Pencil sharpeners are tools that most people pay little attention to—very much in the same way that most people don’t think too much about pencils. When they’re using a pencil and want to sharpen it, then they just grab whatever sharpener is closest to them and uses. And while that works for most people, we do think that if people spend a little bit more time thinking about them, they’ll have better results using them. Understand what we’re trying to say? Well, allow us to elaborate on the subject a little bit more.

The Ways To Sharpen A Pencil

To understand how to buy the best pencil sharpener, a person should first consider some of the ways that pencils can be sharpened. In our estimation, pencils can be sharpened using one of the following five methods: with a Knife, with a Handheld Sharpener, with a Rotary Sharpener, with an Electric Pencil Sharpener, and with a Plane Sharpener. Let’s examine each of these methods separately and see how they work.

Using A Knife As A Sharpener

One of the first methods of pencil sharpening is using a knife. This is by far one of the cheapest methods of sharpening a pencil—considering that a person probably already has a knife. However, it’s also one of the most unreliable methods of sharpening a pencil and the one that takes the longest to use. It’s also one of the methods that are the least safe, so most people are probably not going to want to use this method to sharpen their pencils.

Of course, one of the main benefits of using this method is that it’s a quick way for artists or tradesmen or outdoorsmen to sharpen their pencils when they’re temporarily away from their usual pencil sharpener. In other words, it’s the sharpener of last resort.

Using A Handheld Pencil Sharpener

A handheld sharpener is a handy tool because it’s portable, inexpensive, and extremely easy to use. With just a few twists, just about anyone can sharpen their pencil with one of these devices. And because they are extremely inexpensive, with most models being under a dollar each, a person can have several of these sharpeners handy for school, work, home, or even the glove box of their vehicle.

Unfortunately, there is one drawback with many of these sharpeners. Many of them have terribly dull blades that do a terrible job of cleanly sharpening a pencil. Now don’t get us wrong, most of them will sharpen a pencil, but they won’t do it cleanly or with any level of precision.

Using A Rotary Sharpener

For many of us who are getting a bit long in the tooth, the rotary sharpener was a device that was used in classrooms all over the U.S. These sharpeners were respected and feared by schoolchildren alike and they were known to be able to withstand just about any about of punishment children could dish out to them. In fact, many of these sharpeners are still in classrooms—decades after they were first installed.

These sharpeners are for anyone looking for a bullet-proof sharpening option. Just be careful when purchasing some of the plastic ones that are increasingly being sold nowadays. The plastic ones are far inferior to the metal rotary sharpeners, so do your research before buying one of them.

Using An Electric Pencil Sharpener

Electric pencil sharpeners are some of the most accurate and effective sharpeners on the market today. They’re easy to use, their blades are usually easy to sharpen or replace, and they usually have safety features built into them to protect small fingers. Some of these models plug into an AC outlet, while others depend on batteries.

One of the things that we like about electric sharpeners is the fact that they’re very quiet. We also like the fact that their blades can last several times longer than the blades on handheld sharpeners. And some of them are manufactured with fly-away cutters so they’re incapable of oversharpening a pencil.

Using A Plane Pencil Sharpener

Anyone who hasn’t seen a pencil plane sharpener has evidently never used a Hovel Pencil Sharpener. These pencil sharpeners are designed to give the consumer more control over how they whittle their pencils down. This makes them extremely popular with artists who often need a little bit more control over their pencils than someone who is going to use it to just pen a letter.

Other Things To Think About When Shopping For Sharpeners

Now that we’ve covered some of the basic pencil sharpener models, it’s time to turn our attention to some of the other features that people should look for when searching for a new pencil sharpener. Below are some points you’re definitely going to want to consider before deciding on any of the available pencil sharpeners being sold nowadays.

The Pencil Sharpener’s Reservoir

One of the first things for people to consider when purchasing a new pencil sharpener is the size of the reservoir if it has one at all. Handheld models don’t often have a reservoir, but many desktop models do, so be sure to get one with a large enough reservoir so you’re emptying it out all of the time.

Does It Have A Helical System Or Blade

It’s also worth considering whether it has a helical cutting system or uses a blade cutting system. The disadvantage of blade cutting systems is that they dull easily, so they’re usually used on disposable handheld pencil sharpeners. Helical systems are superior because they tend to maintain their sharpness up to 30-times longer than blades, so that makes them extremely reliable.

Consider The Cost

The last thing you’re going to want to think about is the cost of the unit. Do you want an inexpensive pencil sharpener that you can carry with you? Well, then you’ll probably want a handheld pencil sharpener. On the other hand, if you’re not afraid of spending a little bit more, a rotary or electric pencil is probably the most reliable pencil sharpeners to choose from.