10 Effective Self Defense Tools for Non Lethal Protection
The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that around 3 million burglaries take place each year in the United States. You have a right to a safe, secure home, including the right to hold and utilize self defense tools necessary to protect yourself and your family.
During many of the reported burglaries, people are in their homes at the time. Which can be a terrifying experience - for which most of us would want some kind of self defense tools.
While firearms remain a popular deterrent and self defense option, not every situation requires a gun. And some people may not be willing to potentially kill another person, though they would arguably be justified in doing so while protecting their home.
Some people say that legal non-lethal weapons are controversial because used in a certain way, they can actually cause death. Nonetheless, this list contains non-lethal protection options only.
But which self defense tools are the most effective in these situations? In this article, we look at 10 effective non-lethal self defense tools for protection inside and outside the home.
1. Pepper Spray
Pepper spray is a common choice among self defense tools due to its ease of use, non-lethal status and the fact it is easy to conceal. The active ingredient in pepper spray is found and extracted from chili peppers and other fruits in the Capsicum genus.
Aimed at the eyes and nose, it will cause inflammation of the mucous membranes. This will, in turn, lead to temporary blindness, pain, uncontrollable coughing and difficulty in breathing and speaking.
The effects tend to last between 30 and 60 minutes, giving you ample time to follow up with other weapons or to restrain the assailant and call the police.
Many people using pepper spray will keep it in a bag and carry it around with them all day. So it's not just for use in the home. You can even buy it as an attachment for your key chain, so that it's easily retrievable at a second's warning of a threat.
Global sales of Mace brand pepper spray were up 77% in the final quarter of 2015. This shows that pepper spray remains a popular option from the range of self defense tools for many.
2. Taser Devices
It's likely that even if you haven't seen a taser in real life, you've seen TASER devices used on cop shows on TV, or on the news.
TASER devices are very effective at subduing a person, no matter their size and aggression. Using compressed gas, they fire two small probes up to fifteen feet in distance, which will attach to the target.
Once attached, the probes conduct a high-voltage current into the target's body, which induces extreme pain and collapse. This happens as the target loses control of their muscles due to the electric shock.
It won't knock them out, unless they hit their head hard on something on the way down. But it will definitely get their attention!
Once the probes are attached, the charge will continue for 30 seconds. Then the cycle will stop, though the probes remain attached.
The threat of further pain will gain at least some level of compliance from the intruder. But if you need to give them one more shock to completely subdue them, simply press the trigger again to restart the 30-second cycle.
TASER weapons are legal for citizen use in most states. But there are certain states, and municipal districts where ownership is restricted. Please don't order or transport them into areas where it is not legal for you to own these devices.
To be clear, TASER devices are not the same thing as a stun gun.
3. Stun Guns
So what is the difference between a TASER and a stun gun? Well, stun guns aren't actually 'guns', in the sense that they don't fire a projectile.
Instead, they need to be physically placed against the body of the target. So they're often better in close quarters where you don't have the time to line up a shot properly.
You then pull the trigger, or push the button, and it will discharge a sudden and extremely powerful shock. You would not want to be on the wrong end of this.
Some stun guns have other useful features. For example, this model has a built-in flashlight which you can use to navigate your house in the dark, and shine into the eyes of intruders to disorientate them before going in for the attack.
Others work both as batons and stun guns - built to be durable enough to dish out punishment with strikes, as well as zapping the target with up to millions of volts of power.
4. Cell Phone Stun Guns
Some stun guns are made to look like other devices, so that intruders drop their guard.
Pulling out a cell phone doesn't seem particularly threatening - but just wait. This cell phone is something special, and will deliver a 4.9 milliamp shock into its target.
You can simply carry this around in a certain pocket all day long. If you ever need to use it, pull it out rather than your regular phone. The target will be none the wiser until the shock blasts into them!
Please note that it won't make calls, even to the police. It is a stun gun and doesn't actually work as a phone.
Other 'disguises' for these types of self defense tools include handbag-friendly lipstick, e-cigarette and perfume stun guns, as well as 'sting rings', which you hold in your fist to electrify your punches.
Or, less subtly, there are also a few electrified knuckle dusters on the market. Certainly more intimidating than a cell phone, but less of a surprise.
5. Steel Batons
If you need to get up close and personal, telescopic steel batons are your friend. As they shrink in size for storage, you can keep a couple of them near likely entry points, ready for you to grab - just in case.
