Self defense substances

Pepper Gel vs Pepper Spray / differences

February 10, 2019April 2, 2020

People, especially women, have been using lachrymators for self-defense for centuries. Recently, pepper gel was developed for self-defense. Both, pepper spray and gel contain the same active ingredient. Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) is the naturally occurring substance found in cayenne peppers. ( check the best-reviewed pepper gels on Amazon )

What is the difference between pepper spray and pepper gel?

Pepper spray is in liquid form while pepper gel is, of course, in a sticky gel form. For figuring out which is better, you need to know more about their differences.

Pepper spray comes in various forms such as a foam, fogger, stream and gel. I have listed the differences between pepper spray and pepper gel. Have a look!

Pattern of Spray

Pepper spray is emitted as a direct spray or as a mist. It has a wide dispersal pattern, meaning it will spread out when you spray it towards your target. It can be perfect for deterring several attackers.

While pepper gel is a sticky gel, it will be emitted as a sticky and thick substance; gel has a targeted ballistic stream pattern. It will stick on the face of the attacker, making it hard to get it off.

Risk of Cross-Contamination

When you use a pepper spray, there is a risk of it be blown back at you. This is the biggest drawback of pepper spray as it is dispersed in a mist form. Whether you use it inside or out, the risk of it coming back at you is high. When you are outside, wind can blow the mist back at your face. In case you are inside, the attacker can blow it back.

On the other hand, pepper gel is better than the spray because there is no risk of it blown back at you. This is because it has a stream pattern.


Pepper spray has an effective range of almost 12 feet whereas, pepper gel can travel further. Mostly, gels have an effective range of 18 feet. Pepper gels can travel 20% more further than spray.

Impact on the Target

Whether you use spray or gel on the attacker, the effect will be the same. Since both contain OC, it will cause an intense burning sensation. The assailant will feel the burning sensation in their eyes, throat, nose, and skin. As mentioned above, the gel will stick to the face of the attacker, rubbing it will lead to increased burning sensation as it increases the potency.

Moreover, the impact of the spray and gel will last for 45 minutes. This is more than enough to escape a dangerous situation. The effect of the spray or gel is dependent on the strength of the formula. Mostly, the gel and spray have a formula ranging from 2% to 10% of OC. However, pepper gel has higher strength formula.

Therefore, capsicum spray and gel have the same substance. Yet, pepper gel is better for self-defense because of its effective range, no risk of cross-contamination, and ability to stick to the face. Capsicum gel is non-flammable, this is why it can be used with a taser or stun gun, and firearm.

What is the hottest pepper spray?

The level of hotness of a hot pepper is measured on the Scoville scale. The specific measurement reading of a pepper on this scale is in Scoville Heat Units.

The number of units in a pepper depends on how much capsaicin it has in it.  For instance, a jalapeno has between 2,500 and 8,000 SHU, while a datil pepper has 100,000 and 300,000 SHU. But if you have 100% pure capsaicin, then it is between 15,000,000 and 16,000,000 SHU. You can read this article if you want to know more about the strongest pepper sprays.

The hottest pepper spray product has 5,300,000 SHU. This product is the Fox Labs 5.3M SHU Police Pepper Spray. It is a 1.5-ounce canister which sprays a stream of the formula at about 20 feet.

There is no risk of blowback from the wind or anything like that. You’ll stay safe when trying to stop an attacker from harming you. That is why this product is used by military agencies, security officers, and law enforcement officers all around the world.

One canister can provide you with approximately 18 bursts. Each burst lasts about half a second, so it definitely sprays fast for a 1.5-ounce can.

A canister is a flip-top unit which is spring loaded and prevents accidental activation. As a bonus, the formula even includes UV-marking dye so that attackers are marked for later identification by the police.

There is no better pepper spray on the market in terms of hotness and range. This pepper spray product should last for 3 years on the shelf. It is a little too big for your keychain though, so you’ll need to carry it around on a belt with you.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *