How to Choose a Tactical Pen

 How to Choose a Tactical Pen

At its most basic, a tactical pen is a writing implement that can also be used as a defensive weapon. There are many on the market and no two are alike meaning it can be very confusing when it comes to purchasing one. They are usually small enough to fit inside your pockets although be aware that they may be confiscated at airports. Different countries have different laws and trying to get one through a security checkpoint could lead to you being charged with conspiracy to commit a crime. Always check before travelling. This being said tactical pens are completely legal.

Tactical pens are usually made from metal (aircraft-grade aluminium and titanium) or strong plastic. They are designed to be non-lethal and come with a blunt end that is intended to apply painful force to pressure points, sensitive areas, and other vulnerable locations on an attacker’s body. Although they are a “non-lethal” weapon, it does not mean that they can’t kill, it just means that they are not designed to kill.

How to Choose the Best Tactical Pen for You

When choosing the best tactical pen, it all starts with its main function, writing. You want to choose one that actually writes well. This IS going to be what it is used for the majority of the time. Most of the better quality tactical pens allow you to easily replace the ink cartridges.

Next it is time to look at the defensive features of the pen. How would you want to use the pen as a defensive tool? As an example, a smaller person may find it harder to use the blunt end to inflict damage so would probably want to go for a tactical pen with a pointier finish.

The grip is the next thing that we want to look at. If the pen needs to be used as a defensive tool then the grip is key. You don’t want it flying out of your hand when you swing it with velocity. Some of the better tactical pens you can choose from will have ridges or grooves for your fingers to sit in and knurling to aid grip retention. Make sure the tactical pen you choose fits well in your hand and does not slip when pressure is applied to one end. If the pen feels unnatural in your hand when writing, it will feel even worse when striking.

However you intend to carry the pen, in your pocket, your bag, or attached to your belt, make sure that the attachment options are robust enough to make that possible.

Now we get to the fun part, the special features. Tactical pen makers are always looking at ways to stand out and this is usually achieved by the special features that their pens include. There are loads to choose from that you may find on tactical pens including:

  • DNA catchers (helps to identify attackers to police)
  • Hidden handcuff key
  • Magnesium firestarter
  • Glass breaker
  • Strap cutter
  • Whistle

Find a pen that will be useful for the environment in which you wish to use it. Once you have made the purchase, it is important that you fully understand how to use the pen. If you don’t use it correctly, you might end up hurting yourself and not the attacker.

Using the Pen Effectively

When it comes to using tactical pens for self-defence, there are few techniques you can use to stop the attacker from attacking you and causing damage.

Like anything else, you should start with a plan. Try to look more aggressive than you might feel so that the attacker doesn’t get the impression that you could be an easy target. Attackers usually don’t want to go after somebody that they think will put up a fight. Easier said than done, but if you are armed and they don’t know it, you have that advantage at least.

Secondly, take a quick look at your opponent to target specific areas of his/her body. The most vulnerable targets are their face, especially their eyes and nose, the base of the neck, sternum, throat, armpits, ribs, groin, and knees.

Actually, they have plenty of soft spots. If you realize someone is going to harm you, we suggest seeing them not as a scary attacker but as a dummy that you’re going to put holes in with your pen.

If you have no choice and nothing you are trying works to make them back down, be ready to give them a shot of their own medicine. A jab with the pen between the ribs is going to hurt and they won’t be doing much from there.

Remember, the purpose is never to take them down, just to give you enough time to escape. When you do strike, strike your opponent strong and quickly.


Tactical pens are not toys and they could one day save your life. Before making the leap to purchase one, read up as much as you can and once you have it, learn how to use it effectively.

Usually after a post like this, I would give my own suggestion as to which pen you should go for but as it all comes down to how you plan on using it, only you can make the decision. I will however, happily answer any questions you may have and help you to find the best for you.

Share Your Thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.