The BEST Pencil Sharpener? REALLY??? Review and GIVEAWAY!

So I've been seeing TONS of reviews for the Classroom Friendly Supplies Quietest Classroom Pencil Sharpener, and I was intrigued. VERY intrigued. However, I was reluctant to spend 25 of my hard-earned dollars on something that may or may not live up to its name. I sent a message to Troy over at Classroom Friendly Supplies and was chosen to review one of his Quietest Classroom Pencil Sharpeners AND give one away to one of you lucky ducks!! I will do my best to be honest and detailed with my review. The Rafflecopter is at the end :)
A Little History:
I HATE pencil sharpeners! I hate them so much, I personally will only use mechanical pencils. However, my students are not allowed to use them, so they use the regular kind. In my 8 years of teaching, I have gone through 3 school-grade electric sharpeners, 2 home-use electric sharpeners, one wall mounted, hand crank sharpener (that I just got THIS YEAR and it NEVER worked properly!!), and countless handheld mini sharpeners for colored pencils. I've had it up to here (hand pointing over my head) with pencil sharpeners!!!

My Review!
I got the package on a Saturday and did a little happy dance in my living room. I opened it up and was a little disappointed to see that there were no directions. When I told my coworker that I wanted directions, she looked a me like, "Seriously, Angela? You just stick the pencil in the hole and turn the crank. It's not hard." I guess after going through a bazillion sharpeners, I didn't want to wreck this one! You can either play around with it to figure it out (which is what I did) or you can click HERE to watch a video. After watching the video just now, I think I should have done that instead of the trial-and-error method! There was also an "extra" metal piece in the box, which I have now inferred it can be used to mount the pencil sharpener onto a sturdy surface.

OK, so how does this thing work? Just so you know, you will need BOTH hands to use the sharpener. First you have to pull out the metal plate.
Then you pinch the black button thingies (I'm sure that's the technical term...) and while you're still holding the  buttons, using your other hand, you insert the pencil through the metal piece and into the sharpener.
Notice the slew of pencil sharpeners in the background that DON'T work! :(
Then with your weaker hand, you hold the top of the pencil sharpener sturdy, and with your strong hand you turn the crank. You can tell when the pencil is sharpened because the crank will become loose and easy to turn. You can also hear that the pencil is no longer being sharpened.
You pinch those black buttons again, pull out your pencil, and voila! A seriously SHARP pencil! YESSS!!! Here's some evidence as to how sharp those pencils get:
Sharp, right? Now the real test... can a bunch of second graders handle this?

I showed my students several times how to use it, and in the first few days I wanted to chuck the sharpener out the window. Not because my kiddos couldn't use it, but because they were using it all. the. time! I think they were breaking their pencils on purpose so they could use it! So I gave them each a turn to sharpen a brand-new pencil for our class, and that took away some of the novelty.

Pros:
  • It really does work! And the point is perfect!
  • It really is quiet! It's not silent (sorry), but it isn't deafening or distracting.
  • After two weeks of use, it is showing NO signs of slowing down or wearing out!
  • It stops sharpening when the pencil is completely sharpened. No oversharpening!
  • When sharpening a brand new pencil, it is SUPER FAST! I was truly amazed by how little time I spent sharpening new pencils.
  • Those teeny, tiny, 1-inch pencils kids like to use don't fit in the sharpener!! HOORAY!! That's actually how two of my previous sharpeners got broken; because someone stuck a tiny pencil into it and we couldn't get it out. I can't stand itty bitty pencils!
  • Both lefties and righties can use it by just facing it in the direction that feels most comfortable
  • You can buy a replacement blade if needed.
  • I haven't had to do this yet, but if lead gets stuck inside, it's an easy fix. Just watch the video that shows you how.
  • Shipping was FAST and FREE!
  • It's cute :)
  • The kids LOVE it!
Cons:
  • No directions 
  • You can't just stick a pencil in and go... there are a few steps involved, which gets kind of tedious.
  • I wish I didn't have to hold the sharpener steady while I'm sharpening. You naturally want to hold onto the pencil, and it's an awkward feeling not to. If I had a place to mount it to a table or counter, that might help.
  • The container that holds the shavings is small and needs to be emptied often.
  • The container that holds the shavings isn't secured well to the sharpener, so it does leave a bit of a mess behind.
  • The kids LOVE it... yes I know I said that was a "pro" above, but my students are purposely breaking their pencils so they can use it. LOL!
The only thing I can't speak for is how well it sharpens colored pencils. I do not allow students to put colored pencils in electric sharpeners, and they are not allowed to put them in my Classroom Friendly Supplies sharpener either. I just don't want the blades to get gunked up.

