Some of you might be hearing about tactical pens for the first time. So let me break it down for you. Most of us carry a pen with us and most of us care about our personal safety. Tactical pens combine solutions for both of those problems. Tactical pens are normal pens with some additional features that vary from having a glass breaker tip to just having a blunt edge to be used for a weapon. It also works as a great gift for newly deployed members. In the rest of this guide we breakdown everything there is know about choosing the right tactical pen. Even whether the TSA approves of it, which is a very important question.
What is a Tactical Pen?
If you find yourself in an unexpected position what would you want at your side? Of course, a handy dandy tactical pen. A tactical pen is essentially a hidden self-defense tool. What better way to hide a defense weapon other than in plain sight. These pens are designed to act as Kubotan. A Kubotan is a close-quarter self-defense tool. One end is often blunt to be used to strike or put pressure on pressure points for pain compliance, come-alongs, etc. The other end is usually more pointed for even greater pain compliance, thrusting or glass shattering.
You can take a tactical pen in most places where pens are allowed. A tactical pen gives you the advantage in situations where regular self-defense weapons such as a tactical tomahawk, pepper spray, guns and tactical knives are not allowed. Since these pens are also essential writing tools, most of them come with ink cartridges that are waterproof, temperature proof and can be used to write upside down and of course if you ever need to write something in space you have the fisher space ink.
To everyone tactical pens are stylish writing instruments that are designed with most of the exceptional qualities found in a nice pen, but to you, they’re more than that.
The act of carrying a weapon for self-defense can be a difficult decision to make, especially for those wary of carrying a weapon on them at all times. In many ways, carrying a weapon can make you even more uncomfortable than when you are not carrying one at all.
The advent of tactical pens has attempted to give a solution aimed at those that fit into this category by providing an inconspicuous way to carry a self-defense weapon. These pens can be used for writing, but when the time comes, they can also be used as weapons. The following article will provide a broad overview of pens that were made to double as both writing instruments and self-defense weapons.
Pens with the ability to double as self-defense weapons are called tactical pens. They were created as a means of giving everyday people a simple, unnoticeable way of carrying a potential weapon on them without being obvious those around them. Although carrying a self-defense weapon such as pepper spray has always been the norm, these items can be more trouble than good if your attacker gets a hold of them.
The most significant benefit to tactical pens is the fact that they are not obvious weapons; if you do happen to be attacked, the likelihood of the attacker viewing your pen as a weapon is low. This decreases the likelihood of them trying to obtain your pen from you and gives you the advantage of having the element of surprise.
However, to properly utilize tactical pens for self-defense purposes you must be aware of the proper form and technique. Take a look at our Self Defense with Tactical Pens article for more information.
The biggest problem with tactical pens is the issue of their legality, which is somewhat of a grey area at the moment. Because these pens can be used as weapons that can inflict great harm, many people are unsure of the potential situations where these pens are not suitable.
Another problem with self-defense pens is the range of their quality. Although all tactical pens possess some level of self-defense value, the effectiveness of their self-defense features varies greatly. Some are better for writing, whereas others are primarily weapons with minimal effectiveness as a pen. This makes it very important to research and understand the various features of tactical pens before buying one to ensure that you purchase one that suits your needs.
Take a look at our various product reviews to give you an idea of what pens are most suitable for either self-defense or writing.
Self-defense pens are relatively new products that were created to meet the common desire for self-defense at all times. This is especially true for those living in larger metropolitan areas with high crime rates. Additionally, many people are uncomfortable carrying a knife due to their obvious nature and the potential harm that they can bring.
Ultimately, self-defense pens are a great way to prepare yourself for self-defense without alerting the people around you. Just make sure to practice using them before you decide to take one out with you and do your research on any potential legal issues in your area.
What is the Difference between a Tactical Pen and a Normal Pen?
When compared to a normal pen, a tactical pen is more ruggedized and has many other uses in survival situations. Most tactical pens allow you to break glass. Some tactical pens include features such as a handcuff key and a DNA catcher. They are designed to deal lethal amounts of force on pressure points or joints. On the other hand, if you do this with an ordinary pen, the tip of the pen could break off, potentially causing you to injure your hand and so rendering the pen ineffective as a weapon.
Features to Consider When Buying a Tactical Pen
1. Discreetness – You should consider if your tactical pen looks like something that your co-workers would question negatively like “Why does your pen look like a weapon?” You don’t want anyone to feel uneasy around you and look at you like you are a menace. A good tactical pen is discreet yet at the same time an effective self-defense tool.
