Stun guns have been used by law enforcement for years as a way to immobilize a person, temporarily. One of these devices can send thousands of volts of electricity coursing through the body. These days, with the rise in crime rates, a stun gun is often used for personal defense. The best stun guns can protect you, your family, and your home from unwanted intruders.
But if you’ve never used one before, then you probably have several questions, such as how do stun guns work? Which stun gun is the best? Or how powerful are stun guns? This stun guns buyer’s guide will answer all of those questions and more. I’ve also tried out several of the top-selling devices currently on the market, narrowing it down to eight stun guns that provide the type of powerful performance most people are looking for.
Below, I’ve included a comparison chart that includes important information concerning extra features, how each device rated, and other important information that will help you determine which stun gun is right for you.
Stun Guns Comparison Chart
Best Stun Gun Overall-VIPERTEK VTS 989 Heavy Duty Stun Gun
This Vipertek VTS 989 stun gun is categorized as a professional self defense stun gun that emits a powerful electric shock. The model boasts impressive stopping power and features the patented Snatch Prevention Technology. This feature works via the shock plates located on the side of the weapon. The Vipertek VTS 989 has a contoured grip, which improves hand alignment, which makes it easier to control the stun gun. Unlike some competing models, the Vipertek VTS 989 doesn’t operate on disposable batteries. Instead, it has an internal rechargeable battery, so you can simply plug it into an outlet to get it quickly charged up. Now, you won’t have to worry about your stun gun losing any juice when you need it the most.
The next big feature that makes this particular model so popular is the design of the electrodes itself. The Vipertek VTS 989 features a sharp spike design that helps the electrodes penetrate thicker material such as leather and denim, which is one of the reasons why the Vipertek VTS 989 earned the best stun gun rating on my list, and definitely something that will catch the attention of seasoned survivalists.
- Rechargeable battery
- Penetrates thick clothing
- Includes stun gun flashlight
- Powerful electric shock
- Can fit in a pocket
- Includes strap for wrist
- Covered by a lifetime warranty
- Cannot be shipped to some states due to state restrictions
The Vipertek VTS 989 is considered by many to be the best stun gun on the market. It’s powerful, creating a vivid light as the electric current pulstates between each of the prongs. The light, combined with the electronic crackling sound it makes is intimidating enough to scare off an attacker and powerful enough to take one down, if it comes to that. Covered by a lifetime warranty, the Vipertek vts 989 is packing some serious power, and can make the perfect self defense weapon, if you’re looking for a stun gun that has a low profile design, with excellent stopping power.
Best Mini Stun Gun-VIPERTEK VTS-880-30 Billion Mini Stun Gun
The Vipertek VTS 880 mini stun gun is a powerful, compact self defense weapon that is easy to conceal and comes equipped with a built-in LED flashlight, something that can come in handy if you’re trying to escape an attacker when it’s pitch black outside. Users with larger hands may be concerned about getting a good grip on such a compact device. Fortunately, this powerful stun gun has a thick non-slip rubber coating that makes it easier to hold onto, even with sweaty or larger hands. Additionally, the Vipertek VTS 880 runs on a rechargeable battery, so you can plug it in and recharge it overnight to ensure your stun gun is fully powered when you carry it.
- Lifetime warranty
- Compact size
- Bright LED flashlight
- Non-slip rubber coating
- Easy to conceal
- Rechargeable batteries
- Does not have a power level indicator
- Does not come with a wrist strap
Compact, easy to conceal, and packing enough power to easily take down an attacker, the Vipertek VTS 880 is a great low profile style stun gun that offers the type of stopping power every buyer is looking for. This stun gun is covered by a lifetime warranty and comes with a charger, holster and built-in LED flashlight.
Best CEW Taser-Taser Pulse Self-Defense Tool
If you’re looking for the best stun gun on the market, many survivalists swear by the Pulse. This CEW style stun gun, the Taser Pulse, allows users to hit an attacker 15 feet away. The range of a CEW is something that all buyers will want to pay attention to, since this type of stun gun is purchased by guys who don’t want to get too close to an attacker. The weapon’s powerful electric current is designed to incapacitate an attacker for up to thirty seconds, which gives you enough time to escape. The Taser Pulse is rechargeable and provides more than enough energy per charge for multiple use. The Taser Pulse also offers a total of fifty thirty-second firings per battery pack. No one will be able to remain standing after being hit with a dart from the Pulse.
