Know Your Risk

11+ Best Self Defense Weapons for Women to Stay Safe

According to The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 1 in 4 women reported experiencing severe physical violence by an intimate partner at some point in their life. And that’s just from the people they know.

Women aren’t helpless, either. Just like men, it’s about preparation and spotting potential threats. 

Let’s look at the best self-defense weapons to keep women safe and how to equip them safely.

11 Best Self Defense Weapons for Women

You should carry at least one self-defense weapon, regardless of who you are. It must be a self-defense tool you feel comfortable using to avoid it being turned on you (and more practical than, say, body armor).

Tactical pen

KEPEAK Military Tactical Pen, Professional Self Defense Pen, Emergency Glass Breaker Pen - Tungsten Steel, Writing Tool with 6 Refill

Tactical pens typically look like everyday objects like hairbrushes or ink pens and have an element of surprise. The disguise makes it harder for the perpetrator to spot the knife and disarm or use it against the victim.

Most tactical pens can be clicked on the belt or purse for easy access during an emergency. You can find all different sizes and lengths and make sure it’s pointy enough to do its job.

Tactical keychain

Gamasen 2 Pieces Tactical Quick Release Keychain,Large Military Keychain Clips, Key Clip Clip Belt mo Accessories (Black)

Tactical keychains can be deadly defense-wise. You can find tactical keychains in any fashion, so you aren’t risking style.


PAVOI 14K Gold Plated Cubic Zirconia Classic Tennis Bracelet | Yellow Gold Bracelets for Women | 7 Inches

A buddha ball is any necklace that you can use in a self-defense situation. They are made of pure stainless steel and are naturally heavy. 

Just because it doesn’t have a sharp end or a trigger doesn’t mean it can’t get you out of a kidnapping.

Knife rings are a thing, too. And they’re scary looking, to boot. Your fingers are already weapons (you should always go for the eyes), so you’re doubling up on hand-to-hand combat preparedness.

Monkey Ball

Nautical Turks Knot Key Chain

The monkey ball is the way to go if you want to upgrade your tactical keychain. It’s designed specially to make it more effective, and all it looks like is a nylon cord with a ball of yarn at the end. 

But much to the criminal’s surprise, it’s actually a weighted ball made of pure steel that’s about an inch thick.


Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD Pocket Knife, Red ,58mm

Though a tad scary, carrying a butcher knife isn’t practical. But there are a couple of options.

You can find tactical knives disguised as other household objects, just like tactical pens. Some click onto your clothing, while others may require you to carry it in your pocket or purse.

Pocket knives are more like traditional knives. It must be big enough to inflict severe injury but small enough to conceal. Pocket knives aren’t the very best self-defense weapon to keep women safe, but they are better than nothing.

Stun gun

VIPERTEK VTS-989-1 Billion Heavy Duty Stun Gun - Rechargeable with LED Flashlight

Stun guns are widely available and are most effective when at close range. It delivers an electrical shock to the attacker, stopping them long enough for you to get away.

Stun guns for women are small and long enough to carry in a purse or jacket pocket. You can find some that look like a cell phone, so your attacker won’t grab it and use the stun gun against you.

Most states don’t prohibit you from purchasing a stun gun. But you will want to check state and local laws to make sure.


SABRE Pepper Spray and Stun Gun Multi-Range Protection Pack, 25 Bursts, 10-Foot (3 Meter) Range, Ergonomic Finger Grip, Flip Top Safety, Key Ring, Painful 1.60 μC Charge, 120 Lumen Flashlight, Compact

Tasers and stun guns are similar, yet different. 

Law enforcement typically uses Tasers. It’s a non-lethal force policy. It delivers a shock that will shut down the perpetrator’s nervous system and render them incapable of continuing the attack. It has a range of 15 feet.

Pepper spray & mace

SABRE Pepper Spray, Quick Release Keychain for Easy Carry and Fast Access, Finger Grip for More Accurate and Faster Aim, Maximum Police Strength OC Spray, 25 Bursts, Secure and Easy to Use Safety

Women have been carrying pepper spray for decades, and it remains classic. It’s meant to stop the attack long enough for an escape. 

It would be best if you always kept your mace and pepper spray up to date. When it expires, it loses its potency, and their always updating technologies for max delivery effect.

The average pepper spray can shoot up to 20 shots at a distance. They’re 20 feet but can be as small as a tube of lipstick.


Streamlight 66608 MicroStream 250-Lumen USB Rechargeable Pocket Flashlight, Clear Retail Packaging, Coyote

Cellphone flashlights have let us forget about the traditional ones. But it would be best if you always had a regular flashlight on hand.

Flashlights that produce at least 500 lumens of light are strong enough to blind an attacker long enough to escape, And when you’re in a tough spot, flashlights are typically heavy enough to do some blunt-force trauma.

What is the best safety tool for women?

A Kubaton keyring may be blunt, but it can pack a punch. Kubatons make pretty decent self-defense weapons, but they are handy tools to have around for other emergencies.

