Tactical pen, legal carry in the UK or not?

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Minotaur

Native
Apr 27, 2005
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84
Birmingham
I lost my Parker recently and was looking at replacements. The whole range of tactical pens out there caught my interest however I then had the thought are they legal carry?
Some ground rules, this is not a thread for US vs UK rules or self defence related comments. My thought process was it is a pointed metal object obviously intended to be used as a kubaton and they are illegal in the UK so does that make these illegal as well be default.
I am unhappy with the changes in ownership of Parker (No more lifetime guarantee for a start) and I prefer a metal thicker pen just generally so if anyone has suggestions for ones to look at I would be grateful. I am looking for cheap and stylish rather than "tactical". I have a spare Parker I think they are the Urban Ball points and my original which I found is all metal however the newer spare has a plastic nose. The jotters are like this as well now so you have to check if they are all metal or half plastic.
 

spandit

Bushcrafter through and through
Jul 6, 2011
5,558
249
East Sussex, UK
I'm not a lawyer but my understanding is that a jury/judge would have to prove intent that you are carrying it for the purposes of self defence and not just because it's a stylish and rugged writing implement.

A Kubotan is legal to carry as a keyring but frankly there are better choices out there for that purpose which won't get you into trouble.
 
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Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
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My understanding is that they are illegal as they are defined as an object designed to be used as a weapon but styled to look like an everyday object. I may be wrong.
 
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spandit

Bushcrafter through and through
Jul 6, 2011
5,558
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East Sussex, UK
My understanding is that they are illegal as they are defined as an object designed to be used as a weapon but styled to look like an everyday object. I may be wrong.

This is where the intent comes in. I think we're also back to what "tactical" means - if it's just a marketing term to mean "black and rugged", for example, then there is no issue. If you can prove to a prosecutor that you have a genuine need to carry something that is designed for breaking a glass window (like the UZI pen) then again, no issue, but I'm struggling to think of what that genuine need might be.
 
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Minotaur

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Apr 27, 2005
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A Kubotan is legal to carry as a keyring but frankly there are better choices out there for that purpose which won't get you into trouble.
I think these are pointy kubotons which are what is described in the law so illegal.
Think of the carry as a bag for life. I do not want to carry a disposable item. I was looking at these as metal pens and then my thought rabbit hole started.
Just seen your next post, you can get rescue tools with blades to edc which are legal and have the glass breaker. Anyone who drives a car should have access in the car to one of these.
 

spandit

Bushcrafter through and through
Jul 6, 2011
5,558
249
East Sussex, UK
Think of the carry as a bag for life. I do not want to carry a disposable item. I was looking at these as metal pens and then my thought rabbit hole started.

I don't think you'd have a problem. If you get stopped by the police and are found to be carrying a screwdriver but you can point at your carpenter business van, you won't have an issue. If you are carrying it whilst trying to enter a nightclub, then your intent is clearly different.

I don't generally carry a pen with me all the time - I do have a Fisher bullet space pen that is all metal but it would not be useful in a defence situation and my biggest worry is about losing it rather than being Tased by the polis.


Buy something with a glass breaking point on one end, with big grooves to aid grip then you're looking for trouble. Buy something well engineered and don't wave it around in a threatening manner and you should stay out of the Scrubs
 
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Minotaur

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Apr 27, 2005
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I don't generally carry a pen with me all the time - I do have a Fisher bullet space pen that is all metal but it would not be useful in a defence situation and my biggest worry is about losing it rather than being Tased by the polis.
Looks left and right. I do not like them. I like something with a thicker barrel so I have the Urban and not the jotter. I always have a pen on me. My bad habit is not always having paper.
Yeah the big thing Parkers had going for them was the price as at under £20 (On offer or sale mostly) losing one was a pain however not long term grief.
 

TeeDee

Full Member
Nov 6, 2008
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May I suggest the following?

Its the MED-1-Eval Tactical Pen with deluxe glass breaker and a choice of Four ( Yes FOUR!!!! ) easy to deploy writing ink colours.

tactical.jpg

I've never had one problem with muggers ( or anyone else ) since dropping it in my satchel.
 