The Bottom Line... Should you buy this?
YES YOU SHOULD!!! Even though there are a few quirks about the sharpener, I feel the positives greatly outweigh the negatives. The true test will be whether or not the sharpener can withstand months/years (?) of sharpening. I've only had this sharpener in my classroom for two weeks... we'll see how well it works by the end of the year. The good news is that you can buy replacement blades if your blades should go dull, which I have noticed isn't usually true for those expensive, electric sharpeners.

And now for the good news! Troy at Classroom Friendly Supplies is giving one of these sharpeners away to one of you! Merry Christmas, sweet friends! You can enter below through the Rafflecopter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway will be ending on Sunday, December 30th at midnight!

What's Next for Me?
And as for me, I will be purchasing an additional sharpener. I received a blue one, but I think I want a red one as well, to match the red accents in my classroom. It will also shorten the lines at the pencil sharpening area :) There are four other teachers at my school who all tried mine out and want to buy one, and that's just in my wing of the school! I'm going to ask a few more if they want in, because the more you buy, the cheaper it is. Maybe we can even get the school to foot the bill!
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21 comments

  1. Oh man I have been dying for one of these! Every giveaway I find, I enter :) No luck yet but my fingers and toes are crossed!!! :)

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  2. I had this sharpener and I loved it. So did somebody else because it was stolen from my room. I would love a blue one.

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    1. That is terrible!! :( I hope you win this one!

      Angela :)

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  3. Those sharpeners look amazing! If I were to get one, I would want it in Cool Blue! How wonderful it would be to finally be able to not have to buy more sharpeners!

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  4. Firehouse Red!

    cheriemae@gmail.com

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  5. I would love this! I prefer the red. :) Thanks for the giveaway.

    Joell

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  6. I'd love the red :) thank you for the chance!!

    Sara
    Miss V's Busy Bees

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  7. Groovy Green so it would match my classroom!

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  8. This is awesome! I've been seeing these ads everywhere and was a bit skeptical...Thanks for the honest review :)

    If I won, I would love the blue one :)
    rachaelaschauer@gmail.com

    Thanks!

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  9. I would love Cool Blue!

    rmariemuniz@hotmail.com

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  10. Thanks for sharing. Maybe I'll have to stop by and check it out for myself. :)

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  11. I really appreciate your list of pros and cons about this pencil sharpener. I only use mechanical pencils myself and I HATE the sound of the pencil sharpener in my classroom. I might just have to get one of these if I don't win your giveaway:)
    -Jaime
    Bright Concepts 4 Teachers

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  12. I would love a blue sharpener! -Jaime
    brightconcepts4teachers@gmail.com
    Bright Concepts 4 Teachers

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  13. LOVE this pencil sharpener!! It worked PERFECT for one school year! Now on the second year, the springs have come out and it doesn't push in very well, and it doesn't sharpen as well. However, that being said, it was the BEST year as far as pencils go! We always had sharpened pencils!! They stayed that way and didn't break within minutes!!! We would actually go days and days with no one complaining of not having a pencil sharpened or their pencil lead broke. If the school would foot the bill for a new sharpener every year I would want a new one every year! I may still do it on my own! It is worth it! I think if it was secured down with screws it might hold up longer than the year it did for me.
    Kim
    TheVeryBusyFirstGraders

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    Replies
    1. Good to know that it lasts about a year! At least it's cheaper than my electric sharpener that lasted 6 months!! THANKS!

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  14. I would LOVE a sharpener that really worked!

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  15. I would LOVE a sharpener that really worked!

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  16. Would Love the firehouse red. I would gift it to my sister who is a 4th grade teacher.

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  17. Thanks for the information on the sharpener, I do like the blue color. Found this site with some electric pencil sharpener reviews http://electricpencilsharpenerreviews.com/

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  18. I bought this sharpener because my old one made a horrible squealing noise. I'm a librarian but we have study hall in this library, so I had to find a good sharpener.
    This one is not super quiet, but it works SO fast that it doesn't create a big disturbance.
    I even had one junior-high student (stinker!) try to put in a pencil the wrong way, and it still works!
    I would recommend this sharpener to anyone who uses standard pencils. (It does not adjust for wider, early childhood-type pencils.)Read more here

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