Given how small they were, they certainly came in handy when someone needed a weapon at a spur of the moment. Beverly Crusher just happened to have one in "Conspiracy" after the parasite-possessed Admiral Quinn managed to incapacitate Riker, LaForge, and Worf. Q seemingly didn't think to disarm the bridge crew the first time he whisked them minus Picard off to some planet in "Hide & Q". After the first season of TNG, they gradually fell into disuse. Riker and Worf occasionally use them in the second and third seasons. Wesley even had one in a fifth season episode. But we never saw them in use beyond that or on DS9 and Voyager.