In most cases of self-defense, lethal force will not be necessary or legal. Typically, arguments escalate, emotions run high, and individuals attack because they feel threatened or disrespected. In these situations, where an imminent threat to life is neither intended nor perceived, it would serve to have self-defense weapons that are practical, easy to use, and non-lethal. The following 10 items are, in my opinion, the best non-lethal self-defense weapons available.

Taser

If I have the option, I always prefer a self-defense weapon that could be used at a distance, that can incapacitate an attacker, that is quick to deploy, simple to use, easy to carry, and of course legal.  While Tasers are not legal to carry in every city or state, they are legal in many locations and offer all of the above features. Which is why I recommend a Taser first and foremost to anyone looking for a non-lethal self-defense weapon in a state where Tasers are legal to carry.

Pepper Spray

Second to Tasers, I recommend pepper spray. That’s because the best pepper spray is also simple to use, can be used at a distance, easy to carry, and is legal in all 50 states. The only detriment is that it relies mostly on pain, as it does not incapacitate individuals by attacking any sort of physiological structure like the Taser does.  That being said, pepper spray can inflame the area around the eyes when used appropriately and therefore make it much harder for the attacker to see and carry out an attack.

Stun Gun

Stun guns are also highly effective as non-lethal self-defense weapons. They are easy to carry, quick to deploy, and can deliver a powerful and painful shock. It’s also very easy to understand how to use a stun gun for self-defense. When comparing Tasers or pepper spray vs stun gun, stun guns, unfortunately, cannot be used at a distance and they are not generally able to completely incapacitate an attacker; however, they are worth carrying in the absence of a Taser or pepper spray. Plus, stun guns are typically very affordable.

Keychain Knuckle Weapon

I love these little keychains knuckle weapons. They pack a lot of power in a small, easy to carry, and affordable package. Using one’s natural ability to strike with the hands, these keychain knuckle self-defense items make your hands twice as powerful and effective in protecting yourself.

Baton

A baton is quite a versatile tool, as it can be used for a variety of reasons including self-defense. Batons mimic the most basic of self-defense weapons — the stick — which makes it extremely easy for any individual to wield. That being said, I highly recommend training in baton self defense techniques if you choose to carry one for defensive purposes. That’s because when used for physical protection, a baton can be taken away from an inexperienced user and subsequently used against them. Also, some states and cities do not allow civilians to carry batons, so be sure to check local regulations before purchasing this self-defense weapon.

Flashlight 

A strong, metal flashlight can also be used as a great self-defense weapon. Similar to the baton, when used to strike the collar bone, arms, or legs of an attacker, a flashlight is certainly a non-lethal form of self-defense. When striking the face or head, on the other hand, using a metal clubbing tool such as a flashlight might be considered lethal force, depending on the nature of the attack.  Of course, flashlights are legal to carry everywhere and are generally a great device; but make sure you know the law and understand when it is legal to strike the face versus the body with a flashlight or any clubbing weapon.

Tactical Pen

Tactical pens are easy to carry, legal to carry, and can be deployed quickly and effectively for self-defense. Not much training is needed to effectively use these strong, compact weapons for personal protection. Simply grip the tactical pen with a tight fist and strike the opponent in