Ultimate Guide to Finding the Best Tactical Pen 2017

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Searching for the best tactical pen?

You probably use a ballpoint pen from time-to-time. Chances are, you think about some of the ever present dangers of modern life now and then.

It’s likely that you would feel a lot more comfortable if you had a secret weapon in your pocket at all times.

Tactical pens double as both—a common device we all use every day and a survival tool.

If you’re in a hurry, check out my favorite tactical pen on Amazon right now. This is simply one of the best tactical pens out there and will be your best friend in almost any tough survival situation.

Tactical pens are the most common and effective way to protect yourself today. People everywhere are carrying them, and you might not have even known they existed!

That’s the whole idea.

A simple and serious weapon, that is disguised as an every day object, carried on the person at all times.

The best tactical pen writes flawlessly, stops would be attackers in their tracks, and is comfortable to carry with you everywhere.

I’ve compiled a list of all the best tactical pens 2017 has to offer. I have thoroughly analyzed all the brands, functions, materials, even user’s real life feedback to give you the pros and cons of the top tac pens. If I’ve found that a pen has drawbacks I’ll tell you, because you’ll want to know before you buy it.

Once you’ve read up on the vast scope of great pens on the market today, I reveal my top picks for best tactical pen in each of four categories:

  1. Best tactical pen
  2. Best budget tactical pen
  3. Best EDC pen
  4. Best survival pen

Read on to find the best tactical pen for your pocket.

Best Tactical Pens 2017 Comparison Table

Gerber Impromptu Tactical PenSteel2.4 oz5.59"See here90
Smith and Wesson SWPENMP2G M and PT6061 aircraft aluminum0.96 oz5.8"See here94
Smith & Wesson SWPEN3BK Tactical Pen With StylusT6061 aircraft aluminum1.92 oz5.4"See here87
Boker Plus 09BO093 Titan K.I.D Cal 50Aluminum1.45 oz4.29"See here85
BOKER PLUS Carbon Tactical PenCarbon fiber, titanium coated aluminum0.95 oz4.38"See here92
Schrade SCPENBK Tactical PenCNC Machined 6061 T6 aluminum0.96 oz5.7"See here95
Schrade SCPEN4BK Survival Tactical PenCNC Machined 6061 T6 aluminum1.92 oz5.9"See here94
CRKT TPENWK Williams Tactical Pen6061 Aluminum1.2 oz6"See here88
UZI TACPEN2-BK Defender Tactical Pen With Glass BreakerLightweight aircraft aluminum1.5 oz5.9"See here91
5.11 Double Duty 1.5 Tactical PenSee here95
Benchmade 1100 Titanium Series PenTitanium1.89 oz5.33"See here85
Hoffman Richter Stinger Tactical PenTitanium coated aluminumSee here88

Best Tactical Pen Reviews

Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen

The Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen is one of the most common and widely used tactical pens for sale today. It is made in the USA and backed by Gerber’s limited lifetime warranty. Machined steel gives this pen a sleek, professional look. The stainless steel clip is extremely durable to always keep it close at hand.

Features & Performance

The Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen is designed with a durable push button mechanism to extend and retract the ballpoint writing tip easily. At the end of this tactical click pen is a tempered steel tip designed for breaking windows to get you out of an emergency situation fast.

And of course, this Gerber pen wouldn’t be complete if it didn’t perform as a top notch writing utensil. It comes equipped with a write in the rain ink cartridge so that you can write in any weather imaginable. And of course, it’s a waterproof pen.

Who Should Buy It

In conjunction with law enforcement officials, the Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen was designed to create an all purpose tool that police officers could keep on hand at all times. However, that doesn’t mean you need to be on the force to own one.

This Gerber pen is widely used by agencies around the country and officers rely on them on a daily basis.

To the smart Gearist, that should be a strong testament to this pen’s reliability. This is the perfect pen for anyone who wants affordability coupled with the most essential features. Buying from a company as reputable as Gerber is another huge bonus, especially since this pen is backed by their lifetime warranty.

User Feedback

Almost all buyers report an excellent experience with this pen. Of the few who don’t, most have stories of excellent customer service and warranty fulfillment when something went wrong.

Occasional purchasers report the clicker or clip on their pen not working correctly. However, these seem to be isolated cases and not indicative of the general user experience. The only small design flaw people report is that the glass-breaker tip can snag on your pocket, clothing, and skin. Depending on how you plan to carry your Gerber tactical pen, this may be something worth considering.

