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For draftsmen, architects, or designers searching for the best mechanical pencils, there are numerous options on the market.   

Two of the most popular ones are the Uni Kuru Toga and the Zebra Delguard, which have unique features designed to provide a fantastic drawing or writing experience. But it can be hard to choose between the two; that’s why I’ve compared both pencils in detail here in this guide.

Uni Kuru Toga Vs Zebra Delguard Pencils

Uni Kuru Toga

Originally established as the Masaki Pencil Manufacturing Company in Tokyo in 1887, the Uni Mitsubishi company manufactures the famous Kuru Toga mechanical pencils. But the brand is also known for its other pencils, including regular pencils, ballpoint pens, etc.

Uni Kuru Toga Review

The Uni Kuru Toga is one of the most popular mechanical pencils available today and comes in several variants, such as the regular variant, the Roulette, the Advance, etc. And each variant has certain features that distinguish it from others.  

But all Kuru Toga pencils have a clutch mechanism that rotates the lead, ensuring that the sharp edge faces the writing surface. This unique feature differentiates the pencils from this brand from the competition, and you will not find it mentioned in reviews like the Rotring 500 vs. 600 vs. 800 review.  

Product Features

1. Multiple Tip Sizes

This mechanical pencil is available in multiple tip sizes, including 0.3 mm, 0.5 mm, and 0.7 mm. It means that it can be used for a wide range of purposes, including sketching, writing, doodling, drawing, drafting, and more.

The 0.3 mm tip size is perfect for detailed lines and marks but can break easily. In contrast, the 0.5 mm tip size is ideal for tasks that require greater precision, like drafting. But if you have a bigger handwriting and are not involved in precision work, opt for the 0.7 mm option.

I should also mention that all variants are not available in all 3 sizes.  

2. Clutch Mechanism

The clutch mechanism rotates the lead within the Kuru Toga pencils to keep its sharp end on the paper. This means that you do not need to rotate it manually, as in the case of mechanical pencils from other brands. And it ensures that any strokes and marks on the paper are sharp and crisp without requiring extra effort. 

That is why the Kuru Toga pencils are well-suited for drafting and sketching purposes where you need to fill in fine details. 

3. Lead Grade Indicator

Some variants of the Kuru Toga have a lead grade indicator that makes it easy to know what lead is being used. This small transparent window on the barrel allows you to see inside and is another one of the features distinguishing these pencils from the competition.

However, it may not be present on all mechanical pencils from the brand.

Slim design
Ⓒ Architecture Lab | Anton Giuroiu

4. Slim Design 

While there are multiple variants of the Kuru Toga mechanical pencil, they all share a similar design. They have a slim barrel with a certain section that is the designated grip area, ensuring an ergonomic and comfortable grip. 

Different variants may use varying materials, such as plastic or metal, for the construction, but due to the similar design, they are all comfortable to use even for long periods. 

5. Sliding Lead Sleeve

To keep the lead protected as you write or draw, some Kuru Toga pencils have a sliding lead sleeve covering the lead. This sleeve goes back into the pencil as the lead gets used up until it enters the nose cone. It also helps prevent injuries as you can push the lead inside it when carrying the pencil.  

The sliding lead sleeve is present on Advance Upgrade, Advance, and Pipe Slide variants. 

6. W-Speed Engine

Some Uni Kuru Toga pencils come with a W-speed engine, which allows the lead to be rotated at two times its normal speed. This allows the creation of complex strokes and designs more quickly since you get more strokes per rotation.

Alternatively, this mechanism reduces the need for lifting the pencil frequently for characters like Roman numerals, which require longer and fewer strokes. That is also why the lead does not need to be sharpened as quickly as on the pencils lacking this feature. 

Zebra Delguard

The Zebra Company is another leading manufacturer of mechanical pencils based in Japan. It was established by Tokumatsu Ishikawa in 1914 and is known for its wide selection of writing instruments. These include ballpoint pens, gel and brush pens, fountain pens, mechanical pencils, highlighters, and markers, which can all be used for outdoor work.

