10 Best Self Defense Weapons for Women in 2023
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If you aren’t a strong or big woman, how can you defend yourself against a bigger or stronger male attacker?
Since caveman days, we’ve invented tools that someone of less strength and size can use to defend themselves against larger animals or hunt them for food.
Today, we continue to create tools and weapons that people can use to defend themselves against a bigger or stronger assailant.
If you’ve ever been attacked, preyed upon, or in a dangerous situation, you know how important it is to be armed with something - anything to give you a greater chance to fight off an attacker and survive.
What constitutes a good self defense weapon for women?
There are many factors including effectiveness, price, practicality, and personal preference.
Without further ado, let's look at the best self defense weapons for women.
1. Personal Alarm Keychains
Personal alarm keychains are excellent self defense products for women that emit high-pitched loud noises to deter predators, discourage active attackers, and alert bystanders to either call the police or physically intervene.
Personal alarms are inexpensive, lightweight, small, and can be easily attached to your keys in your bag or purse. Modern personal alarms are stylish and come with features such as LED flashlights and pull-out alarm cords.
- Small: Personal alarm keychains can fit in the palm of your hand with the typical device measuring 1.5 inches by 2.5 inches.
- Inexpensive: Personal alarms can be purchased online for around $8-$15.
- Effective: Personal keychain alarms emit loud high-pitched noises which can deter predators and solicit help from bystanders.
- Physical Protection: Personal alarm keychains do not provide any physical, tangible protection and cannot help you physically fight off an attacker.
- Bulky/Unnecessary: While they are small and lightweight, some women will question the need to carry a personal alarm with them, since it serves only one purpose and the likelihood of needing to use one is low.
Most personal alarm keychains are activated by either pressing a button or pulling a cord to turn the alarm on. The functionality of a personal alarm is straightforward and doesn't involve multiple or complicated steps.
Personal alarms can be a very effective self defense weapon for women. They create noisy, attention-grabbing situations which are the exact opposite of what most perpetrators seek in a criminal opportunity. Additionally, they can attract the attention of bystanders in the surrounding area which will alert them to call the police or personally intervene and help you.
Are Personal Alarm Keychains Good Self Defense Weapons for Women?
The short answer is every woman should own a personal alarm keychain since they possess several safety benefits and they are not cost prohibitive.
Best practices for personal alarms are to take them with you when you are entering situations with a higher risk of danger - working late at the office, going out with friends at night, or traveling overseas.
2. Open Point Rings
Open Point Rings from Defender Ring are one of the best self defense weapons for any woman to have for practical protection.
Open Point Rings are worn as everyday jewelry and designed with style and subtlety in mind, while giving its wearer the ability to cut skin, draw blood, and collect the DNA of an attacker.
- Small: Open Point Rings are 2.25 mm thin, less than the thickness of two pennies stacked together.
- Lightweight: Each Open Point Ring weighs 3 grams, slightly heavier than a penny.
- Modern: Open Point Rings are designed as minimalist rings that you can wear every single day.
- Effective: Open Points Rings are equipped with beveled points that can inflict significant damage to an attacker.
- Personal Style: Open Point Rings are worn as everyday jewelry so their style and colors need to match your taste.
- Power: Open Point Rings can supplement your defensive capabilities, but won't equip you with incapacitating power by itself.
Open Point Rings are self defense rings with openly displayed sharp points which are soft to the touch and won't cause damage or pain from incidental contact, but fierce on a fist and able to add a powerful whomp to a punch.
They are immediately accessible and don't require any retrieval from your bag, arming, unlocking, or unsheathing. Simply wear your self defense ring, and use your natural instinctive self defense moves like punching and striking to fight off an aggressor.
Are Open Point Rings Good for Self Defense?
Open Point Rings are one of the most practical and functional self defense weapons a woman can buy and are a great addition to any self defense collection.
Their durability and dual functionality justifies the upfront cost as a self defense weapon that can provide a lifetime of protection.
3. Cat Ears Keychains
Cat Ears Keychains are a cute and effective way to add some extra protection to your daily life.
Cat Ear Keychains are exactly as they're described - a keychain designed as a cat's face with pointed ears which are the weapons on this protective tool and can be used to strike an aggressor.
- Effective: Cat Ear Keychains can be very effective at inflicting pain and damage to an attacker when used properly in self defense.
- Cheap: Cat Ears Keychains can be purchased from online retailers for less than $10, a very cost-effective way to defend yourself.
- Style: The design and style won't appeal to everyone, but those who love cats or animals will find these protective products cute and endearing.
- Practicality: Cat Ear Keychains are more bulky and impractical than other self defense keychains, as they are bigger and have larger points.
