The Best Pepper Spray

SABRE Red Police Strength Pepper Spray

Our Top Pick for 2016: SABRE Red Police Strength Pepper Spray
Read our full review.

See it on Amazon for $9.80*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
Too expensive? See our budget pick.

No one wants to believe that they will be the victim of a violent attack. However, many do find themselves victims of violence on a daily basis on every corner of the globe. While this may not be something you want to think about, it is a reality. Pepper spray is a powerful tool that allows you to evade attackers whether they are breaking into your home, trying to steal your belongings, or in some other way assaulting you. Most pepper sprays have an effective range up to 15 feet. This means that there can be a considerable distance between you and a potential attacker and you can still defend yourself. We have reviewed different pepper sprays and have come up four products that will be reliable if you find yourself in a self-defense situation.

Table of contents

7-percent Oc Oleoresin Capsicum Solution
#1 Pepper Spray Trusted By Police
OC Pepper / UV Dye
Made In The U.S.A.
Up To 15 Sprays
4-year Shelf Life
10 ft Range
Safety Top To Reduce Accidental Discharge
Up To 10-foot Range With 25 Bursts
Unique Flip And Grip Design
Ultraviolet Uv Indentifying Dye
Quick Release Key Ring
Safety Cap

*Price at time of publishing and may not reflect current pricing.

#1 Gold pick (Winner): SABRE Red Police Strength Pepper Spray

SABRE Red Police Strength Pepper Spray Gold Pick

View it on Amazon for $9.80*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-gold-winnerSABRE has more than four decades providing safety products for police and civilians. They are the only manufacturer of pepper spray that has an on-site facility for testing. Law enforcement officials in more than 40 countries choose to carry SABRE products. They produce a product that is unmatched in quality and effectiveness. These are just a few of the reasons why we have selected the SABRE Red Police Strengths Pepper Spray as our gold product of choice.

SABRE is hands-down the number one sold brand of pepper spray. Police officers in large cities like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles trust this product to keep them safe when they are dealing with some of the most aggressive and dangerous people in their communities.

You understand that purchasing pepper spray is very similar to purchasing insurance for your automobile or your home. It is something that you hope you will probably not have to use, but when the time comes to use it, you want to make sure that it works. That is why SABRE prepares their product with a four-year shelf life. This is more than twice what you’re going to get from average pepper spray products. When the time comes to use it, you know that you will be adequately protected.

One of the concerns that civilians have about using such a powerful product is that they are concerned that they may use it wrong. SABRE understands this concern and wants you to have the confidence to use the product right every single time. For this reason, when you purchase Red Police Strength Pepper Spray, you are given a free how to use video. This way, if the unthinkable should happen, you have no question how to best use this powerful product to keep you and those who you love safe.

Another concern that people have about pepper spray is that it is only effective when you are close to your attacker. However, with the SABRE product, you can accurately protect yourself from attackers up to 10 feet away. This gives you ample time to stop an attacker in their tracks and turn away to flee.

What if you are attacked by multiple individuals? The security experts behind SABRE took this into consideration when designing their Red Police Strength Pepper Spray. It contains enough product for 25 burst. That is 500 percent more than you would get from most industry-standard products.

You may wonder what prevents the product from blowing back in your face? This is addressed by the powerful delivery stream. When the pepper spray exits the canister, it is traveling at such a high-speed that wind blow back is reduced.

The SABRE pepper spray container is designed to attach to your key ring. Some have asked, but what if I’m driving at the time of the attack or if someone is attempting to carjack me? For situations like these, the quick release key ring allows you to instantly detach the pepper spray container from your key ring, even if your keys are in a lock or in an ignition. You will not need to spend time fumbling trying to get access to the pepper spray, it is there when you need it and as soon as you need it.

This product has received the exclusive HPLC guaranty. You are guaranteed to never receive a weak batch of pepper spray that could put your safety in jeopardy.

