6 Best Expandable Batons for Self Defense

Small, lightweight, compact, and easy to use as it is, the expandable baton is a great choice for self defense. The telescoping design makes it easy to strike attackers or defend animals from a distance. Thus, it is an effective outdoor survival tool as well. Let alone use it as a walking stick when you are hiking, if it’s long enough.

Although a concealed carry firearm is the optimal choice for self-defense, but it’s hard to get a concealed carry license for your gun in many states. Then the self-defense expandable baton would be an ideal option to repel an attacker or invader. Apart from materials, length, and handle types, what other factors to consider when selecting the best expandable baton?

With too many options on the market, you may feel overwhelmed by their unique features that can match your preference. Today, we will delve into the crucial features of the best expandable batons for the money and recommend the tried-and-true options for you. If you are blank with which expandable baton to buy after a quick browse on the internet, reading on this post may enlighten you.

FAQs about Expandable Batons

Q1. What Is an Expandable Baton?

An expandable baton is a retractable tool commonly used by law enforcement officers or private individuals as a nonlethal self-defense weapon. Its telescoping design makes it easy to fit in your pocket or a sheath and carry with you. When opened, its length can extend three to five times when closed.

The expandable baton is quite versatile. You can use it to defend yourself in close encounters when folded and fight attackers while keeping distance when extended, or even break the extinguisher enclosure in case of an emergency or use it as a lever to open the door.

The way the expandable baton works vary from model to model. The automatic expandable batons are designed with a button and extends automatically once the button is touched. While other require a flick of the wrist to extend and slam of the tip end of the baton against a hard wall or floor to close.

Q2. What Expandable Baton Do Police Use?

Most US military and law enforcers use ASP expandable batons, although they have restrictions on sales and require additional files to prove your affiliation with military, law enforcement, and security sector in some states. The most well-known ASP expandable baton is the ASP Talon, which comes in different lengths and weight, a cam lockout, and a steel button deployment.

Q3. Are Expandable Batons Legal in the US?

Expandable batons are legal to carry in most US states except for the following:

  • California: Expandable batons are illegal to have and carry.
  • New York / Massachusetts / Washington D.C.: Tactical batons are legal to own but illegal to carry open or concealed.

However, using a baton against an unarmed person could trap you in some legal issues even if for self-defense. Thus, get to know your local laws and restrictions before taking a tactical baton for home or self-defense.

Q4. What to Look for on an Expandable Baton?

You can consider the following important features on the best expandable batons:


The best expandable baton for the money should not exceed the budget. Follow your budget and get what fits you most and try to diversity your self-defense weapon to ensure they cover a variety of scenarios.


21” to 26” is the best length for tactical batons used every day and makes sense mechanically. When you swing with your shoulder, elbow, or wrist, you are magnifying the velocity to the tip of the baton to cause impact on the assailant.

But that length is not a mini expandable baton, placing it in your pocket is inappropriate. Then, an expandable baton holder is needed to carry the weapon with you while maintaining an easy and quick access in emergencies.

Cytac Universal Baton Holder (Item No.: CY-CN-BH) is specially designed for holding 21” to 26” expandable batons on the market like ASP, ESP, EKA, etc. It features the open-top design and a thumb screw, allowing you to carry an tonfa by twisting the lower part of the baton and adjusting the holder tension with your bare hand. With a tooth gear mechanism, it can be conveniently connected with 10 carrying platforms, including belt clip, belt loop, paddle, MOLLE, low ride belt loop, drop leg platform, shoulder harness, MagicPlate, etc. Also, FDE, OD green, and black colors are available options for your references.

To know more details, please feel free to contact our sales team as always.


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The ideal baton lengths should be neither too long nor too short. If the baton length is too long, it becomes useless in narrow spaces and hard to aim. If the baton is too short, you lose leverage from the swing and the protection becomes limited.


The weight of a baton will affect its handling and force of strike. A traditional expandable baton weighs over a pound to maintain the balance, durability, and impact, but is more difficult to carry and use. Thus, finding a baton balance the weight and handling is of great importance.

Handle type

The grip of an expandable baton must be secure and comfortable. Common grips comes with textured, rubber, leather, knurled, foam models, or even wrist strap. Just look for a baton with an appropriate grip that won’t slip from your hand in a critical situation and is maintenance-friendly.

Material Durability

Traditional non-expandable batons are usually made of wood or PVC material, which has excellent durability and heft but is easy to break under intense strength or hard to extend when you need strength.

The high-impact polypropylene material offers a good balance between weight and durability and is moisture-resistant or non-temperature-sensitive.

Metal batons made of high-quality aluminum or steel provide better strength, impact, and durability and are commonly used in various expandable batons.

Q5. How to Use an Expandable Baton?

The following tricks maximum the use of the best expandable baton:

  1. Find the most comfortable place to carry the baton for an easy access and quick deployment when necessary.
  2. Get familiar with how your expandable baton works. Read carefully the user manual that comes with the baton when taking it out of the box to grasp what to do if needed.
  3. Hold the baton firmly while being flexible. The stronger you grip the handle, the more powerful is the force you will apply when hitting the attacker with the baton.
  4. Learn where to hit the baton and do not hit it on the head. You can hit it on the attacker’s hand, arms, and legs to temporarily disable him.