> Get the Gerber Impromptu <


Weight: 2.4 oz

Size: 5.59″ long (tip extended)

Materials: Steel

Special Features: Glass breaking tip, write in the rain ink cartridge, reliable push-button mechanism to deploy pen tip, backed by Gerber’s lifetime warranty.


Smith and Wesson SWPENMP2G Military and Police

The Smith & Wesson SWPENMP2G Military & Police Tactical Pen is one of the simplest and most elegant options on the market. It is also one of the most affordable options if you are looking for a cheap and sturdy piece of tactical equipment.

This pen carries the Smith and Wesson brand name, but is designed and manufactured by Taylor Brands which was bought by the company last year. If you didn’t know, Taylor has been in the business of manufacturing some of the highest quality blades and accessories since 1975.

The bottom line is that this Smith and Wesson tactical pen is a testament to their tried and true experience in the tactical gear business.

Features & Performance

Because it is constructed of high grade aluminum, it is far lighter than many other tac pens available. The screw top is a favorite of many customers because it attaches firmly so it doesn’t get lost, whether you’re writing or taking care of more serious business.

Who Should Buy It

This is the perfect pen for you if you want a cheap, simple kubaton pen. The Smith & Wesson SWPENMP2G Military & Police Tactical Pen is not bogged down by extra features and accessories.

It writes well and fights well. If that’s all you need from your tactical pen, this one is just right for you. The price tag is hard to beat, considering the quality you receive.

User Feedback

Overall this pen receives excellent reviews. Users love the sturdy design and perfect weight balance.

There are almost no reports of flaws or defects with this product. Some prefer a thicker pen to allow for a stronger grip and some dislike the Smith and Wesson logo being printed obviously on the cap and clip. If you don’t want people to know you are carrying a military pen, this might be a good reason to choose a more discreet pen.

> Get the Smith & Wesson SWPENMP2G <


Weight: 0.96 oz

Size: 5.8″ long

Materials: T6061 aircraft aluminum

Special Features: Durable screw top cap, heavy duty pocket clip, comes with one Schmidt p900m Parker style black ballpoint pen cartridge.


Smith & Wesson SWPEN3BK Tactical Pen With Stylus

The Smith & Wesson SWPEN3BK Stylus Tactical Pen was designed for the new digital world and the modern creative professional. The stylus tip can write on nearly any touch screen. This way, one pen can take care of literally all of your writing needs, physical and digital, and also keep you safe in an emergency.

Features & Performance

This pen’s design is extremely similar to the first Smith and Wesson tactical pen reviewed above. Just like it’s counterpart, Smith & Wesson SWPEN3BK combines sturdy functionality with simple design to give you an affordable and reliable pen.

You’ll find that this EDC pen will write smoothly on screen and script, and keep you always on the cutting edge.

Who Should Buy It

With it’s stylus this tactical pen is designed with the digital professional and millennial generation in mind. This is the best EDC tactical pen for anyone who finds themselves writing on screens at home or work. Those using e-readers also love this touch screen functional tactical pen.

The low price tag helps keep your budget intact so you can spend your money on other tactical equipment and cool gadgets.

User Feedback

This digital capable tactical pen gets great feedback. Across the board Smith and Wesson tac pens are strong and stylish.

Lots of users report owning multiple S & W pens and recommend this one happily. However, many do report that after repeated trips in-and-out of a pocket the stylus tip wears out and breaks. Furthermore, some have problems with the threads unscrewing and losing the stylus tip. If you intend to keep yours at your desk or in looser pockets this shouldn’t be a problem.

> Get the Smith & Wesson SWPEN3BK <


Weight: 1.92 oz

Size: 5.4″ long

Materials: T6061 aircraft aluminum

Special Features: Stylus writing tip is replaceable, durable screw top cap, heavy duty pocket clip, comes with one Schmidt p900m Parker style black ballpoint pen cartridge.


Boker Plus 09BO093 Titan K.I.D Cal 50

Boker has been manufacturing quality knives and weapons for 145 years in Germany. They are without a doubt, an authority in the field of tactical self defense. Now, with a Boker pen, you can bring this authority to your EDC tool box (and of course, your writing). It is designed to be simple, stout and effective.

Features & Performance

Shorter and thicker than most tactical pens on the market, the Boker Plus 09BO093 Titan K.I.D Cal .50 Tactical Pen will fit snugly into your writing hand as well as your closed fist. This is important to get a strong grip on the pen when using it to attack.

You may have noticed, Boker brought a bolt action mechanism to the world of writing, and it looks as bad ass as it feels to use.

