Some will laugh a little at first at the thought of a "tactical" pen. But after it's explained, it's actually a pretty good idea. I like things that have multiple uses. This makes carrying less gear possible and makes every piece of gear useful.
The Tuff-Writer has taken the pen to a new level. The Tuff-Writer is just as tough as it's name implies. Made of 6061-T6 Aerospace Grade Aluminum, the Tuff-writer sports a tactical finish that is hard anodized to Mil-A-8625 “F” specifications. This extremely hard finish doesn't wear off very easily. When it comes to toughness nothing was spared. The clip is made of cold pressed spring steel with nickel oxide finish and all connections are made with Black oxide stainless steel bolts and chemical welding. When you hold this pen you can tell it's made to last and take plenty of abuse.
I've been using this pen for almost a year now and I have to say that this is an excellent tool/pen/weapon system. Durability is excellent. I've even seen someone hammer theirs through a 2x4 with no damage....that's a tough pen.
-- Gear Geeks - Military and Recreation Gear Reviews
The clip is made of heavy duty spring steel with rowdy chemically welded bolts. In summary I won't be worried about that breaking off anytime soon if ever. Functionality wise it has good tension and the raised end lip makes it easy to mount. The cartridge is the same ones used in those cool guy space pens so they are pressurized allowing the user to write upside down and in extreme temperatures. They are affordably replaceable whenever you do run out of ink. The exterior finish is pretty snazzy and so far has been very scratch resistant. Although the finish isn't super flat matte, it is non-reflective and won't take on fingerprints. A lanyard hole is in the cap to allow your favorite cord to be added if a connection point is desired. As with all the Tuff-Writer pens so far, the kind of user they attract are those who like things super simple and heavy duty.
It’s a big world out there, you’d better have something tough on your side. That's why I always carry my trusty Tuff-Writer.
-- Terry Goodkind - #1 New York Times Bestselling author
It is, I have to say, an incredibly nice pen to write with. This will be my book-signing pen of choice. It’s smooth, well-balanced, easy to use, and can lance the gizzards of uppity fanboys in a single strike. I figure a pen weapons-tested by SWAT rangemasters and martial artists should control a signing line fairly well. You will have to pry my Tactical Defense Pen out of my cold dead ink-stained hand.
-- Warren Ellis - Author / Graphic Novelist
Overall, beyond the desirability of a slightly shorter pocket clip and the availability of a somewhat more rounded end option we could think of no
other improvements for this pen and everyone who used it was impressed by the Tuff-Writer shorty.
Given our requirements of discrete appearance and effectiveness for use in tactical control situations we thought it was the best of the purpose-made tactical pens we compared in our assessment and training session.
-- RW - Tactical Firearms Instructor, Arizona
Initial impressions; I dealt with Jack at Tuff-Writer and had a great experience. Had several emails back and forth and replies were always courteous and prompt - excellent customer service. The Tuff-Writer is longer and wider than most typical pens. There knurling is aggressive enough to allow for a solid grip if pressed into use as a weapon, but not so much that it is uncomfortable to use while writing. The finish was very nice for both the black and brown pens. Initially, I was worried that the extra long pen might be awkward while trying to write, but when I actually had a chance to put pen to paper, I was pleasantly surprised that it was well balanced - it did not feel top-heavy at all. While I did not have a chance to write upside-down with the pen, I tested it on a horizontal surface (my desk) as well as a vertical surface (a wall) and there were no ink flow problems.
... I had occasion to travel internationally on commercial carriers with the Tuff-Writer. I had no problems with security in Kuwait, Washington DC, or Portland, ME. I think the Chrome version would attract even less attention, should TSA want to look further into it.
-- GG - IED Countermeasures CREW, Iraq
I got one of the last pens available on Saturday [at the Vegas USN show]. The pen is just fantastic! The finish they put on there is about as bullet-proof a finish as I think possible. It doesn't show prints; it doesn't scratch; it is beautifully applied with no "orange peel" or any other sort of flaw to be found. The heft of the pen is also quite nice, balanced and feels good in the hand.
Oh, and Jack let me buy off his neck the last "Urban Camo" sheath from Buy Brown. Thanks again bro for that!
-- B.W., USN
...For this technique, I prefer a pencil rather than a standard pen because the pencil’s greater length performs better in this grip. The exception to this is my favorite tactical pen, the Tuff-Writer. This pen is 6½“ long. Most tactical pens I’ve seen previously were nearly an inch shorter. Gentlemen, trust me on this, that extra inch makes a big difference (especially when using a pen in this palm reinforced grip). Another advantage the Tuff-Writer has over some tactical pens is that the Tuff-Writer doesn’t look “tactical.” Some tactical pens have a sharp point that could cause it to be confiscated by the local gendarmes. The Tuff-Writer, while having a point that can do enough damage, is not so pointed that it screams "weapon".
