Updated: January 14, 2020

No one likes to think that they’re going to be mugged, attacked, raped, or even assaulted, but we live in an age where you have to defend yourself. There are a lot of people out there up to no good, which means you need to be ready for any kind of danger.

You could take self-defense courses or by yourself a gun, but getting proficient in either can take some time. You may not have a lot of time. You may be in a situation where you walk home from work or school, or where you are walking to your car at night and are concerned about your safety. This is where pepper spray can be the perfect solution.

Pepper spray not only gives you a big advantage over a potential assailant, what is easy to use and effective. It is what every person needs who finds themselves in a dangerous situation on a regular basis.

Choosing the Best Pepper Spray

While you can clearly see the advantage of having pepper spray with you, especially in this age, choosing the right one and knowing what one to choose is important. Here are some features to consider when making your choice.

  • Number of Shots. Another way that this is described is the number of bursts it will provide. The more bursts, means the number of times that it will continue to shoot at your assailant before running out of the chemical. The size of the container thing the product will often determine this, but also how the chemical is dispersed will play a role.
  • Refill-ability. Can you refill the canister is another concern. Many are disposable, meaning once that you have used it you simply have to throw it away. If you find yourself in need of this kind of product on a frequent basis, you either need to consider moving or choosing a product that can be refilled. Replacing a canister can get costly over time.
  • Range. Range is important as well. You want something that you can use so that your attacker does not get close enough to you before you were able to spray them. Some of the products you will see are highly effective, but only have a range of three or 4 feet. If you are a small person, that may not be enough of a range.
  • Type of Spray. There are several different types of spray types. This stream is very much like a squirt gun. It shoots the chemical out in one continuous stream, which usually means that you get a lot more range. The fog or type is not great for long distance, but covers a wider area. If you find that there are facing more than one attacker, this may be the ideal product to defend yourself. The foam or glob shoots a gel at your assailant. They usually cover a smaller distance, but once they coat someone’s face they are debilitating to say the least.
  • Size. Size is important as well. Depending upon the kind of pepper spray you choose and the circumstances where you intend to use it, size will determine if it is even valuable for you to carry. If you are not able to store it in your purse or pocket, or carry it with you while you jog, it may be of no used to you. However, there are great options out there that come with clips or holsters that can be attached to your belt or pants that eliminate size concerns.
  • Ingredients. The ingredients used in the chemical is also important. Pepper spray is made of a chemical called Oleoresin Capsicum, or OC. The stronger the chemical, the more powerful it is. Some products will also include tear gas and UV dyes. The tear gas is intended to dilate sinuses making it impossible for the person to see and read. The UV dye gives a trackable compound so the police can identify the person once they are apprehended.

12 Best Pepper Sprays to Buy

Now that you have an idea of some of the key features to look for when choosing a pepper spray, a few good suggestions may help you to make the right choice. There are some great options out there, so choosing what works best for you and how you would use to pepper spray is important. Here are 12 options you may want to consider.

#1 SABRE ADVANCED Compact Pepper Spray

SABRE ADVANCED Compact Pepper Spray Review This is our top product for many reasons. It starts with the fact that it comes with an advanced 3-in-1 spray combination, combining teargas, capsaicin-based pepper spray, and a UV marking dye. This maximum formula ensures that you will stop your attacker instantly, and provide police a way to track down the person should they be able to escape.

The solution has been laboratory tested. It is guaranteed to provide the maximum stopping power available. In fact, testing conducted at the University of Utah found that 30% of pepper sprays fail, but that will not be the case here.

The spray canister provides a burst up to 10 feet for range, and provides up to 35 bursts. We also love the fact that it came with a four year shelf life, at least a year more than many of the other options available on the market.

The trigger is reinforced with twist locks that prevent you from accidentally spraying someone. However, they are easy to remove and deploy in an emergency. They will not become a hindrance to you being able to protect yourself.

One thing you will like is that you can purchase a practice spray to make it easier to learn how to use and deploy. Plus, there are free training videos and tips that are provided. You will feel confident in using this product, and they have done everything imaginable to help you to feel safer. It truly is safety in a can.

