Tactical Pens!

Discussion in 'Gadgets & Gear' started by HappilyGrim, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. HappilyGrim


    Mar 16, 2013

    Thanks for the tip! I hadn't seen those before but they have some cool looking pens.

    @Xiaolong: I'm in Arizona, concealed weapon laws for knives are exceedingly lax here. It wouldn't be a problem.

    @brony: I've also seen movies where people cut someone in half and it's so clean they don't even notice at first. Or people cutting through steel light poles and such with swords. :)
  2. FreebornErik


    Nov 4, 2012
    I was gifted a CRKT Tao Pen some time back. I don't know about its tactical usefulness, my kubotan training is so long ago that I wouldn't remember how to use it if I had to. Anyway, the whole point of kubotan training was that anything at hand could be deployed in an improvised manner. Oh, as I recall, the packaging was kind of neat from a gift box point of view.

    From a pen point of view, its a space pen, so it writes smooth, and on darn near anything, I really like it. The cap screws off, and being an aluminum to aluminum joint, it can be noisy in a conference room meeting environment, a little practice on aligning it can really cut back the noise.

    The cap is also heavy, at least heavy enough, that when screwed on top of the pen in a writing mode, it makes the pen clumsy and top heavy. With the cap removed, it makes a very nicely balanced writing instrument. It fits my hand well, and I enjoy using it. I've been in and out of lots of security checks with it, and no one has ever taken a second look at it.

    Oh yeah, the clip on mine never stays tight, its always loose and usually not perfectly aligned with the pen. I haven't really wanted to reef on it to get it tight, afraid of stripping the threads, but the next time I've got the loctite out, it's getting a little chemical help.

  3. BladeChick777


    Jun 20, 2011
    I have large hands as well.
    The great thing is you can increase the length of the Fisher Bullet by simply putting the cap on the butt of the pen.
    This gives it the grip of a full sized pen.
    I like something a littler smaller because it's more comfortable to carry around all day.

    Both the Fisher and Investigator are a little smaller but still solid and easy to get a full grip on. =]
    The Extreme Duty I believe is a little larger and thicker.

    You can't go wrong with any of the above choices.
  4. HappilyGrim


    Mar 16, 2013

    I really think the problem now is the choices. There are tons of them! Realistically in my field of work this will get more use than my knives. Plus, it's not something I plan on collecting so finding that one snowflake for me is what's gonna be tough.
  5. y0ukn0wwh0


    Mar 16, 2008
    Jason over at DarkSucks (Prometheus Lights) is going to be producing some pens in the near future... They Use Montblanc refills supposedly. Keep an Eye, They look nice!
    I use the Original Matt Martin CF pen with a parker refill, I LOVE the thing. I have benchmade, timberline, and a tuff writer operator as well, the martin is my go to.
  6. chambelona59


    May 4, 2012
    Personally, I have no need or desire to carry (or alternatively lose) a so called tactical or any pen that costs over 25 dollars.
    I also have no desire to carry any 'Tac.' pen that's made in China/Taiwan which have ridiculous so called crenulated "DNA catchers" on the ends, which are nothing more than thumb and clothes shredders.
    Nor do I want to carry any pen that is heavy, fat, over built, overly tooled, attention getting rainbow Titanium, red, blue green, striped or polka dot.
    A so called tac. pen should not attract attention.

    Regarding a so called 'tactical' pen and what I carry:
    For several years I've carried one and on occasion two pens made in the U.S.A. by Kley Zion (an Israeli company).
    They are a FULL 6ΒΌ inches long, Type II Class 3 hard anodized 6061 Aircraft grade aluminum, CNC Machined, O-ring sealed waterproof
    and they come with a Fisher Space Pen Replaceable ink cartridge.
    The pen has a sort of mushroom shaped "Grab-Cap" end which ensures a very firm grip and allows for a more powerful deployment.
    In my own opinion the best so called 'tactical' pen on the market and under $20.00.

