Best Tactical Pen [2019]


As a tactical pen manufacturer, the Gerber company is geared toward tactical and accessories. Near the top of their line is the Impromptu Tactical Pen. As a testament to its quality they back it with an impressive lifetime North American warranty.

Made in the USA, it features a durable stainless steel body and a special Cerakote™ coating. This provides it with superior grip as well as corrosion resistance. Weighing in at 2.4-ounces and measuring at 5.59 inches long it looks just like a sleek executive pen, yet it also has a self-defense/glass breaking point.

The Impromptu Tactical pen comes with a “Rite in the Rain” ink cartridge, though it will also accept Space Pen refills by Fisher. It also has the ability to write upside down as well as in rain or extremely dry conditions.

Atomic Bear is an increasingly popular manufacturer of tactical items. Their Atomic Bear Tactical Pen MTP-6 is very popular with military and police officers. This tactical pen also has a compatible accessory package that is a very affordable secondary purchase.

This tactical pen includes a dual-mode LED flashlight that produces up to 1,300 lumens. It can serve as a functional, convenient flashlight, which also can be used to temporarily blind an assailant.

It also has a 1-fluid ounce container built into the body. It allows you to carry things like rubbing alcohol or lighter fluid. The tungsten steel tactical point also acts as a heavy-duty glass breaker point. There is also a replacement bottle opener and hex key attachment.

Atomic Bear includes a special online self-defense class with the initial purchase. It provides you with helpful tips to make the most out of the MTP-6 and its accessories.

CRKT Williams Tactical Pen

  • Industry-leading manufacturer
  • Quality materials and design
  • Removable pocket clip and O-ring snap-on cap

CRKT is one of the most trusted manufacturers and industry leaders in tactical items. The Williams pen was designed by former Army officer James Williams who designed it based on insights from his successful martial arts experience. While it has maximum tactical functionality, it still feels in your hand and writes like a top-quality executive pen.

The body is machined from 6061 aircraft-grade aluminum, giving it maximum durability while also keeping it lightweight. The cap snaps on and off via an O-ring. If you prefer the sturdy pocket clip can be removed to give this tactical pen a sleek look.

With a little research, you’ll find that this pen and its designer have a fascinating backstory which makes this pen a conversation piece as well as a tactically superior writing instrument.

How We Picked

A quality tactical pen needs to start out with a self-defense or glass breaker point. This is arguably the most prized feature that makes it “Tactical” instead of just a writing instrument. At the same time, we also kept an eye out for tactical pens that will serve as a quality executive pen, while also looking good on your desk or in your pocket.

We kept an eye out for durable, lightweight material construction, and physical ease of use. This includes aircraft-grade aluminum, tungsten steel, tungsten carbide, stainless steel, and titanium.

Tactical pens with extra features, or that come with added accessories are also a nice touch. This includes things like:

  • A built-in flashlight is capable of blinding or dazzling assailants.
  • An accessory mini knife for self-defense as well as cutting cordage.
  • A fluid storage compartment to hold first aid and fire-starting fluids.
  • Removable clips and caps to attach it to pockets, lanyards, and jeans.
  • A special textured grip or exterior coating for comfort when writing and slip reduction during self-defense.
  • A DNA collector to take a sample from a potential assailant for further prosecution evidence.
  • A bottle opener or hex key attachment tools for convenience.
  • A built-in compass for orienteering when other options aren’t available.

These are just a few of the very attractive features and characteristics that help separate a simple writing device from a truly high-quality tactical pen.

Of course, price is also a factor. With some tactical pens, you get what you pay for. With other tactical pens, keen attention was paid to creating a quality item with basic utility. Then the manufacturer offers accessory options as part of a package with the initial purchase or as an affordable secondary purchase. This allows you to customize how you use the tactical pen.

The convenience of the ink refills was also a factor with many of these tactical pens. After all, they are a serious investment, and chances are you intend the pen body itself to last longer than the ink it comes with. Some tactical pen manufacturers require you to use their in-house ink refills. However, there are many many who make it a point to design their tactical pens to work with popular Parker and Fisher Space pen ink refill cartridges.

Gerber 31-001880 Impromptu Tactical Pen

Gerber 31-001880 Impromptu Tactical Pen


  • Stainless steel body
  • Cerakote™ coating for superior grip and corrosion resistance
  • Glass breaker point
  • Made in the United States
  • “Rite in the Rain” ink
  • Compatible with Space Pen refills
  • Weight 2.4 ounces
  • Length 5.59-inches
  • Stainless steel pocket clip
  • Superior warranty protection

When most people hear the word Gerber they think of the baby food company. However, this Gerber company is geared toward tactical items like the 31-001880 Impromptu Tactical Pen. Which is sourced and made in the USA.

Gerber 31-001880 Impromptu Tactical Pen

It has a durable stainless steel body and shaft with a special Cerakote™ coating for superior grip as well as corrosion resistance. There is also a stainless steel pocket clip. It weighs in at only 2.4-ounces and measures at 5.59 inches long. The point is engineered to be strong enough to break tempered glass as you would find in a vehicle’s side windows.

Gerber 31-001880 Impromptu Tactical Pen use by military

This tactical pen comes with their “Rite in the Rain” ink cartridge, though it will also accept Space Pen refills by Fisher. It has the ability to write upside down as well as in rain or extremely dry conditions.