7 Best Tactical Pens: A Hidden Weapon For Self Defense

By Will Brendza | Updated: 10/31/2023

Best Tactical PensToday I’ve got something really important to share…

A Complete Guide On Finding (& Using) A Tactical Pen

Because a tactical is deadly in the right set of hands…

But in the wrong set of hands, it’s a harmless writing instrument.

So if you want to carry a “less-than-lethal” self-defense weapon, you can’t do much better than a Tactical Pen.

It’s an everyday use item and a weapon hiding a plain sight.

So why not upgrade one of the most common things we all carry around…

TOPICS IN THIS GUIDE…    ↓(click to jump)
Prepper Checklist eBook Cover - with gas mask on a SHTF scenery background

Want a free 78 item prepper checklist?

Click here to instantly download this Complete Checklist PDF. No purchase necessary.

StrikePen - A Badass Tactical PenBest Tactical Pens On The Market Today 

Once someone decides to carry a self-defense pen, they want the “best.”

The key features to look for are:

  • Made Of Solid Alloy Construction
  • High Quality Grip Design
  • The Pen Functions As A Pen
  • Discrete

If it has those features, it’s one of the best.

  • The body of the pen should be a machined steel solid alloy so it won’t break under intense pressure.
  • The grip must prevent slippage when using it for self-defense.
  • It needs to be discrete and function well as a pen.
  • You want replaceable ink cartridges for long-term usage.
  • And ideally it has a carbide tip glass breaker.

After these hurdles are met, the best tactical pen is affordable and one you’ll happily carry daily.

Here are a few of the “best” tactical pens on the market today:

1. Top Pick
Free Tactical StrikePen

I recommend the Tactical StrikePen.

At the time of publishing this article, you could still get this badass tactical weapon for Free (+ shipping).

Plus, this tactical pen has a built-in flashlight, a small knife blade, a hex driver/wrench, and a bottle opener.

I think it's one of the best tactical pens out there for the money.

Get your FREE StikePen (while supplies last)

Check Today's Price
We earn a small commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
↓ Ape Survival Strikepen Review

Smith & Wesson Aircraft Aluminum Tactical Pen

This Smith and Wesson Tactical Pen comes in at 5.8 inches long and weighs a mere 1.4 ounces.

And it's highly durable since it's crafted from T6061 Aircraft Aluminum!

It includes a convenient pocket clip and screw-off top, making it ideal for everyday carry.

This tactical tool will perform when needed and blend in when not in use.

This Tactical Pen can be refilled with Schmidt P900M Parker Style Black Ball Point Cartridges.

Check Today's Price
We earn a small commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
↓ Smith & Wesson Tactical Pen Review

Stainless Steel Tactical Pen

This Stainless Steel Tactical Pen is different than the first two options.

Instead of an aircraft aluminum body, it's made of reinforced military-grade stainless steel.

It also uses ZINC batteries that will power its LED light for a very long time.

Plus, the ballpoint tip can break any window for a fast vehicle evacuation.

Check Today's Price
We earn a small commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
↓ TakeFlight Tactical Pen  Review

The Atomic Bear Tactical Pen

The SWAT Pen by the Atomic Bear exhibits a simple and solid construction.

It feels great in your hand.

It has a remarkable grip that can deliver a devastating strike.

It comes with a heavy-duty nylon belt sheath for EDC.

A plain and simple design made of sturdy military-grade aluminum machined to perfection.

You’ll love the feeling of weight and balance. 

Check Today's Price
We earn a small commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
↓ The Atomic Bear: SWAT Pen Review

Sminiker Professional Defender Pen

The Sminiker Professional Tactical Pen is made from aircraft-grade aluminum for superior strength & portability.

It not only can be used for window breaking and escape but also to safeguard against attackers in dangerous situations.

This Tactical Pen has a heavy-duty pocket clip so that you can attach it to your tactical gear - such as a plate carrier vest, tactical pants, survival backpack, bug-out bag, etc.

