The goal of being prepared for self-defense is to incorporate tools and protective steps into your daily schedule without creating a state of perpetual panic. No, that little old lady across the street isn’t going to attack you. That being said, it’s worth the investment to always be prepared.
Save your Hattori Hanzo sword for the living room display because your legitimate arsenal of self-defense tools should be easy to carry and non-lethal. The self-defense weapons below are discreet, cost under $35, and are proven to work.
As with any weapon, take time to learn how to use it. YouTube has tutorials for everything these days. Take a local self-defense class and show no fear — non-verbal cues of confidence go a long way.
Sabre 3-in-1 Pepper Spray with Key Ring
With a formula that includes CS tear gas plus UV-marking dye to aid in suspect identification, Sabre’s 3-in-1 Pepper Spray packs maximum strength in a small bottle and is used by law enforcement across the U.S. The 10-foot range is good for 25 bursts, which is about five times more than other brands, according to Sabre. The key ring makes it easy to carry and a locking top protects from accidental discharges. Sabre uses military-grade tear gas for its mace but steers clear of CN tear gas, which can burn the skin and eyes. (By the way, have you tried mace beer?)
Guard Dog Diablo II Tactical Stung Gun Flashlight
Part 320-lumen flashlight, part 5 million-volt stun gun, the Guard Dog Diablo II is a multi-functional defense tool with solid (we mean solid) stopping power. For a stun gun to be effective, it should deliver at least 1 million volts, says Top Stun Guns. This one is concealed within an aircraft-grade aluminum alloy body that is shockproof for the user. An emergency glass breaker bezel rounds out the specs. For $33, it’s a powerful yet not-too-crazy self-defense weapon that you won’t have to replace, thanks to the built-in rechargeable battery. But don’t be fooled — this is still a powerful weapon that requires training.
Fast Strike Biker Whip
Indiana Jones had the right idea carrying a whip to fight Mola Ram. The non-lethal striking force of this Fast Strike Biker Whip was designed for quick, easy use and, most importantly, it’s lightweight to carry and conceal. You can hook it onto a pair of basketball shorts for a game at the park or tuck it into your backpack walking to class or work. Some dudes wear it like a belt on their jeans. Reaching 17-inches long, this whip was inspired by the self-defense whips used by motorcyclists. The flexible stainless steel whip is strong enough to break windows and malleable enough to curl in a pocket. Honestly, we prefer this to a gnarly baton which, used incorrectly, could cause irreparable damage.
Tactical Pointed Tip Grooved Grip Kubotan
While the Kubotan looks like a gnarly vampire stake, it has a slew of non-lethal uses for self-defense. Attach this lightweight aluminum stick to your keys for simple carry and, in the event of an attack, you can do one of the following: grip it to harden your fist for punching, use as a flailing weapon and whip your keys at the attacker, or take the Kubotan and strike your assailant’s hands and joints. In self-defense, it’s best to go for sensitive parts if accessible, like the bridge of the nose, shins, or knuckles. A well-placed strike can break bones.
Brutus Bulldog Self-Defense Keychain Knuckle Weapon
The goal is making self-defense accessible while not worrying yourself sick about what could happen. Set out for a warm-weather run or night-time dog walk with only your music and keys knowing if you tread into the wrong area you’ll be protected. Disguised as a bulldog keychain, the Brutus Bulldog Self-Defense Knuckle Weapon becomes a spiked accessory fitting around your knuckles, made to strike an oncoming assailant and pierce the skin. The ABS molded plastic is said to be unbreakable. Cat/dog ear weapons are not legal in states that do not permit brass knuckles.
Sabre Sport and Safety Horn
We’re not joking. Get a horn. Audible over a half mile away, this compact horn fits in your car door (it’s only 4.75 inches tall) and is incredibly loud. This noise could startle an aggressor and make them flee. Sabre says the alarm also reduces the risk of bear attacks while hiking and camping and that periodic blasts can alert bears you’re in the area thereby decreasing aggressive, surprised behavior. An easy-to-use button makes firing simple.
Door Stop Alarm
Aushen Door Stop Alarm
This isn’t a weapon, per se, but like the horn, it goes a long way with self-defense. Aushen made a door stop alarm that can be used at home and taken anywhere you travel. It’s super simple: put the door stop under your door and turn on the switch. If an intruder should try to enter, the damping rubber at the bottom will wedge under the door and the alarm will be triggered. There are high, medium, and low settings but you can max out at 120 decibels. It’s great for guys who travel for work.
Marine Martial Arts App
For every time you check a social media app or your fantasy baseball team on your phone, open the Marine Martial Arts app for a quick training session in close combat. With hundreds of pages of content, this portable training manual is instructive, simple, and includes both hand-to-hand and hand-to-weapon tips. Ask your S.O. or roommate to practice before dinner to help you get the moves down.