7 Best Stun Guns & Tasers [Hands-On Tested]

Stun guns and Tasers are some of the most popular forms of self-defense currently available…even more popular than firearms.

This isn’t particularly surprising.

But not all stun guns are created equal.

All Tested Stun Guns
Initially Tested Stun Guns

This review has been years in the making with our first batch of 5 popular stun guns we bought off Amazon.

But we now have our update with some others that have performed better.

Our Favorite Tested Stun Guns
Our Favorite Tested Stun Guns

And now with our favorite Taser…the Taser Pulse.

Taser Pulse Dual Wield
Taser Pulse Dual Wield

Read on to see our favorite picks and see/hear all of the devices sparking with their fury in our quick videos.

Summary of Our Top Picks

  1. Editor’s Pick (Full Size)

    Tiger-USA Xtreme Sanctuary Stun Gun

    150 million volts, decent light, & super loud alarm. Our favorite large stun gun.

    $20 at Home Security Super Store
    Jump to Details

  2. Editor’s Pick (Compact Size)

    Streetwise Lifeguard Mini Stun Gun

    $16 at Home Security Super Store
    Jump to Details

  3. Editor’s Pick (Taser)

    TASER Pulse

    Our go-to Taser that’s small, easy to shoot, and has a contact stun mode.

    $399 at Home Security Superstore
    Jump to Details

  4. Stun Flashlight Pick

    Police Force Stun Gun Flashlight

    Less suspicious to hold while walking, decent light, & good stun stats.

    $20 at Home Security Store
    Jump to Details

  5. Streetwise Sting Ring
    Most Concealable

    Streetwise Sting Ring Stun Gun

    Most concealable pick with squeeze and stun activation.

    $18 at Home Security Super Store
    Jump to Details

  6. VIPERTEK VTS-989 - 15 Billion Heavy Duty Stun Gun - Rechargeable with LED Flashlight
    Runner-Up (Full Size)

    Vipertek VTS-989 Heavy Duty Stun Gun

    Built-in flashlight, can penetrate thick clothing.

    $24 at Amazon
    Jump to Details

  7. VIPERTEK VTS-880 - 5 Billion Mini Stun Gun - Rechargeable with LED Flashlight, Black
    Most Affordable

    Vipertek VTS-880 Mini Stun Gun

    Size of a deck of cards, Built-in LED flashlight

    $10 at Amazon
    Jump to Details

Table of Contents

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What’s the Difference between a Taser and a Stun Gun?

Though the terms are often used interchangeably, a taser and a stun gun are two different devices.

Taser Pulse Lever & Power Indicator
Taser Pulse Lever & Power Indicator

A taser works by shooting metal prongs that embed in the assailant’s skin up to several yards away and deliver a shock.

Taser Pulse Electrodes
Taser Pulse Electrodes

A stun gun is a smaller device that delivers the shock through direct contact with the assailant via electrodes on the device.

Sabre Dual Stun Gun, Buttons
Sabre Dual Stun Gun, Buttons

Obviously, distance is a huge advantage for tasers, but it comes with a lot of disadvantages.

For one, tasers are illegal under many state and local laws, and even where they are legal, acquiring one has the added difficulty of a background check.

On top of that, tasers can be pricey to purchase and maintain, and some models have a tendency to be bulky and difficult to conceal.

Drawing Taser Pulse
Drawing Taser Pulse

Plus…you’ll need some decent aim since a Taser shoots out two prongs…both of which need to hit your target.

A stun gun, on the other hand, is much more affordable, is less legally regulated, and is more compact and easier to conceal, all while delivering the same strength of shock as a taser.

Best Stun Guns & Tasers

1. Tiger-USA Xtreme Sanctuary

The Xtreme Sanctuary from Tiger-USA is our current favorite full-size form factor stun gun.

Tiger USA Xtreme Sanctuary Stun Gun
Tiger USA Xtreme Sanctuary Stun Gun

Some quick stats:

  • 150 Million Volts
  • 200 Lumen Flashlight
  • 150dB alarm
  • Side Shock Plates
  • 6″ x 2″ x 0.8″

The Xtreme Sanctuary beats out the Vipertek VTS-989, our original favorite, for a couple reasons.

