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TASER Pulse Review: Best Less-Lethal Option?

Should you get TASER's Pulse for the civilian market? I review my experiences carrying it 2 years. Plus a couple videos of it in action with both cartridge shooting and contact stun mode.

    TASER…turning people into Wookie-sounding bags of jello since 1993.

    For a long time only available to law enforcement…the TASER Pulse is geared towards us normal civilian folks.

    Taser Pulse Dual Wield
    TASER Pulse Dual Wield

    I’ve been on-and-off carrying one for three years. Find out what I think and whether the Pulse meets your less-lethal needs. 

    Actual videos of me shooting it too!

    Most Electrifying Non-Lethal EDC
    at The Home Security Superstore

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Table of Contents


    About the TASER Pulse

    I won’t dive too much into it…but TASER devices work by firing two dart electrodes that deliver electricity, which causes “neuromuscular incapacitation.”

    Taser Pulse Demo
    TASER Pulse Demo

    I’m sure you’ve seen the videos of it in action. This is the Pulse hooked up with clips and only for a few seconds (a full shot is 30 seconds which gives you time to run away).

    TASER has traditionally only gone after the law enforcement market…but the Pulse is now available to almost anyone with no licensing in most states.

    It’s shaped like a subcompact handgun, has a 15-foot range, a safety lever that activates a light and laser combo, and also a contact stun capability.

    Now let’s dive deeper…

    Features & Specs

    • 15′ foot range
    • Contact stuns for close encounter
    • Ambidextrous safety lever with light/laser activation
    • Immobilize attackers for up to 30 seconds
    • Weighs 8 ounces
    • Batteries last about 2 years
    • Has an integrated flashlight and laser underneath the main cartridge
    • Taser Pulse+ also integrates with a platform that connects to your phone and can phone a 911 dispatcher

    What You Get

    For around $399 you get:

    • Pulse unit with battery
    • Two cartridges
    • Neoprene cover
    • Conductive test target
    Taser Pulse Unboxing
    TASER Pulse Unboxing

    TASER sent me this new unit for testing & photos, but the old one I bought myself when it was full price :-(.

    But we’ve got a sweet deal for you…15% off with code PEWPEW from TASER direct. Although at this time The Home Security Superstore’s $70 off still makes it cheaper.

    Most Electrifying Non-Lethal EDC
    at The Home Security Superstore

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Replacement cartridges are roughly $50 for two. And batteries (that last around 2 years) are around $29.

    at The Home Security Superstore

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Who Is It For?

    • Someone wanting to protect themselves with a less-lethal projectile weapon (and with contact stun capability)
    • Someone living in a state where it’s hard to get a concealed carry permit

    Fit & Feel

    It’s pretty light (8 oz) but feels quality for being completely polymer. For comparison…a Glock 19 is 29 oz loaded.

    The grip is also decent…I can get a full grip without a hanging pinkie. I’m a large SKD glove (Best ShootingGloves).

    Taser Pulse Grip, Me
    TASER Pulse Grip, Me

    And here is my wife’s grip (she’s a small SKD).

    Taser Pulse Grip, Wife
    TASER Pulse Grip, Wife

    As for size…here’s the Glock 19 again.

    Taser Pulse vs Glock 19 Grip
    TASER Pulse vs Glock 19 Grip

    And for the side profile.

    Taser Pulse vs Glock 19, Side
    TASER Pulse vs Glock 19, Side

    Sights are meh but low-profile and properly aligned with the laser at the 15-foot mark. My guess is if you’re using it, you’re probably only using the laser.

    Taser Pulse Sights
    TASER Pulse Sights

    The lever to power the unit is a flip-up that activates the laser/light and also a power indicator. Green for good and orange for time to change the battery.

    Taser Pulse Lever & Power Indicator
    TASER Pulse Lever & Power Indicator

    Batteries are in the grip and easily accessed when it’s time to change them.

    Taser Pulse Battery Pack
    TASER Pulse Battery Pack

    I’ve been testing it during the 2 years with a decent amount of contact stuns, and I’m still in the green.

    How Does It Shoot?

    Insert a cartridge (it doesn’t matter orientation), make sure the battery is good, flip the lever up, and shoot.

    Taser Pulse Cartridges
    TASER Pulse Cartridges

    I put the conductive test target on some cardboard and loaded up one of my 2-year-old cartridges.