Zebra Delguard Review 

The Delguard is one of the mechanical pencils offered by the Zebra brand, along with Tapli Clip, MP, M-301, etc. This mechanical pencil uses the Delguard system, which keeps the lead protected even when you apply a lot of pressure while writing or drawing. 

It means that these pencils can last for a long time before they need to be replaced. Additionally, unlike other brands, the Zebra Delguard pencils can be easily used by people who prefer softer lead.

You won’t find such features when comparing other mechanical pencils, like the Rotring 800 vs. Pentel Graphgear 1000

Product Features

1. Double Spring Mechanism

The Delguard mechanical pencil from Zebra has a double spring mechanism that helps protect the lead from breakage. This is because while one of the springs helps reduce vertical pressure, another reduces the pressure exerted diagonally during writing or sketching. So, the overall pressure on the lead is significantly reduced, and the chances of breakage are minimal.

2. Textured Grip

To make it easier to hold the pencil for longer periods, the Delguard mechanical pencil comes with a textured grip. This provides greater comfort than regular non-textured options and reduces hand fatigue. Additionally, a better grip reduces the chances of the pencil falling down. 

3. Refillable Eraser

Not all brands offer mechanical pencils with refillable erasers, but Zebra does. When the eraser on the Delguard pencil gets worn out, you can remove it and insert a new one from the back. For users who use the eraser at the back of the pencil, this can be a very useful feature. 

Three click lead advancement
Ⓒ Architecture Lab | Anton Giuroiu

4. Three Click Lead Advancement

Unlike competing products, the Zebra Delguard does not suffer from lead breakage thanks to its three-click lead advancement feature. Even if you click the lead three times, the lead will not break, and you won’t need to spend time and effort replacing it.

This also helps increase the time for which you can continue using the same lead, effectively helping save money. 

5. Anti Clog Design

The Zebra Delguard mechanical pencil has a unique design in which its internal parts help keep the lead protected at all times. Since this prevents the lead from breaking inside the pencil, the chances of small lead pieces lying within the pencil are minimized. 

These lead pieces are responsible for causing clogging, which is a very common issue with lead pencils from many other brands. 

6. Three Different Tip Sizes

Like the best brands in the industry, Zebra offers the Delguard pencil in three tip sizes; 0.3 mm, 0.5 mm, and 0.7 mm. While there isn’t a great deal of difference between the 0.3 mm and 0.5 mm pencils, the 0.7 ones are considerably smoother and darker. That said, all the tip sizes are very stable because of the lead protection mechanism.

In contrast, some variants of the Uni Kuru Toga, such as the Uni Kuru Toga Roulette Model Auto Lead Rotation Mechanical Pencil, are not available in multiple sizes.  

Uni kuru toga vs zebra delguard conclusion
Ⓒ Architecture Lab | Anton Giuroiu

Uni Kuru Toga Vs Zebra Delguard Conclusion

Due to these differences between the Uni Kuru Toga and the Zebra Delguard mechanical pencil, they are meant for different purposes. 

The Kuru Toga is ideal for those who want to use lighter strokes and do not require features like the lead protection mechanism. It is also perfect when you only want to focus on the writing or drawing part rather than for other creative purposes. 

On the other hand, if you face situations where the lead is constantly breaking, the Zebra Delguard is a better option. It is further suitable for those using harsher strokes than softer ones, as there is no breaking or clogging of the lead. 

Hopefully, you can now select the perfect mechanical pencil after reading my guide for enhanced smoothness and precise performance.


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Bạn cần tư vấn thiết kế kiến trúc, nội ngoại thất, thi công các công trình dân sự hay công nghiệp? Hãy liên lạc ngay với Kiến Trúc Sư Phan Phương Thanh theo số điện thoại, hoặc Zalo: 0932463644 - 0935088660 để được hỗ trợ tận tình với những dịch vụ tốt nhất.

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