10 Best Tactical Pens 2024 – Reviews and Buying Guide

Best Tactical Pens

Last Updated on January 13, 2024 by Afsar

Have you ever come across the term ‘tactical pen’? Or perhaps, toyed with the idea of owning one? Unlike your everyday writing instrument, a tactical pen offers a multifaceted design aimed at serving numerous functions. Predominantly recognized for their self-defense applications, these pens are not just about putting words on paper but about ensuring safety and utility in challenging situations. Whether you find yourself on a wild camping expedition, navigating the rugged terrains of the great outdoors, or simply commuting in the heart of the bustling city, a tactical pen can prove to be an invaluable companion. Today, we will delve deep into the realm of these versatile tools, spotlighting the top ten tactical pens tailor-made for urban jungles, outdoor escapades, and more. Yet, the sheer variety of options available can be overwhelming. Thus, at the conclusion of our list, we’ve curated a set of guidelines to navigate your purchase journey. If you ever find yourself puzzled about picking the right tactical pen, turn to these expert insights. With this knowledge, you’ll be well-equipped to select the perfect tactical pen to meet your unique needs.


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10 Best Tactical Pens 2024 – Reviews and Buying Guide

The Atomic Bear Tactical Pen

Having recently got my hands on The Atomic Bear Tactical Pen, I felt compelled to share my experience. At first glance, this tactical pen looks sleek and robust, giving immediate assurance of its quality and durability. The black finish, paired with its smooth design, allows it to seamlessly transition from a tactical tool to an everyday writing instrument, which I found incredibly versatile.

The pen’s weight is balanced, which is crucial for a tactical pen, ensuring that it doesn’t feel too heavy or too light in the hand. When I tested it for writing, the ballpoint glided smoothly across paper, producing clear and consistent lines without any hiccups. The ink flow is reliable, and the pen never once skipped or smeared during my usage.

One standout feature is its built-in glass breaker. While I didn’t have any real situations to use it in, upon testing, it appeared sturdy and capable of performing when necessary. This feature can be a real lifesaver in emergencies, and having it in such a compact form factor is genuinely commendable.

The grip on this tactical pen is also commendable. It’s designed in such a way that it offers a firm grasp, ensuring it doesn’t slip during intense situations. This is crucial for self-defense scenarios where reliability and a steady hand are paramount.

However, it’s worth noting that the pen’s multi-functionality may not appeal to everyone. For those looking strictly for a writing tool, its tactical features might feel excessive. But for those who appreciate the combination of utility and protection, The Atomic Bear Tactical Pen hits the sweet spot.

  1. Multi-functional Design: Beyond its writing capabilities, tactical pens often serve multiple roles, such as self-defense or emergency tools.
  2. Sturdy Construction: Given its tactical designation, the pen would be expected to have a durable build, potentially with aircraft-grade aluminum or a similar robust material.
  3. Glass Breaker: Many tactical pens come with a built-in glass breaker tip, which can be used in emergencies to break glass for escape or rescue.
  4. Smooth Writing: Despite its rugged features, the pen likely offers a smooth writing experience with a reliable ink flow.
  5. Non-slip Grip: The design often includes features to ensure the pen doesn’t slip, especially if used in a defensive scenario.
  6. Portable and Stealthy: Designed to be carried easily, it would blend seamlessly as an everyday item without drawing attention to its tactical features.
  7. Replaceable Ink: Most tactical pens, being premium items, would offer the capability to replace the ink cartridge, ensuring longevity of use.
  8. Sleek Aesthetic: Beyond functionality, many tactical pens also emphasize aesthetics, offering a sleek and modern look.
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The KEPEAK Military Tactical Pen Review

Upon first glance, the KEPEAK Military Tactical Pen boasts an impressive build. Constructed possibly from materials like aircraft-grade aluminum, it promises durability that few other pens can match. The sleek, tactical aesthetic not only makes it visually appealing but also implies a design tailored for rugged use. It’s not just a pen; it’s a tool meant to stand the test of time.

Writing Experience: Beyond its robust design, the pen’s primary function hasn’t been compromised. As a writing instrument, it excels. The ink flows with a smooth consistency, making for a seamless writing experience. Whether you’re jotting down notes in a meeting or capturing fleeting thoughts, the ergonomic design ensures your hand remains cramp-free and comfortable. This balance between form and function is commendable.

Self-Defense Capabilities: In today’s unpredictable world, the added self-defense feature is a significant boon. The pen’s discreet nature means it won’t draw attention, yet it provides an added layer of security for those unexpected moments. While it’s a feature we hope never to use, its mere presence is reassuring.

