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5 Brass Knuckle Alternatives for Self Defense

Many people like to carry a weapon for self defense, and though a gun is your best bet it's not always appropriate for all situations. Some people have yet to take the training necessary to responsibly carry a firearm, or just don't feel comfortable having a gun on them in public. Whatever the reason, you shouldn't have to go defenseless against an attacker which is why many turn to brass knuckles as their means of protection.

Brass knuckles are great - they are easy to carry and conceal in a pocket while waiting to be deployed. Brass knuckles are lightweight and low cost and don't require a lot of training to be used effectively for self defense. The problem is that many jurisdictions are moving to ban brass knuckles as 'weapons' and many states already have laws in place and what legal action may come if you choose to use one. Check here for your local laws on brass knuckles.

Even if knuckles are banned in your state, you can still defend yourself by thinking outside the box. The main purpose of a brass knuckle is to reinforce your punch, adding a force multiplier to help neutralize an attacker. A small woman may be able to deliver the impact of a large man with the help of a brass knuckle, possibly preventing a rape. Many of these handheld items protect the knuckle from impact, or keep the wrist in proper position for a solid strike against an attacker.

You can achieve that same impact and hand protection from other objects that few view as deadly weapons - but when used properly everyday carry items can serve as makeshift self defense weapons. Here are five low key items that can be used in place of brass knuckles. If you can think of any others be sure to comment below.


One thing that everyone has on them all the time is keys. Positioned correctly in the hand, a set of keys can be a valuable self defense tool. The best way to use keys as a weapon is to grip them firmly in the palm and position the tips outward between your fingers. This allows them to be used as a piercing weapon which you can aim at an attackers eyes or throat. A huge set of keys is a lot harder to get a grip on and position, so paring down the amount of keys that you carry is a good idea.


A carabiner is something that a lot of people already have on them. Some use a carabiner as a kechain, others have one hanging from their backpack. This little object is a potential self defense weapon when used properly: positioned in the palm, a carabiner can work much like a brass knuckle by reinforcing your punch to add power when defending yourself.

Roll of Quarters

It might sound a little strange, but we know an older gentleman who carries a roll of quarters in his jacket pocket. He doesn't need the change for laundry - he carries them for self defense. Like a brass knuckle, a roll of quarters is a solid object that backs up a punch. The bonus is that a roll of quarters doesn't draw a lot of attention or questions if someone notices you carrying them.

Pocket Sized Defense Tools

There are plenty of small, lightweight self defense tools that can be found on Amazon for $5-10. Most will easily fit on your keychain and be easy to access if you are attacked. For a few dollars more, you can get a 'tactical' pen that is made of metal and very sturdy, but tactical items tend to draw attention - which is why we prefer less obvious weapons. If you go with one of these defense minded tools, practice gripping the item and finding an easy to access spot for carrying it so that you are experienced with using it.


The Shomer-Tec Impact kerambit is a no nonsense self defense tool that costs less than $10. Made from indestructible plastic, the low profile object works by reinforcing your fist and holds the wrist in the best possible position for delivering a punch. This minimizes the chance of hurting yourself in a defensive situation. A bonus is that since no one will know what the kerambit is, it can easily be carried into places where other weapons are banned such as on a flight. The company who makes the impact kerambit also offers a training video.


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