The Best Tactical Pen: Buyer’s Guide

Although paperless offices are gaining ground in various business and industries, most people have not until now embraced the change. Pens are still necessities of everyday office tasks not only because they get the job done for the most part, but have also become the convenient tool to use in some clerical work situations.

But, did you know some pens can be used both as a writing utensil and self-defense tool in an emergency?

If your answer is ‘yes,’ we all can agree on the fact that these thoughtfully designed tools can likely be part of your escape plan or help you live through a close combat attack. If your answer is ‘no,’ keep reading, and you’ll find out all you need to know about tactical pens.

So, what really is a tactical pen?

A while back, military personnel operating in hot zones were desirous of a tool that they could use both for jotting down directions, landmarks, and other critical writings, as well as a concealable weapon – and a tactical pen was devised.

Since its introduction, this non-lethal self-defense weapon was under the strict cognizance of the military. But, as the mainstream prepper, survivalism, and tactical diligence continued to grow, the consumer market became aware of the expediency of the tactical pens and was soon accessible for anyone to purchase.

Tactical pens are just about any other pen for someone who doesn’t know their cause, but in the right set of hands, they can be very handy self-defense tools you can ever imagine in the case of an unnoted attack.

With their bodies crafted using aluminum, titanium or stainless steel, tactical pens are also distinguishable from the ordinary pens by their somewhat blunt cusp precisely devised for use as a Kubaton in self-defense situations, not to mention the sharp-edged end or glass beaker tip.

Like other tactical gears, such as the Kershaw Pocket Knife, the good thing about these writing implements, that double as redoubtable weapons, is that you can not only easily carry them around due to their small size, but are also lightweight considering their material design, and simply concealable.

In fact, several customers who have been using tactical pens for quite some time have categorically pointed out the small size and concealment operative abilities as the best features, and are consequently envisaged as the ideal tool that could help you defend yourself against furtive foray.

At the same time, compared to a gun, which you might have legally acquired, or tactical knives, which might be daunting to carry leave alone hide, these powerful multipurpose tools are definitely mightier than most tactical weapons.

It’s also critical to note that, just like any other personal protection device, tactical pens can only be your ‘guardian angel’ when you’ve mastered the irremissible tactics as far as its use is concerned. Without which, you’d better not carry it.

What to Look For When Choosing a Tactical Pen?

Now that you have a slight idea about tactical pens, it’s time to decide on a survival tool that would best suit an unperceived attack.

But most people might ask “What should I look for when choosing a tactical pen”?

Well, even though carrying a pen can be a compulsion in your day to day endeavors, we absolutely understand how doing a quick Google search for the best tactical pens can be intimidating, especially if you’re entirely unsure what you’re looking for in the first place.

In fact, depending on what you do for a living or your intentions of buying and carrying a self-protection weapon, huge tactical pens may not be the best choice if you interact with many people, be it in your office or business. Of course, you don’t want people glancing at what you’re carrying, or using as a pen, even if they might not know what it is, and wonder what such an enormous pen you’re possessing. On the other hand, small tiny tactical pens, because of their size, might not offer the same results of a big pen whenever you find yourself up against a threat.

So, what’s the catch?

Even if you consider your chosen tactical pen as the best product for your money, be sure it not only meets your preferred features (size, concealment, etc.), but also a high-quality weapon that won’t hit the skids when you need it the most.

That said, here’s is a list of things you should be looking for when purchasing a tactical pen, and how they are critical from one situation to the other.

Quality of the pen

Like any other second-rate product you might naively buy from the marketplace, that doesn’t offer the results promised by the marketer, mediocre tactical pens are also likely to be inferior weapons. For that reason, be wary of fake tactical pens because they are often unusually low-priced. Also, don’t trust sellers or auctioneers who don’t satisfactorily answer your questions when you try to get more information about the supply chain, and if the tactical pen is coming from a legal source.

Don’t ignore the fact that the exquisiteness of these self-defense weapons is their multifunction formation, and so, if it can’t properly serve one of its principal obligations, you better seek for another product. Additionally, the best high-quality tactical pens that offer the best results can only be purchased from reputable companies that have proven their solemnity in the tactical pen manufacturing.

Get the right size

Size plays an important part when choosing a tactical pen, and if this is going to be your first time purchasing and using a tactical pen, you don’t want everyone to know what you’re carrying. Just so you know, the mainstream tactical market has gained an incredible knowledge about self-defense tools, and tactical pens are not an exception. They have been hitting the market over the years, and it’s likely that a good number of adamant people will notice it.