Making it perfect for daily use and traveling.

Check Today's Price
We earn a small commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
↓ Sminker Pen Review

CRKT Williams Tactical Pen

This low-profile pen is the epitome of discreet convenience.

Crafted with an aluminum handle, it's the perfect blend of strength and light weight, meaning you can carry it all day.

Plus, its bead blast finish is specifically designed to minimize reflectivity – making sure it doesn't attract unwanted attention in critical situations.

The ink cartridge is developed to perform flawlessly in extreme environmental conditions.

This masterpiece of practical design comes straight from the workshop of James Williams in Vass, North Carolina, a true testament to American ingenuity and survival smarts.

Check Out Today's Price
We earn a small commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
↓ CRKT Williams Tactical Pen Overview

Gerber Gear Impromptu Tactical Pen

We're looking at a solid pen machined steel body coated with Cerakote for unbeatable durability.

It's got a nifty push button mechanism for smooth ballpoint action.

It has a tempered steel tip designed to shatter glass in emergencies.

But it's not just tough; it's smart too.

Clipped to your pocket with its stainless steel clip, this pen is perfect for your everyday.

Its 'Rite in the Rain' ink cartridge –is reliable in any weather, indoors or out.

Measuring just 5.59 inches in length and weighing a mere 2.4 ounces, it’s the perfect size to carry around without any hassle.

Plus, it’s backed by the Gerber Guarantee – a limited lifetime warranty.

Check Out Today's Price
We earn a small commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
↓ Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen

Image Source 1


A Brief Tactical Pen History Lesson (a.k.a KUBOTAN)

In the late 60s, Soke Takayuki Kubota invented a simple weapon called a Kubotan.

Combined with some basic locks and pressure point strikes a Kubotan is incredibly effective.

It can easily turn someone into a whimpering heap of jelly.

Most people recognize these implements as small key-chain attachments.

Ones usually blunt at one end and taper to a dull point on the other.

Kubotans are particularly useful for a few reasons:

  1. They are easy to conceal by fitting into small pockets.
  2. 2. When used correctly, they hurt like hell.

When used incorrectly, they still hurt like hell.

They’re also cheap.

And the techniques are easy to learn.

On top of that, practicing with a Kubotan teaches us something paramount about survival and combat.

Even simple, mundane objects can be a potent means of self-defense.

Being a creative survivalist is about thinking outside the box.

IT’s breaking down preconceptions of what it means to survive.

And a weapon can be anything…

Akeychain, a tactical pen, a pencil, a railroad spike, a drill bit, or a coffee mug.

What you use is less important than HOW you use it.

So what’s the best option to carry a Kubotan?

Prepper Checklist eBook Cover - with gas mask on a SHTF scenery background

Want a free 78 item prepper checklist?

Click here to instantly download this Complete Checklist PDF. No purchase necessary.

What Makes A Pen Tactical?

It’s a Kubotan disguised as a pen.

Like Kubatan’s, they’re forged from hardened metal.

The metal is stamped with tight friction grooves to improve grip.

The non-writing end of the pen incorporates a hardened tip.

This tip is the primary weapon.

  • It’s designed to penetrate and injure.
  • It’s made to puncture and incapacitate.

Few products can offer you as much utility.

Not only is it a mean weapon that can poke, prod, twist, and stab anyone dumb enough to get on the wrong side of it.

But it is also one of man’s greatest inventions:

The pen.

It’s known as a “survivor’s multi-tool” that serves several purposes.

Other survivor multi-tools can include survival hatchets, sword canes, dogs, walking sticks, matches or lighters, and anything with two or more functions.

And as we all know, the pen is mightier than the sword, or so they say.

But what could be mightier than a pen in the right hands?

That is a question I cannot answer.

To me, it’s a fantastic personal protection tool.

everyday carry items including a self defense pen

Why Everyone Should Carry One

Being fully armed and ready to defend yourself at all times is no easy task.

