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!!!
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.
|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.
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.
- 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!
- 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 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!