Looking for the most reliable stun guns on the market this year? Choosing the best one is far from being a walk in the park. We set out to find the best stun guns on the market by spending months researching and testing a variety of options. In this buyer’s guide, you’ll learn how stun guns work and if they are worth the purchase. We’ve summed up the best options and come up with the TOP 6 Best Stun Guns & Tasers for 2018. Continue reading to learn more and choose the device for you.
- What is a stun gun?
- Common misconceptions about stun guns
- How stun gun works
- Legal issues
- Types of stun guns
- TOP 6 Best Stun Guns
- Tips for using a stun gun
- Pros and Cons of using stun guns
Being afraid of returning home late? You have all the rights to be. According to RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, ninety percent of adult rape victims are female. More than seventeen million is the estimated number of victims of rape since 1998. Unfortunately, the ninety-nine percent of perpetrators will walk free. It’s high time you learn how to defend yourself. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the shopping for stun guns, an important addition to your self-defense kit. It’s crucial that you know how this stuff works, when and where you can use it to defend yourself, and what limitations stun guns have so that you know which other devices might be worth a purchase.
A stun gun is a non-lethal weapon which delivers an electric shock that incapacitates the attacker by temporarily disrupting muscle functions. Although electroshock weapons have been used for more than a century, the Taser-style guns didn’t see the light of day until the 1960s, when a NASA researcher, Jack Cover, developed the technology and named it after his childhood hero. Since Jack Cover used gunpowder as the Taser’s propellant, it was later classified as a firearm. Then in the 1980s, the patent was adapted by Nova Technologies, which designed the first non-projectile hand-held style stun guns.
There are a few common misconceptions that I want to highlight here before we move on any further:
- Most people think that electrical weapons work all the time, unfortunately, though they tend to be only 60% effective (depends on the quality could be as low as 20% or as high as 75%).
- If 50,000 volts comes out from an electronic device, only about 500 enter the body, however, that’s enough to cause significant pain, disorientation, and confusion.
- Stun guns are not the same as Taser guns. With stun guns, you have contact electrodes that need to come in direct contact with the attacker’s body in order to shock them. Whereas with Tasers you have the probes that shoot out and can hit somebody at a distance.
- People can actually die from the Tasers: although these devices are considered non-lethal, there have been cases where people eventually died. Between 2001 and 2007 there were at least 245 known deaths associated with the use of Taser. Thus, I would recommend avoiding shots at the thoracic area where the heart would be. It’s preferred that you shoot at the back of the individual, which is away from the heart and also has groups of major muscles.
Stun guns use an electric shock to deter an attacker. Unlike Taser, stun gun is a direct contact device, which means you have to be in direct contact with an attacker in order to use it and place the gun directly on the attacker’s skin.
Direct contact with skin makes a stun gun more powerful but charge could penetrate clothing – especially light clothing.
Stun guns use high voltage and low amperage to temporarily incapacitate an attacker and cause a significant amount of pain but will not lock up the body like the Taser device. The stun gun usually looks like a small gadget with two prongs on the front where the electricity arcs. Inside the stun gun you’ll find:
- a battery compartment;
- voltage amplifier circuit which regulates how quickly the electricity goes to the device and into an attacker;
- the trigger, which directly connects to the amplifier circuit;
- application electrodes and test electrodes (or positive and negative) in the front, which allow the arc to be sparked across the two points.
A Stun gun can be legally carried without a permit in almost every state of the US. However, in Connecticut, Illinois, and Wisconsin state guns can be used with certain legal restrictions. It is completely illegal to bear stun guns in Hawaii, New York, and Rhode Island. Please, check with your local authorities if you can use a stun gun/Taser in the area where you live.
Again, let me first address the difference between Tasers and stun guns:
- Taser gun refers to a brand rather than a specific product.
- While stun gun doesn’t really look like a gun, the Taser clearly does.
- The stun gun is a direct contact device, whereas the Taser can be both direct contact and a long range weapon.
- Since stun guns rely on pain compliance, then if your attacker is intoxicated or heavily drugged, then most probably your stun gun would render useless and could make your attacker even more aggressive. Taser guns work by neuromuscular incapacitation, which means that even if the attacker is under influence, it would disable him anyway.