Cat Ear Keychains must be retrieved or removed from your bag or keychain and then gripped through the "eyes" of the keychain with the sharp ears pointing outward. Holding your Cat Ears Keychain, you can use instinctive defensive moves like punching and striking an aggressor to defend yourself.
Cat Ear Keychains are relatively straightforward to use - however, they can be challenging to use in a sudden, abrupt dangerous situation. They are bulkier than other small self defense products and may be difficult to handle for some people. They are also not hand-mounted, so when you combine that with their bulkiness, they can easily be knocked out of your hand or out of position in a struggle.
Are Cat Ears Keychains Good for Self Defense?
While there are better small self defense products on the market, Cat Ears Keychains can be effective at inflicting significant damage to a perpetrator in self defense and will appeal to certain demographics. Their positive cost-benefit analysis shows that their low upfront cost and various self defense benefits make it a good purchase. The biggest determining factor will be if you like their design and style as an accessory. If you do, then Cat Ears Keychains will be a great investment towards your personal safety.
Kubatons are functional, minimal self defense weapons that are easy to use and can inflict significant damage to a predator.
Kubatons are self defense tools shaped like a small rod with ridges, mounds, and points on them which provide grip support and additional self defense functions.
Kubatons are inexpensive, small, and lightweight, and can be a great protective tool for women.
- Small & Lightweight: Kubatons are thin, small, lightweight, and won't take up much space in your bag or pocket.
- Affordable: Kubatons are affordably priced at around $10 from many online retailers like Ebay.com.
- Functional: Kubatons are equipped with various self defense functions from different grip positions to multiple striking points.
- Effective: Due to their small size, Kubatons are easy to maneuver and can inflict significant damage to a predator if used properly.
- Practicality: The primary disadvantage of most self defense weapons is their practicality. Does it make sense to carry around a Kubaton if you may never have to use it? Are peace of mind and prepared if necessary, good enough reasons to carry a Kubaton around that serves no other purpose? For some women the answer will be "no", they are an inconvenience, and for some women the answer will be "yes" and consider peace of mind priceless.
Kubatons are shaped like a stick and can be held in various positions for self defense striking. You can hold it like a knife facing down or a knife facing upwards, or between your fingers with the points sticking out as the striking surfaces.
Kubatons are used as a handheld weapon in self defense. Holding and using a Kubaton for defensive purposes will require some practice since it's not a normal weapon and fighting off an attacker with it is not a normal motion.
A Kubaton can be used for self defense by striking the soft and sensitive areas of a predator which will be more vulnerable to a Kubaton compared to harder and tougher areas of the body. Use your Kubaton to strike the eyes, face, and throat which will inflict significant damage and pain to the predator.
Are Kubatons Good For Self Defense?
Kubatons are one of the top self defense weapons for women due to their minimal size, affordable cost, and functional effectiveness. They can be extremely effective at fighting off an attacker and won't break the bank or weigh down your bag.
Flashlights are multi-functional tools that can be used for self defense to deter a predator and help you escape a dangerous situation.
Everyone knows what a flashlight is; invented in 1899, a flashlight is a portable hand-held device that emits light via a bulb and electricity.
Alternatively, flashlights can be used for personal protection to temporarily blind an aggressor, scare them away, or alert bystanders to a dangerous situation.
- Multi-Functional: Keeping a flashlight in your car can serve multiple purposes such as providing light in a roadside emergency, being used as a flare or warning sign, and deterring criminals in self defense.
- Inexpensive: Flashlights are mass-produced generic electronic devices that can be purchased for less than $10.
- Physical Protection: Flashlights do not provide any physical, tangible protection and cannot help you physically fight off an attacker. While some people might correctly assume you can strike an attacker with a flashlight, you shouldn't rely on it for that purpose.
- Bulky: Carrying a flashlight in your bag for the sole purpose of self defense can be superfluous.
Flashlights are electronic devices that emit light by pressing a button or flipping a switch.
In a dangerous situation, the best way to use a flashlight is to adjust the intensity to the brightest and highest setting and shine the light directly into the perpetrator's eyes. This should temporarily blind them and force them to close their eyes to recover, and give you extra time to flee the scene.
Additionally you can use a flashlight similar to a flare to attract the attention of bystanders to your current situation. Flashing lights combined with the loud siren from a keychain alarm or screams of help will surely prompt bystanders to call the police or physically intervene.
Are Flashlights Good For Self Defense?
Flashlights can be a great secondary option for self defense. They are a less-lethal method of deterring criminals and are effective at temporarily blinding them.
