Whether you are going to your workplace in the urban jungle or exploring the wilderness, most of the times you would carry some sort of pen to write down your thoughts or make lists.

So why not unleash the James Bond in yourself and carry a Tactical Pen that can function both as a pen and as a defensive multi-tool?

A typical tactical pen consists of an all-weather pen with an unbreakable body and a couple of tactical self-defense features such as glass breakers. In this article, we look at some of the best tactical pens available in the market. We will also list out some of the factors to consider while picking the best one for your needs. Rest assured, none of the options we list can act as a Laser cutter or an explosive device, but they still pack a punch!

2019’s Tactical Pens For Self Defense, Survival, and EDC Comparison Chart

Schrade SCPENBK 5.7in Black Aluminum Refillable Screw-Off Tactical Pen for Outdoor Survival, Protection and EDC
My Favourite
Smith & Wesson SWPEN3G 5.4in Aircraft Aluminum Refillable Tactical Screw Cap Stylus Pen for Outdoor, Survival, Camping and EDC
Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen - Black [31-001880]
Smith & Wesson SWPEN3G
Gerber Impromptu
Good low key tactical pen
Good Self-Defense Pen If You Want The Stylus
An Excellent All Around Tactical
Schrade SCPENBK 5.7in Black Aluminum Refillable Screw-Off Tactical Pen for Outdoor Survival, Protection and EDC
Good low key tactical pen
My Favourite
Smith & Wesson SWPEN3G 5.4in Aircraft Aluminum Refillable Tactical Screw Cap Stylus Pen for Outdoor, Survival, Camping and EDC
Smith & Wesson SWPEN3G
Good Self-Defense Pen If You Want The Stylus
Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen - Black [31-001880]
Gerber Impromptu
An Excellent All Around Tactical

Best budget EDC pen

Schrade SCPENBK 5.7in Black Aluminum Refillable Screw-Off...
  • DIMENSIONS: 5.7 inch (14.5 cm) overall length and a weight of 1.4...
  • DURABLE: Pen is made of reliable CNC Machined 6061 T6 Aluminum
  • DEPENDABLE: Quick and easy access with the convenient pocket clip and...
  • SECURE: Have confidence that this tool will perform when needed and...
  • BE PREPARED: Pen can be refilled with Schmidt P900 Parker Style Black...

When it comes to a budget tactical pen, check out the first and second generation of the Schrade Survival Tactical Pens.

The Schrade SCPENBK Survival Tactical pen is a smartly designed tactical pen that does not scream out as one. This pen features a CNC-Machined precision 6061-T6 aluminum body with a matte black finish. The aircraft grade aluminum provides this pen extreme toughness without adding too much to the weight.

The Schrade Tactical Pen features a black, German-made Schmidt P900M Parker ballpoint refill. It has an overall length of 5.7 inches and weighs a decent 1.4 oz.

The best part of the Schrade Tactical Pen is the flat screw on/off cap design. The cap is slightly wider than some other tactical pens, but this means it can provide a very good base for your thumb to apply extra force during tactical situations. The pen has a virtually unbreakable deep-point clip which means you can carry it easily concealed in your pocket. And it has a very unobtrusive and non-threatening look.

Moreover, if you are looking to get more out of your Tactical Pen, check out the Second Generation Schrade SCPEN4BK Survival Tactical Pen. This pen features a removable Ferro-rod and a concealed striking plate. What’s more, the cap is uniquely designed to function as a survival whistle.

Like all other Schrade products, the Schrade line of tactical pens is backed by a limited lifetime warranty. So you can use them for recreational and professional purposes without any worries.

Best Self Defense Tactical Pen

Smith & Wesson SWPEN3G 5.4in Aircraft Aluminum Refillable...
  • DIMENSIONS: 5.4 inch (13.7 cm) overall length and a weight of 1.6...
  • DURABLE: Pen is made of reliable T6061 Aircraft Aluminum
  • DEPENDABLE: Quick and easy access with the convenient pocket clip,...
  • SECURE: Have confidence that this tool will be comfortable in the hand...
  • GUARANTEED: This product is covered by a Limited Lifetime Warranty....

