Choosing The Best Tactical Pen

Best Tactical Pen

Have you ever been in a situation where you feared for your own safety? Even just a little bit? Perhaps walking home late at night and the shadows seem to be following you? Or when you hear a strange ‘bump’ in the night, sensing a possible intruder scenario? In situations like these and many others, it is important to be prepared and law officials will attest that the most important tool available to you in an emergency situation is whatever is currently in your hand.

In an emergency situation, you often times don’t have any time to think, only react, which is why the top tactical pens can do a lot more than write in the rain, it can save your life!

Tactical Pen Model





Gerber Impromptu

4.0 ounces



Smith & Wesson Tactical

1.4 ounces



Schrade Tactical Pen

1.6 ounces



Columbia River and Knife Tactical Pen

6.4 ounces



Uzi Defender

2.4 ounces



What is our number one choice for tactical pen?

The best tactical pens are multi-functional tools providing the user a top-end writing device, a self-defence weapon and in some cases, a few other funky features which are sure to help you be prepared in a time of need. Arguably, a tactical pens primary function is to be exactly as the name suggests: a pen. If you are going to be spending over $25 for a tactical pen, you’ll want it at the very least to be able to write in the rain, the snow, upside down, right side up, ETC.

The tip of the pen is however different in comparison to your classic ‘bic’ pen. Take a look at a pen you might have on your desk as you read this. The end of the pen, although moderately sharp, would have a tough time piercing anything beyond a piece of paper. The best tactical pens on the other hand have a much sharper ball point and some even have a blunt end on the back for breaking through glass.

Tactical pens often times have other features which make them a multi-functional device. Ever find yourself handcuffed? Some tactical pens come with a hidden handcuff key built in. Other tactical pens will feature specialized grips and other features such as lights and lasers.

What materials are high quality tactical pens made of?

The secondary function of the best tactical pens are the self-defence features. A tactical pen is made out of heavy duty materials, typically aircraft grade aluminum. Aluminum will ensure that the pen does not bend, crack or fracture on impact which is an important feature in the case you ever need to use it. Much like the best tactical flashlights, they go through a coating process known as anodizing which strengthens the top layers of the aluminum

Internally, the best tactical pens vary as to what type of ink they use. Generally, finding replacement ink isn’t too difficult as the biggest brands tend to cater to tactical pens.

Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen

Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen
Editor Review
​Customer Reviews - 180 Reviews

Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen is one of our all time favorite tactical pens, the Gerber Impromptu is a fantastic multi-functional pen designed for those who want to be prepared in an unexpected scenario. Made with a machine steel body the Impromptu will be one of the heavier pens you ever end up holding in your hand.

As a pen, the Gerber does a fantastic job. It writes well in all conditions, and would definitely be recommended for those who work outdoors in a variety of conditions. Durability wise, the Impromptu is one of the tougher pens on the market so if you’re worried about your pen taking some serious damage and need it to hold up, this unit is probably the right choice for you.

Towards the tip of the pen, there is an integrated ‘glass-breaker,’ tip. In our tests it didn’t get in the way of our actual writing and it is definitely robust enough to work if you get into a scenario where you need to use it.

Functionally, it has a push-button mechanism which is my personal favorite choice for releasing the ball point. If I were ever in a situation where I needed to use the Impromptu as a weapon, I would have full confidence in being able to release the ball point of the pen immediately.

The price point of the Gerber Impromptu is completely reasonable and makes it one of the best tactical pens on the market. Highly recommended.

Smith & Wesson Military and Police Tactical Pen

Smith and Wesson Tactical Pen
Editor Review
​Customer Reviews - 284 Reviews

Smith & Wesson Military and Police Tactical Pen is made of aircraft grade aluminum, the Smith and Wesson Military and Police Tactical Pen means business. A little under 6 inches in length and an overall weight of 1.4 ounces, this model feels extremely sleek in your hand. Something to note in regards to the photo’s you see, the actual ball point of this pen is not at the pointy end. The pointy end is a the self defense portion of this pen with the actual ball point underneath the cap.

As a writing utensil, this is a high quality pen. Featuring a click on/off cap (which we are big fans of), this pen will not let you down. We did however notice that the on/off cap does have a plastic component within the pen, making it prone to fracture. The exterior of this pen will protect it from any blunt damage but overuse could ruin this pen unfortunately.

