How to Use Pepper Spray

Personal Safety is personal. That’s why it’s important to us at SABRE that you feel comfortable and confident to use your pepper spray if needed. We’re here to help you by giving you tips on how to properly use your pepper spray in 4 steps. For a more visual guide, visit our YouTube channel.

1. Keep your pepper spray handy

Don’t leave it in the bottom of your purse or in your car’s glove compartment. Keep it nearby with a key ring, snap clip keychain, or one of our quick release keychains. Not a keychain person? Use one of our belt-clip or holster models to keep your pepper spray ready to go at your waist while out and about.


There are several different forms of a “safety” used with pepper sprays. Our models include twist locks, flip tops, or a cap top. Before taking your pepper spray on the go, familiarize yourself with the safety of your spray so you are ready to use it if necessary. If you aren’t confident, we highly recommend using one of our practice sprays that allows you to build familiarity with the technique of using spray while only deploying water instead of the pepper formula. This will also help you feel more confident when under stress.

3. Use your thumb

If you use your index finger to press down on the actuator (the trigger for pepper sprays), you will have a looser grip and are leaving the canister more vulnerable. Using your thumb to push down on the actuator allows you to have a much stronger grip on your spray and make it less likely to drop. Additionally, with our products that include a finger grip, using your thumb creates more confidence as your fingers will line up on the case for that stronger grip, making it much easier to use and helps ensure you are pointing the spray in the right direction. It will increase your accuracy and, if needed, you can use that hand to strike your attacker as it is already in a fist position.

4. Check the range on your spray before you need to use it

Most SABRE pepper sprays and gels have a range from 10-18 ft. Keep that in mind so you know exactly what the maximum distance you can have between you and a potential threat is if you need to use your spray in a dangerous situation.

Once you are comfortable with how to grip your pepper spray, it’s time to understand how to accurately deploy it. We recommend using your dominant hand to deploy your pepper spray so you can keep your other hand ready to push away the threat away, if necessary, when or after they are sprayed.

For a stream or gel spray pattern, we recommend an ear to ear deployment across the eyes for a more linear motion. For a cone or fog stream pattern, we recommend an up down deployment towards the center of the face. SABRE products use the dark orange pigment that peppers supply, so you can see if you missed the attacker’s eyes and can spray where you missed. You want to hit the eyes so they’re forced shut by the burning sensation, leaving the attacker unable to see you. The spray will also cause a burning sensation to their face and possibly a loss of breath sensation. When that happens, they won’t necessarily stop moving towards you but when eye contact is made you will impair their vision, which gives you the opportunity to escape by moving out of their path and towards safety. At SABRE, we say Spray and Away. Get to safety first and then call for help.

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