Minotaur

Native
Apr 27, 2005
1,284
84
Birmingham
Have a look at the all metal Zebra pen. Not tactical, but strong and writes well.
I think I have used a plastic Zebra and thought it was not very thick however will look at it again.

TeeDee, think you might like prison.... I actual carry two pens and the other one is the grey version of that pen without the extras. The thing that worries me is you had the picture available....
 

brambles

Settler
Apr 26, 2012
751
45
Aberdeenshire
A so-called "tactical pen" doesn't do anything you could not do with a normal pen, a short , thin rigid implement with a point. It is just a pen made of metal, take a normal biro and uncap it or click it and you have a short , thin rigid implement with a point. If you want to carry one around with you just ensure you always refer to it as a pen, nothing more. Almost anything can be adapted for use as a weapon, look at the Chelsea Brick as an example. I much prefer the so-called tactical flashlights anyway.
 
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Silverclaws2

Nomad
Dec 30, 2019
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Devon
I looked at the so called ' tactical pens' a few years ago, to think ; they're so ugly, and unwieldy and quite clearly something other than a pen to wonder they are more ' that' than a pen, perhaps even an excuse to carry a weapon through disguising it as a pen and what would Mr 'eager for a bust' Plod 'think'. To end up thinking ; nah, to plumb for the above mentioned Steel Zebra (F-xMD) and a vintage 1970's steel Parker Jotter ( brass joining thread), both of which I have outfitted with Fisher space pen cartridges in different ink colours obviously.
 
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Minotaur

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Apr 27, 2005
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A so-called "tactical pen" doesn't do anything you could not do with a normal pen, a short , thin rigid implement with a point.
While I agreed, I would point to the sak and leatherman. Not a lot of difference however a Judge decided in a court room that a knife with a lock was a fixed blade and suddenly you need a reason to carry the one and not the other.
 

Minotaur

Native
Apr 27, 2005
1,284
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Birmingham
Silverclaws2 I think you are on the money there however I have seen some nice ones with the cartridge load action however they have that label attached.
Might start looking a vintage shops for pen sets as can buy fountain pens and if anything the old ones tend to be thicker.
I think I am slowly becoming out of step with certain values of the modern world. The look of the thing seems more important than the use of a thing. Tailored trousers and pens to name two things.
 
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Silverclaws2

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Dec 30, 2019
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Silverclaws2 I think you are on the money there however I have seen some nice ones with the cartridge load action however they have that label attached.
Might start looking a vintage shops for pen sets as can buy fountain pens and if anything the old ones tend to be thicker.
I think I am slowly becoming out of step with certain values of the modern world. The look of the thing seems more important than the use of a thing. Tailored trousers and pens to name two things.
But if it's ' big and chunky ' you are seeking, know that this century Parker have churned out a few big and chunky ball pens, for myself to have a collection, well a collection and a half of these ;


Where the 3 in 1 I understand can be retrofitted with space pen technology.

Then there is the big and chunky IM ball point, where the premium range does feature some all metal pens ;

The Parker Jotter XL of which is about a third bigger in all dimensions than the original

And then there's my personal favourite Parker design ; the Urban MK1, where I have one of them here on my desk where beyond feeling heavy, to be the heaviest pen I have I am weighing it at 48g

 
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Fadcode

Full Member
Feb 13, 2016
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Cornwall
I have never put a lot of importance on a pen when out hiking/camping etc, I get mine from Screwfix or Toolstation, they are a bit small but when I lose them I never cast a tear, just pick up a new one on the way home.
 
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Nice65

Full Member
Apr 16, 2009
5,454
1,931
W.Sussex
I think I have used a plastic Zebra and thought it was not very thick however will look at it again.

TeeDee, think you might like prison.... I actual carry two pens and the other one is the grey version of that pen without the extras. The thing that worries me is you had the picture available....
The model you need to look at is the cult classic F-701. It’s actually a bit too thick for me, but I’d never get rid of it. Name has changed to FxMD, but it’s the same.


Edit: Apologies, the 701 has been mentioned, I hadn’t refreshed the page from yesterday.
 

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