When was trying to decide which products will best fit your needs; there are multiple factors to consider. There are differences in size, spray pattern, active ingredients, and sufficient distance.
First off, pknow about the Pepper Spray Restrictions to be sure of what laws may affect your purchase, and certain active ingredients are not available in all areas. Next, it is essential to decide how the products will be used. Will the pepper spray you buy be carried with you, or will it be used for home security? Models that are designed for self-defense will typically be around 10-17 grams or about 1/2 ounce.
These pepper sprays will most often contain 5 one second bursts and are rated to be active at a distance of 10 feet. You will find that most of them will be complete with a small carrying case or a keyring attachment (don’t worry they’ll have a safety mechanism to prevent accidental discharge).
These are great to carry with your keys while you’re walking across a parking lot, in an easily accessible spot in a purse or wallet, or on a waistband while walking or jogging, and make great “immediate action” self-defense weapons. The more massive pepper sprays, typically 45-120 grams, or about 2-4 ounces, are not designed to be carried with you. These are intended for home defense and are to be kept in a nightstand, on a shelf by the front door (out of plain sight), or anywhere that could be a point of confrontation with an intruder. Pepper sprays in this category will not only have a larger volume but will, more importantly, be effective at a much further distance, up to 18 feet.
Another critical difference is the spray pattern, which is typically either a stream or a fogging action. The flow will deliver more of the pepper spray to a concentrated area and can be useful over a longer distance but requires a direct hit to the face. A fogger will cover a larger area and can allow you to contaminate an entire hallway or partial room in your home for example. This fogging action can be a double-edged sword though; it can cause some collateral damage by actually contaminating the area you are currently in or an area that you need to pass through.
Typically recommendation is that you carry a stream, keychain pepper spray model with you, and have a larger fogger for home defense. The choice is apparently yours if you feel that you can aim correctly over a further distance in your residence, and would feel more comfortable with a more concise spray, then go for the stream pattern. Ultimately, it is truly what you will feel the most comfortable using.
There are also numerous unique types of pepper sprays. Some are easily concealed such as lipstick and pen models, and some are designed for specific situations such as the efficient Hot Walkers which are walking hand weights with built-in pepper spray.
As you can see, there are multiple different products that fit various uses. We recommend that you have, at a minimum, both carry along self-defense, and home defense units. Please keep in mind that one of the most important factors to consider is your willingness to use the product. Buying a product that you are confident in, and will not hesitate to use, is the key to this type of self-defense.