SABRE has built a reputation on understanding the need to provide powerful tools as well as to train the public on how to minimize their safety risk. With your purchase, you will have access to The Personal Safety Academy that has safety videos, instructional videos, as well as blogs that will help you keep you as safe as possible during your daily routine.

The value of this product is clearly seen when you look at how users have rated it on Amazon. More than 1,270 individuals have left reviews, with a combined rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. What is more impressive is that 67 percent of clients gave the product five out of five stars.

Proof of the powerful effect this product has on attackers can be seen when you look at some of the instances when people try to use the product on themselves. One reviewer on Amazon tells a story of where their 16-year-old son was curious and wanted to see how powerful SABRE Red Police Strength Pepper Spray really was. He hit the quick release button, which let out the smallest amount of spray possible. The reviewer and his wife were two rooms away and they found it suddenly difficult to breathe. By the time they reached the phone to dial 911, they found their son laying on the grass trying to catch his breath.

Bottom line, this stuff works. If an attacker gets the full brunt of this spray in their face, they’re going down to the ground.

#2 Silver pick (Runner-up): Police Magnum Pepper Spray with UV Dye

Police Magnum Pepper Spray with UV Dye

View it on Amazon for $24.16*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-silver-winnerWe have chosen the Police Magnum Pepper Sprayed with UV Dye as our silver choice because of some of the unique characteristics it has that are not found in other products. Something that you may like about this pepper spray solution is that in addition to the pepper spray, it includes an ultraviolet dye. This allows police officers to identify the individual who has been sprayed. The dye changes the attacker’s skin to orange, and it is very hard for them to get it off on their own. For the best results with this product, aim for your attacker’s face or skin. You want the dye to stick to their body and not to their clothing.

The pepper spray solution is not as powerful as what you will find in the gold product we reviewed. It contains 17 percent OC Oleoresin Capsicum Solution. However, this is more than enough to render an attacker helpless. A fraction of a second after being sprayed, the attacker is going to have burning skin, a runny nose, and watery eyes. They’re going to be fighting just to breathe. However, since the product is non-toxic, they are not left with permanent injuries. Another plus for the product is that it is nonflammable. In addition to being effective against aggressive humans, this Police Magnum Pepper spray is effective against vicious animals as well.

The container of pepper spray is compact. It’s 5 inches in length and has a 1.5 inch diameter. Law enforcement officials who have left reviews on the product on Amazon explain that even though the product is not as powerful as other products on the market, it is still an excellent self-defense tool. One of the arguments they make is that if an individual uses a product that is too powerful, they will inadvertently incapacitate themselves. At the same time, the power of the product may make other individuals in the immediate area who could serve as potential rescuers flee the area to get away from the effect of the spray. However, with the Police Magnum Pepper Spray, you are able to target and disable the attacker. There may be some minor blow back from the wind, which will leave you minimally affected. However, you will still be well enough to run for cover.

Reviewers on Amazon just love this product. More than 250 people have reviewed it and gave it 4.5 out of five stars. Seventy-two percent of them gave it a five out of five star rating. For some reason, many of the reviewers wanted to test the product out on themselves to see if it really works. Time and time again, they commented on how overwhelming the pain, the difficulty breathing, the disorientation, and even hallucination were after spraying themselves with this product.

Another reviewer commented that they needed to use this pepper spray on their neighbor’s pit bulls that were attacking them. After being sprayed, these highly aggressive dogs stayed away from the reviewer at all costs, remembering the painful effect the pepper spray had on them.

#3 Bronze pick (3rd place): Mace Brand Pepper Spray

Mace Brand Pepper Spray

View it on Amazon for $15.11*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-bronze-awardThe Mace Brand Pepper Spray Police Strength Pepper Pockets Spray is our bronze choice because it is lightweight, compact, user-friendly, and extremely powerful. Similar to our silver product, it is equipped with a pepper spray/UV dye formula. This unique mixture allows you to defend yourself successfully against an attacker, run away from the dangerous situation, and still have law enforcement officials identify the person who attacked you.