With that in mind, a huge tactical pen might not be your best choice because it won’t be easily concealable. Besides, how would you feel when everybody around you notices you’re carrying a self-defense tool? Instead, find a small and concealable device that you can simply carry in your shirt pocket, jacket or pants pocket – just about anywhere without drawing the attention of others.

In addition, color and shape are other important factors that add stealth to a tactical pen. Avoid colorful or funnily shaped pens that would be eye-catching. A typical black-colored pen with an uncomplicated design is still ideal.

Style of grip

In as much as a perfectly-sized tactical pen can conveniently fit into your pocket or gear box, it is equally important to consider its grip – if it is to serve its purposes – writing and self-protection helpfully. When used as a writing implement, the pen must be comfortable to handgrip without having to flexure your hands. On the contrary, the grip of a tactical pen, when used as a self-defense weapon, principally depends on your pen self-defense technique. If you haven’t learned any techniques of using a tactical pen, it is important to find a trainer who will teach you how to hold the pen and effectively use it to inflict damage to your assailant.

You can learn the two tactical pen techniques – use it as a knife or sword. If you can manipulate the pen; moving it upside down like you’re holding a knife or stab the opponent as hard as you can, you will obviously identify what type of pen holds well and what doesn’t.

Bonus unique features

There are numerous extra and unique features that make a tactical pen a handy tool – apart from the primary functions. Some come with magnesium fire starter, DNA catcher, while others feature hidden handcuff keys or window/glass beaker. Whereas these might just be added bonuses, they can help you in certain situations. However, narrow down to what you’re most likely to benefit from the pen. For instance, why would you purchase a firestarting tactical pen if you’re not an outdoor enthusiast?

The legal aspect of the pen

Like other tactical weapons, carrying a tactical pen might not be legal in some countries. And even if they were legal, it would be difficult to convince a jury that your office depot pen, purposely built to inflict pain, was explicitly purchased for self-defense. Remember, tactical pens must only be used to remove the threat – its intent is not to kill your attacker. And this is important because even though it can be used to inflict pain and stop a dangerous mugger, it’s equally a powerful weapon that could cause death. Therefore, you don’t want to be caught on the wrong side of the law using a pen you bought knowing it was a weapon.

How To Use a Tactical Pen

Before we can mention some of our recommendations of the best tactical pens you can purchase on the market, let’s quickly understand some very effective tactical pen techniques that you can use to protect yourself. Like we’ve earlier stated, the goal is to eliminate the threat, not kill the attacker, and you’re only able to ward off the danger if you know how to use the tactical pen properly.

Without further ado, let’s dive straight into it. Shall we?

Strike Out

Strike out is an indomitable technique that is used to refract the attack by using your tactical pen to divert the attacker’s weapon in another direction. It’s based on manipulating your opponent’s momentum against him.

First, you want to hold the pen close to the middle of your chest with the sharp edge pointing outwards. This way you’re able to protect yourself against your opponent’s strong punches or weapon, at the same time, creating and utilizing better counter attack opportunities. Often, this technique is appropriate when you’re targeting sensitive areas like the eyes, ears, neck, and decisively need to do harsh affliction to save your life.

Reverse Grip

The good thing about approaching an assailant with a tactical pen hidden in a reverse grip is that it’s one sure way of ending a confrontation before it becomes a ‘real’ threat. Since this technique is difficult to defend against, and if you can comfortably hide the pen while keeping your hands composed and away from the opponent, you have a real chance of saving your life. In fact, the idea is to lure the enemy into thinking that he’s in a fistful fight, only to realize later that you had a tactical pen. This technique is also favored if you have the pen in your pocket, tactical backpack+, or clipped inside your shirt – where you swiftly remove and use it to protect yourself.


Cycling technique doesn’t much resemble reverse grip. While you can deceive your opponent into thinking he’s in a fist fight, cycling technique idea is to strike hard and flee the dangerous situation. Also, even if you don’t hide the pen, this technique can distract your opponent especially if you openly pulled it out, and look like you know how to use it.

This method involves making constant strikes downwardly to your opponent when you get the chance to counter attack. It’s a good option if your attacker is huge and strong, and you want to use the only available opportunity to inflict pain on some of the sensitive areas such as the deltoids.

The Best Tactical Pens

Now that you know what a tactical pen is, what to consider when you want to purchase one and how to use them, it’s time to give our recommendations of the best tactical pens that we believe will offer you the best results.