-- Tuhon Bill McGrath of Pekiti-Tirsia International
I can't say I've ever had a quality pen so I was pleased to get a hold of one of these Tuff Writer pens which are appropriately classified as tactical pens. As you can see on the specs list, it is made of some heavy duty materials. ...The exterior finish is pretty snazzy and so far has been very scratch resistant. Although the finish isn't super flat matte, it is non-reflective and won't take on fingerprints. I like the main exterior clip a lot in which the shape allows for smooth on / off ability while still keeping a secure grip. Normally clips are the first to break on many pens, but the large bolts and chemical welding look like a winning combination for durability.
As far as usability goes it has been a daily reliable pen. ...At first the price may seem a bit much, but be sure and note that these are well under the fancy pants pens at an office supply store.
-- Milspec Monkey
I received my Surefire pen yesterday and your Frontline today and thought I would give you my impressions of both. The Surefire has a slightly more polished look and feel to it than the Frontline; slightly more refined perhaps - but is that the point of a tactical pen? That is really the only part where the Surefire can be considered superior. The Frontline is much easier to grip and write with, especially with gloves. Depending on the gloves, the Surefire can become a little slick, heck even without gloves it is a little slick. The texture on the Frontline provides excellent feel with and without gloves. I especially like how your clip is attached.
Really I can find no flaws with the Frontline pen. I can see, though, how some might prefer a smaller nub on the non-writing end like on the Surefire versus the slightly longer pointed end on the Frontline, but that will be personal preference. Sure you have to remove the cap on yours to use it to write, but the Tuff-Writer has a much more solid feel when pulling it from your shirt pocket or a somewhere else. Both pens do write extremely well.
If I were purchasing one of these pens solely for personal use, I would only be keeping yours.
-- Keith R. - F-18 Pilot
The pen arrived today! Perfect fit and finish with flawless anodizing. Feels very well balanced when writing and I appreciate the knurling at the finger grip. I also like the flat (ACME-like) thread for the cap. Feels very solid and reliable with no sharp unpleasant edges. Also nice with the close tolerances for the refill with no rattle at the tip. Excellent pocket clip.
-- Jan L. - Radiologist, Dubai
I love this watch ! It looks great, keeps good time (so far at least) and appears to be as tough as they say, although I have not driven over it or smashed it with a hammer.
-- John O'Neil
I have gone through 4 Marathon Military Field watches in 8 years, so the search is always on for a more durable watch. Requirements are easy to read, tritium illumination, and durable. I read the reviews on other sites and watched the advertisement. For less than the price of 2 Marathon Field watches, I could give the Armourlite a try.
I replaced the Armourlite's leather band with a 20mm Timex Ironman replacement band, a 2 person job, and put the watch to work. I wear it to work everyday with the primary hazard to the watch being from impacts to the case and face. So far the watch looks like the day I received it, because: The case is robust, made of stainless steel, the glass is recessed into the case, and the glass is protected by the rubber ring that extends above the case and literally acts as a bumper. The screw-down crown is a first for me and helped tip the scales toward a purchase.
Off course no watch can be ultra durable and totally stylish at the same time...that same rubber ring blends well with the case but I suspect it will become scuffed as more time passes. The crown on my previous watches have always worn down to a stub and the Armourlite's crown is protected from the top but not from the bottom as in rubbing on your wrist. If the crown is stainless then it should hold up better than the Marathon's cast crown. The face is recessed so deeply that to see all of the numbers you need to look nearly straight into it. I call it the "well effect"; however in the name of durability I am happy to live with it. I would have liked a "white" tritium marker at the 12 o'clock for better orientation in the dark. In the dark is where a tritium illuminated watch performs best and this version looks killer with it's blue hands and number markers. Again a different color at 12 o'clock would be first on my very short list of changes.
My wife is tired of hearing how much I like this watch and I would have to say if you are looking for impressive durability, tritium illumination, and a price that becomes even more reasonable as the watch bounces back from a strike that would have cracked the sapphire crystal on my previous Marathon Field watches; then give this Armourlite a shot.
-- K. Reid, USA
I love watches. I work at night so the blue tritium works out great. It's very easy to see at a glance in the dar. It's a tough, rugged watch and it feels substantial on your arm. Not very big either. It's got good lines. I'm glad I bought it and it's seems that with the level of quality I'll have it for many years to come.
-- Thomas Allen