A good pencil deserves a good pencil sharpener. Just as there are many types of pencils, I have learned that there are many types of sharpeners. Different sharpeners give different lengths of points to the pencil. And just as not all pencils are created equal (be on the lookout for a post in the next month or so about what makes a pencil good or bad), not all pencil sharpeners are created equal.
For the last year, I have used the KUM Masterpiece Sharpener. This is a good sharpener, but with it being a two stage sharpener, it took a good deal of time to sharpen a pencil, which I did not always have the patience to do. However, it gave me a nice, long point, which allowed me to write for longer periods of time without having to re-sharpen.
A few months back, I was given this little bullet sharpener and I love it! It gives a really nice point, very quickly, and it goes on a keyring; how cool! However, it didn’t give a very long point, causing me to have to re-sharpen pretty often, especially if I was using a softer graphite pencil, like a Blackwing Pearl.
However, I no longer have to compromise between ease and speed of use, and a beautiful long point. BEHOLD! The Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener (cue ‘ooh’s and ‘aah’s)
This wonderful pencil sharpener is made by teachers, for teachers. Created by an Elementary School teacher, who was annoyed by loud and obnoxious pencil sharpeners that would disrupt the class, this sharpener is a quiet, but incredibly effective sharpener at giving you a perfect point every time that you use it.
This sharpener came simply, but well packaged. Included with the sharpener, is a handy mount that keeps it secure to the table it is placed on.
It is also incredibly easy to use! First, you slide the silver faceplate forward, and then squeeze together the two black knobs on top together, slide in the pencil, and then release the knobs for a the sharpener to have a firm grip on the pencil, so that it does not move during the sharpening process.
Next, you simply turn the handle on the back clockwise, until it turns freely, which is your indicator that the pencil is fully sharpened. To remove the pencil, squeeze the two black knobs together again, and remove the pencil. Easy enough, right!
All of the shavings are kept in a clear bin at the base of the sharpener, making clean up very easy. All together, it takes less than 30 seconds to get a perfect point on a pencil. Here is a video demonstration, if my explanation of the process wasn’t very clear.
The only downfall, which isn’t that big of a deal to me, is the little marks that are left in the pencil when it is removed from the sharpener (you can see them on the Blackwing above). This is caused by the mechanism that keeps the pencil secure. For me, that is not a big deal, but for some it can be an annoyance.
A Word from an Actual Teacher
However, I don’t want you to hear about it from me alone, but from an actual teacher, my wife!
As a middle school Language Arts teacher I am ALWAYS sharpening pencils. Your standard electric pencil sharpener will give you a good sharpen for about half of a school year. After that, you can be prepared to fight with the pencil sharpener daily to get a decent sharpen, so that the student who’s been trying to sharpen their pencil for the past 3 minutes can actually get to do some work with the tiny nub of a pencil that is now left… If there is one thing I’ve had to learn its how to “have the magic touch” to get a pencil sharpened. Basically, this means learning just the right way to wiggle or angle the pencil in the dilapidated electric sharpener to get it to do what you want. I won’t even go into the struggle brought on by the wall mounted sharpeners that have fossilized to the wall. We all remember. Needless to say it has been a struggle in my classroom, so when my husband brought home the Classroom Friendly Sharpener, I was ecstatic! Finally, I wasn’t going to have to deal with the grating sound of an electric sharpener haunting me for the rest of my career! No matter how messed up a pencil is, you can sharpen it in a CFS and it will come out looking perfect. While I haven’t gotten comfortable enough to let my middle schoolers use it themselves, partially because everyone will suddenly all have broken pencils as an excuse to use it, and partially because it is my prized classroom possession, my students are always asking to have their pencils sharpened in the “magic sharpener.” This is followed by “OOO’s” and “AHHH’s” as they stare at the point for a good minute. The Classroom Friendly Sharpener is a fantastic tool to have in the classroom. I would recommend it to anyone in the teaching profession. With their printable posters to teach kids how to use it, and its great design that keeps you from over-sharpening and breaking your point, it is perfection for the classroom.
They are very affordable, and they offer bundle deals for those who are buying multiple for a classroom. Do yourself a favor, and go check out the pencil sharpeners from Classroom Friendly Supplies. You won’t regret it!
*These sharpeners were given to me at no charge for review purposes*