    Taser Pulse Testing Target
    TASER Pulse Testing Target

    Here it is in action at 15 paces…

    Once the two darts make contact, you’ll drive a 30-second charge of electricity into your target. That gives you time to get out of there.

    Check out the surges of electricity running across the target…and the difference in pulse patterns. The dart spread is also good for most adult torsos.

    And something really cool…there’s a Safe Escape Product Replacement Guarantee. If there’s a police report that deems your use lawful self-defense…TASER will send you a new one!

    What if you miss…or you somehow need to incapacitate another target?

    Taser Pulse Contact Stun
    TASER Pulse Contact Stun

    You can either load up another cartridge (which probably isn’t going to happen), or you can take out the used cartridge and use the Pulse in contact stun mode.

    Pretty nifty!

    And check out the impact on thick cardboard…

    Taser Pulse Electrodes
    TASER Pulse Electrodes

    And the barbed electrodes…that’s gotta sting! Now I know why they use alligator clips when testing them on law enforcement.

    Taser Pulse Electrode Barbs
    TASER Pulse Electrode Barbs

    And how what about the trigger?

    It’s comparable to a single-action trigger with no slack and a clean break…with the tactile feel of pressing down on the R or L button on a console controller. I measured it at an ultra-light 1 lb 10 oz.

    Low Light Use

    Chances are, most bad things happen at night. I really like the integrated flashlight and laser underneath the main cartridge.

    Taser Pulse Light & Laser
    TASER Pulse Light & Laser

    Hopefully, a laser on someone’s chest already defuses the situation. Besides the yellow outline on the front of the Pulse…it really looks like a subcompact gun.

    The light is decent…it’ll help you positively ID your target at around the 15-foot mark. But it’s not exactly a great torch (5 Best Tactical Lights).

    Taser Pulse Laser Light, 15 Ft
    TASER Pulse Laser Light, 15 Ft

    Laser is very visible at night and adequate during the day at 15 feet.

    Taser Pulse Laser Light, 15 Ft Part 2
    TASER Pulse Laser Light, 15 Ft Part 2

    And here’s the pattern indoors at around 8 feet…note that it’s rectangular in shape, but once you’re out to 15 feet, you won’t notice.

    Taser Pulse Laser Light, 8 Ft Indoors
    TASER Pulse Laser Light, 8 Ft Indoors

    Holster Options

    The thing it comes with is really only meant as a cover. It’s soft and hard to take on and off.

    Taser Pulse Slip Cover
    TASER Pulse Slip Cover

    Other holster options have gotten a lot better. For OWB (outside the waistband), I would look at the Blade-Tech.

    at The Home Security Superstore

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Or, more likely, you’ll go for an IWB (inside the waistband). In that case, look at TASER’s own option.

    at The Home Security Superstore

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    It’s pretty comfortable for walks and car rides.

    Taser Pulse CCW, Appendix
    TASER Pulse CCW, Appendix

    Conceals well, covers the trigger, doesn’t inadvertently activate the power lever, and is easy to draw.

    Lastly, there’s even a leather paddle option.

    Leather Pulse Holster
    Leather Pulse Holster

    Pros & Cons

    The Good Stuff

    • Decent price of $399 (especially with the Pew Pew Tactical discount)
    • Lightweight and compact
    • 15 feet of shooting distance
    • Ambidextrous safety lever with light/laser activation
    • Contact stun capability
    • Some holster options now
    • Replacement guarantee
    • No restrictions in most states (always double-check)

    Could Be Better

    • One-shot cartridges that cost $25 each
    • Batteries last about 2 years
    • Need both prongs to hit target
    • Might be ineffective against thick clothing

    The last one is addressed by TASER, where they say, “The darts will penetrate all but the thickest clothing and the electricity will also jump up to two inches of combined distances between the probes and the skin.”

    By the Numbers

    Reliability: 4.5/5

    3+ years and at least 20 usages of the contact stun to show my friends…my battery is still going strong. I haven’t shot dozens of cartridges, but the one I did was fine. However, it does look like a handful of reviews on Amazon had less than reliable batteries.

    Accuracy: 5/5

    Within 15 feet, if you keep the Pulse upright and on target with the laser…it will do its job.

