Batons aren’t exactly a novel solution to personal safety. If you’re involved in law enforcement, the military or private/public security, then there’s a reasonable chance you’ve gained some level of experience with them. For good reason, too. They’re one of the most effective non-lethal methods of self defense. This is why they’ve been used professionally for this exact purpose since the Victorian period of London cops.

19th century police in the early days of New York used to carry two different types of truncheon. One was carried for use during the day, and was much shorter. This was called a day-stick. The second type was carried by officers who would patrol at night, it afforded them slightly more protection due to it’s enhanced length. This was the origin of the term “night-stick” which is what many modern law enforcement authorities still colloquially refer to a baton as.

Best Tactical Baton For Self Defense

We’ve come a long way since the era of the wooden truncheon. Modern material science and engineering has gifted use with a huge variety of types to choose from. With some being more effective than others.

Expandable batons are great example of this. The expandable baton is a particularly great solution for anyone looking for an easier to carry/conceal alternative to a full sized baton. The best part about carrying a modern tactical baton is that they can be lightweight enough to not be unwieldy, whilst still being long enough and tough enough to function as a self defense tool.

We’ve compiled a list below of some of the more popular and reliable expandable batons. This should hopefully help you wade through the sea of Chinese knock-offs you’re likely to find online. We understand that many of you might be operating on a tight budget. As such our top result is the best tradeoff between quality and price we could find. The products following this are a mixture of great budget options and solid, premium quality products from bigger brands.

UZI CAMPCO 21″ Black Expandable Baton

Technical Specifications
Extended Length: 21″ | Retracted Length: 8.25″ | Shaft Material: Hardened Steel | Body Material: Hardened Steel | Weight: 15 Ounces

There’s a handful of reasons we opted to include this baton at the top of the list. Some of the batons listed below are actually industry standard. But the CAMPCO excels in two particular ways. The first of which is price and the second of which is convenience. It’s priced over $80 cheaper than some of its competitors, but it isn’t so cheap as to be manufactured out of flimsy materials that break easily.

It’s produced out of a unique hardened steel that’s designed to withstand a solid amount of trauma. It also has an anti-slip grip made of rubber. It even comes with its own molded holster included.

Convenience is the second reason you might want to opt for the CAMPCO expandable baton. You don’t need to put in some sort of requisition form with a quartermaster, you can purchase it quickly and easily online.

It’s produced by a reliable manufacturer, UZI, who are among one of the most prominent firearm brands you could encounter in the 21st century. Their products and tried and tested by the police, secret service and even special forces.

Pros
Easy To Purchase | Excellent Budget Buy 

Cons
Not As Popular As Other Brands

GOOBOI 26″ Telescopic Baton

Technical Specifications
Extended Length: 26″ | Retracted Length: 9″ | Shaft Material: Steel Alloy | Body Material: Steel Alloy | Weight: 1.1lbs

This is another solid budget choice. The GOOBOI telescopic rod is manufactured from a steel alloy comprised of tungsten & manganese. This means that it’ll withstand a tremendous amount of use and isn’t prone to normal levels of degradation or rust. You’ll also have an incredibly difficult time bending this particular item due to the high level of strength of this alloy. a few extras are thrown in also, including a window-breaker that’s already attached and a nylon pouch that can be strapped to your belt to allow for easy transport. It’s a fairly long variant but can be retracted to a compact 9 inches for easy transport.

Pros
Cheap | Fast Shipping | Good For Beginners | Useful As A Spare

Cons
Difficult To Retract | Locking Mechanism Is Hit Or Miss

HM26PC 21-26″ OutDoorDefender

 

Technical Specifications
Extended Length: 21-26″ | Retracted Length: 8.25″ | Shaft Material: Hardened Steel | Body Material: Hardened Steel | Weight: 15 Ounces

The OutDoorDefender is another solid choice for anyone looking for a cheap self defense solution without breaking the back. You have the option of the 21″ or 26″ variant. 26″ will grant you a greater deal of range if you’d prefer to maintain distance from anything or anyone that might seek to do you harm. The 21″ will be easier to transport and conceal.

Every model comes with a window breaker on the rear end of the handle. Making this an incredibly useful emergency survival tool. The slip proof handle design will allow you to generate force without worrying about losing your grip. But even if you do, there’s a wrist-strap present to ensure it doesn’t fly far from your control. This rubber handle is also designed to be fairly ergonomic so that it’s not uncomfortable to use.