- Weighs just eight ounces
- 15 foot range
- Can penetrate thick clothing
- Includes stun gun flashlight
- Includes two live cartridges
- Ongoing cost of live cartridge replacement
- Bulky design makes it difficult to conceal
The biggest drawback of the Taser Pulse gun stun guns is the cartridges. If you’re on a tight budget, the fact that you have to purchase more cartridges may be enough reason to pass this model by. However, if you have handgun shooting experience, you may feel more comfortable firing the Taser Pulse from 15 feet away, opposed to direct contact models. The Taser Pulse earned a high rating for ease of use and overall power, however, it doesn’t offer the same low profile carry that some direct contact models do, which makes it more difficult to conceal.
Best Non-Lethal Personal Safety Kit-SABRE Self-Defense Kit w/ Pepper Spray & Stun Gun
Sabre is one of the top stun gun brands. The manufacturer also has a reputation for their powerful pepper spray formula. This kit includes a stun gun with an anti grab design, pepper spray, wrist strap, holster, and an LED flashlight, for ultimate protection. The canister of pepper spray offers thirty-five bursts, which is five times more than competing brands, according to the manufacturer. Additionally, the canister has a ten-foot range. The stun gun offers 1.25 microcoulombs of power and also comes with a safety on off button that’s designed to prevent accidental discharge.
- Strap for wrist and holster included
- Rechargeable batteries
- Includes pepper spray
- Light is dim
- Holster should be upgraded
The gun comes with rechargeable batteries, for multiple use. For easier carry, you can use the included belt holster and strap. Wearing the included strap around the wrist can prevent the attacker from getting a hold of your gun. This kit includes some great products, including Sabre’s best-selling pepper spray, a vivid LED light, and a powerful stun gun that delivers plenty of power to take an attacker down.
Most Durable-VIPERTEK VTS-195 – 59 Billion Heavy Duty Stun Gun
The Vipertek stun gun has a body that’s made out of aircraft-grade aluminum alloy. This stun gun is a great choice for guys who want one that’s easy to carry and conceal. While this device may be small, it offers some serious power. When the action button is pressed, a bright electric current pulsates between the prongs. This creates a loud electrical sound that most attackers will find intimidating. When the prongs make contact with the skin it disrupts the message to the brain, causing the loss of muscle control, disorientation, and loss of balance. The Vipertek VTS is a popular model. It’s affordable, compact, and easy to carry and conceal. It also features a flashlight, and a rechargeable battery. If you want to buy a stun gun that packs enough power to take down an attacker, one with a low profile design, then you’ll love this model by Vipertek.
- Can penetrate through thick clothing
- Lifetime warranty
- Made out of aircraft-grade aluminum
- Low-quality holster
This model is covered by a lifetime warranty, which is a big selling point for any buyer. It also comes with a rechargeable battery and wall charger, so you can always be sure your stun gun is fully powered up before you head out. Additionally, the textured surface makes this model easier to grip, giving you more control over the weapon during an attack.
Best Tactical Flashlight Combo-Mace Brand Ergo Stun Gun
Mace is a popular pepper spray brand, a company that’s known for their powerful self-defense weapons. Their latest gadget, the Ergo is considered one of the top stun guns on the market and it offers 1.69 microcoulombs of power. According to the manufacturer, the attacker will feel the voltage coursing through their body in one second or less. The stun is powerful enough to cause a dazed mental stage and muscle spasms. The gun also comes with an LED light. The light can be used for traditional purposes, if you’re walking alone at night, or you can use it to temporarily blind an assailant. Arming the stun gun is fairly simple, just slide the arming switch to the on position. When armed, an LED light located right above the power switch will begin to glow red. The device also comes with a rechargeable battery. The manufacturer recommends charging the gun for two hours after use or if the gun has not been used for a long period of time.
- High voltage
- Low price
- Made by a trusted brand
- Does not include hand strap
This stun gun is made by one of the leading companies in the industry. The Ergo by Mace is easy to conceal and carry, comes with a flashlight that you can use to blind an assailant, and features a high voltage rating that’s sure to stop an assailant in their tracks.
