The Best Tactical Pen for Many Situations – 2017 Buyer’s Guide

Have you ever skidded off the road while dodging something and then in a flash, you're trapped in your car and gasping for air? I have. It happened on the 24th of September, 2015. But, I didn't die. I wouldn't be writing this post if I did. What saved me? You can call it the best tactical pen in the world! I used it in breaking through my car's glass. Enough about me. That's not the only thing you can use these pens for.

Tactical Pen for Many Situations

So, what is a tactical pen? It's one that serves in various capacities. That's why it's called tactical anyway. Firstly, you can use it in writing. And I don't mean just on paper. You can write on your tablet, your iPhone, just anything with a touch screen. The stylus helps with that. But not just writing though, if not it won't be different from the ordinary pens you'd pick off the shelf. It's one of the best self-defense pens out there. If you're like me, then you'd know that one core principle of self defence is camouflage. So I don't like guns. I like to take the aggressor by surprise. And my pens do save the day.

The pens are small so it fits right into my pocket. Some of them have sharp points in their tip. And guess what some are made of? High grade steel! So you get the strength in every strike. Remember? It shattered glass so I could get out of my car. So it could be used to protect yourself from intruders without them noticing. That's because they don't appear as weapons. Seriously, who'd look at a pen with the thought of it being able to inflict pain? If you're in the dark, the best tactical pen with flashlight is available!

Its 2017, and many brands are introducing new pen designs to the market. I've bought a couple and I swear by some of these brands. You want self defense pen reviews? Check them out.

1. Smith & Wesson SWPEN3BK Stylus Pen

When you know it's from Smith & Wesson, then it's clear why this pen is such a beauty to behold. It comes in black and sports a soft tip that works as a stylus on my tab screen. And oh, the tips? They're made of rubber. I just love the simplicity that comes with its makeup.

You may not know this, but there is a big difference in the results you get from a stylus based solely on the type of tip you go for. The stylus requires no batteries so I'm not worrying about charging my phone and charging my pen. You want to write? Unscrew the stylus cap so the writing tip is exposed. You wouldn't lose the cap too. Just screw it to the other end so it's safe while you're writing. Getting refills for this pen was so easy, even other tactical pen reviews posts attest to this. My ordinary pens would fail in times I need it the most, sometimes because the weather is terrible. This pen doesn't. I've had this pen for months now mostly because there are no tiny parts that get broken.

Its 5.7 inch body features a black anodized T6061 Aircraft Aluminum with an o-ring sealed cap. It is lightweight so no, your pockets wouldn't feel like you're at the gym. And why it works so well even under harsh weather? Aluminum pieces already have a protective coating making them highly corrosion resistant. An anodized aluminum is one that this property has been improved upon. Its body is also impermeable so you won't be getting any funny smells using your pen.

And about the pointed end? That's what you want when you need the best self defence pen!

2. Gerber 31-001880 Impromptu Pen

Now this is a tool with a steel body and stainless steel clip finished with the best machines you can think of. Very few manufacturers know how to make pens that are resistant to extreme weather. Sometimes, I'm under the rain and I need a pen that works. I need the best survival pen! Gerber's all weather cartridge does it for me. When it comes to its strength, very few materials are stronger than the high grade steel on this tool. Its tip is designed for breaking glass, I've tested it a few times so you shouldn't be afraid if you ever get trapped and it feels like you aren't coming out.

This 5.5 inch long pen is manufactured in the US following the best quality control guidelines and its ball point pen component uses black ink. It's one to carry in your pocket as its weight is 4 ounces. Quite bulky you might say, but its extra weight is what gives you such a good grip on the pen. Really, of what use is a pen if it slips out of your hand when you need it the most.

Gerber got help when designing the Impromptu Pen. Guess who they got it from? Law enforcement! I mean it's so evident when you use it. I have a few pens that have a lot of processes, making it difficult for you to push the writing tip in and use it as a self defense tool. But this pen makes transitioning such a breeze.

3. Schrade SCPENBK Pen

The pen isn't hard to identify. The name Schrade is so conspicuously written on its body. With a body that's made with the finest grade of aluminum, you get the strength you have so dearly wanted. The 5.75 inch long pen has a pocket clip on the removable pen cap which you can screw on and off, depending on what you want to do. The pen also sports a black ballpoint Schmidt P900M ink cartridge, nothing to hate about this one. Schrade didn't go wrong on the design of the SCPENBK. I mean, it's not like I expected them to, it's Schrade we're talking about, right?

You need a simple pen? You have an eye for aesthetics? You need to get one of the best survival pens? The SCPENBK has all of these in one. Some manufacturers don't give you a self defense pen that delivers great results when writing. They go, who buys a tactical pen for writing anyway? Schrade's not in that pack. If they're going to give you a pen that's good for survival, they'd make sure your writing shines also with it.

