• Top 8 Best Japanese Mechanical Pencils that Don't Break to Buy Online 2020 - Tried and True! 1
  • Top 8 Best Japanese Mechanical Pencils that Don't Break to Buy Online 2020 - Tried and True! 2
  • Top 8 Best Japanese Mechanical Pencils that Don't Break to Buy Online 2020 - Tried and True! 3
  • Top 8 Best Japanese Mechanical Pencils that Don't Break to Buy Online 2020 - Tried and True! 4
  • Top 8 Best Japanese Mechanical Pencils that Don't Break to Buy Online 2020 - Tried and True! 5

Top 8 Best Japanese Mechanical Pencils that Don't Break to Buy Online 2020 - Tried and True!

The lead in mechanical pencils is fine, which is both a blessing and a curse. Yes, it makes the pencil easier to control and fine print easier to write, but it also has an annoying habit of snapping. However, Japan, which excels in both engineering and stationery, has flooded the market with mechanical pencils designed not to snap.

So which of these mechanical pencils live up to their promises and which are dupes? To answer those questions, we ordered the 8 most popular mechanical pencils (that claim to be unsnappable) from Japan’s e-commerce giants (such as Amazon, Rakuten, and kakaku.com) and tested for the following:

1. How Well Protected the Lead is
2. How the Grip Felt
3. How Balanced the Pencil is
4. How Easy It is to Write

This is how we tested and found the most exceptional Japanese mechanical pencils that don’t break.
  • Last updated: 10-24-2019
  • 1,151 views
Table of Contents

How to Choose a Japanese Mechanical Pencil that Doesn’t Break – Buying Guide

We’ll get into how we tested and compared all the mechanical pencils, but before that, we want to introduce three things you should look out for when picking out a mechanical pencil that doesn’t break.

① Look for Extra Features Meant to Protect Your Lead

① Look for Extra Features Meant to Protect Your Lead
So under the giant umbrella of “mechanical pencils,” we have “mechanical pencils that don’t break.” And under the smaller umbrella of “mechanical pencils that don’t break,” we have a variety of preventive mechanisms that differ depending on model and brand.
Is there a suspension system that adjusts to the amount of pressure you put on and the angle at which you hold the pencil? Does the lead simply not come out after a certain point? Is it that it’s difficult for shock waves to reach the lead still held inside the barrel?
Think about how and why you need the pencil to protect the lead inside, then choose the mechanism that most answers to that need.

② Look for a Pencil that Feels Good in Your Hand

The two biggest determining factors of comfort are grip and balance.

When the Grip’s a Good Fit, Your Hand Doesn’t Tire out So Easily

When the Grip’s a Good Fit, Your Hand Doesn’t Tire out So Easily
When the grip doesn’t fit well, on the other hand, you start using extra strength to write, which tires your hand out more quickly. If you want to write comfortably for long periods of time, then look for a grip that is non-slip and feels natural to hold.
Then there’s the diameter of the grip and barrel. If you write with heavy strokes, look for a grip that’s thick, which keeps your fingers from getting sore even if you do clutch the pencil tightly; if you write with light strokes, look for a grip that’s thinner that you can hold loosely in your hand, thereby ensuring your arm doesn’t tire out.

When the Pencil is Well-Balanced, You Can Easily Control It for Long Periods of Time

When the Pencil is Well-Balanced, You Can Easily Control It for Long Periods of Time
If you want to have smooth sailing with your mechanical pencil for hours, then you need to check how well the weight is balanced. The higher the center of gravity, the more unsteady the pencil and the more strength needed to control it. Therefore, if you need to write for a long time, choose a pencil with a center of balance located closer to the tip.
It’s also important to pay attention to overall weight. Heavier pencils add the force of their weight to your pen stroke, allowing for smoother writing, whereas lighter pencils allow for speed writing.

