According to the United States Department of Justice, there are nearly 5,000 home burglaries per day that take place on American soil — many of which occur when the occupants are home. That seemingly frightening statistic might make you want to run out to your nearest gun shop and pick up a firearm or two, just in case. However, if you’re going to own and operate a firearm, you also have to contend with the possibility that you could end up killing someone. While this can be an effective means of stopping a home invasion, not everyone wants that on their conscience. However, if you want to keep your home, family, and property safe with less-than-lethal means, there are other options.
Non-lethal self-defense weapons are actually quite abundant and can be an effective and efficient means of protecting you and yours, although some are better for use in your home than others. It’s with this in mind that we’ve rounded up what we believe are the 10 most useful non-lethal self-defense weapons for home security. They vary in style and format, allowing you to pick the one(s) that suits your needs best, but they’re all worth considering as a means of staying safe and secure in your own home.
The Value Of Non-Lethal Self Defense
& What To Look For
First and foremost, we need to reiterate that the primary purpose of any less-than-lethal home- and/or self-defense weapon is to keep yourself, your property, and your people safe without causing fatal harm to any intruder and/or assailant. While a firearm can most definitely get the job done, the risk remains that, in using one — especially during a home invasion in which you might be groggy from sleep or your brain might not be at its sharpest when it comes to decision making thanks to a distinct combination of fear and adrenaline — you may end up killing someone, whether that’s your intention or not. If that’s not the kind of thing you want on your conscience and you hope to avoid the legal implications therein, then you’ll want to avoid firearms altogether and choose instead a non-lethal self-defense weapon.
Of course, it will help in your decision-making process to understand what, exactly, the purpose and goal of your self-defense weapon of choice are. Obviously, this is going to vary somewhat depending on the type of device — be that a blunt-force option or something with a bit more distance — but the overarching goals are still going to remain mostly the same. To give you an idea of what to expect from these non-lethal offerings, we’ve outlined a quartet of the most important factors and metrics to consider in your search. Remember: these are intended to be deterrents and are specifically designed to allow you to avoid the act of killing — hence their “non-lethal” nature.
Intimidation: Psychologically speaking, humans are trained through the simple act of living to avoid anything that might cause them pain. Even the toughest martial artists in the world know that getting hurt is no fun and can have serious consequences. As such, the simple suggestion of physical pain is sometimes enough to distract and/or deter any potential assailants. Frighten an attacker enough and they’re sure to realize that the potential payoff is not worth the potential harm. As such, this should be considered the primary purpose and goal of any and all self- and home-defense weapons.
Distance: You should immediately assume that anyone breaking into your home has also considered and contended with the possibility that they might have to defend themselves — and that they’re likely to attack first and ask questions later. As such, it’s a good idea to keep your distance from any home invaders in the case of a confrontation, which can be managed by carefully choosing your home defense weapon of choice. Obviously, the best choice therein is picking up something that can be used across a large distance — like a taser or bean bag gun. However, you can also rely on blunt devices, like bats or batons, to help keep yourself separated from a potential assailant. The more distance between you and a home invader, the less likely you are to suffer physical harm. It’s worth noting, as well, that the U.S. Department of Justice estimates that, of the 3.7 million burglaries per year, 61% of home invaders commit their crime(s) unarmed and only 12% carry firearms, lending credence to utilizing a less-than-lethal option in your own home.
Damage: Should it come to extremes, it’s important to remember that your self-defense device of choice should actually be useful in a combat situation. While you might not want to kill the offender that’s broken into your home, that doesn’t mean you don’t want to be able to cause enough harm to keep yourself, your family, and your property safe. There are a lot of “weapons” one can find online — especially low-priced stun guns — that are all bark and no bite — meaning they sound and even look intimidating, but don’t actually do much in practice. If someone breaks into your home and closes the distance between you and them, you want to be able to fend them off — violently, if necessary. After all, in these extreme circumstances, it’s you or them. Not wanting to kill someone doesn’t mean you want to give them carte blanche to do as they please to you, your family, and your property.
Convenience: It’s been said that the best weapon is the one that you have on you — and that’s just as true for home- and self-defense devices. Consider this: there’s a distinct possibility that, should you be subject to a home invasion, it will happen at night when you’re asleep. That means you may be groggy and/or frantic in your response. As such, grabbing something that’s nearby and easy to use is in your best interests. Overcomplicate things and you risk being overtaken in the heat of the moment. As such, convenience might not immediately seem like the most important factor, but it can make all the difference.
