While I prefer using mechanical pencils when possible, there are times when a regular pencil is simply the better choice. Regular pencils have one downside – they must be resharpened anytime the point dulls or breaks off.
I have an electric pencil sharpener from my college days, but it’s bulky and takes up way too much room. I figured that, for as infrequently as I need to sharpen pencils, a manual sharpener might be less of a hassle to use.
There are plenty of 99-cent sharpeners widely available, but I was never happy with the speed or quality of cheap sharpeners. In my experience, cheap sharpeners are too much of a hassle to use, or at least all of the ones I’ve tried.
I bought this made-in-Germany Mobius & Rupert sharpener a few years ago, and it’s changed my feelings towards pencils. I also have another M&R sharpener with plastic shavings container, but prefer the bullet-shaped brass sharpener. I still use mechanical pencils much of the time, but am no longer as hesitant to use regular pencils as I once was.
This barrel-shaped brass sharpener is easy to grip, it comes with a super-sharp blade, and it’s virtually unbreakable.
At the time I spent about $3 on the sharpener. Its price went up since then, but it’s still available for under $5.
Yes, it’s cheaper to use a utility knife or other knife to sharpen pencils with a hacking or slicing motion, it’s safer, easier, and a lot quicker to use a sharpener.
This sharpener is made for artists and design professionals, but it should hold up to professional contractor use. Just keep in mind that you need to use the sharpener over a garbage pail, as the shavings go everywhere without containment.
Back in the dark ages before CAD, I recall using drafting pencils and a Keuffel & Esser rotary pencil sharpener that sat on your drafting table. Using drafting pens and India ink was an even more fearsome experience.
More recently I’ve used pocket carpenter’s pencil sharpeners from CH Hanson. I have a 00101 which works on carpenter pencils only and a 00202 which also works on lumber crayons. Hanson makes a new style that can be chucked in a drill. None re as elegant as this Mobius & Ruppert – but they seem to get the job done.
The timing of this is perfect. Just two days ago, I was going insane trying to sharpen a pencils for my son. Went through two whole pencils. The tips kept braking off halfway through the sharpening process. I tried two different sharpeners with same results. The pencil quality anymore leaves a lot to be desired. I recall when I was young the pencils were so sturdy you could use them as darts. We used machined aluminum sharpeners (mostly German made), but there were quality Chinese made plastic ones as well. Sadly, the quality does not seem to be there anymore.
In engineering school, I used mechanical pencils but there are occasions were I prefer a regular pencil as well. I am going to visit my local Dick-blick and get one of these. Thanks, Stuart.
I have been a big big fan of these but never got one. Now its over to amazon.com fer me
love you guys