    For an EDC writing pen I used to carry a Fisher Bullet which is a great pen, unfortunately I found it heavy in it's closed position and too small, too short, too hard to find when it's lost somewhere in a backpack. I eventually lost it after 6-8 months.
    I then discovered the Zebra 701 pen, which I've carried every day for the last 3 yrs., slim, light a very nice stainless steel design and a superb value at under $7.00.
    I gave one to my tax accountant last week, she never saw one before.
    Other than EDC/Survival/knife forums, most people I show the pen to never heard of it.
    While not designed as a 'Tactical' pen per say, if called upon in a defensive situation it would be very effective.
    It can also go through airport security with no problems.

    My KZ pens:








    Zebra 701 Stainless steel:



    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013
  7. tjswarbrick


    Mar 31, 2011
    I haven't gone for a tactical yet. I prefer a click-type retractable for daily use.
    I modded a Zebra 701 to all steel with 402 parts, with Fisher refill. Like it, and get compliments, but the Fisher refill doesn't offer much line variety or writing feedback.
    I picked up a Lamy Swift. This I like a lot.
    Still, my everyday is a stainless Parker Jotter with rollerball refill. Writes nearly as well as the Lamy, and I don't have to worry about it too much.
    I would like to try a TuffWriter Ultimate Clicky as well as a MaxMadCo bolt action retractable or Fellhoelter TiBolt, but haven't as yet.
    I did get in on the preorder for the Prometheus Alpha pen, but it's a screw cap. It'll be for dress occasions mostly, for me. I am looking forward to trying the MontBlanc refills.

    Tons of good stuff out there right now.
  8. riskydevil


    Mar 20, 2013
    I would suggest something from the hinderer investigator line, can get one in a style and price that suits. They are the same size as a normal bic and look very classy, they don't scream "tactical" but would certainly be up to the task of last ditch self defence. I have a copper and a blue Ti, the aluminium ones are the cheapest and lightest, but also the most prone to wear/damage, copper and brass are the heaviest but about the same price as alu and will develop a nice patina over time. The titanium ones are next level nice, but you pay for that at $200+ I edc my blue one and I love it, only 2oz heavier than the alu and such a nice finish, it seems like a lot of money but I rely on it daily as I do a knife, refills are only $5.

    image rickhindererknives.com
  9. Metal Made Fox

    Metal Made Fox Banned BANNED

    Sep 28, 2011
    How do you like your TW Operator? I am thinking of ordering one tomorrow but was wondering if the cap comes loose in your pocket. I don't see that it has an o-ring in the threads so I would imagine that the cap can unscrew off pretty easy right?
  10. XiaolongJackson


    Jun 5, 2012
    That's because there are no restrictions on knives in Arizona period, but it could be, and likely is, different for tactical pens. I live in California, where knife laws are very flexible relative to most states, but ACTUAL weapons, like guns, knuckledusters, kubotans (tactical pens often fall under this definition), and slungshots, have very strict restrictions on them. Please understand that most of us here don't carry knives to use as weapons (read this) and that tactical pens are definitely not knives and are most often not legally defined as such so please do some research on your local laws regarding kubotans, impact weapons, etc.

    Also, this thread belongs in Gadgets & Gear or PracTac since this thread isn't about cutlery. I'll send a note to the mods so they can move it to the right place.
  11. Alann45


    Jul 4, 2009
    If you can't handle several before purchase, making that one choice can be difficult. On the plus side, I've found the ones I picked up and didn't like were pretty easy to resell.
    You can find several threads in the BF Gadgets and Gear forum on tactical pens, and USN has a forum devoted to pens.

    I'm assuming you mean it will get more use writing rather than fighting :D.

    Honestly, the majority of the "tactical" pens are not that comfortable for
    writing...its more a thing of it WILL write, so you have double purpose.
    Most are kind of heavy, usually weighted to one end or the other.
    Many have caps that can't be attached when open for writing, so the likelihood of loosing it increases.
    Most are screw on/off with a lot of threads, which can get a tad tedious.
    Several have flutes running the length of the body, frequently over-sharp, and never comfortable for writing (or tactical use IMHO).

    For writing, I'm still more likely to pick up my Pentel Liquid Gel.

    A number of them (including the CRKT Tao) will accept the Parker Gel Refill, which many prefer over the space pen cartridge.

