The Zebra DelGuard Mechanical Pencil Prevents Lead Breakage
Quit Breaking Your Pencil Lead WIth The Zebra DelGuard!
One of the most frustrating things about using mechanical pencils in general is that the lead can break pretty easily. The lead breakage is most often caused by the nature of the thin lead at the tip of the pencil being pushed on too hard when writing.
When you’re trying to take notes at the speed that someone’s talking, you’re bound to break a few causing wasted product and slowing you down.
Additionally, when you break the pencil lead, you might tear into the page a bit, especially if you’re using a cheap dollar store notebook that has thin, cheap paper.
How Does The Zebra Delguard Work?
The Zebra DelGuard Mechanical Pencil has a unique mechanism that helps to prevent lead breakage.
Without getting too technical, the lead and “clutch” (mechanism that pushes more lead out when you click the pencil) are suspended on a spring.
As you write, the spring absorbs the impact of the pencil as it makes contact with the paper.
When you’re writing, the floating clutch acts like a shock absorber on your car and allows the lead to recess into the barrel of the pencil rather than allow it to break.
There’s a second spring that moves the lead housing forward under stressful conditions to prevent the lead from breaking as well. As you press down, the housing moves down the lead shaft towards the paper in order to give the lead support against lateral pressure and breakage.
With a black barrel and orange accents, this mechanical pencil really looks nice, and performs extremely well under high stress writing conditions.
The overall length is just shy of 5.5 inches, and fits well into your backpack or folio pen loop.
There’s a plastic eraser under the end cap that’s pretty unimpressive, but works, and that’s what counts.
The front side of the barrel is a smoked translucent plastic that allows you to see the spring mechanism working as you use the pencil.
The lead chamber can hold 14 leads at a time, by my experience. The pencil comes with 12 leads, and two in the chamber from the factory. I’ve been able to fit all 12 of the extras in the chamber along with the two that were already in there, but it’s a tight fit, and you end up shaking the pencil around to make space so all the leads fall in correctly.
At the top of the barrel, there’s a 1.5 inch pocket clip with gold branding. The pocket clip is long enough for most uses and is fairly sturdy.
Writing with the Zebra DuraGuard
I’m not a fan of the DuraGuard HB Pencil leads included with the pencil. They’re too light for my taste, but work just fine if you like lighter lines. I prefer bold lines that are easy to see. It’s just a matter of preference, but I was please to find out that the Zebra accepted other brands of pencil leads without complaints or issues.
I swapped the Zebra lead for the much nicer, higher quality Uni Kuru Toga 0.5 Pencil Leads which write a lot smoother and darker (even the HB leads are darker than the ones included with the Zebra).
Once the lead was switched out, the overall writing experience felt like nothing I’d ever felt. It was though I was actually writing with a pen that has shock absorbers! When the pencil touches the page, you can feel the springs dampen the contact, and as your writing the subtle variations in the paper aren’t felt.
When you get to the end of one lead I liked the fact that the Zebra doesn’t just drop the lead on your paper. The transition from the end of one lead to the next is smooth and almost undetectable.
Price and Ordering
I know that Office Depot used to carry the Zebra DelGuard, but I haven’t seen them around the store in my city for a while. I found them available on Amazon.com priced between $4 and $10 depending on pencil style and design.
The Zebra DelGard is most easily found in the 0.5mm lead configuration, but there is also a 0.7mm available as well.