#2 Fox Labs ACK Top Stream Pepper Spray

Fox Labs ACK Top Stream Pepper Spray Review This is a great product designed by a trusted manufacturer. This flip top stream spray provides a range of anywhere between 17 all the way up to 20 feet, without reducing the number of bursts that are available. The average canister will provide 16 to 18 shots.

The flip top is a great safety feature, which ensures that you don’t accidentally discharge the spray. However, it is not cumbersome to open in an emergency, ensuring that you are ready to go when you need to defend yourself the most.

Included in the spray is an invisible UV dye that will show up under black light. This will keep your assailant from knowing that he or she may have been marked, but will let police or other law enforcement officials easily identify them once they are apprehended.

It is true that the shelf life of this product is a lot less than many of the other in this review. You will find that the canister will last up to about three years, putting it about a year last than many of the others mentioned. However, it’s high strength formula and the fact that it releases a large discharge when pressed is something you can’t beat. This is a product you are looking to use when your safety matters most, and having something that will give a high discharge that will incapacitate your assailant makes it a worthwhile option.

It is priced a little higher than many other choices you will see in this review, but once again it is about your safety. You will have little concern about accidentally discharging, but a lot of confidence that when it does no one is going to be harming you then.

#3 Fox Labs Law Enforcement Defense Spray

Fox Labs Law Enforcement Defense Spray Review This Fox Labs product provides you with the same level of professional pepper spray that is used by law enforcement officials throughout the world. It is a highly concentrated formula that is used in the product, which will suppress and incapacitate any attacker instantly.

The pepper spray has a 5.3 million Scoville heat units rating. It comes with one of the most highly concentrated formulas, meaning that the pepper spray will have an instant effect on almost any assailant. It is designed using an inflammatory agent, which will cause serious irritation right away. You will be stunned at how quick and responsive the formula is.

Included in the product is a 12 ounce can with a secure handle. This makes it easy to hold and aim, and you will love the long range that it provides. Plus, it gives you a good number of verse and makes it easy to aim and fire, even if you need to use it several times. Plus, a small safety lock is included that makes it easy to store and ensures that you don’t accidentally discharge it.

A three year warranty is included. This is nice considering there are reports that the propellant can the road or leak out over time.

You know when a product is used by law enforcement officials that it has some merit to it. This is one you will find that is easy to use and will give you the kind of advantage you need against an attacker. When seconds matter, you want something you know is going to protect you.

#4 Kimber PepperBlaster II

Kimber PepperBlaster II Review Many are looking for a product and that has a kind of design that looks similar to something else they may have used. This is where this Kimber pepper spray has become a popular one, as it is shaped very much like a pistol. In fact, the holster that houses this product is very much like that you would find for a handgun.

This is just the start of why you will like this product. The ranges up to 13 feet, and there is no blowback or drifting. Even at 13 feet there is not a loss of pressure either. All you have to do is pointed in the direction of your assailant and fire, and you will find that he or she will be on their knees in agony within seconds.

This comes with a powerful pepper spray, which will stop your assailant instantly. Even those who have tested the product using eyeglasses or ski masks have found that it does not stop the effects of this spray. Very few, if any are going to be able to fend off this spray and continue on.

Because of its design, you will find that this is easy to store almost anywhere. The clip for the holster easily attaches to your belt, pants, or skirt, and it easily slides out of the holster. No fumbling around to try to grab it when your safety matters most.

While it is a bit more expensive than many of the other options you will find out there, you will like how easy it is to use and how accurate and effective it is. When your safety matters, this is a great choice.

#5 SABRE RED Pepper Gel Spray

SABRE RED Pepper Gel Spray Review This is the ideal product for those who are needing a means to protect themselves, but don’t want to carry something that is heavy or cumbersome. This Sabre product was specifically designed for those who are runners, which can be used by anyone. It’s just that the design is ideal for someone who needs a lightweight defense spray that is easy to conceal and use.

The product comes with a traditional style pepper spray, and is referred to as 3-in-1 because it includes a mix of three extremely useful defense products including capsaicin-based pepper spray, teargas, and a UV dye that will mark the attacker, making it easier for the police to locate him or her later.

