Buyer’s Guide: The Best Electric Pencil Sharpeners

Never write with a dull pencil again. Discover the best electric pencil sharpener to suit your needs and preferences as well as your pocketbook.

BobVila.com and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Best Electric Pencil Sharpener Options

Photo: depositphotos.com

There once was a time when many of us would draw, doodle, scribble, and write with pencils, and sharpening our pencils was a never-ending chore.

Fast-forward to the 21st century, and we have an abundance of electric pencil sharpeners available on the market for home use, offices, and classrooms. To help you select the best electric pencil sharpener for your purposes, we offer the following information and top picks featuring high-quality models from reputable manufacturers.

  1. BEST OVERALL: OfficeWorld Electric Pencil Sharpener
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Merangue Electric Pencil Sharpener
  3. BEST UPGRADE: Bostitch Office Antimicrobial Electric Pencil Sharpener
  4. BEST DESIGN: RIYO RIYO Helical Blade Colored Pencil Sharpener
  5. BEST FOR STUDENTS: Jelly Comb Electric Pencil Sharpener
Best Electric Pencil Sharpener Options

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Electric Pencil Sharpeners

As you browse the web for a new electric pencil sharpener, you’ll need to consider its specific options and features, including your preferred power source: alkaline batteries, a rechargeable lithium battery, or AC electrical power. Additionally, you may choose from a variety of sizes, shapes, and materials. Consider if you’ll want to sharpen colored pencils as well as graphite pencils, and think about selecting a unit that allows you to adjust the sharpness of your pencil points.

Size

Electric pencil sharpeners are available in different sizes to suit diverse purposes and situations. Sharpener sizes in this list range from a portable unit that measures only 2.4 inches by 2.8 inches by 2.4 inches to a large model measuring 10.63 inches by 6.13 inches by 9 inches.

While you shop for an electric pencil sharpener, consider how and where you plan to use it. Will it always sit atop your desk, or do you plan to toss it into your backpack and carry it with you? Alternatively, you might consider a larger, more durable unit for multiple users in a classroom or an office environment.

Shape 

Sharpeners come in all shapes from rectangular or cube-shaped boxes to round, cylindrical, or drum shaped. Alternatively, you might select an oval or a triangular shape with rounded corners.

The shape of an electric pencil sharpener can be matched to personal tastes or room aesthetics.

Angle 

Many sharpeners feature a vertical receptacle where you insert the pencil at a 90-degree angle to your desktop. Some pencil sharpeners allow for horizontal pencil insertion, where you hold the pencil parallel to your desktop, or they’ll allow you to insert a pencil on a 45-degree angle between vertical and horizontal.

Select the angle you prefer, based on how and where you intend to use the sharpener. For children in a classroom, you may want to choose the 45-degree-angle option to facilitate easy insertion without excessive pressure.

Lead Point

Pencils with sharp points create thin lines, while those with rounded points create thicker lines. Keep in mind that people use pencils for a variety of artistic and utilitarian purposes, and many manufacturers of electric pencil sharpeners include sharpness-adjusting mechanisms in their units.

In electric pencil sharpeners with available adjustments, you can choose sharp, medium, or blunt settings to meet your needs. For example, artists working with colored pencils typically desire blunt points. On the other hand, you may want a sharp point for precision writing or drawing.

Electric pencil sharpeners are available on the market with auto-stop mechanisms that end the sharpening process when the optimal level of sharpness is reached. Others feature lights or motor/pressure changes to tell you when your pencil point is ready for use.

Features

One of the primary features you’ll find among electric pencil sharpeners is the power source. Some units include electrical cords that plug into 120-volt or a 110-volt household AC electrical outlets. Other sharpeners require AA alkaline batteries, and some models include rechargeable lithium batteries along with USB charging cords. For optimal convenience, some electric pencil sharpeners offer a choice of power sources, such as a battery option along with an AC adapter.

Other useful features pertain to safety. If children will use the electric pencil sharpener in the classroom or at home, you’ll want safety features that prevent injury. Consider a design that prevents little fingers from contacting the sharp cutting blades.

Price

Electric pencil sharpeners are available at a number of price points to fit your budget. In these top picks, there are units to suit most budgets. You may choose a small, inexpensive, battery-powered unit for maximum portability, or you may opt for a larger desktop model that typically costs more.

Available features such as motor strength, durable materials, power source, and sharpness adjustment options affect prices. Smaller sharpeners powered by alkaline batteries tend to be less expensive than desktop models that feature more powerful motors operating on rechargeable batteries or AC electrical power.

Our Top Picks

Numerous features have been considered to assemble this list of top picks. Read on for suggestions regarding battery-powered or AC electrical-powered pencil sharpeners. Keeping durability, size, shape, sharpening capacity, and adjustment options in mind, the following products are some of the best electric pencil sharpeners for your home, office, or classroom.

Best Overall

The Best Electric Pencil Sharpener Options: OfficeWorld Electric Pencil Sharpener
Photo: amazon.com

To use this electric pencil sharpener, insert your pencil into the opening on top and release your hand. There’s no need to hold the pencil in place as the sharpener automatically draws the pencil in toward the cutting blade. Wait three to five seconds, and the sharpener automatically releases your pencil with its point sharpened to the degree that you specify on the adjustable sharpness scale. The durable heavy steel spiral blade provides fast and even sharpening.

This sharpener from OfficeWorld adjusts for blunt and sharp settings and is suitable for any 6- to 8-millimeter pencil. Sharpen #2 graphite pencils, colored pencils, or charcoal pencils for writing, drawing, and art projects. Cleanup is a breeze with the easy-off cap that can be removed to empty the transparent shavings reservoir.