Vipertek VTS-989, Size
Vipertek VTS-989, Size

I always take the Voltage number with a grain of salt since there’s an asterisk on every stun gun saying something along the lines of it will vary, etc.

However the Xtreme Sanctuary’s 150 million volt cackle is ominous sounding and I would definitely not want to get hit by it.

The Vipertek is listed at 300 million volts but sounds the same as the Xtreme Sanctuary’s listed 150 million volts.

The Xtreme Sanctuary also comes with an insanely loud alarm activated by flipping the slide button all the way up…something that’s missing on the Vipertek. It will turn heads and hurts my ears even for a few seconds when I activate it indoors.

The Xtreme Sanctuary also comes with a much brighter flashlight than the Vipertek. And the flashlight is on when you’re in stun mode. For the Vipertek you can either have the choice of light or stun.

Tiger USA Xtreme Sanctuary vs Vipertek VTS-989 Light
(L) Vipertek VTS-989 Light vs (R) Tiger USA Xtreme Sanctuary

Activation of the stun button is very similar for both models with a flip switch on the side opposite the slider mode switch. And both models come with side shock plates so baddies can’t grab it away from you.

Tiger USA Xtreme Sanctuary Button
Tiger USA Xtreme Sanctuary Button

I’ve tested the stun capability every week for 3 months and it’s still going strong. However you should probably charge it a few hours every month. It has a rechargeable battery with an accompanying separate cord.

Note, the battery comes completely drained and you need to charge a full 8 hours or else it won’t work properly. It says it in the instructions and they were right!

Tiger-USA Xtreme Sanctuary Stun Gun

20

at Home Security Super Store

Prices accurate at time of writing

View Details

20
at Home Security Super Store

Prices accurate at time of writing

Tiger-USA Xtreme Sanctuary Stun Gun

$20 at Home Security Super Store

View Details

20
at Home Security Super Store

Prices accurate at time of writing

What’s your take on the Xtreme Sanctuary?

Readers’ Ratings





4.97/5
(735)

Your Rating?





2. Streetwise Lifeguard

The Streetwise Lifeguard is our favorite pick for a compact stun gun.

Streetwise Lifeguard Stun Gun
Streetwise Lifeguard Stun Gun

Some quick stats:

  • 16.5 Million Volts
  • Flashlight
  • 4.25″ x 1.6″ x 1″
  • 7 oz

And beats out the smaller Vipertek VTS-880 that was our previous favorite.

Vipertek VTS-880, Size
Vipertek VTS-880, Size

Specs are very similar but the Streetwise is more curvy and easier to hold in the hand compared to the Vipertek.

And even though the voltage comes down to 16.5 million volts it’s still pretty intimidating.

And the light is much more usable compared to the Vipertek.

(L) Vipertek VTS-880 vs (R) Streetwise Lifeguard Light
(L) Vipertek VTS-880 vs (R) Streetwise Lifeguard Light

I also tested it out every week for 3 months and it lasted through the end of the second month. Highly recommend following the instructions and charging a few hours every month.

Another feature is that the charging plug is integrated so no cord to lose. And the size is much smaller than our other favorite on the list.

Streetwise Lifeguard vs Tiger USA Xtreme Sanctuary
Streetwise Lifeguard vs Tiger USA Xtreme Sanctuary

So if you’re looking for a small stun gun…you can’t go wrong with the Lifeguard. And don’t worry it comes in pink AND black.

Streetwise Lifeguard Mini Stun Gun

16

at Home Security Super Store

Prices accurate at time of writing

View Details

16
at Home Security Super Store

Prices accurate at time of writing

Streetwise Lifeguard Mini Stun Gun

$16 at Home Security Super Store

View Details

16
at Home Security Super Store

Prices accurate at time of writing

3. Taser Pulse

Our top pick for a civilian Taser is the Taser Pulse.

Taser Pulse Grip, Me
Taser Pulse Grip, Me

It holds and points like a firearm but gives you a less-lethal option.

