The nice folks over at Classroom Friendly Supplies sent me one of their desktop pencil sharpeners to review — in green, of course! It is a perfectly vintage shade of green too.
This sharpener has a clamp to attach to the table so there is no drilling necessary to keep it from moving. The only issue I had with the table top mount is that it mounted so that it was positioned sideways on the table instead of having the crank and the pencil parallel to the table like I am accustomed to with the older table mount sharpeners. But it worked fine in this position, especially since my table is oval.
The case is metal with a clear plastic drawer to catch shavings. The handle is silver with a plastic grip. On the pencil side of the sharpener, there are two black squares at the top on a silver segment that can be pulled out to support the pencil as you are sharpening. It took me awhile to work through how the design worked. With the silver section pulled out, squeeze the black squares to insert and clamp the pencil in place. Then sharpen. As I sharpened, the silver section slowly moved in a bit until it stopped. This prevented the pencil from being over-sharpened. Then I squeezed the black plastic squares again to release the clamp on the pencil and remove it. The silver section can then be contracted back into the green body by releasing the center silver bar and pushing the section in.
I did not think that the sharpener was noticeably quieter than other table-mounted sharpeners but it is pretty easy to use and much quieter than an electrical pencil sharpener. It gives pencils a wickedly sharp point but it does leave a little chew mark on the pencils from the clamp.
It makes a fabulously long, sharp point. Wow! (Disregard the little stray wood bit, I didn’t wipe it clean before photographing it.)
What got me really excited was when I sharpened my General’s Layout pencil which has a wider diameter lead than a traditional graphite pencil sharpened to a ridiculously long length and it was still strong enough to use.
To compare, I sharpened the red pencil (Palomino Golden Bear HB #2) with my old Apsco Giant desktop sharpener (the classic) and the other three pencils (a round black pencils stolen from Geeks Who Drink trivia night, the General’s Layout pencil and another Palomino Golden Bear HB #2 with the Classroom Friendly sharpener.
The pencils I sharpened wrote so well. Good quality pencils and cheap giveaway pencils sharpened equally well with the Classroom Friendly sharpener. I even wrote with the Apsco sharpened for comparison and it is noticeably blunter. Since its a clamp mount, it does not damage tables or desks but can still be placed wherever is most convenient and removed when not needed. No longer does your sharpener have to live in the basement!
I like how the Classroom Friendly sharpener so much that I feel obliged to overlook the chomp marks on my pencils. For most of my pencils, the nicks are not a big deal but I think I’ll keep using my Palomino Long Point sharpener for my higher-end pencils like the Blackwings.
The Classroom Friendly sharpener is available in four classic colors (groovy green, cool blue, firehouse red and midnight black) for $24.99 each. Prices are discounted if you make a bulk purchase.
(The Classroom Friendly sharpener was sent to me for review but my opinions are my own and unbiased.)