Electroshock Therapy: The 7 Best Stun Guns

Guys have a tendency to throw a self-defense knife or a set of brass knuckles into their pocket and think they can handily take on any thug or would-be assailant. This might be true, but it can also be a good way to get arrested, or escalate a situation into the deadly realm. Being the last man standing at the end of an altercation while holding a blade could open you up to a world of trouble. Consider supplementing your deadly gear with something a little more practical, like a stun gun.

We tend think of stun guns and pepper spray as better for toting around in a purse, rather than in our tactical travel backpack, but they can be life savers. The stun gun’s ability to incapacitate an opponent quickly can get you out of a dangerous situation, while knives or clubs can get you into one. If you prefer to play it safe and smart, you want to select one that is going to exude enough power to put an attacker on the ground fast, won’t go off accidentally, holds a charge, and works when called upon. Selecting one of the 7 best stun guns is a step toward non-lethal protection for everyone.

Jolt Mini

Jolt Mini

Pro: Self-contained charging via slide-out wall plug
Con: Weak prong mounting

Necessary Accessory: Easily mistakable for a compact digital camera with its cute little wrist strap, the Mini will leave any antagonist with plenty of unforgettable memories when the 20 million volts shoot through their body. It’s made with three points of contact on the end, rather than two. This dancing triumvirate causes a much louder electrical sound that is enough to intimidate the hardiest heavy to come at you. The wrist strap doubles as a dead man switch, so if it is yanked from your grasp, the device is disabled, keeping you from being the one to ride the lightning. Fully self-contained and rechargeable, it even has an LED light for a little added utility in dark alleys. [Purchase: $15]

POLICE All Metal Mini

POLICE All Metal Mini

Pro: Lightweight
Con: Flashlight and stun device cannot work simultaneously

Sidearm: Start off with a military grade aluminum alloy body, pop in a 160 lumen LED flashlight and you already have a product worthy of a spot on your shelf. Now equip it with 38 million volts worth of juice, and you’ve got yourself a stun gun for your car, bug out bag, survival kit, or pocket. The flashlight bulb will run for 100,000 hours using the on-board rechargeable battery and can be used to blind opponents for disorientation before shocking them into submission. Electric crackle is delightfully menacing, but the flashlight could use a few more settings. Like a strobe. [Purchase: $18]

VIPERTEK VTS-989

VIPERTEK VTS-989

Pro: Includes convenient belt holster
Con: LED flashlight is mostly an afterthought

Lightning Storm: Though the build is a little on the archaic side, we couldn’t find much else to complain about with this devastating zapper. The prongs protrude noticeably from the end, allowing for jabbing as it is activated, thus penetrating heavy clothing and adding a little extra zest to your mugger cookout. Electrodes mounted on the sides of the VTS-989 deter anyone from trying to rip it from your hand, making it as dangerous when you’re on defense as when serving up punishment. Ridged edges give it an easy grip that won’t slip away in a panic scenario. The pulsing 38 million V is more than enough to bring an enraged bruiser to their knees. [Purchase: $22]

Guard Dog iStun

Guard Dog iStun

Pro: Lifetime warranty
Con: Electrical sound is mild and lacks intimidation

Undercover Stunner: Guard Dog makes some of the best stun guns out there, and this one includes a bit of camouflage for surprise attacks. It resembles an iPhone, though moderate inspection will reveal its true nature. Since most robberies involve the theft of cell phones, the point of the design is to allow you to draw this rather than your cherished Apple or Android device. Once in hand, it can kick out nearly 4 million volts to discourage thieves. While not one of the heaviest hitting available, it’s compact size and slight subterfuge make it easier to carry. The safety switch offers quick operation and protects from accidental discharges. [Purchase: $24]

VIPERTEK VTS-881

VIPERTEK VTS-881

Pro: Fits anywhere yet packs a punch
Con: LED lights interfere with probes

Little Sizzler: In a tight spot, pulling out a bulky stun gun to brandish at an adversary can be clumsy. We wanted to find a keychain offering that actually delivered, but were disappointed by the Guard Dog Hornet and the StreetWise keychain model. If size is your concern, stick with the VTS-881. It weighs in at a few ounces, yet produces a bright spark and 28 million volts worth of energy. With a rubberized grip and front-mounted LED light, it’s a handy EDC item or pocket protector. Safety is handled by a set of facile tactile controls on the side that are less complicated than your average universal remote – which is always a good thing. [Purchase: $25]

Knuckle Blaster

Knuckle Blaster

Pro: Runs on replaceable batteries
Con: Battery cover can come loose

Power Punch: You probably won’t ever need this, but if you feel like channeling your inner Manny Pacquiao and adding some blunt force insult to electric injury, then the Knuckle Blaster is your weapon of choice. It has a thick, heavy rubber body that provides a tremendous grip, even in the rain. As you swing, activate the prongs on the exterior of the knuckles through a button on the index cavity. This will cause it to pop off with 950,000 volts, which will land along with whatever haymaker you’re throwing. The rubber protects you from accidental shock and the knuckle duster style makes it impossible to rip from your hand without taking fingers off. [Purchase: $37]

Guard Dog Security Diablo

Guard Dog Security Diablo

Pro: Balanced flashlight / stun gun combo
Con: Low power output for the money

Light and Power: A decent tactical flashlight with a solid stun gun built in, this manages to walk the middle of the road, giving you 160 lumens worth of blinding light, 4.5 million volts of frying juice, an aircraft grade aluminum body, and a tight front bezel for smashing windows or melee self defense. The shock prongs are concealed in the end of the flashlight, making it look innocuous but still giving it the ability to put the power right in the palm of your hand. With the prongs riding on the aggressive end, you can push this deep into bulky clothing to get the jolt where it will do the most damage. Each part is long-lasting and covered by Guard Dog’s outstanding customer service. [Purchase: $47]

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