Best Pencil Sharpener
- A Review on the Best Pencil Sharpener
Update: April 2017:
Best Pencil Sharpener – A Clear Winner
The X-ACTO Pro X Beats them all hands-down
Since writing this review, I have become a classroom teacher and have witnessed and/or peformed the sharpening of thousands of different pencils. When I did this review on best pencil sharpener I researched the numerous Amazon reviews and came to the conclusion that is the one pencil sharpener that consistently receives the highest rating. Now, I can affirm that the contest isn’t even close. The X-ACTO PROX is hands-down better than any other pencil sharpener I’ve ever tried. You can sharpen a brand new, completely unsharpened pencil (depending on brand), in around 5-6 seconds. The X-ACTO ProX is less than half the price as the Panasonic KP150BK. Like the KP150BK, the X-ACTO has a steel cutting wheel and an auto-shut-off feature to prevent over sharpening of your pencils. Another great feature is LED illumination which indicates when sharpening is complete. The X-ACTO has a larger receptacle for pencil shaving and a multi-wheel dial for selecting different sizes of pencils. These are features the KP150BK doesn’t. The best part is the $59.00 price tag. But wait, it gets even better than that. You can get them the XACTO PROX for around $58.00 on Amazon.
I bought this pencil sharpener about 18 months ago and dozens of students have used it. We go through a lot of pencils. I estimate that we’ve sharpened well 2,000 pencils with this unit. So far, it hasn’t failed. Prior to this I tried a couple of other electric pencil sharpeners such as the Wescott Evolution iPoint sold at Costco for around $15.00. I went through two of these. They are cheap, but they are noisy and they break. Other teachers have used these as well and have complained about how many times they have failed. At the failure rate of other cheap, electric pencil sharpeners, I would say that the $58.00 XACTO will actually save you some money in the long-run. But, most importantly, getting the right pencil sharpener will save you a lot of grief and headaches from the noise.
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See my original review below
– back in the day when I thought pencil sharpeners were for Crossword Puzzles.
Review on Cheap Pencils, Pencil Sharpeners, and other Graphite Musings
I’m still looking for the best pencil sharpener. We’ve all done it, haven’t we? We cuss and swear at the top of our lungs when those cheap pencils break inside the pencil sharpener. Hopefully, we didn’t react this way while we were in our classrooms during school. Cheap, broken pencils are maddening enough to make any grade school child cuss like an angry, adult male failing an anger management class. What we’re left with is a broken, cheap pencil and messy job of dissembling the pencil sharpener that was not up to the task. Thanks to computers, laptops and hand-held devices, pencils are not as popular as they once were, but for those of us who use them frequently, finding a good pencil sharpener is like gold. Personally, I find that crossword puzzles are a great way to relax. Unfortunately, it’s a little bit difficult to get to a point of relaxation when I’m constantly having to look for sharpened pencils. For that reason, I like to keep a few sharpened pencils armed and ready in every room of the house. This may sound obsessive, but it beats cussing like an angry adult male being expelled from an anger management class. I’ve been through a couple of different types and brands and trust me; not all pencil sharpening tools are created equal. I’m willing to cut a little deeper into my budget if it will get me a better sharpener. To get a better grasp of the facts behind pencil sharpening technology, it is important to understand the source behind the frustration of all pencil users. Before you trade the worst for the best, here’s what you look for:
Sharpening Cheap Pencils
A cheap pencil is a brittle one that can be easily snapped with two fingers. Because the wood surrounding cheap pencils is not very dense, they require a precision, finely honed sharpener to make them user-friendly. In technological terms, what you need is a high-resolution electric pencil sharpener to delicately grind through that brittle wood and reveal a tight, finely shaped point of graphite for writing. (Easier said than done.) It’s not going to happen with one of those hand-held, manually operated devices you brought to you with school back in the 1950s, 60s, 70s, 80s…. You will also not have much luck with the sturdy school sharpener mounted on thousands of classroom walls made to endure the grimy hands and abuse of the thousands of clumsy, careless students of the last several decades. Back in those days, pencils were robust enough to serve as both a writing instrument and a lead-based, weapon of deadly poison. Today’s cheap pencils would never hold up to the goring in the leg of that bully sitting next to you, nor would they stand up against an old-fashioned, School Pencil Sharpener. A cheap pencil is no match for the rugged Boston School Sharpeners of the past. As fighting with pencils in school became passe, the pencil quality in America declined dramatically. The older, more rugged pencil sharpeners were appropriately named Boston, a region where our forefathers roamed the country-side killing Brits with Bayonets; a slightly larger, less-evolved form of the # 2, lead pencil. But alas, those days are long gone. An American culture which was once built upon a pioneer spirit and fierce determination to gore our enemies with blunt instruments has softened in favor of a society that demands a better, high-resolution, electric pencil sharpener.. The effective, poisonous lead has been replaced with softer, safer graphite. You won’t be able to get the precision, sharpened graphite point with those old, hand-cranked Boston, Pencil Sharpeners. Those sensitive, cheap pencils require a soft touch at ultra high-speed RPMs. Graphite is finer and less dense than lead, meaning you need a more precision tool to get the job done. The newer, cheaper and safer graphite pencil requires a more expensive, high tech pencil sharpener. What is the sharpener for the job? I’ve found a couple of them that are best suited for the task at hand.
Panasonic Electric Pencil Sharpener
Comes with a Hefty Price Tag
Would you pay $129.00 for an electric pencil sharpener? You would if you want the absolute best pencil sharpener. The Panasonic KP150BK comes with a price tag that could have made Paul Revere reconsider his business in Silver. There is a good reason for the high price of the best pencil sharpener. Over 51 users have rated the KP150BK 4.5 stars, making it the highest rated electric pencil sharpener you can buy. Does that make it the best pencil sharpener? Maybe. What is so great about it to demand such a high price tag? This high-end Panasonic Electric Pencil Sharpener actually used a steel cutting wheel which produces a perfect 16-point graphite end. Because there is an auto-stop feature, you will never have to worry about wasting wood or over sharpening a pencil. You will get a perfect, 16-point cut every time. But wait a minute? Besides Oprah Winfrey, who has $129.00 to pay for such a tool, whether it’s the best pencil sharpener or not?