We wouldn't recommend carrying a flashlight in your bag or pocket for the sole purpose of self defense. Instead, purchase a Personal Keychain Alarm that has a flashlight built into it as well. You can also consider carrying a flashlight in your car for both general car emergency purposes and extra protection.
6. Concealed Self Defense Rings
Concealed Self Defense Rings from Defender Ring are one of the most practical, stylish, and functional ways to protect yourself in our modern day world. As our society becomes more mobile, fast-paced, and minimalistic, who wants to carry pepper spray in their bag, or a knife in their pocket?
Concealed Self Defense Rings are everyday jewelry rings equipped with concealed blades that are hidden under the ring top. Women can wear them as everyday jewelry and they will always be armed in a dangerous situation.
- Practicality: Simply wear your self defense weapon as everyday jewelry without sacrificing bag space.
- Effectiveness: Concealed Self Defense Rings can inflict pain to an attacker, draw blood, collect DNA, and cut through rope and zip ties.
- Immediate Accessibility: In a sudden dangerous situation, your self defense weapon will already be mounted to your fist and not at the bottom of your bag.
- Personal Style: Concealed Self Defense Rings are worn as regular jewelry so their style and colors need to match your taste.
Concealed Self Defense Rings should be worn on your index or middle finger for self defense as those two fingers provide the primary striking surfaces in punches and strikes. Make a fist and unscrew the ring top in a counter-clockwise direction to unsheathe the blade weapon. Fight off an attacker using your natural instinctive defensive moves such as punching, slicing, and striking the perpetrator.
Concealed Self Defense Rings come in minimalist, maximalist, and serrated weapon styles, and all rings have sharp pointed blades.
They can inflict pain and damage to an aggressor, draw blood, collect DNA, and the serrated rings can cut through rope and zip ties.
Are Concealed Self Defense Rings Good For Self Defense?
Concealed Self Defense Rings are excellent self defense products for women and represent modern innovation in the self defense space. They can be worn every day as jewelry and if you're ever in a dangerous situation, you'll have an added level of protection. Their discreet protection makes it easy to wear whether you're commuting to work, jogging in the park, or traveling overseas.
7. Pepper Spray
Pepper spray is one of the most well-known and one of the best self defense products for women. The less-lethal self defense weapon allows you to incapacitate an attacker from a distance and is very effective.
Today, most pepper sprays can be purchased for less than $20, and come in small, lightweight cannisters as opposed to their bulkier predecessors.
- Effectiveness: Pepper spray is very effective at temporarily blinding and incapacitating a perpetrator.
- Weapon Range: Pepper spray allows you to incapacitate a perpetrator from a distance without having to physically make contact with them, which is very important in self defense.
- Environmental Conditions: Pepper spray should be used with caution in certain environments like close-quarter spaces (where you can accidentally get sprayed), or in outdoor windy environments.
- Potency Limitations: While pepper spray is very potent, some perpetrators may not be affected and impaired by it.
Pepper spray comes in small cannisters that contain hot blinding liquids made from capsaicin, which is a chemical derived from chiles. Simply aim the nozzle at the face of the predator and press the button or lever to release the hot liquids. When contacted with the eyes, nose, face, or other sensitive membranes, the predator will be incapacitated and you'll have time to run away or call for help.
Pepper spray can be shot from a distance with most brands able to reach up to 10 feet. You should practice unlocking the cannister and pressing the trigger so you're used to how it feels and how the spray is released.
Is Pepper Spray Good For Self Defense?
Pepper spray is one of the best self defense weapons for women due to its effectiveness and defensive capabilities. There's a reason why law enforcement throughout the world uses various forms of pepper spray for incapacitating and subduing criminals.
Overall, if you don't already have pepper spray, buy one. If you don't want to take it with you during your daily activities, that's understandable. Simply take it with you when you engage in higher risk activities like going out at night or jogging in the morning.
8. Stun Guns
Stun guns have become one of the most important less-lethal weapons that cops and law enforcement use to subdue a perpetrator without using deadly force. Therefore it should come as no surprise that stun guns can be very effective self defense weapons for women when fighting off an aggressor.
- Effectiveness: Stun guns are very effective at disabling an aggressor.
- Power: Stun guns possess a very potent level of power that can take down a much larger assailant.
- Practicality: Due to their electrical components, stun guns tend to be on the larger, bulkier, and heavier side and are not the most practical weapons to carry every day.
Stun guns work by connecting a pair of electrodes to a perpetrator either by pressing it against them or shooting the electrodes into them, which then create an electric circuit and send voltage into the perpetrator. High voltage sent into the human body overwhelms and disables the body's nervous system which causes the body to freeze up, become immobilized, and fall over due to the muscles and functions being inoperable.
