I am what’s best described as an A-type personality, a bit OCD, or as those who know me well would say, a complete pain in the backside. There are things I like a certain way and one of those includes my pencils being sharpened perfectly; no blunt tips for me, no raggedy shavings, just sharp and pointed. Which is why I always look for the best electric pencil sharpener.
The good news is I am not alone. There are loads of other people that have the same relationship with their pencil and sharpener as I do, and over time they (the sharpeners, not the people) have evolved from simple little bits of plastic with a hole and a blade to some pretty nifty electrical ones that can handle a pencil or two at home or a classroom of pencils at school.
Best Electric Pencil Sharpeners – What to Look For
While some old-school folk might still enjoy using a manual sharpener there’s a wide range of electric ones available that offer speed, super sharp tips and no chance of over-sharpening. While manual sharpeners give a certain sense of satisfaction there’s nothing better than the ‘whirr’ of an enthusiastic electric pencil sharpener, except maybe one that gets the job done quietly.
When looking for the best electric pencil sharpener, I suggest you look at a few things like the size of the pencils that will need sharpening – most pencils have a diameter of 8mm, but can go up to 10.5mm. I always look for a sharpener that has various size options.
Pencils come in different shapes these days – triangular, hexagonal and the good old circular shape so again I suggest looking for an electric sharpener that can accommodate various shapes, most good ones do, and of course there are those that take specific shapes only.
This is something that took me a little while to understand: pencil tips with larger angles show more of the lead and can be used for a longer time before having to be sharpened again, while small tipped pencils with a smaller angle are sturdier and less prone to that annoying breakage.
The lead in pencils works differently depending on the tip. Some work better with a very sharp point and others are better suited to a blunt, more rounded one. It depends on the lead, (HB, H, 2H, etc) and on personal preference.
While it’s good to have an electric sharpener that sharpens well it is important that it’s gentle on the pencil. I battle with sharpeners that leave my pencil looking like it has been attacked by a ragged-tooth shark. It’s best to avoid the ones that are too harsh on the wood and lead.
The last thing I consider when choosing an electric sharpener is the mess it leaves or doesn’t. A good sharpener won’t leave any kind of residue behind and the pencil will look nice and clean, while the shavings is nice and full.
5 of the Best Electric Pencil Sharpener Choices for 2019
While some things are enjoyed ‘retro’, like coca-cola in a bottle or handwritten letters, others do better with a touch of innovation and technology, like a pencil sharpener. I keep a few manual ones around for nostalgic reasons, but when it comes to doing the actual sharpening I step away from my vintage collection and grab one of my electric ones. Don’t get me wrong, if I see an old-fashioned one that I love it’s purchased and added to my printer’s tray but for day-to-day use, it’s electric all the way.
There are so many electric pencil sharpeners to choose from, and finding the right one will be the most difficult part of the process. But rest assured they’re not expensive, they are available for home, for schools, for commercial use and even industrial (can I say I want that job – the one where I get to sharpen pencils all day). They are available in different sizes and colors and if looked after properly, will last a lot longer than the old sharpeners.
1. X-ACTO TeacherPro Classroom Electric Pencil Sharpener with SmartStop
The X-ACTO TeacherPro Classroom Electric Pencil Sharpener is fast and the giant shavings container means you don’t have to clean it as regularly as other sharpeners in the market.
X-ACTO manufactures top-quality knives and cutting blades and they’ve used the exact precision blades with this electric sharpener. What makes this sharpener one of the best, in my opinion, is its super quiet design, which makes it perfect for classrooms that don’t need additional noise. The X-ACTO TeacherPro Classroom Electric Pencil Sharpener can handle everything – normal sized pencils, fat ones, and composite pencils – there’s no need to have separate sharpeners lying around the classroom, this one sharpens them all.
Six pencil holes ensure any kind of pencil can be sharpened, whether it’s one of the thicker beginner-pencils, composite, normal sized and even colored pencils. And the sharpener features SmartStop, a patented cutting technology that stops the cutter as soon as the pencil is sharp enough; a blue light shines when it’s ready, and somehow the SmartStop technology is never wrong. It also stops if there is any overheating, and as an additional safety feature the X-ACTO won’t work if the receptacle isn’t in place.
The blade is incredibly durable and if, by any chance, they do wear down they can be replaced at any repair shop.
One happy customer on Amazon left this review:
“As a teacher, I am always buying pencil sharpeners, and am always left disappointed. This is the best pencil sharpener. I even have other teachers coming to my classroom to use it. They’ve since bought their own. If you need a fast sharpener that lasts forever, this is the one.
2. School Smart Adjustable Electric Pencil Sharpener
It isn’t easy finding an electric pencil sharpener that is tough enough to stand up to a classroom full of over-enthusiastic learners. The School Smart Adjustable Electric Pencil Sharpener is, however, one of them. It works fast, handles all types of brands and grades of pencils and can sharpen over 100 pencils a day. It doesn’t overheat and gives you the perfect point, time and again.
