We all know how important it can be at times to have a pen on your person when you need it most, and not just for work or convenience. Whether you need a pen for work-related reasons or you simply want to carry a pen with you at all times just in case, it certainly couldn’t hurt to go an extra step farther. Even though most people would only ever use a pen for writing, there is still so much more a pen can do.

Take tactical pens, for example, which are still pens in the traditional sense, yet designed to act as multipurpose tools as well. These pens can act as screwdrivers, bottle openers, mini-saws, flashlights, and even self-defense aids. All it takes is that you educate yourself on the nature of tactical pens and the characteristics that you should look for when buying such a pen for yourself.

We should probably point out that a good tactical pen shouldn’t just be a good writing tool but also one that you can carry around with ease. At the same time, a decent tactical pen should also be sturdy and reliable as far as its sturdiness goes. To provide you with a better understanding of what the market has to offer, we put together a list of the ten best tactical pens money can buy.

Best Tactical Pens – Reviews

9Cold Steel Black Pocket Shark 91SPB

The Black Pocket Shark by Cold Steel is seen as one of the best tactical pens for self-defense. It is made using high-impact polymer materials that guarantee its remarkable sturdiness. Its walls are four times thicker than your typical markers, meaning it will resist even great impacts and blows from your attackers, yet remain very strong and reliable even afterward. As a pen, it also performs surprisingly well.


What makes Shrade’s SCHPENG-BRK tactical pen stand out is the fact that it has a gray anodized quality aluminum body with black finished pocket clip for easy carrying. Pointed on one end, it becomes an effective tool for self-defense, while the blunt end functions as a great handle. It is also a great PDA Stylus or smooth-writing pen in its own right, which is something you should always consider when buying a tactical pen of any kind.


This is a clean, ultra-modern interpretation of a savvy mankind’s basic survival tools, a tactical pen with great features for both writing and self-defense actions whenever needed. It is made of precision machined aluminum and adds an anodized hard-coat color, guaranteeing lasting toughness. Coming in a non-reflective elegant yet tactical black matte finish, this is a great option for all purposes a tactical pen is usually designed for. Thanks to its tapered body, it allows you to enjoy a fairly great grip and quite pleasant aesthetics.

6UZI Tactical Pen UZI-TACPEN2-BK

The UZI TACPEN2-BK is a great tactical pen made using aircraft-grade quality aluminum. It boasts an ultra-durable carbide tip glass-breaker handy for emergency survival, such as breaking the car window glass if trapped inside. This pen is also ideal for writing by and accepts normal pen refills. Thanks to its pocket clip, you can keep it securely by your side for easy access. It is also a time-tested tactical pen that is both elegant in design and able to stand against any abuse in virtually any condition.

5Sminiker TPA1 Professional Tactical Pen

Featuring a crown head, this is a quite charming tactical pen whose ergonomic design includes a clip for convenient carrying, hanging onto your bag or clothes with relative ease. It also has to be said that it is a remarkable self-defense tool thanks to its hard tip that can effectively inflict some serious harm on any attackers. The design is optimized for protecting your fingers against shock which also makes it great for breaking glass, for instance, if trapped in a car or house. As a pen, it also writes quite admirably and lasts long.

4Under Control Tactical PEN

This is a reliable tactical pen by Under Control, one that features all you need for quality performance writing and also supportive self-defense. In a single compact, simple to carry, and rugged design, it has a bright LED flashlight, a glass breaker tip, a DNA catcher, and also a smooth-writing ink pen. Convenient for everyday use, this is the ultimate tool you need to keep with you for emergencies without raising any suspicion from those around you.

3Smith & Wesson SWPENMPBK

From the renowned Smith & Wesson, this is a durable and functional tactical pen made of strong T6061 aircraft-grade aluminum. Thanks to its convenient pocket clip and a pull-off top design, it is easy to carry and quick to access if needed to deploy. Its great tip makes it such a handy tool for the right action against attackers or breaking glass windows for any emergency exit you might be forced to perform. And, of course, it is a smooth writing pen at its core, one that is compatible with Schmidt P900 Parker black-and-white cartridges.