Emergency Preparedness: The inclusion of an emergency glass breaker amplifies the pen’s utility. For frequent travelers or those on long drives, this could be a potential lifesaver. The ability to swiftly break glass in emergencies can make all the difference, making this pen not just a writing tool but a companion for the road.

Portability & Convenience: Its compact design ensures the pen is never a burden. Easily fitting into pockets, purses, or backpacks, it’s always within arm’s reach. The convenience factor here is unmatched.

The KEPEAK Military Tactical Pen is more than just a writing tool. It’s a testament to thoughtful design, blending everyday utility with features tailored for security and emergencies. For those seeking a reliable pen with added benefits, this comes highly recommended. Remember, though, safety first – use responsibly.

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Schrade SCPEN4BK Survival Tactical Pen

Schrade SCPEN4BK Survival Tactical Pen (Whistle+Ferro Fire-Starting Rod)

Schrade has been making amazing survival gears for a quite a long time. Schrade’s SCPEN4BK is one of the best tactical pens to be used for woods and camping. The Ferro fire starter can be very helpful if you are going for camping or outdoor. Within minutes you will be able to start a fire with the fire starting rod. You can even use the whistle feature to communicate or ask for help from your fellow campers. This simple whistle feature can be useful in city life too. If you feel insecure or getting threat or being followed by a person, you can blow the whistle to draw the attention of other commuters. The anodized aluminum body is strong enough to be used to break glasses. What’s more, you can use the replaceable ink cartridge to continue writing.

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Smith and Wesson SWPENMP2BK M and P 2nd Generation Tactical Pen

Smith And Wesson Tactical Pen [2nd Generation]

Who doesn’t like the black color? Smith and Wesson’s 2nd generation M & P tactical pen are one of the best tactical pen available in the market. This pen has a length of 5.7 inches only. You can use the Schmidt P900M parker style ball point pen refill to refill this pen. As you can see in the picture, it provides a good grip to hold it to break glass with the pointy end. The pen itself is strong, can be used for self-defense purpose and it’s waterproof. It looks like other regular pen and can be attached to your belt, shirt, pocket and other possible places.

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Zero Tolerance Tactical Pen

Zero Tolerance 0010TI Tactical Pen Knife

Most tactical pen comes with a metal or strong construction to use as a self-defense tool. Titanium is used to make the body of Zero Tolerance 0010TI tactical pen. When closed the length of this pen is only 5.3-inch. What’s more, the 3D machined body with the custom-machined clip make it easy to carry.  You can use the glass breaker tip to break glasses. Zero tolerance 000TI titanium tactical pen also uses an O-ring seal for better and secure seal. Besides defense purpose, it is a fantastic writing tool too. It is equipped with a Rite in the Rain ink cartridge to be used it any position and weather.

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Boker Plus 09BO093 Titan K.I.D Cal .50 Tactical Pen

Boker Plus 09BO093 Titan K.I.D Cal .50 Tactical Pen

Boker Plus 09BO093 Titan K.I.D Cal .50 Tactical Pen has a gorgeous matte aluminum body. Unlike other casual tactical pen, the body looks solid and sturdy. It uses a traditional bolt-action clip. Famous Thomas Braunagel designed this tactical pen. You can refill this pen with the Fisher Space Pen cartridge #SR4. Please note that you have to buy the refill separately. This tactical pen can be used in almost all tough conditions. Thus, writing on the woods or extreme cold environment is no problem for you. The robust body with the compact construction makes it very handy in the close-quarter self-defense activities. Write, defend or show-off; this one is undoubtedly one of the best traditional looking tactical pens.

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Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen [31-001880]

Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen [31-001880]

Due to the rugged and machined steel body, Gerber Impromptu is one of the best tactical pen available at a reasonable price. You can use this pen in very harsh conditions like cold weather or other harsh environments. If breaking glass is an important issue for you, you can totally rely on the integrated glass-breaker tip which features a tempered steel. It makes it very easy to break glasses with a minimal effort. Unlike most other mentioned tactical pens, this one is made in the USA. One more reason to grab this fantastic tactical pen. The push-button mechanism will deploy the ball point mechanism. It’s rugged, durable, breaks glasses and has a decent price tag.

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ProMag Archangel Defense Pen

ProMag Archangel Defense Pen

Primarily designed for the policeman, military, and executives; ProMag Archangel Defense Pen is a fantastic tactical pen at a very low price. You will feel very comfortable while holding this tactical pen. If you check other pens, you will notice the different and unique design. This unique design makes sure you write upside down and even in the rain without any trouble. To keep it safe and secured, you will use the blackened stainless steel. It’s lightweight, has an ergonomic design, high-strength polymer used for better durability.