This Boker tactical pen can be filled with a Fischer space pen refill (though it is not sold with one) which is the industry standard for high quality ink deployment.

Who Should Buy It

The Boker Plus Titan Tactical Pen is perfect for anyone who wants a simple pen that screams ‘style’. It is sleek and refined; the bolt action mechanism is a real eye catcher.

The stout, compact design makes this an excellent kubaton pen.

User Feedback

This Boker tactical pen is strong and sturdy, users love it’s hefty feel. This pen could clearly do some serious damage to an opponent. Most people put in a Fisher Space refill to have the best experience possible.

However, there are a number of reports of the screws that affix the pocket clip stripping or coming out. This may be a good reason to think about the BOKER PLUS Carbon Tactical Pen reviewed below, which does not seem to share this problem.

Overall, if you love a fat, strong pen, then Boker branded tac pens are definitely for you.

> Get the Boker Plus <


Weight: 1.45 oz

Size: 4.29″ long

Materials: Aluminum

Special Features: Bolt action pen tip, stout and sturdy frame, pocket clip, limited lifetime warranty.


BOKER PLUS Carbon Tactical Pen

The BOKER PLUS Carbon Tactical Pen is a step up from its “K.I.D.” brother (reviewed above). This carbon fiber pen is stout, sturdy and like other pens out there, not too heavy to write for long periods of time. After all, what is a tactical pen if you don’t like to write with it?

Features & Performance

Slip in a Fisher Space Pen refill cartridge and you’ll be sliding across the page with style and authority.

True to Boker pen style, the BOKER PLUS Carbon Tactical Pen is simple and solid. You won’t find extra gizmos and gadgets ruining this pen’s smooth design and no nonsense functionality. The bolt action mechanism gets all the attention on this one and it functions and feels awesome!

Who Should Buy It

This pen, much like the Boker Titan, is made for the style-minded.

If you’re looking for the best EDC pen to convey your authority, this one is for you. We’re sure you noticed that the bolt action mechanism is an instant eye-catcher. Everything about this pen says that you mean business.

User Feedback

This Boker tactical pen gets excellent reviews. It is short, sturdy and strong. There are almost no reports of defects or dissatisfaction.

Users love the sturdy bolt action and the sexy exterior of this stylish tactical pen. It makes a great EDC pen.

There are two big things to consider before buying. First, if you have larger hands, this pen probably won’t fit in them very well as a writing or kubaton pen. Second, although Boker is a German company, their Boker Plus brand is made in China. Don’t let that scare you though, this is one of the best rated pens on the market and it is affordable too.

> Get the Boker Titan <


Weight: 0.95 oz

Size: 4.38″ long

Materials: Carbon fiber body, titanium coated aluminum end caps.

Special Features: Bolt action pen tip, lightweight carbon fiber body, sturdy pocket clip, limited lifetime warranty.


Schrade SCPENBK Tactical Pen

The Schrade SCPENBK Tactical Pen is a beautiful example of why Schrade pens are such a good value. Not to mention, some of the best tactical pens out there.

This Schrade pen is sleek, simple and won’t break your bank account, in fact, it will hardly make a dent. Schrade tactical pens are manufactured by Taylor Brands who also manufacture Smith and Wesson tactical pens. Taylor has been making top quality survival gear since 1975.

Features & Performance

This EDC tac pen outperforms many more expensive tactical pens for a fraction of the price, especially if you upgrade with a Fisher Space Pen refill.

It is solid, and sleek. A nice flat top for your thumb allows you to drive the striking point with maximum force. This EDC pen is for writing and striking and will do both beautifully.

Who Should Buy It

If you want one of the best tactical pens on the market, look no further than the Schrade SCPENBK Tactical Pen.

This pen is designed for the budget tactician that doesn’t want to sacrifice quality. It compromises nothing in quality but costs far less than most other tactical pens for sale today.

It is beautifully constructed and powerful in combat. If you’re looking for a tactical pen TSA won’t notice, this one is the best tactical pen for you.

User Feedback

Overall this pen is a great value and by all reports very solid and reliable. It is an extremely low profile tactical pen and a favorite of frequent fliers as their go-to TSA passable tactical pen. For a budget buy it’s hard to beat this Schrade pen in quality and looks.

The main negative report by users is the cap occasionally unscrewing in your pocket, reported by only a few. Some also complain that the cap does not attach well enough to the back of the pen when writing.

If you want an extra snug fit, you may look into the next Schrade tactical pen in this list. It also comes with added features that no other pen can claim.