③ Look for a Pencil that’s Easy to Use

③ Look for a Pencil that’s Easy to Use
If you’re looking for a mechanical pencil you’ll love forever, then be picky about how easy it is to use. In recent years, there’s been many clever little additions to mechanical pencils, including, of course, those shakey pencils, where all you have to do is shake the barrel to get the lead to come out, and pencils that ensure your lead always stays sharp.
Of course, how a pencil writes is also greatly swayed by the type of mechanisms put in place to prevent breakage. The best thing to do is drive yourself over to your local stationery store and try out their stuff, writing down everyday things, like your name and numbers in both block letters and script.

What Products We Ordered and How We Tested Them

What Products We Ordered and How We Tested Them
Now to introduce the 8 most popular Japanese mechanical pencils that we ordered and the process by which we tested them.
{The Products We Tested}
1. Pilot Mogulair (パイロット モーグルエアー)
2. Mitsubishi Pencil Kuru Toga Advance (三菱鉛筆 クルトガ アドバンス)
3. Pentel orenz Metal Grip Type (ぺんてる オレンズ メタルグリップタイプ)
4. Pentel orenznero (ぺんてる オレンズネロ)
5. Platinum Pen Co. OLEeNU (プラチナ萬年筆 オレーヌ)
6. Platinum Pen Co. OLEeNU Shield (プラチナ万年筆 オレーヌ シールド)
7. Platinum Pen Co. OLEeNU+ (プラチナ万年筆 オレーヌ プラス)
8. Zebra DelGuard (ゼブラ デルガード)
We then tested for each of the following things:
Test ①: How Well Protected the Lead is
Test ②: How the Grip Felt
Test ③: How Balanced the Pencil is
Test ④: How Easy It is to Write

Test ①: How Well Protected the Lead is

Test ①: How Well Protected the Lead is
We mean, if you’re looking for a mechanical pencil that doesn’t break, the first thing you’re going to want to look at is how well-protected the lead is.
So we checked out what protective mechanisms were in place and whether there were any weaknesses to the system. We then ranked each product on a five-step scale from D to A+.

The Big Takeaway: If the Pencil Could Absorb the Pressure from Our Strokes, then the Lead Usually Didn’t Snap

The Big Takeaway: If the Pencil Could Absorb the Pressure from Our Strokes, then the Lead Usually Didn’t Snap
The pencils that were the least prone to snapping were the ones that had multiple protective mechanisms in place. The ones that stood out the most were Platinum Pen’s OLEeNU+, which protected not only the lead we were writing with, but also the lead still in the barrel, and Zebra’s DelGuard, which absorbed pressure from all angles.
On the other hand, there were some pencils that were designed to only prevent lead inside the barrel from snapping during transit. That’s literally all they did, and yet they were still labeled as unbreakable※1. If you’re looking for a pencil that won’t break when you’re writing, make sure you don’t accidentally buy the wrong thing.
Zebra’s DelGuard was also special in that we could push the lead way out (three clicks’ worth), and it didn’t snap. Then there was Pentel’s orenznero and orenz Metal Grip, where the lead snapped the second we clicked twice. It’s important that you know the features and limits of each pencil before use.
※1 折れない: unbreakable

Test ②: How the Grip Felt

Test ②: How the Grip Felt
Next we looked at one of the most important factors determining how a mechanical pencil will feel in your hand: grip.
We paid attention, first of all, to whether there was even a grip to begin with, as well as the shape, thickness, and material of the grip. We then graded each pencil on a scale from D to A+.

The Big Takeaway: Smooth, Transparent Grips May Very Well be an Egotistical Mistake… A Grip Usually Didn’t Fit Well in Our Hands Unless It was Resin or Featured Ridges

The Big Takeaway: Smooth, Transparent Grips May Very Well be an Egotistical Mistake… A Grip Usually Didn’t Fit Well in Our Hands Unless It was Resin or Featured Ridges
We didn’t know if the designer’s ego was urging him to show off all the inner workings of the pencil or what, but grips that were just a clear plastic tube were incomprehensible to us, and they all flunked this particular test. The pencil felt like it was making absolutely no effort to fit our hands and got slippery when covered with sweat.
On the other hand, grips that were made of resin or employed grooves and ridges felt great. It was easy to position our fingers right where we wanted them and either place a lot of pressure on the pencil or just balance it lightly in our fingers.
Grips that were slightly sticky, like the ones of Platinum Pen’s OLEeNU, also had their uses. They helped the pencil remain steady, no matter the angle at which we wrote.

