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The Best Tactical Pen for EDC

There are several items that anyone can use for their everyday carry kit, and while utility knives, pocket tools, and tactical flashlights are often discussed, it’s the best tactical pen products that can be a useful addition.  

Tactical pens can be used to shatter glass, to present a line of self-defense, or to write, and since they are pen-sized, you can easily fit one in your pocket. The best tactical pen won’t even appear that much different than a standard pen but will have several additional uses that can make it a lifesaver.  

In this guide, we are going to present you with five of the best self defense pen models on the market today. Each of the products we review will work great as a survival pen, and some can even work as a tactical pen flashlight!

In addition to our review section, please take a look at our buyer’s guide so that you can know what to look for in a great survival pen.

Last update on 2021-01-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Tactical Pen Reviews

Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen – Black

The cool thing about the Gerber Impromptu is the fact that it has a lot of style for a pen of this type. The barrel is all-black and looks like a standard pen, which is the mark for a truly exceptional product. Gerber specializes in survival knives, so it shouldn’t be too surprising that the tip of this pen is relatively sharp and great for puncturing. In addition to its tactical merits, the pen component of this device is also very reliable; you can even use it to write underwater and in various orientations.  

Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen - Black [31-001880]

The pen is constructed of steel, so it can add a bit of oomph to a punch or be used for bludgeoning and striking. Gerber used a material called Cerakote in the production of this pen; it does a great job at protecting the barrel from the environmental rigors of the outdoors. As a result, excess moisture won’t rust or corrode the pen, and it’s also very hard to cause scratches and gouges on its surface.  


  • This pen is made of some tough materials
  • It has a great overall design
  • It’s designed to allow you to write in various survival situations
  • The ballpoint is reasonably sharp
  • It has a tip for glass-breaking


  • The clicking mechanism isn’t as responsive as it could be


Sminiker Professional Defender Tactical Pen

Our second product stands out because of the fact that it comes with six ink refills, so you can expect to have it for years without having to buy replacement ink. Outside of its primary usage, the pen does great in tactical situations; the first thing that you might notice is that the leading tip and the back tip are pointed. This is designed this way so that you can use the forward point to write and puncture and the rear point to break glass and gouge.  

Sminiker Professional Defender Tactical Pen With 6 Ink Refills Aircraft Aluminum Self Defense Pen With Glass Breaker Writing Multifunctional Survival Tool (Black)

The grip is essential with a product like this, and with this in mind Sminiker opted to make this pen extra-grippy so that you won’t lose the pen in a fracas. In the middle of the barrel are several rings that have a ridged threaded and ridged design that makes it easy to handle, even if your hands are sweaty or wet.

In addition to these features, the pocket clip on this product is exceptionally sturdy and reliable.  


  • The glass-breaker tip is very well-designed
  • It’s very hard to lose your grip on this pen
  • It comes with three ink replacements
  • You simply twist the barrel to expose the tip


  • It can be a bit too thick for some people’s hands


The Atomic Bear Tactical Pen

The Atomic Bear has a unique design that makes it a great conversation starter. This is due to the concentric rings that encircle the pen and make it great for gripping it during a survival situation. The design is excellent for those that grip the pen with their thumbs since this is one of the most secure wielding styles available for a product like this.  

The Atomic Bear Tactical Pen - Self Defence Pen and Window Breaker - Used in Police and Military Gear - Ballpoint Pens with Free Pouch and 2nd Ink Refills

This pen is crafted out of military-grade aluminum, so you can expect it to take a punishment, which makes it great for use on the trail. The tip on the pen is also strong enough to engrave wood and shatter glass if need be. In addition to this glass-breaking functionality, the pen also has a cap that can be used to strike as well.  

The company has also included a sheath for this pen that will allow you to wear it on a belt, but if you want to put it in a pocket, the pen clip is sturdy and will attach the pen securely.  


  • The pen will write upside down
  • It’s made of sturdy military-grade aluminum
  • It has one of the easiest-to-grip barrels on the market
  • The cap secures to both ends


  • It can be annoying unscrewing the cap from the tip
  • Its design makes it obvious that it’s made for tactical uses


Smith & Wesson 6.1in Aircraft Aluminum Refillable Tactical Pull Cap Pen

Smith & Wesson is a brand that is a household name in self-defense, and it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that the last two products do an excellent job of living up to the legacy of the brand. Our fourth product, which is the 6.1-inch variant of the company’s tactical pull-cap pen, has a reputation for being dependable in tough situations. One of its standout features is how much like a standard pen it looks; at a glance, someone might not notice that this was any different than a standard Bic model of pen.  

Smith & Wesson SWPENMPBK 6.1in Aircraft Aluminum Refillable Tactical Pull Cap Pen for Outdoor, Survival, Camping and EDC

Despite this high level of tactical subtlety, features like a self-defense end, a robust barrel, and an easy to pull off cap make this a great product to take with you into survival situations. Both the writing tip and the self-defense end are great for gouging, and the pen has more than enough heft to it to definitely give an attacker pause.  


  • This tough pen is made of aircraft-grade aluminum
  • It does a great job of blending in – it looks like a standard pen
  • The cap is designed to pull off easily when you need to deploy the pen
  • The pocket clip is very secure


  • It’s easy to accidentally leave the pen behind when pulling it out by the cap


Smith & Wesson SWPEN3BK 5.4in Aircraft Aluminum Refillable Tactical Screw Cap Stylus Pen

Our final product is like a broader version of the previous Smith & Wesson pen. Like that product, it still looks like a standard pen, but it has some definitive textures around the barrel in order to make it hard to drop in a fight. Like our fourth product, this Smith & Wesson pen is also constructed of aircraft-grade aluminum, so it’ll be virtually indestructible in everyday usage.    

