free uk delivery available

easy returns in the uk

click & collect from 2,800 stores

Exceptional Customer Service

free uk delivery available

easy returns in the uk

click & collect from 2,800 stores

Exceptional Customer Service

​ Tactical Pens – The Ultimate Buying Guide

​ Tactical Pens – The Ultimate Buying Guide

Posted by HH on 10th Aug 2015

What is a tactical pen?

The best tactical pens are multi-functional tools providing the user a top-end writing device, with a few awesome added features, which can be either simply useful or just really cool. In our opinion the primary function of a tactical pen is to be exactly as the name suggests: a pen! If you are going to be spending at least £20 or so for a tactical pen, you’ll want it at the very least to be able to write in the rain, the snow, upside down, right side up and so on (the joys of pressurised ink cartridges).

Moving on from the simple use of it as a pen, tactical pens often times have other features which make them a multi-functional device as mentioned earlier. Some of these pens will feature specialised grips along with lights, stylus and glass breakers.

You can take a tactical pen in most places where pens are allowed. A tactical pen is nice to carry around when you have little space or are in a place where even the friendliest of knives aren’t allowed as they aren’t viewed as dangerous compared to a knife.

To most people tactical pens are stylish writing instruments, that are designed with most of the fine qualities found in a nice pen, but they give you those added features that a standard pen just doesn’t.

How are they different from the average pen?

Compared to a normal pen, a tactical pen is more rugged and has many other uses in every day situations. Most tactical pens allow you to break glass, whilst others will also give you other features like stylus tips for smart phones.

The tip of the pen is also different in comparison to your classic ‘bic’ pen. Take a look at a pen you might have on your desk as you read this. The end of your standard pen, although moderately sharp, would have a tough time piercing anything beyond a piece of paper. The best tactical pens on the other hand have a much sharper ball point (not fountain nib though, as those are pretty sharp with any pen) and some even have a blunt end on the back for breaking through glass. However, this sharpness takes nothing away from the quality of writing with these pens!

What should I look for?


A tactical pen is made out of heavy duty materials, typically high specification and high quality aluminium or titanium. Aluminium will ensure that the pen does not bend, crack or fracture on impact which is an important feature in the case you ever need to use it. Much like the best tactical flashlights, they go through a coating process known as anodizing which strengthens the top layers of the aluminium. Titanium is also a good material to use because it’s corrosion resistant (great for use outside), very lightweight and very strong (not far off carbon steel).

With regards to ink, there are loads of different variations and options open to you. Generally, finding replacement ink isn’t too difficult as lots of brands do sell similar styles and sizes so that isn’t something you really need to worry about.


When you are going to use your pen, you want to have a good grip because your hands could be sweaty, wet or dirty and no matter what you need to be able to depend on your pen. Especially if you are going to be using it in a wide range of scenarios and weather conditions.

Pocket Clip

If you buy one of these pens, you will not want to lose it. One of the best ways to not lose it and keep it with you is the inclusion of a usable and well made pocket clip, as there is no point having one that’s going to break the first, second or third time it’s used. It will also help stop those co-workers of yours from trying to always use your pen, because they are a bit jealous!

Additional features

Many tactical pens available come with many useful features which we’ve already mentioned throughout. The only real feature that’s pretty much included as standard is a glass breaker. If you want anything else, you will have to pay extra or hunt a little harder for.

Does price = quality?

Generally yes. Not always but it largely depends on the quality of material. For example Titanium is more expensive than steel so pens made of titanium will be more expensive. However, the price you pay is definitely worth it. It’s also worth considering the ink cartridges in coast as certain ink types are better quality then others and as you can expect the price follows quality.

For your average EDC pen though you will want to look at a max of £30-35. That will buy you not only a good quality and durable pen, but one that also looks very smart and not out of place wherever you go.