Test ③: How Balanced the Pencil is

Test ③: How Balanced the Pencil is
Next, we looked at how well-balanced each pencil was.
We picked up each pencil and checked for both the center of gravity and its heft. We then ranked each on a scale from D to A+.

The Big Takeaway: The Cut-off was at Around 300 Yen. The More Expensive the Pencil, the More Well-Balanced It Tended to be

The Big Takeaway: The Cut-off was at Around 300 Yen. The More Expensive the Pencil, the More Well-Balanced It Tended to be
This time around, the most expensive product we tested–Pentel’s orenznero–was the only one that got an A+on this test. On the other hand, the cheapest product–Platinum Pencil’s OLEeNU–got the lowest score of D…
Price is mostly swayed by the materials and the amount of time and effort that went into the pen, but it also is a good indicator of balance. As long as the pencil is worth more than 300 yen (about $3), then chances are that it’s pretty well balanced.

Test ④: How Easy It is to Write

Test ④: How Easy It is to Write
Our last test focused on how easy it was to write with the mechanical pencils.
We paid attention to all the different mechanisms in the pencils and whether they did more harm than good. We then rated each product on a scale from D to A+.

The Big Takeaway: The Key Lay in How Unobtrusive the Pencil was. Automatic Lead Dispensers and the Kuru Toga Engine Worked Well

The Big Takeaway: The Key Lay in How Unobtrusive the Pencil was. Automatic Lead Dispensers and the Kuru Toga Engine Worked Well
Pentel’s orenznero, which featured an automatic lead dispenser, was on a completely different level, earning an A+ on this test. Because we no longer needed to click at our pencils, we cut down noise and were able to write with as few distractions as possible.
Mitsubishi Pencil’s Kuru Toga Advance featured a spinning engine that kept lead sharp, letting us write neat, uniform letters for longer. It also cleaned up messy handwriting. However, because it featured a kind of cushion meant to absorb pressure from our hands, writing with it kind of felt bouncy, like we were writing on clouds. You may love the feeling, or you may hate it.

The Final Verdict: Top 8 Best Japanese Mechanical Pencils that Don’t Break to Buy Online

Now to introduce the 8 best Japanese mechanical pencils that don’t break available online. They were ranked by how well they did on our tests and given an overall grade ranging from D to A+.
Lead ProtectionB
GripD
BalanceB
WritingB
Lead Sizes0.3 mm, 0.5 mm
Overall ScoreD
Lead ProtectionC
GripD
BalanceB
WritingA
Lead Sizes0.3 mm, 0.5 mm
Overall ScoreC
Lead ProtectionB
GripA
BalanceD
WritingC
Lead Sizes0.5 mm
Overall ScoreB
Lead ProtectionC
GripA
BalanceB
WritingB
Lead Sizes0.5 mm
Overall ScoreB
Lead ProtectionA+
GripD
BalanceA
WritingC
Lead Sizes0.3 mm, 0.5 mm, 0.7 mm
Overall ScoreB
Lead ProtectionA+
GripB
BalanceC
WritingB
Lead Sizes0.5 mm
Overall ScoreA
Lead ProtectionA
GripA
BalanceB
WritingB
Lead Sizes0.5 mm
Overall ScoreA
Lead ProtectionA
GripA+
BalanceA+
WritingA+
Lead Sizes0.2 mm, 0.3 mm
Overall ScoreA+

Summary

We rounded up experts and members of our editing department, purchased the 8 most popular Japanese mechanical pencils that claim not to break, and tested them all.
What surprised us most was that while the most expensive one of the lot, Pentel’s orenznero, was an easy first, one of the cheapest products, Platinum Pen’s OLEeNU Shield, actually won second. But the fact that price doesn’t necessarily correspond to functionality may just be one of the most appealing points about unbreakable mechanical pencils.
We hope you keep this article in the back of your mind next time you’re shopping for mechanical pencils that don’t break!
Original by Nao Kondo; Translation by Jasmine Li

