Best Pepper Spray: The Best Sprays for Self Defense | Survival-Mastery

Best Pepper Spray

Pepper spray is currently considered one of the best self defense items anyone should have. It’s useful not only for women, but virtually anyone. Life in the big cities and towns may be much safer than that in the wild, but there are still criminals and aggressive dogs around. Joggers also rely often on pepper spray for self defense. The hotness of pepper spray is so potent and causes such pain that it can disarm virtually anyone – from the dog to the muscular 6 feet tall guy around the corner.

Before you decide to purchase some of the pepper spray products we list in this article, you need to know that some countries and states consider it illegal to possess pepper spray. So, our advice is to get to know the rules and regulations to avoid any trouble with the local authorities. Otherwise, a pepper spray product can be the most efficient and economical way to have a peace of mind while outside jogging, walking, or going home after a party.

Best pepper spray for self defense

SABRE RED pepper spray

Sabre Red pepper spray is among the most trusted and popular products. It is widely used among police officers around the world, and mostly in the USA. It offers about 25 bursts with the option for second bursts. The maximum effective range is 10 feet. You can check twice per year that the performance and functionality hasn’t decreased.

Also, the blowback is reduced to a minimum, while keeping the sprayed stream as strong as possible. Its shelf life is longer than that of any other industry product of this sort – up to 4 years. As an additional bonus, purchasing this product raises money for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Sabre Red Pepper Spray
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Back to the product though, the spray itself can be attached safely to a key ring, but if you need to draw the spray quickly, the key ring can be unlocked immediately. Sabre also boasts that its products have a reduced failure percentage, making it one of the most reliable products on the market currently. The pepper spray is certified with a ISO 9001:2008, which means additional prestige and trust among clients and individuals.

When it comes to Sabre’s hotness level, it is rated as among the hottest – more than 1.33% Major Capsaicinoids. OC and Raw Pepper SHU aren’t always considered a true measurement for hotness. So, Sabre rates highest on the Major Capsaicinoids range. You can definitely safely rely on Sabre’s Red Pepper Spray product.

If you like this product you can find and check its price here.

SABRE Red spray for runners, with hand strap

This is another Sabre product, but specifically designed for runners and athletes working out in parks and open spaces. The difference with the above product is that this one has a hand strap. This makes it possible for the runner to hold it in hand while jogging and be able to react immediately in case of a threat.

See also: How to Use Pepper Spray: Proper Uses And Useful Tips

You can also have more shots with this one – up to 35 bursts (5 times more than other similar products). The shelf life is as long as the above model – 4 to 5 years. Make sure to purchase a new one when yours expires, since the effect of the pepper reduces with time. This may leave you unprotected because of an expired product.

Overall, this product is virtually the same, with the same certification as stated above and the average hotness range – 1.33% Major Capsaicinoids. You can absolutely safely rely on this one too. It’s trusted by law enforcement personnel and police officers in more than 40 countries. The safe distance is again 10 feet. According to several customers though, if there’s some wind this distance is severely reduced, so keep that in mind.

If you like this product you can find and buy it on Amazon.

Police Magnum OC pepper spray with UV dye and twist top

This Amazon product ships either in a pack of two or a pack of four. It’s up to you to decide which option works for you.

Otherwise, the product is rated as OC-17 and the solution is an Oleoresin Capsicum. It’s not toxic and also is non-flammable. For additional safety the spray bottle has a special top which prevents accidental discharges from the container. An additional bonus with this spray is that it has a UV dye in the solution, so that, when you spray the offender, the police or other special forces can identify the individual using UV light sensors. The UV dye will make the person easy to locate.

Police Magnum OC Pepper Spray
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Unlike the SABRE products, the Police Magnum spray can finish after up to 8 bursts, which isn’t as efficient. Other customers claim that the content of the Police Magnum may decrease incredibly fast, so if you hold the button for several seconds without release, it may run out. Generally, customers who had used it on aggressive dogs claim that the product works perfectly. The only drawback is the small solution amount.

