Troy from Classroom Friendly Supplies kindly sent a “Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener” this way. I’ve previously read reports on the sharpener at Pencil Revolution and Lung Sketching Scrolls. (Alberto really put it through the paces!) Some searching reveals further coverage at Unposted and Little Flower Petals.
In terms of modern day desktop sharpeners, there is one thing that seems to be true – they all appear to be essentially the same. With the exception of a very pricey model from El Casco (and possibly one from Caran d’Ache), these products are nearly identical (whether labelled Carl or Staedtler or Faber-Castell or no-name) and seem to be made at the People’s No. 2 Sharpener Factory in Yangzhou, or some similar facility.
This comment hits the nail on the head about today’s specimen – this sharpener is either an unbranded Carl A-5, or from the same supplier that Carl uses. As Carl sharpeners have been mentioned here many times over the years, they will be used for comparison.
The product is packaged in a way that makes shipping feasible:
The sharpener has a different aesthetic, and is cased in metal, making it heavier and more substantial than the plastic housed Carls. Between the Carl Decade 100 and Carl Bungu Ryodo:
Unlike those Carl sharpeners, the jaws mark the pencils. Whether or not this is a deal breaker would be a personal choice. I did not attempt to transplant the guide mechanism and padded non-marking jaws of a Carl sharpener to the Classroom Friendly model. It should be feasible as far as I can tell, but the look of the sharpener would be off.
Those fierce jaws:
Finally, on the question of sharpening – there is no point adjustment capability.
The official Carl product page reveals the A-5 to be the least expensive of the Carl range. It and most other models do not have adjustable point settings. The top of the line CC-5000 has five point settings!
The surprise is that the Classroom Friendly point (top) is even sharper than the acute setting of the Decade:
That point is so sharp that most leads sharpened in that way will break fairly quickly under any pressure – but it is dramatic!
I did try and move the blade mechanism between sharpeners. That works, though you understandably get another odd looking sharpener.
While I didn’t test it in a classroom, the product is excellent for personal use, and I have no trouble recommending it. Troy has been selling these since 2004, so you can be confident in the vendor.