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!

Best Survival Pen

Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen - Black [31-001880]
  • Rugged, machined steel body and stainless steel pocket clip keeps this...
  • Rite in the Rain ink cartridge works in all conditions, inside and...
  • Reliable push-button mechanism deploys ball point mechanism
  • Integrated glass-breaker tip features tempered steel and is designed...
  • Made in the USA

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.

Best High-End Model

From its comfortable grip to its Micarta body and titanium-coated end cap the Boker Plus is one fine piece of writing equipment. It also happens to double just fine as a first class, a small scale tactical device with a robust grip that won’t let you down when your well-being is on the line.

Its distinctive design sets it apart from the herd yet nothing is compromised in this quest for design permanence.

At the end of the day, the Boker Plus Carbon Tactical Pen with its pump action clicker and dazzling exterior design scheme is a truly unique writing/self-defense appliance that everyone from high-end pen lovers to law enforcement officers to survivalists will appreciate

Best Tactical Pen Buyer’s Guide

We’ve often seen the word “tactical” used as a marketing buzzword. You’ll see the term applied to everything from belt buckles to hammocks — through the magic of the Internet, you can even order a tactical assault rock. But the word does have a proper definition beyond its overuse. A tactical item is one that’s specifically designed for combat tactics.

Tactical pens are writing instruments that are purpose-built to double as what some self-defense instructors would call force multipliers.

These implements are usually machined from a solid billet of impact-resistant metal, with textured elements to improve grip for repeated hammer-fist strikes. Some also include sharpened tips to amplify the damage dealt, or glass-breakers to aid in escape or rescue scenarios. Tactical pens are especially useful in nonpermissive environments — they can provide a last-ditch defensive tool in places where more conventional weapons like firearms or knives aren’t allowed.

Above all else, a tactical pen must reliably write. For survivalists, a writing instrument can be an invaluable tool for certain tasks, from marking where you foraged for food and mapping a path to your bug-out cabin to leaving a note behind at basecamp or writing instructions for your survival group. And, of course, it’s just handy to be able to jot down a grocery list or the number of that hot mountain climber you just asked out.

Whether you’re looking for a durable pen to add to your everyday-carry (EDC) gear, a powerful defensive weapon that won’t draw the wrong kind of attention, or both, read through our reviews of these eight tactical pens. They may not be literally mightier than a sword, but they’re certainly mightier than an empty fist.

What is a tactical pen and how you can use one?

A tactical pen is what Jason Statham is to movies. Tough, unbreakable and reliable. In simple terms, a tactical pen is a normal, high-quality writing pen that is designed in a way that it can double up as a glass breaker or deployed in a self-defense situation.

Generally, tactical pens have a hard plastic or metal body, an all-weather refill with a medium point, a glass-breaker tip made of Steel, Tungsten or Ceramic and a cap that can act as support for the thumb. The pen has a sturdy, almost unbreakable clip that works well with all fabrics – even jeans.

The following image describes the main parts of a typical tactical pen.

Best Tactical Pens For Self Defense, Survival, and EDC

99% of the time, you would use your tactical pen for writing. So it needs to have a reliable refill or ink cartridge that can work in all weather conditions and situations. In 1% of the time when you face a survival situation – self-defense, chipping some wood or breaking a glass window, there is a strong metal tip.

If you ever need to use your tactical pen for self-defense purposes, target the pressure points such as neck or inner arm/armpit or sensitive areas such as throat, ears, eyes or groin

How Should I Use a Tactical Pen?

Many people have questions about how to use a tactical pen. There are a number of ways including:

  • Like a sword – Sure it’s not Hattori Hanso steel but, should your tactical pen have a cutting edge it can be deployed very effectively in a sword like manner. The key is to maintain a good grip, use powerful but controlled sweeping motions and follow through.
  • Like a knife – With this technique, you’ll need to be aggressive and accurate and you can use either an underhand or overhand motion. Again, solid contact should produce a wound sufficient to give your assailant pause and give you a chance to get away.

