Best TASER Stun Gun for Self-Defense [2023]

If you mess with the wrong person that is prepared, you might be in for a shock. You can be that prepared person, just by getting a stun gun or taser for self-defense. The non-lethal weapons are small enough to carry when you are out and about and can pack an incapacitating punch. There are many brands and types of stun guns to pick from and they don’t all perform the same.

This is where we come in. We’ve researched the best TASERs and stun guns, tested them, and now the results are in: the overall best, a budget option, and an upgrade pick. If you need a non-lethal self-defense solution, one of our suggestions will bring the power.

Contents (Jump to a Section)

Vipertek VTS-979 Stun Gun

The Best Stun Gun

Vipertek VTS-979

Powerful, Versatile, and Dependable

If you could feel anything while being shocked by the 52,000,000 volts from this stun gun, it would be regret.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

Viperteks’ flagship model packs a big punch with a relatively small profile. The flashlight makes it even more useful for carrying on your walks or just having it by your side every day. 51M volts is more than enough to go through clothes, so you don’t even have to be very accurate with the VTS-979.

The rubberized grip, lanyard disable pin, and safety switch all make it so you can stay in control regardless of conditions or your situation.

Here is what you get with this stun gun:

  • Rubberized contour grip in 2 color choices
  • 51,000,000 Volts
  • Rechargeable battery (USB)
  • Safety switch and disable pin
  • Integrated flashlight
  • 6-1/2″ L x 2″ W x 1″D
  • 8 ounces

With a high voltage shock that’ll severely incapacitate anyone in a small easy-to-grip tool, it’s easy to see why the Vipertek VTS-979 Stun Gun tops the rest.

Vipertek VTS-880 Stun Gun

Budget Stun Gun

Vipertek VTS-880

Inexpensive, Effective, and Durable

This little brick fits anywhere discretely while still pushing enough current to disable any size attacker.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

Vipertek isn’t done yet, they have their micro version that stands about half the weight and size. It packs enough punch to be felt, with 15M volts that you can apply straight to your attacker. It’s a lot of voltage, but the effectiveness can drop through clothes so you’ll want to target exposed skin.

Here is how the mini measures up:

  • Rubberized grip in over 4 color choices
  • 15,000,000 Volts
  • Rechargeable battery (USB)
  • Safety switch
  • Integrated flashlight
  • 4″ L x 2″ W x 7/8″D
  • 4.8 ounces

If you need to set some self-protection without breaking your budget, the Vipertek VTS-880 Mini Stun Gun is what you’re looking for.

TASER Pulse Self-Defense Stun Gun



Ranged, Lightweight, and Dependable

Pack a high-voltage punch for a full 30 seconds from up to 15 feet away with the best non-lethal tool available.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

TASER has a wide range of models of projectile and traditional stun guns, but the Pulse takes the cake. Their patent ran out for the projectile dart stun guns a few years ago, but they are so far ahead it’ll be a while before any real competitors catch up.

Here are the specs:

  • 50,000,000 Volts
  • 15-foot range
  • Safety switch, laser targeting
  • Additional dart cartridge included
  • Lithium Ion battery
  • 5.25″ L x 4.75″ W x 1″D
  • 8 ounces

With great range, power, and dependability, the TASER Pulse is up for any self-defense task.

Everything We Recommend

Vipertek VTS-979 Stun Gun

Vipertek VTS-979

If you could feel anything while being shocked by the 52,000,000 volts from this stun gun, it would be regret.

Where to Buy

$27* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing

Vipertek VTS-880 Stun Gun

Vipertek VTS-880

This little brick fits anywhere discretely while still pushing enough current to disable any size attacker.

Where to Buy

$15* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing

TASER Pulse Self-Defense Stun Gun


Pack a high-voltage punch for a full 30 seconds from up to 15 feet away with the best non-lethal tool available.

Where to Buy

$400* at TASER

$410* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing

The Stun Guns We Compared

Our research narrowed the field down to a few brands and types of stun guns that we compared: TASER, Vipertek, SABRE, Guard Dog, Streetwise, Tiger-USA, Police Force, and more.

You can see our full list of review criteria below in the What to Look For section, with an explanation for each.

We considered a wide range of stun guns ranging from tactical-duty ranged TASERs to tiny disguised flashlights.

We’re always looking for new and better gear, so if you have a stun gun that you trust, let us know in the comments. We review most of our tested gear annually so we can try to get it in the next roundup round and see if it will beat out our top picks.

What to Look For

The best stun guns have a few features to look for:

  1. Value
  2. Stopping Power
  3. Durability
  4. Size & Weight
  5. Versatility

When you get the right blend of these, you can find a non-lethal self-defense weapon that will help you stand your ground. Below, we break down what each of these features means for the TASERs and stun guns that truly set themselves apart.

