every day carry self defense weapons that are legal, non-lethal

18 Best EDC Legal & Non-Lethal Self-Defense Weapons 2022

Looking for everyday carry self defense weapons that are not guns, tasers, knives, or pepper spray?

Want something more low entry-level ? A bit more stealthy? Something that isn’t immediately recognized as a weapon and that you can carry almost anywhere?

Something that might even allow for air travel? Something that’s is safer around children? Something that carries no risk of harming yourself like a stun gun or pepper spray?

You might be afraid you’ll accidentally spray yourself with pepper spray. You might be afraid a stun gun will be used against you.

You might not want to go out armed with a literal weapon because you’re going to travel by plane. Or because in some states and countries you’re breaking the law if you do so. Or in certain occasions you might simply feel actual weapons are overkill.

Often you simply don’t want to go out carrying a fire arm, knife, or pepper spray but still want to have some form of protection on you.

We’ve got your back. These EDC products are not only legal pretty much everywhere but also discreet, effective (to a certain extent), and relatively safe to use and carry.


A few things to consider when buying an everyday carry self-defense tool

Every wise citizen should be able to defend themselves and possibly carry an effective self defense weapon. The purpose of the tools listed here is to optimize your close-up defense. You will want to temporarily disable an attacker so you can get away.

Many of the tools listed here are so called force multipliers. They can function in roughly two ways.

Morale. By delivering an unexpected blow with a so called force multiplying self-defense tool you can create a surprise effect. Oftentimes, attackers seek out vulnerable (appearing) victims. Because of this they commonly do not expect a fierce counter-attack causing them severe pain. Which is why this can, at least temporarily, severely diminish their morale. Make use of this psychological factor to escape.

Mobility. Well-placed kicks to the groin and knees can limit your opponent’s mobility allowing you time to get away. However, this requires a certain degree of precision and power. Targeting these and other weak spots such as the solar plexus with a self defense tool multiplies the effectiveness of your counter-attack and thus involves a higher success rate in incapacitating the aggressor, allowing you to escape safely.


Here’s an overview of the best inconspicuous, legal, daily carry gear for your self defense.

Top 18 EDC, Non-Lethal, Legal, Discreet Self Defense Tools to use when Weapons are Banned




1. Yoogo Self Defense Keychain

yoogo self defense keychain

Yoogo functions similar to brass knuckles but doesn’t have the stigma, it doesn’t appear as aggressive. On top of that, brass knuckles, aka knuckle dusters are illegal to carry in many countries. In the US too, laws in several states, counties and cities prohibit purchase or possession.

You could argue that the Yoogo self defense keychain, because of its shape, is even potentially more effective than iron knuckles. This because your punching force is channeled into a smaller surface when compared to that of iron knuckles.

Martial artists know that smaller striking surfaces cause more concentrated, hence greater impact. In other words a more powerful blow to your opponent.


  • Very discrete. It’s basically a secret self-defense weapon.


  • Better suited for those with at least some experience with throwing punches and knowing where to strike.

Get it here.


Learn how to use the Yoogo in this short video.

2. Cat ears knuckle keychain   cat ears keychain for self-defense

If you’ve never thrown a punch in your life or your power is limited you might need a tad bit more aggressive approach. When used properly, with ‘stabby cat knuckles’ you can severely hurt your attacker.


  • requires less force or precision in order to cause pain


  • potentially painful to your knuckles, might hurt yourself in a brawl
  • could be illegal in your area

Available here.


3. Kubotan keychain

The kubotan is an impact weapon. Strike your attacker in the face, neck, hands, feet, inner arms, groin, or legs in a moments notice. Because a kubotan is so easily kept at hand they won’t know what’s coming to them.

The main decision to make here is whether you want a rounded or pointed Kubotan. With the latter you might actually stab someone and draw blood. Especially when forcefully hitting soft tissue not protected by thick clothes. Still, a puncture wound wouldn’t be very deep so stabbing your assailant in the face or neck most likely won’t be lethal.


  • designed with ridges and finger groove for optimal grip
  • easy to use
  • inexpensive and come in various shapes.
  • seems to be legal in most U.S. jurisdictions.


  • at 5,5 inches it might be too large for your pockets
  • Some airlines (i.e. TSA) prohibit carry-on of kubotans and will confiscate them.

Buying advice:

Consider its size. Many measure 5.5 inch (14 cm) which might be inconvenient on your keychain or in your pocket. Various keychain self defense tools could be slightly too heavy or long for you to carry comfortably on your key carabiner.