- Stun gun zaps for every second you press the button and hold your device. Taser cycles for 5 to 30 seconds.
- Stun guns are way less expensive than Tasers.
Now, let’s cover the two basic types of stun guns:
Compact stun guns are small compact devices that might be disguised as other objects, like mobile phones, pens, or umbrellas. They must touch the subject in order to work.
Stun Prods. The baton-style prods (which look like and work similar to cattle prods) have either a metal end split in two or two projecting electrodes. Both electrodes must touch the subject in order to work. Some prods have electrified sides to prevent an attacker from grasping the prod above the electrodes. Some batons are built into long flashlights.
VIPERTEK VTS-989 with LED Flashlight
This powerful stun gun comes with an LED flashlight that would also help to deter an assailant with a bright light. What’s great about this device is that it comes with the shock plates on the sides to prevent an assailant from snatching the gun from you. Another advantage is the sharp prods at the front of the gun that will penetrate the thick clothing of an attacker. It comes with a rechargeable battery that needs to be charged for 1-2 hours per month with no use.
The customer response is generally positive, with people recounting their testing it even on themselves either accidentally or on purpose. Others, who were less fortunate, often complained of the battery malfunction. So before you go out with the device, check if the gun and the battery works. Fortunately, the manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty, making it virtually a risk-free product. Besides, it’s rather inexpensive, so can be well worth the investment.
VIPERTEK VTS-T03 – Aluminum Series 53 with LED Tactical Flashlight
Okay, this is another heavy duty stun gun from VIPERTEK that comes with a 350 Lumen Tactical Flashlight and 100,000-hour bulb. It’s styled as a baton and features an anti-roll design. Just as any other device from VIPERTEK it has an internal rechargeable battery that should be charged for 1-2 hours per month. This particular device doesn’t have the protruding probes; the end of the gun is rather flat across the lens area.
The light is blinding enough to deter and temporarily disorient an assailant, and the charge is adequate enough to penetrate through clothing. Unfortunately, the stun mode doesn’t work simultaneously with the flashlight; you have to switch between the two modes to make each one work separately, which is definitely a pain because you can lose those precious few seconds to disable an attacker and run away.
The testers were mostly pleased with the device, but there was also a heavy portion of unsatisfied consumers who said the device stopped working in a couple of months. This is just yet another reminder to always check and see if the device works before taking it with you.
Streetwise Sting Ring Stun Gun
The differentiating feature of this particular device that makes it stand out from others on our list is the squeeze-n-stun ring shape that makes it very easy to use and activate: just place it in your hands and squeeze. The base of the unit is concealed in a fist when you close your hand leaving only the stun portion of the device exposed. It’s rechargeable and comes with a lifetime warranty. It’s slightly pricier than the options we covered above, but if you’re a stickler for design and functionality, then you might prefer this design to the others on the list.
The consumer response was positive, however, there were a few detractors saying the device could be a potential fire and explosion hazard. Hence, do not leave the device unattended when charging.
Streetwise Mini SMACK Stun Gun
Another bestseller from Streetwise comes in the shape of a mini stick. There are several buying options for you to choose from: with and without upholstery. The device basically looks like a large USB that might be too bulky to attach to your keychain. In order to activate the device, you have to press the upper portion of the stick with your thumb. The customer response was somewhat mixed with a lot of people complaining of receiving a defective product.
Diamondback Tactical Baseball Style Stun Gun with Flashlight and Survival Whistle
The Diamondback device looks like a baseball bat only with some additional perks, like 5 modes of 380-lumen flashlight and 3 tone survival whistle. The device’s batteries are both replaceable and rechargeable. The bat definitely looks rugged and intimidating; it also has a rubberized grip and a wrist strap. The shark prongs at the front are those that actually deliver the powerful voltage to the attacker’s body. The manufacturer says that it can even collect DNA for police to use as evidence to find an attacker. This is not something you can casually take with you on a walk, but it’s okay to keep one in your car or house.
Taser Pulse with 2 Live Cartridges
And finally Taser, the most powerful and reliable gun on our list. Just as described above, this is not your regular stun gun. Taser works by neuro-muscular incapacitation, which means it temporarily overrides an attacker’s central nervous system. It can be shot at a distance of 15 ft and comes with an LED flashlight that can help you see your target from a distance. The shooting stops after 30 seconds (ensuring you don’t kill anybody). However, if you see that it didn’t work on your subject, pull the trigger again and the shock will be delivered for another 30 seconds. There is a battery status indicator that would help you determine when the batteries need to be changed. This is by far the most expensive device on our list, it is also the most reliable and effective.
