Depending on your view of the world, you may feel that you need to be able to carry something for your own self-defense. Sure, I usually have a pocket knife on me every day, but that’s more for use as a tool, and not for self-defense. Well, what if you do want to have something specifically for that, and one that won’t raise eyebrows at a security checkpoint, say, at the airport? Well, how about something like this Tactical Spy Pen?

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Jason Hanson, CIA

The Tactical Spy Pen

This pen was designed by Jason Hanson, a former CIA officer. So, there’s some credibility there in terms of the purpose this pen was designed for. For a regular person like you and me, it’s not like we’re going to be a super agent just because we carry the pen. Then again, that’s not what this is for. This is to give you a sense of security, as well as something that could be used in a pinch.


One on hand, the Tactical Spy Pen feels like a very large pen. It measures in at about 6″ long, but that’s really not any longer than your standard Pilot G2. It definitely has more of a heft, however, due to the all-metal body (as opposed to the plastics most pens use). The self-defense end of things, there’s a rather sharp point at the end. Wrap your hand around the pen, put your thumb over the cap, and now you’ve got something that could give someone second thoughts about being too close to you.

Dual Use

Now, about that point. It’s not as sharp as a knife, so you don’t have to worry about carrying it. That said, it is sharp, so I was careful about what sort of pockets I slipped it into. Where I settled on it, in terms of a good home, was slipped into the external loops on a backpack. There, the pens is readily available, both for self-defense as well as for, you know, writing.

And yes, you can definitely use the Tactical Spy Pen. It’s a standard roller ball insert, and performs as you would expect for a roller ball. Nothing special, but it gets the job done. I will say that pulling the cap (and posting it) is very stiff. This is due to the o-ring inside the cap. This means you don’t have to worry about keeping the pen on the outside of a bag, but it does mean you’ve got to work at opening up the pen a bit. Not a problem, just something to be aware of.

Tactical Spy Pen: Strength

While the pen comes with a clip on it, if you want to remove it, you easily can, as the end of the cap unthreads, and once you remove the clip and put it back together, you can’t tell that there was a clip installed originally. Now, back to self defense. I wasn’t jabbing anyone (other than myself) with it, so how do we know how tough is it? Well, it could definitely split a block of ice (see that below), and I’ve a feeling it could definitely be used to break glass (trapped in a car) or maybe even to help split very dry (and not too dense) wood if you wanted.

Want to get one? They’re $35 direct from

By Patrick Kansa

A big data developer and leader with a penchant for gadgets, books, watches and beverages. You can find my work on WristWatchReview, Knapsack.News, and Slushpile. If you're on Twitter and/or Instagram, you'll find me there as @PatrickWatches.

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