5 Best Self Defense Weapons for Women (That Actually Work)

Ask any woman in your life whether they’ve been the victim of any form of harassment or assault, and they’ll likely say yes.

As awful as it sounds, this is our reality.

Although men are also targets of assault, the numbers for women are much higher. 1 out of 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. 

If you’re a lady who’s sick of having to look over her shoulder at night, having self defense weapons tucked in your bag can make a huge difference in making you feel safe.

Read on to find out some of the best self defense weapons for women.

What Makes You an Easy Target?

Criminals don’t always need a good reason for committing a felony, but every so often, they’ll pick and choose their victims carefully. Some take weeks of planning to pull off an orchestrated crime, while others take as little as 7 seconds to select their next victim in a crowd. 

Before we pull out those self defense weapons, it’s important to understand what makes you an easy target for crime.

You’re vulnerable

Women, children, and the elderly comprise the most vulnerable groups in society, so they’re common targets for most criminals. However, this isn’t the only thing criminal masterminds consider in a potential victim. 

Something as simple as having both of your hands occupied or having your hair up in a high ponytail can make you more vulnerable in a crowd. Why?

Someone with a shopping bag in each hand makes a tempting victim since they’ll have a harder time defending themselves and fighting back. If you insist on carrying your groceries in one trip, be on your toes at all times and get ready to let those bags go when the situation calls for it.

Meanwhile, grabbing someone’s hair is a pretty effective way to render them incapacitated and in pain, so women with longer hair are easier targets.

You don’t display confidence 

Serial killer Ted Bundy, who confessed to over 30 murders of young women and children, once admitted that he could spot a likely victim by the manner she carried herself. 

Things you don’t normally give a second thought to, like your gait, posture, expression, and tone of voice, all contribute to your likelihood of being targeted. Research even suggests that criminals assess vulnerability to assault based on factors like stride length, weight shifting, and arm swing.

You can see why. Folks who walk with a slouch and an uneven gait simply look like they’d put up less of a fight than someone with their chin up and back straight. 

So even on days when you don’t feel your best, pay attention to what your body language conveys.

You’re alone

While preppers are known for their self-sufficiency and desire to live off the grid, it’s hard to deny that being alone significantly makes you more vulnerable to assault.

The rationale behind this is simple. Most criminals want to draw attention away from themselves so attacking someone in a group is never their first option.

Culprits also tend to act alone and choose victims who are alone to save themselves the trouble of getting caught. And obviously, it’s just easier to subdue a single person than it is to restrain a whole group.

You’re carrying valuables

Nothing screams “Rob me!” like a studded diamond necklace or a chunky gold watch. While no one wants to be victimized for the way they walk or dress, it’s important to consider the environment and the type of people you’ll be around when you make bold fashion choices that put you in the spotlight.

In the spirit of self-preservation, apply the tenets of the gray man theory whenever you can.

As a prepper, your goal is to draw away any unwanted attention. Being the gray man means blending in with a crowd so you’re less likely targeted by crime and your valuables are kept secure.

Stay on the safe side by reserving those fancy personal effects for that college reunion you’ve been putting off with your old pals, and skip them when you go to your local Walmart to snag more beans.

You’re distracted

Keep in mind that any action done by the aggressor will always be faster than that of the victim. If your eyes are glued to your phone and Dolly Parton’s blaring in your ears, you’ll be sure to lose precious lead time when reacting to an assault.

Practice situational awareness in all circumstances. After all, the best way to save yourself from an assault is to prevent one from happening in the first place. Stay alert at all times just in case your instincts tell you something’s up.

Benefits of Carrying Self Defense Weapons

Carrying a self defense weapon is an effective way to reduce your chances of being targeted for assault. It gives you an added sense of security, making you appear less vulnerable to attackers.

Below, we’ve listed the main benefits of carrying self defense weapons in case you need more convincing.

  1. You can protect yourself and others around you.

The ability to keep you and your loved ones safe is perhaps the most important benefit you’ll get out of having self defense weapons. If not for this, why bother at all?

As a responsible prepper, just be sure to use your weapon of choice solely for self defense and not as a tool to frighten and intimidate.

  1. You’ll feel more confident.

Nothing gives you a more confident stride than the sense of security that self defense weapons can give. Just don’t get too complacent when you’re carrying one. 

Remember, it won’t be as useful without the situational awareness to back it up.

  1. It can deter an attack.

With an air of confidence around you, you’re already deterring potential attackers. 

Once a perpetrator senses you’re ready to fight, they’ll likely leave you alone. Chances are, most of them don’t have the time or the patience to deal with a feisty, weapon-wielding woman.

Qualities of Good Self Defense Weapons

Eager to purchase your first self defense weapon? Pay attention to what you choose. You wouldn’t wanna be stuck in an emergency with a brand new tool, only to find out that it’s not working as well as you would’ve wanted it to.

To keep this from happening, it’s important to know what qualities to look for in a functional self defense weapon. 