Mace Brand Paper Spray has a stream spray pattern. It is powerful enough to help you defend yourself against attackers who are up to 10 feet away. You will be able to confidently deter multiple attackers thanks to the product’s ability to deliver up to 15 powerful sprays.

The product’s size is 1.2×1×3.2 inches and weighs 2.1 ounces, which allows it to fit perfectly in your pocket. If you carry this product while you go for your morning walk or your morning jog, you will not have to worry about it accidentally going off because it has a flat trigger to prevent accidental discharge. Hopefully, you will never have to use the product. But if you do, you can easily remove it from your pocket and quickly use it with powerful results.

Another nice feature of the product is that the unique design of the cap makes it easy for you to identify it when you stick your hand in your pocket or purse. You do not have to worry about fumbling around trying to find it among other things. Additionally, the lid design makes it easy for you to know that when you flip it open, you are spraying it in the right direction and not at yourself.

Many reviewers on Amazon talk about how they use this product when they go for a walk in the morning not only to protect themselves from potential human attackers, but also to protect themselves from aggressive animals. One reviewer said that they have been using the product for multiple years and that they have successfully used it against pit bulls, Dobermans, and other dogs that have tried to attack him or his dog. He said that the nano second the product hits the dog’s face, it is game over for them.

A common thread when looking at people’s reviews of this product is that they never had to use it, but they feel a lot safer knowing that they have something that is secure, well-designed, has a no fail grip, and is easy to identify when it is stored in a purse or wallet. It is easy to point and shoot at a potential attacker.

Although only 54 individuals have reviewed this product on, as a group they have rated the product 4.5 out of five stars. Seventy-four percent of the reviewers gave the product a five out of five rating.

Many parents talk about buying this product for their daughters who are going to college. At the same time, college students who have late night courses talk about how much safer they feel with the product in their hand. Hopefully, none of these individuals will find themselves in a position where they need to spray the Mace, but it’s nice to know that if the worst-case scenario happens, they stand a better chance at keeping themselves and those they love safe.

#4 Budget pick (Best cheap): Smith & Wesson Pepper Shield Quick Release Pepper Spray

Smith & Wesson Pepper Shield Quick Release Pepper Spray

View it on Amazon for $2.47*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-cheap-budget-pickWhen you hear the name Smith & Wesson, the first thing that you probably think about is firearms. However, many are surprised to learn that throughout the 80’s, this gun manufacturer was also in the business of producing chemical mace. During the 90’s, they sold their chemical division to CampCo to make non-lethal sprays using the Smith & Wesson name.

The Smith & Wesson Pepper spray, like the other sprays we have reviewed, uses Oleoresin Capsicum, or OC, as its active ingredient. This is a natural resin that comes from ground pepper. What makes it so powerful is that it is a substance that causes pain and inflammation when it comes in contact with your face. Individuals who have used this product clearly say that it is nothing short of amazing.

A law enforcement official relates a story where they arrested a suspect who had been sprayed with mace during previous altercations. When the law enforcement officer took out their Smith & Wesson Pepper Shield, the subject defiantly encouraged the officer to spray him saying that he was not afraid of mace. However, once the OC product came into contact with the suspect’s face, the uncooperative suspect hit the floor, repeatedly saying how sorry he was. Officers never had a problem with him again.

So if this product can work so effectively for law enforcement, can you imagine what it can do for you if you find yourself in a dangerous situation? The Smith & Wesson Pepper spray has a 15 percent concentration of OC. The product is rated at 2 million Scottsville Heat Units.

This product will deliver up to 10 one second blasts with the ability to stop an attacker in their tracks at a distance of up to 10 feet. Your attacker will be immobilized for up to 30 minutes, dealing with intense pain and problems that affect their respiratory system.

