Like its Kubotan cousin that was developed in the late 60s, the tactical pen is a self-defense weapon. Unlike the Kubotan though, the tactical pen does double duty as a self defense weapon and a traditional writing instrument, which is why one is perfect for your everyday carry.


Cold Steel Pocket Shark

Made from high impact plastic that’s four times thicker than your standard permanent marker, the Cold Steel Pocket Shark is built for mean blows, heavy impacts and the roughest treatment you can muster. Like other options, it’s great for writing on all kinds of surfaces. Unlike your traditional permanent marker, it has a screw on cap that won’t come off in your pocket. This one is for all of you that would rather write with a permanent felt tip anyway. $6


J5 Tactical Pen

Like plenty of other pens on this list, the J5 Tactical Pen is made with aircraft grade aluminum with a smooth writing surface and a breaker end on the opposite side. It might not be packed with a Fisher Space Pen refill or a breaker tip built out of tungsten, but it’s the perfect entry level tactical pen for those of you not sure about committing to something more expensive. $15


Schrade Tactical Pen

CNC machined 6061 T6 black aluminum housing. Screw off cap with built in pocket clip. Schmidt P900M Parker style ink cartridge. Total length just short of six inches with a weight of 0.06 pounds. Matte black finish. The Schrade lives up to the tactical pen name with its stealthiness, functionality and construction, but it’s also stylish enough to carry every day. $23


Smith & Wesson Black Aluminum Tactical Pen

Smith & Wesson is a name everyone knows, especially when it comes to tactical and defense weapons. The Smith & Wesson Black Aluminum Tactical Pen is part of their Military & Police professional line and is a perfect example of why the brand is so trusted. Along with the solid construction, the flat pull-cap top gives you a great pressure point when you’re looking for additional force on the striking side. $30


Boker Plus Tactical Pen

The Boker Plus pen might be more well known for it’s bolt-action mechanism and built-in clip that doesn’t obstruct the streamlined exterior, but it also happens to be a fantastic pen. For starters, the anodized CNC-milled aluminum bottom with titanium gray finish is durable and the knurled grip makes writing easy. Furthermore, the flat head is a secure thumb rest, and you don’t have to worry about pesky caps while trying to defend yourself. $39


Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen

Gerber is another well known name in the world of quality gear. The Impromptu Tactical Pen lives up to the name and then some. Rugged machine steel body. Stainless pocket clip. Rite in the Rain cartridge that works in all conditions and a simple click button to deploy it. The Made in the USA pen also hides an integrated glass-breaker tip near the pen side that makes it useful in emergencies as well as self defense. $39


StatGear Tactical Pen

The StatGear Tactical Pen has been described in reviews as everything from “luxuriously designed with quality workmanship” to “lifesaving,” but we like it most for its build quality and no-nonsense approach to functionality. Even though it has a carbide tip and a Space Pen refill the design is nothing extraordinary because of the pull off pen cap with clip opposite the breaker end. The StatGear Tactical Pen proves has immense value and proves you can break the mold with a quality product without having to rethink it from the ground up. $40


Hardcore Hardware Australia TWI02 Tactical Pen

The Hardcore Hardware Australia TWI02 Tactical Pen might look like other tactical writing implements on this list, but it performs much differently. 6000 series, non-reflective, anodized aluminum in a black finish insures that this self-defense tool that doubles as a pen remains under the radar, while the recessed crown guarantees thumb control and the 46-48 HRC steel “ball” tip insures the ability to bust glass at a moments notice. $42


CRKT Tao Tactical Pen

Columbia River Knife Tool (aka CRKT) makes some of the best knives on the market, and they’ve poured all that knowledge into the development of the CRKT Tao Tactical Pen. Developed by renowned knife designer and martial artist Allen Elishewitz, the Tao Tactical Pen is a 4.8oz, 5.8″ long 6061 anodized aluminum pen with an impact crown, pointed butt and lifetime warranty. $43


5.11 Tactical Prefense Lance Pen

For those of you not already familiar with 5.11 Tactical, they’ve been making gear that even the FBI Training Academy has trusted for over 25 years. The 5.11 Tactical PreFense Lance is everything we love about the brand as a whole boiled down to one easily carryable piece of EDC gear. The anodized aluminum body, medium point Fisher Space Pen cartridge and spring steel pocket clip make the pen good, but it’s the everyday usable style and textured, knurled body that make it great. $50


ZeroHour APEX Aluminum Tactical Pen

We’d like to think that whoever first wrote “the pen is mightier than the sword” did so using a ZeroHoure APEX Aluminum Tactical Pen because this is the epitome of mighty pens. The aircraft aluminum body tackles any conditions. The tungsten tips smashes any obstacle. The brass Fisher cartridge works in any environment. It even comes with an aluminum stand and an all-weather notebook that will make your friends and coworkers even more jealous. $59


NiteCore Tactical Self Defense Pen

With it’s combination of a precisely machined titanium body, titanium pocket clip, Fisher space pen refill and tapered tungsten breaker tip, the NiteCore Tactical Self Defense Pen is the EDC pen you want to have your fist closed around in a fight or when you need to break a car window. It doesn’t hurt that the drill bit style design exposes the refill, reduces weight and looks cool as hell. $75


PK Design Lab Tactical Pen

The PK Design Lab Tactical Pen is built out of aerospace aluminum that’s CNC machined to it’s final form and designed to use the traditional tactical pen style of poking end on one side and writing end on the other. Where this pen deviates from traditional design is in the almost science fiction styling with weight-reducing holes, knurls  and organic design. $93


Tuff Writer Mini Click Stainless Steel Pen

Tuff Writer’s Mini Click Stainless Steel Pen uses 416 stainless, a cold-pressed spring steel clip, stainless steel bolts and chemical welding to create a metal tactical pen that weighs just over two ounces and measures a little over five inches long. Those features are all great, but anyone buying a Tuff Writer pen is buying it for the Made in the USA pedigree and the absurdly cool finishes… like this Vehement Knives Apocalypse Wash you’ll find on this particular pen. $115


County Comm Copper Embassy Pen

The first tactical or EDC pen we ever had the pleasure of writing with was the County Comm Embassy Pen. That pen is simple, durable, effective and easy to use. The Copper Embassy Pen is the upgraded, solid copper of the same Embassy Pen that’s going strong more than have a decade later. If you want a good-looking pen that has your back in both self defense and the written word, this is the pen for you. $299

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Unzip your coat and have some mulled wine on the house—you’ve arrived at your final gifting destination: The Holiday Gift Guide. It’s like your friendly neighborhood one-stop holiday shop, except instead of balsa wood ornaments, ours is packed with thoughtful gifts for everyone on your list. Future heirlooms, small-but-significant stocking stuffers, and gear for getting out there (or staying in)—are all right here. There’s no music playing in the background though, so you’ll just have to hum Bing Crosby while you click around instead.

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