How to Use A Tactical Pen: Definition, Techniques And Facts

How to Use A Tactical Pen

Our lives can sometimes be unpredictable, and you never know when you’ll end up in an accident or a conflict. No matter what situation surprises you, it will be helpful to have a practical object on hand that can serve as a weapon. The tactical pen can do just that.

The tactical pen is what survival specialists call a “multi-tool.” It has a similar size, shape, and appearance to a normal pen (and can be used as one, too). However, this pen is not “normal”; it can also be used as a potent self-defense tool.

These pens can be used for writing, inflicting minor wounds, or breaking glass. They are small, easy to carry, and can be easily concealed in your pocket.

Reasons You Need a Self-Defense Tool

Self-defense tools have always been necessary, and as acts of violence increase, they become even more important. People are seeking weapons, martial arts skills, and other self-defense mechanisms to ward off would-be attackers or protect their belongings.

Martial arts techniques teach many valuable skills beyond self-defense, such as avoiding conflict, and improving self-control, and increasing mental and physical resilience. Combined with a weapon like a tactical pen, martial arts skills provide even more of an advantage.

Gerber Tactical pen

It is actually not common for humans to seek out violence, but even if it happens only once you want to be prepared. You never know what awaits you around the corner– a criminal, a gang member, or someone searching for money or drugs. Self-defense will keep you alive, with all of your possessions.

Read more about self-defense here: techniques and tips on self-defense.

Tactical pen guide infographic

Tactical pens are best used in narrow spaces such as an elevator or a staircase, where you may have nowhere to run. Your only chance will be to fight back- using your tactical pen, keys, etc. Keep your tactical pen in a place where it can be easily retrieved, especially if you know that you may be in danger.

If you are forced to use your tactical pen, aim for the most vulnerable parts of the attacker’s body: wrist, hand, eyes, throat, groin, temple, etc.  See the graphic above for the best uses of your tactical pen.

Self-Defense Overview

The first step in self-defense is self-awareness. Understand that dangerous things CAN happen to you. Others may think you’re acting paranoid by preparing for the worst-case scenarios, but it only takes one attack to change your and your family’s life!

As survivalists, we know that preparation is the most important step.

At some point, we will all experience some disaster, whether it’s theft, robbery, an accident, getting lost, or living through an awful storm. Without an action plan, things can turn bad quite quickly.

Often, people won’t understand your survivalist mindset until they go through one of these events themselves and see how fragile and uncertain life can be at times.

Pen in action

Self-Defense Options

  • Avoid dangerous situations: Run and don’t knowingly put yourself in harm’s way.
  • Use verbal self-defense: Defuse a situation using your voice, tone, and body language. Conflict management courses are a great resource.
  • Use physical self-defense: Use your body, ie., martial arts.
  • Legal Weapons: Pepper spray or umbrellas, hair spray, baseball bats, tactical pens, etc.

Self-defense Techniques Using a Tactical Pen

Use it as a stick or sword – The tactical pen can be used as a striking weapon, similar to a stick or a sword. Strike hard with a tactical pen and have a good grip. This method will cause a great deal of pain and often cause your aggressor to pause. This often gives you enough time to exit the situation or run quickly.

Use the pen like a knife – turn your tactical weapon upside down and prepare to stab your attacker. If you aim for a vulnerable area such as the eyes, you should have enough time to escape.

The videos below provide good tips and insights when using a tactical pen.

Things to Consider When Using a Tactical Pen

Remember that your goal is to remove the threat presented to you, not to cause severe harm or death. It’s essential to know how to use the tactical pen before carrying it with you.

It is understood that tactical pens are purchased to be used as weapons. They are not illegal, but an argument can be made that these pens are purchased to cause harm or injury. Protect yourself from this argument by only using the pen for self-defense.

Although traveling or flying with a tactical pen is easier than traveling with other weapons, there are still scenarios to consider.

  • Nobody notices the pen, and you pass through the boarding gates
  • TSA agents find it and take it away from you
  • You get arrested for trying to bring a weapon on a commercial airplane

Be aware of all of these possibilities and think carefully before traveling with your this weapon.

Some pens are designed solely to be used as weapons and are not particularly helpful as writing implements. Know which features you desire from your tactical pen before purchasing one.

