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

How to Use A Tactical Pen
Andrew McKay
Written by Andrew McKay

Our lives can be very unpredictable sometimes. Anything can happen: a car crash or somebody who is harassing you. It would be a good thing to have something, some object that could be used for other purpose but which can serve as a weapon as well. This is why you have to learn how to use a tactical pen.

The tactical pen is what the survival specialists call a “multi tool”. You can use it as a pen, obviously. Its size, shape and appearance are the ones of a common pen. And you can use this device to write with it in the first place. The difference between this one and other pens is the fact that it has another use. It is a very powerful self-defense tool. The good thing about these weapons is that they are quite small and easy to carry. You can also easily hide them in a pocket.

What makes them self-defense weapons? Some of the tactical pens have sharp points that are hidden in their tip. Others weigh much more than a simple pen due to the fact that they are made out of high grade steel and they ensure a very strong strike.

Multi-functional tactical pens

The best tools of this kind can serve more purposes. This multitool can get you out of trouble. It can be used for writing, stopping someone by causing a minor wound, breaking things and even breaking glass if you use it well.

The tactical pens were created for people who don’t want to use a gun for self-defense and wish to have some useful thing that can potentially become a weapon. They are hard to notice and few see them as a dangerous tool. You may be also carrying a pepper spray, but you should be careful that your attacker doesn’t get his hands on it as it may hurt you instead of him.

Tactical pens have one great quality: they do not appear as weapons to other people. The man who is aggressive to you will hardly notice that you may protect yourself. This is how you get an advantage from the element of surprise.

Reasons you need a self-defense tool

Increased violence in big cities prompted people to seek solutions to defend themselves against aggressors. People of all ages began to attend classes that teach self-defense, martial arts in general. They also began to seek for weapons that could protect them.

The fact that more people are attending martial arts classes is because they are concerned for their safety. Often we hear about cases in which some person was attacked on the street, without having the power to retaliate and without help of any passerby. To avoid such unpleasant incidents and for greater self-confidence, it is possible to go to someone that can teach you self-defense techniques, like muay thai, jujitsu, kickboxing or aikido.

Gerber Tactical pen

Learning those techniques can bring many physical and mental benefits. These include avoiding conflicts and improving the capacity of self-control, increasing the mental and physical resilience, and the self confidence too. Nobody likes violence, but it is better to be prepared to defend yourself at any time.

The streets have become more uncertain everywhere today. You may get out for a walk or go to work, you want to go to the park or the restaurant, but you do not know what awaits you on the corner. Even authorities admit that many people have had problems because of gangs, which are an addition to the lonely criminals from the street. For techniques and tips on self-defense, see our article on the topic.

Authorities tell us that the main concern of punks is to raise money for alcohol or drugs. The criminals attack people, breaking their cars and homes and even putting their safety in danger. On the other hand, the police says that as soon as a gang is annihilated, another takes its place.

Those who come to wander are mostly young persons, some of them have left school, others arrived in unemployment. If we refer only to the people who were attacked on the street, police says they don’t have a very clear statistic, and this happens because most of these attacks are not followed by an official complaint of the victim so the security forces detain the aggressor.

Tactical pen guide infographic

Narrow spaces such as an elevator or staircase are among the most dangerous battlefields, just because the victim has nowhere to run. His / her only chance is to fight back. The most effective punches are the one which point to the offender’s face. Although they are vulnerable to attackers, women need to know that they have a real arsenal in their purse – keys, comb, umbrella, maybe a tactical pen, etc.  These were proven to be very powerful weapons. Even an ordinary plastic bottle helps. Do not forget the high-heel shoes.

Self-defense techniques you can use

The first step in learning effective means of self-defense is deep and full awareness of the fact that we need self defense. The thought “This thing cannot happen to me” is extremely dangerous. Our great problem when it comes to look for preventive measures is the idea that by taking these actions seriously we will appear like paranoid freaks in the eyes of others.

By living so we knowingly expose ourselves to all hazards like natural disasters, thefts and robberies, rapes, accidents, without any safety measure and no concrete, fine-tuned action plan. Most times it is necessary to go through such an event to become aware of how fragile and uncertain life is.

Pen in action

Self-defense can be made in several ways:

Avoiding places and dangerous situations is a good way to keep yourself away from unpleasant events in some cases.

Verbal self-defense is another recognized method of defusing a situation by using voice, tone and body language to calm the aggressor in the event of a conflict and to avoid direct attack. Conflict management can be learned in certain courses.

Physical self-defense is of two types:

  • Without using weapons, only techniques learned in martial arts courses
  • Using specific legal weapons for self-defense such as pepper spray or improvised at the moment, umbrellas, hair spray, baseball bat, tactical pens and others. Here’s our article reviews of the best pepper sprays for self-defense, check it out and read it.

There are two very simple and effective methods of self defense can be used by most people.

  1. Run – is an effective self defense technique in many cases and it can give good results but it has many shortcomings. Here are some pros and cons:
    Pros: Run and cries for help, especially in crowded places, will draw attention to the situation and can cause a response both from people at the scene but especially from the police. If you choose to run you have to avoid deserted side streets and run directly toward crowded areas.
    Cons: If you plan to run to escape the aggressor you must wait for the right time and make sure you have the endurance and the speed needed to really escape. Most people, especially children and the elderly do not have the physical capacity to resist a sprint against aggressors especially if the latter are teenagers or young adults.
  2. Fight back – this is the moment when you may use a weapon to defend yourself. As we said before, one of the best and most useful mini weapons to use could be the tactical pen. Being designed for self-defense purposes, the pen is usually made out of a metal. The most used is aluminum, but you may find tactical pens made from titanium or stainless steel.

