8 Best Tactical Pens Available in 2018!

The best tactical pen will be much more than just a tactical pen. It will be a tool that you use as an extension of yourself and which you have on hand for when you might need it for a tactical purpose.

The utility and versatility of a tactical pen cannot be understated, but in all reality, the chances of using a tool like that for an actual self-protection consideration is slim.

Most of the time it will be a glorified, albeit very interesting pen. Sure, the conversation starter that is the Tactical pen is at times nothing more than a writing instrument and perhaps even a novelty, until it’s needed.

The best versions will be ready instantly to help fend off an attack or be used to grab DNA from an attacker, incapacitate an intruder or break a window in a car crash.

Sure, those situations will be few and far between, but you need to know you can count on your tactical pen to be ready for action at the highest level if that time does come.

In this article we will detail the reasons one tool is better than another and highlight the beneficial material and design inclusions that make these choices the best of the best.

By the end of this article you’ll have a pretty good idea of what you want in a self-defense accessory pen.

Excellent Value for Money
Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen
Rugged Design
Excellent Functionality
Color Options
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Best Budget Choice
Under Control Tactical Pen
Flashlight
DNA Capture
Lifetime Warranty
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Types of Tactical pens

During these tactical pen reviews, you will probably get an idea of the subtle and the not so subtle differences between the different pens and it will be up to you to decide how hardcore you want to get with the looks versus the design.

That said there are myriad defensive tools that can also be utilized as a writing instrument, here are some style options:

Subdued

These are the hidden in plain sight types of tactical pens. The pens that actually look like pens until they are needed as tactical devices, whether to help fend off an attack, or to provide some life saving measure or ultra-utilitarian task.

These are made by more traditional makers or utilize a very simple design that favors aesthetics over functionality. This is the minimalist type pen that is more about having a pen, than it is about using a pen capable of killing an attacker.

Prepper

It’s slightly more obvious that this pen is more than just for writing notes for your manuscript of the next “Great American Novel”. You might see some relief cuts, sharper edges, or reinforced parts on a pen like this, with the most notable being a ruggedized construction.

This is so that the pen is made of tougher materials and built with a standard of integrity in the parts like the clip which secures it to your shirt pocket.

This style offers some more advanced features that come in handy on the day to day basis.

Aggressive

Increasingly obvious that this is more than just a pen, this type of pen offers more specific things like a DNA catching crown, or a lightweight material construction.

The looks are aggressive, this pen is no ordinary pen. The quality and rigidity of the pen is top tier. The finishes might start to go from pretty, to pretty stealthy.

Full-on, in your face Tactical

It’s no question as why you bought this pen, and it may even be the subject of some watercooler talk if you have it out too often in the work place.

This is the type of pen that combines all the different technologies and stylistic options that have been discussed thus far. It pulls no punches and is not uncomfortable in its own skin.

A pen like this is perhaps utilizing features that include stiffened body; a couple of sharp edges; a protective finish that offers some advantage and a specialty refill, generally.

It may even include things like a built-in ruler or a flashlight. It might even include a way to add-on or increase functional use through adding accessories like tips or tools.

Concealment/Design

This is going to be vastly dependent on the user and the type of pen you pick. The improvised name classification system used above is done so in a joking way, but it speaks volumes, we hope, to the practicality of these types of pens.

Most of these pens can be concealed well, and the design is not so over the top as to make them unpalatable by the majority of the population.

There are some however that won’t be accepted on a plane at the airport due to the extreme design; and others that would be commented on in the office environment.

It’s up to you to determine what you think your threshold for acceptance is. In the end, these are aggressively styled pens, generally speaking, made of good quality materials and built in a way so as to be more useful than just a pen. It’s a simple equation.

Ink Cartridges Used

There are some very good ink cartridges available for use in tactical style pens, they range from Parker to Cross to Schmidt to Fischer space pen and even “Rite in the Rain” cartridges.

All of these refill cartridges are proven reliable performers. Every single one offers solid choices from ballpoint to gel, with a few also offering rollerball technology to complement your writing style and preference for ink flow and writing capacity.

This is a big differentiating feature though, with a single maker only offering the ability to use 1 or 2 types of refills.

There are very few that offer more than 2 refill types for ink cartridges. So plan accordingly if you have a particular affinity towards a specialty ink brand.

An additional note:

Before we present the tactical pen reviews, a final word about the practicality of the tactical pen as a daily use tool.

It is not often you will need to use the pen for tactical reasons, but because of the changes in technology and lifestyle, many of us aren’t using analog versions of anything anymore.

