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Back-to-school shopping season has arrived, and so once again we went looking for the best electric pencil sharpeners for students, teachers and parents. And because we’ve done our fair share of back-to-school shopping ourselves, we know that the “best” electric pencil sharpener is the one that gets the job done without costing you a penny more than it needs to.
Students may get more done on computers and tablets than they used to, but there are many scenarios that still call for good old-fashioned pencils. Having an electric pencil sharpener to keep your pencils literally on point is an affordable and easy way to keep writing, drawing, and creating.
Electric pencil sharpeners are popular in classrooms for younger students and in subjects that require the use of a pencil, like science and math courses. For offices that work in construction, architecture, and engineering, pencils are still commonplace for making quick hand-drawn plans and sketches. At home, pencils are ideal for hobbyists who like to draw, sketch, and do sudoku and crossword puzzles. Pencils are also great for use around the home, whether a user is marking a spot on the wall where they want to hang a picture or adding lines to a piece of wood they need to cut for a project.
What To Look For In A Pencil Sharpener
When looking for a new electric pencil sharpener, users should keep in mind how often they will need to use the sharpener. Some sharpeners have replaceable blades for frequent use and larger shavings trays that don’t need to be emptied as often. Other sharpeners focus more on size and noise level.
There are also electric pencil sharpeners that come with a variety of settings to accommodate pencils of various sizes and materials. This is especially important for artists who use graphite or charcoal pencils and want a medium to dull point on their tip.
Where will the pencil sharpeners be placed? All the units on our list are automatic, but some are powered by a current and must be close to an AC outlet, while others offer a battery function as well.
How We Chose The Best Electric Pencil Sharpeners
The electric sharpeners on our list are all user-friendly, affordable, and have hundreds of positive reviews from customers. We opted for electric pencils sharpeners that can be used by children and adults, as well as units that can withstand heavy use and others that take up minimal space. We started with trusted brands like X-ACTO and Bostitch. As mentioned earlier, we also strongly factored price into our overall rankings, as we know value is a top priority during back-to-school shopping trips.
Whatever your sharpening needs, there is an electric pencil sharpener for you. Check out some of our top picks below.
1. Bostitch Personal Electric Pencil Sharpener
SPACE SAVING DESIGN
The Bostitch Personal Electric Pencil Sharpener is a compact pencil sharpener that won’t take up precious desk space while still providing a large shavings tray that users won’t have to frequently empty. The Bostitch also finely chops shavings in order to fit more shavings in the tray. Made with long-lasting HHC cutter technology, the Bostitch has an impressive motor and blade, which is designed to last four times longer than blades used by competitors. A safety switch automatically turns the sharpener off when the tray is emptied.
2. X-ACTO School Pro Classroom Electric Pencil Sharpener
BEST FOR TEACHERS
Handle any size pencil with the X-ACTO School Pro Classroom Electric Pencil Sharpener. The adjustable sharpener lets you select from six size options. An integrated receptacle can hold a large amount of pencil shavings, helping users to go longer between trips to the garbage. The heavy-duty design of the X-ACTO sharpener includes non-skid feet, a tough outer case and a flyaway steel helical cutter system that automatically stops working when pencils are properly sharpened, making this a great option for classroom settings. We also like that the X-ACTO has an auto-reset function that turns the sharpener off when in danger of overheating.
3. X-ACTO Powerhouse Electric Pencil Sharpener
Depending on your needs, it can be worth spending more for a more powerful pencil sharpener. This X-ACTO option is a more premium pick over the standard option, but it includes features like a flyaway cutter to reduce breakage and a design that’s ideal for colored pencils. It has a vertical design, which can be easier for some users. To prevent mess and keep users safe, the cutter won’t run when the shavings bin is removed.
