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10 Self Defense Tools You Can Legally Carry In Canada

Updated: Jan 25


a woman holding self defense chopsticks

Whether you're walking home late at night or going for a jog in an unfamiliar area, you might be tempted to equip yourself with a self-defense tool just in case.


The issue? In Canada, for the average citizen, you are not allowed to carry any tool for the purposes of self-defense. But - and there is a “but” - if you are carrying a tool (like a safety keychain) for the purposes of something else, and happen to get into an altercation and use it as a weapon of opportunity, then you are within the confines of the law.


Let’s explore this idea further, as well as highlight the best self-defense tools you can legally carry on you in Canada.


Short on time? Jump To:

What Can We Carry In Canada To Feel Safe? Intent Matters

Think of a baseball, a metal water bottle or another heavy item like a skateboard that you are carrying around.


If you’re carrying a baseball on your way home from a game, and use the bat as a weapon of opportunity against an attacker, then you're OK since you had the bat with you for the purpose of a baseball game.


10 Self Defense Tools That You Can Carry In Canada


In Canada, carrying pepper spray is illegal for use against humans. However, you can carry dog spray to use against dogs, wildlife and (ahem) animals.


Dog and coyote spray comes in a small canister that has a key ring attachment so you place it on your keychain or bag. You can read our full guide on whether you can use bear spray for self defense in Canada here.


sabre self defense spray



sabre self defense spray



sabre self defense spray



Personal alarms emit an extremely loud noise to draw attention to your situation and deter and disorient attackers. They’re perfect for joggers, elders, teenagers, women, night workers or anyone that thinks they may find themselves in a vulnerable position at some point.


Just pull the pin out and a very loud 125 decibel sound and flashing strobe light will emit from it so that everyone knows you’re in danger. These small objects can easily be thrown into a bag or pocket. We’d recommend the following personal safety alarms:


shes birdie keychain



self defense keychain



self defense keychain




self defense keychain


A security umbrella looks and functions like a regular umbrella, and provides an element of surprise in a threatening situation. Since its's built with a heavy frame and steel tip, a security umbrella can deliver a strong defensive strike.


self defense umbrella



self defense umbrella


With its clever hidden compartment, this stainless-steel bottle is your stealthy sidekick for stashing cash, cards, keys and those little treasures you don't want the world to find. And here's the kicker: it's a fully functional water bottle and can be used as a defense tool if it's filled with ice. Check prices on Amazon.



steel water bottle





Self-defense keychains are small, portable tools that can be used for striking an attacker or for making noise to attract attention. The legality of self-defense keychains in Canada is a somewhat complicated issue.


To put it simply: carrying this tool solely for self-defense purposes is illegal because you are considered as carrying a prohibited weapon under Canadian law. However, keychains are legal to possess if they are primarily intended for another purpose (such as for carrying your keys).


If the keychain just happens to have a self-defense function on them that you used as an opportunity during an attack, your defense may stand up in court (if it ever comes to that).


safety keychain


safety keychain



Your every day flashlight can be used as self-defense tool by shining it in an attacker's eyes to blind and disorient them. Flashlights are of course legal to carry in Canada, unlike many other self-defense tools. This means that you can have one on hand at all times in your bag without worrying about breaking the law.


tactical flashlight



tactical flashlight



If you’re trapped in a car, you can break glass with a Tactical Pen (otherwise known as a windshield breaker). But it's illegal to carry this if you intend to use it as a weapon in Canada, so remember - you will only be carrying this on your person because it's a pen.


This small, handheld tool often features a sharp or pointed tip for breaking glass. The tip is sharp enough so that you can also be used for self-defense too.


Whatever you buy, just make sure it’s a pen that you can also use to jab at an enemy or use the end tip to smash windows and deliver a crushing blow. Read my full guide on the 10 best tactical pens here.








While the primary function of Apple’s AirTag is to keep tabs on our belongings, it can also help your personal safety. By placing an AirTag in your bag or on your keychain, you create an invisible tether between you and your friends and family. Your loved ones can use the Find My app, and easily check in on your location during your evening commute or jog.





9. GPS Watch GPS watches are your guardian angel. A fusion of fitness and protection, they're the jogger's trusted companion as they track your location real-time.


garmin gps watch



garmin charge 6 watch


Safety whistles are simple and effective protective self-defense tools that can be used to attract attention and deter attackers. They’re perfectly legal in Canada and you can hang this whistle around your neck or leave it in a handbag or pocket.



titanium emergency whistle




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14 Comments


claudio basconsuelo
claudio basconsuelo
May 16

Couldn’t care less what the law is on self defence, I’ll always defend my self and I’ll use whatever means is necessary with whatever object or weapon, it’s my right to choose how I decide to take care of myself ,don’t like it then don’t do it

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Antonio Ruzza
Antonio Ruzza
May 10

YES.PROTECT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY!!!

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staysafevancouver
May 12
Replying to

Well said.

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spitfire260381
Jan 06

What can you carry in Canada for self defence I carry a 13 inch buck knife sharp as a sugical blade it has a blade only length of eight inches I keep it in a quick deploy sheth on my left side with the sharpened edge financing forward so I can grab it and slash in one motion without having to remove it stop then swing. I carry it on my thigh. All I can say is if it comes out that means my life is in imminent danger and regardless of the law the person on the other end of it is not getting there way .

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staysafevancouver
May 12
Replying to

You cannot carry a knife for the purposes of self defense in Canada.

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Don Smith
Don Smith
Nov 06, 2023

All I can say is a robber is fodder and that is that leave the rubbish at the

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satans666song
Oct 10, 2023

This is comedy. I always have a knife. Rather be in jail then dead. That's if the RCMP could even find me when they get there 25 minutes after the crime occurs. Lol

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