  • Discrete – A discrete weapon won’t give away the element of surprise, leaving you with better chances of launching a counterattack against an assailant. An easy-to-conceal weapon also lessens your odds of getting suspicious looks from regular folks and law enforcement authorities. After all, you wouldn’t wanna draw attention to yourself for the wrong reasons.
  • Simple – The last thing you want happening in an emergency is you fiddling around with your self defense weapon, desperately trying to get it to work to no avail. Always go for one that’s simple and easy to use to get out of sticky situations in a jiffy.
  • Portable – You wouldn’t wanna be caught lugging around a 5-pound axe while waiting for an Uber in broad daylight, would you? Though it’s sure to deter potential attackers, it’s just impractical and unwieldy to carry around large weapons on the daily, not to mention you could end up hurting yourself too. Always opt for self defense weapons you can discreetly tuck into your purse or keep inside your pocket for emergencies.
  • Safety Mechanism – Don’t poke yourself in the eye trying to escape a messy situation. The more potent a self defense weapon is, the more important it is to check if there’s a safety mechanism in place to keep you from hurting yourself. 
  • Effective – What good is a self defense weapon if it doesn’t work? While companies keep regurgitating newer models and different versions of the same weapon, at the end of the day, what’s important is that it works when you need it to. Always check reviews when shopping online and test the device in person before relying on it for self defense. 

Pro tip: Check one-star reviews because that’s where customers get real transparent about what’s wrong with an item.

Best Weapons for Women’s Self Defense

In a growing pool of high-tech, fancy self defense weapons for women, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of options. While the expanded colorways and frill trimmings can look pretty, they simply don’t do much for functionality. 

We believe that when it gets down and dirty, your basic, fuss-free self defense weapons are your best bet.

To make your life easier, check out our list of the best weapons for women’s self defense that are guaranteed to get the job done.

Full disclosure: We opted for non lethal self defense weapons because they’re easier to carry around and easier to acquire. Believe us when we say you wouldn’t wanna get caught in all the legal ramifications of drawing a gun, either. 

Pepper Spray

This potent irritant is a good choice for both short and mid-range counterattacks. It’s simple, portable, and even effective against bears. With its range, you can blind an attacker 10 feet away, giving you enough distance to flee.

One drawback is that when used out in the open, the smallest gust of wind can direct those spicy blasts your way. You wouldn’t wanna be gagging in tandem with your perpetrator, would you? 

Take caution and get acquainted with your spray’s deployment technique before using it. It also helps to have practice drills with the pepper spray in your backyard so that it’s not your first time drawing it out in an emergency.

Stun Gun

Stun guns administer a painful electric shock to an assailant when it comes in direct contact with the body. In choosing a stun gun, select one with rechargeable batteries, a non-slip rubber grip, and a disable pin to prevent the attacker from using the device against you.

One con to the stun gun is you have to be within arm’s length of your attacker to use it. And although it can certainly deliver a painful shock, it can’t always make a person drop to their knees.

Larger folks and drug addicts are particularly harder to render incapacitated with this tool. To maximize its efficacy, aim for areas of the body with more nerve endings, like the face, under the chin, on the nipple, and on the groin. Hold the stun gun up close for a full five seconds for maximum power.


A taser works similarly to a stun gun, except you won’t need direct contact to deliver the electric shock. Tasers can fire electric darts 15-20 feet away, packing as much as 50,000 volts in a single shot, effectively weakening an attacker’s limbs.

Although fairly powerful, accuracy is key when using a taser since most models only allow you to shoot once before having to reload the cartridge.

Choose a model that comes with a flashlight to help with assisted targeting. You wouldn’t wanna waste that one shot now, would you?

Pocket Knife

Pocket knives aren’t just great survival tools, but they’re also useful for self defense. Pick a knife with a decent frame lock and a blade thickness of about 2.5 millimeters. Opt for one that can fit in your everyday carry since you want a weapon you can keep on your person at all times.

Newer models have gotten more creative with concealing compact knives, like hiding them in a pen or inside a bullet lipstick—perfect for an unsuspecting weapon.

Regardless of the model you choose, remember that knives take some skill to use in close contact. If you’re struggling with your technique, you might wanna select a different weapon for the time being.  

Expandable Baton

Batons are probably one of the easiest self defense weapons to use. In the hands of a skilled fighter, these bad boys can inflict painful injuries. You might wanna brush up on your self defense classes, though, just so you don’t find yourself on the receiving end of your own baton in the middle of a fight. 

Choose sturdy, expandable ones you can keep in your pocket to get you out in a pinch. Aim them at bony areas of the body to deliver blows that count. 

Whipping out these devices don’t only make you look cool as heck, but they keep you protected too. What more can you ask for?

Bonus: Other Self Defense Tools

As a bonus, here are some more tools that aren’t exactly self defense weapons, but can be just as effective at getting you out of sticky situations:

  • Emergency Alarm Siren – A loud siren can alert people nearby and deter a criminal from completing an attack.
  • Whistle – Whistles work like a siren and draw attention to yourself and your attacker if you’re in danger.
  • Credit Card Multitool – These nifty tools can fit in your pocket and can come in handy when getting out of some tight restraints.
  • Tactical Flashlight – Opt for a flashlight with at least 120 lumens of light output to temporarily blind and disorient an attacker. It should give you enough time to turn the tables in your favor.
  • Tactical Pen – This versatile tool helps you break windows and cut open your seatbelt if you find yourself trapped inside a vehicle.
  • Everyday Items – You don’t need to be Jackie Chan or John Wick to find good use of everyday items for self defense. If you’re creative enough, things like your umbrella and car keys are better at fending off an attacker than nothing at all.
  • Voice – In the absence of an alarm siren or a whistle, use your own voice to ask for help.
  • Hands and Feet – Lastly, if you’re ever caught in a mess without a self defense weapon on hand, it pays to learn some self defense tips that make use of your own limbs.

Final Thoughts

Sick of men ogling you on the subway and in busy streets? Self defense weapons can give you a fighting chance at protecting yourself if the need for it arises.

Women viewed as feeble and meek are a thing of the past now. Empowered by the right tools and a survival mindset, anyone can defend themselves.

And that includes you!

What are some self defense weapons we missed? Let us know in the comments below!

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