Pepper Spray Vs. Stun Gun

What Is Pepper Spray?

Pepper spray is one of the most practical and commonly used personal defense products on the market today and is one of the most popular self defense tools for men and women. It is made with oleoresin capsicum (OC) – a natural substance derived from the resin of chili peppers that causes inflammation to the eyes, skin, and nose - and can spray in a stream, foam, fog, or gel to deter multiple attackers. Its smaller sizes makes it easy to carry in hand or attach to purses or backpacks, perfect for commuting or taking with on runs or hikes. SABRE pepper sprays provide protection at a distance and some models can even help provide protection against multiple threats (25% of the time there are multiple attackers, according to the Bureau of Justice). Select models offer additional features such as a runner hand strap, window breaker, seat belt cutter, quick-release keychain, flashlight or an emergency safety whistle.

What is a Stun Gun?

A stun gun is a highly effective self defense tool for men and women that emits electrical currents which can cause a would-be attacker to feel pain. The charge can cause the assailant to experience pain, as well as disorienting them, allowing you with a chance to get away to safety. SABRE offers tactical stun guns as well as compact and concealable models with a variety of flashlight intensities. Unlike pepper spray (which can be used at a safer distance), stun guns require you to get within arms-reach of your threat as you do have to touch the stun gun to the attacker’s body.

How Are the strengths of the pepper spray and stun gun measured?

The strength of pepper sprays is measured with major capsaicinoids. SABRE only uses maximum strength OC spray and is backed by our in-house high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) testing. According to an independent study conducted by the University of Utah, variability rates in the concentration of active ingredients in some pepper sprays have a 30% failure rate. With an industry exclusive HPLC laboratory, only SABRE can and does guarantee that every canister contains SABRE’s maximum strength formulation.

Contrary to popular belief, the strengths of stun guns is not based on voltage (the force of an electrical current) but on Microcoulombs (μC), which is the measurement of electric charge (current x time). Stun guns that emit more than 0.5 μC will cause pain (when used on most sober, emotionally stable people). Anything greater than 1.0 μC will cause intolerable pain (when used on most sober, emotionally stable people).

Does it Expire?

Our pepper sprays do expire and have a 4-year shelf life (printed on the label). Our stun guns do not expire but each has a warranty. Some stun guns come with a rechargeable battery while for others, the batteries need to be replaced. Be sure to read the product manual for instructions on recharging and replacing the batteries. For best results, test periodically to ensure it’s still working properly and is fully charged. You only need to do this in half second bursts – using it for longer periods of time can cause damage to the product. Always make sure the product is charged and ready to be used if necessary.

Are they easy to carry?

Most Pepper Sprays and most Stun Guns are both compact and easily carried self defense items. Several of our pepper spray models include either a key ring or snap clip, a quick release keychain, or belt clips to make carrying with you or on your purse easy. Our stun guns are small enough to fit in some purses or bags and several include a holster or wrist strap for easy carry.

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Pepper Spray Vs. Stun Gun Comparison Chart


  Pepper Spray Stun Gun
Does it expire? Yes (4 years) No (includes recharageable battery or replaceable battery)
Ease of Use Ergonomic finger grip (some models), hand straps, easy to use safety mechanisms On/off safety switch
Distance 10-25 feet (model dependent) Length of arm
How it affects the attacker Lasting effect that can cause inflammation to the eyes, skin, and nose – contact with eyes causes eyes to close temporarily Immediate effect of pain and disorientation but will end quickly once stun gun is removed
Speed of efficacy Pain caused by swelling of face and eyes Pain instant upon use but disappears after use
Safety Twist Lock, Flip Top or Twist Top Safety Safety switch
Multi use capabilities Select models include emergency whistle, window breaker, seat belt cutter, flashlight, runner strap LED flashlight included
Level of discretion Select models include keychains to clip onto purses, backpacks, or wallets or belt holsters. Small enough to store in purse. Select models include belt holsters, clips, or wrist straps. Small enough to carry in some purses or bags.