Some quick stats:

  • 50,000 Volts
  • Flashlight & Red Aiming Laser
  • Contact Stun Ability
  • Range: 15 feet
  • 1.25″ x 5.25″ x 4.75″
  • 8 oz

It shoots our two dart electrodes that both need to hit the target…and in return causes “neuromuscular incapacitation.”

Great to give you a little distance…I’d say I’m comfortable shooting it up to 15 feet. Much better than the literal contact distance needed with a traditional stun gun.

A downside is that once you shoot and don’t hit…you’re not really going to be reloading with speed. Sure there’s cartridges but removing and putting a new one in is tough on the clock.

Taser Pulse Unboxing
Taser Pulse Unboxing

However you can easily remove the spent cartridge and put the taser into contact stun mode.

We have a full review that goes into all the details. But the Taser Pulse is our pick if you’re going to be carrying a Taser as a civilian.

Most Electrifying Non-Lethal EDC

TASER Pulse

399

at Home Security Superstore

Prices accurate at time of writing

View Details

399
at Home Security Superstore

  • Home Security Superstore (See Price)
  • Amazon (See Price)

Prices accurate at time of writing

Most Electrifying Non-Lethal EDC

TASER Pulse

$399 at Home Security Superstore
  • Home Security Superstore (See Price)

  • Amazon (See Price)

Prices accurate at time of writing

4. Police Force Stun Flashlight

Looking for something more useful on a day to day basis…and also less weird to keep readily in your hand?

Enter the Police Force Stun Flashlight.

Police Force Stun Flashlight
Police Force Stun Flashlight

Some quick stats:

  • 9.2 Million Volts
  • Triple stun prong
  • 6.5″ long
  • 8 oz

I like how you can have it in flashlight mode without the ability to press the button for stun…you know just in case!

However, it’s weird that when you want to enter stun mode the light is off.

How does the light compare as a real flashlight? You can obviously find better dedicated lights out there (see our Best Tactical Lights) but it’s still decent.

Police Force Stun Flashlight, Light
Police Force Stun Flashlight, Light

Charging is done via a cord attached to the bottom of the unit. I’ve tried it every week for 3 weeks and it’s still going strong. But go with the instructions and charge a few hours every month especially if you’re using it as a flashlight.

A decent selection for something you can hold while walking around without arousing suspicion.

Stun Flashlight Pick

Police Force Stun Gun Flashlight

20

at Home Security Store

Prices accurate at time of writing

View Details

20
at Home Security Store

Prices accurate at time of writing

Stun Flashlight Pick

Police Force Stun Gun Flashlight

$20 at Home Security Store

View Details

20
at Home Security Store

Prices accurate at time of writing

5. Streetwise Sting Ring

Looking for something covert? Take a look at the Streetwise Sting Ring that is sort of like a brass knuckle…but with added shock value.

Streetwise Sting Ring
Streetwise Sting Ring

Some quick stats:

  • 18 Million Volts
  • Squeeze to Stun
  • 3″ x 2.3″ x 1″
  • 5 oz

The easiest way to explain the Sting Ring is to see it in action…

I’m glad there’s a safety on/off switch but it also takes some deliberate action to activate the stun capabilities.

Though the stun sound and distance is less than our other favorites…you give up a little for the size and concealability.

Streetwise Sting Ring Button
Streetwise Sting Ring Button and Safety

It charges via a small port and is still holding a charge after 3 months. Although, again, follow instructions and charge it up a few hours each month.

Most Concealable

Streetwise Sting Ring Stun Gun

18

at Home Security Super Store

Prices accurate at time of writing

View Details

18
at Home Security Super Store

Prices accurate at time of writing

Most Concealable

Streetwise Sting Ring Stun Gun

$18 at Home Security Super Store

View Details

18
at Home Security Super Store

Prices accurate at time of writing

6. Vipertek VTS-989

The Vipertek VTS-989 is one of the most widely recommended stun guns on the market and our previous favorite.

Vipertek VTS-989

It’s incredibly powerful with a voltage of 300 million, making it the strongest stun gun on this list. However I’m meh about the ratings and it sounds like the 150 million one.

