When some people look at a tactical pen, they only see a normal ballpoint pen. However, people who know what these pens are capable of doing see them for what they are: the best tool a person can have to protect themselves if they’re attacked. Sure, these pens can be used to write letters, but they can also be used to dish out a tremendous amount of pain if the user is attacked.

These pen’s usefulness allows them to be used by anyone who’s looking for a legal weapon for self-defense. They’re easy to carry and effective, too. More and more of them are being equipped with additional tools such as glass breakers that extend their usefulness even further. We think that just about anyone can benefit from using these useful tools, which is why we’ve decided to review the best tactical pens currently being produced.

Quick Summary of the Best Tactical Pens

Editor’s Choice: Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen

Anyone familiar with the Gerber company knows that they’ve been making some high-quality survival products for some time now. They’ve made high-quality fixed-blade and folding knives, as well as a variety of other quality survival products, so when we came across this tactical pen we knew that it was going to be one of the best around. And we weren’t wrong. This pen is designed to be durable, reliable, and easy to use. The company worked in conjunction with law-enforcement professionals to create a product anyone can use for self-defense.

This product is just a little shy of 6-inches and weighs 2.4-ounces. It’s made out of machined steel and is equipped with stainless-steel pocket clips that help the consumer keep it close to them. It features a push-button mechanism that deploys the ballpoint mechanism so the user can write with it, and it’s filled with a rain ink cartridge so the user can write with it in any conditions. This American made product is also equipped with a glass-breaker tip that can be used as a striker while the user is defending themself, or can be used to break out an automobile window in an emergency.

This pen is available in one of three different colors including black, grey, or earth. And since it looks like an ordinary ink pen, no one will no the wearer has a weapon that’s designed to help them if they get into a jam. The only thing that we didn’t like about this pen was that it costs more than comparable tactical pens. It’s quite expensive and is approximately 2-3 times more expensive than the next leading pen. While we do think that it’s build quality and design warrants that price, some people may be uncomfortable spending that much on a pen.

Overall, we think that this is a quality product that consumers are going to want to keep around. It’s an easy-to-use product that writes well, is extremely durable, and fulfills its function as a survival pen quite well.

What we liked about it
  • It’s a great pen for self-defense.
  • It’s equipped with a built-in glass breaker.
  • This pen also writes very well.

Also Recommended: Smith & Wesson SWPENMP2BK Screw-Cap Pen

Most people recognize the name Smith & Wesson from the firearms manufactured under it, but they also happen to make quality survival equipment. This company makes multi-tools, fixed blade knives, tactical folders, and tactical pens like this one. Since they’re a company that always has an eye on the small details of a product, we were sure that we were going to be reviewing a pen that was going to be quite useful. We just didn’t know at the time just how useful the pen would be. Thankfully, we got a chance to review it and find out.

This pen is 5.8-inches long and weighs approximately 1.4-ounces. It’s made out of reliable and high-quality T6061 aircraft aluminum, so it has felt like it was very durable. Although we did think that the black finish the aluminum was covered in wore off a little prematurely, the product was otherwise built to exacting standards. It had a menacing look to it that leaves no doubt in anyone’s mind that this product is designed for self-defense. This makes it not as concealable as we would’ve liked, but that’s just a minor point that we’re not even going to count against it.

Another thing we’d like to mention about this product is that it’s equipped with a pocket clip and a screw-off top that makes it extremely easy to use. This product can also be refilled with Schmidt P900M Parker-style black ball-point cartridges that are easy to swap in and out as needed. And on a related point, this pen also does a good job of writing and is very smooth. With that being said, there is one thing that we didn’t like and that was the fact that it wasn’t equipped with a Tungsten glass-breaker that could be used to escape from an automobile in the event of a car accident.

After evaluating all of the variables involved, and taken this product’s pros and cons into consideration, we’ve decided that this is indeed one of the best tactical pens being made. It’s durable enough to be used on a regular basis, it’s reasonably priced, and it’s aggressive enough for self-defense purposes. Sure, its finish isn’t all that great, and it’s not equipped with a glass-breaker, but it sure does meet all of the other requirements a good tactical pen should have.

What we liked about it
  • It’s heavy and intimidating looking.
  • It writes well.
  • This pen is reasonably priced.

