A tactical pen can be one of your best options as a weapon when you are in areas that forbid weapons. Serving as an actual pen as well, this tool is also mightily handy for unfortunate events such as car crashes where you may need to break glass, etc.
However, for most, having a tactical pen is a great way to be prepared for the worst. So, what are the best tactical pens for the money?
We have used our expertise in the field to analyze the tactical pens available on the market. In doing so, we have created a comprehensive list comparing the top features of various models; features such as anti-slip gripping, whether or not the ink cartridge is refillable, weight, etc. Read below to find out which tactical pen is best for your needs!
Tactical Pens: My Top Picks
The Atomic Bear Tactical Pen
First up on the best budget tactical pen review list is the Atomic Bear Tactical Pen. This tactical pen model comes with a sleek black finish and a normal pen clip for carrying the pen around. As a bit of an added bonus, this model comes with a tactical pen sheath that hooks onto your belt.
Consumers love the Atomic Bear Tactical Pen. They note that the durability is top class and that the pen’s grip is phenomenal either way you hold it and whether or not the pen or glass-breaker tip is deployed.
The Atomic Bear Tactical Pen is one of the absolute best models on the market. It has simple functionality and a great grip for those tense, chaotic moments you are preparing for.
- Military-grade aluminum is shattered and rust-resistant; durable under all conditions
- A lifetime warranty guarantees longevity
- Comes with a tactical sheath to carry the pen on your belt
Schrade SCPEN4BK 5.9in Aluminum Refillable Screw-Off Tactical Pen
The next best writing tactical pen in review is the Schrade SCPEN4BK 5.9″ Aluminum Refillable Screw-Off Tactical Pen for Outdoor Survival. This pen is unique thus far on the list because this pen unscrews into four parts, making transportation and carrying while not using extremely simple and convenient.
Consumer reviews are quite mixed in response to this tactical pen. Some note that the pen is convenient and durable but others have more negative feedback. Some consider the unscrewable nature of the pen to weaken its effectiveness overall.
The Schrade SCPEN4BK 5.9″ Aluminum Refillable Screw-Off Tactical Pen for Outdoor Survival is a great tactical pen for those who know they are going to need the ability to compact the pen for safe-keeping/transporting.
- CNC Machined 6061 T6 Aluminum is highly durable and built to last
- Un-screwable breaks down into four parts for convenience
- Only refillable via Black Starminen Fine Point D1 Pen Cartridges
Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen
The fourth best tactical defense pen in the review is from the trusty brand of Gerber. The Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen is a straightforward pen-to-tactical pen device.
For this model, converting from pen to glass-breaker is as simple as pressing the ballpoint pen deployment button mechanism. When not in ballpoint pen mode, the glass-breaker tip is always exposed and ready.
Consumers are head over heels for this Gerber tactical pen. Unlike other pens, its use is highly simple, and converting between pen and glass-breaker is a breeze. Others even note its grand ability as a normal pen.
The Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen is one of the most straightforward tactical pens on the market. Unlike its counterparts, this pen easily switches between pen and glass-break mode; convenient for times of panic and danger.
- Rite in the Rain ink cartridges work indoors and outdoors in all weather conditions
- The push-button mechanism for simple ballpoint pen deployment
Boker Tactical Pen Rocket Brass
At the fifth spot is a good tactical pen on the budget, the Boker Tactical Pen Rocket Brass. This tactical pen is the simplest variation of the tactical pen in review thus far. There is no special gripping, which is not great, but the pen itself is uniform and sleek. The bolt action slider for converting between pen and glass-breaker is simple to use as well.
Consumers have zero negative feedback to relay about this pen. It is noted as being built like a bull and ready to take hits. Its sleek nature makes it discrete for a tactical pen as well.
The Boker Tactical Pen Rocket Brass is the best tactical pen for those looking for a discrete form a tactical pen and a way to keep your pen inconspicuous.
- Has a bayonet mechanism with a lateral slide bolt for easy conversion between pen and breaker
- Refillable with multiple brands of refills add versatility to ease of use
Smith & Wesson 6.1in Aircraft Aluminum Refillable Tactical Pull Cap Pen
Next in review on the list is a model from the well-known Smith & Wesson brand. The best tactical pen for actually writing but also defending yourself, the Smith & Wesson 6.1″ Aircraft Aluminum Refillable Tactical Pull Cap Pen is a sturdy, well-built pen.
The function of the pen is straightforward in that it is a pen and glass-breaker. As with other true tactical models, this pen has anti-slip, diamond grips.
Consumers are generally happy with this tactical pen. The pen is noted as being of high-quality material and easy to conceal and carry around. The only poor feedback is about the pen cap actually staying on.
The Smith & Wesson 6.1″ Aircraft Aluminum Refillable Tactical Pull Cap Pen is a great tactical pen for those looking to use the tactical pen exactly how it is meant to. Additionally, it never hurts to get your defense gear from a brand like Smith & Wesson.