The grip of the pen is carved aluminum and here's why this worked for me. There's friction every time I use this pen, so that area is a little hot and of course my palms get sweaty. With the usual coating on these pens, their bodies would wear away in a few weeks. But you can't beat an aluminum coat easily. An oxide coating that's been reinforced in this pen keeps it corrosion resistant.

The device fits perfectly in my pocket. It stays solid and boy does it intimidate intruders when I bring it out.

4. Boker Plus Carbon Pen

Here are some things you'd like about this one. It has a firm grip for writing or fighting. Fighting? Yes. It's one of the best survival pens. The aluminum end cap is enclosed in titanium coating. This device uses Fisher pen cartridges. Its aluminum body is one you'd want on your hands in harsh weather. And it's not so hard to know why. The aluminum material is improved by anodizing so you get a pen that's durable and can stand the test of time. This 5 inch long pen has a black ink ballpoint pen and weighs a light 2.9 ounces.

It's not hard to know why the Boker Plus is so well known in this market as this pen was designed with so much attention to comfort. It sits so well on your hands you'd wonder if you're doing any job at all in maintaining its grip. The pump action feature of the pen enables you write with it upside down in zero Gs. Its configuration gives it such a great balance and all it takes are a few self-defense techniques and this pen becomes one of the weapons in your arsenal.

You need more tactical features? There's a click mechanism that extends the tip, so a longer tip and you get more impact. Attack is the best form of defense, right?

5. UZI UZI-TACPEN2-BK Aircraft Aluminum Pen

You've heard about UZI? When you get your hands on their products, you're looking at something from one of the world's highly praised firearm brands. And the TACPEN2-BK is one of the reasons why this is so.

This 6.6 inch pen comes with a black stylish finish. And yeah, it's a lightweight pen, it comes in at just 1.5 ounces. It's made of lightweight aircraft aluminum. Looking at other tactical pen reviews, you'd see that this tool is actually named "UZI UZI...... WITH GLASS BREAKER." And it's not hard to know why. Its heavy duty carbide tip helps me shatter glass without too much sweat. And you wouldn't even notice the tip, yet it takes nothing away from its strength.

This pen is compatible with many refills around, Standard and Fischer being one of them. The TSA in the US approves this pen. Its tactical features don't end there, there's space for a hand cuff key under the glass breaker. You don't have to worry about how to screw and unscrew caps as there are none this time. Just twist the pen and start writing.

The logo, UZI, on the pen is quite subtle. You don't want to raise eyebrows at the office just by using your pen. There's a strong belt clip that keeps your pen in place.

You don't need to spend a fortune to get what's good. This is my "Best Tactical Pen Under $50" winner. At just $20, the TACPEN2-BK is one pen you'd want to depend on. It's simple, gets the job done and may be your saving grace if you're trapped in a car or a house someday.

If you're looking for not just a great deal, not just a great writing pen, not just the best tactical pen under $50 but all three combined in one piece, you've got your baby!

Now, there you have it. Reviews of my top five tactical pens. You should get the best self defense pen from them. But that's not all, there are five other products that seem promising, only needing improvements in a few places. Check them out.

6. CRKT James Williams TPENWK Pen

This was the first pen I got my hands on. Former Army officer and martial arts instructor, James Williams designed this piece. So it comes from a guy who knows a lot about security. It looks like a pen. Of course it should cause you could use it for writing too. And I'm sure you don't want your pen screaming to an aggressor, "hey I'm going to injure you." The writings are so good you'd want to take notes in class with the pen. You can if you want to anyway.

At 6 inches long, it has a style that's rivaled by only a few. The aluminum body finish is one that makes the pen sparkle. I didn't even realized the body was matte anodized as it felt so smooth in my hand. One problem I have with pens that come with pocket clips is that it's always so difficult to get the pen out and start using it. That doesn't happen with the TPENWK. The clip is perfectly designed for your index finger to rest comfortably.

It's a pen I can carry around and a simple grip gives me a two inch aluminium spike. The spike does its job only when I need it to. It doesn't pierce through my skin when it's in my pocket. It looks so simple but trust me, you don't want to try it on your neck. I have to say though, the pen lid is a bit disappointing, it doesn't make that "click" sound I need to hear on closing the pen. You shouldn't have any issues with refilling, Fischer would work perfectly for you. Seriously, if you want a pen that has that pretty look, the CRKT is an option.

7. Valtev Tactical Pen

You don't need a pen that's poor at writing and has nothing tactical about it. Get one that's versatile now so you'd be at peace. This is where this Valtev's piece comes to play.

No, this is not just another pen. Granted, you can write all you want with it but that's not what makes it tactical. It is an extremely powerful defensive tool, designed to keep you safe.

This pen has three sides to it, a writing pen with such a sleek and stylish design, a personal non-lethal defensive weapon and a tip with such a great affinity for glass breaking. Carry it however you want! In your coat, shirt pocket, bag, or in the belt mountable sheath it comes with, you don't need to be afraid of the unknown again, as it can be with you wherever you go, ready to use anytime.

