We are facing increasingly turbulent times at the same time as our politicians seem to take the right to bear arms as a give and take political negotiation. I have found the humble tactical pen to be the only thing standing between you and an attacker. One of the best advantages of a tactical pen is that it is discreet. Despite the saying, 99 out of 100 people would take the sword, that’s why you will never find yourself in a tactical situation with a sword.
But odds are you will always have a “humble” pen with you. That being said, here are some pens I tested over the last year. More importantly, I present these pens to you in the context of self defense.
Incredibly durable, machined steel body. And with the fluted cut out design handle, I got to say it’s my favorite one on this list. Definitely worth having in your glovebox.
Zero Tolerance 0010TI Titanium
The ZT is definitely a beauty, titanium body and machined clip gives it an amazing build quality.
Smith & Wesson Tactical Pen With Stylus
The biggest advantage of the Smith & Wesson is the stylus at the end of the screw on cap. If you have a tablet or touchscreen smartphone you have an amazing reason to always have this pan in your hand always ready for any tactical situation.
5.11 Double Duty 1.5
Very understated and discreet. This is a king of ergonomics – both in writing mode and tactical mode…it’s very comfortable to use and gives a lot of confidence unless you have very large hands
Benchmade 1100 Titanium Series
Another gorgeous pen, the 1100 comes with an anodized milled aluminum surface and a titanium core. The finish is a brilliant stone washed blue that will definitely start a conversation.
Nitecore gets a full A in the design department for the NTP 10, but it’s a definite pass in terms of actual ergonomics. The edges of the body that make it so distinctive aren’t all that comfortable. It stands out like a sore thumb and it’s very thin and hard to grip in a tactical situation.
Hardcore Hardware TWI-02
The primary feature is the recessed thumb crown. Whether you support the pen crown with your thumb or palm, the recess reduces the risk of self-injury.
Compact and rugged, small size makes it a perfect fit in the hand.
A true multi-tool. The inclusion of a survival whistle and a Ferro rod makes this tactical pen a very good option for everyday carry.
UZI Defender Tactical Pen With Glass Breaker
Aircraft grade aluminum, carbide tip glass breaker, handcuff key, great tactical option for a police officer, or a first responder.
5.11 PreFense Lance
The distinguishing trait of the Lance pen is the milling that gives the whole body of the pen a lot of grip. This combined with the flat thumb rest makes the lance the best option for people with sweaty palms or people that are nervous by nature, and might have issues with getting a good grip on the pen in a tactical situation.
Cheap, light and definitely not worth the price compared to some other budget options.
Surefire Tactical Pen IV
The Surefire pen is quite heavy, it has a really good quality feel. Surefire compensated for this with a triangular edge grip for writing.
Timberline 700 Lightfoot LCP
The Timberline has a weird edge design on the tactical end, this seems like overkill for me. Otherwise, the body is milled military grade aluminum and the thumb rest is quite comfortable. A solid choice if the edged body doesn’t bother you.
StatGear Tactical Pen
Beautifully machined, great grip and very comfortable to write with.
Mil-Tac Tactical Defense Pen
I appreciate the Mil-Tac for the small details they put into it. The little things like the screw in cap and the rubber o-rings are the perfect compromises between grip and comfort when writing.
Cold Steel Pocket Shark
This is not technically a pen, but rather a tactical sharpie. It’s absurdly large and it’s basically thick plastic. But as a tactical option, it’s perfect. The cheap price and the understated design make this the perfect sleeper for self-defense, this is the truest Kubotan on this list.
Designed by the master Allen Elishewitz, the Tao pen’s selling point is that between the DNA catcher, the tactical end, and the sharp writing end, you have a wide variety of tactical option you can adapt based on the threat level.
TuffWriter Operator Series
Probably the best pen of the bunch. If you need a good writing tool.
Archangel Defense Pen
I have to appreciate the fact that the pocket clip is held in place by 2 screws. That is usually the most vulnerable part so having the option to replace it is very considerate. Otherwise, the flute grooves make this underperform for me, from a tactical point of view.
CountyComm Stainless Embassy Elite
Another pen with screwed-in pocket clip, much appreciated. In addition, it is made out of a solid block of milled 300 series stainless steel. You can’t get better build quality than that, but this also comes at a price. It’s heavy. This, however, makes it an excellent tactical option and the design does offer you a lot of tactical versatility.