Unlike a lot of electric sharpeners, this one even works well for art pencils. Other features include a carbon steel cutter that sharpens cheap wood as easily as hardwood, with ease, and it has three hole adjustments for small, medium and thick pencils. An auto reset button keeps it from overheating and the large ‘trash bin’ can store a few weeks worth of shavings and other residue. The tray is easy to remove and clean, and the machine stops working as soon as it’s removed to prevent fingers getting cut up. It has an auto-stop feature so you don’t over sharpen your pencil, and damage it and the rubber feet keep the sharpener secure and unmovable while you’re using it.
The School Smart Adjustable sharpener is the perfect addition to any classroom, sharpening all types of pencils in double quick time, while still being quiet.
I have to agree with this person’s review on Amazon:
“I have worn out so many electric sharpeners, even the ones that claim to be indestructible. I draw using Prismacolor pencils and have to admit I was sceptical when I ordered this particular one. But I needn’t have been. It works quickly but doesn’t destroy my pencils in the process and a super sharp point, which is what my detailed artwork needs. I am also an art teacher and I’ve replaced my old electric sharpener with this one because no matter how many pencils it has to sharpen it doesn’t overheat.
3. OfficeGoods Electric & Battery Operated Pencil Sharpener for Home Office
The OfficeGoods V-7 Electric and Battery Operated Pencil Sharpener has some unique features that makes it a perfect sharpener for kids and at the office. For one it has three-way power, which if you’re anything like me, you hate being stuck at a wall outlet. It works with an AC adapter, a USB cord that can attach to a wall adapter or you can use 4-AA batteries.
It’s about the size of a compact camera and I like that it doesn’t take up a lot of space on my desk, but don’t let its small size deceive you – this electric sharpener takes a pencil from no point to extra sharp in 7 seconds. It’s not noisy and won’t disrupt a classroom or an office.
It can sharpen around 150 new pencils in 20 minutes, without slowing down or overheating. I use it for my own colored pencils (I’m one of those annoying adults that enjoy coloring in) and a lot of my friends have bought this one too, for the same purpose.
According to a customer on Amazon, it is “excellent, compact and quiet. It can be cordless and it sharpens evenly. I hate a pencil with a lop-sided point. The sharpener gets it right every time and the bonus is it comes with a USB charger. I use the batteries, though; it frees up the charger so I can use it for my phone
4. Tripworthy Electric Pencil Sharpener
The Tripworthy electric pencil sharpener goes wherever you do and can manage any sharpening job. It’s compact, easy-to-use and is an excellent sharpener for colored pencils as well as No. 2 pencils.
I like that it’s lightweight and compact and is a great choice for aspiring artists, students, teachers and office staff. It’s also battery-operated which means you don’t have to stress about finding somewhere to plug it in.
When it comes to choosing a sharpener, performance is always top of my list, which is why I rate the Tripworthy pretty high, but the safety features are also a huge plus – it won’t work if any parts are missing, it stops automatically when a pencil is sharp enough and it doesn’t overheat.
I’m not the only one that thinks it’s an excellent sharpener, at a great price. According to a review on Amazon:
“It’s a great little pencil sharpener! When I opened the box and saw it my initial thought was there was no way it would hold up in my house. I had to add batteries as they’re not included but once it got going I was impressed. I like that it’s compact and that there’s no cord, making it easy to move around the house. For a small sharpener, it packs a punch and withstands constant use, even with colored pencils.
5. X-ACTO High Volume Commercial Electric Pencil Sharpener
This X-ACTO is for commercial use which means it has a large shavings tray, is fast, powerful and has an inside fan to keep it from overheating. If you want to know what a commercial pencil sharpener does that a classroom one doesn’t – it sharpens a new pencil in under 2 seconds, and can get through hundreds in just a few minutes. The industrial electric sharpener has non-skid pads on the bottom, keeping it stable while in use and you don’t need to hold it while it’s sharpening.
The X-ACTO Commercial Electric Pencil Sharpener has one of the most powerful sharpening capabilities in the X-ACTO range and has been designed to be dependable day after day, year after year. It has dual helical cutters that sharpen pencils to a fine point and the internal fan ensures no overheating or damage to the sharpener or pencil. It features PencilSaver technology that eliminates any over sharpening and has been designed for the school environment and offices.
You know a product is good when it comes with a 10-year warranty. That in itself is reason enough to buy it.
While there are loads of great reviews on Amazon I particularly liked this one:
“My Boston 1606 eventually burned out its motor after 15 years of daily use in my classroom. I tried fixing it but wasn’t coming right so I ordered this one, along with replacement cutters that are sold separately. With my old sharpener a few years into using it I noticed the pencils had a ‘furry’ look after a shave, which usually means it needs a new blade. The X-ACTO works like a dream, guzzling through new pencils in seconds, efficiently and quietly. It doesn’t overheat with heavy classroom use and gets through over a hundred pencils in under a minute. Trust me, we’ve done the tests.
To learn more about the best electric pencil sharpener, visit Wikipedia.