When it comes to powerful, portable non-lethal self-defense, pepper spray is the perfect choice. The best pepper spray is strong enough to stop human assailants and animals alike dead in their tracks. It’s also easy and safe to use, meaning you won’t spray yourself by accident and it won’t leak in your purse or pocket when not in use. Regardless of why you’re carrying pepper spray, the most important thing is that it works, but how do you choose from the dozens of available options?
This top 10 list will help you decide the best pepper spray for your needs. All the pepper sprays on our list contain potent ingredients for some of the most effective non-lethal self-defense money can buy. When you’ve picked the best pepper spray for yourself, it will also make a great and potentially life-saving gift for friends and family.
Read This Before Buying Pepper Spray
- OC. OC stands for Oleoresin Capsicum and it’s the main active ingredient in all pepper spray. This compound is extracted from red peppers. When it makes contact with the skin and face, it causes a burning sensation and inflames the eyes, nose, and throat. OC will incapacitate your assailant immediately and leave them suffering for up to an hour after.
- UV Dye. If you expect to defend yourself against human assailants, UV dye is a great feature. This dye will stay on even after the person has washed their face and the effects of the pepper spray have worn off. The dye appears under black light and will help identify your assailant if they’re caught by police.
- Tear Gas. Like OC, tear gas irritates airways and induces tear production. Tear gas makes it difficult for a person to breathe and will effectively blind them with tears. Unfortunately, it may not be effective on drug-induced or emotionally unstable individuals, so it’s only used as an additive to OC pepper sprays to improve efficacy.
- Safety. Pepper spray can turn dangerous if you end up spraying yourself instead of your assailant. The best pepper spray is safe to use, designed to fit comfortably in your hand when pointed in the right direction. The lever should feature a safety lock mechanism that can’t be undone on your keychain or in your pocket. Importantly, never buy pepper spray with a reputation for leaking. Spending a couple extra dollars now can save your purse from being coated in pepper spray later.
- Range and Spray Type. Generally speaking, the longer the pepper spray’s range the better. You won’t always have 15ft between yourself and danger, but when you do, it’s nice to know your pepper spray will reach. There are two common types of pepper spray pattern, fog and stream. Fog sprays cover more area, but can be blown away by wind and don’t have a long range. Stream sprays, on the other hand, shoot more accurately and have better range. Stream sprays also reduce cross contamination, landing just on your target.
Best Pepper Spray Top 10 Comparison Guide
|1. Guard Dog AccuFire Pepper Spray with Laser Sight Top||18%OC, UV Dye||16ft||$$||4.7|
|2. SABRE Red Pepper Gel, Police Strength||10%OC, UV Dye||18ft||$$||4.6|
|3. Kimber Pepper Blaster||10%OC||13ft||$$$||4.5|
|4. Pepper Enforcement (Pack of 4) Pepper Spray||10%OC, UV Dye||10ft||$$||4.5|
|5. Triple Action Self Defense Police Strength Pepper Spray||10%OC, UV Dye, Tear Gas||15ft||$$||4.5|
|6. SABRE 3-IN-1 Pepper Spray Police Strength||10%OC, UV Dye, Tear Gas||10ft||$||4.4|
|7. Asp Pepper OC Black Pepper Spray||10%OC||6ft||$$$||4.4|
|8. Mace Brand Self Defense Police Strength Pepper Spray||10%OC, UV Dye||18ft||$$||4.3|
|9. Mace Brand Police Strength Pepper Spray Gun||10%OC, UV Dye||20ft||$$$||4.2|
|10. Guard Dog Activewear Hand Sleeve with Pepper Spray||18%OC, UV Dye||12ft||$||4.0|
Reviews of the Top Rated Pepper Spray
It’s a small but important difference that sets the Guard Dog AccuFire apart from the competition. That feature is an ingeniously placed laser pointer at the side of the AccuFire’s case. The laser’s button is positioned right where your thumb naturally rests when holding the canister. With a range of over 50ft in the dark, this laser will give you a clear aim instantly. Once you line the laser up with your target, spray the AccuFire’s mix of extremely potent 18% OC and UV dye with up to a 16ft range.
The AccuFire comes in a protective plastic casing with a keyring. This patented case is guaranteed not to leak when in the locked position. This top-rated pepper spray is small enough to fit discreetly in your hand, making it ideal for those who jog or run at night. The replaceable 0.5oz canisters each hold 7 to 9 one second bursts, and you can use any brand replacement spray you like.
We love everything about this pepper spray, from its cripplingly powerful 18% OC spray, to its high-intensity laser pointer. The laser helps you aim in extreme situations, and also acts to blind your assailant before the spray is discharged. Anyone can safely use and carry this portable pepper spray, and we recommend it to anyone in both urban and outdoors environments.
SABRE is one of the most respected names in the industry, creating some of the most effective and trusted pepper spray in the world. Their Red Pepper Gel is one of their most popular products and for good reason. This gel is made up of 10% OC and UV dye and reaches incredible ranges up to 18ft.
What’s great about the gel formula is that it shoots accurately and sticks to your target. The gel is too heavy to be carried by the wind, eliminating the risk that the spray blows back at you. When you spray SABRE Red Pepper Gel, you don’t risk contaminating the room, the air, or yourself, making it one of the safest pepper sprays on our list.
This canister lasts 4 years from the manufacturer’s date and contains up to 18 uses. That’s enough that most people won’t need to replace this pepper spray until it passes expiration. With its included belt holster, the Red Pepper Gel can be worn at your hip or in your bag for easy access anywhere. This best pepper spray is perfect for both men and women who need reliable, police strength protection.
Quick, accurate deployment is essential when using pepper spray, so the Kimber Pepper Blaster makes the task effortless with its safe and clever design. Shaped like a small gun, the Pepper Blaster is just 4.7 x 3.3” and weighs next to nothing. The trigger is smartly locked by a push mechanism that you must move before even touching the trigger. That means this best pepper spray won’t leak or accidentally discharge no matter where you keep it.
If aiming is a concern, the Pepper Blaster features dual nozzles that both discharge when you pull the trigger. This gives you double coverage and a better chance of hitting your target. The gun shape also makes it easy to aim. Our only complaint is that the cartridges are non-refillable, so you may have to look elsewhere if you expect to use your pepper spray often.
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