Friday, June 14, 2019

Zebra DelGuard - The Other End

The Zebra DelGuard range of mechanical pencils has been around for a while, but hasn’t been mentioned on this blog before, so it’s time to put an end to that. The DelGuard system is a very effective anti-“lead breakage” invention. Sure, you can still break the lead if you advance it out a stupidly long way, but for all reasonable intents and purposes, leads in a DelGuard mechanical pencil are virtually immune to breaking from writing pressure. It really is impressive. If you don’t have a DelGuard then I really do think you need to add one to your collection. It would be like not having a Kuru Toga. It’s sort of compulsory, whether you like it or not. My only negative is that I don’t like the aesthetics of the current crop of DelGuard tips.

Zebra DelGuard - full strength for strong leads
The Japanese pencil brands still seem to produce a lot of advertising material, and some of it is a constant reminder of just how different the Japanese market is to the western market. This DelGuard video sort of sums it up. I can’t imagine a western brand producing such pencilporn. Softcore hard lead?

Anyway, as I said, I’m not a fan of the DelGuard tip, so let’s turn that around and focus on the other end.
Focus on the blunt end, not the sharp point.
Top to bottom = DelGuard standard, Type-ER and Type-Lx

Firstly, take a look at my three DelGuards. Two have pocket clips but the third one does not. The Type-ER model has a small anti-roll finial rather than a pocket clip. At first I didn't really like it, but it has grown on me. The Type-Lx (luxury?) has a smooth metal grip section and a metal pocket clip as opposed to the standard models plastic grip and clip. I much prefer the eraser cap on the Lx to the standard.

Now, taking a further look at those erasers.

The DelGuard Type-ER has one of those magic erasers. The type that automatically extends out when you turn the pencil upside down to use it, and it locks in place whilst the pencil is upside down, but then it automatically retracts back when you turn the pencil up ready to write. Magic 😁 I am a bit of a sucker for magic erasers.

DelGuard tips - no thanks.
DelGuard Type-ER
All Black colour scheme and magic eraser - hooked - addictive and habit forming.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Scripto Kingsmark

Here's a very nice ballpoint pen and mechanical pencil set by Scripto.  In original box with instruction sheet / guarantee and price tag. Quite thin and lightweight, but metal construction. Cisele pattern engraved body. The mechanical pencil is a screw mechanism, 0.9mm lead.
scripto kingsmark mechanical pencil and pen

I don't know much about Scripto, but I assume this would have been one of their top end products, and I guess it dates to around the 1970's. The $10.00 price tag would have been a substantial investment back in the day.

scripto kingsmark pen pencil set

Also on Scripto related matters,  a pencil-pal sent me the below photos of his recently acquired Scripto.
It is unusual in that it has two erasers, the larger of which is permanently exposed. It has a twist mechanism to propel and retract, and uses a 0.9 mm lead. Any information about model name/number, date of manufacture, etc would be appreciated.


Happy penciling to you all.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Radio Silence

My apologies for the radio silence. Normal transmission will be resumed soon.

"The Unbroken Vista"
Zebra Hill to Delguard Peak

Saturday, March 02, 2019

Winner - Jeopardy Giveaway

So, the number is 542, which means "Paul" is the winner.
Paul, please email me - address is in the sidebar About Me, My Profile.

"Hue T", you are second so you might want to contact me too just in case Paul doesn't :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The Ohto Uni Returning Duet

Here is the latest addition to the collection, the Ohto Piston Sharp SP-5. My birthday present to me :)
ohto piston sharp mechanical pencil

uni returns mechanical pencil

I first read of the Ohto Piston Sharp mechanical pencil in a Reddit post by 2nd_Astronaut. It immediately reminded of my Uni Returns M5-318 pencil. Unfortunately the Uni Returns has not fared well over the years. The elastomer grip is a sticky yucky mess. I have to store it wrapped in aluminium cooking foil to stop it contaminating its neighbours, and would have Kondo'ed the pencil long ago if it weren't for the unique mechanism. Well, after seeing the Piston Sharp I got on the sat-phone to contact 2nd in his space station and now I own another mechanical pencil with a returns mechanism, this time a much higher grade model, one that should last and not require aluminium foil... except of course for my hat which keeps the alien mind-control radio-waves at bay. The SP-5 I now have is metal and plastic, but there is also an SP-10 which is all metal.

So, to explain, the unique thing about this mechanism is that it both advances and retracts the lead via an otherwise normal push top ratchet mechanism. You do a small push or click to advance the lead, and a longer or bigger push or click to retract the lead. The Ohto Piston Sharp has clear markings on the barrel to indicate this - calling them Half Knock and Full Knock.
ohto sp-5 pencil mechanism

Once you understand the concept its not too hard to control the amount you push, and both pencils do have a partial resistance stop at the halfway point that you can feel.

The Uni Returns advances more lead per click than the Ohto Piston Sharp, so the Uni retraction mechanism will retract back 4 click advances worth of lead whilst the Ohto will retract back 3 clicks of lead.

Now, I'm sure this retraction mechanism must be patented by the inventor, so its use by two competing companies raises some questions. Did Ohto make the Returns for Uni? More likely I imagine would be that the inventor works for an OEM/ODM manufacturer which made both the Ohto and the Uni. Or the inventor has licensed both to use the patent. Or...???

The pocket clip attachment on the Piston Sharp is two spot welds to the body. Not particularly awe inspiring or aesthetically pleasing. But still, I am very glad to have added the Piston Sharp to the collection. Thanks 2nd.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Birthday Giveaway - Jeopardy

****UPDATED****
The rules around a tie have changed. You can choose the same number as someone else if you want.
***********

Over in the sidebar is my Jeopardy game.

The number has usually been going down since I started reducing the collection. Here's the monthly numbers

2018
March = 741
April = 711
May = 655
June = 625
July = 625
August = 605
September = 589
October = 544
November = 542
December = 547
2019
January = 551

What will the end-February number be? Leave a comment on this post before 27-Feb stating what you think the number will be. The closest to it is the winner. If there is a tie then I will randomly select the winner. You must check back here on 2 March to see who the winner is, and then you must contact me. Blogger does not save your details so I cannot contact you, you must check here and contact me.

Here's what you win.
A brand new Zebra DelGuard Type-LX (0.3mm), a 'new old stock' Uni Alpha-Gel HD (0.5mm) and a 'new old stock' Sheaffer Javelin (0.7mm).