6 Self-Defense Tools To Save Your Life

6 Self-Defense Tools To Save Your Life
6 Self-Defense Tools To Save Your Life
6 Self-Defense Tools To Save Your Life
6 Self-Defense Tools To Save Your Life

Since I travel around the country doing training, I often find myself having to rely on different tools for my own safety.

For instance, today, I’m in New York City appearing on the Rachael Ray show. New York City has extremely strict gun laws (among other things) and NYC’s slogan might as well be: “we want our residents to be able to protect themselves as little as possible.”

So whether you live in NYC or in Texas, let me share with you the different tools you can use to keep yourself safe.

1. Firearm – Of course, I had to start with my favorite way to keep myself safe, which is a handgun. These days there are three guns that I switch between for concealed carry most often. First, my Ruger LCP, which fits nicely in my front pocket inside a small kydex holster. Right now, my LCP is loaded with Hornady Critical Defense ammunition. The next gun is my Glock 19. I carry it at the four o’clock position in an inside the waistband holster. I have several holsters for this gun and use the Clipper-DL, a CrossBreed holster, and a Kydex holster that a friend made for me. The last gun I carry is a full size Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm. Both my Glock and the Smith & Wesson are loaded with 124-grain Speer Gold Dot ammo. Unless it’s illegal to do so, one of these three guns is on me at all times.

2. Air Horn – I know a lot of folks have guns for home defense purposes only and don’t carry concealed. If this is the case for you, let me recommend an air horn. You can purchase an air horn at any boating supply store and the noise will scare the living daylights out of almost anyone. Let’s say you had an air horn in your purse and were being followed through the Walmart parking lot. You could quickly pull the air horn from your purse and use it to scare someone away. (If you haven’t tested an air horn lately make sure your ears are covered when you do… trust me on this one. Also, an air horn is great for college students and teenagers.)

3. Tactical Pen – The tactical pen is one of my favorite self-defense tools and what I’m using now since I’m in New York City. The tactical pens goes everywhere with me whether I’m on a plane, in a courthouse or in a city or state that has strict gun laws.

4. Knife – You never want to be in a knife fight, but if a knife were the only tool you had you would obviously use it. I keep my knife clipped to my pants pocket and the knife I typically carry is a Benchmade. However, the particular model I own is illegal in New York so it’s at home sitting on my desk right now.

5. Crow Bar – In the back of my vehicle is a crow bar. The beauty of the crow bar is that it has multiple uses, one being self-defense. It’s certainly not my number one choice for personal protection but it’s definitely better than nothing. If you don’t already have a crow bar in your vehicle pick one up this week from Walmart or Home Depot.

6. Monkey Fist Keychain – The Monkey Fist is a parcacord keychain wrapped around a ball bearing. It may not sound like much but getting struck by one definitely hurts. You can also use the paracord for escape & evasion purposes and another bonus is that you’ll probably never lose your keys since the Monkey Fist makes them easy to keep track of.

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KA-BAR TDI Law Enforcement Knife Fixed Blade

KA-BAR TDI Law Enforcement Knife Fixed Blade

33% off of this great self-defense blade by KA-Bar from Amazon.

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CCI 9mm 115 Grain 1,000 Round Bulk Pack- $174.99 + Free Shipping

CCI 9mm 115 Grain 1,000 Round Bulk Pack- $179.99 + Free Shipping

I pick up a box of this nearly every time I see it on sale with free shipping. At $0.19 a round, this deal is hard to beat. I’ve used this ammo for numerous gun reviews and some training courses and haven’t had any issues with it whatsoever.

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Springfield XDS Mod2 9mm 7rd 3.3" Pistol Power Pack w/ Night Sights

Springfield XDS Mod2 9mm 7rd 3.3″ Pistol Power Pack w/ Night Sights

Pretty good deal on a Springfield XDS Mod2 9mm 7rd 3.3" Pistol Power Pack w/ Night Sights from Palmetto State Armory for only $429.99.

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Jason Hanson is a former CIA Officer and author of The Covert Guide to Concealed Carry. He is also the creator of the Ultimate Concealed Carry Experience, which allows you to take your concealed carry training without leaving home. For full details about this training, please visit Concealed Carry Academy. You can also follow him on Google+ and Twitter.
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Can you carry a Tactical Pen on an airplane, or just in checked luggage?
I looked on Amazon, and one had a Cuff Key. What is that used for.?
Which is the one you would recommend?


Universal Cuff Key : will open most handcuffs , See Uzi pen


I flew to and from LA from NJ over Thanksgiving with a tactical pen in my carry on without issue.


TSA confiscations are radical and highly unpredictable. Austin Texas has tons of confiscated articles in the city salvage building. TSA confiscates Anything they, as individuals suspect. Even ‘Pictures’ of knives, guns, cowboy belts, buckles with six shooter, bullet images or knives depicted.

