This is the second of a two-part look at the top tactical pens of 2013. In Part 1, we looked at tactical pens from Browning, Benchmade and CRKT.
One of the first companies to jump into the tactical pen market was Surefire with the EWP-01 model. The EWP-01 not only impressed the tactical crowd, it also impressed the pen crowd (yes, there is a pen crowd). The pen, built with aircraft aluminum, has an adjustable feature which allows it to take different sizes of ink cartridges. The barrel shape for this pen is a rounded-cornered triangle, giving solid control and purchase.
The writing point on the EWP-01 is activated by a twist mechanism and the pen comes in black or green. On the later EWP-04 model, the writing tip is activated with a clicker mechanism and comes in black-silver or carbon gray. Of the two, the EWP-04 is thinner than the original EWP-01.
Both models have stainless finishes on the tips, and the derby on the 04 and clicker on the 01 are stainless as steel.
MIL-TAC utilized the black anodized aluminum tactical look, but accents it with steel-colored accents in both the tip cover and the barrel band. The MIL-TAC pen not only uses fluting and ring texture machined into the aluminum barrel, they also have added rubber rings to raise off the barrel and provide a better purchase. MIL-TAC’s pen is on the chunky side, but not the largest of the group.
UZI’s tactical pens, distributed by Campco, have been a runaway success since they debuted in 2010. The two latest additions to the line are the TACPEN7 and TACPEN8. Made from lightweight aircraft aluminum in black or gun metal, both pens feature glass breakers on their tips. They work best with standard or Fisher Space Pen refills.
All the tactical pens I reviewed are solid pieces of equipment, and they all write well. The only design problem I have with most of these pens is in any briefcase or courier bag that I have, the pen pockets seem to be too small for the thicker barrels of these tactical pens.
I’ve also heard that TSA has recently begun confiscating tactical pens from carry-on luggage, so I recommend staying up-to-date on the latest policies before bringing a tactical pen onto an airplane.
— Story by Abe Elias