Practicing Creativity

What is the Best Sharpener for Colored Pencils?

What's the best pencil sharpener for colored pencils? 

A new one.

Seriously, if you color a lot you're going to have to change your pencil sharpener often, or risk a dull sharpening blade ruining the coloring heads of your expensive colored pencils. If there's a down side to colored pencils, this is it. I hate replacing my pencil sharpener every month or so and throwing away the old one. I wish I could find a more environmentally friendly option (and I keep looking), but so far have yet to do so.

These plastic hand held types work best for me. I sharpen often when coloring and having to stop what I'm doing, get up, and sharpen with a bigger crank sharpener just wouldn't work (although I dearly loved using the wall mounted class pencil sharpener when I was a kid, it was right up there in blackboard erasure and sneezing out chalk dust fun levels – I'm dating myself there, aren't I?). And don't even think about an electric sharpener, or well, I won't; they eat your pencils! 

Nope, best to find a good little plastic, not too expensive sharpener with a cover. This Maped type I'm using right now runs me around €2.00 each. I've tried lots of different sharpeners through the years, from expensive brands to no-brands and frankly, the expensive ones are just not worth the price. Some of the best I've ever used were no-brand types I dug out of a bargain bin for CHF 1.00 each. 

One thing to note, when sharpening your pencil, hold the pencil and turn with your fingers closer to the pencil head, as shown below (normally, of course, I'd be holding the left side of the sharpener in my left hand, but the left hand was holding the phone here, so work with me). This gives the pencil more support and doesn't stress the lead. 


  1. Agreed. I just use cheapie sharpener too. One tip I've found helpful is to turn the sharpener rather than the pencil when sharpening. It can help with breakage....and Prismacolors love to break when they're being sharpened!

    1. Thanks for the tip, Jan, I will try that!


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