Remember the best tactical pen should not only write exceptionally well, but it must also provide plenty of functionality, strength, sturdiness, and can provide a doubtless means of self-defense in situations that certainly requires it. Whatever the quality, size or style of grip you choose, and no matter your budget, we’re positive you’ll find the best tactical pen from this roundup that meets not only your writing needs but also your tactical objectives.

Let’s get started.

Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen

Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen - Black [31-001880]

Promotional Price: Check on Amazon

While Gerber has made a name for itself in producing tactical knives, the company is equally leading in creating multi-tools and survival kits, amongst other things. And this time, they have added, to their prevailing catalog, a pen that represents a new form factor for the company – The Impromptu Tactical Pen.

The Impromptu Tactical Pen is a no-nonsense weapon when danger strikes. Predesigned with the assistance of law enforcement professionals, this American made pen has a strong machined steel body with a Cerakote finish.

When it comes to writing, this pen features a “Rite in the Rain” cartridge – this simply means you’ll be able to use the pen in a variety of weather conditions without any difficulty. So, if you’re a camping enthusiast and find yourself in a bad weather situation, and want to leave a note to your friends, you can pull out a waterproof notebook from your backpack and write on it without any worries.

The Impromptu Tactical Pen comes with a hardened glass beaker tip, just above the writing tip, not only able to withstand the toughest materials but also quickly protrudes with just a push button. This is important when you’re caught off-guard, and you hurriedly need to use the tip to stab the attacker.

Its rugged design makes it perfect for any grip style not to mention its 5.59 inches length and 2.25 ounces weight excellent for carrying around and swinging while defending yourself.

While we can only mention positive features of the Gerber Impromtu Tactical Pen, some customers have reported their dissatisfaction with the weight of the pen. However, we believe this might be a personal preference, and only matters if you’re looking for an incredibly lightweight tactical pen. But, for the most part, our number one recommendation of the best tactical pen looks and feels just as what you’d prefer your tactical pen to look like.

Key Features:

  • Rite in the Rain ink cartridge writes in all weather conditions
  • It’s rugged – perfect for any grip style
  • Machined steel body with a Cerakote finish
  • One click button that exposes the glass beaker tip
  • Hardened glass beaker tip which withstands even the toughest of materials.
  • 59 length and 2.25 weight are convenient for swinging and carrying around.
Check Price on Amazon

Columbia River Knife and Tool TPENWK Williams Tactical Pen

CRKT Williams Tactical Pen: Low Profile, EDC Self Defense Survival Pen Made of Black Anodized Aluminum with Fisher Space Ink Cartridge and Pocket Clip, with Case TPENWK

Promotional Price: Check on Amazon

The Columbia River Knife and Tool TPENWK Williams Tactical Pen is another one of our best picks. Designed by a former Military officer and martial arts trainer, James Williams, this pen promises exceptional qualities not only of a writing material but also a badass self-defense tool.

As it may be, this pen is the best looking, simply concealable and high-tech writing implement on the market that is extremely well made. Crafted with a professional and tactical mind, the Williams Tactical Pen features a tough aluminum body with a non-reflective black finish.

This pen would incredibly perform well if you’re Hissatsu and the Hisshou trained, and would make a must-have defensive tool for any outdoor enthusiast, especially if you’re visiting hostile areas.

With a 6 inches length and 1.2 ounces weight, this pen, unlike other models on the tactical market, is lightweight and comes with a tapered body, a shirt pocket clip and a snap on cap. Mostly, this pen possesses all the positive features that would make a powerful self-defense weapon.

Key Features:

  • Sturdy, durable and performs extremely well
  • Tapered body for improved grip
  • A shirt pocket clip and a snap on cap
  • Strong aluminum body with a non-reflective black finish
  • Lightweight and good looking – weighs 1.2 ounces and is 6 inches tall
  • Reliable as it comes from a tactical expert James Williams
Check Price on Amazon

Under Control Tactical Pen

Under Control Tactical Pen for Self Defense with Built-in LED Flashlight, DNA Defender, Glass Breaker - Special Military, Police, Swat Edition - New 2019 Model

Promotional Price: Check on Amazon

A full-featured pen, the Under Control Tactical Pen is the answer if you’re looking for a pen that provides features you cannot find from other models on the market. It’s a pen like no other that not only acts as a writing material, and a self-defense tool, but comes with much more benefits you can ever imagine.

First, the Under Control Tactical Pen is exceptionally-sized, 6.5 inches, which makes it conveniently portable for everyday office work, concealable for curious eyes and a distinctively powerful tool when needed the most. The weight of the Under Control Tactical Pen is also worth mentioning; it feels not only good in the hands but also easy to use in both writing and self-protection occasions.

