An icon of the pencil world not yet featured by this blog is the Caran d’Ache Pencil Sharpening Machine. A sturdy all metal desktop sharpener, the product has been in production for eighty years. In honour of that anniversary, Caran d’Ache issued a limited edition of 1933 in a matte black finish.
It’s a beauty.
Some of the packaging:
Inserts and accessories:
Compared to other desktop sharpeners, the function is very simple.
A drawer for the shavings.
A Tombow Mono 100 was chosen to be the first test subject.
The results are surprising and practical – a blunt point and an overall shape similar to what a handheld sharpener would deliver.
18 Replies to “Caran d’Ache Pencil Sharpening Machine”
Stephen, you must have the Greatest Pencil Arsenal in all of Pencilblogdom — and matching Pencil Sharpener Photography Skills! I get a severe tingle of jealousy every time you post one of these beauties. I particularly enjoy the almost photo-journalistic format of this post. :)
Gorgeous photos! And what a beautiful sharpener, too. I wish I could find the best of both worlds. I love my Classroom Friendly sharpener, with its long, sharp point, but I like that it doesn’t seem like this Caran d’Ache leaves bite marks in the barrel where it grips it, either.
A beautiful machine, but I would find such a short, blunt point disappointing for my needs. I’m with Andy in praising the long point made by the “Classroom Friendly” sharpener and all Carl-type sharpeners.
Too bad it leaves marks on the pencils, though…
Beautiful shots of a beautiful sharpener!
I really wonder, though, why such nice sharpeners are made with sharp grips.
Thank you for the comments. This sharpener looks like it could last for many years. I would guess that rubbery bits on the jaws (like Carl products) would not last a similar period.
Good POINT*, Stephen, Re: rubber not lasting as long as this beautiful sharpener.
*Groan, couldn’t help myself.
Thank your for the review and the great photos! How are the inner workings? Does it only contain metal parts?
Thank you for the kind comment. The sharpener contains one rotary cutter, and all internal parts are metal.
About the thing with this short point. I also got the limited edition sharpener(also because I’m swiss and these sharpeners are a tradition here)
If you turn this small round thing that sticks out of the crank you can adjust the degree of sharpness. I hope, I could help you and now you that you can have a sharper tip…
Really? I will try that. Thank you!
Glad that I can help. It’s not right to pay such a high price without using the whole pontetial. Just tell me, if it works… :)
Where do I get a replacement blade for my sharpener. I bought this from swissmade.com years ago and buy new blade every year or two, but alas don’t know where to get them now.
Stacy, this website might be a starting point.
I’m thinking of buying this one, but the blunt point put me down, so I am curious; did adjusting as liam suggested make a sharp point?
Thanks for a nice review!! :)
Iver, I made a mental note to follow up online on Liam’s comment, but regret that I haven’t yet done so. I have learned that the “regular” (grey metal) edition of this sharpener has prominent guidance (i.e. an illustrated sticker on the sharpener) indicating how to adjust the resulting point. This version doesn’t have that sticker, and I didn’t discover this function on my own. I will try and soon follow up with some photos.
Liam, thank you for the very helpful comment, and Iver, thank you for this follow-up reminder!
just in case this thread is still active and anyone’s wondering- nope, adjusting the little ring at the back of the caran d’ache sharpening machine doesn’t yield a longish, or sharpish point – all it does is produce a regular point like in the pic above (turning it to the right results in a very blunt pencil- much like the wood-shaving-stage-1 on the blackwing handheld sharpener!)
I was initially disappointed in having such ordinary sharpening on such a beautiful (and expensive) sharpener, when my 12$in china queen crank thingy produces beautiful long pencil points. but a recent experience sharpening my japanese triangular wood pencils made me like the caran d’ache a lot : the queen wouldn’t fit it in!
I love that you can adjust how pointy you want the tip to be. This is the only sharpener i have ever seen to offer that.