Having a pen around can literally change your life for things on a day to day basis, which require quick reaction times and the ability to compensate in a given situation.

This is particularly true for the vast majority of us that work in an office or in the field where we have frequent interactions with others.

Things like a mechanical watch or a quality pen or a flashlight or a pocket knife come in handy often when you are doing simple errand running, or during a meeting; or in the course of your daily work.

Dedicated tools that give utility throughout the challenges of normal life can be very strategically utilized.

Such is the case with the “tactical” pen, or any good quality, well-made pen for that matter.

8 Top Tactical Pen Reviews

$23.24
$23.26
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$21.95
$39.99
1 new from $21.95
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$11.99
1 new from $11.99
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$49.99
2 new from $49.99
3 used from $43.49
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$22.63
51 new from $22.63
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$22.30
26 new from $22.10
1 used from $22.15
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$22.96
$40.00
22 new from $20.97
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$123.25
$130.00
8 new from $123.25
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Last updated on July 16, 2018 12:50 pm

1. Smith & Wesson SWPENBK 5.7in Aircraft Aluminum Refillable Tactical Screw Cap Pen

Smith & Wesson SWPENBK 5.7in

$23.26
$23.24
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Features

  • DIMENSIONS: 5.7 inch (14.5 cm) overall length and a weight of 1.4 ounces
  • DURABLE: Pen is made of reliable T6061 Aircraft Aluminum
  • DEPENDABLE: Quick and easy access with the convenient pocket clip and screw-off top
  • SECURE: Have confidence that this tool will perform when needed for self-defense and blend in when not in use
  • BE PREPARED: Pen can be refilled with Schmidt P900M Parker Style Black Ball Point Cartridges

A tame looking pen that is still quite intuitive to use for personal defense. The Smith & Wesson SWPENBK 5.7in is the type of pen that would easily get through TSA at the airport if it weren’t for that pesky “Smith & Wesson logo.

A good looking pen that is good for writing and jabbing and that’s about it.

PROS:

  • Subdued but still quite intuitive for defense
  • Simple, sturdy clip

CONS:

  • Low functionality compared to some competitors

The price is right for a sturdy pen and the refill selection (Schmidt P900 Parker Style) is excellent.

This is a pen that will fly under the radar in the office and looks great, has a nice heft and is a potent jabbing weapon in a self defense scenario.

The clip of the Smith & Wesson SWPENBK 5.7in is excellent and still quite subdued also.

2. Under Control Tactical Best PEN for Self Defense

Under Control Tactical Pen

$39.99
$21.95
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Features

  • #1 BEST-SELLING TACTICAL PEN WITH LED FLASHLIGHT - There's LOTS of Reasons Why Under Control Tactical Self Defense Pen Has Been Chosen by THOUSANDS of People Just Like You! Its Because It's Simply The Best! Unlike our "competitors", our pen includes free BUILT-IN Features Like a Bright LED Tactical Flashlight + our DNA Defender + Integrated Glass Breaker + Rugged Belt Clip + It's Fisher Space Pen Refill Compatible! Get Yours Today!
  • PERFECT-SIZE FOR CONCEALMENT, SELF-DEFENSE, AND EVERYDAY CARRY! - Looking for the ULTIMATE portable self defense / tactical tool for yourself, wife or daughter, friends, or as a gift for someone you love? You're Gonna LOVE this tactical pen! At just 6.5 inches, your new pen is convenient, lightweight, and multi-functional. Best of all, its understated black finish doesn't include a big "gun manufacturer" logo which would make it more visible as a self defense tool to any bad guys! Buy Now!
  • BUILT. LIKE. A. TANK. - You'll NEVER have to worry about the Under Control Tactical Pen letting you down when you need it most. Rest-Assured that your Awesome New Pen is built to the highest military, swat team, & police-grade specs. Best of all, if something ever breaks, we offer you a LIFETIME WARRANTY! No Questions Asked! Add to Cart!
  • INCLUDES "HOW-TO" VIDEO + PDF PRODUCT MANUAL + FREE "HOW TO USE A TACTICAL PEN FOR SELF DEFENSE" VIDEO TRAINING COURSE! - No one else is more committed to your safety than Under Control Tactical. That's why we provide you with the absolute BEST tactical pen training available... Included for FREE with your purchase! * Details for complete access will be sent via email after your purchase 🙂
  • SUPPORT. SMALL. AMERICAN. FAMILY. BUSINESSES. - We know that you have lots of choices for whom you buy your tactical pens from. We aren't a big nameless, faceless, corporation that only cares selling you a product. We're just a small family business that cares about our customers... AND their safety. Choosing our tactical pen supports American Small Businesses & Your God-Given Right to Protect Your Family! Buy One for Each Member of Your Family!

