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The Best Tactical Pens of 2022

Gerber Impromptu tactical edc pen

They say the pen is mightier than the sword – I don’t think they had tactical pens in mind when those words were first uttered. A pen is great for jotting down notes and signing your name to mortgages; but did you know you can use them for self-defense? Easily concealed …they look just like any other pen and has numerous tactical advantages. If your work area doesn’t allow weapons, you may want to look into the best tactical pens or metal pens and buy one to clip to your shirt or stash in your pocket.

Can you write with a tactical pen? Absolutely! Not only do they write, but they write well. These tactical pens feature a “Rite in the Rain” ballpoint cartridge that can keep you writing in all conditions, including rain. Looks like a regular pen, which is exactly what you want. You may not necessarily want everyone to know you are carrying a tactical pen. Conceal it in plain sight. Used by law-enforcement, military, doctors and lawyers – you can always find room for tactical pens in your everyday carry.

Here’s an article we wrote for metal bolt-action pens

Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen

Made from machined steel, this rugged pen can easily clip to your shirt pocket for easy access. You never know when you will face danger and you can’t always carry a weapon …or can you? Disguised as a regular, every day writing utensil, there is more than meets the eye with this tactical pen. Not only can you shatter glass with the tempered window-breaking design, you can also defend yourself to the utmost with a quick flick of the wrist.

Gerber is known the world over for their knives and have made quality products for years. You can rest assured knowing they put their best work into their line of tactical pens.

Why we recommend this product:

I own a decent amount of Gerber products and decided to add their tactical pen to my collection. I was mainly interested in the tactical capabilities of this pen but was shocked to see how nice it writes. I carry my pens in my shirt pocket if I’m dressed business casual or on my v-neck t-shirt and the clip worked perfectly. I also liked the push-button deployment which was easy to use. 

What we didn’t like: 

The sharp point has a tendency to snag on your pockets, especially if you carry it in your pant pocket. I also noticed on a few of these that the clip works itself loose after continued use. While not the end of the world, I prefer tighter clips. 



  • Clips to shirt pocket

  • Can shatter glass

  • Machined steel body

  • Push button deployment

  • Some pocket clips are loose

  • Sharp point can snag

CRKT Williams Tactical Pen for Self Defense, EDC and Survival

Great for writing as well as self-defense, the CRKT tactical pen is a worthy purchase. If you are looking for a cheap tactical pen that will get the job done, look no further. CRKT (Columbia River Knife & Tool) is known for their survival knives and tomahawks. They make high quality products that won’t break the bank. Their tactical pen is no exception. It does what it was designed to do and more. Many people in all types of careers carry these on a daily basis. Put it with your everyday carry and go! These make great gifts for law enforcement, the military, and those who already carry multiple weapons on a daily basis and could use a good writing utensil.

Why we recommend this product:

I’m a big fan of CRKT products and this pen immediately caught my eye. It’s a great EDC pen that will last forever thanks to the craftsmanship and materials used in its construction. I grabbed one of these recently because I wanted to be able to carry another self-defense tool that I could also use in my daily grind. 



  • Scratch-resistant finish

  • Discreet self-defense tool

  • Fisher Space Pen ink cartridge

  • Blunted point

  • None

Smith & Wesson 6.1in Aircraft Aluminum Tactical Pen

Made from durable aircraft aluminum, this tactical pen is easy to grab with a pocket clip and pull-off top. Rest easy knowing this tool will do exactly as it was intended when you need it. The sleek design allows it to easily blend in while you’re doing your job. Be prepared – all eyes will be on your pen while you write, so don’t lay it down or pen stealers in your office will snatch it.

Refillable with Schmidt Parker Style black cartridges and made to last a lifetime.

Why we recommend this product: 

Smith & Wesson has been around forever and I had to have one of their tactical pens. I like the fact that it has a pull-off top cap which is a little different from other pens in this category. It felt great in my hand and was fun to write with. The pocket clip is nice and fits in my shirt pocket where I normally carry my pens.  