Included is an adjustable hand strap. This makes it easy for you to wrap around your wrist, holding it comfortably while you get in a jog or while you are walking across a park or other area where you feel that your safety may be in jeopardy. There is also an additional personal alarm that provides a sound reaching 120 dB, and comes with an LED light. This gives you a number of protective measures, and will be ideal for stopping any attacker.

The price also makes this a worthwhile option. For those who are looking for a great product to protect them in almost any situation, you won’t find many better than this. Plus, you will like the fact that it gives you up to 35 uses and provides a good deal of accuracy. You will feel like you made a good selection by choosing this product.

#6 Little Viper Pepper Spray Bracelet

Little Viper Pepper Spray Bracelet Review One of them concerns that many have about using a pepper spray is that it is not always easy to carry and conceal. While there are options for you to use while you are out jogging or out at a party, carrying a pepper spray can in your hand or having an attached to your wrist is not always the easiest thing in the world to use. That is why this bracelet option is ideal.

First it comes with a smart design, making it look like it is nothing more than a watch around your wrist. However, it comes with a pepper spray that is easy to discharge simply by pressing on the buttons at the end of the canister. This clever concealment will prevent someone from even knowing you have the pepper spray, but will help you to react in an emergency situation.

It provides you with maximum protection, as the product contains 10% oleoresin capsicum. It will work with a range up to 3 feet, and will instantly cause coughing and choking as well as an extremely intense burn sensation in their eyes. This will stop the attacker from making any advancement on you.

Plus, you don’t have to feel awkward wearing it. The product comes in three different colors, and each one is sharply designed and will look good no matter what you are wearing or where you are going. The company wants you to feel confident about using this product, and this is why they even provide a free training course for those who desire a little additional confidence in using the product.

The price is something that will definitely work within your budget, and you will find that it is ideal for whatever situation you are in. Whether at the dance club, playing basketball, or out of the pool, you will feel a whole lot safer with this product wrapped around your wrist.

#7 Mace Police Strength Pepper Spray Pepper Gun

Mace Police Strength Pepper Spray Pepper Gun Review This is a fantastic choice and a pepper spray product for many reasons, starting with the design. This looks very much like a gun, which not only help to deliver a powerful and accurate stream, but may stop your attacker in their tracks simply because they are not sure whether you actually have a gun or not.

Because of its design, you are able to spray up to 20 feet in range. In fact, there are seven different settings on product that enable you to determine exactly how you want to disperse the chemical. That allows you to name for targets far away or to disperse a group that maybe attempting to harass you.

You will also like the built-in LED strobe. This not only helps to activate the trigger, but provides an additional light to give you a more accurate shot. Plus, that light will help to temporarily disorient your assailant, giving you one more edge.

One feature that we really liked was the preloaded practice gun that is included. This gives you the option to be able to practice with your product without wasting any of the chemical. Every bit of practice will make you more accurate, and this makes you a lot safer whenever you go out. You simply can’t beat the fantastic design and efficiency of this pepper spray. With a UV dye included along with a pepper spray, you will feel plenty safe.

#8 SABRE Red Pepper Gel

SABRE Red Pepper Gel Review This is one of the most widely used products on the market today. That primarily comes from the fact that many in law enforcement have chosen to use this as their standard pepper spray, earning it a solid reputation.

What helps to promote this product is how accurate it is to use. It sprays a highly concentrated amount of oleoresin capsicum at the intended target, ensuring that you hit dead center every time. In a situation where missing simply isn’t an option, this is why this particular product has become so popular.

In addition, because the product is created as a gel, you have no concern about blowback. You don’t have to worry about the product coming back to haunt you, and it gives you a range of up to 18 feet. This means you can keep an assailant far away from you without having to worry about missing or them being able to get in close to you before you are able to use your product.

This product offers about 25 bursts. Plus, it’s shelflife should last as long as four years depending upon the number of times you had to use it. Many like the fact that proceeds from the sale of this product go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. It truly is a product that will make you feel safe, and you will like the fact that you are making a difference in the lives of women everywhere every time you purchase it.

