Tactical pen with glass breaker isolated on white background

Best Tactical Pen for Self-Defense in 2023

Self-defense is a big issue nowadays, especially in places where you might find yourself alone after dark. Because of this, more and more ingenious tools of self-defense are being made… including the tactical pen.

The tactical pen is a mixture of a self-defense tool, a survival tool, and a writing implement; it can be disguised as a normal pen, a glass breaker, or you can reveal the tapered end to wield a powerful (and painful) weapon.

​So what is the best tactical pen for self-defense? My favorite ​tactical pen is the ​Gerber Impromptu. This push-button pen has a hard glass breaker and can be used as a defensive tool. ​It’s a unique, yet powerful, self-defense tool, as well as survival equipment.

Reviews of the Best Tactical Pens for Self-Defense

1. Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen​

Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen

If you want a tactical pen that is easy to use as a writing implement, as well as a self-defense weapon, then the Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen ​is a great choice for you.

This pen, unlike all of the others on this list, is a push-button pen, instead of a capped one, making it great for quick usage.

The self-defense properties, however, are also excellent on this product. The weight behind it (4 oz.) is a bit heavy, but adds extra power. It is, ​though, in the longer range, measuring 9.5”.

The glass breaker is another huge plus. Unlike many, this isn’t made out of just aluminum, but tempered steel.


  • It has a glass breaker tip made out of tempered steel.
  • Has extra weight to do damage.
  • It has a push-button mechanism for using, instead of the traditional cap or screw designs.
  • Has a textured body for a better grip.


  • It can be a bit heavy for some people.
  • It has a “tactical” look to it, making it less discreet.
  • The push-button mechanism can stick at times, especially at the beginning.
  • A bit long at 9.5”.

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2. Practical Tactical Pen​

Practical Tactical Pen

The Practical Tactical Pen ​is an all-around great tactical pen. It’s sturdy, discreet, and can defend you if the need arises. It’s a force to be reckoned with, and very much affordable.

Made of aircraft-grade aluminum, making it lightweight, this pen is discreet enough to carry with you everywhere, while also being strong enough to defend yourself with if necessary.

The pen itself is beautiful, with both black and gunmetal gray options. It has a textured grip, but it isn’t obviously a tactical pen at first look. It’s also strong and durable. For those who enjoy the pen function, the ink is easily replaceable.


  • Comes with a strong glass breaker, for emergency usage.
  • Very discreet; looks like a fairly standard pen.
  • Good grip, for easier handling.
  • Small, weighing just 1.6 oz., and measuring 5-7/8” long.
  • Easily replaceable cartridge.


  • There was an instance of a pen cap losing a piece, but it was replaced for free by the company within one week.

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3. Smith and Wesson SWPENBK Tactical Pen

Smith & Wesson SWPENBK Tactical Pen

The ​Smith & Wesson SWPENBK Tactical Pen is a great, lightweight option. It is also discreet, as well as useful as a self-defense tool. It’s small enough not to be burdensome, but strong enough to do the trick in a pinch.​

The best part of using this product is that the tapered end that you would use to defend yourself is particularly strong, making for an excellent self-defense weapon to have on hand.

It’s also fairly small, measuring just 5.7” long. This makes it ideal to carry around without being overburdened by the size of the pen.


  • This tactical pen is made out of strong aircraft-grade aluminum.
  • The black finish is attractive and subtle.
  • Has a refillable cartridge, for continued use as a writing instrument.
  • Small enough to carry around easily.


  • The black finish can come off if it comes into contact with anything abrasive, including items in your pocket.
  • The cap of the pen can actually begin to unscrew itself.
  • The grips aren’t as strong as on other tactical pens

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4. Hoffman Richter Stinger Tactical Pen

Hoffman Richter Stinger Tactical Pen

The Hoffman Richter Stinger Tactical Pen is a great option for those who want to carry a tactical pen, whether for self-defense or just in case of an emergency. I​t’s an extra-durable, titanium-coated option. It’s also small enough to be easily carried, and is strong enough to pose a risk to would-be attackers.

The most important perk that this pen in particular has is its included glass breaker. While all of the best tactical pens have them, some are sorely lacking; this isn’t true of the Hoffman Richter Stinger! Instead, you can rest assured that you can break through glass or defend yourself with this pen.

This tactical pen is also a very discreet choice among self-defense tools. While some tactical pens simply scream out what they are, this one doesn’t. It weighs just 6 oz. and measures approximately 6” in length.


  • This tactical pen is made of a solid aircraft-grade aluminum.
  • The metal making up the pen is coated in titanium, for extra durability.
  • This model comes with a glass breaker.
  • Weighs just 6 oz., and measures approximately 6” long.