In our modern world, most people are disarmed.

Often because social and political regulations forbid open carry.

The harsh reality is you can’t legally carry guns (or other weapons) everywhere.

But there are solutions to these restrictions.

Even if you’re already a highly trained martial artist whose hands and feet are weapons, having a self-defense pen is always a welcome advantage.

And that’s why you should carry one.

↓ How To Use A Tactical Pen For Beginners

Bug Out Bag Checklist eBook Cover - a man walking away wearing a military style backpack

Want a free 104 item bug out bag checklist?

Click here to instantly download this Complete Checklist PDF. No purchase necessary.

Best Tactical Pen Uses In Today’s World 

The primary use is straightforward.

It’s a device for self-defense and writing.

But there are two other lesser-known uses, such as:

Breaking Glass

Just grip the pen firmly in a gloved hand, stand back against the same wall the glass is off to one side.

Now swing your arm from the elbow like a pendulum.

Slamming the pointed metal tip into the corner of a pane.

The glass should shatter with ease.

DNA Collection

Believe it or not, these fancy little self-defense tools come with a built-in device for tracking an assailant.

Some self-defense pens even have a crown-studded end cap ideal for scraping, jabbing, scratching, stabbing, and attacking.

Leaving blood or flesh behind that can be analyzed by a lab.

And here are the 10 most useful features:

  1. They are discrete; people will overlook them and let you carry them almost anywhere.
  2. They’re difficult to pry from your tight grip because they fit almost entirely into the palm of your hand.
  3. You can write checks and sign documents on the fly or jot down notes about your most recent survival adventures.
  4. Self Defense pens are concealed weapons in your pocket and are extracted quickly without much movement.
  5. They are ideal for attacking someone’s pressure points and twisting uncomfortably against bones.
  6. If someone commits a crime and steals off in a getaway vehicle, you can quickly scribble down their license plate on your hand before they get away.
  7. Self-defense pens get overlooked as a weapon in pat-downs.
  8. People rarely see a pen attack coming – you have the element of surprise.
  9. They’re exceptionally efficient for this purpose if you need to break a window (for whatever reason).
  10. With some practice, they could make a decent projectile. I feel like that’s a stretch, though.

Using one for self-defense is easier than you might imagine.

Unlike most forms of martial arts weaponry, this small weapon does not require memorizing complicated forms, hand-grabs, or punching techniques (although knowing those would help you become proficient much faster).

Tactical Pen Techniques Worth Mastering

The techniques are pretty simple and can be learned by anybody.

Practicing these simple moves can be fun IF you’re careful not to hurt each other.

Even running through them a few times can significantly improve your ability.

Note: I’ll share a few short videos later in this article to help get you started.

Here are some general ways in which you can use one:


They are self-explanatory but can be used as makeshift tactical knives or swords.

It can be swung strikingly, down being the strongest move.

Although there’s no blade, the pen will still do real damage when you connect with someone’s head.

Especially with a solid over-the-shoulder swing.

↓ How To Effectively Use A Tactical Pen For Self Defense

Pressure Point Striking

This is a method that requires some background knowledge and practice.

Pressure points can be debilitating when pinched or pressed.

If done right, it doesn’t take much force.

↓ Using Pens For Striking and Clinching

Knowing how to use your pen to target these human weak spots gives you an incredible advantage.

Knowing the pressure points could save your life at the right opportunity.

Check out this video on a few self-defense pressure points.

↓ Pressure Point Self Defense & Combinations


This motion is obvious, but the best target locations might not be.

Aim for the eyes, and if you connect, the fight will end.

Another vulnerable location is someone’s Adam’s apple.

It’s hard to fight if you can’t see and/or breathe.

Here’s another short video showing a few techniques:

↓ Pressure Point Self-Defense With A Pen

dos and donts sign
Survival Gear Checklist eBook Cover -with fire piston on a rock and campfire in the background

Want a free 54 item survival gear checklist?