Designed by professionals who take great pride in their work, this pen features a bright LED Tactical Flashlight that can be helpful if you’re trapped, by yourself in the dark, with no clear way out at either your daytime work or on your night shift. Also, the DNA Defender will help you plus the authorities in determining the perpetrator.

In as much as strength, reliability and durability are concerned, this multifunctional pen is made using a heavy-duty and rugged aluminum material, and features a steel glass-breaking tip, a handy belt clip, and pen clicker  – all positive features that promise certitude when you desperately need a weapon to defend yourself.

Key Features:

  • Robust and Rugged black aluminum construction.
  • Conveniently-sized for easy concealment and lightweight and portable.
  • Features bright LED Tactical Flashlight and DNA Collector
  • Steel glass-breaking tip, handy belt clip, and pen clicker.
  • Strong, reliable and durable considering it’s designed by a professional company.
Check Price on Amazon

Smith & Wesson SWPEN3BK Stylus Tactical Pen

Smith & Wesson SWPEN3BK 5.4in Aircraft Aluminum Refillable Tactical Screw Cap Stylus Pen for Outdoor, Survival, Camping and EDC

Promotional Price: Check on Amazon

Most outdoor enthusiasts throw around the word ‘tactical,’ especially when referring to everyday carry gear. However, to us, the best tactical pen isn’t only about the design, but its reliability to function when most required. For that reason, we believe the Smith & Wesson SWPEN3BK Stylus to be the most ‘tactical’ pen on this roundup.

The pen, which is the third generation model of its series, utilizes a stylus which lets you perfectly and creatively draft anything on any electronic device. So, whether you work from an office or gone camping, and you want to make some notes or drawings on your Apple iPad or smartphone, this pen provides features specifically designed for such tasks.

The Smith & Wesson SWPEN3BK Stylus Tactical Pen is well-sized and easily fits and clips into a shirt pocket. Its length is only 6.1 inches while its weight is 1.4 ounces, making it one of the competently constructed tactical pen both for writing and self-defense purposes.

The T6061 aircraft aluminum metal used promises not only sturdiness but also durability. Also, the finger ridges are perfectly designed to help you write smoothly and have a firm grip when fighting an attacker.

The Smith & Wesson SWPEN3BK Stylus Tactical Pen isn’t a disappointing choice not only because it offers a variety of features, but also comes from a prominent tactical company that has been in the business since 1852.

Key Features:

  • Strong aircraft aluminum construction that provides a balance between a comfortable writing material and a self-protection weapon
  • A stylus which lets you write or draw anything on any electronic device
  • Conveniently-sized and lightweight – 6.1 inches in length and 1.4 ounces in weight.
  • Reliable, strong and durable
  • Designed by a prominent company – you can be sure it won’t misfire when you desperately need it.
Check Price on Amazon

Parker Jotter Stainless Steel Tactical Pen

Parker Jotter Stainless Steel Ballpoint Pen, Medium Point, Black Ink

Promotional Price: Check on Amazon

You don’t have to be surprised that the Parker Jotter Stainless Steel Tactical Pen made it to this list. Remember, presently, metal-bodied pens have become dominant on the tactical market, and this pen is not left out. Not because of its cut-rate price, but also its sturdiness, strength and writing performance.

Compared to other stainless tactical pens, the Parker Jotter equally writes exceptionally well and can be easily manipulated as a weapon in a dangerous situation.

One of the things that we like from this pen is the clicker tail-cap, which we’ve found doesn’t easily dawdle like some others. Also, the refill writes better, but that would be a personal preference since the cartridge that comes with it writes great as well.

In a nutshell, the Parker Jotter Stainless Steel Tactical Pen allows you to use a tactical pen without worrying about it ever getting lost. For just $10, even if you lose it a few times, you can constantly order a replacement without breaking the bank – and you won’t feel the pinch, compared to a tactical pen that costs 5-10 times more than that.

Key Features:

  • Inexpensive
  • Incredibly lightweight.
  • Reliable, strong and last long.
  • Clicker tailcap that functions extremely well.
Check Price on Amazon


Tactical pens weren’t that common, but over the past years, they have been accepted, and are part of everyday life. If you haven’t invested in one, it’s probably a fantastic idea to make the investment as quick as possible.

For this buying guide, we’re recommending the Parker Jotter Stainless Steel Tactical Pen  as the best tactical pen for self-defense. It’s inexpensive, writes well, and can inflict the same amount of damage just like some of the over-priced tactical pens you can buy.

It’s a perfect choice that allows you to possess a tactical pen without breaking the bank or thinking of the cost when it gets lost.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.