Tactical Pen – The Basics

Last Updated: July 12, 2022
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Tactical pens are underrated.

A tactical pen, much like a tactical knife or an EDC Pen, is an often overlooked piece of everyday carry gear that could very well save your life one day, or at the very least provide you with the means to jot down your ideas or notes.

Tactical pens typically feature a heavy duty machined metal construction, are outfitted with pressurized ink cartridges, and fit easily in your pocket, shirt, or on your belt with your other tactical gear.

While fending off an attacker with a tactical pen is neither preferred nor realistic in most situations, should you drop your firearm or run out of bullets, they can and will pull double duty as a self defense weapon in a pinch if you’re both trained in doing so and carrying it on your person when the time comes to need it.

After all, nothing stops an intruder dead in his tracks quite like being impaled by a chunk of titanium, steel, or aluminum.

Tactical Pen

What Is A Tactical Pen?

The tactical pen is simply a pen that can be used also as a survival tool and for self-defense.

The tactical pen can be used as a survival tool in outdoor excursions or outright jungle survival. It is a simple small item but when used properly, can also be dangerous.

Most people’s reflex in a dangerous situation is fight, flight or freeze.

Fight is to face the danger and try to overcome it while flight is to evade danger by extracting yourself away from the situation.

Keep in mind that there are times that both are applicable and there are times where you can just wish for a miracle. As humans, having some sort of weapon can be a blessing in these kind of situations.

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Why The Tactical Pen?

  1. It is not illegal (in most cases)
  2. It is usually inconspicuous and can pass airport checks and body frisking.
  3. It is multi functional, hey, it’s a pen plus a self defense pen, plus plus.
  4. Relatively affordable. Costs a lot less than an armor and weighs less too.
  5. Easy to carry and a bad-ass accessory for land travels
  6. Historically effective.

Why Carry A Tactical Pen?

Being fully armed and ready to defend yourself at all times is no easy task.

In fact, in our modern world, most people are disarmed more than armed. Often because social and political regulations forbid conventional weapons from being openly carried.

The harsh reality is you can’t legally carry guns everywhere, nor swords, clubs, bows, blowguns, or knives.

But there are solutions around these restrictions. Protecting yourself with a self-defense tool does not mean you have to be armed to the teeth.

Even if you’re already a highly trained martial artist, whose hands and feet are weapons unto themselves, having a self defense pen is always a welcomed advantage.

And that’s why you should carry a self defense tactical pen.

Most Common (And Uncommon) Tactical Pen Uses

Surprisingly, the tactical pen makes a pretty good self-defense weapon.

The idea is that the pen is held in your dominant hand, grip the pen’s body for stability and in preparation to strike the attacker. It is important to note that the tip of the pen points downwards.

Basically and practically, tactical pen uses are:

Tactical Pen Use #1

To Intimidate Any Potential Assaillant

This is actually a pretty good idea: do not engage unless you really need to.

I have heard that if the prospective target is prepared to give the assailant a hard time, chances are, they will not pursue and would look for an easier target.

There are survival pens that are made to look somehow intimidating, metal finishes can create a dangerous glint when it catches light.

A note to remember on tactical pen use, bluffing can work both ways, so calculate when to push through with the bluff or go the other way.

Tactical Pen Use #2

To Create Leverage For Yourself

Wielding the tactical pen in a cross pattern in front of you even before the assailant is within striking distance increases the chances of escape and makes you seem dangerous.

This is somehow a bluff but a more proactive form.

By creating a personal space with the action of speedily striking the pen in a criss-cross pattern in front of your body, this action creates the illusion that you know what you are doing by assimilating the protective area around your body.

This is also the perfect diversion to prepare yourself and your weapon of choice, in this case, the pen, for possible contact with the attacker, you have bought yourself some time to assess the situation and plant your next move.

Tactical Pen Use #3

To Strike Your Opponent

This is not a knife or a sword, but it is a self defense pen; you need to know which parts of the body to hit with minimum effort with a maximum effect.

With this in note, let us see how a tactical pen can actually assume the purpose of a knife or a sword. A tactical pen can wound, specially those that is designed to graze just above the skin enough to cut and collect DNA.

This tactic is also illustrated lightly in a movie. If you have seen Jason Bourne, one of the fight scenes is between a knife and a regular pen.