Tactical Pen Types

Smith & Wesson Military and Police Tactical Pen

The Smith & Wesson pen is popular in the tactical pen market. It’s created from T6061 aircraft aluminum and is only 6.1 inches long and 1.4 ounces in weight. The cap clicks open and closed and the Parker and Hauser ink cartridge writes smoothly.

There are tips at both ends of the pen, one for writing and one for fighting. The reviews for this pen are very good, and owners are satisfied with it as a weapon and a writing device.

Schrade SCPENBK Tactical Pen

This tactical pen is made out of CNC machined 6061 aircraft aluminum. The pen is shorter than the Smith & Wesson, with a length of 5.7 inches. However, it’s similarly lightweight at 1.6 ounces. The pen is black, and the cap can be screwed on and off. It comes with a House Parker cartridge.

The pen is comfortable to write with, and the small size is an advantage since it fits in your pocket.

BASTION Titanium Bolt Action Metal Pen for Men & Women

BASTION Titanium Bolt Action Metal Pen
$69.99 $55.99
Shop Here
03/20/2024 02:52 am GMT

This is a good-looking TITANIUM pen that is very popular. This premium, bolt-action pen is made to last. One of the best things about the pen is its appearance. This good-looking pen is easy to carry and does not get a second glance since it actually like a high-quality writing pen.

Reviews on this pen are very good with 91% of the reviews being either four or five stars.

Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen – Black [31-001880]


Tactical pens are not only a good self-defense weapon that can easily be carried on your person, but they are also practical. In some instances they may save your life.

They can be used for self-defense, breaking car windows in an automobile accident, and even for common writing.

This is a tool that every well-prepared survivalist should have in their kit.

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you click on one of these links and make a purchase, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Also, as an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If the information in this post has been helpful, please consider purchasing through one of the links in this article. Thank you.

About the author

Andrew McKay

Andrew McKay is a seasoned hunter and fisherman from Anchorage, Alaska. Andrew thinks that he is the luckiest person in the world, as he lives in the most gorgeous place in United States and does what he loves to do. As a member of Alaska Professional Hunters Association and International Hunter Education Association, he is always looking for the ways to improve his skills and to teach people around him.


  • These are beautifully designed pens but if SHTF, we can always use regular ball point pens as weapon. You will need to exert additional force to inflict considerable damage. Remember that it only takes a small amount of pressure to penetrate skin, definitely more for injury.

    • I would think literally about the phrase, and then reconsider my thoughts after seeing how tactical the pen is, don’t you agree?

  • Thank you for this article, Andrew. But as a mother, I have to ask, can just anyone get a tactical pen? And you mentioned that these pens look like they’re not weapons so have there been incidents where they were used aggressively and not for self-defense? Sorry, just really worried that some students may be bringing this to school.

  • My mother told me of women (back in the day) having long slender hat pins that if pulled out of the hat,
    were not evident in the hand. A good shove in a vulnerable area was a defense at some level.
    (eye, neck, groin, and the base of the nape can actually penetrate the brain stem which is deadly)

    • A good self-defense weapon is one that you can easily draw when need be. The long slender hat pins are tactical, concealable, and certainly easy to draw. If a tactical pen is unavailable the pins can really come in handy.

  • This is a magnificent tool to have especially for people who travel a lot to different cities or even around the world. You have a pen whenever you need it and at the same time, you have a tool which can be used in dire situations to help defend yourself. Since it is a pen, you can always bring it anywhere you go so you can feel a bit of confidence when travelling to new places.

  • What woud you say is the most versatile among these pens? I am looking for a pen to carry around everyday and of course it is a bonus if the pen can provide me added protection. I am looking for a mix of effectiveness, low cost and of course compact.

  • As far as multi-tools are concerned, the most interesting, concealable, and resourceful tool is a tactical pen. However, you need a pen that will not fail to perform, especially if your attacker aims to hurt you.

  • One of the most affordable and versatile tactical pen that you can go for is the Schrade SCPENBK tactical pen. Weighing only 0.06 pounds, this pen will keep you safe when you need it the most.

  • Tactical pens’ purpose might be for the common good like self-defense. However, these pens are sharp objects that might bring harm to the holder and the attacker. Clearly, it is not for people who do not have the capability or the mental capacity of using it. My concern is, does buying a tactical pen require an age limit, psychological background, and other requirement?

  • A tactical pen should be bought and used by a sane person, who has the ability of deploying the device without causing self-inflicted injuries.

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