Self defense substances

How many different types of pepper spray are there?

September 2, 2019September 9, 2019

There are many types of pepper spray. We can divide them into those that are used against humans and those that are used on animals. Because of different purposes, there are also different types of spray patterns.

It usually comes in four different patterns (cone mist, stream, fog, and foam). Later in the post, I will describe each of those different types in detail, let’s get started.

Against human attacks

These types are the most common ones, it is not only safe to carry around, but it’s perfectly sized to fit in your car, your pocket or your purse. You can also use it for home defense.

There are different formulas used in it and they all consist of the same chemical called Oleoresin Capsicum (OC), but it can be different in strength.

These types od OC sprays are designed to use it on humans, don’t use it on animals. If you need capsicum spray to carry it on the street you have different options listed above.

Keychain pepper spray

You are probably familiar with those, which are attached to the keys. They are small and handy, easily accessible because you carry your keys the majority of the time with you, right.

Keychain OC spray usually comes in cone mist pattern and has a small range, up to 8 feet, check some of the best here.

Concealed pepper spray

As the name suggests, these types of pepper spray are concealed, they usually come in cone mist pattern.

These pepper sprays are hard to recognize, it means that the attacker will not figure out that this is a self-defense device until you use it. It can be in the shape of a lipstick, pen, perfume or even a ring. You can find them in this post.

Pepper spray with UV dye

These types of pepper spray consist of UV marking dye. This dye helps police to recognize your attacker. This can be done with the help of ultraviolet light. In this post, I listed some of the best, check them out.

Against animal attack

These types of capsicum sprays are not as strong as the ones that are used against humans. This is because animals have a lot more sensitive smell as compared to humans.

These OC sprays can be used only on animals, it can be successful on all kinds of animals, like dogs, bears, mountain lions, wolfs…the list goes on.

Don’t use it on humans, there is a chance you won’t be successful.

Bear pepper spray

Bear pepper spray is designed especially to deter aggressive bears, of course, you may use it also on other predators. These types of pepper spray apply fog pattern. Be careful when you choose it, always pick the ones that are EPA approved. Check some of the best here.

The maximum OC percentage in bear sprays can be up to 2%.

Dog pepper spray

This self-defense device in shape of pepper spray is made specially to defense against dogs. This type usually applies the stream pattern.

It is also regulated by EPA, which only approve dog sprays with a maximum of 1% OC ingredient.

Different types of spray patterns

We can also divide pepper into different types of delivery systems. In this section, I will go through the pros and cons for each one of them, lets started:


A stream pepper spray has a pretty long range and easily targets your attacker. This type of pattern is effective, even under windy situations, it means that a spray is less likely to blow back in your direction. It is good for indoor or outdoor use.
The downside of this pattern is that you can aim only on one target at once and If you don’t aim precisely you can easily miss the target.


This type distributes large amounts of spray into a big area, it helps to put a barrier between victim and attacker. It is also practical for riot conditions, crowd control.

These types are great because of the spraying distance, it can have a range of up to 35 feet. As I have mentioned before, bear pepper sprays usually use fog patterns.

The downside is that it can be ineffective under windy conditions, it means that spray may blow back in your direction. If you want maximum range, be prepared to carry a big canister.

Cone Mist

If you want to defend against multiple atackers this could be a good choice. The cone spray pattern covers an expanded area; therefore it can also be inhaled easily.

Since it spreads easily in the air, it has a shorter range (up to 10 feet) There’s always the possibility of the spray missing your target and hitting other people around. A spray pattern works great when the attacker is closer in contact.


The thick foam covers an attacker’s face, it is very hard to wipe it away. When the assailant tries to remove the foam, the pain gets harder. If you plan to use it outdoors, it works great even in windy weather.

Foam sprays are pretty similar to stream sprays but foam has the shortest range than the stream pattern. It has a higher chance of missing your attacker, just like stream pattern and is hardly inhaled.


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