Department of Self Defense

How To Choose the Best Pepper Spray

Pepper Spray Overview

Dating back to the use of cayenne pepper in ancient China and Japan, Pepper Spray is one of the oldest self defense products still in use today. At least with pepper spray, not much has changed since ancient China. Modern day pepper spray is made from a mix of filtered water and Oleoresin Capsicum (“OC”). OC is natural substance that gives hot peppers and chilies their heat. Pepper Spray is a low cost, non-lethal, and easy to use option. This is a time tested product used by Police, Security Professionals, and civilians.

When sprayed in the face or inhaled, the heat causes the skin, eyes, and nose to burn as the body reacts to the spray. This includes the closing and watering of the eyes and difficulty breathing and coughing. This reaction can last anywhere from 15-45 minutes depending on the strength of the spray. This can mean the difference between life and death in the case of an attack.

Choosing the Right Pepper Spray
The effect of pepper spray depends on the strength of the formula. Formulas differ in the grade and percentage of OC used. To compare different products, the strength of pepper spray is rated based on the Scoville scale. The same scale used to compare peppers and chilies, the Scoville scale tests the heat of the pepper spray when it makes contact with an attacker.

Most hot sauces range from 1,000-2,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). Most pepper sprays range from 100,000 to 250,000 SHU. Sprays above 100,000 SHU will give you time to escape and seek help. Sprays with a lower SHU may need more spray to get a reaction. Higher SHU sprays may only need to be sprayed in the area of an attacker to be just as effective. Choosing the right spray is a decision between SHU ratings and finding a spray that meets your specific needs.

  • Choosing a pepper spray that will be easy and comfortable to use:
    • Most sprays come with safety features that will keep the spray from accidentally discharging. Choose a spray with a safety feature that keeps the unit easy to use in an emergency.
  • Find a pepper spray that is easy to carry and will meet your self defense needs:
    • Pepper spray packs a big punch in a small container that can be carried in a variety of ways including keychains, belt clips, or leather holsters. 
  • Choosing between a stream, fog, or foam:
    • Stream and foam will put the most spray directly on an attacker but require accuracy. A fog can be effective even if inaccurate but can require a stronger SHU rating to stop an attacker.

Department of Self Defense offers a 90 day warranty on all items sold. Additionally, through our Live to Fight Another Day Policy, we will replace any item purchased through us if lost or damaged while used in a self defense situation. Your safety is more important to us than the cost of a replacement product. It's that simple.

Our Pepper Spray Products 
Department of Self Defense has worked with suppliers to provide a wide variety of Pepper Spray products to meet your needs. We are an authorized dealer of top brands including Mace, Streetwise, Police Force, and Smith & Wesson. Our goal is be your trusted source of high quality products you can rely on to keep you and your family safe.

Please see our full line of Pepper Spray Products and our Pepper Spray Restrictions page for purchase procedures and limitations. 

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Mace  
Known as an industry leader since 1970, Mace has been the original trusted brand for personal defense sprays. Through its PepperGard, KeyGuard, and Triple Action product lines, Mace products provide you an assortment of high quality self defense options. Mace uses span from personal defense to crowd control.
 
Please see our Pepper Spray Restrictions page for Mace purchase procedures and limitations.

 

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Women's Pepper Sprays 

Our collection of Women's Pepper Sprays has been selected based on performance, value, and design that appeals to the female members of our product team. You can be confident that you will be receiving the same high quality performance as our broader Pepper Spray and Mace offerings. We've found that our female customers enjoy these dedicated products for their effectiveness and female styling. 

Please see our Pepper Spray Restrictions page for Women's Pepper Spray purchase procedures and limitations.

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Bear Spray and Animal Repellants
Our customers have asked us to expand our Pepper Spray offerings beyond traditional self defense items and into the Bear Spray and Animal Repellants field. Well, we've delivered! The stronger sprays are not for use on attackers. They are specially formulated to humanely protect you in situations where you come in contact with bears, coyotes, raccoons, or other large animals.  

Please see our Pepper Spray Restrictions page for Bear Spray and Animal Repellant purchase procedures and limitations.

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Our customer service team is here to help you with any product questions.
 Please call us at (949) 427-8889 from 9am to 5pm, Pacific.