Tag Archives: pen

Gouged by Defender X tactical pens

If you want to write, you’d like a light, and you might need to fight, maybe a tactical pen is for you?

Let’s dig into Defender X (who sometimes just calls themselves “Defender”) with the sharp corners of our Scam-O-Meters and see what we uncover.  There may be nothing illegal or wrong with the following business practices. But they suggest that the seller is not to be trusted. I’m using my Scam-O-Meter scoring system; -1 means true, +1 means false, and 0 means undetermined.  I penalize the seller for statements made by shills.

Ridiculous claims: -1

  • These days, in a world where terrorism, and natural disasters are becoming the norm, it’s more important than ever to have the right tactical gear.
  • Groundbreaking technology” is used by uniformed services.  Would that be the built-in flashlight?
  • If you’re lost in the woods, you can take notes as to your position or mark landmarks, etc.advises Bold Survivalist.

Suspicious location: -1.  Defender X is really Shadowhawk.  These two mailboxes are also used by known scammer Shadowhawk.  The Terms and Conditions confirm the relationship.

  • Corporate; 7582 Las Vegas Blvd. S #115-405, Las Vegas, NV 89123
  • Returns; 7875 Highlands Village Place, Suite B102 #401, San Diego, CA 92129

Onerous terms: 0.  I’ve seen much worse, so I’m cutting them some slack.  However,

  • If you reverse their credit card charge, that’s theft.
  • They don’t guarantee that the pen is fit for any use.
  • You can’t sue them, join a class action that’s suing them, or join a group arbitration.

Ads, spam, robocalls: -1

  • They’ll use the information you give them plus all they can suck out of your browser to beam ads at you and spam you.
  • They’ll share it with other companies that will do the same.
  • You can unsubscribe from individual mailing lists.
  • If they sell their company, your information is part of the deal.

Lying and deception: -1.  Would you give a liar your credit card?

  • Developed “in collaboration with law enforcement professionals.”  But one of the pictured pens is available thru Alibaba in lots of 10 or more.
  • Officers stated in interviews said that the most important tool you can carry is the item that happens to be in your hand, which more often turns out to be a pen.”  But the consensus on officer.com is that tactical pens are ridiculous.  “Yeah, you can cause some damage with it but if you are stabbing someone as an LEO it’s a lethal force situation, and your not stopping a dedicated attacker with a superficial stab wound.  …How much time are you willing to dedicate to training for what is, IMO, an inferior option to those things you already know how to do and are trained on by your department?

Obfuscation: -1

  • Careful on the order form; it’s pre-filled for a quantity of five pens ($145).
  • Once you go to the order form your browser’s back button is disabled.

Phony reviews: -1.  Featured testimonials and fake review sites.

Crummy product: 0.  Unknown.  Keep in mind that a scam may involve a good product.

Overpriced: -1.  Defender X asks $56 for one pen.  Amazon offers what sure looks like the same pen for $18.

75% discount: -1.  True.

Total score; -8

Unauthorized charges: Defender X inherits Shadowhawk’s CREDIT CARD RISK ALERT.  The Better Business Bureau rates Shadowhawk “F” with over 200 complaints; as of February 2017 they were up to their old tricks.  “I had 2 $8.95 a month charges come from 2 different companies monthly for a “Membership” for items monthly. I never received anything nor did I knowingly sign up for the membership,posted Jameison A.  An ominous sign; Defender X doesn’t accept PayPal.

Conclusion: I think the main advantage of a tactical pen is showing it off to your buddies.  There’s nothing wrong with this.  But don’t get entangled with these scammers; buy one at a store or on Amazon.

Bonus outtake:  The order form has pictures of totally different pens.difflaugh


Only wounded by a Tactical Pen


Final score; +3

Let’s say you feel insecure, you don’t know how to fight, and you want a convenient, innocuous-looking self-defense weapon.  Maybe just to show off to your buddies!

  • First you thought of a tactical flashlight.  But then you’d be carrying a flashlight around all the time, and there’s that Mae West joke.
  • So then you considered a tactical laser, until you found out that they’re just gussied-up pointers.

Now here’s an even more discrete substitute for martial-arts skills; a sharp object that looks and even writes like a pen.  The Facebook ad for this toy led me to a website that looked like a classic web scam.  Let’s see what the Scam-O-Meter has to say about it!

Ridiculous claims: The Laissez Faire website (not a perfect seller, but I’ll give them a link) claims in text and videos that you could break a window with this pen.  That you could stick somebody in the neck with this pen (without martial-arts skills?).  And that the TSA is unlikely to confiscate it in an airport.  The promoter is a “former CIA officer.”  The site has a testimonial from a man who claims he struck an assailant with the pen, without giving details.

I think the assurance that you’ll feel much safer carrying this pen around with no CIA training is a stretch.  Your assailant may take away your pen and stick you in the neck with it.  I found a forum post about a 2010 airport arrest for carrying a tactical pen.  I’ll give Laissez Faire a pass, but no more.  0

Post office box: I see a real building at 808 St. Paul St., Baltimore, MD 21201, so +1

pens address

Trivia; the doorway bears the legend “Ordine Figli D’Italia / In America.”  Apparently the building is or was a lodge of the Order of Sons of Italy, an old fraternal society for immigrants.  No idea what’s inside today.

Onerous terms: The website boldly states, “Your Tactical Pen comes with a no questions asked, 100% money back guarantee.”  A Terms and Conditions page turns out to be mostly PR, saying nothing of substance related to the pen.  +1

Invasion of privacy: The company says they’ll send ads to your email address.  But you can opt out, and they won’t share it.  +1

Lying and deception: None found on Laissez Faire, tho the SmartTechTrends.com review (see below) is less credible.  +1

Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 11.40.41 AMObfuscation: In order to find out the price ($35 plus $5 shipping), you must first give your email address.  And then they put up a countdown timer to make you think you don’t have time to comparison-shop.  -1

Phony reviews:

  • SmartTechTrends.com claims that an assault occurs every 90 seconds.  The Bureau of Justice Statistics reported an estimate of three million “violent victimizations” in 2014.  That comes to 5.7 assaults per minute, about ten times the claimed rate.  Odd that the review didn’t use the higher figure?
  • The picture of a tactical pen in the review is not the pen that Laissez Faire sells.
  • The review includes a button linked to Laissez Faire, so payola is flying the other way; that’s an automatic -1

Crummy product: I couldn’t find any complaints.  As always, I disregarded Laissez Faire’s on-site testimonials.  Most Amazon reviewers quite like a similar product.  0

Overpriced: I saw several pages of tactical pens on Amazon ranging from a few bucks to $30.  I didn’t see an exact match for this pen.  Laissez Faire’s pen is more expensive than most.  I found one for slightly less money that has a built-in flashlight and DNA catcher!  0

Unauthorized charges: I found no complaints about this either.  +1

Bottom line

I have reservations about the real usefulness of a tactical pen.  But if you buy into the idea, the Laissez Faire offering seems as good as any.  It’s just a bit on the high side.