#9 POLICE MAGNUM OC Pepper Spray

POLICE MAGNUM OC Pepper Spray Review This is one of the smallest pepper spray cans that made our list. It comes in a pack of four with a twist top. Each of these canisters weighs about half of an ounce. Included is a keychain ring and they are small enough to easily fit inside pocket or almost any handbag or purse. You can also purchase packages of two.

This is what has made them such a valuable option. Because of the protection they provide and the fact that they are easily storable, even fitting inside the palm of most people’s hands, it makes it ideal to take with you almost anywhere you go.

The spray is both non-toxic and non-flammable, however, it is strong enough to stop an attacker in his or her tracks. This small canister is used by police and law enforcement officials across the globe, primarily because of how effective it is and how easy it is to conceal. Also included in the spray is a special UV dye that will mark your assailant. It is not visible to the naked eye, but will be displayed under black light.

There are a couple of concerns to have with this particular product. First, it does not provide a long-range, providing you with maybe a few feet at best. That may come back to haunt you as well, as there can be some blowback.

In addition, you are likely to find that by pressing on the button that some of the spray will get onto your finger or hand. This can cause irritation to your skin and knows, maybe even making your eyes and nose water. You want to make sure that you are only using this in emergency situations, as it can have some negative effects for you as well.

#10 iworldsafetech Pepper Spray Zenith Keychain

iworldsafetech Pepper Spray Zenith Keychain Review If a compact pepper spray is what you are looking for, and you want one that could easily be mistaken for something else, then this is the option for you. This ultra sleek product comes in a great design, making it look very much like a flashlight. However, inside is a powerful chemical that provides a 14 foot range, providing you with the perfect defense against any assailant.

The chemical is built to provide an immediate impact right away. The vast majority of people are going to lose their eyesight immediately and find themselves disoriented. You have up to 30 verse, and the 14 foot range not only means that you don’t have to worry about blowback, but also that you don’t have to worry about the person coming in close proximity to you before you zap them.

The size makes it extremely easy to carry around. Plus, it comes with a keychain attachment, making it easy for you to attach to your keys or to slide inside your purse.

One thing we really like about this was the look. Its pink color is perfect for any woman’s purse, and that the round, sleek look is easily mistaken for some other product. You could easily carried in your hand while you jog or slide it into your pocket and no one would be the wiser. It is lightweight and comes at a price that is quite affordable. There are four colors available, including pink, gold, red, and silver.

#11 Mace Brand Self Defense Pepper Spray

Mace Brand Self Defense Pepper Spray Review Mace is a name that many recognize when it comes to self defense brace, and with good reason. This is one of the original designers of sprays of this nature. This product is one that you will truly find fits your needs, as it comes with an easy to grip handle that provides for the greatest amount of accuracy.

Plus, this product really works. You can get up to 20 bursts from one canister, and each burst can reach a range of his much is 18 feet. That is plenty enough distance to keep any assailant far away from you. A safety switch included on the grip ensures that you don’t accidentally discharge the product and that you can safely store it.

The formula for this is top-notch. It will stop almost any attacker dead in his or her tracks, and the formula that is used will prevent blowback. Oleoresin Capsicum is the primary chemical used, and you can be sure it works. This make sure that the product doesn’t turn on you. A UV dye included in the spray helps law enforcement identify any attacker.

For first-time users, be aware that this product does not discharge the chemical and stream. Instead, it releases a blob that is intended to incapacitate the attacker immediately. Some prefer a steady stream, but this is not what this product provides. This is really a matter of preference, as many are accustomed to the standard stream options and don’t want to use other types of products.

Still, this is a product you can count on. You will enjoy its effectiveness and feel extremely safe taking it with you.

#12 Guard Dog Security Instafire Xtreme Self-Defense Pepper Spray

Guard Dog Security Instafire Xtreme Self-Defense Pepper Spray Review We really like this product because it is actually two products in one. Not only are you provided with an efficient pepper spray, but also receive a knuckle guard that can be useful for defending yourself should the attacker getting close or if you are facing more than one attacker.