Pros
Good Price

Cons
Difficult To Retract

Polynea Self Defense Baton

Technical Specifications
Extended Length: 26″ | Retracted Length: 10.7″ | Shaft Material: Hardened Steel | Body Material: Hardened Steel | Weight: 1.45lbs

This is a more obscure product. It’s definitely one you would consider if you’re operating on an extremely conservative budget. It’s a fraction of the cost of some of the batons designed for professional use. It is also roughly the same dimensions and weight. It’s a medium-duty baton machined from a generic steel.

The incredibly low price and fast shipping comes at a trade off, though. It’s easy to deploy via gravity, but the mechanism for retraction can be pretty sticky. The best way to retract the shaft is to hold it at a 90 degree angle from a flat, hard surface and apply direct pressure.

It’s top heavy, meaning most of the weight is concentrated near the striking end of the self defense tool. This can allow you to generate a bit more striking force using leverage (think of a mace). However, the trade off is that it can be somewhat harder to control overall due to the lack of weight in the handle.

Pros
Good Price | Reasonable Weight

Cons
Awkward Weight Distribution | Somewhat Flimsy

WenGoTo Handheld 22″ Telescopic Pole

Technical Specifications
Extended Length: 22″ | Retracted Length: 9″ | Shaft Material: Hardened Plastics | Body Material: Aluminum/Hardened Plastic | Weight: Extremely Lightweight

Whilst this is not marketed exclusively as a baton, it is an emergency survival tool with ALL of the same functionality as one. It’s possibly the cheapest option available for anyone looking to procure one quickly on a heavy budget. The inside is made from a high strength aluminum in order to ensure the product remains lightweight. The outside is coated in a hardened, high-strength plastic in order to keep the product as light as possible without compromising the durability. It has a rubber handle to help disperse kinetic energy and allow you to retain your grip when in use. This is an excellent option for anyone looking to skip the red tape of buying a conventional baton whilst retaining all of the functionality of one.

Pros
Great Price | Fast Shipping

Cons
Very Flimsy | Incredibly Light

ASP Expandable Talon Baton

Technical Specifications
 Extended Length: 21″ | Retracted Length: 7.7″ | Shaft Material: 4140 Steel | Body Material: 7075 T6 Aluminium | Weight: 16.3 Ounces 

The ASP Friction baton is an incredibly well made, premium quality product. It’s manufactured from a mixture of a sturdy 4140 steel and a lightweight 7075 T6 Aluminium. This allows you to deliver a good amount of force and precision without compromising the integrity of your baton. It also allows you to deliver an adequate amount of force without being too heavy or difficult to use.

As mentioned in the product review above, ASP expandable batons come with a choice of grip. The same rules apply for the finish also. Both variants that are available for the talon are available for the 21″ friction baton.

This product isn’t as highly priced as the talon, however, it’s a slightly older variant. It’s also slightly lighter, so it can be a little bit more challenging to deliver the same level of force.

Pros
Current Market Leader | Incredibly Durable | Can Be Customized

Cons
High Price Point | Difficult To Procure

Smith & Wesson SWBAT 24″ Self Defense Baton

 

Technical Specifications
Extended Length: 24″ | Retracted Length: 9.2″ | Shaft Material: 4130 Seamless Alloy Steel | Body Material: 4130 Seamless Alloy Steel | Weight: 1 Pound 2.9 Ounces

Smith & Wesson are a particular famous company. And for good reason. They’ve been manufacturing all manner of weaponry since the early days of the old west. Which is why it’s not surprising they’ve also managed to soak up a decent percentage of the market share when it comes to the sale of batons. This particular baton is a little bit longer than some of the other ones listed here, so it’ll grant you a little bit more range.

It’s manufactured from a solid steel alloy that’ll withstand a great deal of punishment. It’s also a fair amount heavier than some of the other variants which will allow you to generate more power when striking. The obvious downside to this is that it’ll be harder to conceal and carry.

The rubber grip will allow you to maintain a solid grasp of your baton regardless of the frequency of your striking.

Pros
Premium Quality Product | Manufactured By Smith & Wesson | Good Range 

Cons
Heavier | Bulkier

21″ Friction ASP Baton

Friction Baton

Technical Specifications
Extended Length: 21″ | Retracted Length: 7.7″ | Shaft Material: 4140 Steel | Body Material: 7075 T6 Aluminium | Weight: 16.3 Ounces

The ASP Friction baton is an incredibly well made, premium quality product. It’s manufactured from a mixture of a sturdy 4140 steel and a lightweight 7075 T6 Aluminium. This allows you to deliver a good amount of force and precision without compromising the integrity of your baton. It also allows you to deliver an adequate amount of force without being too heavy or difficult to use.

As mentioned in the product review above, ASP expandable batons come with a choice of grip. The same rules apply for the finish also. Both variants that are available for the talon are available for the 21″ friction baton.