You should carry the pen with you for more than one reason. For example, when you need something to write with during the flu season and use a public tool you may get sick because of the germs it potentially carries. Just think about how many hands have touched it.

Tactical pen in action

When we talk about a dangerous situation when you need self-defense, consider it a weapon for close-quarters use. If you know you may find yourself in a dangerous situation, keep the pen in a place where you can retrieve it immediately. You should aim for the most vulnerable parts of the attacker’s body: wrist, hand, eyes, throat, groin, temple, etc.

Self-defense techniques using a tactical pen

Use it like a stick or sword – Just because you don’t have a sword at hand, it doesn’t mean you cannot improvise one. Strike hard with your tactical pen and try to have a good grip. This strike can cause a lot of pain to your aggressor and make him stop. However, after you scared him it is best to run so you don’t get involved in a fight that you don’t desire. This can be a way for you to get out safe of an emergency situation.

Use the pen like a knife – turn it upside down and jab your attacker. These little tools can easily break someone’s eyes if it reaches the right place. This strike should give you enough time to run away and escape from this dangerous situation.

You may find some useful tips by watching these videos above.

Things to consider when using a tactical pen

Remember that you do not want to kill that person, you just want to remove the threat. This is why you should know how to use the tactical pen. It can cause enough pain to end a dangerous situation for you, but it is powerful enough to cause death, too. You should consider this aspect before you are ready to take any weapon with you.

The name of this tool includes the word “tactical” so it is supposed that you bought it knowing it was a weapon. Even though they are not illegal, in case something happens and you get yourself involved in a trial, the lawyers may say that you purchased the pen with the intention of using it. This is not an argument that could be made if you defended yourself with a plastic pen. This is one thing you must pay attention to when deciding to buy a tactical pen.

Another thing to consider is whether you can or cannot carry this tool in an airplane. There are three scenarios here:

  • Nobody sees it and you pass through the boarding gates
  • The controllers find it and take it away from you
  • You get arrested for trying to bring a weapon in a commercial airplane

You may encounter another problem with the self-defense pens regarding their quality. While some are better for writing, others are designed to be great weapons and they are not effective for the other purpose, of being a pen. This is why it is important to decide what features you desire from your tactical pen before buying it so to ensure you find what you need.

Tactical pens types

Smith & Wesson military and police tactical pen

The Smith & Wesson pen is one of the best players on the tactical pens’ market. It is only 6.1 inches long and it is very light weighted, 1.4 ounces. The metal used is T6061 aircraft aluminum. The cap may click open and closed. The Parker and Hauser ink inside the cartridge will help you write smoothly.

Smith & Wesson military and police tactical pen

Don’t take the pointing end as the writing one. You will find a tip at both ends with two roles: one for writing, one for fighting. The reviews for this tool are very good. Owners are completely satisfied from both points of view.

Schrade SCPENBK tactical pen

This type of tactical pen is made out of CNC machined 6061 aircraft aluminum. The pen is shorter than the Smith & Wesson one, with a length of 5.7 inches and it weighs 1.6 ounces. The on and off cap can be screwed. You will buy it with a Houser Parker cartridge. A black color covers the gray aluminum.

Schrade SCPENBK tactical pen

The owners claim that it is comfortable to write with and that the small size is a great advantage as it fits in a pocket.

If you like this product you can find and purchase it on Amazon.

Benchmade 1100 Series Charcoal black pen

The tip of the Benchmade tactical pen is made out of carbide. It is colored in black and blue and has an ergonomic pattern. The black grip, cap and body are manufactured with anodized charcoal. It writes using blue ink. This tactical pen has a tip (the carbide one) that can easily break glass.

Benchmade 1100 Series Charcoal black pen

If you don’t use it, secure it firmly with the cap. All the owners rated this product with five stars for all its features. As it is very good for writing, it may also cause a lot of damage when used as a weapon.

If you like this product you can find and check its price here.

CountyComm Stainless Embassy Elite tactical pen

It is rated as one of the most solid tactical pens. It is made out of stainless steel which can resist any kind of impact. Its design ensures a solid grip and you may keep it attached to your pocket with the metal clip. The cartridge is Fisher Space Pen. The pen is very easy to write with.

CountyComm Stainless Embassy Elite tactical pen

Unlike other tactical pens that mostly look like a writing tool, the CountyComm Stainless Embassy Elite really looks like a powerful weapon.

Cold Steel Sharkie tactical pen

The design is the one of a simple pen, but it is elegant and suitable for a good grip. However, its features make it much more than a common pen: it is made out of glass-reinforced Grivory; its walls are four times thicker than the ones of a common writing tool; the manufacturer made the body and the tip strong enough to resist repeated impacts; the narrow point can inflict a lot of pain in the attacker by causing him deep wounds.

More and more people are willing to buy weapons, lethal or non-lethal for their own protection.

Cold Steel Sharkie tactical pen

First it should be noted that in general a weapon, be it non-lethal, produces a state of stress to the owner and his / her family. This was psychologically demonstrated.

Most women feel stressed knowing that there is a weapon in the house and the risk is even greater in families where there is a small child: you put it away from the kid but how you will reach it in case of an aggression? This is why a tactical pen may be a good choice, because it is not actually seen as a weapon.

If you like this product you can find and buy it here.

The main problem also derives from the psychological side. Most people buy weapons not necessarily to defend themselves but to feel a little more confident in delicate situations. Others acquire them after striking attacks and others for pure defiance. Most of the individuals in the first two categories are those who feel more secure after the purchase of the product: the idea of a weapon somehow manages to strengthen their self-image.

For guidelines on how to choose the best tactical pens, read our article to find out.

About the Author

Andrew McKay

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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