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.


2nd_astronaut said...

Nice to see the variants side by side ... I would like to combine the different versions: transparent grip section of the standard version, clip from the Lx, color scheme and cap of the ER.

Nevertheless, I agree that at least one version is a "must-have" for pencil geeks :-)

PointFour said...


I have a DelGuard standard and a Type-ER, both in 0.5, and agree about the aesthetics of their tips. I see your Type-LX is in 0.3, where the anti-breakage system should count for more than with thicker leads. But I wonder if Zebra are addressing the right problem. Indeed, I have sometimes broken a lead by putting too much sideways force on it, but not often enough to rate that as a big problem. I've always been more concerned about knocking a pencil off a table onto a hard floor, and possibly shattering its lead that way. I wonder how the DelGuard system compares with Platinum's OLEeNU and ZeroShin pencils, and which is better at countering what types of hazard.

Kiwi-d said...

PointFour, not sure if you have seen this recent patent or not, and I'm not even totally sure what it's about as I only have the header extract, but it is possibly a mechanism to address your concern. Like this patent, OLEeNU and ZeroShin originate at Kotobuki.