Zero Tolerance Tactical Pen 0010BLK Review

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PTR Review
  • Pro Review 9.2

Whether you're on the jobsite, traveling by air, or just want some security without carrying a firearm or knife as a defensive tool, the Zero Tolerance Tactical Pen is a high quality option.

Overall Score 9.2 (out of 10)

Events going on around the world and around our country make people wonder what the world is coming to. Each story is tragic in its own right and people process them in different ways. Many people wonder how they can protect themselves and their families. These people see the world differently – they’re always on guard and ready to act. They also know how to use the tools at their disposal, and it isn’t always a firearm. Sometimes the best tool is the one you carry everywhere, everyday. I don’t know about you, but I never leave home without a pen on me. In this case, it’s the Zero Tolerance Tactical Pen.

Ask most guys what’s in their EDC loadout and you’re likely to hear about a subcompact hand gun, a knife of one form or another (I carry ZT’s 0095BW by the way), and various other items. Most of the guys are simply happy and even honored to take the responsibility of defending themselves, their families, and any innocent bystander nearby. It’s not always convenient or legal to carry all your gear. I travel a lot for Pro Tool Reviews and I’d rather not leave my gear behind, but I also respect the law and those whose job it is to defend it.

Whether I’m on the jobsite or checking in through TSA at the airport, you’ll find the Zero Tolerance Tactical Pen on me. There are several reasons I prefer it over other writing utensils and they might just be solid enough for you to pull the trigger.

How It’s Made

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Zero Tolerance built their tactical pen from 6061-T6 aircraft aluminum for the same reasons we see it used in other industries – it’s strong and lightweight. Knowing that this isn’t a pen likely to live in an office building, Zero Tolerance prepared it for the outdoors by sealing the cartridge compartment with an o-ring.

A quick look will immediately draw your eye to grooves in the body reminiscent of rifling. The pen tip is non-retracting so you’ll be pulling the cap off to use it. It fits securely on the tactical end and should reduce the risk of it going missing.

The clip is as solid as I’ve seen. Held in by two bolts, it’s tough and I have a hard time seeing that you’ll bend it or break it off anytime soon.

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A Pen Has to Write

First and foremost, the Zero Tolerance Tactical Pen is a writing instrument and a pretty nice one. They include a Rite in the Rain cartridge that lets you write upside down and in any weather. You can replace it with a new one when it runs out or select your favorite Parker or Fisher Space Pen refill. Your ability to write smoothly has everything to do with where the pen touches the paper and the refill compatibility offers excellent options.

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A Pen in the Hand

Beyond the cartridge point, ergonomics are a huge deal for writing instruments. ZT’s model is a little wider than I normally prefer on the grip. I got used to it pretty quickly though. Grooves cut into the grip keep it from slipping even though it’s a straight up metal surface. I also have the titanium model (it’s been discontinued, but you can still find it around). It’s on the heavy side of things, but the 0010BLK’s aluminum gives it a solid feel without tipping the scales over the edge.

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What About the Tactical End?

While the Zero Tolerance Tactical Pen lives most of its life as a writing instrument, its part time job is defense and egress. A glass breaker tip is built into the end. This directs all the energy you can muster into a small tip that can shatter glass in the event you need to get yourself or someone else through a window or glass door.

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The tip is also plenty sharp enough to penetrate skin as a defensive tool should you need it. However, the rigidity of the entire build is solid enough that it can be used as a blunt instrument from the opposite end. It’s also great for applying force to pressure points.

The Bottom Line

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ZT’s Tactical Pen is an all-around winner. The build quality is outstanding as is the Rite in the Rain ink cartridge it comes with and your refill options. Price is on the upper tier with an MSRP of $125, though you can find it online under $100.

Whether you’re on the jobsite, traveling by air, or just want some security without carrying a firearm or knife as a defensive tool, the Zero Tolerance Tactical Pen is a high quality option. Tactical considerations aside, first responders that need to have a glass breaker nearby at all times can carry it lieu of a separate tool. With Christmas on the horizon (sorry for mentioning that in September), it makes a great gift for just about anyone that would like a little more peace of mind.

Zero Tolerance Tactical Pen Specifications

  • Model: Zero Tolerance 0010BLK
  • Material: 6061-T6 Aluminum
  • Length: 5.3 inches (closed)
  • Weight: 1.3 ounces
  • Compatible Refills: Rite in the Rain (included), Parker, Fisher Space Pen
  • MSRP: $125
  • Online Pricing: $97.58 (Amazon)

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