I had a traumatic colored pencil experience trying to sharpen a pack of Verithins. Sharpening pencils is my least favorite coloring task. I’m already tired before I even start coloring. Maybe that’s why I’m partial to markers. I do like the look of colored pencils especially when blending, so I’m not ready to give up on them yet.
When Brittany Stephenson mentioned she has seven sharpeners, I asked her if she can compare them and let us know what she recommends.
Here’s what she has to share…
As any colorist who uses colored pencils knows, pencil sharpeners are very important tools of the trade – but with so many choices out there, how do you choose the “right” sharpener? Well, here’s a review of all of the sharpeners I currently own to help you out.
Faber Castell Single Barrel: This sharpener came with a set of Faber Castell Classic pencils. There’s literally nothing fancy about this sharpener. It’s a tiny, black sharpener with no receptacle to catch shavings. The single barrel fits ‘standard’-sized pencils but will not fit larger pencils such as Derwent Inktense.
Although slightly messy, it does sharpen both soft core pencils (such as Prismacolors) and harder leaded pencils (Prang, Crayola, and Faber Castell Classics, etc.) but the blades dull easily. This is probably because there is nothing to protect them from outside elements/dust/debris. I still like this though because they are SO small and easy to carry around inside even the smallest pencil cases for travelling/on the go.
Good Point Single Barrel: I bought this sharpener from a local dollar store. I’ve had many of these sharpeners over the years. The blades dull VERY easily and they don’t last long at all but they do okay when they are new.
This sharpener fits ‘standard’-sized pencils but will not fit larger pencils, like Derwent Inktense. Honestly, I would only recommend these sharpeners only if you’re “in a pinch” – say if you’ve left your sharpener at home and this one is the only one available to you for some reason.
Dollar General Double Barrel: You can find these at pretty much any Dollar General store (a popular chain of dollar stores in my area). This is another brand of sharpener that dulls easily and will start “chewing” your pencils, if you aren’t careful.
This one fits ‘standard’-sized pencils as well as Derwent Inktense pencils. I do find it hard to get a good point on the Inktense with this sharpener (but that might just be me?). This is yet another “in a pinch” type sharpener. I would not recommend this sharpener for everyday use.
KUM 4-in-1: I bought this sharpener at my local Hobby Lobby store about a year ago (you can also find them on Amazon). It has four different sizes of holes (7, 8, 10, and 11mm) which are marked on the barrel of the sharpener. You can also take off the ‘head’ on each end of the sharpener to dump shavings.
Just be careful when you take off both ends at the same time. You are likely to mix up the hole sizes (which again, are marked on the barrel for some reason.) Aside from that small inconvenience, this sharpener is really nice.
It works really well for any pencil I’ve ever tried in it, from Crayola to Prismas to Inktense. The blades are still nice and sharp even after having it for about a year now. I also like that this sharpener has little hinged caps for each end, which closes the whole sharpener up, so that even if you throw it in the bottom of your purse or bag full of shavings, it won’t leak shavings all over the place.
My only real complain about this sharpener is that it is a little bit larger/thicker and doesn’t fit well in any of my pencil cases for travelling. I can’t actually keep it WITH my pencils. I usually end up just throwing it in my purse/bag for travel.
Casemates 2-in-1: I bought this sharpener at Walmart for about 50 cents. It doesn’t get much cheaper than that! This sharpener definitely felt “cheaper” when I first took it out of the package. It states on the package that it “sharpens #2 and jumbo pencils and crayons”. I am a little surprised to say that I really like this sharpener!
It sharpens both soft core and harder core pencils very well and even sharpens Inktense pencils beautifully! It’s about the same size as most other cheap sharpeners that come with receptacles. The main difference is this one opens from the bottom of the sharpener instead of the top. Surprisingly, it’s not really messy to dump/clean. Overall, if you are looking for a super cheap sharpener that actually works well, I’d recommend this one, hands down!
T’GAAL Multisharpener: This sharpener fits ALL pencils types that I’ve ever tried in it, including Inktense, and sharpens them all well. The interesting part of this sharpener is that it has adjustable sharpening angles, with five settings from relatively dull (1) to very long and sharp (5).
The sharpener also closes up completely, to contain any debris/shavings and to protect the blades from any foreign debris getting in, which could cause dulling of the blades. I wouldn’t consider this sharpener small, but it is thin enough that it is fairly easy to keep inside a pencil case with your pencils. The ONLY complain I have with this sharpener is that the receptacle is rather small and needs to be emptied frequently. Overall though, this is one of my favorite sharpeners.
Prismacolor Premier Pencil Sharpener: My first impression of this sharpener is that it is SO bulky and odd-shaped. According to the package, it has two barrels for different sharpening angles – wide or narrow. The back of the package states that this sharpener is meant to sharpen Prismacolor pencils specifically but it does fit Inktense pencils as well.
In my experience, this sharpener sharpens ANY pencil beautifully, from Prismacolors to Inktense to cheaper pencils such as Crayola, Prang, CraZart, etc. I also like that this is another sharpener that has a cover on top, allowing it to be completely closed up. I’ve yet to have a single problem with the sharpener other than the odd shape making it unable to fit in any of my pencil cases. Overall, another VERY nice sharpener!
So, which pencil sharpener is my favorite? Honestly, it depends on where I’m at and what I’m coloring. For travel/on the go, I really like the T’Gaal although I’m afraid of losing it so a lot of times I carry my Casemates 2-in-1 instead. I’d rather have to buy another 50 cent pencil sharpener than have to buy another T’Gaal (Replacement will take a while since I can’t find them in stores around here. They’re available on Amazon).
Overall, my most favorite sharpener would probably have to be my KUM 4-in-1. I just feel like I could sharpen any pencil I’d ever need to sharpen. It doesn’t leave a mess in the bottom of wherever I end up storing it, whether it be my purse or the bottom of a desk drawer!
I hope this review was helpful and answered some questions you may have about the different sharpeners out there! Happy coloring (and sharpening!). 🙂
Our thanks to Brittany Stephenson for an informative review. Brittany is a co-admin of a fun Facebook coloring group called Adults Only Coloring Bunch.
Maria Castro of ScriboCreative.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.