We spent 72 hours testing 20 different types of stun guns to come up with this list of 10 best stun guns. We factored in voltage, portability, ease of use and features to rank the stun guns. First place goes to Terminator SGT800 – 400MV Mini because it satisfied all the criteria we used. It’s on and off switch is very easy to use especially in tense situations. It fits nicely in pockets, purses, handbags and glove compartments and delivers 15 million volts which are sufficient to stop a 200 lb. attacker. The functional LED light is a useful feature for illuminating in the dark or temporarily blinding an attacker.
Stun Gun Reviews
A stun gun is one of the best self-defense tools on the market. It is easy to use and easy to conceal. The stun gun is not usually fatal but effective enough to immobilize an attacker which is why it is favored as a weapon.
We tested 20 different kinds of stun guns based on the aforementioned criteria. The idea for this list is to make it easy for you to buy one without going through all the hoops that we went through. We also have a comprehensive Buyers Guide further down this article with all the information you might need to buy the best stun gun.
Best Overall Stun Gun
We ranked the Terminator SGT800 in first place mostly because of what we got for the price. This is a 15 million volt stun gun that packs enough power to drop even a 200 lb. male. We loved its compact size, it easily fits in your pocket, glove box or handbag.
What we especially loved are the features that this model has to deter potential attackers and minimize chances that you will actually have to use it. The prongs give out a brilliant current especially at night while the loud crackling when discharged is enough to strike fear even in the bravest attacker. This stun gun has a bright LED light capable of temporarily blinding an attacker.
This Terminator comes with a rubber body which offers a good grip which can make all the difference in emergency situations. The device plugs straight into your wall socket and charges for about 4 hours from empty to full. It’s great that you don’t have to buy replacement batteries every so often. This model uses an on and off switch so it’s incredibly easy to use even in high-adrenaline situations.
The gun is available in pink and black colors. We recommend this one for women who want something they can carry in their purse or car or even jogging.
– Sarah Lytle
2. VIPERTEK 880
Best Overall Stun Gun – Runner Up
The VIPERTEK VTS-880 is a micro-stun gun which makes it extremely portable. It’s easy to carry in your pocket or purse and conceals well so it’s definitely a surprise when you pull it out on a would-be attacker. Again, this model produces a heart-stopping crackling sound when discharge which is usually enough to warn a perpetrator to stay away. It also has an LED light which makes it handy if you regularly walk at night. The flashlight is also enough to temporarily blind a threat.
This VIPERTEK produces 15 million volts which are enough to stop a 200 lb. man in his tracks. It comes with a built-in charger and rechargeable battery. We loved that it is easy to use, simply move the switch to the on position and you are ready to defend yourself. It is available in multiple colors including purple and pink for ladies. This model was edged out by the Terminator because subsequent shocks weren’t quite as strong as the first few. We recommend this option if you are looking for a small stun gun that you can carry on your person without first figuring out which pants to wear.
– Sarah Lytle
3. Guard Dog
We loved that this Guard Dog stun gun is deceptively effective. At first appearances, it looks like a regular tactical flashlight. It’s not the first flashlight-stun gun combination that we tested but the shock prongs on this one are hidden if you want to get a surprise over the would-be attacker.
This one is a 4.5 million volt stun gun enough to incapacitate most attackers. The tactical flashlight is made from aircraft grade aluminum so it’s virtually indestructible. The top features a sturdy ridge that you can use to break windows in case of an emergency.
The 160-lumen flashlight is enough to blind an attacker temporarily. The gun also emits a loud noise which typically scares off intruders. The flashlight is quite easy to use and fairly priced for the features.
The reason why this Guard Dog stun gun didn’t feature higher on the list is because this isn’t something you would usually see with a civilian. We recommend this stun gun for nightclub bouncers, private security and if you regularly use a flashlight while walking at night.
– Sarah Lytle
4. VIPERTEK 989
This VIPERTEK discharges a blood curdling 38 million volts and considered a heavy-duty stun gun. We didn’t rank it higher because we thought it was a bit of an overkill but if you want to pack serious power in your stun gun, this is the perfect option. As we have come to expect from VIPERTREK, this 989 model features a strong LED light which easily blinds a would-be attacker.
This stun gun has metal plates on the side that also deliver a shock. This feature is designed to prevent an attacker from grabbing your weapon. The sharp shock prongs penetrate heavy clothing while its rubber cover ensures maximum grip while you discharge current.
As with all the stun guns, we have reviewed so far, the loud crackling sound should signal to a would-be attacker that it is a bad idea to advance. It comes with rechargeable batteries and only available in black color.
A heavy-duty stun gun such as this one makes sense but we caution our readers to consider two possible scenarios. One is shocking yourself accidentally while the other is having the weapon turned against you. Still, if you are looking for a powerful stun gun that will stop even the most determined attacker in his tracks, the VIPERTREK VTS-989 is the perfect option.