Generic is a good description of the Under Control Tactical Pen, but it does offer a lot for the money including a flashlight and a DNA catcher.

The Glass breaker is a relatively standard addition and the pen performs for the money.

PROS:

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Multiple functions
  • DNA catcher

CONS:

  • Very generic design

One thing to note is the small company that makes this pen seems to have excellent customer service.

Despite the pen having a kind of dull generic appearance, the multi-purpose capabilities of the pen plus great reviews about customer service makes the Under Control Tactical Pen a diamond in the rough.

3. Takedown Tactical Pen

TAKEDOWN Tactical Pen

$11.99
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Features

  • 6 inch overall length - 1.7 ounces total weight
  • Ultra Strong and light weight Black Tactical Pen - Nonbreakable Aircraft Aluminum alloy
  • Solid steel pocket clip - Window Breaker and self defense Heavy duty Tactical Pen
  • Crafted from aircraft aluminum durable, strong and light weight alloy
  • Standard size replaceable cartridges so you will never run out of INK

Slightly less generic than some of the cheaper pens, the Takedown Tactical Pen wins hands down for the price point and the multi-functionality at the price.

It’s cheap, effective and relatively well made. A bargain compared to some of the pens available on the market.

PROS:

  • DNA catcher
  • Window breaker

CONS:

  • Not particularly elegant

For the money it’s a hard pen to beat, with the 3 functions (DNA catcher, window breaker tip and the pen refill ability).

The refills are the weak link though with generic refills being used. For access, it’s great, for quality of writing maybe not as much.

That said, the Takedown Tactical Pen packs a lot of value into the pen.

4. Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen

Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen

$49.99
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3 used from $ 43.49
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Features

  • Rugged, machined steel body and stainless steel pocket clip keeps this pen handy
  • Rite in the Rain ink cartridge works in all conditions, inside and outdoors
  • Reliable push-button mechanism deploys ball point mechanism
  • Integrated glass-breaker tip features tempered steel and is designed to get you out of trouble
  • Made in the USA

The GERBER Impromptu Pen is good looking and built to last by a company that’s been doing this kind of thing for a long time.

This pen offers relatively good performance and features and while it is a bit expensive, the quality is top notch.

The Rite in the Rain refills are another top tier component part.

PROS:

  • Clean Design
  • Rugged
  • Good functionality

CONS:

  • A Bit Pricey

The proven Gerber Impromptu is good looking, offers a lot of good features and includes a push/click pen for a better writing experience.

The optional colors of the GERBER Impromptu Pen  makes it more a reflection of the owner’s taste and the proven reliability makes it an obvious choice.

5. Smith & Wesson SWPENMP2BK

Smith & Wesson SWPENMP2BK 5.8in

$22.63
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Features

  • DIMENSIONS: 5.8 inch (14.7 cm) overall length and a weight of 1.4 ounces
  • DURABLE: Pen is made of reliable T6061 Aircraft Aluminum
  • DEPENDABLE: Quick and easy access with the convenient pocket clip and screw-off top
  • SECURE: Have confidence that this tool will perform when needed for self-defense and blend in when not in use
  • BE PREPARED: Pen can be refilled with Schmidt P900M Parker Style Black Ball Point Cartridges

Smith & Wesson SWPENMP2BK 5.8in – It’s plain and vanilla, but it’s also well finished and looks like a quality pen. Shocker: it is a quality pen.

The only drawback is the logo and name on the pen, and while we wouldn’t begrudge a good company from branding.

This can be a hindrance because now all the people who will “accidentally” keep your pen as a result of the branding and quality.

PROS:

  • Sleek and simple design
  • Good Brand name

CONS:

  • Short on functionality

Why it’s recommended:

Simple, and straightforward, this screw-off-top pen is good looking and functions well as a writing implement.

The only real drawback is that once someone sees how good it is, it might disappear.

The comfortable body of the Smith & Wesson SWPENMP2BK 5.8in is easy to use as a defensive weapon and while it lacks other functionality, it is still very good for the single role it does fulfil.

6. Schrade SCPENBK 5.7in

Schrade SCPENBK 5.7in

$22.30
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Features

  • DIMENSIONS: 5.7 inch (14.5 cm) overall length and a weight of 1.4 ounces
  • DURABLE: Pen is made of reliable CNC Machined 6061 T6 Aluminum
  • DEPENDABLE: Quick and easy access with the convenient pocket clip and screw-off top
  • SECURE: Have confidence that this tool will perform when needed for self-defense and blend in when not in use
  • BE PREPARED: Pen can be refilled with Schmidt P900 Parker Style Black Ball Point Cartridges

Simple, but elegant, the Schrade SCPENBK is a pen that also happens to be a very good defensive weapon.

