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The Best Tactical Pens For The Practical Prepper

Avatar for Samantha Biggers Samantha Biggers  |  Updated: April 15, 2021
The Best Tactical Pens For The Practical Prepper

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We live in trying times. Plenty of readers may live alone or travel a lot alone. The choices for personal protection can be limited due to laws, physical limitations, and more.

While many states allow for concealed carry of firearms if someone can pass a background check, take a course, pay a fee, purchase a firearm, ect, this does little good for those that are not comfortable with firearms or lack the financial resources to purchase one, take classes, and more. 

  • Traditional Self Defense Weapons Are Not Allowed At Many Places

Even with a permit you cannot take a firearm everywhere. There are also restrictions on knives when traveling and even where concealed carry of a knife is allowed, there are limits to size.

Pepper sprays and tasers are also very restricted and sometimes they actually backfire on the person wielding them when not used properly. The type of taser that a civilian can buy is different than the ones you might have seen law enforcement carrying. Pepper spray sometimes does little more than make an attacker angry and sprays can easily get in the eyes of the victim with just a small wind.

  • Tactical Pens Are Allowed Where Other Things Are Not

Tactical pens offer a reasonable self defense alternative that you can travel with without hassle in most cases. Many of the pens on this list have more than a few uses. While the prospect of stabbing with a pen is anything but pleasant, it is far better to have something useful for defending yourself and not need it than to be caught defenseless.

  • You Will Want To Keep Better Track Of Your Pen

If you have a tendency to lose pens a lot then you are going to want to make an effort to change this because tactical pens are far more expensive than the 10 pk of Bics you are used to buying

Considerations When Picking Out A Style That Is Ideal For You

  • A Travel Pen Versus A More Functional Model

The extra tools on some pens may cause you trouble when traveling. While a standard tactical pen is a glass breaker and pen tip that can be used for defense, plenty have special features that might get you flagged by airport security and I could even see them confiscating in some cases. Go with a standard model for travel and leave the gadget heavy ones for your bug out bag or work.

  • Size

Pens vary in weight, overall length, and diameter. It’s a good idea to check the dimensions of a pen out before purchase. Some pens are quite bulky so those with smaller hands might want to look to the lighter weight and thinner models for comfort, especially if you intend on using the pen as your regular writing instrument.

  • Budget

Like any tool, cost can vary a lot. I have tried to include pens in a wide range of prices. When researching this article I came across pens that cost as little as $6 but claimed to be a formidable tactical pen. Maybe these are great but in my own experience I have found that buying the cheapest tool in the store is not a wise decision and the most expensive model can be nice to have but not 100% necessary. The choices you have in the $20-$40 range are pretty nice and come from tried and true companies that have been around for decades.

  • Let’s talk specific models

There are a lot of pens out there to choose from but Backdoor Survival has narrowed it down to this list of pens at various price points that offer good value, customer satisfaction, and quality craftsmanship.

UZI-TACPEN2-BK Aircraft Aluminum Defender Tactical Pen with Glassbreaker

This pen is made of aircraft aluminum and takes Standard or Fischer space pen refills. The addition of a glass breaker adds functionality in a survival situation or emergency. This is a stylish looking pen but it certainly doesn’t look like anything most people would more than glance at if they notice it at all in a shirt pocket.

Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen

I had to put a Gerber on here because I am a huge fan of their products and quality. For the price you pay they usually go above and beyond. We still have a hatchet with knife in the handle combo that we bought back in 2006 when we are in Alaska.

We have since then butchered thousands of pounds of meat and it is still going strong. This pen is made of machined steel and features a stainless clip to keep your pen secure. A mere push of the button gives you your ball point tip for smooth writing even in the rain.

The Write in the Rain ink cartridge that is included is something you will want to pick up a few extras of. I wish I had access to Write In The Rain technology when I was filling notebooks out in western Washington as a kid!

The Gerber pen is tried and true for using with some types of glove. If a tactical pen cannot be used with some hand protection then you need to consider how good it would be for you. Not everyone lives in a climate that is mild. Exposed hands in the winter could spell trouble.

Boker Plus 09BO097 Tactical Tablet Pen 6 in., Black

When I was a kid I remember being so proud when I traded someone out of a Boker. My dad is an avid knife collector and I ran home to him and showed him that little bone handled three bladed Boker I was so proud of. I think I traded a cheap hawkbill knife from Pakistan for it.

It was the early 90s when I made that trade for a Boker and I was about 8 years old. At the time I was just glad that I had not traded my Betty Boop folder for it.

Fast forward 26 years and Boker appears to still be delivering on their reputation and quality. I like that this pen takes into consideration the needs of the modern user by having a soft stylus point for using with touch screens as well as a ball point ink tip.

The Friendly Swede Tactical Pen

When if comes to functionality, quality, and price, it is more than a standard challenge to find any brand that can compete with the Friendly Swede. While this pen may not look like much to anyone giving it a glance, it is actually one of the most multi purpose tactical pens on this list.

It is hard to show the brilliance of this without a few extra pictures. The pen screwed apart to show the various tools you get.