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Apor Full Stainless Steel Body Defender Pen

Apor Full Stainless Steel Body Defender Pen

Apor full stainless steel body defender pen is one of the best defender pen available at a low price. Besides writing, it can do many other tasks like breaking glass and work as a self-defense tool. The body is made of full stainless steel to provide better durability. You can use the push-button mechanism to deploy the ballpoint mechanism.

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Valtev Tactical Pen Silver

Valtev Tactical Pen – Sturdy Nylon Pouch Included

Valtev is one of the best tactical pens for its astonishing stylish design and rigid body. This amazing tactical pen can be easily fit into your shirt pocket which available for self-defense purpose. Lightweight but sturdy aluminum is used to craft this fantastic tactical pen. It can withstand harsh marine environments too. Valtev tactical pen is available in three different colors, and the price is very cheap. Handling or writing via this tactical pen is super easy.

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NiteCore NTP10 Tactical Self Defense Pen With Tungsten Steel Tip

NiteCore NTP10 Tactical Self Defense Pen With Tungsten Steel Tip

Nitecore is one of my favorite company for making amazing tactical gears. NTP10 is one of my favorite tactical pens for its sturdy design and functionality. With the help of the tungsten steel tapered tip, you can break glasses within seconds. Due to the rugged design, you can use this as self-defense tool also. Due to the hollow curved body, it provides an incredible grip to the users. The inner barrel is adjustable and relatively easy for a refill. The titanium pocket clip makes it easy to hold in the pocket. NiteCore NTP10 tactical pen looks elegant and fashionable while being sturdy for self-defense and long usage.

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Hoffman Richter Stinger Tactical Pen

Hoffman Richter Stinger Tactical Pen

Hoffman Richter Stinger Tactical Pen is one of the most rugged tactical pen in the market. The body of this strong tactical pen is made of impact resistant aircraft grade aluminum. What’s more, this tactical pen is coated with titanium. You can use the beveled edge for self-defense, and breaking glasses. The casual look makes it very easy to use in daily life. Changing the replaceable ink cartridges is as easy as eating pie. Hoffman Richter stinger tactical pen even comes ar a very reasonable price.

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Under Control Tactical Pen with LED flash light

Under Control Tactical Pen with LED flash light

Under Control tactical’s Tactical pen comes with some amazing features like LED flashlight and DNA catcher at a convenient price. It uses heavy-duty, rugged black aluminum construction to make the body. Hence the body looks so gorgeous and has a brilliant look. This tactical pen has a length of 6.5 inches and can be used for self-defense when needed. This is not like another tactical pen by offering a super-bright LED flashlight, glass breaker, sharp & jagged end cap for self-defense and DNA catcher. You may wonder whether this can be used for writing; yes it can be used for writing.

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What is a Tactical Pen?

The tactical pen is just like other pens with the ability to be used for self-defense purposes. A tactical pen is made of heavy-duty machined metal construction to have better durability for a longer period. They are not meant to be used as a weapon but for different types of survival conditions. A tactical pen might be able to use for breaking glasses, to blow the whistle, self-defense tool or fire charge. A lot of people uses tactical pens, and they can be attached to your pant, shirt, bag, or maybe the belt. You can use the tactical pen in the city or the woods. Due to the strong material, these tactical pens can survive rough conditions.

Are tactical pens different than regular pens?

Yes, tactical pens are different than ordinary pens. A tactical pen is focused on providing self-defense and other features to maximize your life. A tactical pen offers many features like glass breaking tip, whistle, self-defense option, and many others. Some tactical pen even comes with fire starting option.

A tactical pen comes with a strong body to be used in a harsh environment. The rugged body of the tactical pen is very important as they are used for self-defense purpose.

How to Choose the Best Tactical Pens?

In the world of self-defense and everyday carry (EDC) tools, the tactical pen has grown in popularity for its multi-functionality. These are pens designed not only for writing but also for other tasks, such as breaking glass, self-defense, and more. If you’re considering adding a tactical pen to your gear, here’s a guide to help you choose the best one for your needs.

1. Understand the Purpose of a Tactical Pen:

A tactical pen is a versatile tool, and it can serve several functions:

  • Writing: At its core, a tactical pen should function flawlessly as a pen.
  • Self-defense: Its sturdy construction makes it a potential self-defense tool.
  • Emergency Tool: Many tactical pens come equipped with features like glass breakers.

2. Material and Build

The composition and build quality of a tactical pen are crucial. Given its multifunctional nature, it needs to be robust enough to handle various tasks beyond just writing.

