For some of our visitors, we have found that not everyone already knows what the difference between a stun gun and taser is. We will start by explaining the difference and then move onto the advantages of each type.
Difference between a stun gun and a taser
Some people think that a stun gun and taser is the same thing or they will refer to a stun gun as a taser. This simple mistake is HUGELY incorrect. It is important to note the difference as there are specific laws set forth that pertain to either stun guns or tasers. First we will start with what a stun gun is and then explain tasers. A stun gun is an electrical device that has probes or prongs attached to the device. When the stun gun safety is in place after depressing the button, you will see an electrical shock that arcs to connect the probes. Sometimes stun guns will also have more than 2 probes and they will have 4 or more. Generally 2 of the probes will have an arc of electricity between them and the other 2 probes you will not see the electrical arc but they will have electric current running through them, usually even the same amount of voltage as the 2 probes that have the electrical arc. The only reason the other probes will not show an electrical arc is because of the distance between them is larger. This greater distance would require more electrical current for an arc to be seen by your eye. Another important thing to note is that a stun gun will not shoot any electrical projectile when activated.
A taser is an electrical device that shoots an electrically charged projectile at the target. Depending on the model of taser you choose, there will be either 1 or several projectiles that shoot toward the target. You can think of a taser as a mini electrical spear gun. The tips of the projectiles look like a small spear so they can penetrate clothing. Even if the projectile does not make contact with the skin of the attacker, the electrical shock will still be functional within usually a 2 inch area on civilian stun guns and 2 inches+ on law enforcement issued tasers. The differences between civilian and law enforcement style tasers is that the law enforcement issued tasers will be more powerful, have more projectiles, have further range and also shoot at a higher rate of speed. However, as a civilian you cannot legally own the higher end taser models without the proper training. Some security officers/guards can also carry the higher end law enforcement models but they will need to pass a training class and will only be allowed to use the device when on the job. It is also important to note that some tasers also feature a stun gun just in case the attacker comes running at you as he’s been tasered.
So in short here are the differences:
Stun Gun – Has electrically charged probes that you must make contact with the attacker.
Taser – Shoots an electrically charged projectile(s) at the attacker within a specific range. Range is usually 15-30 feet at most.
Stun Gun Pros/Cons:
- Very inexpensive (Usually from $50-$150 for a quality stun gun)
- No training required
- No registration required (most tasers require that you register your taser with your personal information before the device is activated)
- No background check
- Most stun guns have rechargeable batteries (some tasers do not have a rechargeable battery)
- Smaller and easier to conceal
- Most stun guns also have more voltage
- If you fire your stun gun in the presence of an attacker, the attacker might re-consider leaving the situation, ending in no confrontation at all. (some tasers have a stun gun feature, some don’t)
- No additional charges such as new cartridges (taser cartridges cost between $25-$50 each time you fire a shot)
- Cannot stop an attacker at a distance
- Can stop an attacker at a distance before things get personal
- Very expensive (from $300-$1000)
- Minimal training required such as watching instructional DVD’s and practicing using a target (remember each time you fire a cartridge it will cost $25-$50 each, so the minimal practicing can get costly)
- Registration is required for tasers. You will be required to register with your personal information before the device is activated. You will also need to have a clean record as a background check will be performed on you prior to activation.
- Background check is required when registering your device
- Most tasers do not have a rechargeable battery. When this battery dies you’ll need to contact the company for assistance or replacement of the device. (some manufacturers of tasers do have rechargeable batteries)
- Most tasers are larger/heavier and harder to conceal. You/your wife don’t want to always have to carry a heavy taser around.
- Most tasers has less voltage than a stun gun
- Some tasers have a stun gun built in as well which is what you want when buying a taser/stun gun unit. However, some tasers do not have a stun gun built in, so if you miss your target, you better run FAST and defenseless. If you have a taser without a stun gun built in, and you miss your target, you would have been better off with a stun gun.
- More expensive because of replacement cartridges.
- Most civilian taser models shoot out hundreds of tiny confetti pieces onto the attacker with your taser serial number on the confetti pieces. This is used in the event of a police investigation so that they can trace the event back to you. Also some tasers also immediately alert police when used and your location is sent to the police. So if you own a taser, you can plan on having to deal with the police or a police report. Sometimes this can lead up to your arrest depending on the events that took place or how you handle yourself during the situation at hand.
As you can easily see, a taser has many more cons than a stun gun. This is why we are firm believers in stun guns rather than tasers. The only downside is that it’s hard to find a quality stun gun. When on the other hand, it’s almost impossible to find a low-quality taser. At the end of the day, we always recommend buying a stun gun over a taser for the obvious reasons. If money is not a problem for you, we recommend that you buy a stun gun and a taser and use them according to your situation. If you’re at home, a gun(not stun gun) is always the way to go. If you’re on the street or in a car, then a stun gun is just as useful as a taser. If you’re indoors, then a stun gun is more appropriate.