We all know the pen is mightier than the sword. And when it comes to tactical pens, the saying could well be taken literally. Tactical pens – most of which double as EDCs (every day carry) – are lethal weapons that are strong enough to shatter glass. Many are used by police forces, security personnel and people who care a great deal about their personal safety.
The market is flooded with EDC pens. Finding the best tactical pen can take a great deal of time and research – or you can just go through an EDC pen review below if a pen catches your eye. We’ve created a list of exceptional tactical pens; pens that have been tried and tested (extensively) by hundreds of previous users. Also, we discuss the best EDC pen makers – you can’t go wrong buying from them - and we’ve included a brief buyer’s guide that should help you make a smart purchase:
The 5 Best EDC Tactical Pens That Will Help Keep You Safe
1) Inazuma Tactical Pen with Glass Breaker
The Inazuma Tactical Pen makes it to the top of our best tactical pen list thanks to its above-average build quality, spectacular usability, and affordable price. This pen is available in jet black and looks very sleek. You get a 30-day money-back guarantee with purchase, so you can always return it if you don’t like it.
Inazuma Tactical pens are made from aircraft grade aluminum. This pen – at 42.2g – is heavy (which is a good thing) and is 161mm long and 13.6mm wide. The tip of the pen is tungsten steel embedded in stainless steel, and the build quality is superb. It won’t break easily if you drop it or even if you use it to break glass. You could conceivably use it for several years. The clip, which you use to attach it to your pocket, is also made from stainless steel.
The standout feature of the Inazuma tactical pen is the 4-in-1 multi tool that’s a part of its body. This multi tool is a bottle opener, hex wrench, screwdriver and scraper all in one. The pen also has a flashlight at the top – and it’s a pretty powerful 60LM Nhia LED Tactical Flashlight at that. Every purchase comes with three ink cartridges and two batteries as a bonus.
2) Sminiker Professional Defender Tactical Pen
The Sminiker Professional Defender Tactical Pen snags the second place on our best tactical pen rankings. This pen has the distinction of being Amazon’s Choice and has been purchased by thousands of satisfied customers. Sminiker Tactical pens are reasonably priced, though it doesn’t come with a warranty or guarantee, which is why it ranks a little lower than the Inazuma.
The Sminiker Professional Defender Tactical Pen looks very elegant. It comes in nice packaging, which could make it a good gift for your loved one. The pen is made from aircraft aluminum with excellent build quality, and it feels – at 4 ounces – very sturdy. It has a crown head design and has a good grip.
The best feature of the Sminiker Professional is – believe it or not – how smooth it writes. Many tactical pens compromise on writing ability/quality for sturdiness, but not this pen. The refill that comes with the pen will last a long time. You can also replace it with a standard refill of your choice afterward. This pen is good for regular use and can also be used in emergencies in a pinch, making it arguably the best EDC pen on the market.
3) Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen
Gerber is a well-known American brand that makes gritty everyday gear for men and women, including knives and tools. The Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen is one of their most popular products. It’s a little on the expensive side, but the investment might be worth it; this pen was made to last. It’s also one of the best-looking pens around.
The Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen is available in a standard black, a more expensive grey, and a premium earth (close to light gold). This pen features a strong machined steel body that can take a beating. It has a push-button design that works well. It's dimensions are 0.5 x 5.5 x 9.5 and weighs 2.2 ounces.
The pen is fitted with a ‘Rite in the Rain’ ink cartridge. This cartridge is waterproof and will work in all conditions, including heavy rain. If you are the adventurous type and love the great outdoors, this pen should fit right in with the rest of your gear. It doubles as a great self-defense tool too. Thanks to its superior build quality and the Gerber tag, this pen features high in our EDC pen review.
4) SWAT Tactical Pen by Atomic Bear
SWAT Tactical Pens by Atomic Bear are, according to many customers, the best tactical pens they’ve ever used. The pen is aircraft aluminum and is available in jet black. It comes with a nice carry pouch, which you could attach to your belt. They also throw in a 2nd ink refill for free. This pen is designed for use with a reverse grip during emergencies.
The SWAT Tactical Pen, unlike some low-quality pens, has a super-strong tungsten carbide tip, the kind that’s used to make armor-piercing rounds. Anything short of bulletproof glass will break easily if impacted with it. These pens write well, too, and is compatible with refills from Parker, Rite in the Rain, Fisher Space, among others.
The unique feature of this pen is that it comes with a nice lifetime warranty. If anything were to go wrong with this pen, you could get it repaired for free. If you’re looking for a durable pen that you could use for many long years, then this could well be it. As a bonus, the company also offers 2 hours of free self-defense videos; you can see them online.