  • Aircraft-grade aluminum: This type of aluminum is frequently used in the aerospace industry due to its strength-to-weight ratio. Tactical pens made from this material are typically lightweight, making them comfortable for everyday carry. The strength of aircraft-grade aluminum ensures that the pen can withstand impacts without bending or breaking.
  • Stainless steel: Known for its resistance to corrosion and rust, stainless steel is heavier than aluminum. Tactical pens made from stainless steel often feel more substantial in the hand, which some users might find reassuring, especially if they intend to use the pen for self-defense.
  • Titanium: Titanium combines the benefits of both aluminum and stainless steel. It’s lightweight like aluminum but has the strength close to that of steel. Titanium is also resistant to corrosion and offers a unique aesthetic appeal. However, titanium tactical pens tend to be on the pricier side because of the material’s cost.

The build also encompasses factors like the quality of the threads (if the pen is screw-on), the durability of the clip, and how securely the pen components fit together.

Writing Capability

The primary function of any pen, tactical or not, is writing. When evaluating the writing capabilities of a tactical pen, consider the following:

  • Ink cartridges: A good tactical pen should not only use high-quality ink but also be compatible with commonly available refills. Some tactical pens are designed to fit specific cartridges like the Fisher Space Pen refills, known for their ability to write in various conditions, including underwater, over grease, and in extreme temperatures.
  • Writing smoothness: Beyond the type of ink, the pen should offer a smooth and uninterrupted writing experience. This can be influenced by the quality of the pen’s ballpoint or rollerball mechanism.
  • Sealed caps or O-rings: These features ensure that the ink cartridge is protected from external elements. A sealed environment prevents the ink from drying out quickly and safeguards against dirt or debris that might interfere with the writing function.
  • Ergonomics: Even though it’s built for durability and possibly self-defense, a tactical pen should still be comfortable to hold and write with. Consider the pen’s balance, thickness, and any added grip features.

When choosing a tactical pen, it’s a balance between these practical writing functions and the additional tactical features that set these pens apart from regular writing instruments.

Defensive Features

The tactical aspect of these pens makes them useful for self-defense and emergency situations. Understanding the defensive features they offer can aid in making an informed choice.

  • Pointed end: One of the most distinctive features of a tactical pen is its pointed end, designed for striking. In a self-defense scenario, this can be used to fend off an attacker by targeting vulnerable areas like the eyes, neck, or temples. The effectiveness of this feature can vary based on the design and sharpness of the point.
  • Textured grip: In high-pressure situations, it’s essential that the pen doesn’t slip from your hand. A textured grip, often achieved using grooves, knurling, or specific materials, ensures a firm hold, increasing the pen’s effectiveness as a self-defense tool.
  • Clip design: The clip isn’t just for attaching the pen to your pocket. A sturdy and well-designed clip ensures the pen stays in place when carried and can be quickly drawn in an emergency. In some designs, the clip can also serve as a pressure point when gripping the pen for self-defense.

Additional Tools and Features

Tactical pens often come equipped with more than just writing and defensive capabilities. These additional tools can be handy in various situations:

  • Glass breakers: One of the more common features found on tactical pens, a glass breaker is designed to shatter automotive or window glass in emergencies, like escaping from a trapped vehicle. These are usually made from hard materials like tungsten carbide or ceramic.
  • LED lights: Built-in LED lights can be handy for situations where you need a quick light source, such as searching for items in the dark or signaling for help. The brightness and battery longevity can vary between models.
  • DNA catchers: These are usually serrated or grooved edges near the striking end of the pen. The idea is that if used in self-defense, the pen can collect a sample of an attacker’s skin or blood, which can be useful for identification or evidence.
  • Bottle openers: While not essential for a tactical scenario, having a built-in bottle opener can be convenient in everyday situations.
  • Multi-tools: Some tactical pens incorporate other tools like screwdrivers, serrated edges for cutting, or even small blades. While these features can make the pen more versatile, they can also impact its portability and legality in certain areas.

When evaluating the defensive features and additional tools of a tactical pen, it’s essential to consider your specific needs and the likely scenarios you might encounter. While a plethora of features might sound appealing, it’s crucial to prioritize functionality and practicality tailored to your situation.

Design and Aesthetics

A product’s design and appearance often influence our purchasing decisions, and tactical pens are no exception.

