit to own one. In addition, in some states where Tasers are allowed specific cities have outlawed them; for instance, you may own a Taser in Illinois but Chicago has banned them. You should research your state and city laws before making your choice because you don’t want to run afoul of local regulations and get in trouble for using a banned weapon. When in doubt, a small canister of pepper spray is the choice most likely to be perfectly legal. 

Speed of Efficacy of Taser vs Pepper Spray

How quickly will each weapon deliver the desired effect? Both pepper spray and Tasers yield near-immediate results. Tasers will shock your attacker as soon as the prongs make contact with their body and pepper spray immediately gets to work irritating eyes and skin as soon as it hits the face. That being said, if you spray pepper spray from a distance, there may be a small delay of a few seconds before it reaches your intended target. Pepper spray may also inadvertently impact other people in the area. For immediate, targeted use of force, a Taser may be the superior choice. 

When it comes to the pepper spray vs. Taser debate, there is no one correct answer! Use the weapon that you feel most comfortable deploying and that you can bring with you where you need it most. If you still have questions about finding a pepper spray gun or Taser for sale, contact The Home Security Superstore today!

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a taser weigh?

Tasers weigh between 0.5 lbs. to 2 lbs., depending on the model.

How does a taser work?

Tasers fire two hooked darts attached to wires into attackers when the trigger is pulled. Once attached, electricity passes from the taser to the target when the trigger is pressed. These electrical pulses interfere with the neuromuscular system causing disorientation and for the targets muscles to seize up and they become incapacitated. A taser can also work as a contact stun gun when cartridges are spent.

How much is a taser?

Taser prices range from around $400 to as much as $1,500 or more for professional models used by law enforcement. Regular non-shooting stun guns can cost as little as $9 or reach up to $80 depending on the size and power.

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