In a market where any item seems to be produced in a “tactical” version, CRKT Williams Defense Tactical Pen 2 (WTP2) offers some very interesting features that set it apart from the rest of its kin
We have a multitude of tactical pens on the market, supposedly intended to be used as an improvised weapon in case of need. Many of these writing implements have several drawbacks, though, sometimes severe ones.
The CRKT Williams Defense Pen 2 seems to have been devised cleverly and carefully, with a very level headed approach.
PRIMARY vs SECONDARY FUNCTION
A tactical pen has two functions: as a writing implement and as an improvised weapon and, let’s be absolutely clear about this topic, the primary purpose of a pen is as a writing implement. We will use the pen a hundred thousand times to write something for each time we will use it as a weapon (and, hopefully, we’ll never have to resort to a pen as a weapon).
Thus, first of all a pen must perform well in its role as a pen. Unfortunately, most tactical pens perform poorly under this aspect. You often have to remove a screw on cap (great for structural sturdiness, annoying as hell when you have to jot down a number spewed out from an automatic answering service that shoots numbers like a machine gun). They often have knurled or ridged surfaces meant to “enhance grip” that make prolonged writing about as pleasant as gripping a pissed off crayfish. They have sharp corners that will cut a hole in your pocket in zero time, or even cause mild injuries when you reach blindly into your briefcase or backpack.
The CRKT Williams Defense Pen 2 is very smooth and very comfortable in your hand, sleek enough to suit small hands, thick enough you don’t have to cramp your fingers to grip it, without at the same time giving you the feeling of having a section of steel pipe in your hand.
The cap is of the snap-on kind, with a solid, sturdy fit guaranteed by the internal profile which precisely copies that of the pen’s body and an o-ring inside the cap that incidentally also protects the pen from water infiltration (even if it’s not strictly necessary, as we’ll see in a moment). Just pull firmly on the cap to write. The cap can also be fitted to the other end for a more balanced and beefy feeling in your hand.
A tactical pen should also be something sturdy enough to withstand harsh field conditions, and with a 6061 aircraft grade aluminum body with a Type III anodizing, the WTP2 is extremely robust and scratch resistant. Finally, it should also allow you to write in most situations. To this end, the CRKT Williams Defense Pen 2 adopts Fisher refill cartridges.
For those who don’t know the “Fisher Space Pen”, these are capable of writing in any position, like upside down (try it with your average ballpoint for more than a few letters) under water, in freezing or extremely hot temperatures and on wet or oily surfaces. Moreover, Fisher refills are commonly available from most sources (including Amazon) in several colors including the traditional black and blue, then red, crimson, green, turquoise, brown and purple.
While most tactical pens have a rough, aggressive look, this CRKT tactcal pen is sleek and elegant. This goes far beyond mere aesthetics, which are a matter of personal opinion ( “de gustibus…”). Perhaps the single, most relevant, “daming” feature of the vast majority of tactical pens is that they look exactly like what they are: a weapon.
Tactical pens were created to carry a weapon of some kind where you are not supposed to carry a weapon (but you can carry a pen). Unfortunately the whole concept goes out of the window if your “covert” weapon looks exactly like something meant to ruin someone’s day.
Imagine if the famous “SMG briefcase” carried by presidential security was a ridged, olive green metal briefcase with a Mini Uzi silhouette embossed on the side… Kind of defeats the purpose of having an SMG in a briefcase, right? While a fully functional kubotan, the WTP2 looks nothing more than a beautiful designer pen.
Summing it up, unlike many “tactical” pens, which seem to have been made by someone thinking of battle crazed Klingons as the most likely clientele, CRKT’s Williams Defense Pen 2 has been designed with a very pragmatic approach: a sleek, refined object that doesn’t look like a weapon at all (but can be used as such with great effectiveness) which above all is a damn fine writing implement: comfortable, very practical and very solidly built.
Considering the extremely remote chance of using a pen as a weapon, the CRKT Williams Defense Pen 2 does exactly what one should mainly expect from a “tactical” pen: allow you to write comfortably and reliably in the toughest conditions. Then, yes, if you absolutely have to jam it into someone’s skull, you can do it.