The tactical pen is a multi-tool that you can use as a striking or stabbing weapon for self-defense. With the right preparation and mindset, it can be an effective deterrent against an attacker, even if you don’t have any martial arts or self-defense training.
If there is anything I’ve learned about safety, it’s that no place is ever truly “safe”. There will always be danger where and when you least expect it.
That’s why in this article, I will be showing you how to use a tactical pen for self defense and prepare for difficult situations so you aren’t caught off-guard.
What You’ll Need
- A good tactical pen.
Tactical pens used to be a very niche product, bought only by law enforcement and the military for use in active duty. But with the rise in popularity of survivalists and the EDC (or everyday carry) movement, there are now a lot more tactical pens on the market than ever before.
However, this also means that the market is now flooded with cheaply-made, low-quality tactical pens that might look the part but don’t actually provide the features and level of performance that you need in a real tactical pen.
A good tactical pen should be built out of strong materials like steel or titanium so it can withstand the force of striking another person without breaking. The body of the pen should also be thick enough for you to hold in your hand comfortably without slipping.
If the tactical pen has other tools (like a glass breaker), make sure that these are securely integrated into the pen body—after all, you wouldn’t want your tactical pen to fall apart in the middle of a tense situation.
- A quick-access location.
Once you have your tactical pen, the next thing you will need is a place to put it. Since most tactical pens will have an integrated clip of some sort, a good place to put them is somewhere on your person. I slip mine into the front left pocket of my pants, letting the clip of the tactical pen hook onto the pocket so it doesn’t fall off.
A few other good places are in the pocket of your shirt or coat. If you bring a bag with you every day, placing your tactical pen inside an easy-to-reach pocket is not a bad idea, either. However, I would be more worried about a pickpocket reaching in and stealing your pen when you aren’t looking.
Whatever the case, this place has to be something you can easily reach at all times and should let you draw out your tactical pen as quickly as possible. If you aren’t confident about your pen-removing skills, you can practice slipping it out quickly while at home.
- A proper self-defense mindset.
One of the benefits of tactical pens is that they aren’t really considered weapons and can be brought with you when traveling. However, tactical pens can be and are still used as weapons. For this reason, it is important to maintain a proper self-defense mindset and treat your tactical pen with the same respect as you would a knife or another deadly weapon.
Although self-defense training does involve combat training, its primary objective is to minimize harm to yourself. And the best way to minimize harm to yourself is to avoid dangerous situations in the first place.
Using tactical pens and other self-defense tools and combat techniques should always be your last resort. Proper self-defense involves avoiding or otherwise resolving conflicts so that they don’t have to escalate into violence, and we will go into this in detail in the next section.
Using Your Tactical Pen
Step 0: Avoid the situation.
Whether you like to hear it or not, the best way to defend yourself with a tactical pen is to avoid situations that need you to use your tactical pen in the first place. As I said before, the goal of self-defense is to minimize harm to yourself.
A little bit of situational awareness, street smarts, and common sense will go a long way to keep yourself safe when you’re outside. Avoiding dark areas, seedy neighborhoods, and taking other precautions will help ensure that the only thing you’ll need to use your tactical pen on is a piece of paper.
Step 1: Assess the situation.
Now, avoiding violence might not be possible for a lot of people. If you do end up in a potentially violent situation—like a robbery, for example—it is important to take a moment to read the room and react accordingly.
Again, our main goal is to avoid violence as much as possible, so try to do things to defuse the situation, like trying to talk the threats out of their act or complying with their demands. If this works and the threat leaves, try to seek help immediately afterward.
Step 2: Know your target.
If your attempts to defuse the situation failed and violence is imminent, now is the time to draw out your tactical pen. As the attacker approaches, size that person up and look for key details.
The tactical pen has a limited range and not a lot of power, so you should look at their clothing and look for exposed parts of their body, as these parts are where the tactical pen can do the most damage. You should also identify the attacker’s weapon and the hand they are holding it in. This knowledge will help make the next step more effective.
Step 3: Strike.
When you reach this step, your goal now is to injure your attacker enough to give you time to get away from them. Even if you don’t have any martial arts training, you can still use your tactical pen effectively by using a downward stabbing motion.
For the best results, strike your attacker hard and fast, and target their vulnerable points like their eyes, temples, neck, and solar plexus. If they have a weapon, try to disarm them first by hitting their hand or forearm. If necessary, do not hesitate to hit them repeatedly to buy yourself extra time.
Step 4: Get help
If you have successfully immobilized your attacker, now is your chance to run away. While you gain distance from your attacker, shout and call for help as loudly as you can. By drawing attention to yourself and the fact that you’re in danger, the attacker will be less likely to retaliate.
Try to call the police, either by yourself or with the help of a bystander, and continue to run away from your attacker while you do so. If all goes well, you will hopefully reach safety and you will have successfully survived an attack with your tactical pen.
I want to emphasize again that self-defense is really about avoiding harm in general, rather than protecting yourself from harm. The tactical pen—and any self-defense tool, for that matter—should only be your last resort.
With that said, I hope this guide has given you a quick look into how to use a tactical pen for self-defense, and with this knowledge, you can stay a bit safer on the streets.
If you have any thoughts on this article, let us know in the comments, and share this article with people in your life who could use a bit more safety.