Best Tactical Pens For Self Defense, Survival, and EDC

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Sure, your standard pen may serve a purpose – to write on a piece of paper.

But tactical pens on the other hand go well beyond just being a simple writing instrument.

If fact you will see below that some of the best tactical pens will be multi-faceted tools that can not only save you from a precarious situation, but also are incredibly handy for every day tasks.

Harkening from their tactical (i.e. military inspired association) form factor, many of the top rated tactical pens feature not only a ballpoint end for writing, but also typically contain bottle openers, hex tool, screw driver, LED flashlight, flat head, scrapers, or even a glass breaker!

Here are some of the best tactical pens that money can buy:

The Best Tactical Pens That Should Be A Part of Your Every Day Carry

1. Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen

Tactical pens are a great defensive tool that is easily concealable and does not require a permit to wield.

They fit nicely in the hand, and can be used to break open windows in the event of an emergency.

For this kind of survival tool, you want one that can be relied on when every second matters. The Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen is a multiple purpose pen that acts as a writing utensil and a potentially lifesaving device.

The machined steel body creates a sturdy case for this pen, and can withstand blows to hard surfaces without losing its shape. The pen clip ensures that you can easily keep the pen within reach should a situation arise, and is easily retrieved with a very subtle motion.

When not being used as a pen, this product is an ideal defense tool, with a quick-deploy glass breaker point to escape from buildings or vehicles. You will never be unarmed with this tool in your pocket, as any weapon in your hand is the right one while faced with an aggressive attacker.

Deploy this pen whenever you are in an extreme situation, and it may just save your life. As far as the pen goes, it works well even in water, making it perfect for jotting down quick notes for your reference, or even for your daily routine. No matter what you use this pen for, it is a personal security measure that should not be overlooked.

2. Schrade SCPENBK Tactical Pen

A sleek pen that writes well is a joy to hold in the office and at home, but some pens do better than others in the function department.

The Schrade Tactical Pen is a heavy-duty pen that doubles as a defensive weapon in a pinch and has the features that make this an effective escape tool as well. The body of the pen is tapered down to a dull point, without any of the rough “militaristic” etchings you see on some pens. Essentially, this pen doesn’t look like a gun.

Of course, the smooth case with just a few ridges along the body bring into question how effective it is.

A smooth body may just slip out of the hand or retract back into the palm, especially if the hands are sweaty. This can be problematic if you are trying to escape from a sinking car. However, if you are looking for a cheap survival tool that you can carry around in your pocket, this still makes a good option.

This is also a very lightweight pen, weighing in at just under 1 oz. Many tactical pens sit between 1.5 oz at the lowest and 5 oz or more for heavier models.

The weight of the pen means you can carry it around comfortably from place to place without it weighing you down. When you want to use this pen to write, the cap screws off and on to ensure that you do not lose it.

While this may be an inconvenience to some, it does keep the lid where you need it so you still have a whole pen.

3. Smith & Wesson Military and Police Tactical Pen

Military grade pens don’t have to be expensive, a philosophy that rings true for this Smith & Wesson product. This pen is beautifully crafted to aid in defending yourself against the unknown, and its design is reminiscent of a kubaton.

This 5.8 inch pen is ridged for a more secure grip when fighting, ensuring that it will not slip out of your hand in a time of crisis. At just under an ounce in weight, it is also very light and can be swung without too much drag.

The glass breaking end is made out of tungsten carbide, an industrial grade substance that is extremely hard and used in many tactical pens today.

As for writing, this pen is comfortable to hold and produces a very fluid line. It is ideal for office use as well as for the home.

If you carry it around with you daily, it can also be used to jot down important key notes for police reports. This pen sits comfortably in any pocket for easy access, and the style of the pen ensures that you are never unarmed when you get into trouble.

It is overall a very reliable pen suitable for daily use.

4. Benchmade Tactical Pen

Break. Puncture. Survive.

Tactical pens are more than just writing utensils; they are tools used to survive even when the odds are stacked against you. When you are in trouble, and need a weapon, the one thing that many people have on their person is a pen. The Benchmade tactical pen is essentially a weaponized pen, able to break car windshields or windows in emergencies. You can also use this pen when you are being attacked, and while it is not necessarily a lethal weapon, it can do considerable damage to your opponent, giving you enough time to run away and call for help. This pen offers you an out when no other options are available, and for that, it makes a fantastic survival tool.

