Writing styles

The best pencil sharpeners for precise lines in drawing and writing

As age-old art accessories, pencil sharpeners are indispensable. Sure, you can use a knife to create that perfect point, but why not just stick that dull writing tool into a well-seated blade that will do the same thing, with a lot less effort? Some may like a quick and easy motorized option, while others prefer a manual sharpener that offers a bit more control. Plus, you can opt for a one-size-fits-all style or one that has interchangeable holes for multiple pencil sizes. Ahead, find the best of the best pencil sharpeners, all ARTNews-recommended.

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1. X-ACTO Pro Electric Pencil Sharpener

There’s a reason X-Acto has become a household name when it comes to blades, and this electric sharpener is no exception. Made of plastic, its durable construction makes it ideal for high pressure situations and can handle a large volume of sharpening without needing to rest. The sharpener is powered from the wall but uses no electricity when not in use, so it can stay plugged in for the duration. To accommodate multiple sizes of pencils, this sharpener features a rotating pencil guide wheel that offers six different diameter sizes to choose from.

Buy: X-ACTO Pro Electric Pencil Sharpener

2. Faber-Castell Grip Trio Sharpener

This pencil sharpener is three in one, accommodating writing instruments of different sizes and materials. With three bladed holes, there’s a distinctive (and labeled) spot for colored, jumbo, and graphite pencils. The sharpener is manual, mounted in a triangular frame that makes it easy to grip for children and adults. Plus, it folds up on itself and snaps into place for easy transport. The entire sharpener, when closed, measures 8.25 inches high and 2.63 inches at its widest point.

Buy: Faber-Castell Grip Trio sharpener

3. Bostitch Electric Pencil Sharpener

This electric pencil sharpener is a teacher favorite because it has a large capacity tray that doesn’t need to be emptied as often as others. It plugs into a normal wall outlet, so the strong power comes straight from the source and doesn’t dry up with use. At 4.25 inches tall, it’s the perfect sized pencil sharpener for desktop use, while still being big enough for little hands, suitable for a younger classroom. It also has a safety switch that does not allow use when the tray is open and the mechanisms are exposed.

Buy: Bostitch Electric Pencil Sharpener

4. Staedtler Metal Double Hole Sharpener

This super portable manual pencil sharpener is just the thing to throw in your bag and go. It has a double metal hole for two pencils of different sizes, as well as a tray to catch shavings. There is a hinged lid with a safety lock to keep everything contained when not in use. Measuring just 2.3 inches tall, it fits in any craft (or other) bag when you’re packing all your supplies for transport.

Buy: Staedtler Metal Double Hole Sharpener

5. PowerMe Electric Pencil Sharpener

This sharpener has a rotating spiral drill bit design that makes its sharpening technique not only more consistent, but also more powerful. As such, it is often an artists choice, as it can sharpen pencils just as well as regular lead pencils. In terms of size, however, it’s ideal for #2 pencils. This sharpener is also battery-powered, which means it’s much more portable than plug-powered models, whether you’re looking to travel with it, to use it outdoors or just to sharpen in your studio without having to sit near a socket. Although a favorite of seasoned artists, it is also child friendly, as there is a safety measure in place that prevents it from being used if the cover that reveals the blades inside is removed.



Buy: PowerMe Electric Pencil Sharpener

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