2. Grip- When you are going to use your pen, you want to have a good grip because your hands could be sweaty, wet or dirty and no matter what you need to be able to depend on your pen. Look for good quality knurling on your tactical pen.
3.Individual features-Some pens come with a glass breaker or a handcuff key or a DNA catching tip. If you work in law enforcement then it would be desirable to have a handcuff key or a DNA catching tip. It depends on what extra features you want your tactical pen to include.
4. Pocket clip-When you are in a rough situation, you want your pen to be there, not lost because it fell out of your pocket. This means that you should look for a tactical pen that has a well-built pocket clip to properly secure your pen wherever you will keep it.
Reviews of the Top 5 Tactical Pens for 2018
Honestly, most of the pens included above are excellent choices; but there are a few that we need to point out as our favorites. Below you will find our top 5 picks for overall best tactical pen along with a more detailed review of each pen.
1. Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen
Gerber is more associated with producing knives to many people, but they also produce many different products including survival kits, multi-tools and tactical pens. The Impromptu Tactical Pen fits nicely into its existing catalog but still represents a new direction for the company.
The Gerber Impromptu tactical pen is crafted with a machined stainless steel body ready to take the force of any damage you deal with it.It uses a special patented “rite-in the rain” cartridge that allows users to write in all weather conditions.Unlike most other tactical pens this comes with a clicker instead of a cap which Gerber used to make it more user friendly.Additionally the pen has a steel tip that can be used to break glass.The pen is also modestly priced so don’t worry about breaking the bank on this one.You can check out the in depth review on this pen on my post.
The Gerber impromptu tactical pen is first and foremost a writing tool. The hope is that you will never have to use it for anything other than writing. On this aspect the impromptu tactical pen fits the bill with its “rite-in-the-rain” ballpoint cartridge which allows you to write in effectively in wet and dry conditions situations and upside down if need be.
On the tactical side of things the impromptu tactical pen is made from machined steel with a tempered window-shattering tip design to break a windshield or defend yourself from an unexpected attack.According to Gerber the impromptu tactical pen is described as “The Impromptu Tactical Pen combines Gerber’s decades of experience crafting tools with valuable input from police officers to offer a utilitarian tool that could quite literally be your ticket to safety. “
Another feature that make it for beneficial in a tactical pen is that it is a retractable pen. This means that you don’t have to take off the cap and then attack, but that you are ready with a click of button to protect yourself.
Unlike some other tactical pens the Gerber impromptu tactical pen is manufactured in the USA. According to many reviews on amazon it is well appreciated it for its sturdy build quality and excellent writing quality.
2. SureFire IV Tactical Pen
Surefire was one of the first brands to make a tactical pen.Over the years they have refined their pen and now they have made their version of the best tactical pen.The SureFire Pen IV is a sleek pen and made from high strength precision machined aerospace aluminum.It comes with a high quality schimdt ink cartridge.It is a little bit on the pricey side but it is well worth knowing that you are getting a quality pen from a quality brand.
The Surefire EWP-01 tactical pen has several exceptional features. There are a few simple ways this pen may be improved, but for the cost, the pen is a solid tactical pen that can be used in any number of situations satisfying even the most demanding use. The pen is made by Surefire, a company that is known for high quality, military grade illumination products including laser sights.
For the features of the pen, the material and design stand out as most noticeable and the functionality comes in a close second. The body itself is made of aerospace-grade aluminum which as a soft metal under normal circumstances wouldn’t be ideal for a tactical pen. However, in this case, the aluminum used has been anodized. If you know anything about anodizing aluminum, the end result is a material that borders on the hardness of diamond.
The ability of the pen to puncture is another feature that sets this pen apart from other pens. There is no lid for this pen as it has a retractable tip and the stainless steel tip means that very little will stand in the way of this pen and what it needs to puncture. The tail of the pen is a hardened window breaker. You may have seen these types of window breakers in commercial or public transportation vehicles as a means to break the window in the case of an emergency. In this case, however, if you do use your thumb on the reverse of the pen in a puncturing move, you may have a knob that makes for a wicked thumb mark at best and a bruised thumb at worse.
The pocket clip is designed to be virtually indestructible and the entire pen itself is a solidly constructed writing device. The pen does come with a Schmidt cartridge with the easy-flow technology and also accepts multiple types of replacement cartridges, available at any number of office supply stores. The writing is smooth and the pen itself is made in the U.S.A.