This particular model of pen is made of damascus steel, offering a structurally sturdy case that is equally heavy. The pen weighs in at 8 ounces; compared to any standard ballpoint pen this is a monster. Additionally, this model features a carbide tip that is designed to break glass, but can also be used in self defense as well. It is important to differentiate between the carbide tip pen and the titanium tip as the latter is reported to have a tendency to dent. However, the quality of the pen is not compromised to a great degree, and makes for a smooth writing pen even if you do not intend to use it as a weapon. Benchmade is known for making high quality knives, and their line of pens is no deviation from this level of quality.

5. Columbia Rivers Knife and Tool TPENWK Williams Tactical Pen

A defensive weapon that looks as unassuming as a pen is a valuable resource when you are in a bind.

Tactical pens are one of the best ways to defend yourself without using lethal force, and they do not require any sort of legal documentation like you would with a concealed sidearm.

Columbia Rivers Knife and Tool make quality defensive weapons to protect yourself safely and effectively, and the Williams Tactical Pen is no exception to that standard.

This pen features a smooth, easily gripped surface that withstands striking blows, and is tapered to help you keep a comfortable grip even while writing.

The Williams Pen also breaks glass; by using the pointed end of the pen (without the pen itself being deployed), you can break through car windows as necessary to get yourself and your family safe. The pen was designed with police and military specifications in mind, so it will be sure to last you for many years, no matter what you use it for.

The pen itself is made from high grade aluminum to withstand pressure without being too heavy. The weight of the pen itself is 6.4 ounces, so it is still weighty in terms of pen standards, but not too heavy compared to other tactical pens on the market.

This makes it ideal to comfortably carry around in your pocket, as well as being a joy to write with. It also has considerable heft while using it defensively, so it makes a good all-around tool as well.

6. Cool Hand Bolt Action Titanium Tactical Pen

In the event of an emergency, the most important tool you can utilize is one that is immediately in your hand. Whether you are in a vehicle, a burning building, or simply need to fight off an aggressor, small and easily concealed weapons are key.

Tactical pens are a highly sought after defensive tool because they are allowed in most places that conventional weapons are not. You won’t always have your trusted sidearm or knife, and when you don’t, you will be glad for a tactical pen if a situation arises.

The Cool Hand Bolt Action tactical pen is a fantastic 5” pen to carry around and write with, and to defend yourself if need be.

The thick titanium casing is designed to withstand blows to windows and other solid surfaces, and can easily be used as a self-defense tool as well. It is also “bolt action”; while the pen doesn’t shoot anything, the familiar motion serves as an idle plaything while writing to defend against boredom.

One of the unique aspects of this pen is that it includes a DNA catcher for extreme situations. No matter the situation, collecting evidence of any kind of assault goes a long way in helping your case should you need to defend your situation. The sharp points near the writing end of the pen serve as the DNA collector, so for emergency situations it is easy to gather evidence against your assaulter.

The pen clip enables this tool to sit in any pocket for easy grabbing whenever you need it. Whether you need to write a note, or get yourself out of a dangerous situation, this pen is a great secondary defense tool.

7. LORJE Aviation Aluminum Tactical Pen

An emergency can strike at any time, and you want to be prepared. While a sidearm is ideal for de-escalating a situation, you may not have one, or you may not be able to get to it in time.

What you want is speed; a fast weapon that can be used to take control of the situation quickly and easily.

Knives are sharp, and certainly quick, but can be lethal. For a less lethal approach, the LORJE Aviation tactical pen is lightweight and fast, suitable to quickly poke and thrust at your adversary’s pressure points to quickly take control of the situation.

The pen body is made of aircraft aluminum which gives the pen its stability. A carbide tip glass breaker is installed on the end of the pen to effectively break out of dangerous situations such as a sinking car. The tip can also be used to strike at pressure points to effectively take down would-be attackers.

The pen is also a great writing tool, as most tactical pens should be.

The ink is smooth, and writes very neatly so it is great for taking down notes. The clip allows this pen to be easily attached to any pocket or backpack, and can be retrieved with the same relative ease. This pen can also be refilled with replacement ink when you run dry.