If you like this product you can find and buy it here.

Sabre Red Pepper Spray, Pink Lipstick

This Sabre product is made with thought for women. The pepper spray container is in the shape and looks of a lipstick with pink color. In this way, you as a woman can be protected by the camouflage and confuse the offender by drawing seemingly a lipstick, but then you spray in their face. The surprise attack will definitely work, as Sabre’s products are among the best and most trusted.

Lipstick Pepper Spray
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One customer purchased this product and decided to see it work. She removed the cap, but held it incorrectly and unfortunately with the spray towards her face, so she accidentally sprayed herself. She claims that the spray burns quite a lot. She had to wash her face immediately and highly recommends the product. Since then she carries the spray in her bag every time she leaves home.

Another client claims that the spray is slightly larger than an average lipstick, but overall, the product works as advertised and helped the customers who had to use it.

If you like this product you can find and purchase it on Amazon.

Mace Brand Pepper Spray

This pepper spray is based on a OC pepper spray formula, and just like the Police Magnum, this one also has a UV dye in the solution. You can spray up to 5 times with a single container (which weighs 17g). The safe distance is like Sabre’s – 10 feet. The spraying pattern is stream.

The best thing about Mace’s pepper spray is that it is virtually impossible for the owner to accidentally spray themselves in the face. This is thanks to the specific trigger system.

Otherwise, clients claim that the spray is great and protected them from attacking dogs. One customer even decided to test it on himself, but soon regretted the action, since it still burned his eyes hours after the test. He even claims that even if you spray an attacker you better call an ambulance, since the person may suffer for hours without proper care or water to wash their face. It is obviously a highly reliable product for runners, women and children to stay protected while out there.

If you like this product you can find and buy it here.

Mace Brand Pepper Spray Gun (Pink)

Here’s another Mace Brand product, this time in the shape of a pink plastic gun. It can be used for seven bursts/sprays with a safety range of 20 feet. The good thing about this particular product is that you can refill the gun itself, by changing the cartridge. You can purchase these cartridges separately. So far, this option seems to be the most economical for most customers and they find the cartridge change to be easy and intuitive and you get used to using the same spray gun.

The most safe and effective distance is estimated to be 25 feet. According to one customer, spraying an offender a bit further away from you is better than if they are closer and you spray. Each cartridge can release up to 10 bursts. The only serious drawback, according to the same customer, is the look of a real gun.

The attacker or aggressor may be too panicked and may believe this to be a real gun and react spontaneously. If s/he has a real gun you may be in serious trouble. Of course, Mace Brand had thought about that possibility, thus they made the gun in punk-purple color. This minimizes the risk of someone suspecting this gun spray to be a real loaded weapon.

Otherwise, it’s a perfect defense tool for police officers and law enforcement personnel, as they can carry it in a special pouch on their belt, even while on duty. As a whole, people highly recommend it, and only just a few customers had problems with it not spraying at all.

If you like this product you can find and purchase it on Amazon.

Kimber Pepperblaster 2 Grey pepper spray

Kimber’s pepper spray container again looks a bit like a gun. The spray, upon blasting it, travels with the incredible speed of 1/10th of a second. With this speed the attacker or stray dog has virtually no time to escape or react. Kimber even claims that the product works on people with a ski mask and glasses. This is because the spray will get into the respiratory system and can cause the attacker to have trouble breathing.

Another thing Kimber claims is that the attacker will be incapacitated for at least 45 minutes after you spray him/her. Of course, a second shot is waiting in line in case you need to press the trigger again. The speed of the burst is so fast so that only your target is affected. Thus you can be sure that neither you or anyone else you’re with will be affected.

Kimber Pepperblaster 2
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Possibly the only major drawback is that the spray has only two shots. It can’t be refilled and has no possibility for adding cartridges. This means that once you use your two shots, you must purchase a new spray. This may be a big negative on the side of Kimber, since the price isn’t as competitive as Sabre’s products.