- Try to point the gun to the most sensitive areas of the body (those that have the most nerve endings): the crutch, underneath the chin, underneath the nose or in the nose, the areas of the lips and mouth, around the eyes.
- If budget is not a concern, then choose Taser gun over a regular stun gun.
- Make sure you understand that you have to be in direct contact with an attacker in order to cause him pain. And even if in direct contact the stun gun will only affect an area of the body equal to the size of an average tea saucer, meaning it will not disable your attacker but will buy you some time to run away.
- Before you take your stun gun with you, ensure it’s off safety hook
- When using the stun gun, if prepared and willing, try to affect the attacker in several different areas of the body, preferably crutch, neck, and arms
- Practice self-defense movements and different scenarios when an attacker approaches you at different angles.
- Easy to carry and activate
- Small enough to conceal or hide in your purse, bag, or pocket
- Might not be very effective
- Doesn’t disable an attacker
- Must be in direct contact with an attacker’s body
Are stun guns effective?
Yes, they are, but mostly if applied directly to the attacker’s skin. The more clothing the person wears, the less the shock delivered.
Can stun gun kill a person?
No, it cannot. However, Taser can.
Can stun gun knock you out?
No, it will cause pain in an area of about 8×8 inches.
Can stun gun kill dog?
No, the stun guns do not cause any permanent damage to dogs.
Does stun gun hurt?
Yes, it does. Especially if applied to more sensitive areas.
Can you take stun gun on a plane?
You cannot carry a stun gun with you on a plane but are allowed to check one in a checked bag.
Is it legal to carry a stun gun in Texas?
Everything is legal in Texas.
Can you die from stun gun?
No. But Taser can kill (although very rarely).
How to make stun gun from a mobile phone?
There are stun guns disguised as mobile phones, like this Cell Phone Stun Gun. You can also purchase a special wrap for cell phones that can deliver an electric shock, in case someone will want to take your phone away from you.
How long does stun gun incapacitate?
It will not incapacitate an attacker but will inflict a certain amount of pain that can buy you time for escape.
How to charge stun gun?
Either change the batteries or plug the charger cord into the socket to recharge the gun if it comes with rechargeable batteries.
How does a stun gun feel like?
Like an electric shock: sharp pain and then a sharp push
What stun gun do police use?
Police use Taser guns.
What stun gun voltage is best?
To be effective stun gun must deliver at least 1,000,000 volts. However, for Taser 50,000 is enough.
Which stun gun is the most effective?
Tasers, although not considered stun guns, are the most effective and thus, recommended.
Will stun gun work on bears?
It’s highly unlikely that you want to be in direct contact with the bear. You’d better use the Taser gun, then.
Will stun gun work through clothing?
Yes, it will. However, the more clothing the person wears, the less the shock delivered.
Comparative chart of Best Stun Guns
|VIPERTEK VTS-989 with LED Flashlight||58,000,000 volts
Dimensions: 6.5" x 2" x 1"
|VIPERTEK VTS-T03 - Aluminum Series 53 with LED Tactical Flashlight||53,000,000 volts
|Streetwise Sting Ring Stun Gun||18,000,000 volts
Dimensions: 3 x 2.3 x 1 inches
|Streetwise Mini SMACK Stun Gun||20,000,000 volts
Micro USB Charging Pod
|Diamondback Tactical Baseball Style Stun Gun with Flashlight and Survival Whistle||20,000,000 volts
LED Flash + survival whistle
Replaceable and rechargeable batteries (included)
|Taser Pulse with 2 Live Cartridges||50,000 volts
Laser targeting + LED Flash
15 ft range
50 30-Second Firings per Battery Pack
A stun gun, although, a great device and a valuable addition to your self-defense kit, might be ineffective if your attacker is under influence of alcohol, drugs, or just have a higher pain threshold. If choosing between the stun gun and the Taser, we recommend you buy the latter since it’s been widely used by Police as an effective weapon against perpetrators with a great degree of success.