Overall, it is a very simplistic pen with few of the features being offered on the market today.

However, it does run cheap in terms of price, so if you are looking for an inexpensive tool to defend yourself, this is an ideal alternative.

8. Pocket Partners Practical Tactical Pen

Preparedness is key when travelling alone in less than reputable areas of the neighborhood.

With the right tools, you can go anywhere with ease.

One such tool is the tactical pen, a nifty little writing utensil that also doubles as a defensive shaft in case things go awry. The Pocket Partners Practical Tactical Pen is a tool that works phenomenally as a simple, easy to grasp , and easy to wield weapon to protect yourself against unknown dangers.

Both ends of this aircraft-grade aluminum pen can be used as potential weapons, but the blunt end of the pen makes a better thumb rest for greater control.

The entire pen is 5.8 inches long, enough to stick out and seriously do some damage when thrust toward an opponent. As for the weight, the Practical Tactical Pen weighs 1.3 ounces, so it does have some heft to it.

This weight makes it extremely comfortable to hold and to write with, just a tad heavier than your average ball point pen. If you ever run out of ink, this pen takes a wide variety of cartridge refills, so you don’t have to worry about buying a specific brand to keep using your pen.

Perfect for home and office use.

9. SWAT Tactical Pen

Have you ever wanted a pen that made you feel powerful?

A pen that filled you with the determination to fight for all that was good in the world? Such a pen does exist on the market, and it is the SWAT Tactical Pen. This pen, combined with the knowledge and training needed to properly handle these sorts of pens, can be an effective defensive tool. Break out of cars quickly by slamming the tungsten-carbide tip against the window, and feel the rush as you quickly escape in mere seconds.

Being attacked by a stranger in the dark? Deploy your martial skills with this pen and make a getaway. Of course, training is needed to effectively wield this monster of a pen, but with practice you can easily defend yourself enough to get away without a scratch.

This pen is so militaristic, it comes with its own holster.

Yes, that’s right; this pen has a Velcro-closed holster to keep it safe, and drawing your pen is going to feel like you’re actually pulling out a gun.

It’s not entirely useful, but it feels good, and the pen certainly looks like a military grade weapon. The body of this pen is aircraft-grade aluminum, which makes it aggressively sturdy.

Top notch pen – don’t leave home without it!

10. Sminiker Professional Defender Tactical Pen

As far as mean-looking pens go, the Sminiker Professional Defender certainly takes the cake. This tactical pen is made of aircraft grade aluminum, a sturdy material that can withstand breaks through windows, ceramic, or even dent metal.

The window breaking tip on the non-writing end is extremely effective at not only breaking windows, but warding off attackers in a time of danger.

You do not have a thumb rest with this pen, and must grip it in your hand tightly as you would a knife. There are numerous instructional videos outlining the best practices with a tactical pen, which will greatly increase your survival rate.

It is otherwise a standard tactical pen, with grips along the body of the pen to enhance your hold on it.

When writing, the Sminiker boasts a smooth line and comfortable grip for an all-around multi purpose tactical tool. You will most likely be unable to bring it on a plane with you, so either keep it in your checked luggage or leave it at home. It is a nice looking pen and having anything confiscated tends to be a real downer for the rest of your trip.

11. Smith & Wesson SWPENMP2BK

Tactical pens are handy self-defense tools that, while they do not replace traditional self-defense weapons, are handy in a wider variety of situations.

They are used as a last resort more so you can escape, than a viable fighting tool. The Smith & Wesson has tailored a pen that is comfortable to hold and easy to wear, making it easily accessible so that when you need it, you have it.

The pen features a sleek black aluminum body that is ribbed along the entirety of the shaft to give you a better grip both in an emergency and out of one. The cap attaches to either end easily with just a click, so you can use it for writing or for smashing windows with the built-in window smasher.

The pen’s cap does seem to have some issues; it is lined with a plastic insert to help keep the lid on, and many buyers have expressed dissatisfaction with this insert breaking after only weeks of use. It is an unfortunate flaw in an otherwise satisfactory pen.

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About Shawn Burns

Shawn Burns is the founder and senior editor of Tools of Men. He started this site with the goal of teaching men proper grooming habits and sensible style. Shawn's expertise includes in-depth product reviews and how-to articles. Shawn was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal for his expertise.