A few months ago, I became aware of the Benchmade tactical pen at $125. Are they kidding? Here’s a few more from other manufacturers: Surefire – $125, Hinderer – $390, Tactical Defense TDP1 – $80, Perrin – $20 plus $10 S&H ($10 for S&H? Must be union labor).
My thought on these pens were “There’s a sucker born every minute”. Just because you have a reputation in the business is no reason to charge exorbitant prices for a machined tube of aluminum, stainless steel, or titanium. Pens are disposable and too easily lost.
I’m a small guy and I never had kubotan or martial arts training. If I had to use a pen to defend, the best I could do is to stick the pen in the bad guy’s eye or neck, assuming my aim is that good, and run fast far away. Can I justify a $125 pen for defensive purposes? No. I’m not saying my life isn’t worth $125 but I am saying I can’t justify $125 when a $10 pen probably could do the same.
So is there is a $10 pen that’s close in composition and build to these tactical pens? Edcforums.com has a post discussing the Zebra F-701 pen ($6) combined with the collar top of a Zebra F-402 pen for an all metal presentation, which can serve as a good low cost tactical pen option. I scrounged around my pen collection and discovered I had a F-402. Part 1 completed.
As I continued sorting through my collection, I found the pen pictured above the Zebra. It has noticeably more heft than the F-402 so I took it apart to find it has a solid almost 1 mm brass core shaft. The exterior barrel diameter is larger than most other pens thus greatly improving gripping ability. It is also slightly longer but that short increase in length seems to be significant when holding it in an icepick grip. As a writing instrument, it is top heavy. The operating mechanism to open and retract the ballpoint is flimsy. The pocket clip is also flimsy.
To answer the title question, IMO, tactical pens aren’t worth it. Try the Zebra F701 for $6.
Click here for a review of the Zebra F-701
Click here for a review of the Schrade Tactical Pen
Click here for a review of the Parker Jotter