Pencil sharpeners are an item you don’t realize you need until you have run down your trusty #2 pencil or need to sharpen up all the colored pencils that you have run down to the nubs.
We have rounded up below some of the best pencil sharpeners available (both electric and manual) that will serve all your sharpening needs. The electric sharpener options combine rugged construction with smart sharpening technology for the most dependable performance. They are outfitted with safety features galore, such as auto-reset functionality, which stops the sharpener if it is in danger of overheating, and triggers that ensure the sharpener will not start if the shaving receptacle is removed.
The manual pencil sharpeners, meanwhile, might bring you back to your childhood days and are designed with precision and durability in mind to stand up to regular and continuous use — simply attach to any table or desk with screws and start cranking away.
Whether you’re taking notes, sketching designs and outlines, or marking out DIY projects, here are a few pencil sharpeners to get to ensure that your ideas — and your pencils — stay sharp.
1. X-ACTO Pro Electric Pencil Sharpener
The durable construction of this sharpener stands up to wear and tear and its quiet electric motor provides reliable power with minimal disruption. Adjustable for six different pencil sizes, this sharpener can handle everything from beginner pencils to colored pencils with ease.
2. Staedtler Manual Pencil Sharpener
BEST PORTABLE SHARPENER
If you want a reliable and portable handheld sharpener that also collects pencil shavings, then this option from Staedler is a good one to get. It has a simple design with a transparent colored plastic cup. This two-hole pencil sharpener makes it easy to sharpen different pencil sizes. It comes in assorted colors.
3. Fiskars Pencil Sharpener
BEST BATTERY-POWERED SHARPENER
Most pencil sharpeners tend to be either manual and portable or electric and stationary. This option from Fiskars is the best of both worlds — it’s electric for convenience, but battery-powered to easily take it on the go. At 3″ in diameter, it should fit in most pencil cases.
4. Mobius & Ruppert Brass Pencil Sharpeners
BEST FOR ARTISTS
This pencil sharpener from Mobius & Ruppert is made from brass, making it a sturdy option with a stylish look. It comes in a variety of shapes, including this “grenade” model, which has a cylindrical shape with two holes for different pencil sizes. The knurled grip makes it easy to handle while giving it a pleasant tactile feeling. The sharpener uses German-made steel.
5. Staedtler Manual Pencil Sharpeners
Staedtler is an enduring brand in the world of stationery, and this simple pencil sharpener is a reliable option for basic, everyday use. This set comes in a pack of four, and they’re made entirely from metal for greater durability. They’re small enough to easily pop in your pocket or pencil case and take on the go. There’s no storage cup, so you’ll need to use it over a wastebasket.
6. X-ACTO Ranger 1031 Wall Mount Pencil Sharpener
BEST FOR SCHOOLS
The all-metal construction stands up to the wear and tear of student and everyday use while the integrated screw mount allows for simple installation on a wall or desk. Specially designed cutter blades are engineered for precision and durability efficiently sharpen pencils to fine point tips.
7. Bostitch Personal Electric Pencil Sharpener
This electric pencil sharpener is a compact option that’s designed for use at a personal desk. It has a large shavings tray to reduce trips to the trashcan. The sharpener doesn’t engage unless the tray is in place, preventing mess or potential injury. This sharpener uses a helical cutting head for a longer-lasting sharpener.
8. Kikkerland Camera Pencil Sharpener
Pencil sharpeners are generally not seen as the most exciting desktop essential, probably even among stationery enthusiasts. But this stylish pencil sharpener from Kikkerland is worth getting excited over. It has the distinctive look of a vintage camera, and you can also adjust the sharpness level. The pull-out tray catches the shavings.
9. Prismacolor Pencil Sharpener
BEST FOR COLORED PENCILS
If you’re looking for an option for art, then consider this option from Prismacolor, which is a leading maker of colored pencils. There are two different sizes for different pencil sizes, and this sharpener has a shavings cup for easy disposal. Plus, a flip-top lid protects the sharpener when not in use.
10. Ticonderoga Electric Pencil Shaped Sharpener
This pencil sharpener from Ticonderoga is designed to look like a pencil, including the pink eraser and yellow hexagonal body. This compact sharpener is also electric for quick and easy sharpening. It plugs into a standard electrical outlet.