It starts with the fact that the pepper spray is one of the strongest on the market, with an 18% red pepper content. With a range of 16 feet and this powerful chemical, you should easily be able to fend off almost any attacker.

The handgrip is very cleverly designed. Inside the home along your fingers is a clip where the can is easily secured in place. A red trigger is on top that you simply push down with your thumb, dispensing the chemical at your assailant.

The grip is also important because it provides you with some additional power in which to defend yourself. The knuckles are padded and coated with a solid plastic that provide some extra power to your punch. Should someone getting close to you, this is an additional safety mechanism that allows you to pummel your assailant, or to simply pummel them while they are down after the chemical takes effect.

This design is fantastic for most people who run. Most of us jog with our hands clenched, and this is easy to hold, clipping in place and is lightweight enough for you to. With you. It doesn’t matter where you are going, if you have this in your hands you were going to feel a lot more secure.

Comparison Chart

Pepper SprayProsCons
#1 SABRE ADVANCED Compact Pepper Spray
  • Provides up to 35 bursts
  • Comes with the maximum strength power to stop an assailant
  • Videos and practice canisters help you to feel safer and more secure with the product
  • Comes at a price that simply can’t be beat
  • The range is good, ensuring no blowback
  • The design is made rather cheap
  • The safety latch has been known to fall off because it comes loose
#2 Fox Labs ACK Top Stream Pepper Spray
  • Provides up to 18 total bursts
  • Contains a UV dye and a high potency strength formula that should easily incapacitate your assailant and make them easy to find
  • Stream provides up to 20 feet in range
  • The flip top mechanism ensures that you get optimal safety and ensures there won’t be accidental discharge
  • Only provides a three year shelf life
  • A little bit more expensive than some other options
#3 Fox Labs Law Enforcement Defense Spray
  • Easy to hold and use
  • Comes with a safety lock to ensure you don’t accidentally discharge it
  • Handle grip and design makes accuracy a snap
  • Comes in a larger size 12 ounce can
  • Comes with a three year warranty
  • The holster does not come along with the product
  • It is one of the most expensive products you will find
#4 Kimber PepperBlaster II
  • Extremely effective and easy to use
  • Provides great accuracy and a range of up to 13 feet
  • The holster option makes it easy to carry and access
  • Comes with a powerful spray that will drop almost any assailant
  • One of the more expensive options we found, coming in at just under $80
  • It is very small, and can be a little difficult to handle at first. You may need a couple of practice shots to get comfortable with it
#5 SABRE RED Pepper Gel Spray
  • Receive as many as 35 bursts per canister. This is the largest number on the market today.
  • Priced at under $10, making it a great product at an affordable price.
  • Very easy to replace and use.
  • Product is developed by a trusted manufacturer.
  • Comes with an adjustable handgrip that makes it easy to hold and carry
  • Only comes with 1.33% OC, one of the smallest percentages on the market today among these products.
  • Does not come with a holster, only providing a clip that hooks to your purse or pocket.
#6 Little Viper Pepper Spray Bracelet
  • A sharp looking design makes it easy to conceal and use.
  • Comes with free training to assist you in using the product.
  • Uses the maximum strength of pepper spray.
  • The perfect backup protection device or device to use when nothing else would be workable.
  • Some report that the device does not always work every single time.
  • Will not provide 3 to 6 bursts as advertised.
  • Because of the short range you have to be concerned about blowback
#7 Mace Police Strength Pepper Spray Pepper Gun
  • A preloaded practice gun is included to enable you to get comfortable with the product.
  • Extremely easy to use with seven different dispersal settings.
  • Includes an LED strobe light that makes your shop more accurate and can help to disorient your assailant.
  • A safety helps to prevent it from accidentally firing
  • It is a bit bulky and may not fit in your pocket or purse.
  • Not the strongest to pepper sprays. Would be better if it used a more powerful chemical.
#8 SABRE Red Pepper Gel
  • An extremely affordable price at under $12 per can. That includes the holster combo.
  • Provides a long-range of up to 18 feet.
  • No blowback, so you don’t have to worry about it blinding you.
  • Extremely accurate, shooting in a straighter line than many other product options.
  • It does not provide a practice canister, meaning your first attempt to use it may be when you are protecting yourself.
  • Some users have reported that the canisters dripped after the first use.
#9 POLICE MAGNUM OC Pepper Spray
  • Easy to store and carry.
  • Provides a powerful formula as well as a UV dye.
  • Trusted by law enforcement officials.
  • Both non-toxic and non-flammable
  • Provides a limited range.
  • Can easily blow back on you or get on your skin
#10 iworldsafetech Pepper Spray Zenith Keychain
  • Lightweight and easy to hide or conceal.
  • Comes with a powerful chemical that can be dispersed at a range of 14 feet.
  • Easily able to clean by simply wiping the nozzle down.
  • A great design and look
  • If you attach this to your keychain the capital easily pull off. This can leave you with the cap but no pepper spray.
  • Prone to leak.
#11 Mace Brand Self Defense Pepper Spray
  • A powerful formula that will stop your assailant and his or her tracks.
  • Comes from a trusted name that provides dependable products.
  • Easy to use and accurate.
  • Comes with a clip to hold in place.
  • Does not provide a stream, but a blob instead.
  • Does not come with a practice canister.
#12 Guard Dog Security Instafire Xtreme Self-Defense Pepper Spray
  • Great design provides you with two ways to defend yourself.
  • One of the most powerful chemicals on the market to spray.
  • Provides a range of up to 16 feet.
  • Will not cause your hand to sweat, and does not slip if your hand gets moist.
  • Works perfect for either right or left handed persons.
  • The glove is built for one-size-fits-all, but that is not true. For people with smaller hands it’s not going to fit properly.
  • Really no other complaints.

