8 Non-Lethal Self Defense Weapons to Save You from Threats

There’s no denying it—with everything going on out there, sometimes you can’t help but feel like the world is an unsafe place. And, naturally, when you’re feeling unsafe, you look for something to reassure you. 

Nope, not that teddy bear you’ve got in the corner of your room. We’re talking self defense weapons, the non-lethal kind. You ready? Let’s get started!

Why Go for Non-Lethal Self Defense Weapons?

As preppers, survivalists, and outdoor enthusiasts, we know better than to lay our lives in the hands of fate. You can’t stop other people’s actions, so if someone decides to rob you, it’s better to have a contingency plan than to be a sitting duck waiting to get whacked.

Now, this is where things get dicey because we’re going to put it out there—the obvious answer when it comes to self defense isn’t always going to be the best or most reasonable one.

In this case, we’re talking about drawing guns.

Pulling out that shotgun of yours might not be warranted or even allowed, depending on the state you’re in. At the end of the day, we want to be on the safe side of things. Using weapons can be fatal and can lead to some serious legal ramifications that we’re not too keen about.

So what do we choose? We go for non-lethal self defense weapons, intended to give you enough time to get out of a tricky question without fatally injuring someone.

The Best Non-Lethal Self Defense Weapons

With that, we’ve come up with a list of non-lethal self defense weapons that can help you in times of need. Remember, though, use these weapons only in a real life-threatening scenario and never for fun and for show.

Here’s what we’ve got:

Tactical Pen

At a glance, a tactical pen may look harmless. It’s your handy EDC tool, useful in survival situations, breaking glass, and jotting notes down. Most tactical pens double as emergency glass breakers which you can also use to defend yourself.

That steel striker part of your pen will be super useful as a close-quarter weapon. One strike to a vulnerable area of the body like the face, throat, or groin, and your attacker will be too busy trying to catch their breath while dealing with the pain. That’ll be enough to stop them in their tracks, buying you time to run to safety.

If you want a self defense weapon that doesn’t stand out and is easy to carry, then the innocent-looking tactical pen is a safe bet.


Ah, tasers. Police use ‘em to catch the bad guys and stop them from running, us civilians use it to protect ourselves, and friends who think they’re funny, they use it on…well, their friends?

One thing’s for sure: they’re far from being toys for little boys.

Tasers are small but pack a nasty electric shock. They’re great self defense weapons since they easily fit into your pocket. It’s also pretty straightforward to use one; just point, shoot, and bam—literal electric boogaloo for the poor soul getting hit.

You’ll be happy to know that tasers are classified as non-lethal weapons, making them perfect for basic self defense, especially against someone bigger than you. They’re also perfect for those who aren’t comfy carrying a firearm or don’t have the license to carry one.  Just don’t use this on someone wearing a pacemaker. Then again, if someone’s attacking and they’re wearing a pacemaker, you might want to rethink why you’re even in that situation.

Pepper Spray

Cheap, easy to get, and insanely handy, pepper spray is one of the most common non-lethal self defense weapons you can have on you. You don’t wanna ever get caught in direct contact with pepper spray because it’s Pain Town down to the ground if you do.

So how does it work? Well, it’s chili pepper extract in an aerosol canister. Pepper spray is almost always irritating and powerful, affecting your skin, eyes, mouth, throat, and even your lungs. It’s super effective if you need to make a quick getaway from the bad guys.

Now, you might think that using pepper spray is a straightforward thing, but you’d be surprised how many people have fumbled this and hurt themselves instead. Keep these things in mind when using pepper spray:

  • Make sure you are in close range when using it
  • Direct it to your attacker’s face
  • Don’t spray it wildly
  • Don’t spray it in a congested area

If you ever manage to spray it on yourself (you’d really be surprised to know how many people have owned up to this happening), pepper spray has no lasting effects. This self defense weapon might leave you in searing pain for 15 minutes to a few hours, but it wears off sooner than later. If you ever get it on you, rinse the area repeatedly with some good old cold water for instant relief.


A baton might look like nothing, but you do not EVER want to be on its receiving end. You don’t even need to know how to wield it. Just take it out, and strike your attacker over the head to render to hurt them.

We recommend getting expandable batons so that you can easily fit them in your bag or pocket. What we love about this type of baton is how the mere act of flicking it to its full size is already a terrifying thing to see. Of course, you have to flick it with an air of confidence, but can you imagine someone whipping this out and threatening you with it? Yeah, exactly.


Ever gone out for a day hike with nothing but a water canteen, a belt bag, and a handy walking stick, trekking poles, or staff in hand? Chances are, you’ve thought about what you’d use to protect yourself if someone ever decided to jump you, and chances are, you pictured that staff in you’re holding.

It’s the most basic self defense weapon you can have, used since the beginning of time. In the right hands, a staff can parry and block attacks and knock someone down.

Plus—staffs are cheap. Just find a long stick in the wild, finesse it to look like a proper staff, and ta-da! If you don’t wanna DIY it, you can get trekking poles, a long staff, a walking staff, and even a cane if you want to.

Take it a step further and find an instructor who can teach you all the specific defensive moves to be a proficient staff fighter.


Made famous by the late icon Bruce Lee, nunchucks look cool. And they also deal a lot of damage to an assailant if you use them properly. The drawback? You have to know how to use these self defense weapons properly.

You don’t want to be chucking them nunchucks (see what we did there?) around only to hit yourself in the face and go out with a concussion. You just need to know the basic moves and strikes perfect for anyone with zero skill levels.

Nunchucks might be on the chunky side compared to the other self defense weapons we mentioned above, but they’re very compact. You can easily slip them into your car and backpack, or even stash them in your survival caches.

Pro tip: Your kids can train early with nunchucks, and by the time they’re teens, no one’s going to be messing with them.

Hands and Feet

If you really can’t spare the money to get yourself a non-lethal self defense weapon or you’re just not convinced enough, then this is the last lifeline we’re throwing at you.

It’s time to use your hands and feet.

Okay, so maybe that was obvious, but hey, we’re still going to point it out AND tell you why your own hands and feet are perfect for self-defense.

First, there are so many different forms of martial arts you can learn. From Aikido to Muay Thai to Karate, the list goes on and on.

Learning and perfecting any of those hand-to-hand combat techniques will make you a force to be reckoned with, 24/7.

Also, you’re going to be in even better shape, which is a plus for any prepper.

Lastly, using your hands and feet is free of charge!

BONUS: Use a Flashlight

You’re probably wondering, “can a tactical flashlight keep me safe from attackers?”

If you’re walking alone at night, yes—a flashlight is a must-have self defense weapon. Where do most crimes happen? In dark areas. Why? Because the criminal has the advantage of beating you up to a pulp without anyone seeing you.

But what if you had a flashlight on hand, heard a bump in the dark, and shone your light right at the spot? The answer is still yes. We’re sure no criminal wants a light on them right before they commit a crime.

Sometimes, you don’t need brute force to defend yourself; you just gotta be smart.

Final Thoughts

Being prepared is always going to be something we’ll advocate. Being physically prepared with your non-lethal self defense weapon of choice is one way to protect yourself and your family.

Let us know what you think of our self defense weapons list in the comments section below. If you’ve got something to add, we’d be happy to include it!

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