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The 9 Best Self Defense Weapons for Women

Updated: Mar 20

As a sixth degree black belt instructor with over 20 years in martial arts, I’ve trained a number of women who have been victimized by violence. Initially, it was challenging for me to work with them because the close contact, hands-on training — while purposely positive, gentle, and controlled — tended to trigger their trauma. But over time, I helped them learn the basics of self-defense and gain the ultra-important confidence and willingness to fight back.

Still, their stories really troubled me. I wanted to do something to prevent such trauma from occurring in the first place. I came to the realization that if I really wanted to help far more women, I’d have to offer a personal safety solution to those who simply have no interest in lengthy, demanding, traditional martial arts training.

This led to my development of the MUNIO Self Defense Keychain. The journey that went into making MUNIO a reality meant thoroughly analyzing the pros and cons of the best self-defense weapons for women out there, and how practical and realistic they really are.

Since there are so many self-proclaimed “best self-defense weapons,” it can make it difficult to know what’s really best for you. To help with that, below you’ll find the ones I consider to be the best out there after years of my own self defense research. It is important to note that because there are so many variables, they’re not ranked in any particular order. They are all top options. It is critical that you understand any limitations of these weapons, and your expectations of the results of using any of them – and your actual willingness to use any of them. I’ve included their strengths and weaknesses, so you can decide for yourself which ones are truly the best self-defense weapons for you.

The Best-Self Defense Weapons for Women

1) Stun Gun

A stun gun is relatively easy to use against someone aggressively up close in your face (where most predatory attacks occur). You can touch the attacker anywhere while holding down the electrical discharge button, and the reaction is immediate. The shock only transfers where the electrode prongs are touching, and typically you can disable an attacker in 1 to 3 seconds. In case you're not sure, the electrical charge will come back through to zap you. In terms of incapacitating or disabling an attacker easily with very little effort, this is one of the best self-defense weapons for women!


  • It’s generally a small, easily held portable device.

  • It’s relatively easy to use; you just have to stick it onto somebody while holding the button and press it into them.

  • It has the potential to be quite an equalizer against a bigger, stronger attacker.

  • Preemptively pulsing a stun gun from a slight distance away can be intimidating, and may be enough to deter an attacker from advancing on you.

  • It’s a very “clean” weapon — you don’t have to hurt your hand, draw any blood, etc.

  • It’s non-lethal but effective.


  • You have to make contact and push the probes into/onto the attacker.

  • You must always make sure it’s fully charged for best results.

  • There’s a possibility of mechanical malfunction. You definitely want to do your research and get one made by a reputable company. It should also offer a high amount of voltage to ensure dependability; the higher the voltage, the more effective the stun.

  • It may take longer than three seconds to fully incapacitate the attacker, so you need to keep applying pressure/the charge until they’re subdued.

  • It’s not safe around small children. This is definitely not something you want your little ones to get a hold of!

  • It has carrying limitations — stun guns aren’t allowed in some places such as sports events and concerts.

  • You can’t take it with you onboard an airplane. If you check it in with your luggage, it must be transported in a manner that renders the device inoperable from accidental discharge. Some of these devices are manufactured with lithium batteries. For more information, see the FAA regulations on batteries.


In terms of overall defense, a stun gun is very capable in a close-quarters situation as long as you commit yourself to using it. If some big guy is grabbing you in a parking garage, and all you have to do is press the discharge button and poke it into them and hold it there for a few (or more) seconds to disable them so you can get away, that makes a stun gun a very good self-defense tool.

2) Pepper Spray

I think pepper spray is a great option if you’re able to use it properly against a true threat — and if you’re actually able to spray it at a safe distance into the attacker’s face (aim for the eyes, nose, and mouth). If you manage to spray the attacker, they will react almost immediately to the resulting inflammation with blurry and teary eyes. While the attacker incapacitated from the pepper spray, you can run away.