    I'll recommend again you look at the Tuffwriter line and see if one appeals to you. If I had to recommend one tactical pen, that would likely be the one.
    I'm sure the Hinderer's are well made, I just haven't handled one yet.
  12. Thalestin


    Jul 20, 2006
    I have the benchmade stainless pen as well as the surefire 2. I used the benchmade for most of my undergrad degree so it got tons of use. Great pen but too heavy with the cap on for writing. Also to heavy to be clipped in a shirt. I just left it attached to my school notes folder. Overall was fun to use and had lots of conversations with people about it. People thought it was really cool, never had anyone say it looked like a weapon. I got the surefire 2 because I wanted something I could use clipped to my shirt or carry comfortably in my pocket. Third I wanted it to be a colicky pen because losing the lid off a pen sucks.

    The surefire has been great and is a very comfortable pen to write with. Looks friendly and isn't really tactical persay. Honestly I just like the feel of a solid metal pen with a nice strong clip. The tactical part is just funny to me. Here is a pic for your enjoyment :). Both pens have held up great. The benchmade has a few nicks but has been carried daily for around 3 years. Gone through countless refills for it. The surefire has been carried for around 6 months in my pockets. Also looks pretty much new after quite a few drops etc.
  13. evilgreg

    evilgreg Why so serious? Gold Member

    Dec 25, 2012
    This, though I prefer the totally not tactical looking but just as useful stainless steel Zebra F-701. Cheap, won't make a TSA guy or LEO look twice, plus it's also a nice pen . . .

    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  14. sideways


    Feb 19, 2013
    I think any sturdy pen that fills the hand can be used as a kubotan.
  15. nagod


    Jun 29, 2005
    a little off topic,but are there any cases where a tactical pen caused legal problems?
  16. chambelona59


    May 4, 2012
    The Zeeb 701 is my hands down favorite pen.
    Very classy design... and under seven bucks a pen!
  17. flnder


    Nov 30, 2003
    OK I also like the modded and unmodded Zebras f701,they write decently and make a fair kubaton. some people say they are not as sturdy as they look,I don't know I haven't had one open far enough. I also highly recommend a maxmadco. Very solid pen and uses Parker cartridges,which gives you a wide choice of refills. My favourite is the parker quinkflow
  18. crazyengineer


    Apr 2, 2011
    I know that you said that you are looking at a tactical pen, but since you phrased it as "just for fun", I have to ask, have you considered a fountain pen?

    they make great conversation starter, as well as a pretty nasty weapon, considering most of the modern ones that aren't (IMHO) too expensive to carry have Stainless steel nibs... basically a stainless steel point. I like Lamy's the best from what i have tried so far, and can highly reccomend a lammy safari, Al-star, and Lamy logo, as well as noodler's ink

    and ifyou get a fountain pen, invest in a bottle of ink and a converter....much cheaper than cartridges and you have a much wider selection of inks, here is the lamy logo (silver barrel) and a Parker IM


    the lamy Al-Star has an aluminum barrel and is pretty big diameter wise, and could be used as a kubatton if needed (not ideal, but better than a regular pen)

    I know that you were originally looking for tactical, but if you are just wanting it for fun, I think this could be a cool alternative. and another plus, when I started using them, my handwriting got a lot better.

    good luck with your search either way though
  19. SpikeHawk


    Jan 3, 2013
    I pretty much agree. I have had the Benchmade aluminum, and it was pretty cool, the cap snaps over the endof the barrel while in use. Uber-Cool! So,if the aluminum is uber-cool, the SS model must be super-uber-cool, right? No, it was far too heavy to use as an every day writer. At least to me. I sold it. The BM 1100 series is a bit "agressive" looking.I also used the Mil-Tac pen, which was "almost" perfect for me (after I modded the inside guts to use a space pen refill), EXCEPT the cap was a very simple friction fit over the end of the barrel. Very simple friction fit = falls off all the time. As a plus to the Mil-Tac, it's appearance is very mild compared to some of the other tactical pens of death and destruction.
    So far, I haven't found a tac pen that I like 100%, which to me means reasonably priced, not looking like it has been banned by the UN, not too heavy, and for freak's sake, make the cap securely fit on the end!
  20. DB731


    Feb 10, 2013

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