– Sarah Lytle
Finally, with have yet another tactical flashlight that doubles as a stun gun. The Police Stun Gun 1100 is yet another heavy duty option packing 38 million volts. The shell is made from military-grade aluminum which means it’s highly durable and good for rough environments.
This model is smaller than the Guard Dog version if you need a flashlight that you can easily carry in your purse or pocket or store in your car.
We liked the safety feature as accidentally shocking yourself with these stun guns is fairly common. Pieces of fabric in the pocket can easily get entangled with the device and accidentally discharge. We also like that it comes with a holster which is convenient for security personnel or even personal carry. The flashlight features an adjustable beam depending on the level of illumination you need.
The reason why this Police 1100 stun gun isn’t higher on the list is because this isn’t something you’d get unless you regularly use a flashlight. Again, we recommend this for security agents and bouncers although it’s also a great fit for a civilian looking for maximum protection.
– Sarah Lytle
Stun Gun Buying Guide
What is a Stun Gun?
A stun gun is a self-defense device that emits an electrical shock to immobilize an attacker. You hold up the device to the attacker and discharge an electrical shock to cause pain, injury and to render the person temporarily immobile. This device has two (sometimes more) metal prongs that deliver an electric current between them. This current is often visible to the naked eye and typically accompanied by a sharp crackling sound.
A stun gun is not usually lethal although there are isolated cases of people dying or suffering permanent or extensive damage, usually due to pre-existing heart conditions.
Difference between a Stun Gun and Taser
The terms stun gun and Taser are often used interchangeably but there are distinct differences between the two.
As previously mentioned, a stun gun is only effective after making physical contact with the attacker. A Taser, on the other hand, shoots spear-like probes which penetrate the skin or clothes. These probes are attached to the Taser through wires to deliver the electrical shock. A Taser’s electrical current can spread to a radius of up to two inches in the body from the point of contact.
It is important to make a further distinction here. The technical name for a Taser is electroshock weapon. Taser is simply a brand name like Coca-Cola or Pampers.
Are Stun Guns Legal?
Stun guns are legal in many states but not all. It is crucial that you find out if these are legal in your state before buying. Some of the states where stun guns are illegal include; New Jersey, Hawaii, Rhode Island, New York and District of Columbia.
Some states such as Illinois have a restriction on stun guns while others such as Michigan prohibit stun guns but allow Tasers.
It is also important to familiarize yourself with your state’s/county/city’s stun gun laws even if it is legal to carry one. Many have laws governing concealment, age, and travel among other areas.
What to Look for In a Stun Gun
There are a few things that you should look into when buying a stun gun. We used these very same criteria when coming up with our top 5 list of best stun guns.
Voltage is undoubtedly the most important consideration simply because it determines the weapon’s effectiveness. Generally speaking, more voltage is better. The idea is to get through layers of clothing to deliver the shock. Anything more than 800,000 volts is enough to stop an attacker in his tracks. You’d also prefer a device that emits a loud crackling sound and bright, visible current to hopefully deter the person before he attacks.
It is worth keeping in mind that there is always a possibility of being overpowered and having your stun gun used against you. Accidental shocking is also not uncommon especially for devices you carry in your pocket. It is for these reasons that we encourage people to think a little more about the voltage they want on their stun gun.
Ease of Use
Stun guns are typically used in tense and high-adrenaline situations so you want a gun that you can discharge without thinking twice about it. A simple on and off switch on the side is desirable in this case. You may also want a safety feature or a pouch to protect you from accidental discharge.
Stun guns come with a variety of features which may prove useful.
Flashlight: a flashlight is convenient if you regularly walk in the dark. Having a flashlight that doubles as a weapon is a welcome idea. A bright flashlight on a stun gun may also be enough to blind the attacker temporarily either to deter him or to set a clear path for your attack.
Rechargeable Battery: the idea of replacing batteries every so often isn’t appealing for most people especially if you regularly use the device’s flashlight. A rechargeable battery that you can charge every month or two is a convenient feature.
Disable Pin: some devices feature a disable pin attached to a wrist strap. The idea is should an attacker grab the stun gun, the wrist strap disengages from the bottom of the unit rendering the device useless.
A stun gun is one of the best self-defense weapons you can have. These devices don’t require any special skills to use and are often portable to carry in your car, purse or pockets. The stun guns listed here offer all the essential features you would need on an effective device.
A final word is to familiarize yourself with your jurisdiction’s stun gun laws. Keep in mind that these devices aren’t legal in all states, cities, and counties. There might also be restrictions where they are legal. Overall, keep your stun gun out of reach of children and practice often to ensure that you are comfortable enough to use it in case of an emergency.