Tactical Pen Review


The tactical pen is a great non-weapon option for legal carry at work and on travel. I believe three key components comprise a tactical pen. First, it has to be an actual writing instrument. Second, it must be designed to look like a pen and be carried or worn as a pen. Third, it must be designed to fit the hand, be of sturdy construction and stand up to hard use as a defensive weapon.

The four tactical pens I reviewed are made by: United Cutlery, Schrade, Smith/Wesson and Uzi. Each of these pens more or less meet the three component requirements to be a legitimate tactical pen. Each is a decent writing instrument. Each is designed to look like a pen with one caveat, the Uzi pen. The glass breaker and cross grain grips on the Uzi Defender (as cool as they are) makes it look more like a defensive weapon or a tool than a pen. Each is sturdy, fits the hand and would definitely hold up during a combative situation. So my review and choice is based largely on how you would carry a tac-pen and not on its weapon capability.

From left to Right: United Cutlery (gray with swirls), Schrade (black), Smith/Wesson (green), Uzi (black), a normal Monte Blanc pen for contrast, Smith/Wesson (black) with the cap off.

For personal carry and every day use at work, the United Cutlery tac-pen gets my vote. It’s stylish, and has a smaller profile than the others. The smaller clip wont ruin your shirt pocket or get hung up in your suit. The “twist to write” feature makes it the easiest one to write with if you are constantly going from meeting to meeting and take notes all day as I do. You have to unscrew or pull the cap off of the other tac-pens to use as a writing instrument. This gets a bit tedious if you write a lot, plus you have an extra piece to keep track of when the cap is off. The other tac-pens have rougher/tighter clips that hold really well, but will add wear and tear to nice clothing, such as a suit, collar shirt or skirt. For these reasons I pick the United Cutlery to carry every day at work.

For carry in your go bag or computer bag or purse, the Schrade and Smith and Wesson tested out about the same. I think the Schrade works best, because the cap unscrews so there is confidence it wont come off if the bag gets bounced around and less susceptible to leaks. For use in a vehicle, I like the Uzi with the glass breaker function. These three tac-pens have much sturdier clips than the United Cutlery tac-pen. I do not recommend the United Cutlery one to be clipped in a bag or purse as it may come loose. If the intent is to throw it into your bag (not using the clip) then it is as good a choice as the others.

All four pens worked extremely well in the dojo during simulated defensive situations. All hold up to hard use and would be good choices as defensive weapons. The tactical pen is one of the non-weapons covered in our ShinkenTaijutsu defensive program. For more information about the tactical pen, combatives and martial arts check out our website at: www.takaseigi.com. Also check us out our takaseigi facebook page and comment on this article. I encourage and look forward to your comments and questions.

Read Part 2 Here

Phillip Legare

Shihan Bujinkan
Budo and Shinken Taijutsu

BTSD Hombu, Maryland

“In Omnia – All In”


Phil Legare

Dai-Shihan Legare is the recipient of 4 Bujinkan Gold Dragon Awards and the Bufu Ikkan lifetime award presented by Hatsumi Soke for martial arts excellence. He is the only recipient of the BuyuSho award from Hatsumi Soke recognizing his benevolent warrior spirit. Additionally, he is a combat veteran having spent more than 44 years of combined service in the USMC and the Department of Defense. Joanne Legare, Phil’s wife and a Dai-Shihan in the Bujinkan who often co-teaches at his seminars, is also the recipient of a Gold Dragon Award. Phil and Joanne lived in Japan off and on for many years. Phil is recently retired and they now reside in Hawaii.