Flashlight

Whether you’re a military operator, hunter, hiker, or climber, you can benefit from including a tactical pen in your gear bag. Tactical pens offer you far more versatility and functionality than normal pens in combat and survival situations.

From punching through vehicle glass in an emergency to incapacitating an assailant in a self-defense scenario, a tactical pen could save your life. Adding a tactical pen to your EDC (everyday carry) setup is a great idea, and it’s a must-have accessory, and almost as important as your tourniquet.

Tactical pens are versatile. You can use them for writing in your logbooks or defending yourself from an attacker. The durable chassis and tactical design make these pens a viable weapon in hand-to-hand combat scenarios, and they work with ink refills from leading pen brands.

In this review of the best tactical pens, we’ll go through the top models available. Out of the dozens of products available, we selected eight for this review. There’s a model to suit any budget and plenty of variety. Check out our buyer’s guide and FAQ sections for more information on choosing the right tactical pen.

Our Top Picks

If you’re about to fire up the truck and head out on a hunting trip, check out our top picks to save you some time. We have models to suit any survival or bushcraft situation, and any budget.

Best Pick: Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen

Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen - Black [31-001880]
  • Rugged, machined steel body and stainless steel pocket clip keeps this pen handy
  • Rite in the Rain ink cartridge works in all conditions, inside and outdoors
  • Reliable push-button mechanism deploys ball point mechanism
  • Integrated glass-breaker tip features tempered steel and is designed to get you out of trouble
  • Made in the USA

Gerber makes some of the best survival and outdoor equipment available. The Gerber Impromptu is the ideal accompanying tactical pen for any situation. Trusted by military personnel, this Gerber model is rugged and robust, making an ideal writing instrument and self-defense weapon.

Runner Up Pick: CRKT 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
  • Strong And Lightweight: Aluminum handle combines strength with minimal weight
  • Minimizes Reflectivity: Bead blast finish reduces reflection
  • Discreet Convenience: Low profile writing pen
  • Designed by James Williams in Vass, North Carolina
  • CRKT accessories have a one-year limited warranty against defects in material or manufacturing, see company site for details

CRKT make some of the best knives available, and they excelled with the addition of this tactical pen to the lineup. The CRKT model comes with a removable cap featuring a striker-tip for glass breaking. The body of the pen forms a figure-8 effect, with both ends going to a point. On one side, you have the writing end, and on the other, you have a bluntly pointed tip for self-defense.

Budget Pick: Kepeak Military Tactical Pen

KEPEAK Military Tactical Pen, Professional Self Defense Pen, Emergency Glass Breaker Pen - Tungsten Steel, Writing Tool with 6 Refill
  • Emergency glass breaker: The tactical pen cap is made of tungsten steel, and the pen body is made of aerospace grade aluminum, which has excellent strength and portability. Break the window to escape in an emergency
  • Security: Hidden, low-key, unique attackers can suddenly have amazing attack capabilities, protect themselves from attackers and identify with DNA collectors
  • Writing: A comfortable tactical pen with a round nib. Suitable for everyday use or emergency situations
  • Practical: Suitable for everyday use, travel or outdoor activities. Head design, handle thread design, excellent slip resistance
  • The package includes: 1 tactical pen and 6 tactical refills stainless steel

If you’re looking for value for money with your tactical pen, you can’t go wrong with the Kepeak model. This pen features knurling on the chassis for better combat and writing grip and an emergency glass breaker on the cap. You get a belt clip and compatibility with Parker pen refills. At under $10, this pen is the best budget model in this review.

Tactical Pen Reviews

Now that you know our top picks in this review, let’s unpack them in further detail. We’ll also look at a few other models we think are worthy of mention.

Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen – The Best Overall Tactical Pen

The Gerber Impromptu is the ideal tactical pen for all conditions. If you’re an operator in Afghanistan, or just going to the range to run some drills, the Gerber is the ideal pen. This model features a machined aluminum chassis with an anodized jet-black coating. The coating erodes slowly on the contact edges of the pen, providing a rugged, worn look.

The Gerber is the real deal, the chassis is ideal for self-defense and emergencies, harnessing the power of a strike through the glass-breaker tip, or the front for a lethal blow to soft tissues. You get a pocket clip, and a unique grip design with plenty of grooves for an ergonomic feel in your hand, even when wearing gloves.