> Get the Schrade SCPENBK <


Weight: 0.96 oz

Size: 5.7″ long

Materials: CNC machined 6061 T6 aluminum

Special Features: Low price, sleek design, sturdy pocket clip, compatible with Fisher Space Pen cartridges.


Schrade SCPEN4BK Survival Tactical Pen – Best Survival Tactical Pen

This survival pen is truly one of a kind. At it’s essence, the Schrade SCPEN4BK Survival Tactical Pen is best defined as a cross between a survival tool and a tactical pen. No other tactical pen for sale today contains a ferro rod fire starter as well as a survival whistle. Schrade tactical pens are manufactured by Taylor Brands, who also manufactures Smith and Wesson tactical pens.

Features & Performance

If you’ve been looking for the perfect all purpose pen to take with you far out into the wilderness, this is the best tactical pen on the market for you.

As with all Schrade tactical pens, Schrade SCPEN4BK Survival Tactical Pen is designed to look good and feel good in your hand. However, this one packs in a load of extra features for survival situations when you need to start fires and signal rescue in the wild.

Who Should Buy It

Want the best tactical pen for wilderness survival? This is it. If your work or hobbies take you off the beaten path, to far out places, this survival pen is essential.

There is nothing like knowing that you have a sure way to build fire when stuck outdoors overnight. This pen might mean the difference between a night around a campfire and death by hypothermia if you wind up trapped in the mountains.

I’ve found that this tac pen along with a tactical flashlight is the perfect EDC tactical gear combination to throw in your day pack—whether you’re hiking in the Rockies or exploring urban jungles.

User Feedback

This Schrade Survival Tactical Pen really impresses users. It’s sturdy construction and smart details make all of the complex elements of this pen really work well together. A pen with so many parts could normally have a lot of technical flaws but users don’t report any of the threading, capping, or construction issues one might expect.

The biggest complaint buyers voice is that it isn’t compatible with Fisher Space Pen refills, and that is a shame. But hey, you can’t fit a fire starter kit, a whistle AND a Fisher Space Pen refill all in the same pen.

All-in-all, this pen is incredibly well designed, especially considering how many features it packs in. Not to mention, that most people won’t realize from the looks of it that it is also a weapon.

> Get the Schrade SCPEN4BK <


Weight: 1.92 oz

Size: 5.9″ long

Materials: CNC machined 6061 T6 aluminum

Special Features: Ferrocerium fire rod and striking plate inside pen body, survival whistle in cap, sturdy pocket clip.


CRKT TPENWK Williams Tactical Pen

Designed by James Williams, a former army officer and martial arts instructor, the CRKT Williams Tactical Pen really packs a punch. It’s design is simple, smart and practical. An added plus is that this CRKT pen uses Fisher Space Pen refills, the best ink on the market.

Features & Performance

The tapered design of sturdy but lightweight aluminum of this CRKT tactical pen feels great in your hand.

The details count, and this pen’s pocket clip is removable if you prefer a smooth surface in your hand when striking.

Best of all, this pen looks so much like a regular ballpoint pen that it won’t raise any alarms or give an attacker any warning of your readiness. The Williams tactical pen really takes practical functionality to another level.

Who Should Buy It

The sleek design of the CRKT Williams Tactical Pen is best for the discreet user. If you want a flashy piece of hardware that advertises your combat readiness, this is not the pen for you.

This one’s for the undercover operator who needs to fly below the radar. This military pen was made by a military mind. If you understand how far that goes towards producing the most practical defender pen, this one’s for you.

User Feedback

This affordable tactical pen gets mixed reviews. Many claim it to be the best they’ve owned, and everyone attests to it’s balance and comfort in the hand. The combat worthy design was clearly made by a military mind who knew how to use a kubotan pen.

However, many report the pocket clip breaking or the O-ring coming out of the cap. Pop on caps are plagued by this problem with repeated use and no pen has completely addressed it yet. As for the pocket clip, if you expect to be hard on yours, maybe you’d better opt for a tac pen with a clip that is not removable.

> Get the CRKT Williams <


Weight: 1.2 oz

Size: 6″ long

Materials: 6061 aluminum

Special Features: non-weaponized look, removable pocket clip, pop on and off cap.


UZI TACPEN2-BK Defender Tactical Pen With Glass Breaker

UZI is an incredible brand with a ton of experience making tactical equipment. They have a large line of tactical pens to choose from, this is just one of them. If you need, they have a tactical pen flashlight combo, bolt action tactical pen, and even a tactical pen with handcuff key built in.

