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I Pepper Sprayed Myself to See if it Works

Mamerto Adan is an engineer by profession, but a writer by night. He loves toys and knives. He also has a martial arts background.


I owned a pepper spray in cases that I need to take down someone quickly, and without inflicting serious injury. What’s more pepper sprays are legal to carry in our place. No need to mess around with costly weapons license. At first I never got into pepper sprays until I encountered a violent hobo and I thought that batoning him will lead to serious lawsuits. Even better, pepper sprays are highly inconspicuous. It is easy to conceal and carry, and it looks non-threatening (unless you sprayed it). Even knife fearing people in our office never give a darn about that ominous looking canister in my pocket. Yes it will never replace a firearm and you will need additional self defense training as a complement. But in certain cases pepper sprays are good enough for you.

But sometime I wonder if it really works.

I have seen bold claims in forums how pepper sprays won’t work and you are better off with a gun instead. Honestly doubts these claims as I was advised that those people are no more that attention seekers without any combative training. Yet I saw a lot of videos of muscular men falling on their knees after receiving a faceful.

Now to be fair, I think it’s time to do the unthinkable; how about pepper spraying myself instead.

The Brand Used

Let's see if this is good enough for us!

Let's see if this is good enough for us!

There are a lot of pepper sprays to choose from. In this test we will use a well-known product Sabre. I won’t go into details on what make this product special, but as the brand claims it will make grown men cry. Thankfully a buddy of mine came to join in. He doesn’t want to be named, but he is a big guy (around 200 lbs). I’m smaller yet testing the same product on two differently built men will add credence to the result. I did make it clear to my buddy that he could experience extreme pain and discomfort. And if his claims are right, he is in top shape and without a pre-existing respiratory illness. Good for him, for he could die in this test. I heard some claims on how people with lung problems died after being sprayed.

How We Tested It

Firstly, how dumb are we to never tape our test! We could gain followings in Youtube, but we never wished to be the next Steve O. So it might be better if we never recorded anything. We did the test outside, for doing it indoors could be hazardous. What’s more it will add further credence as some people claim how outside winds could reduce its effects. And how could I explain to our home buddies if they get home and sniff a bit of pepper spray in the air. Just to be sure we brought several people with us as a precaution and a bucketful of water. Again our stupidity is at work here for we never even bothered to photograph the setup.

And We Did It.

Because we care for each other, we just sprayed the thing to ourselves and never asked the other to spray it for us. I wasn’t expecting much when I did and how wrong am I! My buddy is on his knees, coughing and wheezing. At least that’s what I heard from the others, for I cannot see a thing. I also couldn’t breathe and been coughing myself. To get into the details on what happened, you might be interested to read more.

What it Did To The Eyes

It virtually shut my eyes.

It virtually shut my eyes.

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This is what I get for not reading the label. Sabre sprays are actually gels. This means that it could get extra sticky especially in corners of your face, including your eyes. In fact the effect of the spray is almost immediate. The moment it hits my face my eyes simply shut down. It is a common reflex when it got irritated, and boy it was one hell of an irritant. I couldn’t open my eyes because whatever is in the spray is burning my peepers. Imagine having a handful of sand thrown into your eyes. That’s what it feels, only worst. At least sands don’t have irritating capsaicin. My buddy had the same experience. That alone is enough to stop a thug in the street. By taking out his vision you now have the chance to escape. In the case of a trained fighter it will still offer a distraction to his adversary even if it didn’t work. It will create a diversion and he won’t see a follow-up blow. Yet temporary blindness is not the only thing it does to you.

We are Coughing and Weezing

This part is vulnerable

This part is vulnerable

We could agree on that. We are coughing and spitting phlegm. My nose and throat are on fire and we have trouble breathing. I’m not sure how long it last, but my friends told me it took us a full 45 minutes to recover. And just how bad is it. Imagine your nose so runny and your throat so full of hot mucus that you couldn’t breathe. You tried to cough it off, but it simply got worst. In addition my sinus and throat are burning with that capsaicin irritant. As what my friend told me, if I tried eating pepper and I cough then I shouldn’t continue the test.

And We Forgot To

Again we should tape the whole thing or at least offer some photos. We should at least simulate an actual encounter, like one of us carrying a knife and see if we could still swing it after a spray. But I think being floored wheezing and with temporary blindness should be enough to send a message to anyone. That it is not wise to mess up with someone with a pepper spray.

As A Conclusion

Do pepper spray works? What do you think? What happened to me and my buddy is no joke. That thing has serious stopping power and there is a good reason why police carry one. There are a lot of Youtube videos showing actual encounters, and most resulted with a thug labouring in pain. I’m not sure if pepper sprays work on persons under the influence, but we are told that it would. Apart from pain it causes blindness and respiratory irritations, something that no drugs could numb. I highly recommend a pepper spray to anyone conscious about their protection, be it ladies or securities. And if you still doubt it, try it to yourself then.


Mamerto Adan (author) from Cabuyao on January 04, 2018:

Thanks Mary! As of now I felt no lasting damage. My friends and grandchildren will be delighted to hear this he he. Wow you have a harsh weapons law there.

Mary Wickison from USA on January 04, 2018:

Thanks for confirming that. At least you now know that it will, in fact, work when you want it to.

Here in Brazil, it isn't legal for citizens to carry it but I know some people do.

I hope there are no lasting effects and it is something to tell your future grandkids about.

Thank you for being a guinea pig on our behalf.

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