The only difference is, in this movie, he is Jason Bourne, who has a regular pen but with the strength and adrenaline to fight, while I just might have the tactical pen to fight for me.

Tactical Pen Use #4

To Incapicitate Your Assaillant

The purpose of this is to initiate a stabbing pain against the assailant.

The best way to use this is to know what is a tactical pen’s intended use for stabbing and then utilize for the best parts of the body that are most vulnerable and just go to town stabbing in fast and in succession.

By doing so, you may incapacitate your attacker, released some energy to be conscious and the ultimate goal, defended yourself. Below is an illustration of the suggested best pressure points to strike.

Tactical Pen Use #5

To Break a Glass

There are survival pens that are made with carbide steel tip.

This function can come in very handy when a route to safety or escape has a glass. If the tip can stab, it can also break glass. Proper precaution when trying to break glass should be kept in mind.

I would not say observe safety precautions because let’s face it, for all the scenarios in this piece, nothing is a walk in the park.

Tactical Pen Use #6

To Write

What is a tactical pen without a writing function?

Of course, these are pens, they are intended for writing. Blue and Black ink.

Some may be good choice for writing but some have shortchanged this feature.

How To Use A Tactical Pen?

The techniques are pretty simple and can be learned by anybody – but the key is practice.

Here are some general ways in which you can use a self defense pen:

Tactical Pen Technique #1


Pretty self-explanatory but the tactical pen can be used as a makeshift tactical knife or sword. It can be swung in a striking motion, down being the strongest move.

Although there’s no blade, the tactical pen will still do real damage when you connect with a head.

Especially with a solid over the shoulder swing.

Tactical Pen Technique #2

Pressure Point Striking

This is a method that requires some background knowledge and practice. Pressure points can be debilitating when pinched or pressed.

If done right, it doesn’t take much force.

Knowing how to use your tactical pen to target these natural human weak spots give you an incredible advantage against less knowledgeable attackers.

The tactical pen is a close quarters weapon; you can’t do much damage at more than arm’s length distance.

However, close range is how you get access to a threats pressure points. If the opportunity is there, knowing the pressure points could save your life.

Check out this video on a few self-defense pressure points.

Tactical Pen Technique #3


This motion is obvious, but the best target locations might not be.

Aim for the eyes and if you connect the fight will come to an abrupt end.

Another vulnerable location is the Adam’s apple. It’s really hard to keep fighting if you can’t see and/or breathe.

Here’s another short video showing a few self defense pen techniques to give you an idea of how powerful this weapon can be.

Where To Stab For Maximum Damage?

Tactical Pen




Best Tactical Pen 

Everyone want’s to know which is best. Once someone decides carrying a self defense pen makes sense, they want the best.

The key features to look for in the best tactical pen are:

  • Made Of Solid Alloy Construction
  • Well Designed Grip
  • The Pen Functions As A Pen
  • Discrete

If the tactical pens feature has each of these qualities then it’s one of the best. You want it made from solid alloy to ensure it won’t break even under intense pressures.

The grip must be designed to prevent the pen from slipping in your hands when using it for self-defense.

The pen needs to be discrete and be an actual functioning pen. You also want the pen to have replaceable ink cartridges for long-term usage.

It’s also a nice bonus feature if it includes a carbide tip glass breaker.

After these hurdles have been met, the best self defense pen is one that is affordable and one you will carry every day.

That’s why I recommend the Tactical StrikePen.

At the time of publishing this article, you could still get this badass tactical weapon for Free (+ shipping).

Plus, this tactical pen has a built-in flashlight, a small knife blade, a hex driver/wrench and bottle opener.

For the money, I think it’s one of the best tactical pens out there.

Self Defense Pen Action Plan

If you don’t have one; get one.

And if you do, get a second one. Because nothing is worse than being caught off guard.

A self defense pen is the sort of tool that you don’t really need until you really freaking need it. Sort of like a life vest.

And when the need arises, you’ll be grateful you put a tactical pen in your pocket, vehicle, and bug out bag.


Many law enforcement units use tactical pens in their day to day duty to protect them. Sure, they have more than that and so should you.

Having a tactical pen is a great tool for emergencies when you do not have any other type of equipment to defend yourself with. Self-defense is basically sticking up for yourself and that is what you have to do sometimes.

So, use these tips on how to use a tactical pen for self-defense and apply them to your life today.

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