Also Consider: TakeFlight Self-Defense Pen

This product from TakeFlight is not just a high-quality tactical pen, but it’s also one of the best survival pens available. It has four different functions that extend its value to more than just being a writing instrument or a tool for self-defense. This product is equipped with a glass-breaking tip for breaking automotive glass in an emergency, an LED flashlight for seeing in the dark, a bottle opener, and of course, it works as a pen. Unfortunately, its last function, that of a pen, is probably the weakest part about this entire device. It just doesn’t write as reliably as we would’ve hoped.

With that being said, there’s a lot of good things to say about this product. For example, it’s 6-3/8-inch long and is manufactured from aircraft-grade aluminum for durability. It also ships with a few accessories that are quite useful including two extra refillable ink cartridges, an extra flashlight battery, and a nice box that allows it to be given as a nice Christmas or Father’s Day gift. All of this also makes it a great product for any EDC bag, bug out bag, or for carrying in the glovebox of a car. Keeping all of this in mind, we think this is a great tactical pen that many people are going to want to keep within arm’s reach.

What we liked about it
  • This is a reasonably priced pen.
  • It’s equipped with several different tools.

A Guide To Buying A Tactical Pen

When shopping for a new tactical pen, the consumer needs to consider all of their options and what they may need the pen to do in an emergency. Some people are only looking for a pen that will give them the best way to defend themselves during a fight, while other people may need the pen to do a little bit more. That can make it difficult for a person to find the pen that best suits them.

Fortunately for our readers, we have logically thought through just about all of the available options and features that can be found on modern tactical pens. This guide will help all of our readers navigate their options, so they can find the tactical pen that they can use in their everyday carry kit, their bug out bag, or even at their desk at work. 

Tactical Pen Construction

One of the primary things that the consumer is going to want to consider is what the pen is made out of. Although dozens of pens claim to be tactical, not all of them are designed to hold up to the stressors that a real tactical pen has to put up with. Pens that have tactical purposes need to be made out of a material that can hold up to just about anything. This means that it should be made out of machine stainless-steel or aircraft-grade aluminum. 

Consider The Pen’s Grip

Another thing that the consumer should think about is the grip that can be found on the pen. Just about every tactical pen has some sort of grip on it that helps the user hold onto it. Some models have grooves built right into the metal itself and other models equip their pens with a rubberized grip. Either one will work one and will make the pen easier to use. 

Look For A Glass Breaker (If Needed)

Even though our number one tactical pen isn’t equipped with a glass breaker, a good glass-breaker can be useful if a car is ever involved in an automobile accident. They’re usually made out of Tungsten, so when they’re smashed against a car’s window, the window will shatter. Of course, if the consumer doesn’t intend to keep their pen in the car or only want it for self-defense, then they can skip this feature. 

Decide Whether A DNA Catcher Is Needed

Another feature that’s found on some tactical pens is a DNA catcher. This is a sharpened crown that is used to puncture through the skin when it’s being used for self-defense. As it punctures the skin, it also collects some of the attacker’s DNA, and that DNA can be used by law-enforcement officials at a later date to identify the victim. At least, that’s the supposed purpose of this feature. We’re not actually sure just how often the capturing of DNA by these devices results in identifying a perpetrator, but it’s certainly possible.

Is The Pen Cartridge Refillable Or Replaceable?

The consumer is probably also going to want to make sure that the pen cartridge found in the pen can be either replaced with a new cartridge or refilled. Although most quality tactical pens allow the user to refill or replace the cartridge, there are plenty of knockoff pens that are unusable once they run out of ink, so that’s certainly something to think about before making a decision.

Additional Tactical Pen Features

While we’re talking about features, we think it’s a good idea at this point for consumers to think about all of the features that they may need. As we’ve mentioned previously, these pens come in a wide variety of different models and there’s a wide variety of features found on these models. Some of these features are quite useful, while others aren’t useful at all. Let’s take a look at just some of the features that may be found on one of these pens. 

Some Tactical Pen Features:

  • Flashlights
  • Bottle Openers
  • Belt And/Or Pocket-Clip
  • Laser Pointers
  • Screwdriver
  • Hexagonal-Wrench
  • Survival Whistle

And Finally…Think About Cost

All of the above features and design specs are important for the consumer to consider before they purchase their next tactical pen. However, the consumer also needs to consider how much the pen is going to cost. While they want to ensure that they don’t buy a pen that’s super-cheap because they will likely end up with an inferior model, they also will probably want to avoid spending a small fortune on one. It’s this balance that determines whether a tactical pen was a good purchase or not.