4. JARLINK Electric Pencil Sharpener
QUICK AND POWERFUL
If you need a sharpener that can withstand heavy use, we recommend the JARLINK Electric Pencil Sharpener. The heavy-duty sharpener has a powerful motor and a durable helical blade that can fully sharpen a pencil in under 10 seconds. The sharpener can be powered by using the AC wall outlet cord and USB power cord included or users can add four AA batteries for a wireless option. The opening on top of the Jarlink is big enough for standard #2 pencils, but at 8 mm wide it is too small for young children to stick their fingers into. The smart sharpener will automatically stop once the pencil has reached an optimal level of sharpness.
5. AFMAT Electric Pencil Sharpener
For a pencil sharpener that works fast and will last even with heavy use, we recommend the AFMAT Electric Pencil Sharpener. The AFMAT can fully sharpen a pencil in only five seconds. The heavy-duty helical blade is designed to sharpen over 6,000 pencils before it needs to be replaced. Users can sharpen up to 200 pencils in a row measuring between 6-8mm before the sharpener will overheat. The sharpener is UL listed and safe for use in classrooms. The industrial electric pencil sharpener will have an audible change in the motor once the pencil is sufficiently sharp, indicating to users to remove the pencil. The AFMAT includes non-slid feet and a large shavings tray. We also like that it comes with a wall plug, which means users don’t have to worry about changing batteries.
6. Aogwat Pencil Sharpener
BATTERY OR MANUAL OPTION
Need a pencil sharpener that works fast and doesn’t require a spot close to an electrical outlet? Then we recommend the Aogwat Pencil Sharpener. The Aogwat can be used in both manual or electric mode. When set to electrical, users simply add two AA batteries for ease of use. When the batteries run out, the Aogwat will continue working in manual mode until the batteries are replaced. The large, translucent reservoir makes it easy to see when the unit needs to be emptied. The Aogwat can be used for a variety of pencils, including standard 6-8mm pencils, graphite and colored pencils, and hexagonal shaped pencils.
7. POWERME Electric Pencil Sharpener
BEST FOR KIDS
From its brightly colored finish to its auto-stop safety feature that helps protect little fingers from injury, the Powerme Electric Pencil Sharpener is a great option for kids and classrooms. Available in black, white, bright pink or blue, the electric sharpener has an auto-jam release to protect against stuck pencils. The stainless steel helical blade lasts up to 3,000 sharpens and a transparent shavings reservoir makes it easy for users, including young students, to see when the chamber needs to be emptied.
8. Riyo Electric Pencil Sharpener
Whether you’re short on space or appreciate a multifunctional tool for your desk, the Riyo Electric Pencil Sharpener will likely fit in nicely in your work area. This electric pencil sharpener is a fast-acting unit that can sharpen pencils in under five seconds and will automatically stop once it detects a sharpened pencil. Made with a robust steel blade, the unit can deliver over 3,000 sharpened pencils and give users the ability to choose between a sharp, medium and blunt setting, a necessary tool for art pencils. Powered by an AC adapter or batteries (not included), the Riyo has a convenient storage section that can be used for pencils or other small office items.
9. DIY Electric Pencil Sharpener from Kiwi Co.
There are several great electric pencil sharpener options for the classroom and office, but what about a pencil sharpener that not only helps prepare writing utensils but also teaches engineering? For an electric pencil sharpener that any budding builder will enjoy, we like the DIY Electric Pencil Sharpener from Kiwi Co. The sharpener comes with step-by-step instructions to build the unit, including information on how to build unique features like a limit switch, which controls the electrical circuit that tells the machine when a dull pencil needs to be sharpened. A great option for young engineering students, the kit includes a booklet on the history of pencil sharpeners and all the switches and circuits necessary to build a long-lasting electric sharpener.
10. AFMAT Electric Pencil Sharpener
This option from AFMAT is suited for colored pencils and pencils of different sizes. It has a vertical design for easy ergonomic use, and it’s designed to prevent over-sharpening. You can also adjust the sharpener for very fine points or more kid-safe blunt points. It’s suited for pencils between 6 and 12 mm. Great for standard and colored pencils alike, this is a convenient and versatile option.