Looking for the best electric pencil sharpeners? There’s nothing that quite compares to putting pencil to paper. Whether it’s a rough draft, a sketch, or a brainstorming session, there’s something very special about writing and sketching with pencils. The main problem is no one likes a dull pencil.
Fortunately, gone are the days of the hand-cranked pencil sharpener that’s constantly spilling its shavings. With a modern electric sharpener, you have a no-mess, quick and easy way to sharpen your pencils up again. Electric pencil sharpeners have gotten quieter and more compact, there is a wide range of good electric pencil sharpeners and we’ll help you find the best option to fit your needs. Never write with a dull pencil again!
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Our Top Picks for Best Electric Pencil Sharpeners
Best Overall Electric Pencil Sharpener: AFMAT Heavy Duty Classroom Pencil Sharpener
While the AFMAT Classroom Pencil Sharpener was designed for classroom use, you don’t necessarily need to be in a classroom to appreciate the quality and durability of this plug-in electric pencil sharpener.
Heavy-duty blades can sharpen over 6,000 times and up to 200 pencils in one sitting. While it can handle almost any type of colored or graphite pencils, it’s NOT recommended to sharpen soft carbon pencils as they may cause jams. Overall, it’s everything you want in a pencil sharpener: fast, easy to use, sturdy, and long-lasting.
Large helical blades come with a strong motor that can sharpen a pencil in 5 seconds. Plus it has a range of additional features like non-skid footpads and a large transparent reservoir for pencil shavings.
Since the sharpener is designed for schools, there are a number of safety measures built-in. For example, it will not run if the shavings reservoir is not installed properly (so that fingers will not come in contact with the rotating blades), and it turns off if it is overheating.
Best Budget Electric Pencil Sharpener: JARLINK Electric Pencil Sharpener
If you’re looking for an inexpensive but quality pencil sharpener that will stand up to the riggers of a classroom or a busy office, Jarlink is for you. It has a large capacity transparent shaving reservoir so you don’t need to change it constantly. It also has an auto-stop feature to avoid it running when the shavings reservoir is not installed and keep fingers safe. It is suitable for pencils 6 – 8 mm and has a lifespan of approximately 3,000 sharpenings.
Pros: Rugged and relatively cheap. The upright design saves desk space. Power with an ac adaptor, batteries, or USB cable
Cons: No sharpness controls.
Best Premium Electric Pencil Sharpener: X-ACTO Mighty Pro Electric Pencil Sharpener
The first thing you notice about the X-ACTO Mighty Pro is the design. Modern and elegant, its minimalist look will upgrade any workspace it graces. Unlike most other electric pencil sharpeners, the exterior of this one is mostly made of metal, not plastic. It’s also relatively large with a footprint of 10.35 x 5.82 inches.
Beyond Mighty Pro’s appearance, the name X-acto has come to be synonymous with high-quality cutting blades. It’s a highly functional electric pencil sharpener with a heavy-duty helical blade that crafts the pencil tips to a precision point. It also comes with all the bells and whistles.
SafeStart is a safety feature that prevents the blades from rotating unless the shavings bin is in place, SmartStop LED light prevents you from oversharpening your pencil, a large transparent reservoir for pencil shavings, and suction cups on the bottom to firmly attach to a desktop.
The price point is higher than many other electric pencil sharpeners we reviewed, however, we feel that the quality and unique design make it worth the expense for studios, classrooms, or offices that use pencils extensively.
Pros: Elegant design, quality cutters, extra-large space for shavings.
Cons: Pricy. Large desk footprint.
Best Battery Operated Pencil Sharpener: POWERME Electric Pencil Sharpener
POWERME electric pencil sharpener is proof that an electric sharpener doesn’t have to be big and clunky to sharpen pencils. Modern electric sharpeners can be efficient and compact. Now instead of traveling with a messy manual pencil sharpener, you can easily slip a portable electric pencil sharpener in your bag instead.
Look for one that’s lightweight and battery-powered like this POWERME electric pencil sharpener. It comes in a range of colors from professional black to playful bright colors like purple and green. Its electric motor is powered by 4 AA batteries that are easily replaceable and can sharpen colored pencils as well as graphite lead pencils.
Pros: Vertical design doesn’t require much desk space. Battery operated, lightweight, and portable.
Cons: Battery power only, cannot be plugged in. Be sure to clean it regularly to avoid jams.
Best Sharpener for Colored Pencils: AFMAT Electric Pencil Sharpener
Sharpening colored pencils can present a special challenge. Many colored pencils come in non-standard sizes so the AFMAT Electric Pencil Sharpener accommodates a range of pencil sizes from 6-12 mm (and will still do a standard #2 pencil). If you’re an artist, you want precision and AFMAT offers two sharpness settings: blunt and sharp which will help you get the sharpness you desire.
And as colored pencils themselves can be pricy, you want to reduce lead breakage as much as possible — this sharpener includes Auto Stop to prevent you from oversharpening and reduces future breakage. Please note: the softer lead in colored pencils can build up in the cutter head so make sure to clean it regularly to avoid jams.
Pros: Sharpens pencils from 6-12mm. Includes two sharpness settings: blunt and sharp.
Cons: Auto-stop feature can be finicky.
Quietest Pencil Sharpener: Bostitch QuietSharp 6
If you’re looking for a classroom pencil sharpener, Bostitch QuietSharp 6 is a good option. If you’re in a classroom, library or quiet workspace, the last thing you want is to constantly have your workflow interrupted with loud sharpening. The Bostitch QuietSharp 6 was designed with noise muffling in mind. Despite its status as a heavy-duty pencil sharpener capable of taking a pencil from new to sharp in four seconds, it’s so quiet it wouldn’t disrupt a lecture.