An alternative is to carry the item in a jack pocket, pants pocket, or separately attached to your belt, bag, or purse.

Tip: Before you buy, grab a comparably sized home item and try out carrying it with you to see if it meets your expectations.

Buy your kubotan here.

If you want something smaller check out the 11 inch long Mini Koga SD1 (not a kubotan).


Pocket-worn weapons

4. Yawara stick

originates from a symbolic Buddhist stick used by monks in feudal Japan, adopted by police officers in the 1940’s

Measuring 5 to 8 inches the compact, light-weight yawara stick fits easily in front or side pockets. It will protrude at most, approximately an inch from each side of your hand.

The yawara has been used in various ancient Japanese martial arts, mostly those that focus on open hand techniques, pressure points and grappling with as main goal to control or eliminate an opponent. Trained fighters will know how to use these to strike pressure points and break bones, thus immobilizing an aggressor.

Available here. 


5. Tactical pen

Similar function as the previous tools but this impact weapon is multi-functional. Commonly used to make a defensive X pattern (equis) to block punches. After which an offensive strike to, for instance, the neck is made. Used for forehand, backhand, and overhand counter-defense moves.

Besides delivering a brutal strike to an assailant’s neck,nose, groin, ribs or other weak spots this tool also functions as a glass breaker and, of course, a pen. Some models also come with a DNA extractor make it easier to identify the perpetrator.


  • multipurpose, which makes it ideal for daily carry
  • actually writes well


  • not allowed on TSA flights


Get it here.


6. Buddhist mala self-defense necklace

Buddhism prohibits all kinds of killing, except the killing of anger

Kill your attacker’s anger. Strangle it. Whip it out of existence with 108 sacred beads. Be compassionate by saving your assailant from bad karma and taking it upon yourself by whooping his ass big time.

This stainless steel necklace can be worn or used as an ornament in your car or home. Use it to meditate, be in the present, as well as defend yourself if need be.

Weighing almost a pound (380 grams), which translates to about the weight of a can of baked beans this necklace packs more than an ounce of prevention.


  • highly discrete. you can carry this pretty much anywhere since it’s not recognized as a weapon at all


  • some skill is required, especially when used up close


Get it here.


7. EDC Tactical Ring

Some people take off their wedding ring before hitting a bar. Others put on a tactical ring before entering a dark, deserted parking lot. This tactical titanium ring features a tritium glow bar making it automatically glow in the dark, has a bottle opener, glass breaker, and is designed for self defense.


  • multifunctional


  • requires punching power / skills


Shop Etsy for EDC tactical rings.


8. Self defense bracelet

This sturdy, heavy dragon-headed bracelet an be worn as a necklace too, or as a keychain on pants. Although probably not intended for this purpose, while still worn on the wrist, the protruding dragon ears can be used to scratch an aggressor’s skin. When taken off the bracelet can be used to hit or subdue.


  • very discrete
  • multi-purpose


  • only useful when an attacker is still at a distance
  • requires at least some skill (see the nunchaku moves in this video review (in German)


Buy on Amazon.


9. Paracord Garrote bracelet

These are used to control an assailants movements as well as subdue him. Potentially even temporarily strangle him so you can bring yourself into safety.

The most critical part when buying a survival bracelet in order to use it as a self-defense paracord bracelet is to get one that is very easy to swipe open quickly. Bracelets with magnets or tuck unders are best suited for this purpose.


  • easy to reach, lightweight


  • requires skill
  • might be illegal in your area


Available here.




10. Impact Kerambit

This is the non-lethal version of the claw-shaped, curved karambit knife that originated in South-East Asia. Its shape, inspired by a tiger claw, is considered a highly dangerous melee weapon.

Where its sharp counterpart focuses on afflicting the weaker points of the human body such as the elbow and knee muscles, the blunt, plastic Shomer-Tec Impact Kerambit functions more like a knuckle protector and force multiplier.

Most inexperienced people don’t realize how much your knuckles hurt when you forcefully hit someone in the head. You can easily break them. This unobtrusive weapon that, to the uninitiated, looks like a travel wrench, fortifies your punches and blocks.

Grab one here.

Tip: With an optional belt clip you’ll be able to attach your Impact Kerambit to your belt.


11. Tactical flashlight

Originally designed for police or military use to be mounted on fire arms, often made of weapon-grade aluminum, tactical flashlights are must-have EDC self defense items.