Click here to instantly download this Complete Checklist PDF. No purchase necessary.

The Do’s And Don’ts Of Defense Pens

Things you SHOULD DO:

Carry One Or More

You can store this defense tool in many sneaky places.

Sure, you could always carry just one with you.

Or you could get one for your bug-out bag, one for your bug-out vehicle.

Keep one for your office, one for your home, and one for your survival cache.

Hell, you could even keep one in your survival medical kit.

Use Your Pen Creatively

There is no defined “right” or “wrong” way to use a self-defense pen.

A “How To Use Tactical Pen For Dummies” does not exist.

So feel free to get creative and imagine unique ways to use your pen.

Picture yourself in various self-defense situations.

A creative survivalist is a survivalist who survives.

Practice With It Often

If you want to be any good at anything, you need to put in practice time.

Anyone can wield a self-defense pen.

But there’s a big difference between randomly slashing and thrusting vs. mastering it.

And while no one is saying you have to be a master, learning and practicing basic techniques is important.

Things you SHOULD NOT DO:

Consider This Your Primary Weapon

No one has ever marched into battle armed with a jubilee of pens.

They are never a primary weapon but an ideal last resort.

Get Too Attached To It

Any incognito weapon is liable to get confiscated.

Whether it is a pen, a cane sword, or a sleeve pistol, anything that hides or disguises a weapon is a target for seizure.

Be careful where you bring your pen; it is a weapon.

There are places where it is downright unacceptable to carry a weapon.

And although it is a pen, it doesn’t exactly look like a regular pen.

And if you get caught trying to sneak this weapon somewhere you’re not supposed to, there could be severe consequences.

Expect The Pen To Write Flawlessly

In a pinch, using a regular pen is better than nothing.

But don’t practice techniques and then go cheap and carry around a lame plastic ballpoint pen expecting it to function on the same level.

Standard pens don’t have the strength or durability to perform as those engineered by weapons manufacturers.

The bottom line is:

Regular pens make poor self-defense tools.

Close Up Image Of The Word Advice

Even More Tactical Pen Advice

They’re Not Illegal, But They’re Still A Weapon

So please don’t use them as a toy or abuse their power.

You can seriously hurt someone by “messing around.”

And I’ve said it before, be careful where you bring your self-defense pen.

Carrying one into a place like an airport could result in arrest.

They’re weapons; treat them as such.

They’re Technically Considered Non-Lethal Weapons

That does not mean they can’t kill; it just means they are not designed to.

Death is always something you should avoid.

Killing someone with a pen would take a lot of effort.

It won’t happen by accident and would be both gruesome and messy.

Also, it’s not something easily defended in a court appearance.

Self Defense Pens Suck As Far As Pens Go

Don’t rely on one if you want a smooth, flawless ink implement to write your memoirs.

They’re more Kubotans than pens.

Or, more accurately, they are 27% pen and 73% badass tactical weapons.

So don’t be surprised if the ink is poor quality and a bit hit or miss when writing.

Realize weapon companies make these and not pen companies.

Nobody Looks Menacing Brandishing A Pen…Even A Tactical One

So leave your ego at the door because you won’t scare off any attackers when you whip out your pen.

Don’t start thrusting it around, and make tough guy sounds.

In fact, expect to draw a few chuckles from your assailants.

But use this to your advantage.

When they think they are about to beat the living crap out of some pen-wielding-dink, their confidence will be high, but their guard will be low.

Let them underestimate you and your abilities.

It will be their downfall.

Don’t Tell Others Your Pen Is Tactical

The best part of the tactical pen is its discretion.

Why would you show a random drunkard at the bar your weapon?

It’s a good practice to keep your self-defense weapons to yourself.

Dispelling The 5 Most Common Tactical Pen Myths…

There’s a lot of myths out there, so let’s set the record straight.

