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The 4 Best Pencil Sharpeners (2023 Review)

A pencil sharpener gives your wooden pencils a sharp point. In this review, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the four best pencil sharpeners on Amazon to help you find the product that’s right for you and your home. The products included in this article are available at various home improvement stores, local home centers, and online retailers like Amazon.

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A pencil sharpener grinds the lead in your pencil to a point to make writing with it easier. The This Old House Reviews Team has found the best pencil sharpeners on Amazon to keep your writing supplies ready. Read on to learn more about them.

Top 4 Pencil Sharpeners

Best For Classrooms: X-Acto School Pro Classroom Pencil Sharpener

This pencil sharpener is designed for classroom use, combining a durable plastic and alloy steel frame with a quiet electrical motor. In addition, this heavy-duty classroom pencil sharpener has a helical steel cutter that gives you rounded points, making it safe for children.

Key Features

  • Electric design
  • Six pencil holes
  • Two color options
  • 10-year warranty

What Customers Are Saying

Many customers noted this pencil sharpener’s large shavings bin, quiet motor, and durable build, which made it great for bulk pencil sharpening. In addition, many said that they liked that it plugged into a wall rather than using batteries. Negative reviews pointed out that this product didn’t sharpen pencils evenly and stopped working quickly.

Best Color Options: Bostitch Personal Electric Pencil Sharpener

Designed for personal use, this pencil sharpener features a compact, space-saving design and a sturdy plastic frame. It also has a high-performance, stall-resistant motor. On top of these features, the Bostitch Personal Electric Pencil Sharpener comes in a long list of colors, allowing you to match it to your file cabinet, pencil holder, and other office accessories.

Key Features

  • Electric design
  • One pencil hole
  • Six color options
  • Seven-year warranty

What Customers Are Saying

Positive reviews praised this product for being easy to empty and use. Amazon customers also liked that it didn’t break their pencils’ lead. Some negative reviews pointed out that it couldn’t run on batteries like the product description claimed. Other reviews said that it had a small shavings bin that required frequent emptying.

Best Vertical Design: JARLINK Electric Pencil Sharpener

This high-performance pencil sharpener lets you insert your pencils vertically, lowering the risk of snapping them. It can be powered by AA batteries or a cord. It sharpens #2 pencils, colored pencils, charcoal pencils, and more, giving you more flexibility with what kind of pencils you use.

Key Features

  • Electric design
  • One pencil hole
  • Four color options
  • One-year warranty

What Customers Are Saying

Happy customers said that this pencil sharpener was straightforward to use and had an easy-to-remove shavings bin. Many Amazon reviews noted that it made a sharp but not too fragile point. Unhappy reviewers said that this pencil sharpener felt cheap and didn’t hold up to general wear and tear.

Best Pocket-Sized Design: Aipker Manual Pencil Sharpeners

You can carry these small, colorful manual pencil sharpeners with you in your pocket or pencil pouch. Each of them features two different-sized holes. They also have a carbon steel blade that easily sculpts your pencils into sharp points.

Key Features

  • Manual design
  • Two pencil holes
  • Two sharpener styles

What Customers Are Saying

Many Amazon customers noted that these pencil sharpeners worked well with colored pencils. They also loved the two pencil hole sizes and the fun colors. Unhappy customers pointed out that the sharpeners ate too much of their pencils and that their blades came loose.

Buyer’s Guide

This buying guide covers what you should consider when buying a pencil sharpener.


Pencil sharpeners are either electric or manual. Electric pencil sharpeners are larger models that sit on a computer desk and plug into a wall outlet. They have a motor that spins their blade to sharpen your pencil once it has been inserted. With manual pencil sharpeners, you have to twist the pencil yourself to get it to rub against the blade and sharpen the point.


Most pencil sharpeners are fairly compact, as they’re designed to sit on a desk or table. Some are even smaller so that you can carry them with you in a backpack or pencil pouch.

Shavings Tray

Most pencil sharpeners have removable trays that hold pencil shavings. These are usually transparent so that you can see when they’re full. However, some handheld pencil sharpeners don’t have trays, so you have to sharpen your pencil over a trash can to collect the shavings.


Most pencil sharpeners are fairly neutral in color. White, black, and brown are the most popular colors. However, some sharpeners, especially handheld ones, may be brightly colored.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to sharpen a pencil with an electric sharpener?

If you’re sharpening a pencil for the first time, it will take approximately 10–15 seconds to get a proper point. If you’re resharpening a pencil, it will only need two or three seconds to get its point back.

How do I prevent the tip of my pencil from breaking when I’m using an electric sharpener?

The best way to prevent your pencil’s point from breaking is to avoid oversharpening it. Put it in the sharpener for a second or two, and then pull it out to check its point. Repeat this process until the tip is sharpened to your liking. Additionally, keep a loose grip on the pencil so that it can rotate with the machine.

How do I know if my pencil is too short to sharpen?

You shouldn’t put your pencil in a sharpener if it’s shorter than one inch.

Why Trust The This Old House Reviews Team

This Old House has empowered homeowners for more than four decades with top-notch home improvement content in the form of television programs, print media, and digital content on its website and social media platforms. The This Old House Reviews Team focuses on creating in-depth product and service review content to help inform your purchasing decision for just about any item or resource that you might need for your home. The This Old House Reviews Team has written over 1,000 reviews on products in the home space, from cordless drills to kitchen trash cans, lawn mowers, and dining room decorations.

We recommend products in each review using an intensive research process, spending hours combing through the best available models on Amazon. For a product to make our list of top picks, it must hold a solid sales record on Amazon, have consistently positive customer reviews, and offer unique features, among other factors. After narrowing down our list of recommendations, we conduct additional research and sometimes in-person testing to ensure that the products meet our standards. Once we conclude the research phase, we craft a well-rounded, user-friendly article that includes our recommended products and additional information to help homeowners like you make the right purchase.

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