Most Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some commonly asked questions related to pepper sprays:

What are pepper sprays made of?

It depends upon the kind of spray that you purchase, but the primary ingredient of pepper spray is Oleoresin Capsicum, frequently referred to as OC. This is an extract from red peppers, and is one of the most irritating chemicals naturally produced.

What does pepper spray feel like?

Pepper spray will create a burning sensation on your skin, in your eyes, and in your nose. While not causing physical burn, it does irritate the skin enough that it can incapacitate a person for quite some time. Even when flushed with water for 10 or 15 minutes, a person can still feel the effects of pepper spray.

What does pepper spray do?

Pepper spray acts as an irritant on your skin. It creates a burning sensation, which can be extremely effective in a person’s eyes and nasal cavities. While the effects are not permanent, it will burn and hurt like hell for quite some time. If not treated right away, the effects can last for an hour or more.

How long does pepper spray last?

If not treated right away, pepper spray can last up to an hour on your skin. The most severe effects will last between 15 and 20 minutes, which is plenty of time for a person to be able to get away should they use this spray to escape an assailant.

How old do you have to be to carry pepper spray?

It depends upon the state in which you live. Most require that a person be at least 18 years old, but you should check with local law enforcement officials. Delaware, for example, requires that a person be at least 18, but Georgia has no legal age restrictions at all.

How long does pepper spray last on skin?

If not washed away or treated, it can stay on your screen for quite some time. Even with treatment you are likely to see redness and feel irritation four hours after.

How to get rid of pepper spray?

Should you get pepper spray on yourself, you want to flush the affected areas with water as quickly as possible. If it gets in your eyes start to blank is rapidly as you can to cause your eyes to begin to tear, which will help to flush out the spray. Use soap and water on affected areas of your skin.

When can you pepper spray someone?

You should only use pepper spray on another person when you are threatened or endangered by that person. This is not a toy, and should not be treated as such. While deaths from pepper spray are extremely rare, it can lead to a number of complications, especially for people that suffer from respiratory disorders like asthma.

How much does pepper spray cost?

It depends upon the kind and product that you purchase. In this review we have seen some options that were less than $10, while others reached to just under $80 or $90. It is really dependent upon the concentration of the product as well as how the device is designed that allows you to spray the compound.

Where to buy pepper spray?

You can buy pepper spray and a number of locations. It is available online, and a number of specialty shops sell it as well. In fact, many smoke shops sell pepper spray as one of their products. A search on line will help you to be able to locate local establishments within your area.