UZI also produces quality videos featuring info like ‘how to use a tactical pen in combat’ and product testing videos. That way, you can really see what these badass pens can do before you buy one. Check one of those out HERE.

Features & Performance

The UZI TACPEN2-BK Defender Tactical Pen is specially designed to double as a window breaker pen, and it gets the job done right. It features a screw top mechanism to extend and retract the writing point.

On the opposite side is the carbide glassbreaker tip. This means there is no flat space for your thumb, but the pen has excellent grip along the body so you can still achieve excellent striking power.

Who Should Buy It

This and other UZI tactical pen models are used by the army, secret service and special forces. So, you can be damn sure they mean business.

If you commute and may need to break a window in an emergency this is the best EDC pen for you. Because it accepts standard ballpoint pen refills as well as the Fisher Space Pen refill, it will always be writing ready when you need it to act civilized.

User Feedback

This pen is a beast. The glassbreaker is powerful and durable. Users comment on how strong and intimidating it is in a combat scenario.

Many users like the twist retracting tip. However, many other buyers comment on this function working poorly or being impractical. By many accounts this pen is a little rough around the edges and may need some filing here or some greasing there to get it working smoothly.

The biggest issue with this pen is that many people report receiving counterfeit versions that are poorly made. Some don’t fit Fisher Space Pen refills or Parker refills as advertised, so you’ll likely know if you received a counterfeit product. Others break easily or don’t work well to begin with. More than any other tactical pen on the market, be sure you are buying a genuine UZI if you choose this pen.

> Get the UZI TACPEN2-BK <


Weight: 1.5 oz

Size: 5.9″ long

Materials: Lightweight aircraft aluminum

Special Features: Carbide glass breaker tip, compatible with Fisher Space Pen refills, extra solid pocket clip.


5.11 Double Duty 1.5 Tactical Pen – Best Tactical Pen 2017

This 5.11 tactical pen is as dangerous as it looks. That’s why I ranked it as the overall best tactical pen of my reviews. It only takes one look to know that this combat pen means business. The 5.11 Double Duty 1.5 Tactical Pen has two jobs, writing and taking down an attacker, and it will do both flawlessly.

Features & Performance

The 5.11 Double Duty 1.5 Tactical Pen makes an excellent EDC tactical pen.

It’s sturdy construction and comfortable grip feel great, whether you’re writing a note or defending against an attacker. The weight balance is perfect for both. The pocket clip is low profile and heavy duty so that you never have to worry about where your pen is.

Of course, what would a top grade tactical pen be without a Fisher Space Pen cartridge? The Double Duty comes ready out of the box with one so that your writing looks as good as your tactical pen does.

Who Should Buy It

This 5.11 tactical pen is perfect for those looking for an EDC tac-pen. It does not have extra bells and whistles that some may be looking for though. This pen has just two jobs, as the name implies.

If you need a great pen for writing and self defense and simply want one of the best tactical pens, this is an excellent choice.

User Feedback

This is the best tactical pen for combat situations by many user’s testimonies. It’s unique weight balance and shape allow for a truly powerful grip and strike.

Some users complain that the rubber thumb grip on the flat top of the pen comes off with repeated use. Some owners get along fine without a little rubber pad they call ‘unnecessary’ and others super glue it back on for good. Your choice.

> Get the Double Duty 1.5 <



Size: 5.5″ long

Materials: T6061 aerospace aluminum

Special Features: Fisher Space Pen refill, glass breaking capable, screw on cap, bad ass look and feel


Benchmade 1100 Titanium Series Pen

Benchmade tactical pens are the top of the line and proudly made in the USA. The 1100 Titanium Series Tactical Pen is one of the finest on the market, and also one of the most expensive. Just the sight of one of these things is enough to give you goosebumps.

Benchmade has a reputation for crafting some of the finest tactical equipment and knives out there. Benchmade tactical pens are no exception.

Features & Performance

The body of this Benchmade pen is titanium, and is indisputably powerful. It isn’t complicated by other survival or tactical features. It focuses on great feel while writing and striking. The clip is solid and the construction is beautiful.

And hey, if you plan to write more than fight, it takes Fisher Space Pen refills. Would you expect anything less?

Who Should Buy It

The Benchmade 1100 Titanium Series Tactical Pen is for the serious tactician. This isn’t a dip your toes in the water type of purchase. The hefty price tag delivers a highly sought after pen. You will be notorious among your EDC community friends with one of these Benchmade pens in your pocket.

Reviews From Customers

This pen receives mixed reviews and with a price tag so high, it is understandable. After all, if you’re going to drop this much cash on an EDC pen, it had better perform flawlessly.

