Oh how I love a sharp pencil. However, over time I noticed my favorite pencils were quickly disappearing. Most notably my Prismacolor’s with popular colors being reduced to tiny shells of what were was once glorious full sized pencils. After taking a closer look and comparing how sharpeners measured up I decided it was time to make a change and I’m now sharing them with you.
Have you ever noticed how pre-sharpened pencils look when you first purchase them? Sharpened to the same point with minimal wood casing or lead exposed. Did you know you can get that same point every time you sharpen? Yes, seriously you can. I found this out through research and just so you know my pencils never looked fresh and often times after I sharpened them they would break. UGH! TBH, they looked exactly like the pale blue pencil in the image above and the reason was the sharpener. I was using one of the cheapest sharpeners one could purchase on the more pricey pencils. Big mistake.
I decided to purchase the sharpener made by a Prismacolor to see how it stacked up against all the other sharpeners I had and below are the results. Outlining each sharpeners pros and less desirable qualities.
As it turns out
SCHOOL SHARPENER is the worst to use because it exposes too much lead and removes too much wood casing. This leaves little stability for the lead which yields in more breaks plus you burn through pencils very quickly which can be pricey and frustrating.
PRIMSACOLORis nice because it has a dual sharpener head for less and more sharpened points and remove very little wood casing. It features a shavings holder which makes it great for travel and a flip top lid that covers the sharpening barrels so graphite doesn’t escape into the bottom of your bag. Plus, the tapered shape fits nicely in your hand. Score!
METAL DOUBLE BARRELis nice in that you can sharpen both chalk and pencils. It doesn’t remove as much wood casing as the school sharpener and is a close second to Prismacolor. This also comes in a single barrel model if you find you don’t need a larger barrel.
SLIDE sharpener is designed for square hardware pencils but can be used for regular pencils and charcoal sticks. This sharpener gives a square point that is perfect for calligraphy effects. Both ends sharpen different sides of square pencils. One side for the wide and one for the narrow sides. Note: it can be tough to sharpen with and takes some practice.
OLD SCHOOL rotary pencil sharpeners are great for nostalgia but I don’t recommend it for pricier pencils. It can can reduce a pencil in no time. Before you know it you’ve cranked an inch or two off.
ELECTRIC sharpeners are nice but can spin threw a pencil in no time. If you have an electric sharpener and find you are continually buying more pencils try a manual sharpener. It will save you in the long run.
Check out the side-by-side comparison of three of the sharpeners discussed in this article.