The Best Pencil Sharpener for Teachers

When the tip of your pencil grows too blunt or fades out, the obvious thing you do next is grab a pencil sharpener. Some of the more adventurous folks who are accustomed to the outdoors and hiking/camping might use pocket knives to sharpen their pencils, but we can safely assume that 99% of the people reading this article will not feel comfortable with slicing away their pencil tip using a knife. Like with all things in life, different people have different requirements from the same appliance based on their personal usage method and preferences.

A home that has only one child might do fine with a small, inexpensive hand-held manual pencil sharpener, depending on how frequently the child uses a pencil, the number of pencils that he/she uses, and the type of work that the child does with the pencil. At an office, the scene changes as pencils are likely to be used more frequently and it is not uncommon to see a wall-mounted manual pencil sharpener that is used by a whole group of people whenever anyone needs some sharpening. In the classroom, you will often find a combination of both manual wall/desk mounted sharpeners and electric desktop sharpeners. In classrooms, speed is a bigger concern since students often tend to sharpen their pencils right before a test, or even during a test.

Silence is a major factor too, since the last thing you want to listen to in the middle of an important lecture is the harsh screeching sound of the pencil sharpener blade gnawing against a wooden pencil. In this article, we shall focus on how you can choose the perfect pencil sharpener for a classroom, or if you are a teacher, how you can select the right pencil sharpener for your students. Before we get to the section in which we discuss how to choose the right pencil sharpener, let us first look at some of the top pencil sharpeners for teachers that are currently available on the market.

X-Acto ProX Classroom Electric Pencil Sharpener

X-ACTO ProX Classroom Electric Pencil Sharpener, Classroom ProX
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Quite simply put, this is one of the best pencil sharpeners that money can buy. It is fast, reliable, intuitive, and comes with enough storage space for shavings so you don’t have to worry about emptying the trash into the bucket every other minute. As the company X-ACTO is highly renowned for manufacturing top notch pencil sharpeners and other classroom/office supplies, it should come as no surprise that the ProX Classroom Electric Sharpener is a machine that is built to last, even under harsh and unrelenting usage conditions such as a large, fully packed middle school classroom on an exam day.

This is a commercial-grade pencil sharpener and it has been designed with high-volume usage environments in mind, so no need to worry about the capacity on this one. There are 6 insertion points on the front, so you can put in pencils of varying sizes and shapes at the same time for sharpening. It can handle both standard (8 mm) as well as large (10.5 mm) diameter pencils, including hexagonal, trigonal, and circular pencils. An extremely silent and highly efficient electric motor ensures fast cutting while making minimal noise so your students don’t have to waste most of their class time standing in queue to use the pencil sharpener, and the whole class doesn’t get notified of the fact that someone is sharpening their pencil when this machine is running.

Dual stainless steel helical cutting blades ensure precise cutting, while the special SmartStop LED notifies students when the sharpening is finished and it automatically shuts down the sharpener so that they don’t accidentally over-sharpen or break the pencil. An anti-overheating protection system prevents the machine from heating up and damaging itself, and reduces the chances of a blade jam. Both the shavings receptacle and pencil selector are coated with anti-microbial layers to prevent bacterial growth. An all-metal base and non-skid rubber feet ensure that the sharpener stays firmly planted on the desk.

Carl Angel-5 Pencil Sharpener

CARL Angel-5 Pencil Sharpener, Blue
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The CARL Angel 5 pencil cutter may have a rather dramatic name, but the price tag is not nearly as high as you would expect. You can probably buy two of these for the price of a single decent electric sharpener, and the cutting speed is not as good as an electric sharpener either. What’s more, it requires you to turn a hand crank located on the backside to sharpen the pencil. The tool steel rotary cutter is good for 5000 uses and the best part is that you can easily replace the entire blade and crank assembly when it wears out since CARL A-5 replacement cutter and blade assemblies are readily available in the market.

Replaceable crank and blade are a big deal, since several expensive electric sharpeners don’t even come with replaceable blades and you either dispose of the machine when it’s blade dulls out, or you should send it to the company for a blade replacement, which might or may not cost you depending on whether the machine is still within warranty. So, it is indeed a relief to have a sharpener that has replaceable blades, especially when the usage environment is a classroom in which you likely expect anywhere between 4 and 6 pencils to be sharpened per hour, possibly more. The body is made from colored ABS plastic that is both durable as well as shock resistant, and you don’t have to worry about rust forming on the exterior.

