Posts filed under DelGuard

Zebra DelGuard Limited Edition Mechanical Pencil Review

Zebra DelGuard Mechanical Pencil Review

The Zebra DelGuard mechanism is pretty effective and ingenious, and I can't figure out why they've put it on an otherwise sub-par pencil. The trick of the mechanism is that there are springs inside that will retract the lead if too much vertical pressure is applied, or extend the nose tip if too much diagonal pressure is applied. This is meant to reduce lead breakage. I tried to break the lead on this pencil and couldn't do it. If you're a heavy-handed pencil user and frequent lead-breaker, this pencil may solve your problems.

The pencil body is made of lightweight plastic. The bottom third of it is clear, and the top two thirds are decorated with a pretty limited edition color gradient. There are other color gradients available, as well as some more plain colors, and some adorable Ghibli character prints, like Totoro and Kiki. I fully admit I would use a Totoro pencil no matter what the quality of the build, but in general this model has enough strikes against it for me that I don't see it finding a spot in my rotation.

Zebra DelGuard Mechanical Pencil Grip

My primary issue with the pencil is the uncomfortable grip. It has a lot of inexplicable bumps and grooves and I can't find a spot on it where it feels like my fingers should rest. The plastic is also slippery, and the ridges--numerous though they are--don't aid in grip at all. It's the worst of both worlds.

Zebra DelGuard Mechanical Pencil Eraser

Another issue is the itty bitty eraser that also doesn't do a very good job erasing. I don't care for the minuscule erasers that seem to top so many mechanical pencils. And what's with the wee metal hat for it? I'm amazed I managed to keep track of that piece for the duration of the review period. I'm sure I'll soon lose it, but perhaps not before I run out of this sliver of eraser.

Zebra DelGuard Mechanical Pencil Lead

The lead that comes with this pencil is quite hard and draws a very pale line. It takes quite a bit of pressure to make a darker line, which works okay, since the lead hasn't ever broken for me. I'd be curious to try this mechanism with a softer lead. It can take any .5mm lead, so it should always be easy and convenient to find refills for it.

One nice thing about the build is that it has a sturdy but flexible clip. It can easily clip onto a stack of pages and it doesn't feel like it's going to snap or warp.

For me, for $8, this pencil isn't quite worth the cost. There are other models of the DelGuard that have cushioned grips that might be worth further inspection, though they're also a bit more expensive. I think the overall idea is fantastic, I just don't think it has been effectively executed. Which does not dissuade me in any way from ordering the Totoro one.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


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Zebra DelGuard Eraser
Posted on September 19, 2019 and filed under Zebra, DelGuard, Mechanical Pencil, Pencil Reviews.

Zebra DelGuard Type-Lx 0.3 mm Mechanical Pencil Review

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Zebra has been making inroads in the mechanical pencil market over the past couple of years, and the DelGuard model has been the primary vessel.

The DelGuard features an internal mechanism to prevent lead breakage for both vertical and sideways pressure. It works amazingly well in every model we have reviewed on the blog. Never once have I had a lead breakage or writing consistency issue.

Since Zebra has seemingly nailed this technology, they have ramped up the styles and models available in the DelGuard. There are different price points, different materials, and yes, even Hello Kitty. Getting that Sanrio deal is when you know you have made it in the stationery market.

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The model I’m reviewing today is the Type-Lx, which is currently the highest priced model at $13.50. It’s the only DelGuard model to feature a metal grip section, which is where much of the price increase lies. It also features a rotating grip section which none of the other models have…and I wish this one didn’t have it either.

I was ready to compare this pencil - at least in barrel style and price point - to the Uni-ball Kuru Toga High Grade and the Uni-ball Shift Pipe Lock. Both are metal section/plastic barrel mechanical pencils in the same price range, each with a different feature set than the DelGuard. But this rotating section threw me for a loop.

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Why it is there I can’t fully say. It’s not listed in the product description, and I didn’t even notice it until I slid my fingers down to where the nose cone connects with the section. Have you even been using a pen and feel like the nose cone has started to come unthreaded from the barrel? That’s what I assumed I was feeling. No big deal, I’ll just tighten it back up. What, what? The whole thing rotates 360 degrees?

I don’t like it, and it is unnecessary. I can’t figure out why it was designed this way technically either. If it was an auto-tip rotation pencil like the Kuru Toga I’d understand, but this is a lead protection pencil. Maybe pressure gets displaced slightly as you write, lessening the chance of breakage? If that is the case, the the Type-Lx has better design than all of the other DelGuards, which doesn’t make logical sense.

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Traditionally, one rotates the pencil in hand while writing as the lead wears down. Having the section rotate eliminates that on occasion, like if the clip of the pencil is resting in the cusp of your hand in the direction you are rotating. You will attempt to spin the pencil but the clip works against the section rotation, and it gets you nowhere.

Yes, I obsess over these somewhat minor things because there are better choices for you to make. I can’t think of a situation offhand where I would recommend this pencil over any of the lower priced DelGuards.

DelGuard technology is fantastic and the build quality of these pencils is excellent. Just don’t feel like you are getting an upgraded experience buying the upgraded barrel. In fact, it could be a downgrade for you like it was for me.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


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Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!

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Posted on October 30, 2017 and filed under Zebra, DelGuard, Mechanical Pencil.