It comes with a key chain holder, so you can have easy access to pepper spray no matter where you are. While the product has only received a handful of reviews on Amazon, more than 80 percent of reviewers give the product a five out of five star rating. So while it is our budget choice, it is definitely a powerful option for those looking to protect themselves from a potentially dangerous situation.

Pre-purchase considerations

State laws

It is legal to use pepper spray in every state in the United States. That being said, some states put greater restrictions on where pepper spray can be purchased. As an example, New York and Massachusetts require the residents to purchase pepper spray only from licensed firearms dealers or pharmacists. Other states like Wisconsin restrictive the percentage of active ingredient the pepper spray can have and also do not allow the residents to use sprays that have UV dyes, that do not have safety features, or that are larger than two ounces.

Size of the Canister

After factoring in state laws, you need to decide what size pepper spray canister you will want and need. The larger the canister, the longer you will be able to dispense the product. If you’re looking at something that you can use what you go for a jog or walk, you may want something that is smaller and that clips onto your key chain. A medium-size canister of around two ounces is perfect if you want to throw it in your purse or clip it onto your belt. Four ounce or larger cans work great when they are clipped on a belt holster. They are usually too large to be thrown in a purse.

Who Is the Aggressor?

Pepper spray formulas are different depending on who you are protecting yourself from. If you’re protecting yourself from an animal, you will want to get a spray for a dog or a bear. If you’re protecting yourself from a human, you’ll want to get a human pepper spray.

Can You Use Pepper Spray Safely?

The last thing you want is to accidentally hurt yourself while using pepper spray during an emergency. For this reason, prior to purchasing pepper spray, you need to know how to use the product. Some pepper spray manufacturers offer educational courses showing you how to make the best use of the product. Learn how to use it effectively during an emergency.

Spray Pattern

Pepper spray can be delivered in three different methods. A funnel dispersion covers a wide area. It makes it easier to hit a moving target, but it is a slower delivery method and has the disadvantage of possible blow back that could affect you. The stream delivery method is like a thin stream of liquid that comes out of a hose. Hitting a moving target can be a challenge. However, when you hit your target, there is very little chance that the product can blow back on your face. Foam or gels are also used. They are delivered as a sticky spray that adheres to the attacker’s face when contact is made. Foam is more effective if an attacker is wearing glasses. However, it does not have the same range as the stream delivery method.

Conclusion (Wrapping it up)

Pepper spray is a powerful tool in your self-defense arsenal. In some cases, just showing an attacker that you have a pepper spray canister is enough to get them to back off. Of course, pepper spray on its own is not enough to prevent an attack. For it to be effective, you need to be able to access it easily, use it accurately, and use it quickly. The most effective self-defense comes from a mixture of realistic training and the use of tools like pepper spray.

There is no question that pepper spray works. There is a reason why law-enforcement officials the world over use pepper spray to deter violent and aggressive individuals. To find the right pepper spray for you, we encourage you to do your research, look at videos online of individuals using the spray, examine your personal situation, and find a canister and dispersal method that works best for you.

Discussion and comments

We want to know what you think. Do you own any of the products we discussed? Which did you buy and how did it work out for you?

Do you know of an even better product?

Comment below and help your fellow consumers make the right choice. Over to you!


  1. 5 Reasons for Women to Carry Pepper Spray,
  2. Why Buy Saber?, SABRE Security Equipment Corp
  3. The Self-Defense Ninja, What Is the Best Pepper Spray You Can Buy in 2016? Our Top 3 Recommendations: February 1, 2016
  4. Scott W.Wagner, Smith and Weston Brand Pepper Spray. A Traditional Man Returns to the Chemical Defense Market, February 28, 2013
  5. 5 Things to Consider When Buying Pepper Spray, Pepper Spray Store
  6. Pepper Spray for Self-Defense,, 2016

Pin It on Pinterest