THESE PENS ARE MIGHTER
American Outdoor Guide|Fall 2021
SIGN YOUR NAME OR FEND OFF AN ATTACKER. SOME PENS CAN DO DOUBLE DUTY
GORDON MEEHL

Someone once jokingly quipped that if you think the pen is mightier than the sword, you obviously haven’t been stabbed by either. That may have been true when swords were the EDC weapon of choice and pens were plucked from whatever bird was flying near.

Today both pens and weapons have been seriously upgraded. While we spend a lot of time selecting our EDC pistols and edged weapons, few of us spend more than a few moments thinking about EDC pens. In times and places where a concealed pistol and/or knife may not be allowed or desired, only few of us have thought about a durable backup self-defense tool.

What makes a pen a good EDC pen? The first and foremost attribute of a good EDC pen, beyond writing, is that it be substantial enough to be used as a tool for self-defense.

Ideally the pen is made from a hardened metal and has some weight to it. Metal pens are durable, have a great feel in the hand, and can carry enough momentum to be a good defensive tool or to break glass, etc.

A good EDC pen should also be inconspicuous. I like to stray away from the overly tactical looking pens because to me they tend to draw attention. This is also the reason why I don’t carry a kubotan-style weapon. I prefer something that’s less tactical and blends in more, something that no one would think might be used as a weapon. Survival pens with all sorts of built-in features are popular and great for extended backwoods adventures, but in my opinion stray a little far from the practicality of everyday carry convenience.

Rather than catalog a long list of pens, I’ve chosen what I feel are the best representatives of three types of EDC pens.

The first are pens that are finely crafted writing instruments that also happen to be durable and made well enough to handle self-defense usage. The second type is a pen that is designed to be more tactical, but still is simple and low profile enough for EDC. The last are examples of more covert EDC items that look like pens but are a lot more.

NOT ONLY FOR WRITING

If you’re wondering how a pen can be used as a self-defense tool, there are a few simple things to consider. First and foremost, seek out a qualified martial arts instructor that teaches techniques that mesh with your needs. Many instructors have seminar or evening classes specifically geared toward streetwise self-defense that often include the use of pens. While you’re learning to use a pen for self-defense, here are some other things to consider that make pens an ideal backup self-defense tool:

Surprise: Attackers tend to focus on major threats such as guns or knives. As you pull out an innocuous looking pen, few will expect to get their butts handed to them in process. The attacker’s shock of getting stabbed, poked and beaten by a pen will buy you enough time to get away and get safe.

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