What is there possibly to know about pencil sharpeners, I hear you ask? They are all more or less the same, aren’t they?
While all sharpeners are designed to sharpen pencils, the way they go about this differs and can lead to drastically different results.
There are manual, battery-powered, and electric models to consider, different sized pencils, lead points, sharpening angles, durability, the sound of the motor, and so much more that you need to be aware of.
This is why we have a written a handy buyers guide and have taken the most important factors into account to recommend the best pencil sharpeners on the market.
- 1 Pencil Sharpener Comparison Table
- 2 Pencil Sharpener Reviews
- 3 Pencil Sharpener Buyers Guide
Pencil Sharpener Comparison Table
Pencil Sharpener Reviews
TripWorthy Electric Pencil Sharpener
If you’re looking for one of the best pencil sharpeners for colored pencils, this is it. It also works terrifically well for #2 pencils.
The sharpener is both lightweight and small, taking 4 AA batteries, meaning that it does not need an external power source to function.
Performance is what you would expect from a top rated sharpener. Insert the pencil into the pencil hole and it becomes sharpened to a perfect point without using too much of the pencil in the process.
We particularly like the auto-stop feature, as it protects pencil points, and makes this model more than suitable for kids due to its ability to protect hands too. Furthermore, if any of the outer parts of the sharpener are missing it won’t operate.
Shavings go into the catcher for a no-mess experience. The catcher is also easy to attach and remove – click and push on, click and pull – while also ensuring that it doesn’t accidentally come loose to ensure no unintended mess is created.
Artist Choice Battery Powered Helical Blade Pencil Sharpener
This is another battery powered sharpener that takes 4 AA batteries to operate. It is designed to be compact yet heavy-duty, so you can take it with you from place to place without worrying about any damage occurring.
It is compact enough to comfortably stand on any desk or table, and fits comfortably in your backpack.
It is easy to remove the shavings that are collected in the shaving box. Although you should keep in mind that the box is a little on the smaller side, so you have to empty it more frequently than other models.
Designed to be 100% child proof, the sharpener is quiet when in use, and is suitable for all types of pencils, including soft pencils when used gently, and coloring pencils.
LINKYO Electric Pencil Sharpener with Sensor
The first thing you should know about this sharpener is that it is not battery-powered and therefore requires an outlet to function.
It is larger than most models, so it is best used in a fixed location. Of course, the fact that an outlet is required also plays its part in this.
However, the upside is that the sharpener really is heavy-duty, particularly due to its steel design, and can sharpen as many as 100 pencils without you having to empty the transparent compartment.
The Smart Sharpening Sensor is arguably its best feature, as this ensures when your pencil has reached optimal sharpness the machine will stop sharpening. The Auto Jam Release is another much appreciated feature, as it ensures that pencils becoming stuck are a thing of the past – just push the pencil down to release.
The Safety Guard Technology, anti-slip silicon base, and Helical rotating drill design are all other well-liked features that separate this model from its competitors.
OfficeGoods Electric & Battery Operated Pencil Sharpener
If you’re looking for one of the best pencil sharpeners that has the versatility of being able to function via batteries, an outlet, or even a USB cable, this is the one to go for. Particularly as performance is the same, regardless of which power source you use.
The sharpener is compact enough to be portable and takes as little as 10 seconds to sharpen a brand new pencil. What we really like, however, is the versatility in performance too.
There are three point options to choose from – blunt, medium, and sharp point – which also ensures that this sharpener is one of the best ones for artists. Pencils between 6mm and 8mm can be sharpened.
The last thing to mention is the safety feature that ensures when the shaving cover is removed the sharpener won’t function.
Pencil Sharpener Buyers Guide
Different Types of Pencil Sharpeners
Manual sharpeners come in a few different styles. They are the most inexpensive and commonly used models on the market, particularly the manual/prism/ pocket styles. One of the biggest downsides of these sharpeners, though, is how they create mess in the form of shavings. As there usually isn’t a compartment or the compartment is very small, these shavings need to gotten rid of manually.
