Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Which Is Better? Stun Gun or Pepper Spray

Stun Gun
First and foremost, it's important not to confuse a stun gun with a taser, the weapons are quite different.  A taser shoots probes and can be used at a distance.  A stun gun is a small, handheld item that must make physical contact with the attacker in order to work.  The gun utilizes two small probes that, once in contact with an attacker's skin, releases a high voltage, low amperage charge.  This charge will temporarily disable an attacker for several minutes, allowing you to escape to safety.

PRO:  Stun guns do not rely on pain to stop the attacker, but instead simply stun the attacker, so that their voluntary muscle control ceases temporarily.   Stun guns are inexpensive and small.  They can be held in the palm of your hand.  The shock will not transmit to you if you are in contact with the attacker, so it is very difficult to accidentally use it on yourself during an attack.

Also, many have a fail safe wristband release.  So if your attacker yanks the device from your hand and the wristband is detached, the device goes dead.  It will no longer work and cannot be turned on you.  

CONS:  The biggest downside to a stun gun is that you must be close enough to your attacker to touch him.  This will mean, consequently, that he will be close enough to reach out and grab you as well.

Pepper Spray
The technical name for pepper spray is Oleoresin Capsicum (OC), and it delivers a burning sensation to the attacker when sprayed in the face.

PRO: Pepper spray is effective from 6-8 feet away, providing distance between victim and attacker.  Pepper spray is a non-lethal product that will render the attacker virtually harmless for anywhere from 20-30 minutes.  Pepper spray is available in many different sized containers, and small canisters can be attached to key rings.  Pepper spray is inexpensive and widely available.

CONS: Although most of us want distance between us and an attacker, this can create a problem when using pepper spray.  You must have a good aim, and a steady hand to hit the mark, which is the face.  If you miss, or hit any other body part, it is completely ineffective.  So aim is key to being successful and getting away safely.  Also, problems can arise when using pepper spray, especially when the wind direction does not cooperate.  If you are attacked outdoors on a windy day, the spray may blow back into your own face when you aim for your attacker.  Lastly, if your attacker sees the stream of spray coming, he may be able to easily avoid getting hit by it.  Pepper spray comes with a locking mechanism on the trigger to prevent accidental discharges; as a downside, this mechanism can sometimes be difficult to disengage.

My Personal Choice: 

Winner Stun Gun Winner
Although I do not want to come in contact with my attacker, I found that the stun gun's electrical, loud sizzling noise when engaged is a pretty big deterrent.  If you pull it out, show it and give it a warning zap, most attackers will think twice before approaching any further.  No one wants to get electrocuted.  I found it much more intimidating than a key chain can of pepper spray.  Also, if you tend to panic or overreact, which most of us will do if about to be attacked, keeping a steady hand and having a good aim might be challenging.  Most tend to completely miss an attackers face due to panic.  If an attacker heeds warning and decides to grab you, with a stun gun you can hit them anywhere and they will go down.  Pepper spray is only effective in the face and eyes.  


  1. Stun gun? What if you have mutliple attackers? You have to hold the stun gun on the attacker for several seconds. Pepper spray contains multiple shots and most sprays deploy up to 10 feet. Pepper spray will slam the eyes shut allowing you to escape as the attacker(s) cannot see you. Carry in hand in the armed position. When you get to a safe place engage the safety. Most would rather contend with the wind (often times not a factor) than attempt to disable one or multiple attackers with a stun gun who may be bigger, stronger and have a longer arm reach!

  2. You still have to hit multiple attackers in the face. By the time you get one another will be on you and now you're in a struggle and in really close proximity with spray. It's a personal choice. Not promoting one over the other -- just saying what I prefer.

  3. From the Blogger profile: "Since 1975, Security Equipment Corporation has committed itself to producing the most effective defense spray possible." Vested interest anyone?

    From Stun Gun Cons: "The biggest downside to a stun gun is that you must be close enough to your attacker to touch him." Hey Charlie, what's with the 'him'!? As one of that sex, I feel severely maligned :D

  4. I personaly like the high voltage stun guns because just the sight and sound of them in use will get the atackers atention. I recently had an expieriance where just a quick test fire of my cell phone stun gun was enogh to send my would be attacker running in the other direction.

  5. My husband carries the 'runt' when he runs. We live in the country and everyone has big dogs. Like you said, just the noise alone so far has made every dog turn away and decide either they didn't want to run with him, or bite him. They hate the sound and it is a huge deterrent.

  6. For women, I think, it's safer to carry pepper spray. This is what I have right now.

  7. I agree with you on the pepper spray, it can blow back on the user. I have a taser, though with the cartridge out it operates as a stun gun. I used to work in downtown Atlanta, and could not walk outside my bldg to lunch, my car or the train without being harassed by relentless, and verbally abusive panhandlers. Often revealing the taser stopped them, sometimes i had to point the laser.

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  9. The stun gun is a weapon that is both intimidating and effective. If an assailant isn’t sufficiently deterred by the crack of the white hot arc, then perhaps a jolt will do the trick. The weapons available on the market, these days, deliver millions of volts and should fit nicely into any budget. Whether you’re looking for something to carry on walks or something to carry all the time, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about the best stun gun after reading this. See more

  10. Thanks for this informative piece. I have a question, by the way. Are stun guns safe to use? How's the results for those who are using this device? I live in the city and I do need a pepper spray or a stun gun to the rescue. It's for my peace of mind and I welcome having these for my protection. I often go home late at night and these products help a lot. For more information, hop on to this site to see more

  11. I would be supportive on all of your articles and blogs because they are just upto the mark.Wildfire Pepper Spray


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