Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pencil Sharpener Problems... Could Use Advice!

As art an art teacher I go through tons of pencils with my students.  It is very important to have a good sharpener.  Every morning I sharpen the pencils in the  "Bad" bucket and put them in a "Good" bucket.  However, yesterday my sharpener died.....
I took it home hoping my husband could fix it, but he did not have much luck.  He thinks the motor is a goner.  I am really bummed because I bought this sharpener at the beginning of the school year and it had been working great.  I really liked it because it sharpened pencils pretty quickly and stopped once sharp.  

So....I am wondering what sharpener I should get next?  Do you have a suggestions for a reliable sharpener?  I am tempted to buy another one of these because I can get it cheap in the bid catalog (around $20), but don't want it to die on my again.  It is an X-acto School Pro.  

Thanks for any advice you can offer me :)


  1. Okay, I had the exact same problem so I have some real advice for you! Don't buy any sharpener, call school smart or wherever you ordered this from, I believe they have a 5 year warranty. They happily sent me a new sharpener. They also said if they couldn't help me (which they did) to call about the warranty and they usually give you a new one. In fact I got a new one sent without even having to return the old one! When your school spends thousands of dollars with these places they seem to want to please. Good luck hope it works out for you! Also I ordered extra blades this year for my sharpener and installed them. . . I had 3 that I thought were trash and a few dollars later they work like new so I donated them to teachers who needed them.

  2. My theory about electric pencil sharpeners is but the MOST expensive one in the catalog ($80.00 +). And so good. I have had one electric sharpener for over 10 years (Boston). 2 years ago I purchases another for the part-time art teacher at my school here is the one I purchased and it still is working great!

    In my experience that is what seems to work -- in the long run you will spend LESS!
    ~ Good Luck, Susan

  3. I think I have the same one you had. I've really liked it. I don't let many students use it but it is the only one I will let them sharpen colored pencils with because the ancient one in the room chews them up like a wood chipper. Go for trying to get the old one replaced with a new one. AP Girl is right. They know that they will over and above make their money back.

  4. The other thing is to get good pencils. We have a couple of mechanical sharpeners in my room, and while Ticonderoga pencils sharpen great, I ordered a bunch of School Specialty pencils last year and they are GARBAGE. They do NOT sharpen worth beans.

  5. My most recent electric sharpener is Xacto by Boston 1606 purchased 3+ years ago. It has adjustable openings & is less than $150. The motor sounds a little funny lately so I may need to replace it in the next year. I don't let students use it with the exception of a very few that help out before school. I always sharpen about 40 pencils at a time (rarely colored pencils) - my largest class size is 32 so there are always a few extra if a pencil tip breaks during class - kids are told "get another one" rather than sharpen one at that moment. I prefer primary pencils (no erasers attached) vs. #2 pencils - softer lead, easier to erase

  6. Thank you everyone for the advice! Erica, I am going to call and see if I can get it replaced for free first. Then I will look in to maybe buying a more expensive one in the future (if I have any money left over).

    I know Dale said she uses the electric sharpener for colored pencils ( I do too sometimes). I am wondering if anyone else does? I was told once not to do that, but I never thought it was a big deal. Thanks Ladies!!!

  7. I will add one more comment -- no more colored pencils in the electric sharpener! I never let them put colored pencils in that will help ave any sharpener you buy. I have hand held sharpeners for the colored pencils. I also have to agree with Phyl, buy good pencils. Ticonderoga are my favorite too!

  8. Loved reading ?'s and responses. I too have issues with electric pencil sharpeners. I think it is time to invest in a NICE one.
    Why do colored pencils eat up an electric pencil sharpener or do they? Is this just a myth?
    and sorry how else would you sharpen them? THe manual sharpeners these days stink big time. They are too cheap to sharpen anything.

  9. I have that sharpener too... It is running still but not sharpening well. It gets overheated after many pencils being sharpened at once. I am going to buy a new one this year. I will maybe use the old one for ONLY colored pencils. I HATE the hand sharpeners and so do the kids!!! Also, I bought very CHEAP pencils and they STINK! They break, splinter and generally are horrible. I'm spending extra for good pencils next year!

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  11. Bostitch Quiet Sharp! Available at Sax Art Ed, . It has a replaceable blade for less than 10 dollars, is color pencil compatible, shuts off and glows when it it sharp! It is amazing.

  12. The best brand to get has to be the Bostitch electric pencil sharpeners but I suggest going for something like the Bostich QuietPro Glow. It is a bit more expensive but it will last for a very long time! :)


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