Manufactured in the USA, this tactical pen comes with a limited lifetime guarantee. We think it’s a great overall choice and our top-performing model.

Gerber is a well-known brand in survival and outdoor tools and weapons. We think that this pen meets our expectations in quality and performance. The price tag is a little steep, but we feel its good value for your money.

Pros:
  • Military design and look
  • Wearing machined steel chassis with a jet-black finish
  • Striker tip for glass-breaking
  • Made in the USA
Cons:
  • We would prefer a titanium chassis

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CRKT Williams Tactical Pen – Runner Up Tactical Pen

This EDC model from CRKT features design by James Williams from the team in Encinitas, California. This CRKT model is unique, with a figure-8 design. Both ends come to a point, with a pen on one side, and a striker tip on the other side.

You get a chamfered chassis, allowing for improved grip on the tool while striking. The round groove grips add extra traction to your grip in a self-defense strike. The ergonomic design of this pen fits well in hand during writing, and the tip is easy to control.

The chassis features design and construction with aircraft-grade aluminum, providing a non-reflective finish, with a low-profile design. The pen comes with a one-year limited warranty against manufacturing defects, but we doubt you’ll have any quality complaints with this model.

We think CRKT has some of the best design quality in its folding pocket knives. That same quality comes shining through in this tactical pen, with a sleek design, premium materials, and an attractive package suitable for the range or the boardroom.

Pros:
  • Tactical design with lethal point
  • Excellent grip for self-defense and writing
  • Striker tip for glass-breaking
  • Sleek and attractive ergonomic design
Cons:
  • The removable cap might get lost

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Kepeak Military Tactical Pen – The Best Budget Tactical Pen

The Kepeak Military Tactical Pen wins our award for the most affordable budget model in this review. The Kepeak has many features we would like to see in a top model – and it’s a fraction of the price.

The chassis of this tactical pen features design and construction with aerospace-grade aircraft aluminum. The front of the pen tapers slowly to the point, with long grip grooves surrounding the diameter of the front of the pen.

The barrel has knurling etched into the raised section, providing a solid tactical grip in a self-defense situation. The long clip on the barrel fits your belt, or deep in your pocket, ensuring you don’t lose the pen and get a smooth draw when pulling it from your pocket.

The striker tip at the rear of this model is a formidable weapon and a rescue tool for shattering toughened glass windows.

As a bonus, this pen comes with six refillable black ink cartridges. If you want further cartridges, the pen is compatible with all parker and Schneider refills.

Considering this pen retails for under $10, it’s the best budget model in this review and a solid overall contender.

Pros:
  • Knurling on chassis for superior tactical grip
  • Pointed glass-breaking tip
  • Ergonomic design
  • Works with Parker refills, 6-refills included
  • Extra-long belt clip
  • Affordable
Cons:
  • The box is a bit flimsy

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Smith & Wesson 6.1

Smith & Wesson are a brand synonymous with quality in the world of firearms and knives. The tactical pen from the company delivers on our expectations of a practical and functional weapon and tool. This model features a chassis with design and construction with T6061 aircraft-grade aluminum for strength.

Like the CRKT, you get a striking side and a writing side to this pen, with a removable safety cap. The clip comes with Allan-key fasteners and a bevel in the clip’s lip for a quick draw. This model has knurling on the striking tip, allowing improved grip in self-defense conditions. The S&W tactical pen is compatible with Parker refills.

Pros:
  • Pointed striking edge
  • Glass-breaking cap
  • Ergonomic design
  • Knurling in chassis for superior grip
  • Three colors available
Cons:
  • The removable cap might get lost

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Smith & Wesson 5.4

The 5.4 is the smaller version of the 6.1 from S&W. This tactical pen comes with a 5.4-inch length for less obvious detection of the pen. The one side of the pen features a pointed striker tip and the other side a blunt striker tip.

The blunt side has a removable safety cap that reveals the pen, while the lid acts as a blunt striking weapon. On the rear of the pen, you get a pointed striker cap for breaking glass, with a lightweight chassis featuring grooves for enhanced grip in self-defense situations.