Forget about placing your pencil sharpener close to an electrical socket. Connect the included USB cord to a laptop or a power strip for charging, and you can take this rechargeable electric pencil sharpener anywhere. The built-in 2000 mAh lithium battery charges in one hour to provide enough power for 300 sharpenings.

Best Bang For the Buck

The Best Electric Pencil Sharpener Options: Pencil Sharpeners, Electric Pencil Sharpener
Photo: amazon.com

Here’s an economical and portable electric pencil sharpener that operates on two AA batteries (included). In automatic mode, you can press your pencil into the opening to start the electric sharpening feature. If your batteries run low, flip the switch to manual mode and you can still use the sharpener by turning your pencil manually.

Merangue offers special safety features to make this pencil sharpener safe for use by children. The lid top locks while the sharpener is in use to trap all shavings in the transparent receptacle. This prevents children from inhaling pencil dust while they sharpen their pencils.

To use, twist the lid counterclockwise to open it, and the sharpener automatically stops working while you clear away the shavings. Additionally, little fingers cannot come into contact with the rotating blade.

The casing of this electric pencil sharpener is made of durable ABS plastic to resist breakage and provide reliable electrical insulation. Toss this diminutive sharpener into your book bag or backpack. At only 2.4 inches by 2.8 inches by 2.4 inches, it’s conveniently portable.

Best Upgrade

The Best Electric Pencil Sharpener Options: Bostitch Antimicrobial QuietSharp Glow
Photo: amazon.com

In offices and classrooms, electric pencil sharpeners frequently serve the needs of multiple users. This model offers antimicrobial protection to cut down on spreading germs. Additionally, the high-performance motor provides quiet operation so that students or office workers can sharpen their pencils without disturbing others.

The size selector dial can be turned to one of six positions to suit the size of your pencil. This electric pencil sharpener accommodates jumbo pencils and triangular-shaped pencils as well as standard-size and colored pencils. When your pencil is sharpened to an optimal point, a blue light glows around the face of the sharpener to show that your pencil is ready for use.

Though replaceable, the helical cutter is extra-hardened and engineered to last 10 times longer than average cutters. You can remove the cutter cartridge without tools to clean or replace it. If the helical blade gets dull, simply replace it and continue using the sharpener. For added safety, the MagnaSafe tamper-proof safety switch shuts off the motor when you remove the pencil shavings tray for cleaning.

Best Design

The Best Electric Pencil Sharpener Options: [Upgrade] Electric Pencil Sharpener
Photo: amazon.com

Organize your home office to maximize productivity. The design of this electric pencil sharpener from RIYO RIYO combines pencil storage and sharpening capacity to place your tools conveniently at your fingertips. Use the included AC adapter to plug this sharpener into an electrical outlet, or power it with four AA alkaline batteries.

RIYO RIYO provides a heavy-duty steel blade that performs even and uniform sharpening in three to five seconds. While the average blade will sharpen pencils 500 to 1,000 times, this helical blade will sharpen 3,000 times before it becomes dull. The powerful blade rotates 360 degrees to sharpen any pencil in the 6- to 8-millimeter diameter size range, including graphite pencils, charcoal pencils, and colored pencils. You can control the degree of sharpness by selecting the sharp, medium, or blunt option. This sharpener is not suited for soft-core pencils such as crayons, chalk, or wax pencils.

This electric pencil sharpener features a removable, transparent shavings receptacle and a  nonslip base for convenient use. The storage compartment holds up to 18 pencils, or use it to store paper clips, staples, postage stamps, or other small office items.

Best For Students

The Best Electric Pencil Sharpener Options: Electric Pencil Sharpener
Photo: amazon.com

When any part of the assembly is removed, this electric pencil sharpener automatically stops working. There’s no risk of injury to children’s fingers, and they can use it safely at home or in the classroom. Operate this battery-powered electric pencil sharpener from Jelly Comb to produce an optimal point on any pencil in three seconds. When the large-capacity shavings reservoir is full, you can easily remove it for trouble-free cleaning. While the shavings container is removed, the blade will not operate.

For adaptable and versatile use, this sharpener will accommodate not only classic #2 pencils but also triangular-shaped, watercolor, oil-based, and chalk-pastel pencils. The stainless-steel, the helical blade can sharpen pencils thousands of times without wearing out.

Because it measures only 4.9 inches by 3 inches by 2.2 inches and weighs a mere 6.4 ounces, this Jelly Comb battery-powered sharpener is ideal for students to transport to and from school. Powered by four AA alkaline batteries, it fits neatly into a book bag or backpack for both school and home use.

FAQs About Electric Pencil Sharpeners

With a plethora of useful features and attractive choices available on the market, it probably isn’t easy to select just one electric pencil sharpener. A new sharpener should make your workday, as well as art and craft pursuits, go more smoothly. As you shop for this practical and handy tool, you may have lingering questions. Here are a few answers to help you get started.

Q. How many batteries do electric pencil sharpeners need?

Electric pencil sharpeners that require alkaline batteries typically require two to four AA batteries. Some models include rechargeable lithium batteries along with USB charging cords.

Q. How long does an electric pencil sharpener last?

High-quality steel cutters in durable electric pencil sharpeners can deliver 3,000 to 4,000 sharpenings before they need to be replaced.

Q. Can electric pencil sharpeners be sharpened?

The helical-shaped (spiral) blades that sharpen your pencils do not lend themselves to sharpening. But, some manufacturers sell replacement blades for their electric pencil sharpeners.