11 Best Self Defense Tools Every Woman Should Have

best self defense weapons for women

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.

Other FAQs about Self-Defense Weapons for Women

What is the most feminine weapon?

The most feminine weapon is the naginata, which is recognized as the emblematic weapon of the onna-musha, a specific class of female warriors associated with the Japanese nobility.

What to carry when walking alone?

When walking alone, it is advisable to bring pepper spray, a cell phone or an alarm in case of emergencies. Additionally, it can be beneficial to carry a walking stick or umbrella to protect oneself from unleashed dogs.

Is pepper spray better than a taser?

Pepper spray and a taser both have their advantages, but when it comes to effectiveness, a taser is more reliable than pepper spray. While pepper spray can be affected by wind and may not reach the intended target, a taser’s effectiveness depends solely on your aim and the ability to make contact with the torso, regardless of proximity.

Should a woman carry a knife?

A woman should consider carrying a knife for self-defense purposes. Knives are frequently suggested due to their compact size, lightweight nature, convenient portability, and perceived ease of use.

What self-defense should women carry?

Women should carry pepper spray and a tactical pen knife as self-defense tools.

What is the #1 rule of self-defense?

The #1 rule of self-defense is to only use the amount of force that a reasonable person would consider necessary to protect oneself from a perceived threat, which can differ depending on the state’s definition but generally involves the potential for physical harm.

What is the best self-defense style for small women?

The best self-defense style for small women is Aikido, Judo, and Wing Chun as they are more suitable for shorter women who may not have strong taller legs. These martial arts focus on harnessing the practitioner’s energy levels rather than relying on the size or shape of their body.

How can an older woman defend herself?

An older woman can defend herself by utilizing various objects within reach. These items can range from car keys to canned goods, which can be used to deter an attacker. If possible, she can also throw dirt into the assailant’s eyes for temporary disorientation. Additionally, wielding a cane can be highly effective in self-defense, as there exists a specialized discipline dedicated to teaching seniors how to defend themselves using canes.

Which is better Taser or pepper spray?

The ease of use is a significant factor when comparing a taser and pepper spray to determine which one is better. Both devices are relatively straightforward to operate. However, the stun gun surpasses in terms of its capability to effectively reach a target from a safe distance, making it a preferred choice for many individuals when defending against potential attackers.

What self-defense items can I take on a plane?

You can take self-defense items on a plane such as a credit card knife, door stop alarm, metal water bottle, tactical pen, S.O.S jewelry, and a personal alarm keychain.

What can women do for self-defense?

Women can take several steps to ensure their self-defense. They should be aware of the weak points of the human body and familiarize themselves with fundamental self-defense techniques, such as the groin kick. It is important to rotate the wrists to release the hands and drop low if grabbed from behind. Additionally, if being choked, women should focus on the thumbs.

Should women carry tasers?

Carrying tasers can provide women with a sense of security and protection in the face of daily harassment, assault, and threats of violence. Even if the taser is never used, having one by their side can offer peace of mind and added security.

How should I position my body if I need to defend myself?

To defend yourself effectively, it is important to position your body correctly. Start by standing with a wide base, ensuring that your feet are diagonally positioned from each other in a martial-arts stance. This will reduce the risk of being knocked down or pushed over. By maintaining an upright posture, you significantly increase your chances of winning a fight and successfully escaping.

What weapon is best for home self-defense?

The best weapon for home self-defense depends on personal preference and comfort level. However, when starting from scratch, it is recommended to narrow down the type of firearm to be used: a shotgun, a handgun, or a pistol-caliber carbine. All three options are considered excellent choices for home defense.

What should be in a self-defense kit?

A self-defense kit should include essential items such as pepper spray, an emergency alarm, a key knife, and a car escape tool. These tools are designed to assist you in various situations and ensure your safety. Additionally, there are several U.S National Hotlines available 24/7, providing support to survivors in need.

What are the less lethal weapons?

The less lethal weapons include subcategories such as police TASERs, police batons, police projectiles and launchers, and police sprays and aerosols.

What is a Kubaton weapon?

A Kubaton weapon is a self-defense keychain weapon that was developed by Sōke Takayuki Kubota in the late 1960s. It is usually around 5.5 inches (14 centimeters) long and approximately half an inch (1.25 centimeters) in diameter, which is slightly thicker or the same size as a marker pen.

What happens when someone pepper sprays you?

Pepper spray can be quite dangerous. When someone pepper sprays you, it typically leads to an intense burning sensation in the eyes, nose, mouth, and throat. Additionally, it can cause breathing difficulties and temporary blindness if the eyes become swollen and shut.

Can I pepper spray someone for touching me?

Pepper spraying someone for touching you could potentially lead to legal consequences, as it may be considered assault or battery in many jurisdictions. The use of chemical sprays is generally justified only in situations where there is a threat of personal injury or when making an arrest, and the level of force used must be deemed reasonable given the circumstances.

Will pepper spray stop an attacker?

Pepper spray can stop an attacker as it is typically non-lethal and does not have any long-term consequences. It has the ability to terminate an assault without resorting to physical force or violent measures. Moreover, pepper spray is user-friendly and does not require extensive training to be effectively utilized.

Is it illegal to walk around with pepper spray?

It is legal to carry pepper spray in all 50 states and Washington D.C. for self-defense purposes.

What age should a girl get pepper spray?

Girls should be given pepper spray once they begin driving or going out alone, even though it is designed for individuals 18 years or older and cannot be purchased by women under the age of 18.

Is mace same as pepper spray?

Mace is not the same as pepper spray. Mace® is a brand name, while pepper spray refers to the actual product inside. The term “MACE®” is often used to represent the brand of pepper spray. Using Pepper Spray – Mace® Brand is a simple process that can be done in three easy steps.

Can you pepper spray someone for getting in your face?

According to California Penal Code Sections 22810, the use of pepper spray and tear gas weapons is strictly regulated and can only be purchased, possessed, and used for self-defense purposes. This also includes the act of displaying the pepper spray in a threatening manner.

Can I keep pepper spray in my purse?

You can keep pepper spray in your purse, although it is recommended to carry it in your pocket or hand for easy access. Additionally, some defensive spray canisters come with a clip for attaching to your EDC belt alongside your firearm.

By Anita Brown

Anita Brown is our go-to contributor to our emergency preparedness website. Anita brings a wealth of personal experience and professional expertise to the table, having weathered several awful natural disasters. Anita is currently working towards obtaining her Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) certification.