How To Use A Tactical Pen

How Should I Carry A Tactical Pen?

Some people carry a tactical pen for use not only as a pen, but also as a sort of improvised personal defense weapon. Jabbing it into a tender or sensitive area can buy you time to get away from an attacker.

However, you don't want to just slide it in your pocket or your purse, unless you're only getting the pen because it looks cool...and there's nothing wrong with that! But some people carry one as an emergency tool or auxiliary weapon, which does require a bit more thought.

Why Carry A Tactical Pen?

woman using tactical pen

There are a few reasons to carry a tactical pen.

Some people carry them in non-permissive environments, so they can have some mechanical advantage in case of an emergency when you can't carry a gun.

In a situation where the threat is incredibly close, too close to draw a handgun or get out a knife, you need every edge you can get to help you create distance. This lets you either get to safety or draw your concealed carry gun to stop your attacker in their tracks.

Bear in mind that a tactical pen is not really an ideal weapon to fight with. It can't dish out serious damage except if used to stab a person in the eyes or soft vital structure such as the trachea or the carotid arteries.

A pocket knife would be better for slashing or stabbing, and a collapsible baton is capable of dealing out blunt force trauma. Pepper spray is highly effective and just as easily carried.

However, pocket knives - like guns - aren't allowed in all environments and concealing a collapsible baton is not easy. Pepper spray is more obvious than a pen if carried in a pocket, and if carried in a purse because it's less than perfectly concealable...potentially useless because you can't get to it.

Therefore, a tactical pen is something of a compromise. You need something, but it has to be seemingly innocuous and easily carried. A tactical pen is all those things. But how best to carry one?

In a self-defense situation, you need to be able to get to whatever weapon you're using FAST. You will not have time, in all likelihood, to get something out of a purse, unless you're carrying the purse very close to the body.

Wondering how best to do that? Here are three tips regarding how to use a tactical pen, either as a CQB implement or self-defense tool in non-permissive areas.


Put Your Tactical Pen In A Pocket And Use The Pocket Clip

The most obvious, of course, is to put your tactical pen in your front pocket, with the clip over the rim of the pocket just like a pocket knife or a pocket flashlight.

This keeps the pen handy for use as a writing utensil, of course, as that's one of the most important jobs of a pen. It's in the name!

A pants pocket allows for a fast draw of the pen when standing or sitting. You can also access the pen if you find yourself on the ground, which is an important consideration to make.

Just as with a gun and a holster, you need to be aware that you may not be in a perfect position to access or use it should the occasion arise that you have to. You may be on the flat of your back. You may be sitting. You may be pushed up against a wall.

With the pen stored in a pants pocket, and the clip making the pen quickly accessible, you can draw it from almost any position and get it into action.

A Tactical Pen In A Coat Pocket

Concealed carry jacket

The next most logical place for a tactical pen is a coat pocket.

If you're wearing a light jacket that you don't necessarily want to take off indoors, a good practice is to move it from an exterior pocket to an interior pocket if you unzip the jacket when you head in from outside.

Getting a jacket that has flight suit inspired pen pockets on the exterior is also a good idea, as they give you fast access from almost any position, sort of like a flight jacket.

Just as with a pants pocket, you need to keep the tactical pen available to you at all times, so storing it in an interior pocket is not a good idea unless your jacket is unzipped. It may also be awkward to reach if you're on the flat of your back, which is something you have to consider.

Remember: most fistfights go to the ground. Whatever gear you have that you might use to save your life in a violent encounter has to be accessible from the flat of your back with minimal movement.

For instance, a pistol in an IWB holster is not easily accessible from the flat of your back. However, it can easily become accessible by pushing off with your strongside foot, rolling you onto your side and freeing the pistol to be drawn.

Likewise, a tactical pen in an interior pocket of a zipped jacket...does you no good. So while a coat pocket is a great place to keep one, an outside pocket is the best idea.

A Tactical Pen Also Goes Well In A Shirt Pocket

Proud To Protect Plaid Flannel Shirt-Red-XS-530

Another solid option is if you have a shirt pocket, which also keeps the tactical pen on the body in case sudden use is necessary.

Polo shirts and button-ups typically have a chest pocket, and of course you have the kangaroo pocket on hoodies and kangaroo pocket t-shirts that are also a good mounting point.

Just as with a pants pocket, you want to use the pocket clip to hold the pen in place so you can easily get it out in a hurry. The last thing you want to have to do in an emergency is to fumble around in a pocket trying to get it out.