Related Articles

  • Top 10 Best Erasers to Buy Online 2020
    Top 10 Best Erasers to Buy Online 2020
    If you work at a desk, a dependable eraser is essential in your arsenal of stationery implements. There are various brands and types of erasers such as plastic, rubber, and kneaded erasers, some of which are better suited to erase pencil or pen.In this article, we’re going to help you decide which eraser you need and recommend you the 10 best erasers on the online marketplace. There’s a lot to choose from, so be prepared to erase your preconceptions about what an eraser can do!
    Household goods
    6,494 views
  • Top 10 Best Personal Planners for Business to Buy Online 2020
    Top 10 Best Personal Planners for Business to Buy Online 2020
    With smartphones swarming all over the market, many of us now use apps to stay on track. But there’s something about putting pen to paper that makes you more productive and makes things easier to remember. That’s where personal business planners (also known as paper organizers) come in–in both binder and notebook form and from a variety of manufacturers, such as Panda Planner, Filofax, At-A-Glance, and Traveler’s notebook.Slow down your planning process and re-set your goals and re-prioritize. By doing so, say hello to more productivity and bye to procrastination. Here are some tips on how to find a personal planner for business that’s right for you, followed by a list of our favorite ones.
    Household goods
    190 views
  • Top 10 Best Keyboard Cleaners to Buy Online 2020
    Top 10 Best Keyboard Cleaners to Buy Online 2020
    Raise your hand if you can’t stop eating at your desk. (Over half of us here are guilty of that crime.) Over time, dust accumulates. Oils accumulate. Cheetos powder and Doritos flakes and Oreo crumbs accumulate. Before you know it, there’s enough gunk and goo under your keyboard keys to give birth to another Flubber.And you haven’t got the most delicate of movements, so you don’t trust yourself to pop off the keys for a good cleaning–that is, without breaking anything. (We feel you.) So we came up with a list of easier, less risky keyboard cleaning alternatives and a guide to help you figure out which cleaner is right for you.
    Household goods
    3,075 views
  • Top 10 Best Eco-Friendly All-Purpose Cleaners to Buy Online 2020
    Top 10 Best Eco-Friendly All-Purpose Cleaners to Buy Online 2020
    We’ve long been fed this idea that cleaning our homes has to be an almost dangerous endeavor, that toxic chemicals are necessary to kill all the nasties that could be lurking around. But that’s simply not true, and toxic cleaners aren’t just bad for bacteria, they’re harmful to us and the environment, too.Luckily, there is an increasing number of eco-friendly, non-toxic cleaners that get the job done just as well. But if you’re new to the world of eco-friendly cleaners, it can be hard to know where to start. In this guide, we’ll talk about the main factors to consider when choosing the best cleaner for you. At the end, we’ve also got a list of our 10 favorites to help you begin your search.
    Household goods
    449 views
  • Top 10 Best Retainer Cleaners to Buy Online 2020
    Top 10 Best Retainer Cleaners to Buy Online 2020
    Admit it–if you’ve ever worn a retainer or clear aligner there have definitely been times when you’ve noticed strange odors or unsettling build-up on it, no matter how well you’ve rinsed or brushed it. But it’s not your fault. Retainers are full of nooks and crannies that can be hard to clean, so it’s a good idea to look for a cleaner that’s specifically made to handle that task.But there are a lot of different options when it comes to retainer cleaners, so it can be hard to pick through them to find what will work for you. In this guide, we’ll go over the factors you should consider when choosing a retainer cleaner that’s right for you. At the end, we’ve also got a list of our 10 favorites to help you get started.