2ATOMIC BEAR Tactical Pen

The ATOMIC BEAR Tactical pen is an impressive weapon by tactical standards, one that is designed to remain concealed and not raise any suspicions. Beside writing evenly and smoothly, this SWAT pen can smash through just about anything. It also comes with two generous ink refills plus one belt pouch for easy carrying, and it is compatible with various ink refills as well. Its high-quality, well-balanced design is rugged enough to tackle any danger thanks to its sturdy military-class aluminum body and hardened glass breaker tip. Moreover, you get a free self-defense video training with the pen to educate you on how to best make use of the pen if needed.

1Gerber 31-001880 Impromptu

Proudly made in the United States, the Gerber Impromptu is a great performance tactical pen featuring a rugged, machined steel construction. An integrated pocket steel of stainless steel helps you keep the pen securely and easily accessible at all times. Not only that but this ingenious pen also features an all-weather Rite-in-the-Rain ink cartridge, with a functional push-button system for deploying the ballpoint with ease. Furthermore, an integrated tempered steel glass breaker renders the pen handy for virtually any emergency survival situations.

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Tactical Pen Guide

Because you never know when you are going to need a little in the way of help, a tactical pen can save a life or just be seriously convenient. Depending on what you are looking for, the sky is the limit in terms of added functions. Tactical pens are generally made of tough stuff but to find one that is truly reliable, you need to know what to look for.

The following guide runs through everything you need to know about the market, what you should expect from the product as well as the better materials that are used.

What To Look For In A Tactical Pen


Because a tactical pen can often be designed to help you get out of a difficult situation, it needs to be durable. Some are made with tips that can help you break glass which means the pen itself needs to be sturdy. Most are made from quality steel or enhanced strength aluminum to make sure it won’t let you down when you need it most.

Self Defense

The tips at either end can be used in a desperate situation if an aggressor decides you are an easy victim. A tactical pen can be used as your defense against such attacks and will make their mark if the product is up to the task. The tip can be made from sturdy carbide to ensure its effectiveness in such a situation or any other durable material.


Not only can this help with the main function of a tactical pen, the writing, but the grip can help make sure it is accurate when used in defense. To improve the force and impact, a reliable grip is vital. Some tactical pens have grooves to make them easier to hold whilst others will have a grippy material on the body.


This also plays into the weight of the product as to make an impression, it needs to be made of thicker stuff than your regular pen. Although this won’t make it a whole lot bigger, a true tactical pen doesn’t need to be too big but should have some weight behind it.

Pen Point

This is where most of the action comes from, whether you are using it to take notes, or are holding it up your sleeve as you walk home in the dark. A tactical pen will have a point that is sturdy, sharp, and ready to go.


Some of the cheaper tactical pens look nothing like a pen which doesn’t do a lot to hide them. This might also make it difficult to get through at the airport. The better tactical pens will still look better built than a regular Bic or the like but will have the appearance of a pen to the untrained eye.

This might be what makes the difference as they can still be used to surprise an attacker. This is less important if you are just keeping the tactical pen in your car in case you need to break the glass. In such an event, it can look how it wants as it won’t negate how effective it is.

Ink Cartridges

Some tactical pens use common ink cartridges such as Parker pen cartridges. This will make it easier to refill them when the ink runs out but be wary as some brands are hard to find refills for. Some tactical pens are fine to use in rain and adverse weather but this might require a special type of cartridge to work.

Using A Tactical Pen To Collect DNA

This is one of the surprising uses of such a product that most people tend to overlook. When you have been the victim of an attack and have used your tactical pen in self denfence, you can take it to the authorities so they can collect the DNA of the attacker. It might be blood from the pointed end, or any other part, whatever it is, use it to your advantage before and after should you need to use it.

Where To Put A Tactical Pen

Because you don’t really want an attacker to see the pen, you should try and keep it in your pocket or within reach if you are walking home at night or entering an area that you are not so sure about.

Most pens in the niche come with a clip so you can store it in your shirt pocket or the like but this might alert the attacker to the pen. The best thing to do is to have it within your grasp, although just keeping it with you could be enough to keep you safe.

How Much Should A Tactical Pen Cost?

What price can you put on your safety? You don’t want to buy a sub-par safety device that is not going to help in a desperate situation. This also doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to get your hands on one.

You need to consider what you intend to use it for and how often. If you want one primarily for the pen function, then find one that is easy to refill and durable enough to be used day in day out.