This titanium tactical pen is indisputably beautiful and powerful, it’s design is incredible.

However, some reviewers complain of the cap not fitting on the back end snugly when used for writing. A small annoyance, but at this price point many want ultimate perfection. Other buyers have said that the titanium is softer than they expected. Some claim to have dented the material which should be nearly impossible.

If titanium is out of your budget and these review make you nervous, don’t worry. There are a number of other Benchmade pens that earn great reviews and are manufactured from other high quality materials.

> Get the Benchmade 1100 <


Weight: 1.89 oz

Size: 5.33″ long

Materials: Titanium

Special Features: Strong titanium body, pop on/off cap with O-ring, sturdy pocket clip, Fisher Space Pen refill.


Hoffman Richter Stinger Tactical Pen

The Hoffman Richter Stinger Tactical Pen is an incredible marriage of high quality performance with low cost. If you’ve been looking for an underwater pen, or just a sturdy EDC pen, this one checks all the boxes. Hoffman Richter makes no claims they can’t back up here and you can rest easy with their ‘iron clad’ lifetime guarantee.

Features & Performance

With it’s super solid design the Hoffman Richter Stinger Tactical Pen is simply exquisite (if you can say that about a tac pen!).

It is made from aircraft aluminum with a titanium coating for extra resilience. The cap pops on and off and fits on both ends securely. A flat top gives your thumb the perfect leverage when striking an opponent.

On the civilian side, the pen weighs in well to write smoothly and freely without wearing your hand out. Fisher Space Pen refills and other standard ballpoint pen refills fit in the Stinger so you can be sure writing will be a breeze.

Who Should Buy It

This pen is great for just about anyone. Whether you write a lot or fight a lot, this tac pen can hold up to all the use you can give it. There’s nothing flimsy about it. It doesn’t hurt that the price is so affordable too. If you’re looking for extra gadgets and functions, this pen can’t help you. But for your edc pen, this is an excellent choice.

User Feedback

This pen gets great reviews from most customers. The construction is solid, the design is intelligent. This pen is durable and definitely dangerous. However a handful of users report design flaws in their model.

Occasional users complain about the O-ring falling out, rendering the cap useless unless replaced. This is a common flaw of pop-on style caps and a reason many models of tac pen use screw caps. Many people say it is impractical to have to screw your weapon together before use and opt for pop caps, despite this common defect.

Some customers also complain of the pen unscrewing in their pocket and stripping the threads that hold the body together over time. This might be a good reason to go with a more expensive model but is not a problem experienced by all.

> Get the Hoffman Richter Stinger <




Materials: Titanium coated aluminum body

Special Features: Pop-on cap, low profile pocket clip, glass breaker tip, waterproof, fits Fisher Space Pen refills.


Our Verdicts

With all the great options on the market it was a tough choice narrowing down the selection to just a few. In reality I’m sure you’ll be happy with any model mentioned above in my tactical pen reviews.

Below is a list of which pens performed above the rest in different buying categories:

Best Tactical Pen 2017: 5.11 Double Duty 1.5 Tactical Pen

Best Budget Tactical Pen: Schrade SCPENBK Tactical Pen

Best EDC Tactical Pen: 5.11 Double Duty 1.5 Tactical Pen

Best Survival Tactical Pen: Schrade SCPEN4BK Survival Tactical Pen

Tactical Pen Buying Guide

Below I’ve written a comprehensive guide to help you determine the best tactical pen for you. I break down every aspect and feature you need to know about tactical pens.

And trust me, I know how hard it is to choose a piece of tactical gear when there are many great options available. Ultimately I hope the information in this buying guide helps make it easier to narrow down your options.

Tactical Pen Background

Although the tactical pen is a relatively new device, it has it’s roots in self defense tools that have been around for decades, even centuries.

The Yawara is a weapon from old style Japanese ninjitsu that fits in the palm of the hand. Two blunt striking ends protrude from either side.


The Japanese ninjitsu used the Yawara as a weapon

This was later transformed into the Kubotan, a small baton designed to fit on a keychain which is used in the palm of the hand as well. Many police officers used the Kubotan in the 1970’s.


Tactical pens evolved from the Kubotan

The tactical pen is the next logical step towards utility and versatility, a low profile weapon you can have on yourself at all times.

What is a Tactical Pen?

Tactical pens are becoming increasingly common as the go-to self defense and emergency response tool.

They are designed out of high quality, hard and durable materials. Most have glass shattering tips to get you out of danger quickly or disable an attacker.


