When it comes to modern-day multitools, I am very particular. There is one multitool I never really got into and that is a tactical pen. In the following article, I will be doing a hands-on StrikePen review. This pen was created by ApeSurvival.
In case you have never heard of these here is a brief description. A tactical pen looks like an oversized pen that can be carried on a keychain or clipped into a pocket. In their simplest form, they generally have three functions. They are a pen used for writing and a hardened tip that can be used to break glass or as a defensive tool.
The StrikePen is not a standard tactical pen because I count nine different functions. Let’s start the review off by seeing what the StrikePen has to offer.
StrikePen Review: My Hands-On Experience
- Bottle opener
- Hex wrench
- Flathead driver
- Steel pocket clip
- LED flashlight
- Tungsten tip glass breaker
- Ballpoint pen
- Spare ink cartridge
- Flashlight battery included
After opening the box, I noticed three items tucked away within the foam packing. The StrikePen, an ink cartridge, and the bottle opener attachment.
After inspecting the StrikePen for a few minutes I found that the pen already had an ink cartridge installed, so the one in the box is spare. It is nice that a spare is included and for the time being I set this off to the side.
Before jumping into the testing there is one thing to note about the tools on this pen. All of the tools except for two are permanently fixed to the pen.
Those two tools are the knife blade and the bottle opener. Because they are attachments that are threaded into the same location only one can be used at a time.
Field Test of the StrikePen
Because it is called the StrikePen, I wanted to try out the pen function first. The pen is hidden inside, so to access it the frame needs to be unscrewed about halfway up the frame.
When this portion is unscrewed, flip it around and start writing. The pen is used as a separate tool and does not screw back into the frame during operation.
This is okay as there is enough of a body to the pen to make it comfortable in the hand. It writes very smoothly with little pressure. But the ink cartridge is slightly loose and has some movement to it. However, this does not seem to affect its operation.
But I do not like the steps involved in using the pen. I have to unscrew it, flip it around, and then I have two pieces to keep track of. I think the design would have been better if the glass breaker were a cap that was removed, revealing the pen, and could then be placed on the opposite end.
When the ink runs out, replacing the cartridge with the spare is quite easy. Unscrew the pen lid and the old cartridge and spring will fall out. Keep the spring but toss the old cartridge to the side. Slide the spring on the new cartridge, place it in the frame, and tighten the pen cap back onto the frame.
While the knife blade it can still be useful for daily cutting tasks. It failed the paper cutting test, meaning that it was not razor sharp.
Instead of cutting through the edge of the paper, it dug in and ripped it apart. However, it was able to cut through a piece of 550 paracord with little effort.
Given its size, the knife would be best suited for light-duty tasks such as cutting cordage and opening packaging. Even though it is small, in a worst-case scenario it may be enough to persuade a would-be threat into walking away.
But this would require unscrewing the cap first. When time is of the essence, the tungsten tip would prove quicker to use in this type of situation.
Second Cutting Edge
On the bottle opener, there is a secondary cutting edge that is smaller than the knife blade and is serrated. I found this tool to be slightly useless because of its very small size and it was extremely dull.
I am a little unsure what this tool is supposed to be used for and I could find no description for it other than “cutting edge.” I guess if you need a tool for scraping away at some material, this tool could be used for that.
Well, it is a bottle opener and it works as such. In my case, this will be the least used tool on the StrikePen but if you find yourself around a lot of bottles that need to be opened, this little tool could make you the life of the party.
Flat Head Driver
This driver should be thought of as a miniature driver as it is quite small. Also, since it is just a driver’s head, it would work best on surface-level hardware that is easily accessed.
Given how little this wrench is I am unsure how handy it will be. If you deal with a lot of small hardware than I guess this function would be nice to have. But I do not see most people using the hex wrench, myself included.
The StrikePen is set up so that the tungsten tipped glass breaker is readily available for use. At the top of the pen is the flashlight which is receded within the frame. This allows for a more comfortable and secure position for your thumb when using the glass breaker.
I did not have a spare window to test this out on but I was able to find a glass bottle. While it is not the same it should suffice as a preliminary test.
While wearing proper PPE, I grasped the StikePen firmly in my hand and sharply struck the bottle. With one blow, the StrikePen was able to break the bottle into several pieces.
After breaking the bottle I saw a coloration difference on the end of the glass breaker. Upon closer inspection I noticed scratches on the body of the pen where some of the black paint was now coming off. I also noticed small gouges in the tungsten tip, which I thought was curious.
At the top of the pen is a small flashlight. The battery is already installed but I had to remove the paper divider between the battery and the connection. To do this, simply unscrew the flashlight cap and remove the divider. The battery is listed as an LR936 RoHS & Cell.
There is a small brass colored button on the cap that operates the flashlight and its two modes. Pressing the button once will turn the light on in normal mode. Pressing the button a second time will put it into strobe mode. Pressing it a third time will turn the flashlight off.
This isn’t the brightest flashlight in the world, but from a short distance, it is bright enough to mess with eyesight, especially in low light conditions. The strobe mode would come in handy when signaling for help or for disrupting an adversary’s eyesight.
Considering that this pen is meant to be carried in a location of quick access, the clip needs to be able to hold up to the pen being removed from a pocket repeatedly. This clip appears to be sturdy and has an extremely tight fit for the pen.
StrikePen Pros and Cons
- Can be discreetly carried
- Packs several tools in a compact package
- Can only use one attachment tool at a time without a way of carrying the second attachment. Must choose between having the knife blade or the bottle opener attachment.
- Flashlight requires an uncommon battery
- Tools on the bottle opener attachment are nothing special
- Do not care for the steps involved in using the pen
- Glass breaker end may become damaged after using it
To accompany this article, I also put together a hands-on review video:
Hopefully, you found this StrikePen review interesting. The StrikePen doesn’t do anything for me in the sense that I didn’t get any kind of wow feeling from using it.
To be fair the flashlight and pen worked well. The glass breaker did break the bottle with one blow but the damage to the end of the tungsten tip was concerning.
The knife blade was okay and I could have done without the bottle opener attachment with its various tools. I am perplexed as to why so many multitools come with bottle openers. To me, they seem highly unnecessary and a more useful tool could take its place.
I do not think I will be carrying this around but if you need a writing pen and a flashlight then maybe StrikePen is for you. Just do not expect too much from the other tools on board.
Do you carry a tactical pen or do you have any experience with the StrikePen? If so, we would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!