As an art teacher my pencil sharpeners get A LOT of use - and not the sweet gentle kind of use - but rough use - pencils, colored pencils, 800 kids a week kind of use.
I gave in a few years ago and bought one of those 150.oo pencil sharpeners and while it's still kicking just fine - I have discovered this little hand crank pencil sharpener that does a way better job and wastes way less pencil.
Classroom Friendly Supplies to see if he would send one to me to try and out and write a review of it on this blog. I warned him that it was going to be put through the paces in my art room and that I planned on using it for months before writing a review. Most pencil sharpeners can hold out for a month or two in the art room before starting to spit, sputter, over heat and then die all together.
I received my adorable pencil sharpener back in the fall and I had seen other classroom blogs rave about how well it sharpens - they didn't lie. This little baby does it all and does it like a champ! I wasn't sure how it would do months later - but honestly, it's still sharpening like day one!
- Sharpens pencils (both colored and normal) to a crazy amazing point.
- Wastes less pencil - no over sharpening here!
- Order replacement parts
- Doesn't mount securely with the mount it comes with (maybe I'm just weak or my students real strong)
- Takes a little while to teach kids how to use it. (Once they know it's a dream)
That it. I have found that it sharpens normal pencils perfectly every time. I had a whole bunch of economy pencils donated to my room - those really terrible cheap ones where the lead isn't centered in the pencil and the erasers make pink streaks on paper instead of erasing. I ALMOST threw them all away because my 150.oo pencil sharpener couldn't handle the crooked lead - they always sharpened having one wood side really long and no way to write with the lead. On a whim I tried them in the Classroom Friendly Sharpener - and wha-la, they were sharpened just like any other pencil.
Later in the year we were doing a project with colored pencils and colored pencils are terrible for normal pencil sharpeners. The colored lead is way softer and almost gummy - it messes with the blades and motor of normal pencil sharpeners. Most art teachers won't allow colored pencils and normal pencils to be sharpened in the same sharpener. Kind of like having paper scissors and fabric scissors - same idea. In my opinion I don't have time to hand out hand sharpeners to kids and then police them to make sure the shavings get in the trash or that they aren't making rosettes out of the sharpened pieces... so I just have the kids use the electric sharpeners, which is hard on the sharpener. See the circle of issues?!?!
Okay. So I took my Classroom Friendly Sharpener and I put it to the test. We sharpened colored pencil after colored pencil. It sharpened them BEAUTIFULLY. The only thing I had to be careful of was that the over sharpening protection for normal pencils doesn't work with the colored pencils - the lead must be too thick or too soft. About 4 full cranks and the colored pencils were sharp. The only other issue was that the lead of the colored pencils would occasionally break in the sharpener and I'd have to take the blade out and get the lead out. This extra step took about 30 extra seconds when needed - nothing crazy or hard. The best part was that after sharpening all those colored pencils, the next class needed normal pencils - and it worked just like it did when I pulled it from the box.
This pencil sharpener in the REAL DEAL. Kids love using it (even so much that one class I had to take it away because they were purposely breaking their sharp pencils to use the sharpener again and again).
So if you are tired of burned out sharpeners that seem to last a few days past their warranty and then sputter and die - get yourself one of these sharpeners! It has been used EVERYDAY by hundreds of kids ALL year and it's still going strong.
I am impressed!
**I also just used it last hour to sharped some chop-sticks to use them like shish-ka-bob sticks for making holes in clay for beads. It sharpened the wood sticks perfectly and still sharpens normal pencils like I just took it out of the box. Try that with an electric sharpener!!! **