Top positive review
4 people found this helpful
Seems like we made the right choice!
on November 10, 2012
I am a homeschooling mother of 6, and we go through pencils by the OODLES, using regular ones for schoolwork, and colored pencils for illustrating and coloring. We burned through two electric sharpeners and then realized we would need a manual sharpener. We went through two manual Xacto sharpeners, the ones that suction to the desk, which broke very quickly, even with careful use (as in, Mom was the only one allowed to operate it). We were frustrated, and definitely needed to find a pencil sharpener that could handle up to 20 or more sharpenings a day. We also wanted one that sharpened evenly, and I really was hoping to find one that made a shorter cone and a thicker tip, to prevent that initial "snap" breakage from the super-sharp points the moment they hit the paper (especially a problem with younger hands).
So, we researched manual pencil sharpeners for hours over a span of three days, reading reviews and making comparisons. We finally agreed on this pencil sharpener for several reasons. The main reason was because of the photos posted showing the tip of a pencil using this sharpener. It was a bit shorter, and slightly thicker and rounded, although still nicely sharpened. It seemed like we would have less breakage. Reviews in general said this was a sturdy/durable sharpener. We didn't find any other sharpener that had better reviews for durability. The price of this sharpener was certainly good, too. It was $10.95 when we purchased it.
We were all very excited when the sharpener arrived, and we had a back-log of pencils to sharpen. It was very easy to operate following the simple instructions included. You simply pull out the front panel (it is spring-loaded) and it stays in place about 1.5 inches out. Then you squeeze the top levers together and insert the pencil all the way into the sharpener. Next, you let go of the levers and the pencil is now held firmly in place. To sharpen, you simply hold the sharpener in one hand and turn the crank with the other. The front panel is now holding your pencil, and it gently pushes it in as the point sharpens. It stops moving when the point is done. Sometimes it goes all the way in, sometimes it only goes part way back in. But it seemed pretty easy to tell when the pencil is done by the feel of the hand crank--which feels loose when the pencil is fully sharpened.
We have sharpened well over one hundred different pencils at this point. Here is what we have learned:
PROS: We are all definitely pleased with the point that this sharpener makes. The cone is slightly shorter, and the point is slightly thicker and just the slightest bit rounded,although still quite sharp, to prevent snapping upon first use. Our breakage rate is definitely down to almost zero using this sharpener. It seems to sharpen evenly--moreso than other sharpeners we have had. It does not leave more wood on one side of the point unless the pencil is poorly made. Also, this pencil sharpener SEEMS durable. It feels well made--it does not feel light or cheap or fragile. However, I cannot report too much on durability at this time as we have only owned it a few days now. I will update on durability at a later date. My only opinion at this point is that is seems durable.
CONS: Not all pencils fit well into the holder. All our regular No. 2 writing pencils fit perfectly well, even the ones that are decorated with designs. Our colored pencils, of which we sharpen ten or more per day, don't all fit into the holder because they are too slender (we mostly use Prang colored pencils, but have some Crayola and RoseArt, too). When attempting to put a colored pencil into the holder, when we begin sharpening, the holder slides in, but it leaves the pencil behind because cannot clamp tightly enough around the pencil. This problem is completely solvable by not pulling out the front panel to use the holder. Just leave the front panel in, squeeze the levers to insert the pencil, and then sharpen it like a regular manual pencil sharpener. But for this scenario, the sharpener needs to be clamped onto a desk, because you need one hand to hold the pencil, and one to turn the crank (just like a regular manual sharpener).
We are all pleased with our decision. We think we definitely made the right choice. We are happy with the price, the point that is produced, the fact that it sharpens very evenly and smoothly, and that it seems durable. Originally I was going to give this a 4-star rating because of the fact this sharpener doesn't hold the colored pencils well, but I decided this is definitely worth a 5-star rating, because we are so happy with the results, even when we have to hold some of the colored pencils while sharpening them.
We completed an art project today in which we used a lot of colored pencils. The only reason we used the sharpener was to sharpen ones that got too dull with use--not because any of the tips snapped. That was fantastic! This sharpener makes great tips!
UPDATE ON DURABILITY: We have now owned this pencil sharpener for five months, and I will now confidently say it is quite durable! We sharpen about 30-40 pencils per day, on average (I have kept track--one day we sharpened nearly catching up the sharpening on our regularly used pencils), both colored pencils and regular No. 2 school pencils. The sharpener is still sharp, completely intact, and completely functional. I still love the size and shape of the tip and will say most definitely that it is cuts down on breakage. My three younger students are 3, 5, and 7, and they rarely snap the tip off of a freshly sharpened pencil. VERY nice. If I ever do need to replace this, I will get this one again, or as close to it as possible!