    Ergonomics: 5/5

    Nice subcompact size and grip that fits me fine and was rated as excellent by my wife.

    Looks: 5/5

    Looks like a subcompact gun…for better or for worse.

    Customization: 2/5

    I guess you can choose a holster? But customization isn’t really the name of the game for a TASER device.

    Bang for the Buck: 3.5/5

    Decently priced for what you get at $399 but is closer to $339 with code PEWPEW from TASER direct although The Home Security Superstore is offering $70 off to bring it down to $329.

    Cartridges are around $45 for two, and remember to change batteries every 2 years at $29 a pop.

    Overall Rating: 4.5/5

    Most Electrifying Non-Lethal EDC
    at The Home Security Superstore

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons
    at The Home Security Superstore

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Final Verdict

    If you’re looking for a less-lethal option that doesn’t require you to get up close and personal like pepper spray or stun guns…try out the TASER Pulse.

    Or if you’re in a CCW unfriendly state but you still want protection previously only available to law enforcement.

    Taser Pulse, What You Get
    TASER Pulse, What You Get

    It’s decently priced now, is light, ergonomic, and is pretty easy to hit the target. Plus, the contact stun is a plus if you miss.

    Extra cartridges and keeping the battery fed are a little annoying, but not enough to deter my personal use.

    I’m going to continue to carry mine, and the second one is going into my wife’s purse. Remember to use the code PEWPEW for 15% off direct from TASER.

    Most Electrifying Non-Lethal EDC
    at The Home Security Superstore

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    What’s your opinion of the Pulse…or did you go with some other sort of less-lethal option? Check out our other options with Best Stun Guns and also Best Pepper Spray.

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    27 Leave a Reply

    • Commenter Avatar

      I bought a TASER PULSE+ 2 1/2 years ago. The cheaply made/glued positive/negative holding contacts is faulty. Contacted TASER to pay for repair or replacement…TASER DOES NOT SUPPORT OR REPLACE parts on the Pulse+ just PLAIN dont carry parts or replace. No ifs and or buts…DONT WASTE YOUR MONEY

      April 15, 2023 4:12 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      I believe if that taser was pointed at many people, that it looks enough like a gun, that it may be an invitation to shoot the person deploying it. Just a thought...

      April 5, 2023 9:35 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      A lesson about tasers I learned is they do not work all the time. Long story short: Years ago the department started issuing tasers, this was great I thought. Got the training, ready to go. The first time I used it was against a big guy, really big, not over weight big but bulked up all muscle 6 ft 7 inch big and really angry and aggressive like a charging bull. Tasered perfectly, text book, and right in the center of the chest - to this day I still remember how he tossed me around like a rag doll after being tasered then proceeded to pummel my partner and I had to end up shooting him anyway to stop him when he pulled out the knife. 47 seconds had elapsed from initial encounter to shooting him according to the establishment surveillance video.

      April 5, 2023 6:01 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      Why does your map show "No Restrictions" to possess a taser in NC? Yet when I research taser Restrictions in NC they clearly say it is illegal to conceal carry a taser. Very misleading, If a person soley relys on the information that you've given they could be breaking the law.

      April 4, 2023 7:21 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        NC has restrictions on carrying a taser concealed outside your home, not possessing them or carrying them not concealed. Its not illegal to carry or posses them, its just illegal to carry them concealed outside your home. You can legally carry it not concealed outside your home.

        April 5, 2023 5:41 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      Are the cartridges one time use?

      April 4, 2023 7:16 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Deputy Dave

      As a law enforcement officer I've seen tasers fail more often than work. They are wonderful when they work, but terrible when they don't.

      April 4, 2023 7:09 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Might have been a great idea if they had set up the safety/laser switch to operate in the same direction as a 1911 (muscle memory being what it is). And yes, Illinois sucks!

      April 4, 2023 6:01 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Great Job Illinois! Way to restrict anything that protects oneself from the criminals

      April 4, 2023 5:28 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      I added Talon grips to mine. Im from LA County where ccw isn't allowed.

      July 16, 2019 1:20 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      In your video where you shot at the target, you put taser down on ground after. I’m assuming to run, leaving it all behind? If stun was then necessary, you have to wait for the 30 seconds to pull cartridge out to use stun? This was a gift and I’m trying to figure this out. I agree that the holster that comes with is difficult to put in and take off. Going to shop for another case. Thx

      May 27, 2019 8:00 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        No you can either turn the safety back which will turn it off or yank out cartridge.

