Choosing a weapon for self-defense is serious business and can be a difficult ordeal. Lethal and less lethal options abound, and you can have ones for close range or long range as the situation dictates.
Many preppers trend towards the use of a firearm for self-defense, but the gun is not the end all, be all option that some make it out to be.
There are plenty of situations where force is called for, but a firearm might make a bad situation worse, if not at the instant then in the aftermath when you have to explain your choices to a judge and jury.
In such cases where bad language isn’t enough, and you rather not take your chances going truly hands-on, other weapons can give an attacker strong incentive to leave you the hell alone without typically inflicting life-threatening wounds.
One such weapon is the self-defense whip, typically a short length of a tightly braided steel cable that may or may not have a flexible coating over it.
These whips are easy to utilize, intimidating and tremendously painful to be struck by, and if used properly can still inflict fairly serious injuries.
They might be just the ticket for your self-defense needs, and in this article we are bringing you a list of the best ones on the market for you to consider.
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Is a Whip a Legitimate Self-Defense Weapon?
When most folks think of a whip in an offensive or defensive context, they probably conjure up an image of Indiana Jones using it on one of his many legendary adventures, or else for kids who grew up playing on the original Nintendo and Super Nintendo, perhaps one of the Belmonts using their famous whips to slay all sorts of monstrous and ghoulish threats throughout Castlevania series.
The whip is certainly iconic, and entrancing, but is it a valid weapon for self-defense and our world? A world of cold, hard logic with no room for sentimentality when lives are on the line, mind you.
The answer is, as always, it depends, and though most types of whips are entirely unsuitable for self-defense except as weapons of uttermost desperation.
Though a traditional, long bullwhip is far more likely to get tangled up or uselessly fly past an attacker, that is assuming of course you can get it out, moving and into gear quickly enough to make any difference, for shorter whips that have more in common with a flog, scourge or cat-o’-nine-tails are nimble, relatively sure and capable weapons.
Although not ideal for everyone or in all situations, they do have unique attributes which might recommend them for the job. We will look at them in the next section.
The Best Self-Defense Whips
The following list of self-defense whips represents an excellent cross section of a specialized variety of whip you can purchase on the market today
As a rule, these whips are short, rarely measuring longer than a person’s forearm in compared to the slender, beguiling form factor of traditional bullwhips these are stocky, springy and stout, more like a flexible club than a proper whip.
Don’t let that throw you off. If you want a whip for self-defense this is the breed that is best suited for the job.
The most traditional option on this list is offered by Club Corp. Marketed as a crop and defensive whip, this is an old school, no nonsense plaited leather whip, and operates just as you’d expect.
The only difference between this one and full size bullwhips is length and this one is still small enough to be easily carried around and as much quicker to bring to bear.
The handle is oversized and has a generous, spherical pommel on either end to keep your hand securely in place and help you hang on to the whip in the event that an opponent is able to grab it.
One nasty feature that will escape notice from the initiated is the leather tab or so-called dragon tail on the end. Believe it or not this tab of leather is capable of inflicting grievous damage and even lacerating someone with an accurate, proper strike.
Compared to the more modern stinger whips on this list this one requires more technique and precision to use, and for that reason it is probably only an ideal defensive weapon for people who have plenty of skill in the usage of a traditional whip. For anyone else, think twice.
Lanyard One Paracord Get Back Whip
A wild wasteland defensive whip, this scourge styled whip from lanyard one is modeled on the traditional motorcyclists weapon called the get back, itself a short whip typically topped with multiple protrusions to increase impact and damage.
Braided from incredibly strong paracord that separates into multiple strands each holding a genuine brass .45 ACP shell casing you won’t have any reason to doubt the strength of this whip, and you can be assured that the lashing impact will bludgeon and tear an equal measure.
Available in a variety of colors, and featuring a wrist strap to help the user keep control of the weapon along with a snap shackle for secure Storage on body or vehicle, this is one type of defensive whip that has a proud history but is made with the most modern materials.
Stylish, scary and capable, if you want a whip to compliment your “no fear and no prisoners” mentality this might be the perfect option.
Stinger USA Whip Emergency Tool
The classic version of a defense whip, Stinger USA’s standard model defensive whip consists of a stout, steel cable coated in a clear sheath to prevent fraying attached to an equally rugged, deeply grooved handle with a pronounced, pointed pommel at the bottom.
When swung with any amount of force, the impact at the tip of the cable, now moving at substantial velocity, can easily leave a severe welt and inflict terrible pain, whereas swinging for the bleachers with a whip like this can break bones or potentially even lacerate.
The pointed at pommel is advertised as a window breaker to give this tool more utility as an all-around emergency option, but trust me when I say that that type of point is good for cracking far more than just windows.
Perhaps the only thing I take away from this model is that the handle is slightly slippery, even with those deep finger grooves.
Although I don’t think there is much chance of it slipping out of your hand in use because of that, I would prefer it to rotate less and for that reason would wrap the indentations with thin grip tape.
