We spent 16 hours looking at electric pencil sharpeners, scouring over user reviews, and researching features and functionalities, and we believe that the OfficeGoods Electric Pencil Sharpener is the best overall electric pencil sharpener out there.
Table of Contents
History of the Pencil Sharpener
Were it not for two Frenchman; we would all still be sharpening our pencils the way that it was first done – with a knife. As this writing tool became commonplace – and necessary – in everyday life, Parisian mathematician Bernard Lassimone realized that he needed to make this process more efficient. So he applied for and received, the patent for his invention of the “taille crayon” or pencil sharpener. Over the next few years, this device was modified, and a few British men tried to improve upon the design, but their Styloxynon did not do the trick entirely. In fact, it was a bit more of a copycat model. Finally, the French reappear, this time with the arrival of Therry des Estwaux and his conical shaped device that allowed for a pencil to be inserted into, and then twisted. All sides where then whittled away at at once, making the overall process much more efficient and, to the point. We had to do it. This design today is known as a prism sharpener.
We now have a rather efficient way of sharpening pencils, and the demand for them is increasing by the minute as the pencil itself is now an integral part of daily lives. A gentleman known by the name Walter K. Foster applied for the first American patent on a pencil sharpener. His design improved upon the original conical design and was a template for mass production.
What Features are Important
When we began our research into electric pencil sharpeners, we had no idea what criteria we needed to measure with this tool. It seemed rather straightforward that you had a pencil, it needed sharpened, and they all did the job in relatively the same way. We were quickly corrected in our assumption.
An electric pencil sharpener does the job well but does not always work on all types of pencils. We all have our favorite pen or pencil, and that is because they are all made differently. Therefore, when choosing an electric pencil sharpener, you need to look at how it does the job for all those different types of writing utensils. Soft pencils, lead pencils, colored pencils, pastel pencils. And what is the size of the pencils that you will need to sharpen regularly? There are so many varieties that one might not first think about, so well, you get what we mean here. Looking even further into the equation is how you are using your electric pencil sharpener. Are you a teacher? A student? An artist? Those are all very important questions that need to be addressed before purchasing your sharpening tool of choice.
It is also important that one think about where they will use their electronic pencil sharpener because some models are powered by batteries and others by an electrical cord. If you don’t have access to an outlet or need to take your sharpener outside, one that operates on batteries would be a must have.
How We Selected
Our research into the electric pencil sharpening world was a bit overwhelming at first to understand if we needed criteria that we were overlooking, so we started with the power source. Of course, to be electric, you had to have a cord, but some did feature a battery power option as well. We also didn’t eliminate based on vertical or horizontal entry points, because it seemed that the vertical options were preferred for quick sharpening, but they did not offer the different sized openings for pencils.
Another feature we looked for was if it had an auto stop. Should you be using your pencil sharpening tool in a classroom, you will appreciate this feature. We already can imagine the children who zone out staring at their pencil dwindle down from 8 inches to 3 in a matter of minutes.
Some brand manufacturers did identify their range of products by ideal use type. For example, we liked how Bostitch gave a grade for either Commercial, School, Executive, or Personal use with a lettering system. However, not all manufacturers make that many models to have a need for such a system, so we did not want to eliminate a model based on that offering.
Which Features We Reviewed
Electic pencil sharpeners come with two choices for power – an AC power cord and batteries. Our top pick has a third option with a USB connection.
|X-ActoSchoolPro Classroom Electric Pencil Sharpener||Electric Power Cord|
|Bostitch SuperPro 6 Commercial Electric Pencil Sharpener||Electric Power Cord|
|Linkyo Electric Pencil Sharpener with Automatic Smart Sensor||Electric Power Cord|
|It’s All Good Portable Electric Pencil Sharpener||Electric Power Cord and Battery|
|OfficeGoods Electric & Battery Operated Pencil Sharpener||Electric Power Cord, Battery and USB|
Blade Direction – Vertical or Horizontal
Some people do not want the horizontal style because of the movement that can occur with this type of sharpening – you need to have a heavy base or good suction on the bottom. Some users like the vertical style for this reason, but you can lose out on the size variety option.
|Brand||Vertical or Horizontal|
|X-ActoSchoolPro Classroom Electric Pencil Sharpener||Horizontal|
|Bostitch SuperPro 6 Commercial Electric Pencil Sharpener||Horizontal|
|Linkyo Electric Pencil Sharpener with Automatic Smart Sensor||Horizontal|
|It’s All Good Portable Electric Pencil Sharpener||Vertical|
|OfficeGoods Electric & Battery Operated Pencil Sharpener||Vertical|
Multi Size Option
An electric pencil sharpener will have a standard size opening but may come with additional sized holes for other pencil types.
