I’ve found it! A good, cheap pencil sharpener that works!
And I found it without really looking for it.
I recently bought a sketching kit with the intention of having graphite tools in a self-contained package I could take anywhere. The set included two graphite pencils, a kneaded eraser, six blending stumps, and a small, two-hole sharpener.
The sharpener is nothing fancy. It’s so “unfancy”, in fact, that I didn’t give it much attention until I needed to sharpen one of the graphite pencils. Even then, I sharpened the pencil for the first time with my new Afmat Long Point Sharpener.
After sketching for a while, I did use the included sharpener to resharpen the pencil, and it did work.
But I still didn’t think much of it.
Why this is a Good, Cheap Pencil Sharpener
I like to use colored pencils down to the nub. If possible, I really prefer gluing pencil stubs to new pencils so there’s very little waste. However, most of the high end pencils come with painted ends, so gluing stubs to new pencils is difficult without sanding off the painted end. That’s just too much work, even for a cheapskate like me.
So I bought a set of pencil extenders so I could get the most out of every pencil. They work great. They work so great that my long point pencil sharpener is useless for sharpening the stubs. The stubs are just too short.
I tried sharpening by hand with an X-acto knife. That works, but didn’t produce nice, sharp points.
Finally, because I had no other options (other than throwing the stub away), I took out the cheap sharpener from the sketching kit and sharpened the stub. This is the result.
So far, I’ve sharpened only Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils with this sharpener. Both of my current projects are mainly Polychromos.
Polychromos pencils are quite hard compared to softer pencils like Prismacolor and Derwent Drawing Colored Pencils, but I have no doubt this sharpener will work just as well with them.
Do You Have to Buy a Sketching Kit to Get the Sharpener?
No. I did a little research and found what looks like the same sharpener on Dick Blick. It’s the KUM brand, but the only difference I could find was the printing on the sharpener and blades. The sketching kit sharpener has no printing.
The KUM two-hole sharpener is under $3. I’ve ordered three of them (one for each of my project boxes). I’ll tell you all about them when I’ve had a chance to use them.
KUM also makes a one-hole sharpener and replacement blades. I ordered replacement blades, too.
Are You Looking for a Good, Cheap Pencil Sharpener?
If so, stay tuned. I’ll try out the KUM sharpeners when they arrive and you’ll read about them first right here!
You can buy your own KUM sharpener (or sketching kit) at Dick Blick. KUM sharpeners are also available through other art supply stores, too.
If you do buy your own, don’t forget the replacement blades!
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