Stinger USA Whip Emergency Escape Tool
Another offering from Stinger USA, the emergency escape tool whip is a true all-in-one self-defense and vehicle extrication tool that is right at home as an inclusion for any prepper’s vehicle based survival kit.
Consisting of a vaguely hammer-shaped handle with a deeply textured, non-slip rubber grip insert, the emergency escape tool whip includes a conical window breaker tip near the top of the handle to be used like one would use any common carpenter’s hammer.
This is very intuitive, and sure an operation compared to a breaker mounted near the bottom. Also integrated into the handle is a recessed seat belt cutter blade capable of slicing through tough seat belts in a flash.
And of course there is the business end of the whip. Consisting of the same length of braided steel cable with an outer, clear coating as the classic model, this whip can go out some serious pain as quickly as it can be swung.
Although it does not have any sort of pocket clip considering it is designed for vehicular carry, the end of the cable does nest into a mating hole in the handle allowing you to reduce the overall size somewhat for storage.
Gear EDC Self-Defense Whip
A bespoke, minimalist self-defense whip, this offering from gear EDC has stylish good looks and crushing high performance.
Featuring a machined brass handle for strength and durability, to say nothing of natural beauty, a skull or window breaking pointed pommel and a beefy braided steel cable crowned by a substantial metal weight, this is a brutally beautiful self-defense whip.
But that beautiful, slender brass handle can both help and hurt you. It definitely helps keep the form factor of the whip small and makes it easier to carry, but if you have large hands it will likely feel like you are trying to death grip a pencil.
Additionally, considering the lean handle the diameter of the whip itself is quite stout, and though it is plenty flexible and can even be coiled in order to shrink the whip it is not nearly as compact in carry as a first glance would suggest.
However, you definitely can’t doubt the strength and certainty of the construction, and this is one whip that does not feel like a toy or a glorified riding crop.
Additionally, this whip is starting to close in on flail territory such is the size and weight of the steelhead on the end. A strike to the face, neck or skull with this whip will have serious consequences.
Xwitch Self-Defense Whip
A slightly different take on the modern day defensive whip, this model is highly flexible, yet springy, longer than typical defensive whips and crowned with a rigid section of rod to ensure that your strike lands on the sweet spot and delivers maximum pain.
The core of the whip itself is thin steel cable but it is sheathed in a flexible polymer for added safety as well as corrosion resistance. This section is mated to a rugged, no slip handle with an included lanyard that fits around your wrist to help ensure you don’t drop it or lose it in a scuffle.
Compared to most of the other whips on this list this version is highly flexible, enough where you can coil it up into a relatively small bundle and tuck it inside your waistband or a large pocket.
Various users report that it can also be fitted inside the hollow handlebars of many bicycles, making this an excellent, quick draw version for bicyclists.
Stinger Whip Fist
Far and away the most brutal option on this list, the Stinger whip fist is a mode-convertible stinger whip that can transform into a flail, a so-called monkey fist.
It even features vehicle extrication safety options, but they are included in such an odd and unusable way they seem almost an afterthought compared to the whips primary purpose.
But what a purpose it is! In the classic stinger whip mode, you have an oversized knurled steel and aluminum handle with a generous guard and spherical pommel at one end to ensure a secure hold.
You’ll be accustomed by now to the braided steel whip that is topped by a metal toe for additional impact and durability. But we are just getting started.
By unlocking the handle it can slide along the length of the whip, revealing the tiny and nearly useless seat belt cutter in the process, until it locks on to the metal toe at the far end.
And now you’ll see that it has left behind that large, spherical pommel on the opposite end of the cable and what you are now holding is a war flail capable of staving in someone’s head about as easily as you would crack an egg.
Both modes are usable, but one is decidedly more lethal than the other. For a user who is practiced and quickly switching modes depending upon the situation, this could prove to be the ideal defense whip when an escalation of force is needed.
Xwitch Polyvinyl Coated Self-Defense Whip
Another offering from Xwitch, this is among the simplest defense whips on this list. A stout handle with integrated cord lanyard and a long length of braided stainless steel cable with a thick sheath of polyvinyl for a sporty low glare appearance and added durability.
The length is definitely an advantage on this whip, but it is not as flexible as most of the others and this makes it less than ideal for convenient concealed carry. However, for open carry or those who desire more reach and greater certainty in striking, this could be an excellent option.
The whip is rarely thought of as a good self defense weapon, but assuming we aren’t talking about unwieldy, awkward full-length bullwhips that might not be a correct assumption.
Short, steel stinger whips and others like them are remarkably powerful, easy to carry and easy to use and can present the wielder with a good intermediate force option that fits neatly between bad language and a firearm or knife.
Tom Marlowe practically grew up with a gun in his hand, and has held all kinds of jobs in the gun industry: range safety, sales, instruction and consulting, Tom has the experience to help civilian shooters figure out what will work best for them.