Many canes are ideal for self-defense. In fact, there are lots of canes that put self-defense rather than medical benefit as the top priority in their design. These canes can keep you safe from falls, back pain, and threats to your safety!
Check out the best self-defense canes for seniors in our comprehensive guide below!
What is a Self-Defense Cane?
By nature of their design, most walking canes are actually very effective for self-defense. They're long, usually made of aluminum or wood, and have strong ergonomic grips. This makes it very easy to swing or stab at someone or something that is threatening your safety.
Some canes are designed with built-in self-defense features. The most common of these are stun guns - electronic devices that send a massive electric shock toward whatever material they touch. If you live or walk in a neighborhood that may be unsafe, has aggressive stray dogs, or even coyotes/bears- these stun gun canes were designed for you. Many people use these canes when they walk alone or with small pets to keep themselves - and their furry friends- safe from harm.
Other self-defense features include bright flashlights, swords, and loud warning signals that can alert nearby police and Good Samaritans to your situation. You won’t find any sword canes on our list- they’re impractical and are more of a deadly weapon than a mobility aid- but nevertheless, you can find them if you want to feel like a spy or an old-world aristocrat!
Pros & Cons of Self-Defense Canes
- 1Improved Safety
This is the largest and most important benefit of self-defense canes. They can keep you safe in a variety of situations beyond just the simple loss of balance. Some of the most common perils that these canes can keep you safe from are stray dogs and animal predators such as coyotes. If you live in an area where these animals roam, a simple, non-lethal shock from a stun gun will send a clear message.
The same is true of areas where muggers are known to lurk. If you cannot avoid these areas, a nice swing of your cane or shock from a stun gun is more than enough to help you stand your ground and escape!
- 2Fun to Have and Use
Self-defense canes aren’t always life or death, though. Sometimes, having one can just be fun. Showing off your new stun gun cane to your friends (carefully, of course) makes it much easier to embrace using a walking cane daily. After all, why choose a boring wooden cane when you can get something you’ll be proud to let family and friends have a look at?
- 1They’re Easy to Misuse
This is especially true of stun gun canes. These devices can be very helpful in a dangerous situation, but nobody wants to be tased by accident. The danger of misusing a powerful self-defense tool is high enough that some people avoid them altogether. With a bit of caution and level-headedness, there is no danger of misuse, but some seniors would rather be safe than sorry.
- 2They’re Heavy
The more self-defense tech that is installed in your cane, the heavier it will be. That might not affect you much on a short walk around the neighborhood, but a two-pound walking cane can be pretty exhausting to use all day. We’d recommend getting a second, standard cane as a backup for times when self-defense isn’t as great a need.
The Best Self-Defense Canes in 2021
1. Best Self-Defense Cane (Overall): ZAP Walking Cane
If you’re worried about stray dogs, coyotes, or muggers in your area, this cane will give you all the peace- and power- you could hope for. It’s a single-point adjustable cane 99% of the time. The other one percent of the time, it’s a 1,000,000 volt stun gun!
This cane looks like a standard black metal cane, but it packs a serious punch. Flip one switch, and you’re ready to defend yourself against a wide variety of threats. Even if you never need to use it, the peace of mind that comes from this cane will be tremendous.
Anyone who simply wants to assert that they won’t be messed with will be well-satisfied by the ZAP cane. It looks a bit imposing, and it will send the right message to would-be threats if you flip the switch and point it at them! With luck, you’ll never need to use it for anything but balance, but it’s good to know you have the means to keep yourself safe if the worst happens!
2. Best Wooden Cane for Self-Defense: GC-Artis Walking Cane
This unique, hand-made cane might take a while to ship, but it’s absolutely worth the wait. It comes in a standard 36-inch length, but you can send an email to the seller and have them cut it shorter if you cannot do that yourself at home.
Not every cane for self-defense needs to have a stun gun or a sword installed- sometimes all you need is a hard product that’s easy to swing. This cane is just that: it’s incredibly light and firm, perfect for taking a swing at a would-be attacker.
3. Best Aluminum Self-Defense Cane: Personal Security Products Zap Covert Walking Cane
This cane has a one-million-volt stun gun just like the ZAP Cane, but the stun gun is concealed within the cane rather than at the tip. To use it, you have to separate the handle from the shaft. This makes the cane look a lot less like a weapon, which is helpful for not alarming people in public even if it does make it harder to use for self-defense.
There is a small trigger on the handle that is used to activate the stun gun by squeezing your hand. If you get into a situation where you need it, all you have to do is pull your cane apart and you’ve got a million volts ready to go the moment you squeeze the handle- it’s a formidable self-defense cane that anyone would do well to respect!
4. Best Folding Cane for Self-Defense: Ohuhu Folding Cane With Quad Base
This cane comes with two different bases- one quad (four tips) and one standard, single-point. If you’ve got balance or stability issues, being able to use the Ohuhu folding cane’s quad base is a great benefit. In terms of self-defense, this cane might not seem like it has much to offer- and it’s true that it wasn’t built specifically for this purpose.
What this cane does offer, though, is ultralight construction and a very soft, ergonomic grip. These two things are crucial for your ability to swing/jab with the cane to defend yourself. It may be light, but with enough of a swing, you can pack a powerful punch!
FAQs: Canes for Self-Defense
How Do You Make a DIY Self-Defense Cane?
Building a cane from scratch is one thing, but not everyone needs to start from bare wood to make their own self-defense cane. Simply by adding a few things to your standard orthopedic cane, you can have a tool that is just as useful for self-defense as it is for balance and stability.
Here are a few of the things you can do:
Cane Self-Defense for Seniors
With all this talk about buying canes for self-defense, it makes sense to include some resources that will help you use them for self-defense. Here are some helpful YouTube videos to learn the techniques of self-defense with a cane for seniors:
Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Self-Defense Cane for Your Needs
If your cane isn’t the right height, you’ll be missing out on the most important benefits. Canes that are too tall throw off your balance; canes that are too short mess up your posture. Before you buy a cane, measure yourself to make sure it will compliment your height, not cause problems!
Self-Defense Features vs Gimmicks
Stun guns are cool. So are swords. That said, sometimes, self-defense technology is less of a feature and more of a gimmick. That isn’t true of the canes we included on our list, but it is of others. Before you buy a cane for self-defense, make sure that you will actually be able to use it to defend yourself! It seems silly to mention, but anyone not trained in swordplay won’t be much help to themselves with a sword cane. Similarly, canes with low-voltage or hard-to-use stun guns won’t be doing themselves much of a favor, either!
Sometimes, the thing that makes the most sense is to purchase a standard cane made from a hard, lightweight material. If you can learn to swing it effectively, you can keep yourself much safer than someone who bought a stun gun cane that they don’t know how to use.
Getting a cane for self-defense is a great way to ensure your safety when walking alone. Whether you choose a cane with a stun gun, a bright flashlight and SOS button, or just an aluminum cane that you know how to swing, these canes can help in more ways than just walking. Which cane was your favorite? Let us know in the comments section below!