Smith & Wesson SWPEN3BK 5.4in Aircraft Aluminum Refillable Tactical Screw Cap Stylus Pen for Outdoor, Survival, Camping and EDC  

In total, the pen weighs about 1.4 ounces, which is light enough to make swinging it relatively easy and fluid. Despite this, the heavy-duty material makes it hurt when used as a bludgeoning tool against an assailant. When you’re using it as a pen, the SWPEN3BK uses Parker Style Black ballpoint cartridges, which are a premium style of ink cartridge that will allow you to write upside down or even underwater.  


  • The thickness of the barrel grants it some good heft
  • This is a pen with a good level of grip
  • The Parker Style cartridge really produces some excellent writing
  • The screw-off top is very secure


  • The Smith & Wesson logo is too prominently displayed on the clip


What is a Tactical Pen?

A self-defense pen, for all intents and purposes, can efficiently function as a standard writing pen. These products have internal ink wells, ballpoints, and convenient pocket clips to keep them secure.  

In fact, many people will go through life without needing to use a pen of this type in any type of self-defense situation, but when the need arises, they can really make a difference.  

Heavy-duty materials, grippy barrels, and pointed areas make these pens more than useful impromptu weapons, which is why most survivalists will tell you they can be of supreme utility while in the wilds.  

How Tactical Pens can Benefit Your EDC

It’s important to note that a survival pen has many uses. When many people hear the word “tactical,” they automatically think of combat, and while these pens are useful in combat situations, they can also do other things that can help you in a pinch. For example, some pens include glass crackers so that you can get yourself out of a hairy situation.  

Here are a few other benefits that can prove how worthwhile it is to have one of these in your everyday carry:  

For Catching DNA

If you’re being assaulted by someone that has their features obscured, DNA evidence can be critical to helping secure an arrest.

The DNA catcher is usually designed to jab or poke an attacker, and while it is designed to capture some of the assailant’s DNA, it’s also designed to cause enough pain and irritation to dissuade an attacker from continuing the assault.  

As a Bludgeoning Tool

When you strike someone with a pen of this type, they are guaranteed to feel some genuine pain. This is because the pen is designed to be extra weighty so that it will feel more like a club than a ballpoint.

These pens are often made of extra-hard materials like aircraft-grade aluminum and steel, so a strike, especially on a sensitive area, can be debilitating.  

As a Puncturing Tool

You might notice that the writing of your self-defense pen is extra-fine. This is because these can also be used as painful puncturing tools when you’re being attacked.

The points of these products are very sharp, and those tiny stabs can wear an assailant down when you need some room.  

As a Means to Light Your Way

Some pens of this type have onboard utilities like flashlights. These flashlights are great for lighting your path should you be caught out in the wilds at night, and when used tactically, you can even use the very bright light to blind an attacking animal or human so that you have some room to escape.  

They are Discreet

The discreetness of one of these products shouldn’t be undersold; in most situations, the average assailant won’t know that the pen you have in your shirt pocket can be used for self-defense. As a result, it’s an extra feather in your cap when you need it for self-defense.    

Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Self Defense Pen

Unfortunately, not all of these are created equal, which is why you’ll want to exercise some due diligence when you’re on the market for the best tactical pen.   Here are a few things to consider:  

Top-Tier Materials

These items come in a wide variety of materials that range from hardened plastic to high-grade steel. In any situation, you should seek out a pen that won’t give way on the first strike.

Remember, you need to dissuade an attacker from wanting to continue an assault, so more substantial and stronger materials will always win out when you’re in the market for one of these pens.  

Ergonomics and Grip Design

When you’re using the pen for either standard use or in a fight, it’s a good idea for it to be comfortable to use. A good pen of this type will employ a grip pattern that will make it nearly impossible to dislodge during a skirmish, and this same grip pattern will also make it feel reinforced when you’re wielding the pen like a knife against an opponent.

Avoid products with smooth barrels that can make them easy to lose when you’re striking out.  

Extra Features

While you may want a striking and puncturing tool, having some of the aforementioned features can add some versatility to your pen.

Having a light is excellent should you suddenly be caught out in the wilderness, and if you’re in a car crash, being able to use one of these to smash through tempered glass can also be very useful.    

Final Thoughts

What is a tactical pen but a great tool to have on hand that will hopefully provide you with enough room to escape a dangerous situation? Each of these pens will do this and more, and each is backed by companies that understand self defense.  

Out of the products that we have reviewed, there is one that stands out for its extended utility and value in the field, and that’s the Sminiker Professional Defender. This product has excellent grip, has a great writing system, and has two points that have multiple uses.

Overall, it’s just a good pen to pick for those in need.

Sminiker Professional Defender Tactical Pen With 6 Ink Refills Aircraft Aluminum Self Defense Pen With Glass Breaker Writing Multifunctional Survival Tool (Black)
  • Made from aircraft grade aluminum for superior strength & Portability. it’s not only can be used window breaking and escape, but also safeguard against attackers in emergency situations, this is a MUST-HAVE to your personal survival gear.
  • Thread Design at the handle, excellent anti-skid ability and good grip, you can sense smooth, continuous, effortless and even ink transfer.
  • The tactical pen with very hard glass breaker, which can be used for emergency car window breaking when trapped in a car.
  • Tactical pen has a heavy duty pocket clip so that you can attach it to your shirt,pant pockets ,backpack, bags and notebook, etc. Perfect for daily use and traveling.
  • Package included: 1 x Tactical Pen and 6 Tactical Refill. One year satisfaction warranty & friendly customer service.

Last update on 2021-01-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Jared Russo
Hey, my name is Jared, a self-reliant expert and action taker. I hope you've enjoyed this article and found it informative. If you have please feel free to leave a comment below and share it with your friends and family, it would make my day!

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