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Taser vs Stun Gun: What's the Difference and Which Should You Choose?

Posted by   Steve Thibeault

Self-defense is a serious discipline that can save your life. Not everyone feels comfortable, or is physically able, to defend themselves solely with their body. That's where self-defense tools come in handy.

Firearms are most people's first thought, but owning a gun for personal protection can cause a number of issues in terms of family safety: Americans who keep a gun at home are actually significantly more likely to be killed in a homicide than those who don't have a gun.

But there are other self-defense options besides learning karate and owning a gun. Tasers and stun guns are common choices as defense weapons that can help save you in a dangerous situation.

And while some people use these terms interchangeably, there are key differences between these two products. Keep reading to learn the differences and which between a taser vs stun gun you should get for your self-defense needs.

What Is a Taser?

Tasers use electric shocks in order to stop an attacker. It's shaped a lot like a traditional gun complete with a trigger and a "barrel" shape.

When triggered, the taser will shoot electric probes. These probes are attached to the taser with wires.

When the probes are designed to break through clothing when they make contact. Once contact is made, the taser will deliver a significant electric shock to the attacker.

This electric shock will affect the attacker's muscles, usually making them incapable of moving how they wish. It's also painful, which will stop an attacker where they stand and cause them to fall to the ground.

Tasers can be shot at a distance of up to 15 feet, but they can also be used at closer proximities.

What Is a Stun Gun?

A stun gun also uses electric shocks in order to stop an attacker. Several prongs are attached to the stun gun. The electricity used to subdue the attacker runs through these prongs.

The stun gun must make physical contact with the person you're trying to use it on; the prongs must touch the attacker to deliver the electric shock that will stop or subdue them.

Differences of Taser vs Stun Gun

Both tasers and stun guns use electric shocks in order to subdue and stop attackers. Let's look at some key differences that could determine which you choose to purchase.


The main difference between stun gun and taser options is the proximity at which they work. Tasers can fire the electric probes at distances up to 15 feet, or they can be used at closer proximities to deliver the electric shock.

Stun guns, however, can only be used in close proximity since they have to make physical contact with the attacker and they can't "shoot" probes like a taser can.

Neither is necessarily better; it depends on your personal preference. Some people feel uncomfortable with the idea of having to be close to their attacker in order to defend themselves like the would need to be when using a stun gun.

The other danger of using a stun gun is that an attack could reach you and either grab the gun or avoid it and overtake you. A taser would eliminate some of this risk since you could fire at a safe distance.

Ease of Use

Despite the risks of having to use a stun gun at close proximities, many people find stun guns easier to hold and use. Tasers can shoot from far away, but you have to make sure your aim is on point, as you probably only have one chance to hit the attacker before they reach you.

Stun guns eliminate the added complication of aim.


Neither tasers nor stun guns are legal for civilians in all states.

Tasers are illegal for civilians to own in New York, Massachusetts, Hawaii, and Rhode Island. There are also specific limitations in other states; be sure to check the laws in your state before purchasing one.

Stun guns are illegal for civilians to own in New York, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Michigan, and the District of Columbia. There are also certain cities that don't allow you to own a stun gun either, including Chicago.


Tasers tend to be larger and bulkier compared to stun guns. A taser is usually about the size of a handgun, which means it isn't quite as easy to transport or carry with you.

Stun guns have more size variety; you can opt for a larger one if you have more space for storage or you can choose a small one that can fit inside a purse or a small bag.


Tasers are usually more expensive than stun guns. You can check out our sale section for the best deals on these self-defense products; we also have discounted products that will fit within your budget.

Best Stun Gun Options

Let's look at some of the best stun gun options if you opt for a stun gun for your self-defense.

Knuckle Blaster

The Knuckle Blaster is a high voltage stun gun option that looks different than a traditional rectangular stun gun. It's similar to brass knuckles: it fits over your fingers to give you great grip and an easy-to-use stun gun option.

Another plus to this stun gun is that it can't be easily taken from you or knocked out of your hand by your attacker since it will be secured over your knuckles. It works on either the left or the right hand and fits almost all fingers, which makes it perfect for people of all shapes and sizes.

The Small Fry

The Small Fry looks like a traditional stun gun: a rectangle box with the electric prongs on top with a current you can see.

As the name suggests, this is a smaller device. This makes it easy to bring with you wherever you go so you'll always have protection. The small size doesn't sacrifice power, though: you'll still be able to pack quite the punch with this little guy.

It's also easy to grip and comes with a wrist strap so it will be secure in your hand and can't be taken from you easily.

SMACK Keychain Stun Device

If you really want something portable, try the SMACK keychain stun gun. This little guy fits right on your keys so you'll have protection wherever you go.

This is also a great option for people with smaller hands that can't handle a larger device. It's also great if you don't carry a bag or a holster with you.

You also don't have to sacrifice power for a more portable size: it still packs 6 million volts to shock any attacker into submission.

Best Taser Options

If you decide a taser is what you want for self-defense, check out these reliable options.

Taser Bolt

The Taser Bolt is sleek and powerful allowing you to pack huge electrical power and fire from up to 15 feet away. It's easy to use and not too large, which will let you carry it with you in a bag or a holster with ease. It can even fit in a jacket or pants pocket.

This can also be used as a stun gun if the situation calls for it; no matter the proximity of your attacker, you'll have options to defend yourself with the Taser Bolt.

Taser Pulse

The Taser Pulse looks a lot more like a classic taser: shaped exactly like a handgun, the Pulse will send a sure message that you're armed and ready to defend yourself.

Like the Bolt, the Pulse has a 15 ft range and will release 30 seconds of electric shocks to stop your attacker in their tracks. This lets you fire, subdue the attacker, and escape safely.

The Pulse also makes it easy to aim with laser-assisted targetting. It can also double as a stun gun if necessary.

Taser Pulse will also replace your device for free if you use it on an attacker and have to leave it behind to escape.

Taser vs Stun Gun: Bottom Line

When it comes to stun guns and tasers, they both have advantages and disadvantages. The bottom line is that both of these products can protect you during dangerous situations. Choose whichever feels most comfortable for you and which you can legally have in your state.

Hopefully, this article has helped you understand the key differences in the taser vs stun gun debate so you can make the best choice for you and your needs.

If you have any other questions or want any clarifications about anything we discussed, contact us. Ready to purchase? You can check out our large selection of high-quality stun guns and tasers.


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