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Product Review

  Both the complaints and..., May 17, 2013
By mko...
Both the complaints and praises are valid from other reviewers.

First, the complaints:
At first, I was disappointed to find that some of my pencils were, in fact, being sharpened off-center. In some cases, it was even so severe that it left only a 2-3mm usable portion of graphite lead. But the other times, with different types of pencils, the sharpening was absolutely perfect. What was going on?

After experimenting I figured out what the problem is! If you are using pencils that are of a "thinner" diameter, and I use that term very relatively (i.e. Staedtler Mars Lumograph, or even simple Dixon Ticonderoga - the everyday American #2 yellow pencil), you will find that the single burr sharpens the wood *shape* perfectly, but the graphite portion is lopsided. However, if you use normal pencils that have a wider diameter than ticonderogas or mars lumograph (i.e. all of the Tombow pencils, Uni/Mitsubishi pencils, even General's Carbo Weld Supreme yellow pencils, colored pencils), there is no problem with the shape and length of the graphite point. It is comparable if not better to some of the best electric sharpeners out there.

It seems that somehow pencils on the thinner end of the spectrum may not be "held" as solidly as pencils tending towards the thicker end of the spectrum and therefore get moved around a bit as you crank the handle. Nevertheless, I was happy to figure it out. Granted, this shouldn't really be an issue to begin with so I -1 star for that, but for the pencils I use, it sharpens well.

On the plus side, the sharpened point on the pencils I normally use are excellent, the process is very quiet compared to other sharpeners, and the device looks great on the desktop. I was really impressed by how it automatically "clicks" and stops sharpening when done so your nice pencils don't get ground down. I don't really use the blunt function all that much, but I tried it and seems to work well (I'm not a blunt-tip expert). The sharp point is wonderfully long but not needle-thin like some small handheld sharpeners where you have to pause after writing a few letters to blow away the graphite that simply crumbled because the point was way too sharp. Sharpener also doesn't slip on the table at all despite being lightweight plastic due to a nice rubberized bottom.

For those who are bothered by other sharpeners' teeth/jaws "biting" into the paint of the pencil leaving a noticeable mark, this sharpener does not do that at all ... the jaws have a thick rubber coating.

Overall, after initial disappointment with uneven sharpening, I experimented and changed pencils to the ones I normally use and sharpening came out just fine. Thinner pencils will show lopsided sharpening in this device, but otherwise other pencils should be fine.
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