I have reviewed a number of tactical pens in this column. As simple as a “tactical pen” seems to be, there are a number of different features and price points. The Tuff Writer is one of my favorites.
First, this pen is nearly indestructible. It is constructed with an aerospace grade aluminum body and powder coated spring steel clip. The pen body is finished with a proprietary mil-spec annodization. The other small parts are black oxide stainless steel. The actual writing cartridge is one of the famous “space pen” parts from Fisher Space Pen Company that is pressurized and will write upside down, underwater, or in just about any temperature range. All in all, the parts are the best you can find.
The pen design is clever, with a rounded end at the cap and a more pointed end at the tip—making it perfect for a variety of self-defense uses. The pointed end is not so sharp that it draws undue attention, and there are no aggressive sharp edges. The middle of the barrel is nicely knurled for a positive grip, and the upturned end of the pocket clip helps create a secure hold when used with an “ice pick” grip. The cap is a screw-off style, for maximum strength and durability. The cap also features a lanyard hole for some versatility in how you carry or secure the pen.
The pen is available in a variety of colors and can be ordered with or without the “Tuff Writer” logo. The logo-less version is referred to as “sanitized,” and is a great choice for concealed carry. This pen is tactical black, but pens are available in gray and brown, and in other colors in limited runs. I hope Tuff Writer will keep producing non-tactical colors, which are great for civilians trying to be low-key and planning to use the pen as a last ditch weapon in a weapons-free zone. I also like the optional Kydex neck sheath, made by well-known holster and sheath maker Dave Brown, which permits neck carry on the included black ball chain necklace.
My only complaint with the pen is that the cap doesn’t stick securely to the pen body when removed for writing. The design is workable, but I wish it was a little more secure. This is a common issue with tactical pens, and often something you just have to accept in a pen with a screw-off cap.
Sometimes a tactical pen may be all you can carry in a non-permissive environment.
The Tuff Writer shown retails for $95.95 but prices vary across the product line, depending upon the options you select. There is even a titanium model that retails for $249.95, if you want the ultimate tactical pen! The neck sheath will run you an additional $24.95, but gives you a great way to carry the pen beyond just sticking it in a shirt pocket.
Check out all the Tuff Writer pens at www.tuffwriter.com. Sometimes a tactical pen may be all you can carry in a non-permissive environment. When things get tough and your pen is pressed into service as an improvised weapon, the Tuff Writer will be up to the task. And, it works great as a plain-old writing instrument too!
Prices as of June, 2011.
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