Budget-Friendly-RBS Emporium Stun Gun w/Flashlight
This heavy-duty stun gun by RBS Emporium comes equipped with a disable safety pin, flashlight, and a panic alarm. It also comes in its own carrying case, which makes it easier to carry and conceal. The grip of the gun features an ergonomic design, complete with a thick rubber casing that can improve your grip, even with sweaty hands. The internal battery is rechargeable. Use the integrated wall charger to power your stun gun up before you leave home. This way, you won’t have to worry about your weapon being low on power, when you need it the most.
- Panic alarm
- Carrying case
- Safety pin
- Bright flashlight
- Does not have a power switch, which can lead to an accidental discharge
This stun gun is covered by a lifetime warranty and comes with a hand strap and disable safety pin that allows the user to disable the stun gun instantly, if the assailant gets their hands on it. The flashlight gives the device a low profile look, and can help to blind an assailant, giving the user more time to get away. The panic alarm is very loud and can draw attention to the situation, in the event of an attack. These feature packed stun gun devices offer a higher level of protection and offer multiple ways to scare off an assailant.
Best Low Profile Stun Gun-Guard Dog Security Special Operation Concealed Stun Gun
Guard Dog has produced popular stun guns in the past, such as the Sting Ring, a small, portable device that’s powerful and easy to conceal. Their latest model comes with a special ops flashlight and a low profile look. The stun gun’s prongs are cleverly concealed, giving the weapon the appearance of a traditional flashlight. This model also comes with a glass breaker, which can be used in emergency situations to escape. The gun is made out of aircraft grade aluminum, while the flashlight is made out of shatterproof materials and is designed to easily withstand high pressure situations.
- Excellent build quality
- Perfect for home security and on the go use
- Powerful stun
- Glass breaker
- Pro quality
- No safety switch
This Guard Dog stun gun is covered by a lifetime warranty that includes a 100% satisfaction guarantee. The powerful 380 lumens flashlight allows you to see up to 400 yards in the dark, so you can quickly make your escape, or shine the light in your attackers eyes to instantly blind them. If you want to carry a stun gun that’s easy to conceal, this model is it. It has a low profile design that makes it look more like a special ops flashlight than a stun gun, but this design allows buyers to carry this gadget with them without the fear that an assailant will immediately identify it as a stun gun and try to disarm them. This is the type of low profile stun gun design that many survivalists are looking for.
Stun Guns Buyer’s Guide
Even people who have great home security systems can benefit from keeping a stun gun in the home. Many home intruders know how to disable home security systems, but snipping a wire or two. Keeping one of these gadgets in the home can offer an extra layer of protection that you’ll need if your security system has been disabled.
Stun guns are a great choice for homeowners who are searching for a non-lethal self-defense weapon. These gadgets are also commonly used for protection when people are away from home, traveling, running errands, or just going for a walk.
Unfortunately, there are many reasons to buy a self-defense weapon these days. Purchasing a stun gun for personal defense or home defense can help you and your family make it out of a dangerous, life-threatening situation, safely.
But how can a stun gun stop an assailant? How do they work? Do stun guns work on everyone? Let’s find out.
How a Stun Gun Works
This gadget uses high-voltage shocks to disrupt muscle function. At the top of the gadget, you’ll notice a couple of exposed electrodes, which conduct electricity. These electrodes are pressed against an assailant’s skin. On the body of the device, you’ll find a trigger, that, when pulled, sends an electrical current to the electrodes. The high-voltage current can easily travel through clothing and into the assailant’s body. In most cases, the attacker won’t even know what hit them.
Types of Stun Guns
There are a couple of different types of stun guns:
- Direct Contact
Conducted Energy Weapons/CEWS
A CEW, also known as a conducted energy weapon, is a type of stun gun first created in 1993 by the popular stun gun manufacturer Taser. CEWs are commonly used by the pros and offer long range use, unlike the traditional style of stun gun, which is considered a direct contact self defense weapon. A CEW features a handgun-like design and operates via the use of small electrodes that are dart-like. These electrodes stay connected to the gun by conductors. The user will aim the stun gun at the assailant and pull the trigger. Average range for a CEW is fifteen feet up to thirty-five feet. The devices used by the police offer better range, while many stun guns that are sold to civilians have an average range of fifteen feet.