Pros:
  • Dual-purpose tactical pen
  • Emergency glass-breaking tip
  • Baton-tip for self-defense
  • Knurling on the grip for self-defense situations
Cons:
  • The removable cap might get lost

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Vlanden – Survival Multi-Tool Pen

The Vlanden survival multi-tool is an excellent choice for campers and EDC. This model features a removable tooltip with a wrench, screwdriver, and scalpel. On the rear tip of the pen, you get an LED flashlight with 10-Lumens.

The chassis comes with a pocket clip, and an orange button on the rear rim of the pen to switch on the flashlight.

The aircraft-grade aluminum frame is sturdy and lightweight, with a tungsten carbide tip for glass-breaking. The ink refills for this pen are compatible with Parker pens, and it’s a great birthday or father’s day present for someone you care about in your life.

Pros:
  • Multi-function tool with a scalpel, wrench tip, screwdriver, and can opener
  • Powerful LED flashlight and striker tip included
  • Good choice for EDC
  • Clip-on the chassis for easy carry
Cons:
  • The box is a bit flimsy

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Wuben Tactical Self-Defense Pen

This model features a dual-tip design. On one side, you have your traditional pen, compatible with Parker refills. On the other side, you get a pointed tungsten carbide glass-breaker for shattering toughened glass in emergencies.

The lid of the pen comes with a CREE LED flashlight and a clip to keep your pen easily accessible to you in your pocket. The pen comes in a grey tactical color, and gold for the boardroom. This highly functional pen is available at an affordable price and comes with a box if you want to gift it.

Pros:
  • Comfortable grip
  • LED flashlight included
  • Widow-breaker tip
  • Belt clip
Cons:
  • The removable cap might get lost

View Details

The Schrade Tactical Pen

We finish our review of the best tactical pens with the Schrade model. This tactical pen features design and construction with an aircraft-grade aluminum chassis.

The Schrade offers you good grip and control over the pen in a self-defense situation. You get a free nylon holster for this model with your purchase.

Pros:
  • Ergonomic design for writing
  • Easy to grip chassis design
  • Glass-breaker tip
  • Comes with a nylon tactical carry pouch
Cons:
  • Reports compartments come apart