6 Best Tactical Expandable Batons for Self Defense

Whether you are a law enforcer or a private individual looking for a non-lethal self-defense weapon, it’s important to do sufficient research before purchases. Below are some of the best expandable batons that should be taken into your consideration.

#1. Cold Steel Brooklyn Bats

Cold Steel has a long history of manufacturing knives, swords, axes, spears, and other self-defense weapons. They are well designed and mass-produced to keep costs down. Thus, even if the products are made of high-quality specialty steel, you will always find them close to the low end of your price expectations.

It’s not just knives that are affordable, but also superior quality gear and 26 inch expandable batons. Cold Steel’s Brooklyn series is primary for sporting products, that explains why their expandable batons look like standard baseball bats. Our testing found it extremely durable with easy operation.

Here are the different sizes of the series:

  • Shorty – 20”
  • Crusher – 29”
  • Smasher – 32”
  • Whopper – 38”
  • 1.21 pounds

#2. Rothco Expandable Baton

Known for inexpensive military and law enforcement accessories, Rothco creates great expandable baton for beginners. If you use it occasionally, there is no need to spend hundreds of dollars on a baton. The Rothco expandable baton comes with a sheath and creative friction lock system, making it stay locked unless you use it. When using it, you can automatically extend it by a quick flip of your wrist without pressure on any button. Another highlight is the ergonomic foam grip handle, giving you better control of the baton while maintaining comfort.

Key points of Rothco expandable baton:

  • Friction lock system
  • Steel handle and nylon shealth
  • 10” (closed) – 26” long (extended)
  • 1.35 pounds

If you are looking for an economic solution to defend yourself, Rothco is the best expandable baton you cannot miss.

#3. ASP Friction Loc Baton

Armament Systems & Procedures (ASP) is a well-known baton brand that offers a wide range o fbaton models, such as Talon, Friction, and Agent Infinity. If you want something lightweight and easy to carry, choose the Airweight model. If you want something stronger, go for the steel expandable batons. The main construction is made of corrosion-resistant 4140 steel and the grip is made from foam vinyl, making it soft and comfortable to hold.

Key features of ASP Friction Loc Baton:

  • 4140 steel handle and tip and 7075 T6 aluminum middle shaft
  • 9.6” (closed) to 26” (extended) long
  • 13.4 ounces
  • Adjust friction level
  • Lightweight but durable

#4. ASP Talon Infinity Baton

ASP Talon Infinity 50cm is advertised by the company as the “most advanced tactical expandable baton in the world, period.” This ASP expandable baton features 4140 steel for the main structure and a textured Vector grip, and a quick flick of the wrist opens the baton and a push of the end cap closes it into the scabbard. The weight of the baton varies from model to model. An ASP steel model weighs at 18.3 ounces and an Airweight edition weighs at 11.2 ounces.

Key features of ASP Talon Infinity:

  • 7.06” (retracted) to 15.7” (extended) long
  • Durable steel construction
  • Smooth mechanism

#5. Streetwise Expandable Stun Gun Baton

As an all-in-one baton, stun gun, and flashlight, Streetwise Barbarian works more of an ultimate outdoor companion than just a self-defense tool. This expandable baton with flashlight is made from shockproof military-grade aluminum for added striking and drop protection and features a solid construction with an overall 19” length and metal strap clip for easy carrying.

The built-in stun gun is effective to defend against attackers. The arc produces up to 30,000,000 volt and uses innovative Triple Stun Technology to generate arcs in three contact zones. Besides, the safety features effectively prevent accidental discharges.

The charge generated from baton is powered by two rechargeable internal batteries and a wall charger is included in the package, which can be fully charged using a standard wall socket.

Apart from the stun gun, the built-in super bright 3-watt Cree LED flashlight is another incredible feature, which lasts up to 100,000 continuous hours. Five modes are provided for you to choose from: SOS, strobe, low, medium, and high. The strobe mode can blind an attacker and give you better vision in low-light areas.

#6. Smith & Wesson Heat Treated Collapsible Baton with Sheath

Smith and Wesson expandable baton is made from high-quality black 4130 seamless alloy steel with an incredible bending strength of 4055.84lbf and a tensile strength of 6638.78lbf and a textured and raised rubber handle. Sturdy as it is, it’s lightweight to be carried around.

The collapsible design of the baton makes it stretchable up to 26 inches and it provides four length options – 16”, 21”, 24”, and 26”. All you need to deploy the baton is an easy flick of the wrist. Then you’re ready to defend yourself.

The Basketweave pattern on the handle is an eye-catching highlight. By the way, the handle is made from thermoplastic polyester elastomer and offers great grip in all conditions.

Final Words

It’s hard to pick the best expandable baton for self defense since the decision should be based on a thorough consideration of various factors, including the baton material, length, weight, handle type, locking mechanism, and cost. Moreover, the ideal tactical baton should be the one that fulfills your specific needs, preferences, and application settings most.

Comparatively, Streetwise Expandable Stun Gun Baton is my perfect self defense weapon for its versatility – a combination of stun gun, tactical expandable baton, and flashlight. Given this, it is worthwhile and effective.