Actually, they are one and the same. MACE is just a brand name of pepper spray. In the same way that the actual brand name Kleenex is used to represent facial tissue, the brand “MACE” has come to represent the pepper spray industry. Originally called “Chemical Mace,” and manufactured by a division of Smith & Wesson since the 1960s. Today, it is a brand of Mace Security International.
Although early formulas were actually tear gas, and therefore there was a difference between Mace and pepper spray, today formulas are pepper sprays, similar to those made by other companies. Although traditional Mace (the tear gas formulation) is still in existence, it has been banned in most Western countries.
The original formula is a very different substance from today’s pepper-spray, which uses Oleoresin Capsicum (OC), the same active ingredient that is found in many modern pepper sprays. The percentage of OC in the formula you purchase, which generally varies from 1% to 10%, has very little to do with how effective the product is.
Buying a product with higher concentrations of OC does not necessarily mean that it is a more effective self defense product than pepper sprays with lower OC concentrations. These personal security products are very effective, non-lethal weapons used by the military, law enforcement officers, and the public.
Pepper Spray immediately goes to work dilating capillaries when sprayed into the eyes, nose and throat and the effects will last anywhere from 15-60 minutes and can result in temporary blindness, shortness of breath and coughing!
Choosing a specific canister as a self defense weapon can be a very confusing choice, especially with so many brands and chemical formulas on the market today, not to mention different canister types. Mace is one of the most highly regarded pepper spray manufacturers today; Fox Labs is another well-known brand and has the highest SHU rating @ 5.3M.
While there are some differences between the brands, mainly in the SHU ratings, for the most part pepper spray is widely comparable between brands. Mace sprays may also include additional features over regular pepper spray, such as tear gas ingredients for added effect, or the use of gel or foam carriers rather than liquid carriers like regular pepper spray. This gives the canister a longer firing range so that you can remain a longer distance away from your attacker.
Like other formulations, Mace pepper spray is available in many different-sized canisters. It can also be found in the form of a Mace personal alarm or even a Mace pepper spray gun for accurate delivery.
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