This is a review of the C.U.M.A. Ram Tactical Pen. Tactical pens are an updated version of the kuboton. Both are self-defense weapons that can be used to attack vulnerable points of the body. These attack points typically include soft tissue, pressure points, or other sensitive areas of the body.
In an effort to follow the spirit of full disclosure, I must let the reader know that C.U.M.A Ram sent me their brand to review after I had an e-mail conservation with a tactical pen expert. I was not paid for this review. The tactical pen that started the aforementioned conversation was the Crusher Tactical Pen. This review will compare both pens.
First, the Crusher Tactical Pen: The one thing that the Crusher (pictured to the right) has going for it is its price. At $18.00, it’s a fairly cheap and inconspicuous self-defense tool. When capped, the crusher has a rounded striking surface on one end and an impact crown at the other. The former is intended to be used like a kuboton while the latter is designed to tear flesh, which presumably will provide a DNA sample of your attacker that you can give to law enforcement.
Could you use the Crusher as a self-defense weapon? Definitely. However, it has flaws. First, the pocket clip was so tight that I had trouble getting the pen quickly in and out of my shirt or suit pocket. Also, the semi-sharp crown occasionally snagged on my suit pocket. A quick release is paramount if you are actually being attacked and this pen does not have that. Second, I think the pen could do without the impact crown. The problem with the crown is that your thumb rests on its semi-sharp surface when using the kuboton end. Thus, when you strike a solid surface, the shock is transferred to your thumb via the semi-sharp crown. In fact, while exploring strikes with it on a solid surface, I ended up tearing the skin on my thumb—not exactly ideal if you really have to use the Crusher to defend yourself!
In comparison, the C.U.M.A. Ram Tactical Pen (pictured to the left) is superior. First, the kuboton tip is beveled to a much finer point. This means that you need to apply far less pressure if you use it for pain compliance. In addition, the C.U.M.A. Ram lacks an impact crown which saves your thumb from damage if you have to use the pen in a striking manner.
Lastly, after comparing the two pens, I suspected that if the C.U.M.A. Ram was used as a striking tool, it would probably penetrate flesh. To verify my hunch I tested both pens on a pine board. Using a basic hammer fist strike the Crusher left shallow impressions whereas the C.U.M.A. Ram left some very deep holes. So deep in fact that I shudder to imagine being on the receiving end of a strike from this pen!
My favorite feature, however, is the C.U.M.A. Ram’s “high-speed, quick-release, clip-cap.” This feature gives you the option of wearing the pen around your neck while it hangs from the neck lanyard. Releasing the pen from its clip-cap requires a simple tug. In less than a second you can free the pen from the lanyard and use it to defend yourself.
Contrast this to how the Crusher snags on clothing and you’ll quickly figure out why I prefer the C.U.M.A. Ram for this feature alone. Moreover, you can carry the C.U.M.A. Ram like a normal pen while wearing suits, uniforms, or business casual clothing. Alternately, using the neck lanyard, you can hang it from your vehicle’s rear view mirror or wear it around your neck during outdoor activities. The C.U.M.A. Ram gives you several carrying options whereas the Crusher does not.
In summary: For its inexpensive price, the Crusher would work in a pinch. However, the C.U.M.A. Ram Tactical Pen outperforms it on numerous fronts. Therefore, I think the Ram is the obvious choice.