Be mindful that not all tactical pens (including the ones we’ll be reviewing here) come with a blade component so if that’s important to you make sure you find one that specifically says it’s included.

Now that you have a little better understanding of tactical pens and their uses let’s get right into our tactical pen reviews.

Considerations – Buying the Best Tactical Pen

Best Tactical Pens For Self Defense, Survival, and EDC

The Best Tactical Pen doesn’t have to cost a fortune but they do range in price. In fact, tactical pens range in price from just a few dollars to well over a hundred dollars at some retail outlets. The wide price range is a function of varying qualities, features, material construction, and of course, name brands of tactical pens. We will provide you with an in depth analysis of all of the features, benefits, and uses of tactical pens.

Quality – Best Tactical Pen

As with any product, especially one that you count on for self defense or in an emergency situation, quality is an important consideration that you should factor into buying a good tactical pen. The Best Tactical Pens are typically made out of aircraft grade aluminium, steel, or titanium as they provide the lightest and most durable construction. Quality tactical pens will be extremely durable, likely outlasting some of its users, while being light enough that you will not notice it when carrying it around. Some high quality tactical pens have stainless steel components such as a pocket clip.

A quality tactical pen will not only save you in emergency or high risk situations, it will also not let you down when writing your name! Make sure that the quality of the ink and replacement cartridges is solid because after all, you will use this pen for writing most of the time (fingers crossed). Replacement cartridges for your tactical pen is important because some of them can be very costly to replace. I really like the Rite in the Rain cartridges that come with the Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen because you can literally write in any condition.

Tactical pens also come with varying finishes on the body of the pen. Some are rugged and machined, while others are smooth and refined. It is really a personal preference for what type of finish you want. If you will be using the pen around the office, you may want to consider a smoother more professional tactical pen. If you don’t care, or perhaps work outdoors, then you may want a rugged tactical pen.

Features – Best Tactical Pen

The best tactical pens are not all made equal. Not only do the quality of tactical pens differ from model to model but there are a whole range of features that are available on tactical pens. Choosing the best tactical pen will depend on what features and self defense options that you want it to come with.


The first option or feature that you will notice on all tactical pens are their different widths, lengths, and bluntness. What this means for you and self defense using your tactical pen is that the optimal width, length, and point will depend on how you plan on using it. A blunt tactical pen may be suitable for those of you who are strong and can ward off an attacker using heavy thrust whereas someone without the body strength may have trouble. In that case, a pointier tactical pen may be best suited for you as it would deter an attacker without having to use as much strength.


The next feature you should be aware of when choosing the best tactical pen is the different grip options that are available. Some feature hard core knurling which makes the tactical pen rugged however be aware that this may feel rough to the touch. The tough grip will add protection so the pen is more durable and won’t be at risk of scratching. Some tactical pen grips are smoother which offers a nicer and softer feel. If you plan to use the pen in the office, a smooth finish may be more appropriate.


The next consideration when buying a tactical pen is how you plan on carrying it. Some high quality tactical pens feature a simply but strong pocket clip. These are perfect for those of you who plan on keeping your multi-tool in your shirt pocket or clipped to the inside of your pant pocket. Word of caution. If you are going to buy a cheap tactical pen, avoid ones with pocket clips because they are likely junk. Make sure to check out the quality and construction of the pocket clip.


Some tactical pens are mounted with a specific glass breaker. You know those tools that you see beside a fire extinguisher or inside a train, allowing you to easily break glass? This option is also available on some tactical pens and it easily allows anyone to break a pain of glass.

Bottom Line

We hope you enjoyed these tactical defense pen reviews. Whether you work in an area that’s not as safe as you’d like it to be or you just have a long walk at the end of every day across the parking lot to your car you’ll find these discreet, compact devices will answer the call should you find yourself in a dangerous situation.

When you consider how inexpensive they generally are too it just makes no sense to not avail yourself of a high-quality tactical EDC pen.