The Valtev's made from quality T6061 aircraft grade aluminium. The manufacturers expect that you're going to put this device through a lot of use. That's why you have this grade of aluminum on its body. The pen can go through the fire if you need it to and still serve you on paper wherever you are. The cap pulls off making it quick and saves you the stress of screws and all that. You write without hassless. It's just a simple push system that gets the cap in place and ready to go.

This 5.8 inch long pen weighing 1.4 ounces would sure make you feel safer. Forget the political correctness, the government can't really ensure the safety of everybody at the same time. A glassbreaker, one of the best self defense pens and writing pen combined in one tool is a great deal if you ask me. The cap fits just well into the other end of the pen, so it's safe while you're writing. Getting refills are a breeze as the Parker quinkflow P900M refills are widely available. There's also a durable nylon pouch that's compatible with my belt, it keeps my pen secure but my grouse with it is that is that the press snap function seems to fail some of the time. So the pouch is open without me being aware. Apart from that, the Valtev is one pen to keep.

8. Nitecore NTP10 Pen

This 5.2 inch long, 1.5mm thick pen comes in at just 0.8 ounces. The NTP comes packaged in a simple box, inside the box is a screwed Matt aluminium alloy tube that protects the pen. The pen's ends do more than you'd expect it to, three balls keep the cap safe when it's in use and its tungsten carbide spike breaks through glass. Refills won't be a problem, the Fischer pressurised 'space pen' refills are quite popular around. The cap clicks on firmly so you're sure when everything is in place.

You need to write? If you like the writings of Fischer refills, then you'd like this pen. Its slim body gives you the grip you've been longing for. The Polyflon interior keeps it corrosion resistant, protecting the tip of the pen.

9. The Under Control Pen with LED Flashlight

Now here's what I call a jack of all trades. This is for you if you need the best tactical pen with flashlight. It was built following military grade specifications. This 6.5 inch long pen is has an industrial-grade matte black finish with no screaming identifying logo. It makes me feel totally undercover.

It features a very bright white LED flashlight, an integrated glass breaker and a sharp cap for your self defense. There's a belt clip that fits so well on me, so I don't have worries about getting the pen out in good time. The only problem I had was the ink cartridge that proved tough to write with. Apart from that, you shouldn't be looking for the best tactical pen with flashlight again after seeing this.

10. Schrade SCPEN4BK

The Schrade is one pen to keep. It has everything about survival in place. It has a fine black ball point ink cartridge with refills around so that's not a problem. The anodized aluminum body comes with a glass breaker tip, yes, smash through it all you want. But you can't beat the survival specs on this pen.

The SCPEN4 features a whistle cap, ferro rod and strike plate. You need camp fires? This pen's got you covered. The pen cap has a built-in emergency whistle and also a pocket clip. It's really made for carrying around. How do you access the fire striking rod? Just unscrew the bottom end of the pen and your fire is a few minutes away. But it can't get started without the striking plate, right? Unscrew the breaker tip and you have your striking plate. I don't think your survival backpack is complete without the SCPEN4.

You needed tactical pen reviews? You got them. Those are 10 pens to die for. But, let's get back to the roots. How did the craze start?

History Of The Tactical Pen

The tactical pen is usually made out of metal, and although it looks like an ordinary pen and of course can be used in writing, it's used mostly for self defense.

The tactical pen is a modification of the Yawara and the Kubaton, two other self defense tools. In 20th century Japan, the Yawara was a wooden self defense tool, like a stick about 5 inches in length. The Kubaton was an improved version of the Yawara stick. It was made out of plastic or wood and had a keyring by the side.

The modern day pens have gone further by introducing high grade metals to give them lasting strength and ease of use.

My Buyer's Guide

Believe me when I say the ten pens I've reviewed up there are the best in the market. But it's too easy to get confused. I mean, credit to the manufacturers, they all have stellar qualities. So you can be left wondering, which should I buy? Here are some things to look out for.

1. Pen Quality

Trust me not all of these pens make you go aha! when writing on paper. Their ink cartridges come into play here. The standard ones are the Fischer and Parker models, it's easy to get refills and it makes your writing sparkle.

Some pens are made so well that they are able to write in the rain and very harsh environments. This is one feature to consider if you're always out in the field.

2. Self Defense Options

Yes. Look out for the spike. And the strength of the material. Don't think so? Then good luck coming out of a trapped car using a pen that's made of an inferior plastic. When it comes to this, very few beat Aircraft aluminum as it is lightweight and strong.

3. Grip

Your pen should give you that comfy feel in your hands. It should be easy to hold. What's the point getting a pen that won't stay in your hands?

Go for a pen that has ridges or grooves. I've discovered that these ridges keep my fingers in place, giving me a firm grip.


Now you know the answer to the question, "What is a tactical pen?" The first rule to abide by before getting a tactical pen is, know what you want. You want one with a flashlight? Then don't get the pen with a fire starter. The top ten have been reviewed for you. It's now up to you. What do you want to do with it? Get your hands on one of the pens in this post. Don't be afraid to try out more than one to see which you can trust to keep you safe.