  • The cap doesn’t appear to be very sturdy. This means that the pen can open on its own, and that the cap might not stay in place.
  • Not much of a grip on the pen itself.

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5. LORJE Tactical Pen

LORJE Tactical Pen

For those who aren’t worried about the appearance of their tactical pen, the LORJE Tactical Pen is an option worth looking into. Though it certainly looks like a stereotypical “tactical pen,” it seems to perform its duties flawlessly whenever needed.

It is very lightweight, easily the lightest option on this list. It is also sturdy and easy to use. The clip-on this pen is exceedingly strong, as well.

The glass breaker on this particular pen is made out of hardened aluminum. Some have found that this isn’t particularly strong, while others have no problems using it with the materials it is made of. This may be down to your own preference.

The textured grip is another major plus, though that does make this pen an obvious self-defense tool. Still, when it comes down to an actual fight, you will have a better grip on your weapon than with other models.


  • Comes with a glass breaker crafted from aircraft-grade aluminum.
  • It’s lightweight, weighing in at just 0.3 oz.
  • The grips are textured, for better hold on your tactical pen.
  • The clip is strong, keeping it where you put it at all times.


  • Some find that the aluminum glass breaker doesn’t function as well as it could.
  • The ink in this pen quickly runs out, though it takes standard refills.
  • It isn’t as discreet as other tactical pens, looking fairly “weaponized”.

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What is a tactical pen

A tactical pen is a mixture of three things: a writing utensil, an excellent survival or self-defense tool, and a deadly weapon. Tactical pens are always functional, and normally come with a strong, tapered end, perfect for defense or even breaking glass.

Part of the reason that tactical pens belong with your survival or self-defense gear is that they don’t normally raise suspicion. On the surface, they look like nothing more than a normal, if rather nice, pen; on the inside, they pack a punch that can bring the strongest to their knees, and they can shatter glass.

Tactical pens, in general, are fairly small, as far as weapons and survival tools go. They’re not normally much larger than a traditional writing pen, and are actually smaller than most glass breakers that you can buy on the market today. But, with the right tactical pen, that small package can pack a punch.

How to use a tactical pen

The first thing that you need to do before using a tactical pen is to know that, while it looks inert, it is actually dangerous. This is something that is both a tool and a weapon, and should be treated as such by anyone who uses it.

The best way to go about using a tactical pen for self-defense is to wait until your attacker is up close, and then strike. Using the pointed end, you should jab them in whatever sensitive place you can reach. Then, as soon as possible, make a run for it!

The glass breaker function is easier to work with than the self-defense one. If you find yourself inside of a vehicle that you need to escape, all you have to do is crack the window by slamming the blunt end of the tactical knife into the glass.

A tactical pen is, no doubt, a powerful tool. However, you should always know how to use one safely.

What to look for in a tactical pen

A tactical pen is only as good as the material that it is made of, the jobs it can do, and how easy it is to use. So, we have found that focusing on these aspects makes it easier to choose a pen that is right for you.

First, examine what the pen itself is actually made of. Having a metal point does you no good if the body is flimsy plastic. Instead, aim for a pen that is entirely made out of a strong metal, preferably something along the lines of stainless steel.

Next, examine what the pen you are considering is capable of, and decide if it is suitable for your needs. Most will have a tapered end, for defense, as well as a tool for breaking glass; there may or may not be more options, depending on the pen.

Lastly, you’ll want to determine whether it’s easy enough for you to use. Choosing a pen that is difficult or tedious to function can mean the difference between life and death. Instead, choose one that you can use with ease.

Why carry a tactical pen

Normally speaking, tactical pens have three uses: as a self-defense weapon, a survival tool, and a writing instrument. All three should work fairly well, but what your pen is mostly used for will rely mainly on you and your choices.

The use of a tactical pen as a self-defense weapon is, without a doubt, the most common reason for buying one. It has the power to take someone down long enough for you to run for help, and can be kept on your person at almost all times.

The second use of a tactical pen, as a survival tool, is less well-known, but still very valuable in and of itself. You can use most of these pens to break glass, freeing you from a vehicle; it could also work against certain wild animals.

The last use is the most obvious one, but also the most overlooked: as a writing instrument! Compared to the self-defense and survival tool functions, this doesn’t seem as interesting. However, a functional pen will never serve you wrong, especially in emergencies.

My Choice for the Best Tactical Pen for Self-Defense

​Once again, my top pick for the best tactical pen for self-defense is the ​Gerber Impromptu.

This pen has a push-button mechanism, allowing for quick usage. It has a great grip and extra weight for added powe​r, essential points when it comes to defense and survival scenarios.

​Also, the included tempered steel glass breaker is strong enough to get you out of tough emergency situations​ as well.

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