The electrodes are sharp spikes designed to penetrate through thick clothing.

It has a safety switch that must be flipped before the stun gun can be used.

Check it out in action (heads up…loud cackling sounds):

It also has two metal strips that go down the sides of the top of the device from the electrodes, preventing the device from being taken away from you.

Just make sure your fingers are clear from it…

Plus, since this model uses a rechargeable battery, it needs to be charged for an hour or two each month, even if it hasn’t been used.

Vipertek VTS-989 with Case
Vipertek VTS-989 with Case

At 6.5” x 2” x 1”, the Vipertek VPS-989 is pretty compact and should be easy enough to carry and conceal.

Vipertek VTS-989, Size
Vipertek VTS-989, Size

And it has a built-in LED flashlight that’s decent!

If you don’t already EDC (every day carry) a flashlight, this is a very handy feature.

Vipertek VTS-989 Light
Vipertek VTS-989 Light

Check it out in a dark hallway…

Although it doesn’t stand up to the new favorite Tiger-USA…the Vipertek is still a good option if you want quick Prime shipping from Amazon.

Runner-Up (Full Size)

Vipertek VTS-989 Heavy Duty Stun Gun

24

at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

View Details

24
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Runner-Up (Full Size)

Vipertek VTS-989 Heavy Duty Stun Gun

$24 at Amazon

View Details

24
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

5. Vipertek VTS-880

If you’d like something a bit smaller, the Vipertek VTS-880 may be right for you.

Vipertek VTS-880, Pouch
Vipertek VTS-880, Pouch

It’s only about the size of a deck of cards, but still packs a hell of a punch, firing 35 million volts.

Vipertek VTS-880, Size
Vipertek VTS-880, Size

It has the same safety mechanism as the VTS-989, but without the grab protection feature, and also features an LED flashlight.

Another cool feature is that you don’t need to charge it with a cable…it has prongs on the side.

Unlike the VTS-989, the Vipertek VTS-880 is available in pink, purple, and black.

Our pick if you want something smaller with a built-in charger and also really affordable.

Most Affordable

Vipertek VTS-880 Mini Stun Gun

10

at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

View Details

10
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Most Affordable

Vipertek VTS-880 Mini Stun Gun

$10 at Amazon

View Details

10
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

What to Look for When Choosing a Stun Gun

When choosing a stun gun, you’ll want to pay particular attention to a few different traits. These are important in more ways than one!

Voltage

The higher the voltage, the stronger the shock. You want a stun gun that shoots at least one million volts. Stun guns that shoot less are generally sacrificing quality for the price.

Power Source

Stun guns use either rechargeable lithium-ion batteries or replaceable batteries. Replaceable batteries mean you never have to wait for the stun gun to charge, but built-in rechargeable batteries typically have greater battery life and are capable of delivering a greater shock.

Safety Mechanism

The whole point of a stun gun is to deliver a powerful shock, but what prevents an accidental zap? Some stun guns also have features that render them unusable if it’s taken from you.

Ease of Use

Make sure you’ll actually be able to quickly fire off the stun gun when you need to. If you need to push a lever, slide a switch, and then press a button — will you actually be able to do that under duress?

There is safe and then there is too safe.

Ease of Carrying and Concealment

If the stun gun isn’t easy and comfortable to carry, you’ll probably just leave it at home. A compact model will be easier to carry and conceal, but there are also covert options that look like everyday objects like a cell phone or lipstick.

These options have the added advantage of surprising an attacker — especially if you’re a man pulling out what appears to be lipstick.

Robin Williams was a national treasure!

Why Carry a Stun Gun?

For one, the cost is a limiting factor for many people in acquiring a firearm.

Cash Cannon
Cash Cannon

If you can’t afford a handgun at the moment, but still want to carry something to protect yourself, a stun gun is far better than nothing — and it can still get the job done.

Another great option would be pepper spray and depending on where you live, pepper spray might be legal where a stun gun isn’t — or the other way around.

See our pics for Best Pepper Spray for Self-Defense.