Myth #1: Tactical Pens Are Just Fancy Pens

Yes, most look like regular pens, but they’re so much more than that.

These pens are built to withstand tough situations.

They’re typically made of high-quality materials like aircraft-grade aluminum.

And they have features like glass breakers, self-defense edges, and even built-in flashlights.

So, no, they’re not just fancy pens; they’re multi-functional tools.

Myth #2: You Need Military Training to Use a Tactical Pen

Some folks think you need to be a Navy SEAL to effectively use a tactical pen.

Well, let me tell you, that’s just plain wrong.

Tactical pens are designed to be simple and intuitive.

Anyone can use them for self-defense if needed.

It’s all about leveraging the built-in features like the pointed tip for striking or the edge for pressure points.

No military training required.

Myth #3: Tactical Pens Can Replace Real Weapons

Tactical pens are handy tools, but they’re not meant to replace firearms or other self-defense weapons.

They’re a great addition to your EDC, but they have limitations.

In a life-threatening situation, you’d still want a more powerful means of self-defense.

The tactical pen is a last resort, not a primary weapon.

Myth #4: All Tactical Pens Are the Same

Tactical pens come in various shapes, sizes, and designs.

Some are sleek and minimalist, while others are more robust.

The key is to find one that suits your needs and preferences.

Consider factors like weight, grip, and additional features.

So, don’t just grab the first one you see; choose wisely.

Myth #5: Tactical Pens Are Too Expensive

Sure, you can find some pricey tactical pens out there, but that doesn’t mean they’re all wallet-busters.

There’s a wide range of options, and you can find affordable, quality tactical pens that won’t break the bank.

Remember, you’re investing in a tool that can potentially save your life or come in handy during emergencies.

So, consider it an essential part of your EDC gear.

Action Plan

Final Thoughts

If you don’t have one, get one.

And if you do, get a second one because nothing is worse than being caught off guard.

It’s the sort of tool you don’t need until you freaking need it.

And when the need arises, you’ll be grateful you put one in your pocket, vehicle, and bug-out bag.

Don’t let it collect dust: train with it.

You need to stay proficient with your weapon.

Train with friends and practice alone.

The dual purpose of pen and weapon serves as the perfect disguise.

Why Trust Skilled Survival...

Go here now to review a full breakdown of:

  • Who We Are
  • Our Credentials
  • Our Mission
  • & Product Recommendations...

Here are a few highlights of our teams credentials & certifications:

  • Certified Member of a Mountain Search & Rescue Organization
  • Plant Emergency & Safety Leader for a Major Food Manufacturer
  • Member of the 10TH Mountain Division Hut Association
  • Certifications: Avalanche 1, WFR, CPR
  • Official Gear Tester for Numerous Outdoor Gear Companies
  • Countless Multiday Backpacking trips into Remote Wilderness
  • Bachelor's Degree In Mechanical Engineering 
  • Bachelor's Degree In Civil Engineering
  • Bachelor's Degree In Biomedical Engineering

"It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it." - Warren Buffett

We're fully aware that trust is NOT something you GET but is EARNED.

And we'll continue to earn YOUR trust through our forthright and honest approach with each new Blog Post, Guide & Product we create...

Will Brendza

Will Brendza

  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Colorado at Boulder
  • Member of The 10th Mountain Division Hut Association
  • Certifications: Avalanche 1, WFR (expired), CPR (expired)
  • 8+ Years Researching, Writing, About Survival and Preparedness
  • Awards from Society of Professional Journalists
  • Winner of Camp Cold’s “Happy Camper” award in 2020
  • P.s. Do You Live In A 'Danger Zone' County?

    Find out now using my Danger Zone County List & Special Report it’s absolutely FREE.

    In minutes you’ll know EXACTLY where you stand and if you should be worried or not..

    Cooking over a rocket stove
    Get My 10 Steps To Basic Preparedness Video For FREE.
    Plus daily survival tips (unsubscribe anytime).