Taser – Understanding Functions, Volts, and Practical Uses

Blair thompson


Despite being mistakenly believed to be aggressive weapons, tasers are useful instruments for law enforcement and individual security. This page explores their voltage, physics, and wide range of uses in different contexts.

History of Taser

The Taser was first developed in the mid-1970s by American inventor Jack Cover. Taser is an abbreviation for Tom A. Swift Electric Rifle, the company that makes the weapon (Cover loved the Tom Swift books about an inventor of incredible technologies when he was a kid). Tasers were first used by police in the 1990s as a less lethal alternative to firearms. Over 15,000 American police departments were using Tasers as of 2011.

Inappropriate use of fatal force has been a major issue for law enforcement organizations ever since the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision on police brutality in the 1960s. The Supreme Court’s ruling in Tennessee v. Garner (1985) made clear that the Bill of Rights placed substantial constraints on the use of lethal force.

Verbal restraint, physical restraint, handcuffs, mace, batons, and finally weapons made up the broad principle of escalation of force used by law enforcement. Problems arose for the police due to the vast difference between the use of a baton and the use of a handgun. As a result, law enforcement personnel shot persons who arguably should not have been shot and could have been spared if there were a less-lethal alternative.

Several different approaches were examined. When the baton wasn’t enough to keep them under control, the Taser became a popular nonlethal alternative in the 1990s. The Taser, however, has its own set of issues that led to litigation and restrictions on their use.

The Taser has reportedly been quite successful for several police departments. These agencies claimed multiple cases when it prevented the employment of deadly force in many situations, ultimately saving lives. To subdue somebody without resorting to firearms, having access to a nonlethal instrument is clearly preferable.

In spite of this “nonlethal” claim, at least 500 people have been killed by Tasers used by law enforcement in the United States, as reported by Amnesty International USA in 2012. Heart disease, drug use at the time of a Taser use, and the Tasers themselves have all been implicated in some of the fatalities.

What is a Taser?

The goal of the electroshock weapon known as a Taser is to render an individual helpless by disabling their ability to voluntarily control their muscles. Tasers, in contrast to stun guns, use compressed nitrogen to fire two barbed electrodes into the skin, whereupon an electrical charge is delivered.

Taser, a portable electric shock weapon with a capacity of 50,000 volts. At a maximum range of about 11 meters (35 feet), the Taser launches two miniature darts that are attached to the device by thin wires. The darts are able to pierce armor and, upon making contact with their intended victim, provide an electric shock that temporarily incapacitates them by disrupting their nerve system. Since the Taser employs pressurized nitrogen to propel the darts, it is not classified as a firearm. Simply pressing the Taser against the body of the target causes an electric shock to be delivered.

Taser Functions

Electro-Muscular Disruption

Tasers cause involuntary muscle spasms by interfering with the body’s neuromuscular system, temporarily immobilizing the target. The disturbance lasts for only a few minutes, thus the individual can be apprehended without suffering any lasting effects.

Safety Mechanisms

Safety features like anti-felon identification systems are common in modern tasers and ensure that only authorized individuals can use them. They also have inbuilt laser sights for accuracy.

Understanding Voltage in Tasers

Voltage and Effectiveness

Voltage is commonly used to describe the effectiveness of a taser. Higher voltage doesn’t necessarily equate to more effectiveness; instead, it’s the peak current that defines the impact. Tasers deliver 50,000 to 80,000 volts, though often at a lesser current.

Impact on the Human Body

The current and length of the shock, not the voltage itself, are what cause damage. An electric shock with higher voltage but lower current is preferable to one with lower voltage but higher current.

Different Uses of Tasers

Law Enforcement

Tasers are widely employed as a non-lethal alternative by law enforcement agencies around the world. They allow police to subdue combative suspects in a way that keeps them and bystanders safe.

Personal Safety

Tasers have become increasingly popular in recent years for use as self-defense weapons. They provide a sense of safety for people in potentially dangerous situations, and they are small and simple to use.

A Taser can be used to defend oneself from would-be assailants. It briefly incapacitates the aggressor so the victim can get away or get help.

Home security:

To deter burglars, some people equip their homes with Tasers. An intruder can be rendered immobile by the electric shock, buying the homeowner valuable time to call the police.

Ethical Considerations


Tasers have been the subject of heated discussion not because of their intended function, but because of instances of misuse and overuse by law enforcement. Their use in situations where human life is not directly threatened raises ethical and legal questions.

Proper Use and Training

In order to alleviate users’ fears, it is necessary to provide them with extensive training in responsible and prudent use. In order to reduce potential dangers, familiarity of the technology and its ramifications is essential.


Tasers, with their varied applications and voltage concerns, are indispensable for public safety and law enforcement. Leveraging their benefits while minimizing hazards requires careful application and a grasp of their mechanics.


Is a Taser AC or DC?

Tasers are a hybrid of AC and DC technology. They use a DC source to produce a steady stream of electricity, which is subsequently modulated into AC pulses.

Do TASERs use batteries?

Energizer NiMH rechargeable batteries or Duracell Ultra alkaline batteries are what Taser International suggests you use. There are 8 AA battery slots in the M26. The combined voltage of nine 1.2V NiMH rechargeables is 9.6V.

What is the physics of a stun gun?

Stun guns produce a high-voltage, low-current electrical charge that temporarily disables your body’s electrical systems. The charge is quite weak but has considerable force behind it. Stun guns have a high enough voltage to penetrate an attacker’s flesh and clothing.

Are Tasers safe to use?

A Discussion on TASERs. There is still no agreement on whether or not the TASER is safe to use, despite the many reports and studies that have been published on the topic. Research suggests that the TASER can be used to pace the heart directly into VF. In North America, approximately 440 deaths have been documented immediately following TASER use.

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