A Personal Protection Weapon To take into account: The Self-Protection Keychain

I use a generic term, “Self-Defense Keychain,” to describe this device but you may have heard of it by more popular, commercial names such as “Kubaton” or “Persuader Keychain.” Because, “Kubaton” is the most popular, I’ll use that term interchangeably with the one I use.

The Kubaton is a light-weight metal, plastic custom wood keychains or wooden dowel. It’s about five inches long and one half inch in diameter. The shaft of this weapon is usually knurled or grooved so that it doesn’t slip in your hand. On one end of the Kubaton is a ring or two holding a cluster of ten to fifteen keys.

Recently, manufacturers have attempted to enhance the Kubaton with sharpened ends, telescoping tubes, spikes, enclosed canisters of pepper spray and even hidden knife blades. I won’t get into these additional “bells and whistles” and will limit my recommendation to the basic model consisting of a shaft, key rings and keys.


The self-defense keychain is discrete, unassuming, and convenient to carry. If used properly, it can dramatically increase the odds of surviving and escaping from a serious, life-threatening assault. I discuss the keychain during my self-defense seminars because it stands up nicely to the seven evaluation questions.

I prefer to discuss and provide information about the keychain but hesitate to make blatant recommendations about it, or any other device or weapon. I believe that the decision about whether to carry a personal safety device, and which one you carry, is YOUR decision. I prefer that you evaluate and analyze the “pros and cons” for yourself. This article is to assist you in that process process.



If you missed the last issue of the Protective Strategies Self-Defense Newsletter (December 2000) I’ll review the seven Personal Safety Device Evaluation Questions:

1. Is it legal?

2. Will I carry it all the time?

3. Will it be immediately available when I need it?

4. Do I have legitimate confidence in my ability to use it?

5. Is it as effective as it has been held out to be?

6. Could it be taken away and used on me?

7. Am I physically, mentally and emotionally prepared to use it?

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In most jurisdictions that I am aware of, the Kubaton is legal. It can be purchased over the counter in security, martial arts and sporting goods stores. I found several online merchants selling them for $5 to $25 dollars. Because they have a utility function (to hold your keys) they can be legally carried.