The manual/prism/pocket models work very simply. You insert a pencil into a hole, hold the sharpener steady, and rotate the pencil to sharpen it. The sharpeners often have grooved, ridge or contoured designs for better grip.
Cylindrical sharpeners are powered by a crank and can be mounted onto a desk or wall. You insert the pencil into the sharpener and then use the crank to sharpen it.
Blade models come in handy when you want to sharpen your pencil into any desired shape. They can be considered to be a specialized form of knife and take more skill to use correctly.
Electric pencil sharpeners are by far ours and many others favorite type of sharpener. They function in one of three ways.
Front hole models have a pencil hole that is located at an upward angle on the front of the unit or directly on the front. This hole may just accommodate a single sized pencil or have an adjustable gauge to enable you to sharpen various sized pencils.
Top hole models are more compact than their front hole counterparts, and also feature fixed or adjustable pencil holes. They work simply by you inserting the pencil into the hole and pushing downwards.
Specialized sharpeners are designed with a specific purpose and look to them. For example, some may be very brightly colored and feature fun designs that make it more likely that kids will use them.
The vast majority of battery powered sharpeners either take AA or AAA batteries. They are ideal if you are looking for the performance, convenience and versatility of electric models, but need a sharpener for when you are on the go, or when you don’t have access to a power source.
One of the most important considerations, besides performance of course, is how long the batteries last for. Keep in mind that batteries are rarely included with a sharpener and must therefore be purchased separately.
Factors to Consider
Besides the different types of pencil sharpeners, which should be your most important consideration, there are a few other things that you should keep in mind.
Considering that pencils come in all sizes, it is a good idea to purchase a sharpener that can accommodate sharpening several differently sized pencils. Your everyday pencil likely has a diameter of 8mm, but they can go all the way up to 10.5mm too.
It’s easy to know whether a sharpener can accommodate different sized pencils because it will feature multiple dials. The packaging should also state which sized pencils can be sharpened too.
Pencils not only come in all sizes, but also all shapes. Triangular, circular, and hexagonal shaped pencils all exist. While all pencil sharpeners can handle pencils that come in these shapes, know that some models may be better designed to sharpen into particular shapes.
Not only do you have to consider the size of the pencils, but also the size of the sharpener. This is all about convenience. If you are frequently on the go, moving from class to class or office to office, you need a model that fits in your pocket or pencil case, as it will be easy to carry around. The size of your desk is another thing to keep in mind.
The sharpening angle is one of the most important aspects to consider. Various models are designed to sharpen pencils at different angles. For example, if you want your pencil to have a larger lead point you need a sharpener that has a larger angle. On the other hand, sharpeners with smaller angles results in a pencil with a smaller lead point.
Keep in mind that a larger lead point results in a pencil that doesn’t need to be sharpened as often, although the pencil becomes less sturdy and is more prone to breakage. Smaller lead point pencils may need to be sharpened more often, but they are sturdier and less prone to breakage.
Expanding on the last point, are you one of those people who wants a super sharp tip (lead point), or a blunt tip? Knowing which type of pencil you prefer to use ensures that you can purchase a sharpener that excels at sharpening pencils in your preferred manner.
Some people prefer their pencil to have a very clean look to it, whereas others have no preference. If you fall into the former category then you clearly don’t want a sharpener that leaves graphite marks behind.
Pencil sharpeners can be made of plastic or steel. Steel models are clearly more durable, but have the disadvantage of being heavier and possibly more expensive.
Therefore, consider just how important durability is to you. If you simply need a sharpener for home or single use, one with plastic housing will likely suffice.
On the other hand, if the sharpener is for office or class use, you probably want something that is more durable.
You need to purchase a sharpener that strikes a good balance between sharpening and gentleness. Some models appear to sharpen well when you look at just how sharp the pencil is, but when you use the pencil you find that it is prone to breakage and therefore wastage.
No one in the classroom or office wants to be able to hear a loud sound every time you need to sharpen your pencil. Therefore, be sure to choose models that are known to have quiet motors and keep noise and disruption down to an absolute minimum.