Perpetrators who have been "stunned" will be temporarily disabled for anywhere from 5-60 minutes which is ample time to flee the scene or call for help.
Are Stun Guns Good For Self Defense?
Stun guns are one of the most effective less-lethal weapons out there to take down a perpetrator and immobilize them. When used properly, stun guns can easily and effectively take down a larger assailant and can do it from a distance.
The concern with stun guns is their practicality. Very few women would want to carry around a bulky stun gun in her bag to prepare for a dangerous situation that may never occur, or might only occur once or twice in her lifetime.
If you'd like to include stun guns in your self defense arsenal, the best practice would be to keep it in your home or car, and only carry it with you in unknown or dangerous situations.
Overall, stun guns can be one of the most effective less-lethal self defense weapons if you have the budget and capacity for one.
Knives have been around since prehistoric times and are one of the first tools ever created. Sharp pointed objects have always been used for cooking, hunting, and definitely for protection.
Nowadays knives are inexpensive, widely available, and come in any shape, size and design you can imagine. They are easy to use and handle, and are effective at self defense.
- Inexpensive: A good quality, durable knife can be purchased for under $15.
- Small and Lightweight: Most knives are small, lightweight, and can easily fit into a bag or pocket.
- Easy to Use and Handle: People instinctively know how to use and handle knives since we use them in our daily lives.
- Practicality: Carrying a knife in your bag or pocket can be illegal and even intimidating for many people.
- Perceived Counter Attacks: Many women don't like carrying knives because they fear the perpetrator will take it from her and use it on her.
Knives are used every day to hunt, open boxes, prepare food, and a variety of other tasks. We are all very accustomed to holding and handling a knife, and using a knife for self defense isn't much different.
Simply grip the knife with its handle and the knife blade pointing upwards and away from you. Don't hold the knife far away and in front of your body - this will allow the perpetrator to knock it away or grab it. If the perpetrator attacks you, strike them in the face, eyes and throat which are the most vulnerable and exposed areas of the body.
Are Knives Good For Self Defense?
Knives will always be one of the best self defense weapons for women due to their ease of use/familiarity, cost, and effectiveness. As lethal weapons, knives may be impractical and intimidating for some women to use, but we would recommend that all women purchase and have a knife they like and are comfortable handling. As with many of the self defense weapons above, you should consider carrying your knife when you expect to be in unknown or higher risk environments.
Guns are one of the most effective and efficient weapons ever created, and are excellent self defense weapons for women provided that they are obtained, carried, and used legally.
Gun laws and ownership in the United States is a controversial topic, but we can’t ignore the self defense capabilities of firearms. The bottom line is guns can be used to accurately and effectively put down an evil predator from a distance, regardless of their size or strength which essentially allows any woman to defend herself against any predator.
- Effectiveness: Guns are the most effective weapon at defending yourself against a predator regardless of their size or strength.
- Range: Guns can be used from a distance which means you don't have to take the risk of the perpetrator grabbing and disarming you.
- Cost: Guns, ammunition, accessories, storage, licenses, and training can be expensive and cost-prohibitive for many women.
- Lethal Defense: Guns are lethal weapons that can end someone's life which pose significant legal and moral consequences if misused.
- Practicality: Women who live in big cities may not find it practical to carry a gun with them during their regular daily activities, or it may simply be illegal to carry a firearm in public.
Guns are straightforward to use and any woman can become comfortable and proficient at shooting a gun with training and practice.
If you're interested in learning more about some basic steps for how to hold and use a handgun, check out this article on Handgun Basics:
Are Guns Good For Self Defense?
Guns are hands down one of the best and most reliable self defense weapons for women. Other self defense weapons have benefits such as their effectiveness and practicality, but none have the full range of self defense capabilities as a gun does. And that's precisely why there are more legal barriers to getting a gun and it can be cost prohibitive to many.
Overall, if you want to fortify your home defense, are looking for complete peace of mind, or are comfortable owning a lethal weapon, guns should be at the top of your list.
We live in a dangerous world and no matter who you are or where you live, you can be the victim of a crime.
Preparing yourself for a dangerous situation is not living in fear; it's being mindful of reality and living in the present moment. Understanding that you might need a self defense weapon to protect yourself is not being fearful, it's being smart.
Another way women can defend themselves is to enroll in a self defense class. Self defense classes help women build up physical strength, fighting skills, and self confidence to fight off an attacker with their arms, legs, body, and mind. We've written an in-depth guide to the best self defense classes for women here: Top 10 Best Self Defense Classes for Women
Overall, it's easy and inexpensive to arm yourself nowadays. Spending $50 on a self defense weapon that will give you personal safety and peace of mind is priceless in this unpredictable world.