Award-winning knife designer Allen Elishewitz has lived in the Far East and has practiced martial arts over the past 30 years, including Okinawan Te, Thai Boxing, Northern Shaolin and Kali. This training, along with his experience as a Recon Marine, gave Allen the perfect background to design these defensive writing instruments, CRKT Tao™ Pens.
In Chinese philosophy, Tao means "the way," the fundamental or true nature of the world. And appropriately, these pens reflect the current state of today's world, in which a sudden, unforeseen physical attack can come at any time.
Allen notes, "These pen designs are evolutions of the custom tactical pens I have offered successfully for many years. However, they are very different from the other aggressive-looking pens and kubotans on the market, that is, they do not look threatening, but are useful high-tech writing instruments with a stylish and futuristic design. If the user is threatened or attacked, the pens can be used at three levels of defensive force, depending on the type of threat.
"At the lowest level of engagement, the impact crown on the cap can be used to strike the assailant on the head or hands by raking or thrusting. This provides notice of self defense, and may deter the attacker with minimal injury to him.
"At the second level, the more pointed butt of the pen may be used to thrust or provide a disabling pressure point behind the ears, at the armpit or throat.
"At the third level, if the attack persists, the pen point may be thrust for penetration in soft tissues of the throat, chest or abdomen with potentially lethal results if the assailant does not break off the attack."
The pens are made of 6061 aluminum, precision-machined and hard anodized. The heavy cap is threaded so that it will not pull off in use, and castellated for greater impact. The flutes and grooves on the pen, combined with the pewter-toned stainless steel pocket clip, provide a secure grip.
Four color schemes are available: non reflective olive drab and tactical black, plus brown with bright grooves and black with bright grooves.
All Tao models are functional writing instruments which use the Fisher® Space Pen ball point cartridge, a pressurized design developed for NASA. It has a tungsten carbide ball point and thixotropic ink which will write in freezing cold, boiling heat, underwater and at any angleeven upside down.
When you can't take a knife or handgun, you can rely on the Tao.
I bought the Olive Drab version after seeing the pen used. I loved the worn in look. Didn't realize that mine would get there after one use. The "hard anodize" finish is soft and easily wears away. I love this look, but don't buy it if you want a pretty pen. The pocket clip has clearance holes for the mounting screws. They are not centered over the holes meaning a driver must be held at an angle over the screw heads. I worry about stripped threads. I’m also finding that the cap diameter is too large to fit into any pen pockets of my work shirts or binders. Means I leave this pen on my desk instead of take it with me. Zipper pouch is neat, but the zipper tab broke before I even had the pen out. Overall great pen, but price doesn’t represent a refined instrument.
2014-02-26 Bay vile, NJ
Can't carry a gun or knife in your state or some other state for self defense? Try carrying "just a pen" That is all it is.....a pen. Writes great and looks nothing like a self defense tool. But take my word on this, you can drop a big bad guy with this. And if you are attacked simply run the top side of the pen on the bad guy's skin Bam Instant DNA I carry it all the time. Most have no idea.....IT'JUST A PEN I recommend this highly for not only the above reason's but it is a great gift for the Ladies in your life. This baby will drop the Giant. Too bad David didn't have this for Goliath.....
2013-11-19 Hamilton, VA
Its everything that it should be except maybe a tad to heavy for coat pocket type wear. I retired from Law Enforcement and now do executive protection. After several hours it tends to start pulling inside pocket down. So I now carry it in a sideways belt case. So its not seen but readily available. Well built and serves its purpose well.
2013-03-09 Decatur, AL
I first met Allen in Dallas, TX at the beginning of his knife making career in 1988 and immediately recognized his natural ability to identify needs and create solutions to meet those needs with exacting precision combined with beautiful execution of finished products. Beginning with superior special Ops knives designed to perfection then tactical pens providing the ultimate in stealth self defense and later expanding his artistic talents with his precision hand crafted experience he designed and created precision and unique time pieces for the discriminating consumer, user or collector of such one of a kind items.
CRKT's Elishewitz knives TOA pens allows you to enjoy the quality of Allen's work without needing to take out a loan(well worth it) to obtain his original work
2013-01-25 Knoxville, TN
Just like his knives Allen has produced a beautiful yet functional tool. The pen is light and sturdy, with extremely smooth writing action. It fits great in a front pant pocket. As with all my purchases, I am exceedingly happy with this pen.
2012-12-04 Towson, MD
This pen is sleek, stylish in a clean utilitarian way, and very sturdy. It's not overly heavy or bulky but is certainly robust. It works well both as a pen and as a generic tool, even for everyday purposes. Good buy even if you're not currently in a threatening situation.
2012-08-15 Colorado Springs, CO
This is a great pen and is my second tactical pen. It is significantly lighter than my first one, so much so that it can be worn in a shirt pocket without looking like you've got a pocket full of something heavy and potentially menacing. It is a great looking pen and this also minimizes its menacing, tactical perceived appearance. Finally, it uses a high quality, commonly available refill which makes it all the more practical.
2012-06-20 Clovis, NM
The pen is very well designed, and most of all, it does not look like a self defense pen Also, it writes really well. It is also very attractive and you will wind up carrying this daily with the assurance that you have something to defend yourself with should you need it.
2012-05-24 edmond, OK
very nice and substantial. the weight is good for using as a weapon and the threads are long enough not to be a week point.
2012-05-22 Stillwater, OK
This is a beautiful, functional pen. It has a little more weight than most pens, but very well balanced and has a good feel. When people ask what I want for Christmas or my next birthday, I am giving them instructions on how to order this pen.