This type of stun gun can be a pricier option since you have to purchase extra electrode cartridges.
This is the standard type of stun gun that features a four to eight inch long body with a rectangular or square shape. Two electrodes protrude out of one end of the stun gun. Direct contact weapons are held in the hand, so the user has to get very close to an assailant to successfully use it. That’s the biggest drawback for many buyers.
The best stun gun can be used by the pros, or for home security and personal protection when you’re out and about.
A stun gun is a powerful self-defense weapon, one that can potentially save your life when you’re being attacked. Because of this, doing your research, knowing what you’re looking for, and how to choose the best stun gun, is very important. Below, I’ve put together an in-depth list of all the features you should look for and why.
What type of voltage are you looking for? A few hundred volts? A million volts? Most manufacturers claim their stun guns have an impressively high voltage range. Some of the top-selling stun guns list the voltage around fifty-eight million volts. The voltage of a stun gun is not regulated. Because of this, you can’t really be sure if the manufacturer’s claims are accurate or more of an exaggeration.
You’ll come across stun guns with a voltage range of 50,000 to 20,000,000. Typically, the best stun gun will come with a higher voltage rating and price tag. Keep in mind, even the devices with the lower voltage rating will offer enough power to stop someone in their tracks. If you want to learn more about a specific product’s true voltage range, make sure you read customer reviews. This will give you a better idea of what type of power each model has to offer. Remember, just because a manufacturer claims their guns emit a million volts doesn’t mean it’s true. Do your research to find a model that’s packing the type of power you need to take down an assailant.
Disable Pin/Safety Switch and Hand/Wrist Strap
A disable pin is an important safety feature, one that renders the stun gun useless, if the pin is pulled out. This will prevent the assailant from using the stun gun against the owner. The pin is connected to a lanyard and plugged into the bottom of the stun gun. So, when the lanyard is worn around the hand or wrist, in the event of a struggle, if it looks like the assailant may soon get control of the stun gun, all the owner has to do is yank their hand away, which will pull the pin out. Not all devices come with a hand strap and a disable pin, but many do and it’s a great safety feature to have. Even if the model does not come with a disable pin, make sure it comes with a hand strap, since this will give you more control over the stun gun.
Personal Alarm/Panic Button
Devices with a personal alarm or panic button add an extra element of protection, allowing you to sound the personal alarm if an assailant is approaching.
With a stun gun, you’ll have a couple of options when it comes to their power source. Some devices will have a rechargeable power source, which can save you plenty of cash in the long run. Lower priced stun guns will use disposable batteries as their power source, which can lead to a potentially dangerous situation, if you haven’t tested out the batteries or used the stun gun for several months. Stun guns that come with a charger and a rechargeable battery are more reliable.
If the stun gun you buy comes with rechargeable batteries, be sure you read the user’s manual carefully to learn how often the batteries need to be charged and what type of battery life you’re looking at. The last thing you want is to leave the house with a stun gun that’s almost out of juice.
These gadgets are available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Devices such as Taser guns, will need to be secured in a holster, while other compact devices can be hidden in a purse or stashed in a pocket. You’ll also find many types of stun guns that are disguised as other items, such as a lipstick or a flashlight.
Stun guns are not legal in every state and are illegal to own in Hawaii and Rhode Island. Fortunately, these devices have been approved for self-defense use in Puerto Rico and in forty-eight states. In Wisconsin, Michigan, and Illinois, stun gun owners are required to have a permit. Make sure that you look up your state laws regarding stun gun ownership, before you buy one.
Are the Best Stun Guns Lethal?
They can be. While these devices are categorized as non-lethal, the electric current coursing through the body can cause the assailant to go into cardiac arrest.
Both the military and law enforcement use the Taser X26. Taser is a popular brand of stun gun and often, people will use the term Taser and stun gun interchangeably. That’s how popular the brand is. A study conducted by Dr. Douglas Zipes, involved researching eight cases that involved both teens and adults who lost consciousness after being shocked by a stun gun.
Zipes, a cardiologist at the Indiana University of Medicine in Indianapolis, stated “In no way am I saying that we shouldn’t use Taser weapons, but if you use it, be aware that cardiac arrest is a possibility.”