This product isn’t as highly priced as the talon, however, it’s a slightly older variant. It’s also slightly lighter, so it can be a little bit more challenging to deliver the same level of force.

Pros
Premium Quality Product | More Reasonably Priced | Can Be Customized

Cons
Lighter Than Some Alternatives | Difficult To Procure

 

PR24 Expandable Baton With Side Handle

PR24 SIDE HANDLE BATON

Technical Specifications
Extended Length: 24″ | Retracted Length: Around 14″ | Shaft Material: Undisclosed | Body Material: Aluminium | Weight: 30 Ounces

This was a collapsible baton that was issued to UK police forces throughout the 1980s and 1990s. It was eventually replaced by an asp baton. However, it retained one clear advantage over its eventual successor. The side grip and long length of this defense tool meant that it granted you a clear advantage in defensive combat. Holding the grip and extending the baton across the length of your forearm allows you to effectively block bladed strikes without suffering from defensive wounds.

The foam grip compliments the aluminium frame very well.

However, the side grip was a bit of a double edged sword. Whilst it granted you a clear advantage in terms of self defense – it left a lot to be desired in terms of the amount of power you could administer with a strike. A common complaint amongst officers at the time was that it was difficult to incapacitate an opponent with it. This can of course put your life in danger if you’re looking to quickly neutralize multiple threats. This wasn’t just due to the side grip, though. There was not a great deal of weight behind the device either.

Opinions may be somewhat jaded, though. This was the first modern baton UK forces ever used. Up until its adoption they had been reliant on a far less subtle wooden truncheon.

Pros
Great For Defense | Decent Build Quality | Fairly Imposing

Cons
Harder To Generate Force | Side Grip Requires Training

Commonly Asked Questions

What Is The Best Baton For Self Defense?

This honestly boils down to individual preference. If you’re looking to inflict more damage, you’re obviously looking for a heavier variant. The talon baton listed above is a prime example of this. If you’re looking to defend against bladed strikes, a side-gripped variant may be of better use. Primarily due to the fact that they can be used to guard your forearm more effectively.

If you’re still unsure about what particular expandable baton to adopt, you should consider going on a youtube binge. Look up whatever variant you’re considering and try to get an idea of how practical it may be.

It’s entirely possible that everything about your chosen product could look great on paper. also, it’s possible that watching a video of this same product may make you reconsider your purchase.

User reviews are another great metric for gauging the right baton for you. Generally speaking, you want to keep an eye out for any kind of negative reviews. But you should pay particular attention to reviews that detail poor quality or poor functionality.

What Length Baton Is Best?

Another question that’s commonly asked by folks looking to buy a baton for self defense is the one above. The simple truth is that it boils down to what range you’re most comfortable participating in combat with. Many people prefer to have a longer length of baton.

You may have noticed at the start of this article we explained the origin of the word night-stick. There was a very solid reason that police departments in New York issued longer length truncheons at night. They allow you to maintain a greater distance from a combatant. This grants you a greater degree of control over the situation and can potentially grant you a greater level of personal safety.

The only downside to larger expandable batons is that they can be much harder to conceal. So if you’re looking to purchase one for a concealed carry sort of situation, you may have to compromise slightly on length.

Anyone wanting to make sure that they’re able to protect themselves from an attacker is going to want to maintain a safe distance.

21″ is an excellent middle ground. It has a greater level of range than some of the smaller variants, but it isn’t as bulky or unwieldy as some of the larger expandable batons on the market. If you’re looking for a concealed carry, these are just small enough to pull that off. Often times concealing your weapon can help you avoid conflict as certain individuals can and will take offense to seeing one being carried openly.

What States Are Batons Legal?

Thankfully, there are far more states in which the open or concealed carry of a baton is legal than vice versa. In order to save you time, we’ll list the states where they’re totally prohibited first

States In Which These Are Prohibited:

  • California – No surprise here. They’re completely illegal.
  • Arkansas – Kind of iffy. You might be able to use one in self defense. Maybe.
  • Connecticut – Totally illegal.
  • Hawaii – Totally illegal.
  • Nevada – Only legal with permission from county sheriff. Must be in writing.
  • New Jersey – Totally illegal.
  • New York – Totally illegal.
  • Oklahoma – Totally illegal.
  • Rhode Island – Totally illegal.
  • Tennessee – Totally illegal.

Any other state allows open carry of expandable batons. Concealed carry laws are prone to constant change, however. So don’t assume that you’ll be allowed to conceal carry straight away if your state isn’t on this list. It’s also generally accepted that if you’re open carrying because the police suspect you intend to unlawfully hurt someone – you’re going to be in a whole heap of trouble. So read up on your local laws as much as possible to ensure you stay on the good side of the law.

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