Yet, Kimber’s spray has an impressive strong velocity once you press the trigger. The stream can’t be blown away by wind of gust as easy as most aerosol sprays, so the risk for you is also very low. This feature definitely makes Kimber’s pepper spray competitive enough.

If you like this product you can find and check its price on Amazon.

Police Magnum OC-17 Pen Design pepper spray with UV dye

This Police Magnum is similar to the above product but in the container and form of a pen. This perfect disguise will quickly disarm anyone with bad intentions thinking that they can surprise you. The cap closure on the spray helps against any leakage or solution discharge. The spray itself is non-toxic and can’t be inflamed. The UV dye in the solution, just as some of the other products in our list, helps with the identification of the offender after s/he ran from the crime scene.

Also, Police Magnum’s pepper sprays are made so that they are allowed by law by almost any state, and yet the spray is highly potent and strong. The manufacturer claims that the spray concentration can’t cause permanent damage.

Some customers though report that it’s quite hard to remove the cap, which virtually makes the product useless. This wasn’t reported by everyone, but just a handful of customers. It may be an accidental flaw of the design. A few other customers complained that the nozzle comes off when you remove the cap.

For another customer the product leaked right out of the box. It is not known if the issue is delivery-related or manufacturer-related, but we need to point that out. Otherwise, the pepper solution inside works perfect. Some customers tested it on themselves and warn that it’s very hot. The total amount of burst you can do is 6.

If you like this product you can find and check its price here.

Sabre Red Pepper gel, with belt holster

While this Sabre Red isn’t strictly speaking a spray, it is still a hot pepper-based product. It’s a gel and thus is much more efficient and effective in case of wind. The gel can’t be affected by strong gusts of wind and can stick to the attacker’s clothes or body. Even rain and other such conditions can’t affect the strength of the pepper solution. It will still hurt a lot.

The gel can reach a target within a distance of 18 feet. Not only that, but you can be sure that only the sprayed target (be it a dog or an individual) will be affected. There is no risk that particles can reach you or anyone else around you. The good thing about that is that if you spray the gel inside, in a closed area, it won’t have to ventilated several days afterwards. The gel affects only the surface it is in contact with.

One of the appreciated features about this product is that it ships with a belt holster. You can safely keep it close at hand at any time, whenever you go to work, come back from a late night party, or just go to the nearby marketplace.

The canister is loaded with gel for a total of 18 sprays. One customer advises that you test the gel immediately when you receive it. This is to ensure that you hadn’t received a defective item (which is rare, but is still a possibility). The person also advises that once you shoot at an assailant, you run away.

Because of the extreme pain, the attacked person may go in rage, and won’t be aware of what they do. They may hurt you as a result. And of course, once again – as you spray someone, call an ambulance afterwards, or the delay may cause damage to eyes and cause some severe burning (if unattended in a timely manner).

Finally, according to a police officer, this spray hurts even more than sprays, because it sticks to the face. It takes at least one hour to be able to see again. If you need a good defender, this is the one.

If you like this product you can find and buy it on Amazon.

Fox Labs 2% OC, Flip Top Stream Pepper Spray

Fox Labs are also among the highly trusted pepper spray manufacturers. Their sprays are slightly pricier than Sabre Reds’, but they are rated very high among customers.

The stream spray projects to up to 20 feet. You can have about 18 bursts, with option for half a second pause until the next trigger. This is one of the strongest and hottest sprays on the market with its 2% OC, which corresponds to about 5,300,000 SHU. This is so far one of the best. Most customers who had owned Fox Labs’ products always returned back to purchase more.

Thanks to the flip top on the trigger you can safely carry the spray without worrying that it may accidentally discharge (as is often the case with such products). Also, keep in mind that it’s so hot that it may literally be capable of causing skin burn. In this respect, again, don’t discharge the stream directly in the eyes of dogs or assailants unless you want to blind them. The burning skin will cause enough pain to disarm and incapacitate any aggressive animal or individual. Unlike with some of the products in our list, Fox Labs tend to manufacture strong products and almost no customer had reported defects upon delivery.

The only thing you need to keep in mind (and it’s serious) is that, because this is an aerosol (stream) it will lose pressure over time. This means that the more you use it, the less effective it will be in longer distances. It will work only at closer and closer range over time. So, some customers prefer to purchase a second one when they had used half of the first canister.

If you like this product you can find and buy it here.

Sabre Red Pepper Spray for family, home and property defense, fogger

This product by Sabre is this time bigger and suitable for keeping at home. It will be useful against intruders. It can be attached  on a specific place, right next to the door or any place you find suitable for your family. The spray produces a dispersed fog with one blast only. The fog can virtually cover the entire door area. The safe range is much larger than 10 feet. It’s actually 25 feet. This is thanks to the special trigger system design. It can be used on total up to 25 times/bursts.

One customer warns that because the spray disperses in a fog you may also be affected by it, and it can incapacitate you just like the intruder or aggressor. So, you need to turn away once you push the spray trigger, in order to stay safe from the fog. You should also be advised to close your mouth, stop breathing for a few seconds and squint your eyes as much as you can (but so you can still see), when you spray the intruder.

Run out of the room as soon as you spray, and make sure you later ventilate the entire room and house as well. If police officers are coming in your house to arrest an intruder, let them know that you sprayed unless you want to incapacitate them as well.

Sabre Red Pepper Spray for Family, Home and Property Defense, Fogger

And a final advice if you use this particular spray – don’t spray it directly in the face of an animal or a human. It is so potent that you may actually hurt them more than you want. If a dog attacks you, spray somewhere off to the side of it, but never in its face.

If you do so, it will keep its eyes closed and may get hurt as a result (as it will be running like wild). If it hurt itself by accident, you may have legal issues with its owners. So, be careful when using the Family and Home spray. It is one of the strongest here in our list.

If you like this product you can find and purchase it on Amazon.

We hope the list above gives you a broad choice of products, so you can pick the one which suits you best. You can also check out our list of other homemade self-defense weapons that can help you survive.  And again, respect the assailant after you spray him/her/it, and call an ambulance if they hadn’t run away. The longer the spray is burning their eyes and skin, the higher the chance for blinding, or even killing them (in the case of dogs). This may cause you more trouble in the long run.

Do you want to make your own? Check out our article on DIY pepper sprays to give you more options.

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you click on one of these links and make a purchase, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Also, as an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If the information in this post has been helpful, please consider purchasing through one of the links in this article. Thank you.

About the author

David Dawson

David Dawson is a retired security specialist with over 20 years of experience. He worked for a secret manufacturing facilities and hospitals in Illinois. David's responsibility was to protect people in case of any disaster or cataclysm that might occur. Now he keeps on doing it through teaching others about how to prepare and survive flood, earthquake or even war.


  • I have both Mace and Sabre pink pepper sprays. I also have the one that runners can tag along. The strap is especially handy as I do not need to bring along a bag for my protection.

  • You have to be cautious when using pepper spray. If you are against the wind, you can inadvertently harm yourself. I would find a system (holster+ spray) that is easy to use. Also, buy several so that you can practice.

  • David,

    Great articles and reviews. Do you maintain a separate blog or just post articles here on SM?

  • You have to be pretty careful with pepper spray. If you are downwind you can unintentionally disable yourself, that’s why I vote for the Sabre Red Pepper gel, also a system (holster + spray) is easy to deploy. Buy several so that you can practice. As you said, because of the extreme pain, the attacker may go in rage, and won’t be aware of what they do, increasing the probability of getting you hurt, so a range of 18 feet is good, because it can be used outside a close combat situation.

  • Pepper sprays can be equally dangerous to you. So, you may want to get proper training, consider the wind, and always keep the appropriate range from your aggressor.

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