        July 17, 2019 8:50 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      Make sure you don't have an AD with appendix carry.

      March 8, 2019 3:09 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      S. Smith

      Unlike the law enforcement models, This gives a 30-second ride, not a 5-second ride. Mind you, like pepper spray, this won't work on everyone, (such as people on PCP, etc.) and therefore DOES NOT replace a firearm. However, it solves one of the major problems pepper spray poses- the problem of incapacitating yourself when you use it. (blowback is pure hell). The major con to the Taser is the fact that you have to consider that an unwarranted discharge of a Taser is more likely to result in a felony assault charge. (as the "probes" fit the definition of a "deadly weapon" under the law of some states.) All and all, for those looking for a non-lethal "intermediate force" option, the pulse is a great option.

      March 1, 2019 10:12 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Can you still get an 'old" one? I would rather not contact emergency services, unless I am the one doing the contacting...

      February 3, 2019 5:33 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        Join the discussion...oops...misread the new/old info in article - I see you can get either...

        February 3, 2019 5:35 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        S. Smith

        Yes the "old" model is still available.

        March 1, 2019 10:03 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        You do not have to activate the mode, it has nothing to do with taser its an app that is optional

        May 9, 2019 8:50 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      I looked on amazon and the prices are up to over $300 now. I went to the guerrilladefense.com store jeremy mentioned and they still have them for $279 so I just bought one. Im excited to try it out

      October 15, 2018 9:15 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        I just bought taser pulse from Guerrilla Defense for $269 with shipping. Anyone know when the new taser7 will be available

        December 15, 2018 6:21 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      I bought mine online at a place called Guerrilla defense and had a battery issue too. They were very nice and sent me a new battery and offered to send me a whole new gun if I wanted, but instead I bought two camera batteries that are rechargeable and made my own. Now all I have to do is recharge them. The batteries are just a money making tactic by Taser so you always have to buy new ones

      June 25, 2018 10:28 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      2 Years of battery life is out of the ordinary. I went through 3 batteries in a single year, and I don't even test it. I only flip the safety to check the battery. I had to stop carrying it due to unreliability. There are many more people reporting this problem in the Amazon reviews.

      June 9, 2018 8:50 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      what is the average civilian going to do after giving the crook a 5 second ride (shock). Now you've got a pissed off crook looking for revenge.

      June 4, 2018 12:50 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Eric Hung

        The built in shock is 30 seconds like in my video where you're supposed to run away. And Taser will get you another Pulse if you have a police report filed that shows you used it in self-defense.

        June 4, 2018 4:21 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Johnn Quest

      You had better check the reviews on Amazon. There appears to be a lot of people experiencing battery problems, I question your rating for reliability.

      June 3, 2018 11:34 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Eric Hung

        Thanks Johnn! It does look like a handful of people have problems with the battery. So far mine have been gtg.

        June 4, 2018 11:28 am
      • Commenter Avatar

        I purchased my pulse in November 2017 and haven't had any issues with the battery. I've fired it once with a cartridge, I've activated the contact stun mode a handful of times and I've powered on the laser/light a couple dozen times. Battery indicator is still a solid green and laser/light are still bright as ever. My buddy bought his Pulse same time I did and hasn't had any issues with his battery.
        The only thing I would question is the reliability of the Amazon reviews. Amazon reviews for a particular product are consistently worse then reviews left for the same product on other sites. The majority of negative reviews about the battery were probably human error, they either left the Pulse in a car on a/multiple hot day(s) or treated it like a toy constantly powering it on and off. Are faulty batteries possible, yes of course they are, but considering my buddy, Eric and I have all had absolutely no issues with our batteries, I would say Eric's rating is justified and accurate.
        Also keep in mind law enforcement use Taser, not the same model as the Pulse but still a Taser nonetheless. If there was an issue with the batteries it would have been resolved very quickly or Taser would have lost not only credibility but their main source of income as well. One last point, Taser has enough problems with people questioning the safety of their products, claiming a loved one died after a Taser was used in them. Last thing they want or need is for their customers to start questioning the safety of the products as well.

        January 4, 2019 1:30 pm
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