Glowiny Kubaton Keychain
Ideally, you’d probably want to keep your distance from anyone that has broken into your home. Sadly, that’s not always an option. It’s in these circumstances that the Glowiiny Kubaton Keychain would come in handy. Simply wrap your fingers around this device and it can be used as a fist pack — making your fist, as a blunt instrument, sturdier and more effective — but also has a pointed tip that creates a concentrated pressure point — meaning all your power will be concentrated in a much smaller surface area and, therefore, can harm an intruder more than something blunter would. This device also benefits from a lack of moving and/or electronic parts, meaning it won’t fail you in your time of need. Again, you’d probably not want to get as up-close and personal as necessary to use a kubaton, but you’ll be happy to have one in the case that it’s unavoidable.
SABRE RED Crossfire Pepper Gel Spray
Because of how effectively it can temporarily blind and incapacitate assailants, pepper spray is one of the most trusted non-lethal weapons utilized by military and law enforcement personnel around the world. And, wouldn’t you know it, SABRE is the brand of choice for the NYPD, Chicago PD, and even the US Marshals. This particular version sprays a gel that’s good for up to 4 years, can fire up to 18 feet, lasts through 18 bursts, and it features a maximum strength recipe for unrivaled stopping power. As if that’s not enough, each can of SABRE RED Crossfire Pepper Gel Spray comes with access to in-depth training videos and safety tips to help you utilize it effectively and without incident.
Cold Steel Brooklyn Crusher Baseball Bat
Obviously, most baseball bats could work perfectly well as a home defense weapon; in fact, they’ve become something of a trope in movies and television for this very reason (watch M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs for reference). However, baseball bats are typically designed to hit baseballs. By contrast, the Cold Steel Brooklyn Crusher looks like a traditional baseball bat but was actually designed specifically for use as a blunt weapon — meaning it was meant to survive heavy, repetitive impacts. That’s why it was built from polypropylene, a virtually indestructible synthetic that will never break, splinter, crack, rot, etc. It’s also available in five different lengths, so you can pick out the one that suits you best. For reference, the one pictured above measures up at 29 inches in total and the smallest is 20 inches.
Smith & Wesson SWBAT21H Collapsible Baton
Measuring up at 21″ when fully deployed, the Smith & Wesson SWBAT21H Collapsible Baton gives users about the same reach and power as a small baseball bat — meaning it can be swung with great force and strike assailants with devastating power. However, unlike bats, it can be collapsed when not in use down to just 8.5″ — roughly small enough to stash in any standard-sized nightstand or kitchen drawer. It’s also made from super-sturdy, lightweight Chromoly steel — meaning it can survive quite a bit of abuse without breaking or becoming ineffective as a self-defense weapon. In case that’s not enough to get you on board with this device, it’s also utilized by actual law enforcement personnel across the country, which lends credence to its overall effectiveness as a tool.
Streetwise Barbarian Stun Baton
If you’ve ever been accidentally electrocuted, you’re probably aware of just how much even a low-voltage shock can sting. Of course, if you’ve never felt it yourself, you can simply Google videos of people getting shocked to understand just how unpleasant it can be and how effectively it can drop even a large, healthy man. As such, you can probably understand the value of utilizing the Streetwise Barbarian Stun Baton as a home defense weapon. Not only will it help keep some distance between you and any potential attackers thanks to its 19″ length, but it also can emit 9-million volts across a trio of contact zones (the tip and the sides) — the sound of which alone might scare off intruders. Just keep in mind: yes, this device can deliver a shock; however, it is probably more effective as a psychological deterrent than an actual effective means of stopping someone from attacking you and we’d suggest against using it as a blunt instrument, as the internal electrics might not remain intact through repeated striking.
OLIGHT Warrior X Pro Tactical Flashlight
As is the case with so many of the offerings on our list, the Olight Warrior X Pro Tactical Flashlight is an effective self-defense weapon with some built-in versatility — meaning it works in more than one way. For starters, this light emits a beam of light of up to 2,100 lumens, which is more than enough to temporarily blind and disorient any attacker. It’s so bright, in fact, that it may be useful even in the case that an attacker is wearing sunglasses. However, if the light fails to halt an attack, this portable torch was also built with a durable and lightweight aluminum body and a toothed bezel designed specifically for use as a blunt striking instrument. To summarize, the Warrior X Pro can be used to blind and beat an attacker, lending credence to this device as a double threat. Better still, it’s also useful as a simple piece of everyday carry gear when you don’t need to defend yourself, giving it even more overall value.
