Review of the Hinderer Extreme Duty Tactical Pen
Don’t laugh, but I’m a “pen guy” – I like nice pens. What’s really laughable is my handwriting – it’s horrible. Still, I like to use nice pens and while I usually gravitate toward Montblanc, tactical/defensive pens are of interest as well. In April, I picked up one of Rick Hinderer’s Investigator tactical pens in stainless steel. It’s small size makes it a perfect “casual Friday” or weekend pen for me when I’m looking for something small and unobtrusive to stick in my front pants pocket. But the diminutive size which makes it such a great pen to carry does detract from its defensive capability, as well as its writing comfort. So I started looking more closely at Hinderer’s other tactical pen offering – the Extreme Duty Tactical Pen:
I’ll get this out of the way right now – this is a bit of an expensive pen – particularly in titanium. My above pictured pen is the stone washed titanium version which retails at $237.00. In aluminum, the pen can be had for $80.00. That’s quite a price difference and understandable given how difficult it is to machine titanium. The reason you buy a tactical pen is the thought that one day you might need it to save your live – particularly in a situation where having other defensive tools (guns, knives, etc.) are not practical or legal. In such an instance, would an aluminum tactical pen get the job done? Probably – knowing what I know of Rick Hinderer, he wouldn’t sell one if it had the propensity to fail in a life saving scenario. Psychologically, if I’m in a defensive encounter, do I want an aluminum pen or a titanium one? I made the personal choice to spring for titanium. I also think it’s aesthetically more attractive than the aluminum Extreme Duty pen models in aluminum. I particularly like the detailed machining work done to the Extreme Duty pen – the quality of craftsmanship which Hinderer is legendary for is most evident:
As a writing instrument, but the Extreme Duty and the Investigator tactical pens write very well, thanks to the Fisher Space Pen pressurized ball point ink cartridges common to both pens.
The Investigator is fine for simply signing something or other brief writing tasks, but is going to be too small to comfortably handle more extended writing. The Extreme Duty model dwarfs the Investigator so even those with larger hands will be able to write comfortably with it:
The size of these two pens brings me to my only real (minor) criticism – neither the Extreme Duty nor the Investigator is a good size to use as a day-to-day pen. The Investigator’s small size which makes it so pocketable also makes it an uncomfortable pen to write with for extended periods. The Extreme Duty pen on the other hand is both longer and particularly fatter than any other pen I own. Hinderer really needs to give us a “baby bear soup” sized tactical pen which would fit between the Extreme Duty and the Investigator.
While the Extreme Duty Tactical Pen looks and functions as a pen, it’s also designed with a defensive purpose and can be used like a kubaton. A kubaton is not a weapon which I’ve had any training with or exposure to – something I intend to rectify. With proper training, a kubaton can not only be used as a stabbing weapon, but also used as a pressure point and pain compliance weapon. For me, such a weapon would not be my first (or even second) choice to be used in self-defense. But in other wise “weapon free” zones (air ports for example) having a pen that can be pushed to a defensive role is definitely an advantage. Of course, it’s a neat pen too (I am a pen guy) and looks great with my other every day carry type items.
If you’re looking for one of the best tactical pens available in the marketplace, look no further than the Hinderer Extreme Duty Pen.