Optimal for dark situations, they can be used to temporarily blind or at least disorient an attacker by shining directly in his eyes. This might distract him by wanting to cover his eyes. It could also draw attention to potential bystanders, as well as help identify the culprit.

Moreover, you can identify a potential threat by simply by shining your light on them, exposing them while they are hiding in the dark.

Use the crenelated striking bezel to forcefully strike the face (i.e. nose), neck, groin or other vulnerable body parts with a hammer punch (as if you’re stamping a wax seal) .

Besides the personal protection aspect, a flashlight is an essential tool to have in  your every day carry kit. Go for a simple, easy to use (not too complex) flashlight that emits at least 120 lumens.


  • versatile self defense tool
  • useful as a non-self defense item too


  • could be too small to comfortably hold in your hand and strike with it


Buy here.

12. Fast Strike whip

Fast Strike Whip
easily concealed, rapidly deployed

Not only does this whip extend about 12″ beyond the handle so you can keep aggressors at a distance, the back end of the handle is a ruthless striking tool that can be used to make devastating hammer-like punches and stabbing movements into the jawline, peck muscles, rib cage.

Like so many non-lethal self defense weapons the Fast Strike Whip doesn’t immediately incapacitate the assailant so make sure to hit him in the face, groin, or on the hands, for an optimal shock effect. This short vid demonstrates how it’s ideally used.


  • lightweight
  • easy to deploy
  • extends your reach


  • Might be deemed as an illegal expandable baton (blackjack) in certain jurisdictions
  • check legality of this item in your area


Order here.

Apparel / accessories

13. Self defense belt

Any belt can be used for self defense but leather is better and stainless steel even more so. Obviously, your fashion style determines whether this stainless steel belt will suit you and getting into clubs with metal detectors might be a problem.

Nonetheless, this sure can be an effective EDC self defense weapon. If the whole ironclad approach isn’t your thing a conventional belt with a big old buckle might be an option.


  • extremely low-profile
  • an almost 2 pound stainless steel belt can make quite a brutal weapon


  • works best at a distance for untrained people (close quarter fighting with a belt requires more martial arts skill)
  • it takes time to take off the belt


Read reviews here.


If a stainless steel belt simply isn’t your kind of fashion but the concept of using a belt as an EDC self defense weapon appeals to you you could consider getting a traditional belt with a heavy belt buckle. Ordinary belt buckles may weigh up to 5 ounces (140 gram) and more.


14. Shoelace, watch band, cap spikes

Attach these mean, sharp, pointy thingies to your shoelaces, wrist watch band, back of your cap and use them to fortify your kicks, slams, or grabs.


  • lightweight
  • discreet


  • might scratch yourself
  • not the most quickly tool to deploy


Get ’em here.


15. Tactical self defense cap

carry self defense gear in your hat

This tactical baseball cap features a striking weapon hidden under the bill. The intuitive weapon, dubbed ‘less lethal’, by the manufacturer is a very potent self defense tool. The weapon can be used to strike, push, and pull aggressors. Since it’s very much within reach it makes for an effective self defense item in case you’re surprise attacked.

Resembling a knuckle duster, this polymer weapon is probably illegal in various jurisdictions. However in certain states only metal ‘brass knuckles’ are illegal, in others they are allowed.


  • concealed
  • easy to reach and deploy very quickly
  • powerful


  • carrying it could be against your local law


Grab yours here.


16. Discrete neck carry titanium rod

unobtrusive EDC self defense item
fast deploy by reaching under your untucked shirt

Its clever design makes this little self defense item pack a punch. Measuring 5″ the My Neck Carriage Titanium Palm Cap Stick is much shorter than a Kubotan or Yawara. Nonetheless the Ti-Rod’s rubber “palm swell” grip makes it at least as effective.

Wear it unobtrusively under a button down shirt to quickly deploy it. When law enforcement inquires about its nature you tell them it’s a doorknocker or acupressure tool. Besides the neck carry stick the Ti-Rod Tactical is available in a belt keeper, key ring carry, pocket carry variant.


  • effective
  • discrete


  • requires minimal knowledge of where to hit an opponent


17. Giga loud emergency wistle

loudest whistle in the world EDC self defense tool
chase away assailants

The exceptionally loud HyperWhistle lets you blast a violent screeching sound into any ears that deserve to be repelled. At a painful 142 dB, ear afflicting blare this is the loudest whistle in the world. Its sound reaches over 2 miles which, in comparison, is 8 times the range of a standard sports whistle.