5) Tactical Survival Pen by ANIKUV
Tactical Survival Pens by ANIKUV are last on the best tactical pen list. The only reason we didn’t place it higher is because it doesn’t come with a money back guarantee or warranty of any kind. That doesn’t make it a bad pen, though. It’s well-made, reasonably priced and comes with a custom gift box which could make it a nice Christmas or birthday gift.
The Tactical Survival Pen is all black, with a silver tungsten steel attack head. They’ve used military grade aluminum for its construction, making it a good self-defense accessory. It gives you a good grip and, at 1.49 ounces, it’s not too heavy, making it a good writing accessory.
The pen’s body features a 3-in-1 multi-tool with a bottle opener, wrench, and scraper. There’s a 60 Lumens flashlight on the tip, which could come in handy in some cases. Every pen is shipped with an extra refill and two additional batteries, so you’ll be using it for a while.
The Next Best 5 Tactical Pens
Tactical Pen Self Defense Weapons EDC Survival Tool by Black Fly Creations
Tactical Pen Self Defense Weapon by TakeFlight
Off-Grid Tactical Pen by Off-Grid Tactical
KevenAnna LED Flashlight Tactical Glass Breaker Survival Aircraft Aluminum Self Defense Pen
Survival Tactical Pen Multifunctional Pen Emergency Hammer with Whistle by ELENKER
Types of Tactical Pens
Most tactical pens double as EDC items. If you’re looking to buy a new one, here is how they can be broadly classified:
The line between machined pens and tactical pens is blurry. However, machined pens usually have a minimalistic design. These pens are made from steel, aluminum and other metals. They are tough, utilitarian, and don’t have too many bells and whistles.
Tactical pens could be a mainstay in survival gears. They often come with multi tools, flashlights, and feature multiple working parts in a single body. These pens tend to have more parts and are good for people who want more out of EDC pens.
Noteworthy Tactical Pen Brands
The best tactical pen list we have up above is by no means definitive. Some brands have been making amazing tactical pens for many years. They also tend to refine the design every once in a while. Here are some noteworthy brands that are worth a look-see:
Smith & Wesson
When you think of Smith & Wesson, the first thing that probably pops up in your mind is a handgun. The gun maker also crafts other self-defense accessories, though, including tactical pens. Smith & Wesson has been around since the 1840s and is very reputable brand. Their products are of superior quality and well-loved all over the world.
The Smith & Wesson SWPEN3BK Stylus Tactical pen is an excellent product. Not only is it good for self defense, but the (replaceable) stylus tip makes it great for use with touch screen devices. You can also use it for regular writing.
Machine Era Co.
Machine Era Co. is a small company based in Richmond, Virginia. They create solid everyday carry products like wallets, desk organizers and pens. Their products are well liked and all feature a high level of craftsmanship.
Machine Era Pens – Solid Brass – are very popular on Amazon.com. Going by a past EDC pen review, the pen has a great balance between dimensions, barrel diameter, and style. It’s good to write with and a treat to look at. The company also makes pens from stainless steel and diamond like carbon (DMC).
It’s hard to get a pen to write in space, thanks to the zero gravity there. Paul Fisher came up with an invention that works as well in space as it does on earth: a space pen. The Fisher Space pen is now commercially produced and is very popular all over the world.
While it’s not a tactical pen, the Fisher Space Pen Men’s Cap-O-Matic Space pen is still a great EDC item. You can write with it in all kinds of environment, even in places with sub-zero temperatures. The pen is affordably priced, writes well and looks good. It’s made from sturdy brass and steel.
What to Look for When Buying Tactical Pens
Never bought tactical pens before or just need some useful tips? Here are some important factors to take into account when purchasing a new EDC tactical pen:
Some tactical pens, especially the cheaper ones, are built with plastic as well as steel. They don’t last very long, if so. Always look for strong aluminum, carbide or stainless steel builds. Also, check the clip’s quality, so that it doesn’t fall off after a few months of use.
It’s always a good idea to buy a tactical pen that you can return in 30 days, if you happen not to like it. Also, if a company offers a significant warranty, chances are their product is well-made.
Some tactical pen manufacturers compromise ease of writing for toughness. Others make pens that are too heavy to hold and use for long periods of time. If you’re going to be writing a lot – and not just signing things or filling in an occasional form – get a lightweight pen. Look for pens that can be fitted with parker or Rite in the Rain refills, so the ink doesn’t blot.
Customer reviews are perhaps the best indicator of a product’s quality. Read through testimonials and reviews on Amazon and see if people are happy after purchase. A product with high ratings is likely to be a good buy.
Some people hesitate while buying a tactical EDC pen because they catch a lot of domestic and international flights and they’re afraid the pen might get confiscated during security checks. A large number of tactical pen owners face no trouble during checks, though, even on international flights – so don’t let it bother you. Tactical pens are great for everyday use and self-defense when you’re on the move.