Life can be dangerous.
Because of this, carrying the best possible self defense items in your purse is important. Being prepared could be the most important decision of your life – in just 2016, over 1.2 million violent crimes took place in the United States.
Don’t be under-prepared in the case of an attack.
If you look around the internet, you’ll find that most self defense items for your purse will be in the “women’s” products category. Those include ridiculous lipstick-shaped weapons and knives with pink handles.
I think it’s silly that so many product creators think that a woman needs a pink knife or a weapon shaped like makeup. For this site, I will select high-quality self defense equipment that just works – regardless of gender.
Features to look for in a purse weapon
In fact, color and femininity is pretty much the last thing you need to look for when choosing purse self defense equipment. Here are the features you should be looking for:
Small size, big impact
Small size and the ability to make a big impact are important for any self defense weapon. However, they are especially important for one that’s going to be carried in your purse.
It’s vital that you are able to quickly pull out a small weapon from your purse without the attacker noticing. The same cannot be said about a non-collapsible police baton or a baseball bat!
Along with the convenient size, though, your weapon still needs to pack a full-size punch. The size and effectiveness of a self defense weapon is often the difference between successfully subduing an attacker and not even getting the chance to even use the weapon.
Easy to use
Ease of use is another important factor in choosing a purse weapon.
In a self defense scenario, your body releases a large amount of adrenaline, which can cloud your thinking. On top of that, every second counts when you’re potentially being attacked.
Why spend precious seconds preparing your weapon for use?
For these reasons, you should focus on a weapon that requires little to no time to properly deploy. In addition, choose one that you can easily use no matter how stressful the situation.
Most people prefer to drive a reliable car that starts up each time they get in. There’s a comfort in knowing that your vehicle will perform as required, each and every time.
So why would you use a self defense weapon that may not work when you need it?
The worst scenario for a self defense weapon is that it doesn’t work when you need it most, which is during an attack and in the heat of the moment.
Recommended self defense items for your purse
A classic folding knife, like the Benchmade Griptilian, meets all the requirements of a good self defense weapon that fits in your purse (or clips to your clothing, etc.). It is easy to use and very effective, assuming that you’ve had training.
One knife jab at an attacker can have them writhing in pain, or even worse, bleeding out from a wound. Even better, an attacker may often run just at the sight of a glistening knife, if they thought they were going to have an easy target.
Small stun gun
The stun gun, like this one from Vipertek, also meets all the requirements of a good self defense tool.
Just hearing the sound of a stun gun can strike fear in many attackers. Those stupid enough to stick around are in for a powerful and painful shock.
The shock, according to Vipertek, will cause “loss of balance and muscle control, confusion, and disorientation bringing him to his knees and making him incapable of further aggressive activity.” Make sure to check your local laws regarding the possession of a stun gun as they are not legal in all jurisdictions.
The one I linked to above also features shock plates on the sides of the stun gun, which will shock an attacker who tries to grab the weapon out of your hands.
Pepper spray is the classic non-lethal weapon for self defenders (and law enforcement) around the world.
One shot of pepper spray to the face will have an attacker in tears for about an hour. This should give you more than enough time to make a quick escape to safety. In addition to those benefits, pepper spray gives you a distance advantage.
Pepper spray also has amazing ease of use – you just spray it in the general direction of the attacker’s face. The capascin contained in the spray takes care of the rest.
There’s also Pepper Gel, which generally has a longer range and has a stickiness that spray does not.
More than just a self defense weapon, the tactical flashlight can make your day to day life easier. For example, finding your phone in the dark is much easier with a flashlight.
For self defense purposes, tactical flashlights do make a great improvised weapon. The blinding light can distract your attacker and cause loss of vision in the dark, allowing you to counter attack or escape. The bevel of the flashlight, which is often toothed (see the below image) can be used as an improvised striking weapon if you’re in need.
A tactical flashlight should always be carried in your purse, but I would recommend it as a secondary weapon.
Self defense weapons for outside your purse
There are many keychain weapons available on the market.
Most keychain weapons consist of a pointy hard metal object that you can use to jab any attacker. Sometimes these are shaped like a stick, but others are modeled more after something akin to brass knuckles.
The advantage of having it on your keychain is that you can easily hold it in your hand while carrying your keys. That can’t be beat in terms of speed of deployment and concealment. In addition to that, you hopefully always have your keys on your person, making it a hard weapon to forget.
Little Viper Pepper Spray Bracelet
The Little Viper Pepper Spray Bracelet is great because it never even leaves your person. It is also always a few inches from your hand making it one of the easiest weapons to access. It doesn’t get much better than this in the self defense world.
Forgot your purse at home? Not a problem. Pepper spray is on your wrist.
Lost your keys? No issue. Still have pepper spray.
Yes, it’s also available in pink.
This self defense pen can be carried in your purse, pocket, or anywhere else you carry a pen. Much like the tactical flashlight we discussed above, it’s a normal item that just has more functionality. Since it’s metal, it won’t break if you have to use it in a defensive scenario.
Most tactical pens also have a glass breaker in case you need to smash a window. Wrenches, screwdrivers – some models even have a flashlight.
Of course its main function is still a pen. In the smartphone era, you still don’t want to get caught without a pen. Why not make it a pen that could save your life?
A word of caution
These self defense weapons are very powerful tools that can seriously injure, or even kill, a potential attacker.
Proper training must be taken to ensure that you know how to properly use the weapon. Without the proper training your self defense weapon will be less effective, at best. At worst, your weapon may be used against you to cause serious injury.
Proper training will show you how to properly use the weapon. This training also includes how to most effectively use the weapon against an attacker to end a confrontation quickly. Further training would include training on how, and when, to pull out the weapon, and increase your situational awareness to hopefully avoid an attack entirely.
Studies have even indicated that learning proper training makes you less likely to experience unwanted harassment.
Besides proper training, make sure to obey all local laws regarding the possession of self defense weapons. Certain jurisdictions may ban the use of some self defense weapons.
Every product I’ve recommended above can be very helpful in the case of a self defense scenario.
They contain the characteristics of great self defense products, while also meeing our criteria of:
2. easy to use and deploy
3. reliable and consistent.
However, even the best weapon will require proper training to avoid injury or misuse. They’re just tools to augment a warrior mindset.
Don’t skimp out on the training, because that could be the thing that really saves your life.