    Household goods
    3,462 views
  • Top 10 Best Eco-Friendly Sponges to Buy Online
    Top 10 Best Eco-Friendly Sponges to Buy Online
    When consciously cutting down on plastics and making more Earth-friendly choices, it’s important to analyze even the small things. Plastics have a way of sneaking into even the most benign-sounding items. Sponges, for example, are named after an animal, but most of our cleaning sponges are actually made up of plastics.Luckily there are a number of new–as well as very, very old–options that are just as good at cleaning and infinitely better for the environment than typical plastic-based sponges. In this guide, we’ll go over the factors you should look for when choosing an eco-friendly sponge. At the end, we’ve also got a list of our 10 favorites to help you get started.
    Household goods
    4,531 views
  • Uni Jetstream 0.7 Review - mybest
    Uni Jetstream 0.7 Review - mybest
    We’ve seen our fair share of praise for the uni Jetstream. It writes smoothly. It feels pretty good in the hand. And the ink is dark as pitch. But we know that on the internet, things can get inflated and distorted, so we wanted to put the Jetstream to the test one more time.Our editing department purchased uni’s ever-popular Jetstream 0.7, contacted three stationery specialists, and looked at design, ergonomics, and ink quality. We also looked up information about refills. This is what we learned during testing.
    Household goods
    162 views
  • Top 10 Best Travel Neck Pillows to Buy Online 2020
    Top 10 Best Travel Neck Pillows to Buy Online 2020
    Your travel purposes change regularly. Sometimes it's leisurely, and sometimes you embark on an unplanned business trip. No matter what the purpose of your journey is and how long it is going to be, add a travel pillow to your checklist. Even the sound sleepers admit that they need a pillow to sleep on comfortably. Scouring through the endless travel pillows can be tedious even for avid shoppers. Have a look at our handpicked list of travel pillows, each distinct for its features and comfort. 
    Household goods
    141 views
  • Top 12 Best Japanese Carpet Rollers to Buy Online 2020
    Top 12 Best Japanese Carpet Rollers to Buy Online 2020
    Sometimes you have a mess to clean up but don't want to drag out the vacuum cleaner. So you go for an adhesive carpet roller, but which one is the best?Our editors searched Japanese e-commerce sites for the best lint rollers available online. We then picked out the most popular products and tested them. We looked at 10 sticky tape rollers, and 2 washable ones.We focused on 3 things:Adhesive strengthEase of useCase designWe then ranked the products and put what we learned into a buying guide to help you choose the best Japanese lint rollers available online. And at the end, we have even more cleaning products to recommend!
    Household goods
    118 views
  • Top 19 Best Japanese Paper Towels to Buy Online 2020
    Top 19 Best Japanese Paper Towels to Buy Online 2020
    Paper towels are very useful for anything from cleaning, to drying your hands, and even for unconventional uses like coffee filters - but are you using a brand that's both absorbent and strong?Our editors searched Japanese e-commerce sites such as Amazon and Rakuten for the best paper towels available online. We then picked out the most popular products and tested them.Our tests focused on 2 things:Power of absorptionStrength when wetWe then ranked the products and put what we learned into a buying guide to help you choose the best Japanese paper towels available online.
    Household goods
    91 views
  • Popular Articles