It doesn’t look like a weapon, it looks like a well-crafted pen, and yet, with the build quality and the thumb purchase it offers strong striking capabilities in defensive use.

PROS:

  • Good Looking
  • Simple to use

CONS:

  • Lacks multiple functions

A very good-looking pen that has a lot of potential as a jabbing weapon. With the solid cap providing a purchase for your thumb and the strong aluminum body offering lightweight but robust stature.

The Schrade SCPENBK is first and foremost a pen and can be used daily with a quality refill included, the style is subdued and it will give a lifetime of service.

7. Schrade SCPEN9BK Tactical Push Button Pen

Schrade SCPEN9BK Tactical Push Button Pen

$40.00
$22.96
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Features

  • CNC Machined 6061 T6 Black Aluminum with Pocket Clip
  • Overall Length: 5.06 inch (12.80 cm)
  • Weight: 0.12 pounds
  • Standard European 38mm ink cartridge
  • Recreational and professional level use

Schrade SCPEN9BK Tactical Push Button Pen is a pretty sexy pen that has no explaining to do. It’s a pen. Not a tactical pen. It’s a writing implement. Not a defensive tool. But it can be a tactical pen. And it can be a defensive tool. It’s built really robustly, and it clicks. Like an audible click. That’s just pure functionality there.

PROS:

  • It clicks
  • Can get stabby, but doesn’t have to if you don’t want it to

CONS:

  • Not the strongest design for pure tactical use

Simply put, this is a really great pen that can get stabby when needed.

It’s called a tactical pen, but really, it’s just a great pen that writes nicely and is built in a ridiculously heavy-duty fashion.

The clean good looks and the balanced feel in the hands means you won’t hesitate to grab this if it’s needed in a defensive situation.

For the 99.9% of the time that’s left, you’ll really enjoy writing the next Great American Novel with the Schrade SCPEN9BK Tactical Push Button Pen.

8. Benchmade

Benchmade

$130.00
$123.25
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Features

  • HIGH-QUALITY: All pens are made of anodized aluminum, titanium, stainless steel, or damascus bodies to provide a sturdy shell.
  • WELL-DESIGNED: The O-ring pressure fit cap securely snaps open and closed to keep the ink from drying out.
  • COMFORTABLE: The ergonomic knurling pattern provides optimum comfort and minimum stress on the hand.
  • LONG-LASTING: The Fisher Space Pen ink cartridge allows continued use beyond an ordinary ballpoint.
  • GUARANTEED FOR LIFE: Benchmade's limited Lifetime Warranty ensures that your pen will be free from defects in materials and workmanship. If it's not, Benchmade will take care of it. Available for pens purchased from an authorized dealer.

If it wasn’t expensive and unique it wouldn’t be a Benchmade Pen. But that’s why they are so loved: not everyone can afford/justify one. If you can afford one, and can justify one, you won’t be disappointed, until someone tries to abscond with it.

The price tag is very large, and the custom colors and material choices are vast, but this is more than just a vanity pen.

Besides, you cannot find a pen this capable of defending against an attacker and this elegant for the money anywhere else. The Damascus steel one is particularly beautiful.

PROS:

  • Classy and Elegant
  • Great brand reputation

CONS:

  • Very expensive

This is a specialty pen that borders on custom. The gorgeous lines and well-made components means this will last you a lifetime, if you can keep pen thieves from stealing it.

Maybe you just need to jab at them with it to defend your property. The Benchmade pens are a work of art that don’t feel out of place mixing it up in a defensive situation.

Finally, the  Benchmade Pen has a lifetime warranty.

Bottom Line 

Now you know what each of these implements can do in the real world. You also should have a good grasp on the practicality and looks of each of these and will be able to determine which one makes the most sense for you.

Sometimes the deciding factor will be how non-tactical the pen looks, and that’s ok, because most of the time you will be using it in a much more mundane safe condition.

Sometimes the decision will be how many features or how rugged it is, the choice is yours, now that you have all the information you need. It’s a simple task to pick the best self-defense pen with the plethora of information you have, but which will it be?

Are you leaning towards the cool, sophisticated, sleek one? Or are you more of the subdued, plain vanilla type? Did you want the one that is obviously there to show off its swiss army knife like gadgetry?

Remember, the chances of using it are slim; know ahead of time what you will do with it and how to prepare yourself to take action should the moment arise where your tactical pen becomes your best friend.