Deter aggressive dogs, mountain lions, bears, hooded neighborhood goons, and other dangerous ‘animals’. Shock and stop them in their tracks with a ear deafening sound that’ll make their ears ring for minutes.

Great for scuba diving, surfing, when hiking or whenever out in nature when you’ll find yourself in a situation when you need to cry for help, too.

On a critical note, you’ll want to plug your ears with the accompanying plugs first otherwise the bowow you’ll produce will be your pain as much as your assailants pain. Putting in ear plugs will take some time. Time that you might not have the luxury to spend in a potential life-threatening situation.


  • modest sized
  • inconspicuous
  • apart from the shock effect it may cause disorientation due to ear ringing



  • ideally, you’ll insert ear protection before use


18. Pressure point force multiplier

force multiplier EDC self defense weapon
grab and slap with extra force

Don’t let it’s small size and harmless appearance deceive you. Thought it may look gimmicky, this tiny EDC self defense tool packs a punch. Literally, it lets you knock someone with amplified force on the so called pressure points.

Hurt your foe real bad while thwacking them on bony parts of the body such as the back of the hand, wrist, elbow, temple, forehead, and so on. Look into Dim Mak or start practicing kyusho-jitsu (pressure-point fighting) to arm yourself with knowledge and techniques about pressure points.

This mighty gizmo comes in handy in additional ways, too. It fortifies your grabs so in case there’s for instance a hand around your throat you’ll be able to grip it and pull it away with more force than without this tiny tool.


  • affordable
  • tiny size
  • effective
  • discreet


  • not the most quickly deployable self defense tool.  Wearing it in advance is necessary in case you’re jumped unexpectedly.
  • under extreme force the plastic could break


Read Fury Tactical’s Griffin Grip reviews here.



The best EDC non-lethal legal self defense weapons: our top picks

Picking a tool that is isn’t lethal and illegal as well as comfortable to carry on a daily basis can be daunting. Especially since it obviously needs to be effective too.

Ideal would be something that works at a distance, and still is effective up close.

Under this category would fall the; necklace, bracelet, and belt. However, especially as melee weapons, these require at least some martial arts skills to be used effectively.

Also the whip and tactical flashlight can be used from a distance and up close and require less skill making these our top picks.

The kubotan, being such an inconspicuous and potentially brutal weapon that is very easy to keep at hand makes our top picks as well.

Regarding pepper spray and stun guns

Because the efficacy of the weapons listed here is limited we would recommend to consider getting pepper spray* or another type of more brutal personal protection as well. All types have their pros and cons. Be aware of especially the cons. (*Pepper Spray is legal in the United States, however restrictions regarding canister type and capacity may exist.)


A few quick tips

Knowing how to use any of these tools is essential.

The most critical aspect when it comes to your personal protection is to be mentally prepared. Know where to strike, where to flee to, and to not hold back when it comes to your personal integrity.

  • Like they teach in military self-defense system Krav Maga, you need to unleash your inner beast and use that primal energy source to keep yourself from harm. However, applied counter-violence must be appropriate to the threat.

Train yourself to be physically prepared. Make it an habit to scan your environment i.e. in a store, in the waiting room, or wherever you are and see which objects you could use to defend yourself if need be. While cycling, keep your bike lock on your handlebar so you can grab it in an instance.

Practice taking out your everyday carry, non-lethal self-defense weapon quickly.

  • Concealing it in your sleeve or hand while walking alone is critical as you’re not going to have time to rummage through your pockets during an assault.
  • What’s more is that chances are you’re not able to think straight. Shock might prevent you from grabbing your weapon, fear might paralyze you, or adrenaline might cause you to only want to flee instead of being able to fight off your attacker first. (flee or fight)

Know where you will strike. Go for the weak spots. Are you in a neck or throat grab? Does someone hold you in a bear hug? Where and how will you strike? What will you do after that?


Bottom line

When having defend yourself it basically comes down to whether or not you can escape unharmed from both your attacker and the, sometimes incomprehensible, legal system. We all know that law isn’t justice. In the end it’s better to be judged by twelve than carried by six.

Want more?

Looking for something specifically for mom, the missus, GF, your sister, or daughter? Check out these recommended counter-attack weapons for her:

Top rated self defense tools for female users



This article has been updated with the latest EDC self defense gear June 23, 2022



Last Updated on July 11, 2022 by Tyler