Best Tasers

Updated September 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

37 Models Considered
9 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
545 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best Tasers

Last Updated September 2020

It doesn't matter who you are, the world can be a very scary place. However, you can reduce a great deal of fear and stress if you have something on hand that could save your life in the event of a violent attack. One of the few weapons that is designed to do this with less-lethal force is a Taser.

A Taser is a firearm, so its use falls under the Second Amendment, making it legal to own and carry in most states. It is the only conducted electrical weapon (CEW) that allows you to protect yourself from several feet away. A Taser fires two probes into an assailant and sends a high voltage charge that immediately incapacitates the attacker.

To learn more about what a Taser does and what features are available on different models, keep reading our buying guide. If you’re simply interested in purchasing, consider one of the Tasers that we've spotlighted on this page.

While Tasers can deliver up to 50,000 volts in an open-air arc, most models only deliver 1,200 volts, which is more than enough to stop an assailant.

Key considerations

What does a Taser do?

Before getting into the specific features of a Taser, it’s important to have a general understanding of what happens when one is fired.

A cartridge containing two probes is loaded into the Taser. Squeezing the Taser's trigger breaks open a tiny cartridge of compressed gas. When the gas expands, it launches the two probes (which remain connected to the Taser with long, thin wires). The probes are barbed darts that penetrate clothing to become lodged in the flesh. A debilitating high-voltage, low-amperage electric charge is immediately sent along the wires to the probes.

The current temporarily disrupts the body's neurological system and causes the assailant's muscles to contract. The brain's ability to process new information may also be temporarily impaired. None of this damage is permanent; the nervous system will eventually bounce back. However, the experience is extremely painful and, though highly unlikely, may cause death, which is why the description of a Taser has been modified from “nonlethal” to “less-lethal.”

Civilian vs. professional Tasers

There are two types of Taser: civilian and law enforcement/professional. Both the civilian models and the law enforcement models deliver the same amount of voltage. The primary difference is the civilian models deliver the current for 30 seconds while the law enforcement Tasers deliver a charge for just 5 seconds. The reason for this difference is to allow the civilian to drop the Taser and use the 30 seconds to get away. The police officer, on the other hand, uses the 5 seconds to handcuff the offender.

Another benefit of purchasing a civilian model is that it can be replaced for free if lost at the scene of a crime. The user must provide proof of purchase along with a police report stating that the Taser was used in self-defense and it was lost when escaping.

DID YOU KNOW?

A Taser cartridge is designed so it can only be fired once.

Features

Cartridges

You typically get two cartridges included with the purchase of a Taser. If you can find a bundle that offers additional cartridges, that’s only a smart option if it’s a good value. The goal is to not be in a situation where you need to use your Taser, so two cartridges should last a long time.

Holster

Some bundles include a holster for carrying your Taser.

Targeting laser

To increase the accuracy of your firing, Tasers include a targeting laser. Familiarize yourself with this feature so you know how to use it in a stressful situation.

Back-up shot

The higher-end Tasers allow you to load two cartridges at once, so you have a back-up shot if the first one misses. On the Taser 7, you can select which cartridge fires by simply tilting the Taser to one side or the other.

Warning arc

A warning arc is a frightfully bright and loud display that can often be used to de-escalate a situation without discharging your Taser.

Practice target

Some of the higher end, professional Tasers come with a conductive practice target. This is a life-size target that offers a more realistic practice experience.

App

Noonlight is a top-rated safety app that silently summons help to your location at the tap of a button. When you purchase a Taser that’s compatible with this app, firing the Taser automatically dispatches emergency personnel to your location.

DID YOU KNOW?

The charge of a law enforcement Taser might only last for 5 seconds, but it can be administered multiple times if needed.

Taser prices

Civilian: The cost of a civilian Taser is roughly $450. This type of Taser is effective up to 15 feet, and depending on the model or bundle you get, it may come with two cartridges and be compatible with the Noonlight safety app.

Professional: If you desire a Taser that is designed for use in law enforcement, those models range from $800 to $1,600. As noted previously, law enforcement models only deliver a charge for 5 seconds, but the charge can be repeated if needed. Additionally, the professional model can fire two cartridges.

The top professional Taser is available via a subscription, which is currently $60 per month and includes training and certification.

DID YOU KNOW?

If you miss your target when firing a Taser, you aren’t completely defenseless; the unit can also be used as a stun gun.

Tips

A Taser isn't the type of product that you use regularly. In fact, chances are even if you’ve owned a Taser for years, you've (hopefully) never had to use it. Here are a few tips to keep in mind in case you ever need to use your Taser:

  • Know your local laws. Laws vary from state to state. Be sure you know all the laws regarding purchasing, carrying, and using a Taser in your state. The misuse of a Taser is often a misdemeanor but depending on the situation, it may be a felony.
  • Read the manual thoroughly. To protect yourself and others from accidental shock, read the entire instruction manual before using your Taser. Learn where the safety switch is and use it.
  • Test the charge. To test the charge of your Taser, remove the cartridge and engage the activation trigger/button. If the Taser is charged, you’ll see and hear a spark at the end of the device. Remember that a Taser can be very loud and bright when fired. If you’re startled, it can easily make you miss your target. Be prepared.
  • Aim for the torso. If you find yourself in a situation where you must fire your Taser, aim for the torso. Not only will you have the best chance of hitting your target, but that is where the charge will be the most effective.
  • Be within range. Tasers may have a maximum range of 15 feet, but the ideal range is closer to 7 feet. This helps ensure the probes stay close enough together to both hit the target.
A Taser administers a high-voltage shock. Rarely, this can cause irregular heartbeats or even death in some individuals.

FAQ

Q. What is the difference between a stun gun and a Taser?
A.
Range is the main difference between a stun gun and a Taser. With a stun gun, electric shock is delivered when contact is made with the target. With a Taser, two probes connected to thin wires are fired. Electricity is sent through those wires, effectively increasing the range of the weapon.
 

Q. Are Tasers legal?
A.
While Tasers may have age and usage restrictions that vary from state to state, they are currently legal to purchase and own in every state except for Hawaii and Rhode Island.
 

Q. How long will the batteries last?
A.
The batteries in a Taser will last up to two years. However, to be safe, you should test the unit at least once each month to make sure the batteries are still good. If your Taser has a battery charge meter, that can be referenced instead.
 

Q. What kind of restrictions might I run into when purchasing a Taser?
A.
Most states require the purchaser to be at least 18 years old. While some states require a background check, obtaining a permit or a permit for concealed carry is more common. Your state may also restrict the use of a Taser to your home. It’s best to check what the laws are in your state before purchasing a Taser to be certain that you aren’t unintentionally doing anything illegal.
 

Q. What is a red flag law?
A.
In some states, a red flag law allows the police to temporarily confiscate firearms and ammunition from individuals who are deemed by a judge to be either a danger to themselves or to other people. Sometimes this ruling can include other dangerous weapons such as Tasers.

The team that worked on this review
  • Allen
    Allen
    Writer
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Michael
    Michael
    Writer

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