While most of us would love to own a Taser for self-defense, these devices are illegal for civilians to own in many places, and as such, the next best thing comes in the form of widely available pepper sprays. Surely, you want to deliver the most potent, blinding, asphyxiating blast into the face of your assailant – a blast that would leave even the most chiseled bodybuilder a whimpering, quivering mess on the pavement. However, before we proceed any further, do take note that some of the most potent dispensers require you to have a license, and you can get in trouble if you so happen to bring yours to the wrong country. As such, we highly recommend that you get them from a legitimate source.
Now, while we’re all pretty aware that we can get these canisters at pharmacies and hardware stores, we seldom test them (for obvious reasons), and are totally unaware of how much of a punch different types pack. It is interesting to note that there are different types of nozzles produce different types of spray patterns, and contents can range from fast acting gas, to gel that lingers for hours. Also, while some only pack enough ‘juice’ for a single, well placed shot, others allow you to just hold down the button to your heart’s content.
Check out this demonstration:
For the benefit of those with an abysmal internet connection, here are the most common types of spray patterns available.
Cone Mist: This spray pattern is similar to that produced by deodorant cans. While it has a wide radius, range is limited to about 4-10 feet at best. It works best in situations where you are faced with multiple attackers and is not advisable for use if you are in a small confined area, or if the wind is blowing in your direction.
Fogger: A more powerful version of the cone mist variant, which disperses finer droplets for a wider and longer range (up to 15 feet). Delivering blasts at high pressure, fogger type sprays have better resistance to wind, allowing you to send a concentrated cloud some distance away, allowing you to escape. On the downside, these are hard to come by in most countries, and are reserved for police and military usage.
Stream: By far the most commonly available, this pattern forces a concentrated stream of liquid out the nozzle. Canisters with this pattern usually have limited ‘ammo’ and you’ll need to be pretty accurate when placing your shot. While such sprays can go as far as 20 feet, they can prove ineffective if the liquid does not hit your target (the face) directly. On the other hand, this sort can have the most lasting effect when used point blank.
Gel/Foam: These variants leave the most lingering, stinging sensation as they penetrate the skin deeply; also, some contain an invisible UV gel to help law enforcement personnel track down your assailant later. On the downside, while they do have decent ranges of up to 20 feet, these come with the same drawback as the stream variant.