  • Top 10 Best Reusable Air Pollution Masks to Buy Online 2020
    Top 10 Best Reusable Air Pollution Masks to Buy Online 2020
    Maybe you’re planning a trip to somewhere with poor air quality like China or India, or maybe you’re just gearing up for the next wildfire season. In any case, you’re on the hunt for a reusable face mask that will last you a while and protect you from dangerous air pollution and smoke particles.There are a number of different options available, which can make it hard to choose, but finding the right mask for you can be pretty important. In this guide, we’ll go over the different factors you should look for when deciding on a reusable pollution mask. At the end, we’ve also got a list of our 10 favorites (7 for adults and 3 for kids).
    Household goods
    13,784 views
  • Top 10 Best Biodegradable and Compostable Trash Bags to Buy Online 2020
    Top 10 Best Biodegradable and Compostable Trash Bags to Buy Online 2020
    In 2018, there was a lot of news about plastics and the environment. In short, we’re all better off using less wherever we can. Many have taken to switching to biodegradable and compostable trash bags, including several city- and state-wide regulations on organic trash. But with all this hype, there’s also naturally a ton of misleading information and marketing out there.In this guide, we’ll cut through the rubbish and break down exactly what you should look for when choosing a biodegradable or compostable trash bag. At the end, if you’re still stuck, we’ve also got a list of our 10 favorites for you to start your search.
    Household goods
    9,720 views
  • Top 10 Best Non-Toxic Candles to Buy Online 2020
    Top 10 Best Non-Toxic Candles to Buy Online 2020
    Traditional candles–particularly the scented ones–can often leave you with a headache or your bookcase covered in soot. Not exactly the relaxing environment you’re looking for.So we researched materials and pored through Amazon reviews and came to the conclusion that the best candles for you and your home are non-toxic and free from paraffin, phthalates, and lead. These candles are often soy- or beeswax-based and scented with all-natural essential oils. We kept all of this in mind as we hand-picked the best non-toxic candles on the market.
    Household goods
    7,642 views
  • Top 15 Best Japanese Gel Pens to Buy Online 2020 - Tried and True!
    Top 15 Best Japanese Gel Pens to Buy Online 2020 - Tried and True!
    You’d think gel pens would be straightforward. But in Japan, where stationery makers are all vying for the top spot in a heated market, even the smallest improvement in design and the faintest sparkling of genius can make a difference. And wouldn’t you, the stationery buff, like to know what gel pens are currently the most prized in Japan?So this time around, we ordered the 15 most popular gel pens from Japan’s e-commerce giants (such as Amazon, Rakuten, and kakaku.com) and tested for the following:1. How the Grip Felt2. Balance3. The Color, Feel, and Depth of the Ink4. How the Nib Felt against Paper5. Fastness of the Ink6. DesignThis is how we tested and found the most exceptional Japanese gel pens.
    Household goods
    5,964 views
  • Top 10 Best Eco-Friendly Sponges to Buy Online
    Top 10 Best Eco-Friendly Sponges to Buy Online
    When consciously cutting down on plastics and making more Earth-friendly choices, it’s important to analyze even the small things. Plastics have a way of sneaking into even the most benign-sounding items. Sponges, for example, are named after an animal, but most of our cleaning sponges are actually made up of plastics.Luckily there are a number of new–as well as very, very old–options that are just as good at cleaning and infinitely better for the environment than typical plastic-based sponges. In this guide, we’ll go over the factors you should look for when choosing an eco-friendly sponge. At the end, we’ve also got a list of our 10 favorites to help you get started.
    Household goods
    4,531 views
  • Top 10 Best Eco-Friendly Toothbrushes to Buy Online 2020
    Top 10 Best Eco-Friendly Toothbrushes to Buy Online 2020
    Each year, over one billion toothbrushes are thrown away in the US alone. That’s 50 million pounds of plastic waste created and enough toothbrushes to wrap around the world four times. But if you’re here, you probably already knew that, and you’re looking for a way to help.You’re not alone–a ton of companies have caught on to our waste problem and are trying to create solutions, so you have a lot of eco-friendly toothbrush options. In this guide, we’ll cover the factors you should consider when choosing a more environmentally conscious toothbrush. At the end, we’ve also got a list of our 10 favorites to help you get started.
    Household goods
    4,743 views
  • Top 14 Best Japanese Highlighters to Buy Online 2020 - Tried and True!
    Top 14 Best Japanese Highlighters to Buy Online 2020 - Tried and True!
    Highlighters are indispensable study assistants. It’s their job to point out and help you remember the most vital parts of your notes, a textbook, documents. You don’t want to skimp on them. And here in Japan, where the market for stationery gets ever more competitive, we have some of the most innovative highlighters in the world, including ones that are retractable, erasable, fast-drying.In fact, we have so much to offer, it’s hard to pick out the best. That’s why, this time around, we ordered the 14 most popular highlighters from Japan’s e-commerce giants (such as Amazon, Rakuten, and kakaku.com) and tested for the following:1. How Easily It Writes2. How Quickly It Dries3. How Functional It is4. How Rich the Color isThis is how we tested and found the most exceptional Japanese highlighters.
    Household goods
    627 views
  • Popular Item Lists

    Search by Category