ARMA 100 Bean Bag Gun
Utilized by law enforcement and military personnel around the world, the ARMA 100 Bean Bag Gun is effective at knocking down assailants at a distance of up to 20 feet away — sending non-lethal bean bag rounds across the room at a rate of 135 feet per second. For reference, that’s enough force to completely knock the wind out of a healthy adult male, should you score a direct hit. It’s also legal to own in all 50 States and requires no license or training to own. The one thing worth noting, however, is that — in the right combination of circumstances — this could theoretically be lethal, especially if fired at someone’s face or throat. Furthermore, it’s only good for a single shot prior to necessitating reloading — meaning you’ll need to be confident in your ability to hit your target on the first go if you want to utilize this as a home defense weapon. If you’re comfortable with those two issues, this could be one of the best go-to self-defense devices around.
Salt Supply Co. s1 Pepper Spray Gun
The Salt Supply Co. s1 Pepper Spray Gun is a mainstay of the home- and self-defense industries, and it actually works in two ways (so long as you pick up the black one). First, it looks a lot like a genuine firearm — which could be enough to scare off an intruder in the heat of the moment. However, if the home invader keeps coming at you, you can simply pull the trigger and send pepper spray and/or tear gas rounds (it comes with 10 of each) in their direction at a rate of 320 feet per second with an effective range of 150-feet or more. Not only will these rounds cause physical pain upon impact, much like paintballs, but they’ll also burst — causing even more physical discomfort, including blinding and causing respiratory distress like coughing and choking. It’s so effective, in fact, that the U.S. military actually utilizes it in less-than-lethal circumstances. Unfortunately, if you live in California, New York, or Massachusetts, you can’t have this gun delivered to your home. However, in all other States, the Salt Supply Co. s1 Pepper Spray Gun is fair game.
TASER Pulse+ Stun Gun
This brand is so synonymous with non-lethal electric self-defense devices that people use the name TASER interchangeably with “stun gun.” And that’s probably because they’ve mastered the creation and implementation of the said devices. One of the brand’s latest and greatest offerings is the ultra-compact Pulse+ you see here. Weighing just 8oz in total, this stun gun can effectively halt and disable assailants at up to 15′ away — utilizing a powerful electric charge that can override muscles for up to 30 seconds at a time. Better still, the Pulse+ can link up to Noonlight, a smart app that can send emergency personnel to your location whenever your stun gun is fired. Furthermore, TASER will replace your Pulse+ free-of-charge, so long as you fire it in self-defense. Yes, $450 is an investment — but if it means safety and peace of mind, we think it seems more than worth the price.
Adopt A Guard Dog
Colloquially known as “man’s best friend,” a dog can actually serve in numerous ways as an effective means of protecting your home against burglaries and break-ins. For starters, regardless of their breed and/or size, a barking dog can function like an alarm, alerting you, your neighbors, and (of course) the home invaders themselves of its awareness of a break-in. That alone is enough to turn away a huge number of potential burglars. However, should the barking not frighten off an assailant, a dog can also be trained to attack unfamiliar humans — meaning your canine can be turned into a weapon itself, which is something we’ve seen put into practice by police and military organizations around the world. It’s worth pointing out that this should not be your primary reason for getting a dog, and we’d be remiss in our duties if we didn’t suggest adoption (as opposed to buying from a breeder) as the preferred method for acquiring a canine.
SimpliSafe Home Security System
Since home security systems don’t actually function as “weapons,” per se, they didn’t quite make the list. However, these systems are an exceptional option when it comes to deterrents. After all, you likely won’t need to defend yourself against a home invader if your home is wired to call the police at the first sign of a break-in. Having a home security system installed — like the numerous, brilliant options from SimpliSafe — can reduce your risk of home invasion by a huge margin. In fact, Dr. Joseph B. Kuhns of the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at UNC Charlotte conducted a study that determined as little as 13% of home invaders would continue with a break-in after tripping an alarm. As such, a home security system is a significant, effective means of stacking the deck in your favor — and can even drop your personal risk to negligible levels.
The 12 Best Guard Dog Breeds For Protection
As mentioned, home security should definitely not be the primary reason you adopt a dog. That being said, there’s no denying the potential effectiveness. With that in mind, if you’re interested in a lifelong pet that can also serve to protect you and yours, we’ve put together this guide to the best guard dog breeds for protection.