For pretty cheap you get a ferro rod fire starter, hex key, whistle, saw, knife, window breaker, capacitive pen, stylus, and bottle opener! There is a lifetime warranty on this tactical knife so you are getting a strong backed guarantee comparable to that of brands that cost many times as much.

VALTCAN Titanium Tactical Pen Aircraft Jet Bullet Design

This is a luxury tactical pen for sure with a titanium body and slick design that might actually make you want to write more or at least whip this out to use as a slick looking stylus. You get the added functionality of a whistle, slotted screwdriver, allen key, bottle opener, pen, and glass breaker.

If you are intending this to be a gift it does come in a nice looking presentation box. There are two refills included with the pen so you don’t have to rush to buy more.

Boker Plus 09BO079 Micarta Tactical Pen

This pen looks more like something a school age kid would have which means it looks more trendy yet anonymous than some of the sleek military like pens on this list. The textured grip helps the pen offer more comfort during extended writing sessions.

While you may have a hard time imagining yourself writing that much by hand, in a SHTF situation or one where you don’t want to communicate via electronic means due to security concerns, you might find yourself putting a lot more pen to paper than you would ever have thought.

Columbia River Knife and Tool TPENWK Williams Tactical Pen

Another tactical pen from a famous outdoor knife brand. Columbia Knives and pens are made to last. There are some knives in our house that my husband has been using for 16 years. I like how the Columbia Tactical Pen is very discreet.

This pen doesn’t look much different than some of the mid priced pens at the drug store but it definitely is nothing like them! The taper ensures a solid grip for when you need it most. The smooth writing makes it usable for daily jotting down of whatever is needed.

A solid machined aluminum body makes it lightweight yet strong. A lot of thought went into this design. In fact the pen is designed by James Williams, a former US Army Officer with more than 4 decades of experience in martial arts.

Schrade SCPEN9BK Tactical Push Button Pen

Schrade is another trusted knife maker that has added tactical pens to their catalog of quality instruments for preppers. This classy looking push button tactical pen just looks like any other quality writing device you might see. The easy push button mechanism makes is a solid choice for those that need to write things down frequently throughout the day.

It is build somewhat large so those with smaller hands may find it a bit awkward to write with. When it comes to tactical pens, a larger one may be easier for some to deploy when trying to defend themselves. Even so, this pen is made of lightweight aluminum so it doesn’t feel like it is dead weight in a front pocket. Standard 38 mm European replacement ink cartridges can be used.

One customer suggested replacing the included ink cartridge with one that is Write-In-The -Rain. If you intend on this being part of a bug out bag or work outside a lot then this advice is definitely worthy of consideration.

Smith & Wesson SWPEN3BK Stylus Tactical Pen

This pen has a screw cap lid that you can screw on the other end to avoid loss. The stylus end can be replaced if you ever wear it out. Machined aircraft aluminum with a black finish gives this pen a classic tactical pen look.

I am a fan of a tactical pen that can be used as a stylus because under typical conditions, there are plenty of people that are going to use a stylus more than a pen. You can use standard Parker pen ink refills.

Smith & Wesson Military & Police SWPENMP2BL 2nd Generation Tactical Pen
Who says a great tactical pen has to be shiny black or base aluminum? I have to give Smith & Wesson credit for making a pen that doesn’t look like something straight out of a soldier’s bag. In civilian society there is a lot to be said for a pen that blends in. This looks like a trendy pen someone would buy just to have a fun writing instrument. It is extremely lightweight at 0.06 lbs. For comparison, the Smith & Wesson SWPEN3BK described previously weights in at double that.

Since this is is just a basic tactical pen with no extra tool components that might arouse suspicion, you could travel with it easily.

Have a child away at college? This pen would take care of any note taking needed while providing some security on the walk home. With the levels of violence being seen today on campuses, it is concerning how little protection students have without breaking any laws themselves.


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Schrade SCPENP Tactical Pen

This tactical pen is pretty which helps it appeal to those that are a little intimidated by the idea of a tactical pen. I know it is pretty obvious that Schrade put this design out to appeal to the ladies that don’t want a black pen that looks like a tactical flashlight.

This machined pink aluminum pen writes smoothly and doesn’t look out of place in a purse or backpack. This lightweight design weighs in at just 0.06 lbs and is designed for smaller hands, making it more comfortable for women to write with or use in an emergency.

Tactical Pens = Extra Safety Measure

A tactical pen is a neat tool with some self defense benefits but it is not by any means an ideal weapon. Those with little upper body strength are not going to get the same results as someone that has a good level of physical fitness or upper body strength.

If you want to practice self defense with a tactical pen then you could get a stick of similar size and practice the motions. It may sound silly to some but honestly who has really had to stab at something in that manner?

Do you have a favorite tactical pen or any tips for others? We would love to hear from you!

Author Bio

Samantha Biggers lives on a mountain in North Carolina with her husband and pack of loyal hounds in a house her husband and she built themselves. When not writing she is working in their vineyard, raising Shetland sheep, or helping her husband with whatever the farm and vineyard can throw at them.

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One Response to “The Best Tactical Pens For The Practical Prepper”

  1. I have just ordered, but not received, a “Tactical Pen by BellFyd”.
    On Amazon it has 4.9 stars with 53 reviews.
    It sounds like this item may be worth a look.

    Michael E.

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