The Ultimate Guide For The Most Popular Self-Defense Products
Self-defense products have become extremely popular mostly because they are so effective, and they have become cheaper over time as technology improves and price competition settles in.
Crime is everywhere and law enforcement simply cannot protect you against assaults that occur on a regular basis-seemingly at an advanced rate.
What Are They?
Self-defense products are in a category of products that are called nonlethal or less than lethal products used for personal safety or personal security. They are obviously different from the lethal force of a handgun. Many people have a difficult time dealing with the deadly force issue when it comes to self-defense. And the fact of the matter is that a handgun is just not appropriate in nearly 90 to 95% of the cases involving crime.
What Is Their Purpose?
The purpose of self-defense tools is to disable/immobilize an assailant for a short period of time allowing you time to escape a potentially dangerous situation and seek help.
Why The Non-Lethal Alternative?
Not every situation calls for the use of deadly force. As a matter of fact, in reality very few do. Thus the nonlethal alternative.
Pepper sprays are the most popular self-defense product in the world. They have fewer legal restrictions than stun guns especially in foreign countries. Sometimes known as defensive sprays, they are part of what would be called chemical warfare. Thousands of years ago the Chinese warriors threw bags of hot spices at their enemies-the humble beginnings of pepper sprays.
Law enforcement has been using pepper spray for years for crowd and riot control. Every law enforcement officer in the country carries pepper spray on his utility belt as his first nonlethal alternative in his continuum of force-the options he has at his disposal to enforce the law.
See our article on ‘Pepper Spray Everything You Need To Know’ for more information about pepper spray and what it can do.
Pepper spray uses a chemical called oleoresin capsicum as the main ingredient. It comes from the resin of one of the hottest peppers in the world-the cayenne pepper. Defensive sprays are measured by using the common Scoville heat unit system-the most common measure of hotness. They’re also measured by Capsaicin and Related Capsaicinoids (CRC) which is really a more accurate way of determining strength and potency of the product.
What Can It Do?
A spray in the face with pepper spray causes shortness of breath, coughing, choking and excessive tearing of the eyes to the point where the eyes may actually shut down. This temporary blindness and other effects may last as long as 45 minutes.
It has been tested to be close to 90% effective but is notoriously ineffective in windy or rainy conditions because the spray can be blown off course even by a slight wind. It doesn’t work very well against assailants who are on drugs or are drunk.
Pepper spray has been shown to be extremely effective against dog attacks, and anyone who goes into the backcountry for camping, hiking, fishing or just walking without bear pepper spray is risking their lives. Bear pepper spray has been shown to be much more effective than even a handgun in defending against a charging bear.
Several manufacturers have created containers that disguise the pepper sprays making them much more effective in an attack creating the element of surprise. Most no-table among these are pepper sprays that appear to be lipstick or perfume dispensers.
Defensive sprays come in sizes ranging from a tiny ½ ounce up to a whopping 16 ounce canister.
The most common disbursement method is a stream, however they also come as a mist, gel or fogger which can be used by police for riot control.
To give you an idea of what pepper sprays can do and how they are used see our article entitled ‘Pepper Sprays In Action.’
Personal alarms are nothing more than small, inexpensive and easy to operate, battery-operated, handheld noisemakers. They can make sounds ranging from 100 dB up to 130 dB. Most of our alarms have powerful LED lights that are helpful in dark parking lots and stairwells.
What Can They Do?
When activated, usually with the press of a button, a personal alarm sound can do two things. First, it has the potential of scaring away an assailant. They don’t like the attention that a loud siren alarm brings. Secondly, it can alert people in the area that you may be in distress. Hopefully they will come running to your aid.
Stun devices are handheld products that have a trigger or a button that activates an electrical charge between two or more metal prongs on the end of the unit. Stun devices are not legal in several states, but those laws are changing all the time so check with your local police department for legality in your area.
What Can They Do?
The electrical charge causes disruption of the neurological impulses in the body and controls muscle movement. They overwhelm the neuro-muscular system causing the victim to lose balance and become confused. This effect can immobilize the target for as long as ten minutes allowing the victim time to escape a potentially dangerous encounter.
The energy that is released into the attacker’s muscles causes them to do a great deal of work in a very rapid fashion. This makes the assailant unable to produce energy for his muscles because all his blood sugars are depleted making his body unable to function properly.
Stun devices have to be physically applied to an assailant for a minimum of 3 to 5 seconds. Some people see that as a major drawback to using a stun device.
How Effective Are They?
On average stun devices are close to 90% effective but again they are notoriously ineffective against an assailant who is on drugs or is drunk.
Please take a look at our article on ‘‘WhatTo Look For In A Nonlethal Stun Device’ to help you decide which stun gun might work best for you.
Over 17,000 law enforcement agencies carry and use tasers. If that isn’t a potent endorsement as to the effectiveness of them, we do not know what is. They have the same restrictions as stun guns and thus are not legal in all states. Taser is an acronym for Thomas A Swift Electronic Rifle, the idol of the inventor Jack Cover who was a NASA researcher and first invented the product in 1974.
What Are They?
According to the online encyclopedia Taser® is a conducted electrical weapon CEW or an electroshock tool “sold by Taser International. It fires two small dart-like electrodes, which stay connected to the main unit by conductors, to deliver electrical current to disrupt voluntary control of muscles causing neuro-muscular incapacitation.”
The two darts are fired with such force that they can penetrate an inch and a half of clothing and once they hit the body they cause strong involuntary muscle contractions.
Tasers use low-voltage and high amperage versus high-voltage and low amperage of normal stun guns. It is the amperage that makes tasers so effective. They have been shown to be more effective than a 9 mm gunshot with close to a 100% takedown rate-unparalleled by any other self-defense product.
They are by far the most expensive of all self-defense products ranging in price from just under $400 to as much as $1400.
For more information about tasers and the differences between them and a normal stun gun see our article entitled ‘A Taser Is A Stun Gun But A Stun Gun Is Not Necessarily A Taser.’
Keychain weapons are easy to carry and conceal making them a favorite for men and women. They are durable weapons that are lightweight, intimidating products made of reinforced plastic or lightweight aluminum with finger holes and all with sharp angles for maximum self-defense protection. They increase your chances of defending yourself.
Here is an example of one of them called Brutus Pit Bull that is made of unbreakable ABS molded plastic that is compact and lightweight yet delivers a devastating punch with sharp edges.
How have you used a self-defense product? Please share your experience. We want to hear your thoughts.