View Details

Other Best Selling Options

SaleBestseller No. 1
The Most Loaded 6-in-1 Tactical Pen: Solves Other Brands' Weaknesses,Self Defense Tip + Flashlight + Ballpoint + Bottle Opener + Screw Driver + Hexagonal Wrench, 5 Ink Refills + 6 Batteries + Gift Box
  • ✅MADE OF ULTRA-STRONG AIRCRAFT ALUMINUM for self defense. Patented thread design at the handle and thumb head allow a thumb grip: the optimal way to fully transfer your power to the target. Won't break. Won't rust.
  • ✅LOW PROFILE, discreet yet effective self defense pen.
  • ✅LIGHTWEIGHT ballpoint – Weighs half as much as a regular tactical pen when it is detached as the ballpoint only, making it practical for daily use.This solves the balance issue too.
  • ✅WRITES SMOOTHLY EVEN WHEN WET, smear-proof ink, ink quickly dries with a consistent ink flow. Also compatible with low-price standard refills.
  • ✅Ultra durable tip for self defense in ONE MOVE OUT FROM YOUR POCKET.
Bestseller No. 2
KEPEAK Military Tactical Pen, Professional Self Defense Pen, Emergency Glass Breaker Pen - Tungsten Steel, Writing Tool with 6 Refill
  • Emergency glass breaker: The tactical pen cap is made of tungsten steel, and the pen body is made of aerospace grade aluminum, which has excellent strength and portability. Break the window to escape in an emergency
  • Security: Hidden, low-key, unique attackers can suddenly have amazing attack capabilities, protect themselves from attackers and identify with DNA collectors
  • Writing: A comfortable tactical pen with a round nib. Suitable for everyday use or emergency situations
  • Practical: Suitable for everyday use, travel or outdoor activities. Head design, handle thread design, excellent slip resistance
  • The package includes: 1 tactical pen and 6 tactical refills stainless steel
Bestseller No. 3
2 Pack Military Tactical Pen Set, Emergency Glass Breaker, with 6 Black Ballpoint Refills for Writing, Made of Tungsten Steel & Aluminum (Black, Pack of 2)
  • HELP YOU OUT WHEN NEEDED: Aerospace Grade Aluminum Body and the Glass Breaker Tip made of Tungsten Steel make our tactical pens strong and durable to break window glass to get rid of the place
  • 6 BALLPOINT REFILLS INCLUDED: We provide 6 Ballpoint Refills with Black Ink for these two Tactical Pens. These tactical pens can actually be used as normal ballpoint pens
  • A PEN WITH SECRETS: Our Tactical Pens look just like normal pens, but they can protect you and help you out if you need tools to go out
  • 2 COLORS: We provide 2 Tactical Pens in Black and Elegant Silver, which are classic colors that you should have. Also, 6 Stainless Steel Ballpoint Refills are included (2 refills are in the pens) so you don't have to worry about running out of refills
  • SATISFYING SUPPORT: Quality Certified for every customer that purchased our products. If there is anything wrong with our products, feel free to contact us via Email. We will solve the problem as soon as possible
SaleBestseller No. 4
MTP-6 Tactical Pen – Multitool - Self Defense for Women & Men – Tactical Gear and EDC – Glass Breaker +LED Flashlight +Ballpoint Pen + Bottle Opener – 3 Black Refills + 12 Batteries
  • ▶ The World's Original Most Loaded Pen - The MTP-6 combines the most-needed EDC tools in one sturdy, well-designed tactical pen. You'll feel confidently equipped with a multi-mode LED tactical flashlight, a premium glass breaker, a multi tool and smooth writing ballpoint pen. EXTRAS included: 3 black ink cartridges, 4 sets of batteries, online self defense class and limited LIFETIME WARRANTY.
  • ▶ Built To Last - This tactical metal pen is in it for the long haul. Custom desgined for ease of use and superior durability. Machined with precision from AIRCRAFT GRADE ALUMINUM for extreme strength and ease of maneuverability in self defense situations. This is one of the top rated self defense weapons for women.
  • ▶ Smooth Operator - This lightweight ballpoint pen writes like a dream; smooth and precise. Carry it in your pocket, purse, clipped to your belt or Molle system. It easily goes everywhere.
  • ▶ Ain't Just A Pen - At first glance, this robust self defense weapon looks like a pen. With one swift move, this effective tactical multi tool pen flashlight becomes your most trusted self defense weapon. Using our online training, you'll be able to scare off or defeat a predator as well as break a car window in 2 seconds.
  • ▶ Gift Giving Favorite - Surprise your mom, dad, brother, sister, husband, wife or anyone you want to keep safe with this useful and practical gift. It's the perfect stocking stuffer, birthday, graduation, Christmas, employee recognition, Mother's Day and Father's Day gift...not to mention, just because gift!
Bestseller No. 5
Werkzeug Tactical Pen (10-in-1), Gifts for Men, Cool & Unique Anniversary Birthday Gifts for Boyfriend Him Husband Dad, Fun Gadget Mens Gifts Ideas, Gift Box
  • 【Werkzeug Pen】 Tactical pen is made of high quality aluminium alloy. Anti-oxidation, high toughness, good corrosion resistance, strong and durable, suitable for outdoor and daily carrying. Will not stainless. Even if you accidentally fall into the water, it won’t break.
  • 【Exquisite Gift Box】 Werkzeug tactical pen included a exquisite black gift case. The Best Christmas Stocking Stuffers for dad, father, grandpa, uncle, brother, son, grandson, husband, boyfriend, for men, for women. Perfect for birthday, graduation, father's day gift.
  • 【Unique Design】 Tactical pen has a heavy duty pocket clip so that you can attach it to your shirt or notebook. Pocket size box is easy to put in a backpack or in pocket. Can use it anywhere; The thread design of the handle has anti-slip function.
  • 【Multitool Pen】 Not only you can use it in outdoor. But also to use screw driver and flashlights in daily life. Provide more functions for your indoor and outdoor activities.
  • 【Superior Service】 If you have any questions or concerns about our product, please do not hesitate to contact us, we always here to service you.

Tactical Pen Buyer’s Guide

After looking through all the top tactical pens in this review, you should have an idea of a few pens you think might suit your lifestyle requirements. In this section, we’ll give you everything you need to know to finalize your purchase decision.

