Most operatives carry knives as tools rather than weapons. Of course a 'weapon' can be any 'tool' you get your hands on (such as spanners & hammers) so the option of using a knife in self-defence is always there, but I'm betting most people here don't know how or would be comfortable using a knife in combat. I like to think myself as being very well versed in knives and even I would only use one as an absolute last resort.
The downside to the SaltGun that I see (in addition to it being the size & shape of a legitimate pistol) is that unlike a real firearm where you can aim centre of mass, with this one you need to aim directly for the face in order for it to work - which in a panicky situation would be difficult to accomplish. With practise you might be able to pull it off, but ammunition for the SaltGun is expensive & proprietary just like the gun itself (you can get a real
gun for cheaper than that). Compared to a pepper spray canister - which is smaller, lighter, easier to use (you can kinda spray it in front of you as opposed to aiming with precision) and substantially cheaper - the only advantage to the SaltGun is range, which relegates it to very
specific scenarios. Might be useful for disrupting a dog's sense of smell and the impact of the bullet itself causing it to flee, but other than that I think you'd be better off using regular mace.
The TASER Pulse actually looks pretty good - it's more compact than the SaltGun and seems a lot easier to carry & use than a regular taser. I don't know how much your typical taser is so can't comment much on the price of it or spare ammo, but it seems like the kind of thing you don't need much practise with anyway. Shooting centre of mass up close, especially with a laser sight, is easy enough for most operatives if they keep a level head. I like the look of the TASER StrikeLight advertised below for reasons I'll get into later:
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I'm a big advocate of batons, especially collapsible ones. Collapsible/telescoping batons are much easier to carry than fixed ones and the loud metallic "SCHLIK" they make upon deployment is often a deterrent in itself. While the more expensive ASP batons are certainly worth the extra money, even a cheap $10 baton from BudK can be fairly effective. While it does bend a lot easier, you're still hitting your target with a heavy piece of metal and if you need to throw it at your attacker as a last-ditch defence then it's quite cheap & easy to replace. Most tools designed for safety or self-defence (even helmets & body armour) are designed to be one-use items anyway.
But as Abraxas said, you need to train to use these things properly. The only thing worse than you dropping your baton or getting disarmed with it is throwing an errant strike that cracks your opponent's skull or stops their heart, so make sure you know what you're doing before swinging. Try going for extremities - the hands & legs (especially the knees) are easier targets to hit and can hinder your opponent long enough for you to escape or get them to back off entirely. If they can no longer hold a weapon or give chase, you'll have a much easier time escaping.
On the subject of flashlights & lasers, I see little utility in having one powerful enough to set things on fire. Often you need to be fairly close to your target and have the beam concentrated on them for a long duration to cause burning, which you won't really get in a SDF situation. Having a bright flashlight however is an invaluable tool to have at your disposal, especially if you're cornered in a dark environment. Flashing your opponent in the eyes with a bright light can dazzle them long enough for you to escape and ruin their nightvision, making it harder to see you. Many flashlights come with a sturdy metal housing (some even with additional protrusions) making them effective impact weapons if you need to engage your opponent physically. Most of us carry flashlights to navigate in dark environments anyway, making this a rather ubiquitous tool.
This is where I see the utility of the TASER StrikeLight I pointed out before; it's a bright LED flashlight, stun gun and sturdy impact device, making it a valuable 3-in-1 implement to carry. It also comes with a rechargeable battery, which is always nice.
Keep in mind however that your opponent is likely to be carrying one of these implements as well, or perhaps something worse: a sword/machete, a baseball bat, a gun, a guard dog on a leash, or even a tiger
. These implements may not be immediately obvious either; they may be blinding you with a flashlight in one hand while holding a gun in the other, for instance - so absolute care must be taken in how you deal with an assailant. Most people (even security guards) aren't looking for a fight - especially with masked trespassers - so prioritise putting distance between you & your target and use any physical contact as a means to get around/away from them rather than incapacitation. Even simply shoving your opponent away when they get too close can create an opening to escape.
We are all books containing thousands of pages and within each lies an irreparable truth.
What is locked, can be opened. What is hidden, can be found. What is yours... can be mine.