I'd like to share the two new sharpeners I got while visiting the USA
First is the Prismacolor Sharpener. I assume since it's from Prismacolor that it's been specifically designed to sharpen Prismacolor's wax-based coloured pencils.
It's about 3 inches in length and comes apart in the middle. One side is a cover and the other contains a sharpener. The shavings go into the bottom of the half which contains the sharpener - which is not very big - so fine for the odd sharpen but less good if you need to use it a lot. It's handy size if you've got maybe a small pencil case or can pop it in your pocket. It isn't really a heavy duty 'around the home studio' sharpener for those of us who need to sharpen a lot of pencils frequently.
Oh - and it broke my new Prismacolors which I got at the CPSA Convention. I have a problem here because Prismacolors are known to break - so whether it's the sharpener or the pencil I really don't know.
Next is the big success - my new battery powered Panasonic sharpener - the KP 4A.
According to Panasonic the KP-4A has
A hardened steel cutter blade provides a perfect 16-degree point. Features include semi-transparent shavings receptacle, safety switch, and auto shutter.What can I say - I'm in love! It's lightweight and compact - but uses 4 AA batteries which make it somewhat heavier. It has a funny grooved cutter thing (rather than a conventional pencil sharpener blade) which rotates extremely fast. This is just like the one in my big heavy duty 'sharp as needles' electric sharpener. When I got home I even caught myself using it in preference to the electric one as I always have leads and things to arrange with that one.
The even better news is that you don't have to depend on the vagaries of your local art store as Amazon stock it on amazon.com here. It's getting 5 star reviews from everybody except for one person in France - when it broke. Personally I've found it to be extremely reliable so far.
A Staples version which looks remarkably like this (so much so that my guess is Staples gets Panasonic to make it for them) was recommended by Dianna Ponting for sharpening charcoal pencils at the pastels workship I attended last month. I gather that might be cheaper.
However my new Panasonic does have an appetite. If used to sharpen coloured pencils, it needs to be fed a graphite stick every so often in order to keep it silky smooth in operation and in tip top condition - juts as I have to do with my electric sharpener. I now buy graphite sticks just to feed these sharpeners and keep them happy - and they just swallow them!
Sanford Prismacolor - sharpener
Panasonic Sharpener - KP-4A
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