Forum Thread: DIY 5-Minute $2 Dollar Taser

Ever wanted a tiny, portable device that could deliver a nice 30,000 volts, could be made for next to nothing, from household items, and give any attacker a nasty jolt? Well, I didn't have a need for it, but for an 11 year old (mad) science lover 30,000 volts in 3 minutes seemed like an awesome idea.

This video here shows it in action!

Step 1: Get the Lighter

"You need, the lighter."

Image via

Apparently they're called barbecue lighters. Anyway, you need one of those ones that you press, they go 'click' and a flame pops out. Tear it apart:

Image via

Find the bit that some kind Reddit user circled for me, and remove it. It looks like the top of a pen, and remove it so you get two wires sticking out of it. Two bare ended wires.

You've basically just removed the part that is the main component of the build.

Step 2: Build a Housing

So, you could just leave it at that. When you press down on the top of the module, 30,000V+ are generated, and if the wires are about half a centimeter or less away, the charges will jump and form an arc.

Try touching it. Depending on how thick your skin is, how dry it is, and how strong your igniter is, you make feel anything from an unpleasant jolt to an excruciating electrical pain.

If you felt nothing much, touch it to your cheek, your chest, and your ear. Or don't. It'll hurt a lot there.

Now grab some assorted thin plastic tubes (old pen parts work really well for this), and find one that the module will snugly slide into. Wrap it with tape to ensure a tight fit. The tube should be around 7cm long, and the top of the module should be press-able.

Mine is actually a combination of two plastic parts from pens.

Once you've done that experiment, you have a decent taser. Holding the device, you can press the button in with your thumb, and produce an arc. I installed a piece of flat plastic that held the wires about 3cm away from the module and kept the user safe from electrocution.

Step 3: Fun with 30kV

With 30kV, you could zap people, which is fun. Also holding it near LCD displays can cause them to blank momentarily.

Something else I noticed is that when the arc passes through some metal, anything else (ie your forehead) that is leaning against the same metal will get a jolt.

I am not sure why, I just discovered this leaning against a metal wall and letting the arc pass through the door handle. Weird.

Check out the video; physics are explained at ~ 0:50

The physics is explained at about

Thanks for reading, and I hope you learned something. If you enjoyed this project, perhaps you'll like my others. Check them out at NitroJon Science.

Keep, uh, loving science!

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