Burglars also may not notice what self defense tools you're holding if they're not extended, giving you the element of surprise - they won't know what hit them, until it's too late.
Generally, the advice when using steel batons is to aim for the legs - in particular, the back of the knees - to bring the target to the floor. But if they've got a weapon too, prioritize the joints of the arms and shoulders.
If you still want something more shocking, some weapons of this type combine the power of a stun gun with the brute force of a baton.
In a pinch, where you can't reach your baton, grab other household objects like umbrellas, walking sticks or baseball bats (more on those in a moment)
Sometimes, you may not have time to fetch a baton weapon, for example if you are rushed by home invaders.
In these cases, it is helpful to have some form of carried weaponry. Kubotans are small weapons which fit in your pocket, or can be attached to a keychain.
You can hold these devices in a number of ways in order to inflict various attacks. For example, you can hold it like an 'ice pick', straight down into the pressure points of the target.
Or you can hold it in your fist to add power and weight to your strikes. The ends of the kubotan will point out of the sides of your fist, and you can use these spikes to 'hammer' down into your target too.
They may be small, but as self defense tools go, kubotans are extremely versatile and effective.
7. Tactical Pens
Kubotans sometimes come in different forms. Tactical pens are similar in shape and purpose, but it's unlikely a burglar will know what's coming when you pick up a pen to defend yourself.
As with kubotans, there are many different techniques to use with a tactical pen, and some of these self defense tools also have auxiliary purposes.
You can strike with the pointed end into the neck and chest of your target to cause intense pain, or start throwing punches.
If you need to make an escape, for example from armed burglars, you can use the pen to shatter a window, in order to make your way out of a room without a door or easily-opened windows.
Some tactical pens feature an end which is specifically designed to capture DNA from a target to help the police identify the target later.
We're not talking kiddy toys here, although they are great fun to use outside of a hostile situation.
Slingshots can be a good addition to your collection, though you'll likely want something like a steel baton to follow up on your assault with. Well-placed steel shot can be every bit as effective as other weapons, though you will need some practice first.
Fast pieces of metal flying past your target's head might make them think twice about being inside your house - even if the shot is not coming from a gun.
Considering alternative ranged weapons? Instead of a hand-loaded slingshot, you might also consider a bean bag gun.
These fire non-lethal bean bag projectiles which travel at over a hundred feet per second. It's sure to put an intruder on the floor if you hit them in the stomach or chest.
9. Monkey Fist
A 'monkey fist' may sound cute, but it definitely isn't.
A monkey fist is another keychain friendly self defense tool. The 'fist' itself is actually the name for a knot made by bundling many layers of rope together into a ball. You may have seen them on key chains in the past.
The self defense version is something slightly different. Seemingly made of rope all the way through, the outside layer conceals a hard steel core. This is perfect for delivering a surprise attack with against an assailant.
It'll take your target completely off guard. As with tactical pens or cell phone stun guns, they all look innocent - until you get hit with one.
10. Baseball Bat
By far the most famous of the self defense tools in this list. You're likely to have a baseball bat around the home already. But specially designed metal bats which are used as defensive tools can be very destructive - though still non-lethal.
That said, wooden bats can be every bit as painful when aimed at a person, if you know where to hit them.
Like batons, it's best to use baseball bats to strike at the back of the knees. This will quickly bring your target to the ground. But if you need to throw the strike somewhere else to protect yourself - go for it.
Where Can I Buy These Self Defense Tools?
Non-lethal self defense tools should be on every homeowners' shopping list, no matter if they already own a gun or not.
Firearms may have far more stopping power, but they require maintenance - and even the best maintained gun can jam when you least expect it.
Self defense tools like baseball bats, stun guns and TASER devices won't let you down like this. They're ready to go whenever you are, and most of the items in our list can be used in various ways for protection.
We carry a wide range of self defense equipment, including anti-dog devices. We also offer devices for your home such as alarms, hidden cameras and much more so that someone is keeping an eye on your home, even when you're not.
Whatever your choice, do please make sure that the self defense tools which you have picked are legal to own in your home state.
The law on self defense tools does vary across the country. So you must be sure you're not going to get into more trouble than the criminal you're defending your home against - no matter how unfair that may feel, it's the law.
We hope that you never have to use any of these tools for real. But it's important for your peace of mind that they're in your home and ready to use if you ever did need to protect your family.