Weapon decorated purses, wallets, clothing (T shirts) and Anything else you can imagine. Credit card knives are by the thousands. Weapon or Bullet shaped keychains, Snowglobes of every size and shape, anything that appears as though it could be Imagined as a weapon.

Kids toy soldiers holding 1/4″ weapons are confiscated, along with any weapon image toy. Stick like devices, even stuffed animals, Beeny Babies with soft armed cowboy features.

International Police states are proud of the ‘Brave New World’ USA… for ‘setting the bar’. Makes them appear as if they are Freedom personified.


When will the Rachel Ray episode air?

Bryan B.

It aired a couple of days ago and Jason was great! I learned a lot about duct tape, cuffs and zip ties.


In addition to my carry weapon, I keep a baseball bat behind my front door and at times, in the backseat of my car or truck.


How about a hardwood cane ? Can be carried anywhere.But an able-bodied individual may seem strange with one. Can you fake a limp ?


I similarly travel into many areas where my right to keep and bear arms is unconstitutionally restricted I typically carry several items which can serve multiple purposes. First, I always have one or more knives. For traveling, I like the cheap Spyderco Byrd knives, the Gerber Paraframe is another good choice. I like them because they can typically be had for under $25 so if the knife gets lost or confiscated I’m not out a whole lot of money. While they aren’t what I consider first rate knives, they are “good enough” I usually stick with something with a blade length a shade under three inches, laws vary but staying under three inches is typically a good way to avoid getting hemmed up by the cops. If you are going somewhere really restrictive grab a cheap razor knife or two, they are obviously no good for stabbing but more than adequate for a couple slashes then run. I know the pocket clip tactical lights are all the rage but the new LED MiniMag Lights are excellent. They are cheap, typically <$25, bright, take a beating, run for hours on 2 AAs and can double as kubaton. I put a split ring through the hole in the tail cap and then looped about 30 inches of paracord through the split ring, giving me an 15 inch lanyard. You can use the lanyard for a number of little tricks but the simplest is just slinging the relatively heavy minimag like a flail. It's not devastating but it will hurt like hell. I also make sure I have a can of pepper spray which is legal about everywhere but NYC and finally there's always a ComTech stinger in my pocket.


Good ideas. A friend of mine would carry a small section of power line and use it for self-defense.

I just bought a Gerber knife with finger hole and I like it so far.

Are Tasers and Stun Guns illegal in most states? I’m sure they are in New York.


TSA can and will confiscate tactical pens if discovered. And that goes on your record; any similar stunts in the following two years will really get you in a jam.


Just what make a pen ” tactical ” ? All pens have a point. The confiscation is going to be arbitrary.


Obviously if they are painted black, that makes them tactical, right? lol


What about hornet/wasp spray? Can’t take it on a plane, but it is easily purchased, sprays 20+ feet, and will disable someone coming at you.


I hope the heck you have great negligence insurance because you’re going to need it if you blind someone whether they are a dirtbag or not.


You can use wasp spray, but it is a different level of force than gummint-approved human OC spray …


I travel the world for my job and I always keep a couple of carabiners clipped to the handle of my backpack. They are the perfect size for instant brass knuckles. They’re also great for attaching the pack to my pull around luggage. TSA doesn’t even blink at them

Francis Picray

What is better than a crowbar and in your hand instead of your trunk, a solid hardwood cane. It can go anyplace you can. No one will deny you the use of your cane.


If anti- Gun mortals would have been in the U.S. around 1776, North Korea would right now be envious of us. And they want people to be afraid of Guns, wow!

Paul-Joseph de Werk

Don’t carry a monkey fist in California, they are considered a Class 1 felony.


Calif. Apellate Court Ruling
[76 Cal. App. 2d 771]

Defendant testified that he had found People’s Exhibit A in Banning Homes, and not knowing what the object was he had picked it up and placed it in his automobile. There was no other evidence as to the nature of the exhibit.

[1] This is the sole question presented for our determination:

Was there substantial evidence to sustain defendant’s conviction of violating the Dangerous Weapons Control Law of 1923, supra?

This question must be answered in the negative. Section 1 of Act 1970, Dangerous Weapons Control Law, reads in part as follows:

“On and after the date upon which this act takes effect, every person who within the State of California … possesses any instrument or weapon of the kind commonly known as a black-jack, slungshot, billy, sand-club, sandbag, or metal knuckles … shall be guilty of a felony. …”

It is evident from a reading of the foregoing statute that the possession of a “monkey fist” is not made illegal by such act nor is a “monkey fist” commonly known as a black-jack, slungshot, billy, sand-club, sandbag or metal knuckle. Hence it is clear that there is a total absence of any evidence to sustain defendant’s conviction of a violation of the aforementioned law.