The small and lightweight tool can break windows in a bind and can help you in the case of an animal attack. And safe enough to give your daughter, sister, or friend as a safety tool.



It sounds far more nefarious than it actually is. All they are is high-tension plastic spikes used in keychains to deliver a strong brass knuckle effect into someone’s eyeholes.

You can find spikes in ring form that you can wear, and even some you hide in your shoelaces to kick the fire out of an attacker.

High pitched whistle

She’s Birdie–The Original Personal Safety Alarm for Women by Women–130dB Siren, Strobe Light and Key Chain in 5 Pop Colors (Aqua)

You can find whistles that are loud and will startle anyone around when blown. The best self-defense whistles have a range of two miles, but noise pollution tends to reduce that range.

It’s small enough to carry wherever you go. While it doesn’t protect you by itself, it can startle a criminal and attract the attention of bystanders.

What is the most effective self-defense weapon for a woman?

The Taser Pulse+ Self-Defense Tool with Noonlight Integration comes highly recommended as the best self-defense weapon for women. 

The Taser Pulse+ delivers a stunning shock and will continue to stun them every 30 seconds to help you reach safety.

Self Defense Weapons That Sometimes Work

Some self-defense training is necessary to use certain weapons, or they become a risk to you.


Firearms are only effective as self-defense weapons if you undergo high-quality, consistent, frequent training. Shooting is a “perishable skill” – it is not like learning to ride a bike. Unless you know how to draw a gun at close range safely and fire it exactly where you want, it can end up being a weapon that’s used against you. 

You will need to check local, state, and federal laws about gun ownership and required training courses.


Self-defense batons come in all shapes, sizes, and styles – singlestick, metal rod, wood, rubber, etc. Law enforcement employs them regularly to subdue suspects without legal force.

You can find expendable batons that you can clip onto your purse or belt. But be wary of batons; batons are self-defense weapons that can easily be turned against you.

What can a woman use for self-defense?

Just because you’ve armed yourself with a self-defense weapon doesn’t mean you can’t get caught off-guard.

Your fists, fingers, feet, and legs are weapons. While we naturally have a fight, flight or fall-down response, we don’t always know how our brains will react.

Proper training and practice can turn your body into a deadly weapon.

What is the most effective self-defense weapon?

Pepper spray is the most effective self-defense weapon mainly because of ease-of-use. User error is less risky, and pepper spray effectively incapacitates your attacker from a safe distance. 

What is the best legal weapon for self-defense?

Not every self-defense weapon or tool is legal to possess, especially without the proper training. But you’ve still got plenty of legal options.

  • pepper spray & mace
  • tasers
  • specific knives (not switchblades)
  • personal alarms & whistles
  • tactical pens

What is the best self-defense kit for women?

The SABRE Pepper Spray & 3-in-1 Stun Gun with Flashlight and Anti-Grab Bar is a great multi-function self-defense tool for women. It has the latest anti-grab technology and gives you options during an emergency.

What is the best self-defense tool for women?

The one you feel comfortable with. You have plenty of choices, so it’s a matter of what you feel you can best use to defend yourself from an attack.

  1. tactical pen
  2. tactical keychain
  3. jewelry
  4. monkey ball
  5. knives
  6. stun gun
  7. taser
  8. pepper spray & mace
  9. flashlight 
  10. spikes
  11. high-pitched whistle

What is the best self-defense weapon besides a gun?

Finally, the most essential self-defense tool you have is you.

Jab your thumbs into eyeballs, claw at the skin, and pull hair. We’ve watched enough Dateline to know that DNA under the fingernails solves a ton of crimes.

Have you ever wondered why bad guys cover people’s mouths before an attack? Your voice alerts anyone nearby and can sometimes startle your attacker. 

And if they do happen to clap their hand on your mouth, bite the shit out of them. But every bit of skin you can access – ears, face, neck, arms, delicate organs, etc.

The bigger the scene you make, the more it throws off the attacker and draws more attention. Even if you suspect something sketchy, make it known. Risking embarrassment is better than risking your life.

Don’t stop defending yourself. You could be one kick, headbutt, or elbow away from escaping. Never give up.

By AlwaysReadyHQ Team

Pinterest // Email

Location: Atlanta, GA, USA

The AlwaysReadyHQ Team is made up of writers and editors with experience ranging from emergency paramedics to former FEMA policy writers to natural disaster reporters.

Our goal is to provide clear, concise, organized, realistic, and actionable information to help you and your family feel comfortable and ready for anything. Less scared and more prepared.

We only source from authoritative sources such as government agencies and industry associations to bring reliable information to directly to you.

Andrew Riley - Contributing Editor

Andrew grew up in a country known for earthquakes, volcanoes, and typhoons. But despite the chaos and destruction of natural disasters, he remembers the resilience and readiness of neighbors, despite a lack of official government aid. He hopes that his team of experienced writers bring a bit of that to all of AlwaysReadyHQ's readers.