Modern day tactical pens are the prefect mix of weapon and tool

They are also small and easily concealed to allow for fast, damaging strikes to a would-be attacker’s pressure points and vitals. If you consider it, a pen is an incredibly powerful weapon, and a universally important and appropriate tool to have on hand (get it?).

Who Uses Them?

You might not have known, but most law enforcement and military agencies are now equipping their personnel with a combat or military pen. They have become surprisingly affordable in the last couple of years because of improved technology, not only has the price gone down, but the quality has gone up.


Now, buying a tactical pen is no longer a niche idea for extreme survivalists. These days, tactical and survival pens are becoming more and more accessible and practical for the common user.

As you would expect, they are showing up everywhere from college campuses to office workplaces.

Parts of a Tactical Pen – How Are They Made?

Tactical pens are designed with an incredibly diverse array of features and functions. They are made out of many types of plastic, aluminum and steel.

Each has a high quality pressurized ink cartridge that allows you to write in any weather or setting. Many can write in extreme temperatures, on any surface, underwater or from any orientation.


The best tactical pens are designed and sold by a wide array of companies and prices can vary greatly. You should know just what type of punch each one packs.

If you are going to be relying on this pen to save your life in the most intense and dangerous situations, it had better be able to do exactly what you need. Better to make an informed decision then to buy the first one you find on a google search.

Which Tactical Pen Is Right For You?

I’m obsessed with the best tactical gear. So I compared all of the best tactical pens on the market today and made you a comprehensive buyer’s guide for the best tactical pen.

Whether you want a survival pen, combat pen, EDC pen, or just an all weather pen that can function in the harshest of conditions my product review list has one for you.

I’ve broken down all of your choices so that you can easily compare each option and find the best tactical pen for you.

As a gear enthusiast I know that it often comes down to the details when we are talking about high quality tactical gear. That’s why I went to every length to review all of the best tactical pens 2017 has to offer in extensive detail.

How To Use a Tactical Pen

Survival situations

Life goes on normally all around us every day, until it doesn’t.

There is no way to see an emergency coming. That’s why it’s so important to always have a tool on hand that can help you out of a tough spot.

Tactical pens can help you out of a car crash

You never know when you will need to break a window to escape an emergency.

Perhaps the most important feature that all tactical pens share is that they are always with you.

Unlike many other pieces of survival gear that live in your car or tucked away in a box at home, this one goes every where you do. Let a survival situation try to catch you off guard, next time you’ll be prepared.

Self Defense

While there are certainly ways to avoid personal violence, we can’t control the people around us. Muggings, rapes and shootings are a very real and serious danger in our modern world.

Most weapons are hard to conceal, rarely carried and not permitted in many public spaces. Tactical pens are the clear answer to every self defense need. After all, there is no way to know when you will need to defend yourself from a would-be attacker.

Fortunately, with a tactical pen or a tactical flashlight you’ll always have a weapon handy that they would never expect.

To learn more about how to defend yourself with a tactical pen, study jujutsu, ninjitsu or sayoc kali (Philippine knife fighting), but be aware tht it can take years to achieve proficiency that will actually make a fighting difference.

For a more immediate solution, this video is probably the best place to start learning about how to fight with a tactical pen.

DNA collection

If someone attacks you, it’s a good thing you have a tactical pen to defend yourself. In most cases your goal is to deter your attacker, you would only want to kill your assailant in the most extreme survival situation.

For most people it can be hard to subdue strong and violent opponents. Tactical pens are designed to inflict severe damage quickly, enough to send an attacker running the other direction to rethink their life choices.


If the offender gets away from you, as is often the case, don’t worry. Many tactical pens have grooves, notches or edges that tear skin and hair, or collect blood upon striking.

This way, you can easily provide DNA to help identify the perpetrator with help of the police even after they have fled the scene, surprised by your ability to defend yourself.

Why You Should Have One

In unexpected emergency situations you often don’t have access to other weapons or tools designed for self defense. The most useful emergency weapon must be something that can is “on your person” at all times and in all places.

Something like…that ballpoint pen in your pocket? The tactical pen is just that.

At work, it writes like the best pen you’ve ever owned. In an emergency, it is a close combat weapon to rival the best.

Things You Should Consider When Choosing the Best Tactical Pen

The whole point of buying a tactical pen is that it is always with you.

You want it to be light and easy to fit in your pocket. However, you also want to be able to do some serious damage to an assailant with it. So you need a pen big enough to be a combat pen, convenient enough to be a self defense pen and durable enough to be a ballistic pen.