|Brand||Multi Size Option|
|X-ActoSchoolPro Classroom Electric Pencil Sharpener||Six different sized openings|
|Bostitch SuperPro 6 Commercial Electric Pencil Sharpener||Six different sized openings|
|Linkyo Electric Pencil Sharpener with Automatic Smart Sensor||Six different sized openings|
|It’s All Good Portable Electric Pencil Sharpener||Single size|
|OfficeGoods Electric & Battery Operated Pencil Sharpener||Single size|
X-Acto SchoolPro Classroom Electric Pencil Sharpener
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The X-Acto SchoolPro is designed for classroom use, so that means it will stand up to regular repeated usage. There is a bit of confusion on the warranty, with the motor being covered for 10 years and the cutting mechanism for only two years, but one user found that replacing the cutters cost more than the entire machine, so this warranty might not really mean much in the overall purchase equation. This model works with regular and colored pencils. Some users found that it didn’t stop sharpening when done, but overall most were happy with this model. Everyone liked the large bin that it had to hold shavings. This model also claims a thirty three times longer blade life.
Bostitch SuperPro 6 Commercial Electric Pencil Sharpener
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The Bostitch SuperPro 7 is designed for commercial use, and this may explain the high cost for this model. Bostitch promotes a 75% faster sharpening time and 12 times longer cutting life on this model than other electric pencil sharpeners. We can only assume they are comparing it to their extensive line since this is the top model that they sell. We liked the safety switch that will not allow the sharpener to operate when the shavings bin is removed, and speaking of the shavings bin; it is a large size, so it will not need to be emptied as much. The multi sized openings are also appreciated in this design. This model is held in place with four suction cups on the bottom for better stability. Some users found that the auto stop did not engage, and the overall construction was not what it appeared to be in the photos. Support on replacement parts did not seem to be available or satisfactory either.
Linkyo Heavy Duty Electric Pencil Sharpener
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The Linkyo model that we first looked at is identified as a model to be used by kids and for home use. That being said, it is probably not the model you want to go with if you should be looking for a classroom or work environment. So we found out that they do offer a classroom and pro option that you can choose upon checkout and so we decided to look into the Classroom model which would compare more closely with the other models in our review. There were a few complaints about it not working after a couple of weeks, but the general feeling was that it was a great product, you just need to make sure that you get the one designed for your needs. A bit confusing when purchasing, so ensure you have the model that works best for your usage requirements. We did love the Linkyo customer service as they seemed 100% ready to fix any problems or make right with any unhappy customers.
It’s All Good Portable Electric Pencil Sharpener
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We looked at the It’s All Good model because it was on the lowest end of the cost factor, and it seemed like it had all of the features of the more expensive designs. We were wrong, and you get what you pay for. While this model is nice in that it has multiple options for powering, the blade is not of the same helix design of the more powerful models and will likely need to be replaced much sooner. This would be your choice if you sharpen a pencil on occasion, but not for classroom or regular use in a home or office.
OfficeGoods Electric & Battery Operated Pencil Sharpener
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The Office Goods model is a solid choice, and one that had overall positive reviews, therefore, we made it our best overall choice for anelectric pencil sharpener. We liked that had three options for powering the unit. You have the option of using batteries, an AC adapter, or with the USB charger – one that should not be used for other devices though! All three of these power items were included with the purchase. This model has three options for choosing your point sharpness, and a shavings container that was not the largest we reviewed, but a decent sized container. An added feature is that there was positive feedback on using for colored pencils, something that stumped some of the other models. Office Goods specifically mentions several colored pencil brands in the product detail, something that we did not see on the other descriptions. The sharpener is one of the smaller designed models, so it will take up less space on your desktop either at home or school. The portability is great for a day outside of coloring or doodling fun at home. As with all products that we look into, we check to see how a company responds when there is a negative issue, and Office Goods was very responsive to all problems.
What We Liked
We liked having a multi sized opening choice in our electric pencil sharpener, as we found with the models by Bostitch, X-Acto, and Linkyo models.
We liked being able to confidently use colored pencils like the Office Goods model allowed us to do.
What We Didn’t Like
While you can use both lead and colored pencils in these models, it is recommended that for every colored pencil you sharpen, you follow up with a lead or graphite pencil. The problem is that the wax in colored pencils can build up and jam your sharpener.
Most of the electrical pencil sharpeners on the market claim to have an auto stop, but we found that most of them were not consistent withwork. So while we wanted to test that feature, we could not verify that even if they were included, they would work.
Know what you are looking for. You may inadvertently order an electric pencil sharpener that doesn’t fit your needs and will inevitably end in disappointment. For example, the Linkyo model that we first looked at is identified as a model to be used by kids and for home use. That being said, it is probably not the model you want to go with if you should be looking for a classroom or work environment. So we found out that they do offer a classroom and pro option that you can choose at checkout and so we decided to look into the Classroom model which would compare more closely with the other models in our review. The classroom models tend to have multi openings, whereas the home and professional models have a single opening and are generally the vertical style. And always double check for colored pencil sharpening if those are among your tools that need to be put through the sharpener. You may need to consider keeping a separate model for those if necessary.