Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener

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:

Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener

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:

Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener

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.

Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener

Those fierce jaws:

Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener

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:

Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener

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.

12 Replies to “Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener”

  1. The packaging is more or less the same as the packaging of the Deli 0635 – and both produce a longer point than the KUM Automatic Long Point, but unlike the classroom friendly sharpener, the Deli 0635 has padded non-marking jaws.

  2. Thank you Adair and Randall.

    Matthias, thank you for mentioning the Deli. That extra sharpener is a great idea!

    I should also mention that the Classroom Friendly model comes with the proper mounting gear. I know many of us just hold the sharpener body with one hand and turn the handle with the other, but the option of attaching the sharpener to a table or desk is still nice to have.

  3. I enjoy very much every sharpener review. Thanks!.

    The barrel-marker-jaws is a no-no for me. It simply destroys a pencil’s lacquer after a dozen sharpen. I used to use the equivalent Dahle 166 but I stopped for this reason. Currently the electric Dahle 200 do not mark at all and produces a long sharp point.

    BTW-1: Which are the black-barrel pencils used in the review?
    BTW-2: Does anybody know a way to sharpen the “historic pencilmaker set” pencil?


  4. I notice in your review of the classroom friendly sharpener, you talk about your Carl sharpener, just curious with the cost of the most high end carl being pretty cheap compared to say a mitsubishi, why you went with the lower end Carl?

  5. Why oh why didn’t I trust my comment on 7/21. I went ahead and bought one (the only carl model available in my local Kinokuniya store) and sure enough the jaw marks are a real downside. This sharpener is coming nowhere near my Palomino Blackwing 602’s, Palomino Blackwings, Mitsubishi Hi-Uni’s, Tombow Mono 100’s, FC 9000’s and Staedtler Lumographs. It will be used for my second tier pencils such as Staedtler Tradition, FC Goldfaber etc. I must say all other aspects of the sharpener are superb even though there is no point adjustment mechanism. For my first tier pencils its back to my trusty Berol Giant Desktop Sharpener which has no “death grip” grippers to worry about.

  6. Joan, thank you for the comment. The pencils in the review are the Palomino Blackwing. A carpenter pencil could be sharpened with this product.

    wspahn21, for me, all of these sharpeners are overseas imports with distorted price points. (I can locally buy the Faber-Castell model for about $60.) I’ve only recently seen Mitsubishi offerings for sale.

    Kevin, glad to hear your view!

  7. I miss the old single sized Berol-Chicago-Apsco rotary sharpeners. Made of metal with twin rotary cutters, that thing will last forever. Mine is still going strong. Why can’t someone make something like that?

  8. Fame at last! My investigative googling paid off with a mention on Pencil Talk!

    I really quite like my Carl Angel sharpener, and don’t find that the teeth do too much damage, once you learn to orient the pencil correctly when inserting it. And when you take into account the wonderful points it produces, a little damage to the finish is a small price to pay.

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