Best for Six Different Pencil Sizes: X-ACTO SchoolPro
While most electric sharpeners have a one-hole fits all approach, X-Acto SchoolPro has a dial of 6 different sizes and shapes to choose from including 3 round and 3 triangular pencil holes.
A flyaway cutter prevents oversharpening and SafeStart prevents accidents by preventing the motor from starting if the shavings reservoir is not inserted properly. I can sharpen both graphite and colored pencils. Perfect for teachers and illustrators who have a variety of pencils in different sizes and shapes.
Pros: Great for sharpening a range of non-standard pencils.
Cons: Relatively loud.
Cutest Pencil Sharpener for Kids: Lolmi Electric Pencil Sharpener
Do you need a cute electric pencil sharpener to survive? No. Do you want it anyway because it’s adorable? Absolutely! If you’re looking for a fun, kid-friendly pencil sharpener that will encourage your kids to sharpen up their pencils instead of wearing them down to nubs, check this Lolmi Electric Pencil Sharpener out.
The design adds an element of fun and whimsy that we could all use more of on our desks. It also features three sharpness options: sharp, medium, and blunt which is perfect for kids who push too hard while writing. No more over-sharp, or broken tips. It runs on two AA batteries and is suitable for pencils for 6-8mm. Comes in two color variations: pink and white or black and white.
Pros: Small design, easy for little hands to use.
Cons: Small shavings receptacle means it needs to be emptied frequently.
Our Electric Sharpener Buying Guide
What are the best electric pencil sharpeners to buy? Everyone wants one that sharpens pencils, however, there are additional important factors to consider:
Price & Budget
Obviously, the best electric pencil sharpener is one you can afford. While you don’t need to go out of budget and get the most premium model on the market, don’t forget the extra cost of going too cheap. Often the most inexpensive electric pencil sharpeners will wear out quicker and need to be replaced. They may also be missing safety features for little fingers or functionality like auto-stop.
Pencil Types & Sizes
While many of us use regular pencils that most electric pencil sharpeners will accommodate, artists and classrooms will want to look for an electric pencil sharpener that can sharpen a wide variety of sizes and shapes. You may also want one that has specific sharp settings so you can specify perfectly round or sharp points. Furthermore, most colored pencils have a softer lead that can easily
Of course, an electric pencil sharpener will not without a source of power. Will you be situating the sharpener in a permanent location near an electrical outlet or will it be battery-powered and portable? If you’re looking for something lightweight and easy to use anywhere, you might even find a manual pencil sharpener works best.
Having a sharp steel blade spinning quickly near fingers obviously comes with a set of risks. Fortunately many electric pencil sharpeners come with built-in safety features including an auto-stop feature where the sharpener automatically stops if it senses foreign objects.
One of the most common complaints about pencil sharpeners is how loud the electric motors can be. To be deep in thought in a quiet library or office only to be interpreted by a heavy-duty steel blade hacking away at a pencil can be disruptive, to say the least. Look for an electric pencil sharpener that has a quiet operation.
Consider daily usage, if you’re in a large office or a school or the pencil sharpeners will be located away from a disposal area, having a large receptacle to catch shavings will come in handy. Also, consider a transparent shavings receptacle so there’s a visual clue when it needs to be emptied.
How do I choose a pencil sharpener?
What should be considered when choosing an electric pencil sharpener? Picking the best is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It depends very much on what you’ll be using it for. Someone buying an electric pencil sharpener for the classroom will have a very different set of requirements than someone buying for a quiet office or an artist buying for sharpening charcoal pencils to the perfect point.
Do electric pencil sharpeners get dull?
Yes, electric pencil sharpeners can get dull after extended use. This is common because of the build-up of wood and lead that dulls the blades. If your pencil sharpener is leaving you with dull pencils, first try cleaning the cutter with canned and lubricating it to see if that helps. If the sharpener is still dull, you can try sharpening with a small file but most likely you will need to replace the cutter unit.
How long should an electric pencil sharpener last?
The average lifespan for an electric sharpener is considered 3000-4000 sharpenings so the longevity of your pencil sharpener will depend very much on usage.
Is there a silent pencil sharpener?
Unfortunately, there is no completely silent electric pencil sharpener. However, there are ones designed specifically for muffling sound or you could consider using a mechanical pencil that requires no sharpening.
How many batteries do electric pencil sharpeners need?
An electric sharpener typically either takes two AA batteries or four AA batteries. Some more modern models have rechargeable battery packs with USB charging cables.
Are helical pencil sharpeners better?
In general, a helical pencil sharper offers a smoother sharpening experience than a manual sharpener. Rather than rotating the pencil and slicing the wood away with a simple blade, you put the pencil into the sharpener and the helical ridges rotate around the pencil point in a circle, sharpening it with intertwined ridges that pare away the external wooden casing.
How do you sharpen a pencil so it doesn’t break?
There are a few reasons your pencil might break during sharpening. If you’ve dropped or damaged the pencil, the lead inside the pencil might have broken and sharpening it is just revealing the already broken lead. In that case, you might want to invest in a pencil pouch to protect your pencils. Another option is using an electric pencil sharpener that can do smoother, more even sharpening with the helical blade rather than a simple manual blade. Many electric sharpeners also have auto stops that prevent you from oversharpening, another reason your lead might be breaking.