While the chances of being caught up in a dangerous situation are thankfully low, having something about your person for such an eventuality isn't a bad idea. The Impromptu Tactical Pen from Gerber, with its glass-breaking steel tip, is one option for those who want to keep themselves safe. It is, as its name suggests, a simple writing implement with a hidden extra that could mean the difference between life and death.

Gerber is more associated with producing knives than anything else, but now also produces multitools and survival kits, amongst other things. The Impromptu Tactical Pen fits into its existing catalog but still represents a new form factor for the company. Based on the idea that "the most important tool you have is whatever happens to be in your hand," the Impromptu Tactical Pen shows its true colors when danger strikes.

The Impromptu Tactical Pen is, first and foremost, a writing implement. The hope has to be that you'll never have to use it for anything other than writing. On this score the Impromptu tactical pen delivers, with a body crafted from machined steel and a “rite-in-the-rain” (rite? really? – Ed) ballpoint pen cartridge that allows the user to write in all weathers, and upside down.

The feature that sets this pen apart from regular ballpoints is the integrated steel shard in the pen’s tip which is capable of breaking glass. This means if you're trapped in a car within reach of the windshield you can smash your way out using nothing but your not-so-humble pen.

Gerber's Impromptu Tactical Pen isn't alone in offering these extras, with the UZI Tactical Defender Pen sporting similar features and a very similar design sensibility. The Gerber option can be purchased online or from authorized dealers, and has a MSRP of US$62.

The video below shows the Gerber Impromptu Tactical pen from various angles.

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