8 awful self-defense products

During 2020, violent crime in some areas experienced a considerable surge. One notable area was New York City, which had its most violent year in decades. Maybe that’s what led the NY Post to publish this god-awful article highlighting 8 self-defense gadgets. Most of these gadgets are completely ineffective, and some are downright dangerous. They might as well have called it “8 self defense items that will get you murdered even faster.” So let’s take a look at their list, and get some alternatives that don’t suck.

NY Post #1 Sabre 3-in-1 pepper spray
Our recommendation: POM Pepper spray

The first item on the Post’s list is the best, and even then it’s not great. The 3-in-1 spray is the weakest formula of all pepper sprays, because it dilutes the capsaicin good-good with some BS tear gas style ingredients and some other stuff. Those don’t actually incapacitate as fast as straight up OC to the face, which is why instead of Sabre 3-in-1 we recommend POM pepper spray. POM is highly regarded by self-defense professionals and pepper spray instructors, and my personal experience with it has shown it to be an extremely effective choice.

NY Post #2: Lipstick case pepper spray
Our recommendation: Oh look POM again but with a keychain

Again, the NY Post recommends a pretty weak sauce version of pepper spray. Remember, you’re trying to temporarily blind someone while you run away, not season their tacos (that is not a metaphor). The weak formulation of pepper spray is less likely to disable your attacker. Plus, “disguised” pepper sprays are dumb, because your self-defense tools should be something you can immediately recognize by touch in the dark. If your spray looks and feels like lipstick, what’s to stop you from grabbing lipstick instead?

NY Post #3: She’s Birdie The Original Personal Safety Alarm
Our recommendation: Surefire Stiletto

These personal safety alarms are hot garbage, and I’ll prove it with two words: “car alarm.” All these PS alarms do is make a loud noise and emit a mild strobe. There’s no disabling or disorienting effect associated with them, and 99% of people who hear one are just going to go “that’s annoying, I hope someone shuts it off.” You’re better off screaming “HELP HELP I’M BEING MURDERED” than one of these, because someone might actually try to help you if you’re being murdered. A better option than this stupid strobe/noisemaker is a powerful flashlight with a strobe setting, like the Surefire Stiletto or the Stiletto Pro. These lights produce enough lumens and candela to temporarily disorient a potential attacker, giving you the chance to escape.

NY Post #4: TASER Strikelight Rechargeable Self-Defense Flashlight Stun Baton, aka a literal pile of trash
Our recommendation: oh look Surefire Stiletto Pro

As our friend Annette Evans pointed out on InRange TV, stun guns suck as self defense implements. So when you buy this crappy flashlight/shock wand combo, you get a crappy flashlight and a stun gun that doesn’t work! It only has 80 lumens, which is like looking at a dying match when compared to something like the Stiletto Pro, which has 1000 lumens. Plus, stun guns/shock wands don’t actually work in real life, they create pain compliance…but not enough pain to actually create compliance. Skip the gimmick, stick with the good flashlight.

NY Post #5: Flare Safety Bracelet
Our recommendation: being situation ally aware and programming 911 into your speed dial

This product (and another one on the list) are so awful they’re insulting. The person that thought these were a good idea should be horsewhipped. Here’s what the Flare bracelet does: it pairs with your phone to record your GPS location, then if you activate it it can automatically call 911 and text your friends. OH BOY. Just think: someone is committing a violent crime to you, but you can text your useless friends and call 911! I’m sure that someone will show up just in time to look at all the blood that came out of your murdered corpse. Even if your friends are the kind that would show up with nun masks and AK47s, they probably won’t get there in time. A product like this is basically a magical talisman – it has no practical effect on your safety and just fools you into thinking you’re safer. You might as well get a gris-gris.

NY Post #6: Anti-Wolf Self-Defense Key Chain Five-Pack
Our recommendation: A Shivworks Clinch Pick and some training

These aluminum spikes are hot garbage. 1: they’re not particularly sharp, so if you have to use them to stab someone, you’re going to need to use a lot more force than you would with a knife. And because they’re not sharp, they’re not as effective in a clinch as a knife. The idea that you could just…poke someone with one of these and hope they go away is so dumb it’s offensive. Take Shivworks EWO, get a clinch pick, and stab that dude in the taint.

NY Post #7: invisaWear jewelry
Our recommendation: Same as #5

…this is somehow shittier than the Flare bracelet because it won’t even call 911. It calls ADT, an alarm monitoring company, and they call 911. It will also text your useless friends so they can ooh-ahhh over your corpse.

NY Post #8: CRKT Williams Tactical Pen
Our recommendation: ……I give up

Look, this is a good pen. And if I was going on an airplane and I wanted some kind of self defense tool, I might go with something like this. But recommending a pen as a primary self defense tool is so irresponsible it hurts my brain. Unless you’re John Wick, you’re not defending yourself with writing implements, okay?

You’ll notice at no point did I say “get a gun” and that’s because a gun isn’t always the right solution for some people. If you want one, definitely go get it since it’s your Constitutional right. But for Pete’s sake, don’t buy any of these meme tier accessories. They’re garbage. There’s a reason my recommendations can be boiled down to: good pepper spray, good flashlight, and maybe a good knife. With a good spray and a light you’ll be able to solve 99% of life’s self defense problems.

Caleb Giddings
Caleb Giddings is a scotch enthusiast with a writing problem, which is apparently common for writers. He also shoots some guns or something, and is a Master Class shooter in IDPA and NRA Action Pistol. You should definitely follow him on instagram