Sabre 3-in-1 Pepper Spray Size Comparison
Sabre 3-in-1 Pepper Spray Size Comparison

Stun guns are also legal in more places than firearms.

If you live in or are visiting one of these places, a stun gun is, again, far better than nothing. And if you have to wait to finish a course or face any other delay, you may want to carry a stun gun in the meantime.

Finally, stun guns generally aren’t lethal.

If you know that you would personally have a hard time delivering a fatal blow to an attacker, a stun gun is better than a gun you won’t be able to bring yourself to use.

Best Beginner Handguns
Best Beginner Handguns

See some of our top 9mm handgun picks in Best Beginner Handgun.

The lack of fatality can also be an advantage in that killing someone, even in self-defense, generally causes a lot of legal difficulties.

That said, that also means that a stun gun doesn’t offer the same level of incapacitation as a firearm…so you’ll need to weigh these implications against each other when deciding whether a stun gun or firearm is better for you.

Now that we’ve talked about why you may want a stun gun, let’s clear up a common misunderstanding about stun guns.

How to Use a Stun Gun

Now that you have a good sense of which stun gun to get…let’s quickly go over how to use a stun gun!

Step 1

Turn off the safety as soon as you feel threatened so you’ll be ready for an attack.

Step 2

To use the stun gun, press the trigger and hold the probes firmly against the attacker, ideally aiming for the torso, particularly the neck, shoulder, underarm, groin, and abdomen between the hip and ribs. If you can’t hit the torso, hit any part of the attacker that you can reach.

Be Careful

You obviously want to avoid hitting yourself, but you won’t be hurt if the attacker is touching you when you hit them with the stun gun, so take any opportunity you have.

You’ll generally need to hold the stun gun against your attacker for three to five seconds. A large or particularly determined attacker may need a few additional seconds.

Practice using your stun gun regularly to create muscle memory and ensure you won’t be fumbling when you need to use it.

Final Thoughts

Stun guns are less regulated than firearms, but they aren’t legal in all places. Be sure to check your local laws before buying one to make sure you won’t be in legal trouble if you ever have to use your stun gun.

If stun guns are allowed in your area, any of these would be a great choice for you.

My personal favorite full-size option is the Tiger-USA Xtreme Sanctuary for a great combo of bright light, alarm, and strong stun.

Tiger-USA Xtreme Sanctuary Stun Gun

20

at Home Security Super Store

Prices accurate at time of writing

View Details

20
at Home Security Super Store

Prices accurate at time of writing

Tiger-USA Xtreme Sanctuary Stun Gun

$20 at Home Security Super Store

View Details

20
at Home Security Super Store

Prices accurate at time of writing

For something smaller I like the Streetwise Lifeguard.

Streetwise Lifeguard Mini Stun Gun

16

at Home Security Super Store

Prices accurate at time of writing

View Details

16
at Home Security Super Store

Prices accurate at time of writing

Streetwise Lifeguard Mini Stun Gun

$16 at Home Security Super Store

View Details

16
at Home Security Super Store

Prices accurate at time of writing

And for best Taser…I love the Taser Pulse. Again see the full review here.

Most Electrifying Non-Lethal EDC

TASER Pulse

399

at Home Security Superstore

Prices accurate at time of writing

View Details

399
at Home Security Superstore

  • Home Security Superstore (See Price)
  • Amazon (See Price)

Prices accurate at time of writing

Most Electrifying Non-Lethal EDC

TASER Pulse

$399 at Home Security Superstore
  • Home Security Superstore (See Price)

  • Amazon (See Price)

Prices accurate at time of writing

You should choose the one (or ones) that best fits your lifestyle. If you’re looking for a real firearm though, you won’t go wrong choosing from one of our Best Concealed Carry Handguns.

Now let’s hear from you guys! Do you ever carry a stun gun? Which one? Why a stun gun instead of a firearm or pepper spray?

  • Best Pepper Sprays [Tested]
  • Best Tasers (Taser Pulse Review)
  • Best Tactical Pens [Hands-On]

The post 7 Best Stun Guns & Tasers [Hands-On Tested] appeared first on Pew Pew Tactical.