If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, ARTNews may receive an affiliate commission.
You know the feeling: You’re turning a pencil in a sharpener and all of a sudden, you hear that dreaded snap! One way to reduce lead breakage and frustration—purchase an electric pencil sharpener. Not only are these designed to provide more consistent sharpening results, but they’re also kinder on the hands. You’ll also save time, as electric sharpeners make quick work of cores. Of course, not all electric models are built the same—in fact, some will still ruin your precious pencils. But never fear, we’ve done the research for you to find the best electric pencil sharpeners that deliver pointy ends without wasting materials.
X-ACTO SchoolPro Electric Pencil Sharpener
X-ACTO’s sharpener is a winner for its ability to cleanly and evenly whittle away at a wide array of artist-grade tools. This model features six pencil holes to accommodate pencils of different shapes and sizes, including graphite pencils, colored pencils, charcoal pencils, and even pastels! And it won’t eat your pencils, as the super-sharp blades stop moving when a pencil has reached its ideal sharpness. The transparent container can accommodate a large amount of shavings and is easy to remove and insert.
WE ALSO LIKE
Ticonderoga Electric Pencil Shaped Sharpener
If you’re looking for a pencil sharpener with a small footprint, the pencil purveyor Ticonderoga makes whimsical ones shaped like its classic wares. This sharpener measures less than four inches in diameter to accept pencils vertically, and though it features just one hole, this opening accommodates many pencil sizes. Pencils and colored pencils get trimmed to a super-sharp point without breakage. It plugs into a standard outlet.
ANOTHER GOOD OPTION
Fiskars Battery Powered Pencil Sharpener
For a more portable option, we like Fiskars pocket-friendly and durable sharpener, which runs on four AA batteries. Its lid features a sharpening hole you can cover when not in use. This works best for no. 2 graphite pencils and colored pencils, but if you’re willing, take it on a spin with your whole arsenal of pencils to see what’s compatible. Featuring eight steel helix blades, the sharpener works consistently to achieve fine points without jamming. An auto shut-off device prevents it from over-sharpening pencils.
Bostitch QuietSharp6 Classroom Electric Pencil Sharpener
In classrooms, group studios, and other communal settings, it’s imperative to have a pencil sharpener that doesn’t make distracting grinding sounds. Bostitch’s model is impressively quiet while remaining quite the workhorse. Pencils and colored pencils get needle sharp in seconds, and an automatic shut-off kicks in when they’re ready for action once more. Like our top pick, the sharpener features six holes for pencils of different sizes and has a large-capacity vessel to catch a classroom’s worth of shavings. The sturdy design, with rubberized feet, will keep up with frequent and regular use.
X-ACTO Mighty Pro Electric Pencil Sharpener
If you are an educator, a manager of a busy studio, or an artist who mostly works with pencils, this heavy-duty pencil sharpener may be just what you need. The auto-adjust dial works with almost all pencil sizes, and a sensor prevents over-sharpening. A SafeStart motor will automatically stop if the bin is removed, and the bin itself is extra-large for convenience. Unlike some of our other picks, this machine is also suitable for colored pencils, though using it with greasy or waxy pencils or pencils with plastic wrapping will void the warranty. And, if the sharpener should ever wear out, spare parts are available from the manufacturer.