- Aircraft aluminum construction makes the pen highly durable yet lightweight; able to be carried daily
- A length of six inches makes gripping the pen easier, allowing for more impactful strikes
Uzi Tactical Pen
The next ballpoint tactical pen in review is the Camp Co UZI Tactical Pen. This model from Camp Co unscrews into three parts for easy carrying and ink refilling.
As with many of the legitimate models on the market, this tactical pen employs anti-slip, diamond-cut grips for ensured stable handling. Additionally, the glass-breaker is on the head of the pen rather than needing to rotate the pen end or unscrew and flip parts.
Consumers are mixed in their reviews of this tactical pen from Camp Co. Some note that they received an entirely different tactical pen than the one here listed. Others find that it is a sturdy pen and great for self-defense. Another complaint is the inability to cover the pen cap and conceal the glass breaker.
The Camp Co UZI Tactical Pen is the most simple tactical pen on the list in terms of function. This may actually do damage to this model’s aesthetic, however, making the pen less concealable.
- The glass-breaker tip is constructed from highly durable carbide, providing plenty of braking power
- Refillable with both Standard and Fisher Space Pen refills for added versatility
Factors to Consider
Mode of Conversion
The first factor to consider when buying a tactical pen is the mode of conversion from pen to glass-breaker (and to other tools for the multi-functional models).
For a military tactical pen, it would be ideal to have no conversion between the tools as you need to be prepared at all times to defend.
However, for those looking for added security in our normal home and work environments, a tactical pen model with a concealed, or concealable, glass-breaker tip is ideal.
There is no standard as to what you should buy though; if you want to be able to conceal the glass breaker, opt for one of the retractable tip versions.
Whether or not the pen is multi-functional is another factor to consider when buying a tactical pen. Some folks prefer to buy a tactical pen for reasons alone of self-defense and writing.
However, for some, if you are going to buy a pen that serves as a tool, you may as well buy the one with the most tools built in, right? Whether or not you can turn this deadly writing utensil into a flashlight at a moment’s notice is up to the person buying the pen.
Style of Grip
Another factor to consider, and one of the more important ones at that, is the style of grip employed by the pen. Many of the pens on the list employ the anti-slip, diamond grip constantly referred to here in the reviews.
However, a few models have a simple grip design, with different levels of protruding material creating rings and crevices by which you can grip the pen. However, the pens with anti-slip, diamond grips are the most reliable for stable handling and striking.
Style of Design
The style of design is the final factor to consider when buying a tactical pen. Tactical pens are intended to be used for writing and self-defense and thus should be comfortable to hold and handle.
The design style of the pen should be one that jives with you. As can be seen from the reviews, some of the pens look more like writing utensils than weapons, while others look like weapons and not writing utensils.
The type of design that you choose to go with will depend on your desired level of concealment and expectations for self-defense.
What does refillable via (brand name) mean?
Refillable via a specific brand name cartridge simply means that the pen can take refillable cartridges from those brands or one brand.
This has to do entirely with the pen’s design and whether or not certain ink cartridges will fit into its form.
While this is not too big of a deal-breaker between models, you do want to be sure your pen is refillable via multiple-brand cartridges. Having a pen that is compatible with multiple brand cartridges will add versatility to your ability to fill your pen in a more timely fashion.
What does anti-slip, diamond grip mean and why is it good?
Anti-slip, the diamond grip is a gripping created by the crisscrossing hatch lines in the material.
As we can see from the many examples in the list, these criss-cross hatchings create what looks like a series of diamonds stacked on one another.
Each criss-cross hatch creates another point of friction for your hand on the pen.
When these anti-slip, diamond grips cover larger swaths of the material, there is a higher probability of your strongly gripping the pen (thanks to loaded-up pockets of friction). Models without these anti-slip grips will indubitably be harder to grip and strike with.
What is an EDC tactical pen?
EDC quite literally means “everyday carry.” So an EDC tactical pen would be a tactical pen intended to easily accompany you daily via your EDC bag, whether that be a backpack, purse, drawstring, etc.
Most of the models mentioned in the review here are plenty capable of being carried in your EDC. Most, if not all, have pen clips allowing you to clip the pen to any lips or bits of fabric in your EDC or on your person.
In conclusion, the top best tactical pens are those listed here in the review. Although, we suggest the best model, as a whole package, to be the Atomic Bear Tactical Pen.
The Atomic Bear Tactical Pen comes with all of the basic requirements of a tactical pen, the ease of writing, a strong glass-breaker tip, anti-slip, diamond grip, and raving consumer reviews.
However, the Atomic Bear Tactical Pen may not appeal to you for whatever reason. There are plenty of other viable options in the market, such as the other nine in review here.
Now that you are equipped with insider knowledge, you are more than prepared to venture out into the market and find the right tactical pen for your needs and comfort!