Operation is fairly quiet, although it is not nearly as quiet as a good electric sharpener. One thing you need to know about manual sharpeners such as this one is that, even though the cutting speed is less, precision of cut is often way better than the average electric sharpener because you are in control of the cut at all times, and your hand speed as well as position dictates the angle and speed of the cut. For the very same reason, you will also find that broken tips and improperly sharpened tips are less common with a manual sharpener.

Linkyo Heavy Duty Electric Pencil Sharpener

LINKYO Electric Pencil Sharpener with Automatic Smart Sensor for Kids and Home Use, Gray
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The LINKYO Heavy Duty Electric Pencil Sharpener is optimized to save desk space, so you can comfortably fit it onto even the most crowded of classroom desks. Its extra-large reservoir can contain up to 100 pencil shavings and the auto jam release system will make sure that no pencil ever gets stuck inside the blade assembly, or the receptacle module. The vertically aligned helical steel cutting blade ensures precise and consistent cuts every time, no matter how frequently you use the machine.

Pencils of all shapes (trigonal, circular, hexagonal) and sizes (8 mm, 10.5 mm) will fit into the universal receptacle and an automatic sharpening sensor will immediately sense and stop the blade when the tip becomes sharp enough. This ensures that there is no wasted lead, and the wood surrounding the lead core is also smooth and evenly chopped. The silent high speed electric motor ensures ultra-fast cutting, so it takes only 3 seconds to sharpen a dull pencil and 7 seconds to sharpen a brand-new pencil. An anti-slip silicon base keeps the pencil sharpener firmly mounted onto your desk at all times.

X-Acto High Volume Commerical Electric Pencil Sharpener

X-ACTO® Model 41 Commercial Electric Pencil Sharpener, Beige
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This is one of the more expensive electric pencil sharpeners on the market, and it costs nearly twice as much as the average electric sharpener. But there is a reason we have included this model on the list despite its high price, and you must look it up if you want a pencil sharpener that has it all – with no technical compromises. One of the few reasons this model is not on our top recommendation is the price, but there is not much to complain about with this machine other than that. But hey, if you can afford it then we guarantee that you will be thoroughly impressed by the performance – same with your colleagues and students.

Heck, you might even find that teachers and students from nearby classrooms are swarming in during breaks to use your pencil sharpener! Moving back to the sharpener and its features – there is a precision machined stainless steel dual helical cutting blade inside to ensure pin point accuracy while cutting, and the best part is that even if you don’t align your pencil in the receptacle perfectly horizontally, it will still deliver a clean and sharp cut. There are six receptacle holes and it will accept pencils of all shapes and sizes, while the extra-large transparent shavings box will contain more than 100 pencil shavings before you need to get up and empty the container.

Auto-Reset and SafeStart ensure that the machine never jams or overheats, and the tip is never damaged or broken due to over-sharpening because smart sensors in the receptacle will detect the status of the tip and automatically halt the blades within a fraction of a second just when the tip is perfect. An efficient and silent electric motor spins quietly, ensuring that class goes on without anybody even knowing that the sharpener is running. An internal fan cools the motor to make sure that it can run for extended periods without heating up, and a non-skid base along with a metal chassis prevents the sharpener from sliding around on your desk.

Choosing the Best Pencil Sharpener for Teachers

As a teacher, you have certain obligations while choosing a pencil sharpener. You must make sure that the sharpener which you buy is fast, quiet, efficient, capable of handling large amounts of load and easy to operate. Now, the last point is particularly important in a classroom environment. You want students to spend more time learning and less time sharpening their pencils, and you also want to keep pencil sharpening queues as small as possible before or after a class test. Silence is the next most important factor, since you want the class to focus on you while you are teaching, not on the sharpener. The capability to handle large volumes implies the machines ability to accept several pencils in succession within a short interval, without the motor overheating or the receptacle jamming, and the shavings collector box should be large enough for a commercial environment.

Efficiency comes down to how the machine is designed, and ease of use depends on how many actions you need to take to successfully sharpen a pencil. Automatic shutdown and overheating protection are important features, and having an LED indicator that glows when the pencil has been sharpened is a great way to make sure that smaller children don’t accidentally over sharpen or break the tips of their pencils. A firm metal base and anti-skid feet will make sure that the machine does not slide around when students are sticking their pencils into the receptacle.