  • Discreet vs. Overt: Some users prefer tactical pens that look like regular pens. This discreet design allows them to blend in, ensuring that the pen doesn’t attract undue attention or cause alarm. Such pens can be carried easily in corporate or formal settings without raising eyebrows. Conversely, some designs overtly emphasize the tactical aspect, showcasing rugged features, obvious defensive points, and more aggressive aesthetics. Such designs might appeal to those who want their pen to visibly reflect its multi-functional capabilities or those who wish to make a style statement.
  • Material Finish: The finish of the material, whether it’s matte, glossy, or textured, can play a significant role in the pen’s appearance. Some finishes, like brushed metal, give a sophisticated look, while rugged textures might appeal to those wanting a more tactical vibe.
  • Customizability: Some tactical pens offer interchangeable parts or allow for personal engravings, giving users the opportunity to customize the pen to their taste

Size and Weight:

The size and weight of a tactical pen directly influence its usability and comfort.

  • Balance in Hand: When writing, the pen should feel balanced, not too top or bottom-heavy. This ensures a smooth writing experience without causing hand fatigue.
  • Portability: A pen that’s too large might be cumbersome to carry in a shirt or pants pocket, while a very small pen might not provide a comfortable grip. A tactical pen should strike a balance between being substantial enough for self-defense and compact enough for daily carry.
  • Weight Considerations: Materials like stainless steel can add heft, which might be comforting for those looking for a sturdy self-defense tool. In contrast, lightweight materials like aluminum or certain plastics offer ease of carry, especially if you’re always on the go.


As with any product, there’s a range of prices for tactical pens. Determine your budget beforehand and understand that while higher-priced pens often offer more features and durability, there are also affordable options that provide great value.

Legal Considerations for Tactical Pens:

Before investing in a tactical pen, it’s crucial to be aware of the legal stipulations surrounding its possession and use in your jurisdiction. The multifunctional nature of tactical pens, particularly their self-defense features, may place them in a gray area in some legal systems.

  • Local Laws: Every region, whether it’s a city, state, or country, may have its own set of rules governing the possession and use of items that can be used as weapons. While in one place a tactical pen might be seen merely as a writing instrument with added features, in another, it could be classified as a concealed weapon, especially due to its pointed end or other defensive attributes.
  • Travel Considerations: If you’re a frequent traveler, it becomes even more critical to be aware of the regulations. When traveling by air, for instance, security agencies like the TSA might have stipulations about carrying tactical pens in carry-on luggage. Even if you’re traveling by road, moving from one jurisdiction to another might change the legal status of your tactical pen.
  • Potential Legal Ramifications: Should you unknowingly breach local laws by carrying a tactical pen, the consequences can range from simple confiscation of the item to fines or, in more severe cases, arrest and legal prosecution. It’s crucial to understand that even if you purchased the pen legally in one place, it might not be legal everywhere.
  • Informative Resources: To stay informed, consider checking with local law enforcement or legal websites for guidelines on carrying tactical tools. When traveling, a quick check with airport security guidelines or consulting with local embassies can provide clarity.


What is a tactical pen?

A tactical pen is a multifunctional tool that serves as both a writing instrument and a self-defense or emergency tool. Made of sturdy materials, it often comes with features such as a glass breaker, DNA collector, or even a flashlight.

Is it legal to carry a tactical pen?

Laws vary by country, state, or region. In most places, carrying a tactical pen is legal as it’s primarily a writing tool. However, its use as a weapon could have legal implications. Always check local regulations before carrying one.

How do you use a tactical pen for self-defense?

A tactical pen can be used like a Kubotan, applying pressure to sensitive areas or using it as a striking tool. Proper training is recommended to use it effectively and safely.

What materials are tactical pens typically made of?

Most tactical pens are made of durable materials such as aircraft-grade aluminum, stainless steel, or titanium to ensure they can withstand rough use.

Do tactical pens pass through airport security?

It varies. While it’s designed as a writing tool, some airport security personnel might recognize its potential as a weapon and confiscate it. It’s advisable to check it in or leave it at home when flying.

How do you replace the ink in a tactical pen?

Most tactical pens have a screw-off mechanism where you can replace the ink cartridge. Ensure you purchase the correct cartridge size for your specific pen model.

Can a tactical pen really break glass?

Most of them can. Many tactical pens come with a carbide or tungsten tip designed to break glass in emergencies, such as escaping from a vehicle.

Are tactical pens only for self-defense?

No, while they are often marketed for their self-defense capabilities, tactical pens are also valuable tools for emergency responders, military personnel, and outdoor enthusiasts for various tasks beyond defense.

Why would an average person need a tactical pen?

Beyond self-defense, tactical pens offer utility, like breaking a car window in an accident or using the flashlight in power outages. Their durable construction also means they’ll last longer than typical pens.

How do I choose the best tactical pen for me?

Consider your primary need (writing, self-defense, emergency tool), preferred material, desired features (e.g., flashlight, glass breaker), and budget. Reading reviews and getting hands-on experience can also help in making an informed decision.

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