What are the Origins of Tactical Pens?

The tactical pen is a blend of a weapon and a writing instrument. The idea behind introducing a tactical edge into a pen comes from the original Japanese weapon, the “Kubotan.”

The small, hand-held fighting tool fits comfortably in the palm, with two prongs protruding from the shaft that sits on either side of your middle finger.

The short prongs act as punching assistance, and the hilt protruding through the bottom of your grip allows for a striking action. It’s an effective weapon for attacking the softer areas of the body, such as the eyes, throat, groin, and solar plexus.

The art of Ninjutsu relies heavily on the use of strikes to pressure points on the body. The Kubotan allows pin-point accuracy in pressure from strikes on these sensitive areas, disabling your attacker with only a few blows.

The Kubotan is still in use today in Ninjutsu martial arts classrooms all around the globe. It’s now a self-defense weapon that’s effective in the hands of individuals who know how to use it regularly and drill the skill.

A tactical pen is the next evolution of the Kubotan. These pens feature sturdy, robust chassis acting as a housing for a pen, and as a defensive or rescue tool. You get a striking edge on the top and bottom of the pen to disable an attacker. Depending on the model, the attacking end could feature a pointed or blunted finish.

A blunted effect is better for non-lethal self-defense. Landing a blow to the temple using the pointed end of a tactical pen could kill your attacker. However, it’s more effective when using the tool in a raking motion across the face or body.

The pen’s design comes with additional functionality over what you can get from a Kubotan in a self-defense or rescue situation. A tactical pen will have a striker tip that helps break the toughened glass on car windows, allowing you to pull drivers from vehicles in rescues.

Most tactical pens come with design and construction featuring steel and plastics for durability. With the right maintenance, your pen will last a lifetime.

What are the Advantages of Owning a Tactical Pen?

Owning a tactical pen is a no-brainer if you’re involved in any way with security, law enforcement, or the military. However, is it worth it for civilians to carry these pens with them on their everyday errands? Here are a few benefits of adding a tactical pen to your EDC setup.

  • A tactical pen is compact and doesn’t draw attention the same way as a knife or firearm.
  • Tactical pens are lightweight and compact. Store it on the edge of your pocket or your belt for easy access.
  • It’s an unassuming weapon that can help distract your attacker while you look for an exit.
  • There is no legislation preventing you from carrying a tactical pen in NYC or California.
  • TSA bans tactical pens from all flights, so make sure you leave it at home or pack it in your luggage.
  • Most models accept premium-brand ink refill cartridges.
  • Tactical pens come with rescue functionality in the glass-breaker tip.
  • You don’t need any training or background check when buying a tactical pen.
  • Your average person won’t see the pen as a weapon or a threat.

What Do I Look for In a Tactical Pen?

By now, you should start to understand what you want out of a tactical pen. Are you looking for an all-purpose tool to add to your range bag? Do you want a protective weapon for self-defense? Or maybe you’re looking for a gift for someone else?

There could be a dozen reasons why you’re interested in a tactical pen. If you have no idea what to look for when making your purchase, you can rely on these top tips when choosing your pen.

  • Think about what you want to do with the pen. If it’s a self-defense weapon, you’ll need a larger model with more power in striking. If it’s more for range use, a lightweight model will work.
  • Look for models with hefty builds, durable materials, anodized finishes, and don’t forget about the writing function.
  • Make sure you get a model that’s compatible with leading brand ink cartridges.
  • Look for a model that offers grey or black models for tactical use. Some manufacturers provide brass and stainless steel finishes for a more aesthetic look.
  • Look for models that feature belt or pocket clips for easy access in a crisis.

What to Look for In a Tactical Pen

So, what are the components of the best tactical pen? When we were picking our top eight models for this review, we went through dozens of tactical pens, assessing all of them with a critical eye. When making our top choices, we looked at the following criteria.

Chassis

The chassis of the pen refers to its body. This component of the pen is critical from the self-defense perspective. You need a lightweight, durable material for the chassis. We recommend looking at pends that offer steel, titanium, or brass builds.

The Chassis of the pen needs to feature a durable material to absorb the shock of using it to break windows in emergencies. If you do that with a normal pen, you risk the chassis snapping in your hand, causing a severe injury.

