If you are looking for non-lethal self defense weapons it really doesn’t get much better than a small can of pepper spray carried discreetly in your pocket or handbag to deter most would be attackers. This small canister of extra hot oleoresin capsicum oil allows you to protect yourself at a reasonable distance from muggers, rapists, carjackers and even vicious animals such as dogs (yes pepper spray works on dogs) as well as any other situation you find yourself in.
Choosing the best pepper spray may leave you scratching your head, there are many different types in the marketplace with different brand names so figuring out what is the best pepper spray to buy can often become a challenge, especially if you haven’t purchased any before.
But don’t worry too much, sure there are some pepper sprays that are better than others which we will cover below but they are all designed to do the same thing.
Choosing the Best Pepper Spray Brand
There are a lot of different pepper spray brands out there and to be honest some just aren’t up to the job and may actually let you don’t when you need the spay the most. From our tests and feedback from real users some of the best pepper spray brands include Sabre Red, Mace, and Def-Tec to name just a few.
Still confused? Don’t fret we have picked out some of the best pepper sprays to buy below to help you decide.
What Is the Best Pepper Spray on the Market?
What Is Pepper Spray?
If you are still not sure what pepper spray is we will briefly cover the basics. Pepper spray or sometimes referred to as OC spray is a chemical agent made from oleoresin capsaicin which is the same natural chemical that gives spicy chili peppers their heat. Pepper spray is a non-lethal self defense weapon that irritates the eyes, nasal passages and throat, causing difficulty breathing, excessive tears, swelling of the eyelids, burning pain and sensations as well as temporary blindness.
Pepper spray is widely used by military units and law enforcement agencies when non-lethal force is required to restrain or subdue an assailant. Pepper (OC) spray is legal in almost all states through the United States making it a perfect self defense tool against attackers and also dogs, or even bears.
Does Pepper Spray Really Work?
Quick answer YES. It is the number one non-lethal weapon that is used daily by the police and military forces, so it must be doing something, right? Getting sprayed directly in the eyes with pepper (OC) spray is extremely painful and the effect will not fully wear off for well over 20 minutes. It doesn’t matter how strong or big you are, if you get sprayed with pepper spray your eyes are going to close and you are no longer a threat.
How to Determine the Strength of Pepper Spray
When choosing the best pepper spray to use you need to find the best product that won’t let you down. Many of the cheap brands of pepper spray just don’t have enough heat to take an attacker down which could leave you in a dangerous predicament and an enraged attacker. When choosing a pepper spray to buy there are a handful of different indications that the pepper (OC) spray is up to the job.
✓ Oleoresin Capsaicin (OC) Percentage
Most of the best pepper sprays will contain oleoresin capsaicin (OC) and the actual percentage will be stated somewhere on the packaging or label. Typically you will see percentage of around 2% to 15% which lets you know the oleoresin capsaicin (OC) by volume. It’s important to point out again that this is only the volume of OC in the canister and does not tell you the heat of the spray for this you will need to look at the Scoville rating.
✓ Scoville Heat Units Rating (SHU)
If you want to know how hot your pepper spray is the Scoville Heat Units (SHU) rating useful to know the concentration and hotness. The SHU rating measures the amount of the capsaicin (the chili chemical that produces the heat) in the canister. However, cheaper pepper spray brand manufacturers can exaggerate the SHU rating by using a lower quality chili pepper oil.
For example, a spray that has an oleoresin capsaicin (OC) percentage of say 2% but with a Scoville Heat Units (SHU) rating of say 5 million will be much hotter that a brand that uses low quality chili pepper oil but has a higher oleoresin capsaicin (OC) percentage.
✓ CRC rating
This heat rating lets you know just how much heat giving capsaicinoids are in the ingredients of your pepper spray. The CRC rating is generally reliable as it is tightly regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Actually, out of every 15 capsaicinoids found in hot pepper only around 5 contain any considerable amount of heat. Try to look for a CRC rating of 1% or higher when choosing he best pepper spray to buy.
✓ Major Capsaicinoid (MC) Rating
This rating is typically the most reliable when determining how hot your pepper spray is. The Major Capsaicinoid (MC) rating is very precisely tested and measured in a laboratory taking into account the heat bearing oils and chemicals from chili peppers in their concentrated form. The Major Capsaicinoid (MC) ratings will range from 0.18% to 1.33% on most of the best pepper sprays.