If you're like most of us, you've probably seen (or even own) a "tactical" pen or two. After all, pens are one of the most commonly used items any of us might carry with us every day.
For years "tactical" pens have made by dozens of companies and marketed as weapons. Some are even made by well known gun and knife companies and are branded as such. These products seem to forget their roots though... no one wants to find themselves in a deadly fight armed only with a pen.
The pen as a weapon grew out of the idea that it was something that you could still have, even when you couldn't have a gun or a knife on you. Airports, courthouses, stadiums, etc. with tight security measures typically don't allow people to bring weapons into these controlled spaces. This leaves you with only a few force options that you could have access to. In such an environment, a nice sturdy pointy object might go a long way.
The trouble with so many of these pens on the market is that they draw attention to themselves. Heavy knurling, thick heavy steel tubes, needle like points, glass breaker tail caps, and a host of other features all look extremely out of place on a writing implement. If your goal is to have a weapon in your possession that passes through security screening and a watchful eye, then machined blood groves and a firearms company logo on the side is likely to get your pen confiscated. This is a failure of the primary mission the "tactical" pen serves.
We also should be practical in what we carry, after all we are going to write with a pen FAR more often than we try to hit something with it. A heavy pen that you need to twist 5 rotations to get the cap off of (or which has machine checkering that chews up any clothing you clip it to) is an inconvenience to it's daily purpose - writing.
With the above points in mind, here are some of the things we think are important in selecting an Every Day Carry pen.
- The pen shouldn't draw attention to itself. It should appear to be nothing more than a pen.
- The pen should write well, and be convenient to write with.
- Then pen should have a relatively durable construction.
- The pen should have a relatively flat top, which facilitates capping the pen with the thumb, should you go to force the point through something.
- The pen should ideally be affordable and not terribly exotic, should it become confiscated anyway, or misplaced.
With the above points in mind, you can see that the overwhelming majority of "tactical" pens on the market are of little practical value to us.
In typically Capable Citizen fashion though, we think we can do better. We're in the process of evaluating a few different low-vis options to offer, that meet our above criteria. This might only be a limited run of pens we offer though, so make sure to subscribe to our Instagram and Facebook pages so you don't miss out.
More to follow soon!