Tactical Pens & Kubatons
Why You Should Carry a Tactical Pen in Your "EDC" (EDC = EveryDay Carry)
March 24, 2017 | by S.E. Rakowski
This past Christmas I was fortunate to receive a practical (and cool) self-defense item – a tactical pen. After playing around with it for a couple weeks, I think I have a good grasp of the pros and cons of adding this implement to my self-defense arsenal.
The first and most obvious advantage is that the pen is very discreet. At just under 6 inches long, it’s the size of a standard ink pen. It slips into a normal pants or purse pocket inconspicuously. It fits snuggly in my hand and, although heavier than a conventional pen, is not uncomfortable to hold. It writes as I expect a pen to and, should I pull it out of my pocket to jot down a note, I doubt anyone notices it doubles as a weapon. The unintimidating look and ease of handling makes it a good introductory self-defense tool.
In a pinch, any pen makes a handy weapon, but the big advantage of a tactical pen is its strength. Unlike a breakable plastic pen, most pens made for self-defense are metal and many offer a reinforced striking surface. The particular pen I received is made from aircraft grade aluminum with a carbide glass breaker.
Any self-defense tool requires good technique, and a search of YouTube brought up several good videos on how pens can be used for self-defense. I found the Focused Impact Volume 1 and 2 videos by StaySafeMedia particularly informative.
The method is similar to that of a Kubotan (See lower right column>>). Grasping the pen firmly in your palm, you can use it to stab or strike an attacker. Aim for the tender places – face, throat, groin, inside of the arm, ribs. A hard jab to the throat might not completely incapacitate an attacker, but it should pause the attack long enough for you to remove yourself from danger. When stabbing or jabbing at an opponent, don’t forget to double tap. If you have an opening – take it! If one jab puts a pause on the attack, two or three strikes will give you that much more control of the situation and time to escape.
A plus that I did not consider at first is that using a tactical pen for defense can provide law enforcement with forensic evidence. If you’ve made contact with the assailant, the pen will pick up DNA evidence which can be very useful in identifying an attacker. Some models of tactical pens even include a “DNA catcher” specifically designed for this purpose.
Depending on how you look at it,the relative non-lethality of the tactical pen is either a big advantage or a huge drawback. When using a knife or a firearm to defend against an attack, there is near guarantee serious injury will occur. While a tactical pen can inflict a good deal of pain on an assailant, its primary purpose is to allow you to defend yourself and skedaddle rather than engage in a potentially lethal display of force. The pen gives you an option in between having nothing but your bare hands and pulling a firearm. On the downside, if your assailant has a knife or gun, a tactical pen isn’t likely to cut it.
As with any weapon, a tactical pen will only be effective if you are practiced and prepared to use it. Be aware of your surroundings. If you are in a potentially risky situation (walking alone or at night, in a “bad” part of town, around someone that makes you uncomfortable), be proactive. Don’t wait until a threat arises to grab the pen; have it at the ready. If you have to fumble to get to it, it won’t be effective for self-defense no matter how many times you’ve practice striking with it. Additionally, you absolutely need to practice striking and jabbing with the pen. A high-stress situation is not the time to try out a new skill for the first time. As I mentioned before, watch a couple instructional videos. Practice in your living room and pretend pillows are opponents or, if you have a friend that is also into self-defense, invite them over to go over a few basic moves.
A Closer Look At The UZI Tactical Pen
Being prepared for any situation requires always having the right tools available at all times. That’s why tactical pens have become so popular in the past few years. Tac pens provide an additional inconspicuous defensive tool that can be kept on your person at all times. Unlike regular disposable pens that can easily bend, break or slip, tactical pens are usually made of strong metal with a textured grip to give you a more secure grasp of the pen.One of the most popular pens that we have tested is the UZI Defender Tactical Pen. UZI is a quality brand that most people trust and their pens, knives and other gear generally live up to the high standards of the iconic UZI brand.
The UZI pen stands out from its competition because of its combination of high quality construction, sleek appearance and its low price point. At around $19.99, this is definitely one of the best values for your money (especially when you consider that most other tactical pens will set you back well over $50).
The UZI tac pen comes in two different models. The first model has what they call a “DNA Catcher” on the tip. As the name implies, this feature is intended for gouging your assailant and tearing off a piece of his skin so that the police can identify him later (assuming that you let him get away in the first place). The second model comes with a tungsten reinforced glass breaker on the tip so that you are always prepared if the need arises to escape through a window. UZI’s newest models of the pen also come with a hidden handcuff key in addition to the DNA catcher or glass breaker.
