...and literally the best set bonus in the game for defensive purposes. Bad example there, but I see your point.Hallowed hood is a prime example of this with a staggering one defense.
I don't think Whips are meant to be safe or used as main weapons all the time, though. The way I see it, you either get the tag on the boss/enemy with Durendal/Cool Whip and then get back away, or get a massive burst of damage with Firecracker/Dark Harvest when you see the chance. Whips are very powerful when you set them off, so I think that risk is what balances them out.
Just attack with a Repeater or whatever long-ranged weapon you have until it's safe to get up close with a Whip, I believe that was the intention behind them.