A tactical pen features an indestructible chassis that survives corrosion, impact, and the harshest operating conditions.

Grip

The grip on the chassis plays a role in both the tactical and writing functions of the pen. For writing, you need an ergonomic design that fits in the fingers comfortably.

Pens that are too thick in the head may feel awkward between your fingers, making it hard to write. Look for a model with an ergonomic design and narrow tip for a secure grip. On the tactical side of things, you want a pen that features a grip you can feel through a glove.

Look for models with knurling on the chassis, or large cutouts to facilitate a sturdy grip in a self-defense situation. The grip needs to provide total control over the tool when in use. Letting it slip through your hands when trying to shatter a windshield could result in a failure and an injury.

Bolt-Action

The bolt-action refers to the loading mechanism on a rifle. You get tactical pens that feature the same style of bolt-action loading mechanism for loading the ink cartridge into the head of the pen.

A bolt-action system allows for the successful locking of the ink cartridge, providing you with a spear tip on the end of your pen for use in a self-defense situation. The bolt action won’t release until you unlock the mechanism. It’s like the locking mechanism on a folding pocketknife.

Best Bolt Action Pen
Best Bolt Action Pen Reviews: Complete Buyer’s Guide

Glass-Breaker / Striker Cap

Most tactical pens come with dual glass-breaker functionality, as well as a striking tip. These pens are useful in emergencies when you need to pull a passenger from inside the vehicle, and they can’t wind down the window.

The glass-breaker tip will shatter a car passenger window with a strong blow. The striker tip of the pen features a point that transfers the chassis’ energy through the tip of the pen.

It’s for this reason that having a solid material in the chassis is important. It helps with facilitating the transfer of energy through the pen into the glass, ensuring a successful break.

Striker tips are also effective weapons in self-defense situations. If the pen can damage a strengthened glass window, imagine its effects on the skeletal and muscular system.

Belt and Pocket Clips

There’s no point in carrying a tactical pen if you don’t have it on your person. A tactical pen requires a quick draw in a defensive situation. If you have to dig through your backpack to find it – it’s already too late.

Look for models that come with belt or pocket clips. We recommend attaching it to a shirt pocket or the inside of your pants pocket. Practice drawing the pen, and make sure you don’t catch material on the clip head when drawing the pen.

Size

Full-size tactical pens are large items. Some bolt-action models can have extended, thick chassis that feels awkward in the hands when writing. For this review, we ensured that all our top choices were comfortable and functional during writing tests.

Size is more about personal preference. However, all the models in this review will feel like they belong in your hand, giving you top levels of control and comfort during writing and self-defense situations.

Cartridge Compatibility

Look for tactical pens that contain refills compatible with leading brand pens. Models that come with proprietary cartridges may make it harder for you to find refills. Look for models that include free refills with your original purchase.

Accessories

Some tactical pens come with additional accessories. Emergency whistles at the top of the pen are a nice option, as are LED flashlights. For flashlights, look for CREE LEDs. Some models also feature removable lids.

If you’re one of those people that find yourself losing sunglasses, phone, and keys, avoid getting a tactical pen with a lid – you’re almost guaranteed to lose it. Choose a model with an automatic press operation instead.

How Do I Use a Tactical Pen in a Self Defense Situation?

If you find yourself facing a threat, then the best option you have is to flee. You must remember that being a hero is for the movies. In reality, if you have the option of running away, take that every time.

However, if you find yourself in a situation where you must defend yourself from an attacker, follow these steps.

  • Get a strong base. Distribute your weight with a slight favor to the front foot. Use the “Weaver stance” where you have your dominant foot in the rear and the weaker foot in the lead.
  • Narrow your shoulders away from your opponent with your draw hand on the back foot.
  • Draw the pen as the threat presents.
  • Follow the four-step system when defending yourself against the attacker.
  • The Four-step method involves two slashes, and two eye pokes, executed one after another.
  • Strat with slashes or gouging attack to the eye or throat, follow with an eye poke using the sharp end of the pen.
  • Repeat the gouge and poke on the other side of the opponent switching your stance.
  • Drill this technique as often as you can to avoid hesitating in a real-life combat situation.

Training is a vital component of learning to use your tactical pen in a combat scenario. If you don’t have any training, then how do you expect to win the encounter? If you want a successful engagement with an attacker, practice helps you control the outcome.