Value: Cost vs. Benefit

The amount of money you spend on something like a non-lethal self-defense tool shouldn’t blow out your entire budget. There is a wide range of prices depending on the features you are looking for, so it shouldn’t be too problematic if you just stick to a plan. There isn’t much recreational or practical use beyond self-defense, so you’re typically just looking to buy one and not a collection.

You never want to spend too much money on one resource when it comes to self-defense. It’s better to diversify your spending to make sure you are covered for a wide range of situations.

Stopping Power

Not much point to a stun gun if it’s not powerful enough to stop anyone. Mostly, this is measured in volts, but as anyone familiar with electricity knows- amperage and the time applied affect the stunning effect.

TASERs can sidestep some of these with the darts they shoot. While a stun gun only hits with a shock when applied, and can stun between 5-15 seconds- the TASER model we suggest applies a shock for a whopping 30 seconds, incapacitating someone for several minutes, if not longer.


When you are in self-defense situations, things can get pretty hairy. You don’t want your gear to break on you as you are about to use it or pull it out of your bag just to find it inoperable.

Rubberized high-impact polymer designs do best unless you are using it daily for your job like a law enforcement officer. But at that point, you’re getting issued one that costs thousands of dollars.

Size & Weight

Since most stun guns are meant to be on you every day, they have small designs and low weight so they can fit in your hand easily without being an everyday burden.

Some of the professional TASER models can creep up in weight, but those are typically stored in their own belt holsters.


Many stun guns have additional features and alternate functions. Stun batons can give you a bit of length and can double as a blunt instrument as well. Most stun guns include a flashlight, which can turn out to be quite useful.

TASERs stick to the main self-defense function typically, but have the reach advantage and can pierce clothing more effectively than traditional stun guns.

Where are Stun Guns Illegal?

In the United States, stun guns (and TASERs) are illegal in Rhode Island, Hawaii, and the Virgin Islands. They are legal in all other states when they are used only for self-defense by someone 18 and up and without a felony record.

You will need a license to own a stun gun in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. A handful of states require a permit if you conceal carry a TASER.

A few states have local regulations and ordinances in counties and cities that make stun guns illegal.

Where Stun Guns are Illegal in the US

TASER vs. Stun Gun

The difference between a TASER and a stun gun is pretty straightforward, but the names do seem the opposite.

You might think that a stun ‘gun’ shoots projectile darts with leads to electrocute the target, but you’d be mistaken. That’s TASER, a brand that held the patent on projectile stun guns up until a few years ago.

Stun guns are the broader term that covers all handheld electrocution devices, from TASERs to stun batons.

Who Needs a Stun Gun?

Stun guns are an ideal choice for anyone looking for non-lethal protection. The merits of pepper spray versus a stun gun have been debated, but they are very different solutions. A stun gun is much more painful and immediately incapacitating than pepper spray, but the pain also subsides quickly.

Warning: While stun guns are called non-lethal, they still can be lethal in rare cases or when applied to people with pre-existing conditions.

A stun gun makes the most sense for everyday carry, whereas a TASER can also be a good choice for home protection.

How We Review Products: We research thoroughly before selecting the best products to review. We consult experts in the field for a better understanding of what makes the gear great. Hours on end are spent field testing gear in stressful conditions. We assign performance criteria and impartially rate each tested item. You can support us through our independently chosen links, which can earn us a commission at no extra cost to you. After our review process, some of the items reviewed end up in our giveaways.

Sources and References

All of our experience and the testing we do to determine the best stun guns are useless without listing our research sources and references. We leaned on these for the book knowledge that we paired with our hands-on testing and practical survival experience:

Goudswaard, M., et al. (2020). Tasered: medical consequences of the use of electric stun guns. Nederlands Tijdschrift Voor Geneeskunde. Page 164. (Source)

Kroll, M. (2009). Physiology and pathology of TASER® electronic control devices. Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine. Volume 16. Issue 4. Pages 173 – 177. (Source)

Levine, S., et al. (2007). Cardiac Monitoring of Human Subjects Exposed to the Taser®. The Journal of Emergency Medicine. Volume 33. Issue 2. Pages 113 -117 (Source)

The Final Word

Using a TASER or a stun gun in a self-defense situation is no trivial task. It takes courage to stand up to an attacker, and proper training and preparation can help. Having the right gear is a step in the right direction, but nothing beats training- especially when it comes to how you react in fight-or-flight moments.

Here are a few other gear reviews and guides our subscribers have found helpful:

We presented quite a lot of information, but as always: if you have any questions let us know and we would be happy to help. Our testing found the Vipertek VTS-979 Stun Gun to be the best option given its value, stopping power, durability, size/weight, and versatility.

Keep exploring, stay prepared, and be safe.

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The Best TASER or Stun Gun

Rusty Collins

I am an engineer, Air Force veteran, emergency manager, husband, dad, and experienced prepper. I developed emergency and disaster plans around the globe and responded to many attacks and accidents as a HAZMAT technician. I have been exposed to deadly chemical agents, responded to biological incidents, and dealt with natural disasters. Check out my full story here: Rusty's Story

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