Getting the most out of a pen as a writing instrument and a tool means the pen has to be tough. In this case, the pen as a tool is solid and the pen does not sacrifice any of the writing capabilities.
3. Schrade SCPENBK Tactical Pen
The Schrade Tactical Pen retails for a more budget friendly price compared to the above pens.This pen excels on the tactical side of things with its blunt point which means it is highly effective in dealing hard blows that will surely ward of an attacker.The ridges on this pen provides a secure grip. It has a cap instead of a clicker which is a little inconvenient but that doesnt take away from its affectiveness as a “tactical” pen.
4. Smith and Wesson M and P 2nd Generation Tactical Pen
Smith and Wesson is a renowned gun maker company known for their exceptional guns and they do not fail here with their tactical pens.Many people do not know is that they also make tactical pens. They have a wide variety of tactical pens but the Smith and Wesson M and P 2nd Generation tactical Pen stands out among them
What sets them apart from other manufacturers of tactical pens is that they also cater to the colorful among us unlike other tactical pen makers who make them in only black or grey most of the time. They even manufacture a pink tactical pen that you can give to your girlfriend,wife,friend or for yourself.
It is a heavy duty tactical pen that plays the part but does not look the part which in our case is a requirement.It has a very business like feel to it which makes it perfect for the ones who work office desk jobs.The pen also comes with a twist off and on cap.Unlike other tactical pens which come in the classic colors of black and grey this one comes in Brown,Black,Blue and Gray
5. Columbia River Knife and Tool Tactical Pen
The Allen Elishewitz Tactical CRKT Tao tactical Pen is top-notch and perceivably sleek. It is made from 6061 aluminum and has a non-reflective surface which makes this pen look stylish and futuristic. The pen is hard anodized and sports a durable, pewter-toned stainless steel pocket clip. As with most tactical pens, this one is quite reliable. However, there are definitely a few things you should know about the CRKT Tao Pen.
This pen is the master in disguising its true identity.It looks just like any other pen but it still has the strength and durability you would expect from a tactical pen.It is also very light and elegant with a twist to open and close design.The CRKT logo also adds to the non tactical appearance of the pen because it is not associated with famous gun manufacturer names.It has a tapered body that greatly improves its grip.
The 6061 aluminum build makes this pen pretty light. In fact, the weight of the cap is comparable to weight of the pen, which is desirable as it allows for fluidity when writing and stability when not in use. The cap is also threaded as a means to ensure that it won’t accidently pull off.
The Tao model utilizes the Fisher Space Pen ball point cartridge which is structured with a pressurized design developed by NASA. That certainly sounds cool, but what does it mean? It means that the CRKT Tao Pen has a tungsten carbide ball point with thixotropic ink. Thixotropic ink is unique insofar as it allows the user to write in the freezing cold, the boiling heat, and even underwater. This design also offers the ability for the user to write at any angle – even while upside down.
The CRKT Tao tactical Pen is designed by award-winning knife designer Allen Elishewitz and sports a recognizable name in the realm of tactical pens and weaponry. Elishewitz has not only been a Recon Marine, but has also lived in the Far East practicing martial arts for over the past 30 years. This unique experience and insight models some of the philosophy behind the CRKT Tao Tactical Pen.
An unforeseeable attack could happen at any time and it is imperative to be perceptive and prepared for such an occurrence. This is the philosophy of the CRKT and Elshewitz states that the Tao Tactical Pen adheres to the “3 levels of defense”. This means that at the first level of defense, the crown on the cap of the pen can be used to strike an attacker on the head or hands. At the second level, the pointed butt of the pen can be used to agitate pressure points on the attacker’s body. Finally, at the third level the point of the pen can be used to penetrate soft tissues on the eye, throat, chest, or abdomen to counter an attacker.
Consequently, I am very pleased with the overall design and construction of the CRKT Tao Tactical pen and I would not feel as if I were inadequately equipped if I were faced with a self defense situation.
What is The Best Tactical Pen?
Now that you have seen our options and reviewed our top choices for the best tactical pen on the market, it’s up to you to decide which pen you think will best fit your needs, style and price range.
As you know, new tactical pens are being created all the time by new and old manufacturers. For that reason, the comparison chart above will be updated when new tactical pens are available in the market. If you feel like we missed a superior tactical pen that needs to be included on the list, let us know in the comments below!