With the right training and drilling of techniques, you can learn to defend yourself automatically in a pressure situation. You won’t have to think about the draw or where to land the pen, your brain and body automatically know what to do thanks to the drills.

How Do I Use a Tactical Pen in an Emergency Situation?

Defending yourself is an emergency. However, we refer to an emergency like a vehicle coming off the highway and landing in a lake. In this situation, you’re going to need to pull the victim from the car. However, on your attempt to open the door, you find that the lock jams.

Now What? You can’t watch the person drown in front of you. This scenario is where the striker tip on your tactical pen comes in handy. The striker tip allows you to channel the energy from a strike to the glass through a point. The energy transfer shatters toughened glass easily, allowing you to get to the passenger inside the vehicle.

The striker point needs to have the strength to withstand the forces involves with the blow. If the tip does not have a sturdy design, the pen might break or fail to shatter the glass on impact. That’s the last thing you need in a pressure situation where every second will count to your survival.

All the tactical pens in this review feature striker tips that are suitable for emergency and tactical scenarios.

Price Vs. Quality – Choosing the Right Tactical Pen to Match Your Budget

If you browse our lineup of the best tactical pens, you’ll notice that we have models at very different price points. Some are under $10, while others cost over $60. So, does price matter when purchasing your pen.

That’s a subjective question. Our best budget model in this review has a sturdy frame and design, and we think it has all the features of a top-drawer tactical pen. However, we would also say that its worth it to spend the money on the Gerber Impromptu, the winner of the best overall model in this review.

The key is to find a pen that you can rely on and trust in pressure situations.

Tactical Pen FAQs

Are tactical pens worth the money?

Tactical pens might cost you a bit more than a standard BIC, but you get plenty of value for your money. Not only do you have a durable and reliable writing instrument, but you get a self-defense weapon as well.

Can a tactical pen replace your firearm or knife?

No, a tactical pen will never give you an edge over a pistol or knife – don’t bring a pen to a knife-fight. The tactical pen is meant to round-out your gear, helping you cover all bases of your equipment and self-defense.

What are the best applications for tactical pens?

Tactical pens are suitable for writing in your data on the range or in the field. They also make for make-shift weapons in hand-to-hand combat when you don’t have access to any others. One of the unique features of this pen is the glass-breaking striker cap. You can use this feature in emergencies to break vehicle glass and retrieve passengers.

Do I need to train with my tactical pen?

Yes, you need to train with your pen. Practice with your weapon, using 4-movements for poking and scraping. Drill those movements from the start position with your pen in your pocket. Remember how it took you a while to learn to write? It’s going to take time for you to become proficient with using the pen as a weapon.

Where is the best place to buy a tactical pen?

We recommend that you pick up your tactical pen from an online dealer like Amazon. Amazon has buyer protection included in your purchase. If you don’t like the pen you buy, simply return it for a full refund. Most manufacturers will offer a satisfaction guarantee with your purchase and a lifetime warranty on the pen’s chassis.

The Best Tactical Pen – The Verdict

By now, you should have a good idea of the best tactical pen to suit your needs. Whether you’re shipping off to a base in the Middle-East or loading up magazines at the range, you need a reliable and functional pen. If you’re having a hard time trying to decide on the best tactical pen, why not go with our top choices?

The Gerber Impromptu is an excellent overall choice for law enforcement, military, and civilian use. This pen has a sturdy chassis, functional design, and emergency rescue features. It’s the ideal choice for a tactical pen for rigged and robust use under challenging operating conditions.

The CRKT Williams tactical pen is our top choice for the best premium tactical pen available. This model features an ergonomic design in the chassis, allowing for self-defense use and glass breaking in one tip. There’s plenty of grip on the knurling, and a sleek design that doesn’t look tactical, while remaining highly functional.

The Kepeak Military Tactical Pen is our top choice for the best budget model in this review. This pen features plenty of knurling on the durable aluminum chassis for additional grip during self-defense use. It comes with six spare refills, and a pointed striker tip for glass breaking., at under $10 for this pen, you’re getting the best deal online for a tactical pen that works.


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A Patriot, Life-Long Survivalist & now full-time editor at Vinjatek

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