You may want as many functions as James Bond’s latest tactical spy pen or simply the all encompassing writing capacity of a zero gravity pen. Some of you may just be looking for a simple waterproof pen or the next in your collection of bad ass pens.

The features of your perfect tactical pen will vary based on your needs. Here is a break down of all the aspects you may want to consider when comparing the options.


Tactical pen materials vary widely. Steel alloys make for a hard hitting and durable EDC pen, while lightweight, aircraft-grade aluminums make for easier writing. More expensive models may be partly or entirely made of titanium.

Don’t worry though, most tactical pens (and all of the ones on my list) are made from high enough quality materials that they will be strong enough for combat. Weight and feel are the primary aspects you should consider here.


The perfect size will vary based on your preference and needs. For self defense purposes you want the pen to protrude several inches out of your closed fist.

If your hands are particularly large or small, size will be a big factor. If portability and convenience are a factor, you may wish to consider a smaller size.

For example, many women’s pants have small pockets that may not accommodate some of the large tactical pens on the market, therefore, smaller might be the way to go so that you can always keep it with you. After all, that’s the whole idea behind how to use a tactical pen.


Weight will be a big factor if you are looking for a tactical self defense pen or a combat pen. In order for your tac pen to be an effective weapon, it needs to weigh in for a fight.

There is a fine balance between too heavy to comfortably take notes and too light to do serious damage. This will depend on the size of your hands as well.

If you are only looking for the passive features in your pen, go with a lighter model. For you, the most important features will be its durability, weather tolerance and tactical ink cartridge.


You will see two distinct mentalities when it comes to tactical pen design. The best tactical pen chooses one of these mentalities and owns it.

Some are simple, only for writing and fighting (usually window breaking is a given). Some have special features in addition to the basics.

If you are getting special features on your new tactical pen, expect to pay more, or receive a lower quality product.

Among popular types are the flashlight pen, knife pen, digital stylus pen, handcuff key pen, and survival pen. Tactical pens are becoming more and more popular every year and companies are continuously developing new features for new tactical pens.

If you are buying a pen that flaunts flashy special features, do your research carefully. Extra functions can be awesome, or they can make for poor design and glaring flaws.

Customer reviews on sites like are a great place to research products you can’t find in this review.


Tactical pen style mainly comes down to preference, but you should consider your lifestyle carefully.

If you fly a lot, a low profile, safe for TSA tactical pen is a good idea.

If you work in schools, or other weapon free settings, you may also want a more civilized looking model.



For some, the opposite is true and they want a badass pen to make them stand out from the crowd. If this is you, go for a stylish and militarized model. A bolt action tactical pen, such as the Boker Plus 09BO093 Titan K.I.D Cal .50 Tactical Pen, is a great way to catch people’s attention.


If you work in harsh weather environments like the desert or rain forest you will want to be sure you find an all weather tactical pen.

Some of the cheaper models may be water or heat resistant, but the best tactical pens can function underwater and in temperatures hotter than you can. Therefore, material, construction, and ink quality will all play a big role in the durability of your pen.

Ink Cartridges

When it comes to ink, there are only a few things to say. The best pens come with Fisher Space Pen ink or are compatible with Fisher Space Pen refills.

This means they will also accept Parker and Rite In The Rain refills. All of these companies make pressurized ink cartridges so that you can write from any orientation reliably.


When it comes to cost, the real question is how much can you spend? What is your self defense worth to you and what pens fit the bill?

Some of the best tactical pens are inexpensive and only cost between $20 and $30. If you really want a top quality pen that will last your lifetime and function flawlessly, prepare to spend $70 to $120.



If you’re paying more than that, you are either on the wrong website or choosing to buy one of the highest quality tac pens on the market. But hey, we won’t stop you. After all, the next person who tries to mess with you probably won’t stop you either.

Wrap Up

So then, if you still haven’t decided that you need one of these life savers in your pocket, try holding one.

There is nothing like the feeling of security that a secret weapon, always in your pocket, can give you. Not to mention that you’ll feel like a king when you write with your new tactical pen.

Hopefully this tactical pen buyers guide helped you decide on the best tactical pen to suit your lifestyle. Here at Survival Gearist, I strive to give you the most in depth and unbiased information on the internet.

We love all tactical gear. Tactical flashlights, tactical gloves, tactical vests, tactical belts, tactical tomahawks, you name it. But for EDC self defense, the tactical pen trumps all others. Slip one of these into your pocket and you’ll never be helpless, no matter what emergency arises.

Photo attribution: Photos from Flickr creative commons: wetwebwork