Each model of the UZI tactical pen is made of aircraft grade aluminum and comes in both black and gun metal colors. They accept standard Fisher pen refills so there’s no need to worry about refilling the ink once it dries up.
The only downside of this pen is that it might be a drop larger than other pens that you are used to writing with. However, if you ever need to use this pen as a weapon, you’ll be very happy to have that extra size and solid build. In my opinion, this extra size is a fair trade off to have a solid pen that can also be used as a kubaton.
Overall, the UZI Tactical Pen is a great choice for anybody looking to buy their first tac pen. Its low cost and high quality design and craftsmanship provide an overall value that are hard to match.
Tactical Pen Self-Defense Techniques
A note to members: The club gives away 2 tactical pens at most every member meeting. Most all quality tactical pens are made from aircraft grade aluminum. They will typically have a carbide glass breaking tool on the top. Some include a handcuff key.
Below are several tactical pens you might consider:
(Click for details)
The kubotan - the rod of pain - is a very popular self-defense weapon. It was invented by Soke Takayuki Kubota, who was born in Kumamoto, Japan, in 1934. It became popular in the mid-1970s when Kubota brought the weapon to the attention of the Los Angeles Police Department, which used it to subdue uncooperative suspects. It is now one of the most popular self-defense tools around.
The kubotan is used upon bony surfaces, nerve points, and soft tissue, and is effective due to the temporary paralysis or deep pain that it inflicts. It is an inexpensive and easily learned tool: you will not require years of practice to become proficient in its use. It is very suitable for women. A kubotan can be employed in any martial art, be it kung fu, karate, ju jitsu, or aikido.
Kubotans can be made from metal, plastic, or wood, and are around five-and-a-half inches long, half an inch in diameter, and weigh about four ounces. They can have pointed or flat tips. If you attach your kubotan to your key chain, you will always have it with you if you get into a street fight.
A kubotan increases the power of a strike. The best pressure points to attack are the kneecap, ankle, collarbone, hip bone, shin, arm, throat, solar plexus, stomach, and groin.
Kubotan Self Defense
The self defense techniques to use vary with the situation. Swinging strikes work better upon bony surfaces, while pokes and jabs are best for fleshy areas. A sharp blow to a bony area of the body will discourage an attacker from continuing. A harder blow in the appropriate place can easily break bone, particularly if there is no clothing in the way. Because nerves are near the surface at most bony parts, even a glancing blow will deliver enough pain to make your attacker think again.
Kubotan Key Chain
Many self defense situations arise while holding keys, for instance while a woman is alone in a parking lot, concentrating on her handbag, and not looking around. At such times, you will be glad you put your kubotan on a key chain. If you have done so, you can use those keys. They are very effective when used upon the face. You just stick them in the person's face and run. You should not put your thumb in the key ring, because if somebody gets hold of it, pulling will break your finger. This is why people who put up soccer goal nets never wear wedding rings. It could get nasty.
A kubotan can be deployed in a hammer fist strike, where the kubotan is held like an ice-pick grasped in your fist with the pointed end facing downward. A hammer-fist strike is a downward blow. If the kubotan is used upon one of the body's pressure points, it should be held with a forward grip, and a jab should be made with its tip. A kubotan will increase the power of your punches if held in a regular fist.
The human body releases adrenaline at times of excitement. The body reacts to this chemical in more than 150 ways: the heart beats faster, which sends blood to the muscles and makes a person stronger; and pain is numbed. So if you apply unending pain with a kubotan, adrenaline will surge in an opponent's blood, and he will no longer feel the kubotan. So pressure should be released as soon as the opponent complies, and then it can be done again with effect. A kubotan may be less effective if the opponent is drunk, under the influence of drugs, or suffers from mental health problems.
Are Kubotan’s Legal?
Kubotans are legal in most states, and you should know what is the case for your location.
Darren Day is a Briton who rose to fame as a singer. Police in the United Kingdom found he had a kubotan when he was stopped for DUI. The police deemed the kubotan an offensive weapon, and Day was found guilty of carrying one after a two day trial. A friend of Day had given him the kubotan twelve years previously, after growing weary of hearing that the singer had lost his keys.