We really like that this pen has it’s self-defense feature always available for use. As you know, when an unexpected situation occurs, you often don’t have much time to act so having a weapon ready to use is extremely important.

Replacing the ink is simple and a variety of refill options are available (Parker and Hauser included).

With the best tactical pen, they should be discreet enough to get through most types of security checkpoints. However, the Smith and Wesson Military and Police Tactical Pen does have “Smith and Wesson,” engraved on the clip. Most security professionals are probably going to be familiar with the brand and it could cause some problems depending on what you’re doing.

However, for an everyday pen and handy defensive tool, this model will treat you right. It also comes at an extremely affordable price.

Schrade SCPENBK Tactical, Pen

SCPENBK Schrade Tactical Pen
Editor Review
​Customer Reviews - 119 Reviews

The Schrade Tactical Pen is on the value side along with the Smith and Wesson. A well made pen with the capability to do some real damage in the case of an emergency. A little under 6 inches in length, the Schrade Tactical Pen is made of aircraft aluminum and offers users a reliable offering in the case of a lengthy memoir or a dangerous situation.

The Schrade does not seem to write as well as some of the more expensive tactical pens but I suppose you do get what you pay for. It features an on/off cap which makes it quick, easy and reliable to expose the ball point. Refilling this unit is simple and ink can be purchased at your local staples or office depot for about $5.00. I would probably get some refills right off the bat as the stock ink with the Schrade is of pretty poor quality.

I have read some complaints and can also verify that the clip on this pen isn’t ideally designed. The end of the clip sticks out a bit which can cause it to pinch you in the case you do need to strike something with some considerable force. It’s not necessarily a deal breaker but it can be an inconvenience.

Overall, the Schrade does not feel or perform like a cheap pen. It does have a couple of quirks but considering the price, it is one of the top field pens for the money.

Columbia River Knife and Tool Williams Tactical Pen

Columbia River Tactical Pen
Editor Review
​Customer Reviews - 74 Reviews

One of the inauspicious tactical pens on the market, this unit was designed by former Army officer and martial arts instructor, James Williams. He applied his design expertise to create a clean, futuristic interpretation of one of our most basic tools.

Made of aircraft grade aluminum combined with a sleek design, it feels like a solid tactical pen in the palm of your hand. Weighing over 6 ounces, this is no fools-play tactical pen. It carries a solid punch and will serve you well in the case of a self-defence scenario.

Legibility wise, the Columbia River Knife and Tool tactical pen will serve you well. It’s a step up from some of the cheaper models and like the cheaper models, can be refilled with most standard ink refills from your local office supply outlet.

Like I mentioned above, this particular design is extremely slick and inauspicious. You’d have a tough time finding a security team who would notice this to be anything more than just a pen. However, I can assure you, this has the potential to do some major damage to anybody unlucky enough to come up against it.

One of the best tactical pens on the market, we love it.

Uzi Defender Tactical Pen

Uzi Tactical Defence Pen
Editor Review
​Customer Reviews - 148 Reviews

One of the bigger names in tactical gear, including firearms is Uzi. Well known for their line of tactical pens, the Defender is definitely one of the most ‘bad ass’ looking pens on the market. Made of lightweight aircraft aluminum it weighs 2.4 ounces and definitely feels like a tactical pen when you have this unit in your hand.

Refillable with any of the major brands of ink, the Uzi writes fairly well. It doesn’t write as well as the Gerber or the Columbia but it does a pretty good job of being able to write in most conditions.

One thing I don’t like about the Uzi Defender is that it doesn’t have a click on/off button. Instead you have to rotate the cap a few times to extend the ball point. For me, this is a bit of a design flaw as far as a tactical pen goes because if you get in a situation where you need to defend yourself, you probably won’t have time to unwind your pen!

The price point on the Uzi is pretty good, and the butt end of it definitely double as a glass-breaker. We actually tested it out in our shop and we didn’t even have to hit it very hard to easily break through a few double-pane glass sheets we had laying around. A great tactical pen for the price, and one you can rely on in a sticky situation.