If you know my drawing style then you realize that I am always looking for a pencil sharpener to fall in love with. The amount of detail I try to achieve just calls for the sharpest point I can get my hands on. Its been an ongoing quest and its taken many many years of trial and error. Here’s just the short of the journey.
You would think that electric would be the answer. Yes, it saves my hand, especially since doing too much with hand since my car accident hurts. Electric sharpeners can be wonderful when they work, but are not always reliable or may not work for pastel and charcoal pencils. I have tried a Boston Electric (I will have to check the model), sadly it just ate my pencils.
Via email I chatted with Katherine Tyrrell who has written several articles about pencil sharpeners. At first she suggested a Jakar 5151 mains powered electric pencil sharpener, except one problem its available in the UK, so over expensive shipping was out of the question; for more information. Though from her description and pictures its worth the cost if you can afford it. Her next suggestion was a battery powered Staples® Slimline Battery Operated Pencil Sharpener. It worked really well for 3.25 projects… I believe it died, earlier this week. I don’t live near a Staples and keep kicking myself for not buying a back up at the same time. Still I wanted to make sure it worked first.
So my husband and I tried to research online for sharpeners. I have to say the information provided under product information is severely lacking. The one thing that Katherine suggested was that the sharpener needed to have helical blades. The only one I have found so far is the one through Staples that specifically states this.
As a back up and bandaid to my work gap, I had thought that a manual sharpener with a turning arm might work. It would be less stress on my hand, which trying to use the simple hand sharpeners just was making it hurt even worse. So a trip to Office Depot and my husband picked up a Stanley® Bostitch® Manual Pencil Sharpener. It clamps to your work surface. I tried to turn the arm with my left hand, the pencils weren’t sharpening. So I decided to change it up and use my right hand to do it.
YEAH!!! I have beautiful sharpened pencils and can work. I love this sharpener, its not electric, but the points I have are amazing. I think I may just need to try one of the electric ones for this brand. I will definitely be picking up a back up.