In the eight cases Zipes studied, when applied to the chest, the stun caused the heart to beat abnormally or too quickly, which led to cardiac arrest. Unfortunately, seven out of eight of the teens and adults died. The eighth male lived, but experienced memory impairment. Other members in the medical community don’t entirely agree that stun gun use can lead to cardiac arrest. A cardiologist at the University of Miami, Dr. Robert Myerburg noted that in these cases, the people were already under very stressful circumstances, which could have also triggered cardiac arrest.
Manufacturers of stun guns advise against applying the stun gun to the chest area.
Learning how to correctly use a stun gun is crucial. The user should avoid stunning the assailant on the chest, if possible, and monitor the assailant after they have been stunned.
How a Stun Gun Can Save Your Life
The shock emitted from even the best stun gun will only last for two to three seconds. In these precious seconds, the assailant will lose control of their movements, becoming disoriented and dropping to the ground.
The electrical current doesn’t just interrupt muscle function, it also interrupts brain function. The goal is to not fatally injure an assailant, but to temporarily incapacitate them. This will give the victim enough time to get away and contact the police.
Taser Gun Versus Stun Gun
If you’re familiar with electroshock weapons, then odds are you’ve heard of a Taser device. Those new to shopping for hand self defense weapons may be confused about the differences between a Taser device and a stun gun. The Taser gun was made a household name in the 1970s, and created for law enforcement by a Nasa researcher named Jack Cover. The goal was to develop a type of self defense weapon that law enforcement could use in certain situations where using a handgun wouldn’t be a safe option, and so Taser guns were created. After the release of the first Taser gun, many copycat companies began to develop their own version of the Taser gun over the years.
While many people will use the terms Taser and stun gun interchangeably, a Taser device is a brand of stun gun that operates a little differently from other styles of stun guns. The Taser is equipped with a couple of metal prongs, just like a traditional stun gun, however, with a Taser, you don’t have to make direct contact with the skin. Instead, you can depress the trigger and shoot an attacker up to fifteen feet away. The prongs are connected to a couple of wires, which remain attached to the weapon, as the other end with the prongs stick into the attacker’s skin. With a regular stun gun, you need to get up close to press the prongs directly against the assailant’s skin.
Taser has come out with some great new products, such as the Taser Pulse, which is one powerful model. The Taser Pulse CEW style weapon is very popular because, unlike a direct contact style stun gun, you can shoot the Taser Pulse at an assailant when they’re standing several feet away. However, Taser also sells a hand direct contact/CEW style Taser gun that looks like a standard stun gun and can work via direct contact or by shooting someone from a distance.
Quick Facts About Taser
- A Taser uses electric current to incapacitate an assailant
- The Taser fires a couple of dart-like electrodes that can emit up to 50,000 volts
- The Taser is used by correctional facilities, military, and the police
- The Taser company spends approximately four million dollars a year on litigation
- The Taser has a long history, starting back in 1964 when development began and was based off of the same technology used in cattle prods.
- The term “Taser” is a short form for Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle
- A Taser gun is categorized as a type of ECD gadget, also known as electronic control devices.
- The latest devices by Taser only electrocute the assailant when the prongs make contact with the skin
- The Taser has received bad publicity in the past, with people fearing that the Taser emitted a lethal level of electric shock
Frequently Asked Questions
Where Do You Aim a Stun Gun?
When aiming stun guns, hold it firmly in your hand and go for the torso or the neck. You can also aim for the upper hip, groin area, upper shoulders or under the arms. When used in these areas, because they are nerve centers, the current will affect the whole body.
How Long will a Taser Incapacitate Someone?
A taser can incapacitate someone for five minutes up to one hour. The amount of time the assailant is incapacitated will depend on how long they were stunned for.
Do Stun Guns Leave Marks?
They can. A stun gun can leave behind small burn marks from the electrodes. These marks look like small round burns.
The best stun guns are powerful, reliable, and carry a minimal risk of causing a serious injury. However, if you intend to buy this type of self-defense weapon, I strongly suggest reading the user’s manual cover to cover and learning how to use it correctly. The products I’ve included here all earned top marks for their battery life, power, and overall quality, so you should have no problem finding a model from my top eight lineup that can provide the type of protection you need, in the event of an attack.