What I would change:

The cap interior is plastic while the exterior is metal. In my opinion, plastic and metal don’t go well together and many users have reported that the plastic inside cracks. This obviously makes the cap not stay on securely.  I think upgrading the cap could go a long way. 



  • Extremely durable EDC pen

  • Pull-off top

  • Nice pocket clip

  • Great grip

  • Cap could be better

Schrade Aluminum Refillable Screw-Off Tactical Pen

Schrade has been making trustworthy knives for years and has put their knowledge and skills into making a durable and functional pen that doubles as a self-defense tool. Add this one to your everyday carry and be more protected. If you have concerns about your tactical pen looking too …well, “tactical,” this pen tones it down a bit. The design makes it look more like a regular pen than a weapon. The original cartridges that come with this pen are not Rite in the Rain. However, the Fisher Space Pen refill does fit this particular pen allowing you to write in all types of weather.

Why we recommend this product:

I chose this tactical pen because it blends in nicely and doesn’t draw attention. Also, the fact that it takes Parker Style refills makes it easy to find replacement cartridges when you run out. 

What I didn’t like: 

You have to be careful because the finish will wear off quickly if you carry it in the same pocket as your knife. Personally, I’m ok with my EDC pens looking worn, but some may not like that. Also, the cap seems to twist off in my pocket occasionally. While not a huge deal, it does happen sometimes.  



  • Blends in

  • Strong pocket clip

  • Rugged aluminum design

  • Parker Style refills

  • Great finish

  • Finish rubs off 

  • Cap twists off in pocket

KEPEAK Military Tactical Pen

The cheapest tactical pen on the list by far, this pen can still do what the others can. Break glass, defend yourself and write; it’s suitable for everyday use. Designed with a good grip, you can easily secure this pen to your pants or shirt pocket and you’re ready to go. This pen comes with six ink cartridge refills.

Take this tactical pen to the office, woods or to the corner bar downtown and you will always be ready. 

Why we recommend this product:

I picked up a few of the Kepeak tactical pen sets for under $10 each! They’re extremely cheap AND come with 6 refills. You can’t beat it for the price! I figured if it broke I wouldn’t miss the ten bucks I spent on each of them. I like the sharp point on the end which is perfect for a hidden self-defense tool or for emergencies such as breaking windows. I carry a tac pen or metal pen everywhere I go and love this one for a cheap throw-around pen. 

What I didn’t like: 

These pens break fairly easily if you drop them on a hard floor. However, they cost less than $10 and you get plenty of refills so it’s not an issue for me. I bought a few of these sets and use them daily.  



  • Heavy-duty design

  • Can easily break windows

  • Comes with 6 refills

  • Extremely affordable

  • Sharp tip for self-defense

  • ID attacker with DNA collectors

  • Tends to break if dropped

Who Can Use Tactical Pens

Not just for military and law enforcement – Tactical Pens are carrying by all professions. Nurses, doctors, ambulance drivers, lawyers, salespeople, office workers and anyone else that wants to be able to defend themselves and to carry discretely. Let’s say for example that you can’t take a gun or knife to work. You can hide a tactical pen in plain sight and they won’t appear as a weapon to others.

Tactical pens are considered by most to be a non-lethal weapon. They CAN kill, but are not designed for that objective. You would have to be highly skilled or trained to kill a person with a tactical pen. While a pen won’t substitute for a gun or knife, it can be a worthy option.

How Much Do Tactical Pens Cost

Tactical pens range in price from $10 to upwards of $100. Do you need to buy an expensive tactical pen or will a cheaper one work? For all intensive purposes, a mid-range pen will likely cover all uses you will need it for.

Can You Fly With a Tactical Pen

A tactical pen is not allowed on a plane. It has potential to be used as a weapon and you could get into big trouble if you try to fly with one. We do not give legal advice on this website, so be sure to know the law before attempting to board a plane with a tactical pen.

Related Article: The Best Leather EDC Belt Organizers

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