We have previously covered over LAIX pens in previous reviews and have found them in general to be a very good product for the price range. Can the LAIX B9 tactical pen keep up the tradition of solid pens at a reasonable price?
B9 Tactical Pen Overview
The LAIX B9 Tactical Pen measures ~14 cm from glass breaker end to pen nib. Weighing in at xx grams and combined with its chunky appearance it definitely feels like a solid pen in the hand. The B9 comes in the standard LAIX tactical pen color scheme with Tactical Black (B9-H), Bronze (B9-R) and Tactical Grey (B9) being available.
Unusually for a tactical pen the B9 has both a crowned “DNA Catcher” style glass breaker as well as a dome within the crown.
B9 Tactical Design
In terms of tactical design the B9 is an interesting model. The chunky design is reminiscent of the B008 tactical pen range with the crowned end being similar to those found on the B1 line. It is this crowned end that is quite unusual, it has six points along the circumference with a small point in the middle. The pointed ends on the side look like circles have been taken out of the metal rather than the “castle” shape of the B1 and the middle point is very slightly recessed compared to the edges. Needless to say if used against anything squishy it hurts!
The addition of ribbing is a common design feature for tactical pens and the B9 is no exception. The central location of the ribbing leaves a bit to be desired though as it only has a small contact patch between the pocket clip and smooth nib end. This is not a problem but not as good as it could have been when compared to other LAIX tactical pen models (the B3 in particular).
The B9 tactical pen range has a unique way of retracting the nib which involves rotating the glass breaker. On something smooth sided like the B2 tactical pen this would not pose any issue but a few times I found I was catching myself on the teeth. This was mainly down to me being unfamiliar with the B9 line.
In terms of writing the pen feels quite good to use and while it looks chunky it does not feel like trying to write with the end of a broom like some of the wider tactical pens do. Ink is supplied by a standard “Parker” style refill that can be got from any stationers (we also sell these on our stores) and allows changing to finer tips or to gel based ink.
The pocket clip is quite large and plain metal coloured with a slot cut down the middle. It looks removable but I have not tried as it is a close grip and I am not sure if I would be able to get it back on. Just below the clip there is the standard LAIX faceplate found on all the LAIX tactical pens.
The B9 Tactical Pen Range – Yes or No?
The B9 range has a lot going for it in aesthetic terms with the ribbed styling making it look like something from the Blade Runner set (especially the B9 Grey). The odd choice of glass breaker including a crown and castle style into one provides a very useful tool as it can be used as a glass breaker and a force multiplier in a tactical situation. The circular cut out used on the teeth means the B9 is very painful to be on the wrong end of.
The glass breaker is a bit of a double edge sword though as it requires turning to retract the nib and with the nib fully in it seems a bit loose. I have tested to see if it will come off and it doesn’t (unless you unscrew it completely).
Despite these faults I would still recommend the B9 tactical pens but maybe not as a daily use pen. They are great to write with and very dangerous to be on the wrong end of! My personal choice would be to use this as a briefcase/laptop bag pen.
LAIX B9 Tactical Pen Summary
- Model: B9
- Colours Available: Tactical Black (B2-H), Grey (B2) & Bronze (B2-R)
- Features: Domed and knurled glass breaker (sharp!), Pocket Clip, LAIX tactical pen presentation box, Parker style refill.
- Pros: Chunky sci-fi design, very strong glass breaker/tactical end, nice to write with compared to similar sized tactical pens
- Cons: Nib retraction can be fiddly.
- RRP: £11.99
- Availability: Not currently available but will be listed on Sector 38’s European Amazon stores (DE,FR,IT,ES) and eBay UK