5 Best Taser vs Stun Gun

taser vs stun gun

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There is a fair amount of interest on the internet regarding the differences between a Taser and a stun gun. In this article we will answer the following questions:

What is the difference between a Taser and stun gun?

  • Can a taser be used as a stun gun?
  • How expensive is a Taser?
  • What are the best Tasers?
  • Are stun guns effective?
  • How many times can you use a stun gun?
  • What are the best stun guns?
taser vs stun gun

Taser vs. Stun Gun

Being aware of your surroundings and having a self-defense product at your disposal is essential. If you are in a bad situation, you will want to have a safety product that does its job. Many people don’t have or want the responsibility of a gun or other lethal object. Other options include a taser vs. stun gun.

Do you use the terms taser and stun gun interchangeably? They both refer to devices that can deliver an electric charge, but many people confuse them without realizing that they are very different products. They perform similar self-defense functions but utilize other mechanisms to keep a potential attacker at bay.

They could be useful in different situations. Being able to contrast them is an applicable skill. Let’s clarify the similarities and differences between a taser and a stun gun so that you can be more informed on these self-defense products, whether you are looking to purchase one or differentiate between the two.

What is a Taser?

A taser is a conducted electrical weapon. Many versions look like a small gun. By using compressed gas, the taser sends two little pronged darts flying towards the victim at up to a range of 15 feet. The probes connect to copper wires that transfer an electric charge on contact. This contact renders an attacker immobilized for around 30 seconds.

The 30-second window gives you the chance to run away or apprehend a possibly violent person. Meanwhile, your victim’s body is in neuromuscular incapacitation. This means that their brain is utterly helpless to the shock constricting their muscles and making them weak.

The Taser brand has a couple of different varieties of their products. This includes the basic level Taser, a flashlight/taser combination, and the more advanced Taser products. The more advanced products are professional, law enforcement grade devices. They have more capacity and effectiveness than products made for a regular civilian.

What is a Stun Gun?

A stun gun is usually not even shaped like a gun. It is a compact device that is often a more rectangular shape and fits comfortably in hand. Upon contact with the stun gun’s probes, the target receives a low-current electric shock that hits their nervous system and renders their muscles temporarily spasm.

The device works through the metal probes connected to wires and is battery-powered. The voltage is often high, but it is at a safer, non-lethal level since the current is low. A stun gun can be effective at even only half a second of contact. Three to five seconds is powerful enough to disorient your target for a helpful amount of time.

If necessary, a charged up stun gun allows you to shock your assailant repeatedly. This may make it easier for you to determine whether you need to run, hide, or fight back.

What is the Difference Between a Taser and a Stun Gun?

Let’s highlight the main differences between a taser vs. stun gun.

A taser is a name brand product that came about in the 1960s. The gun-shaped apparatus works with two probes and the attached wires. It can be useful from as far as 15 feet from your target, but it works with a cartridge system. This means that you have one chance before needing to reload it with a new cartridge.


  • Gun-shaped device
  • Electric probes and wire system
  • Taser needs a replacement cartridge as soon as you use one.
  • Can work from a 15 feet distance
  • Name brand is usually on the pricier end.


A stun gun can be from various brands and is usually smaller. It also has a probe and wire system to deliver its electric charge. You must be within touching distance of your victim to shock them with the stun gun. It is usually battery powered and can be used multiple times in a session.


  • Smaller, and not actually a gun
  • Electric probes and wire system
  • Battery-powered and multiple uses available
  • Only works from a close distance.
  • Usually cheaper from various brands

Can a Taser be Used as a Stun Gun?

The short answer is yes. The longer answer is that the taser can only be used as a stun gun once a person has used the cartridge. Once you have shot at a potential attacker from afar, your cartridge is no longer useful. However, you will be able to use your taser as a stun gun even if the old cartridge is still in the device.

This backup stun gun feature can be life-saving to keep multiple persons at bay while you figure out your next move.

Are Stun Guns Effective?

The effectiveness of stun guns can sometimes depend on the user. For the most part, if used by a trained or experienced person, a stun gun will disable the target without harming either the user or the target lethally.

While a stun gun can induce a lot of pain versus the neuromuscular incapacitation that a taser can induce, pain can often be all you need to get away from someone violent. Temporarily shocking them with a stun gun can give you just enough time to evaluate the situation appropriately.

A stun gun is also useful to simply scare a potential assailant away by initiating the electric current and crackle as a warning to them. The small size, ability to use it multiple times, and inexpensive price points make stun guns a helpful tool in many situations.

Final Thoughts

Tasers vs. stun guns are similar and seemingly interchangeable in a lot of ways. On the other hand, their distinctions can make a world of difference in specific self-defense scenarios.

The taser can be a great option in a situation where you cannot get close to a potential threat, have time to reload your cartridge, and then be able to use the stun gun feature as a backup.

A stun gun is helpful when your aim has any chance of being off. You can take down a close-by attacker without fear of wasting your one shot. While a stun gun won’t immobilize an opponent as thoroughly, the pain it delivers makes it a useful weapon to own.