The iconic battery-powered Panasonic KP-4A, my previous favorite pencil sharpener, is no longer sold in the US. As it happens, I had been growing increasingly disenchanted by the noise and poor job the device sometimes provides. So I started researching to see what was out there in the manual small sharpener space. After ordering about six different models, I settled on the KUM Long Point Pencil Sharpener.
It’s different than other sharpeners in two respects. First, it has two holes: #1, labeled as such, trims the wooden barrel, and #2 hones the point. It also has an automatic brake built-in so you don’t waste time and lead after you’ve achieved a perfect point. Besides being silent and great fun to use, it produces a fantastically good point. There’s also a nice clear lift-up lid to easily empty shavings.
I’m not the first to recommend this, as it turns out Clive Thompson fell in love with the tool long before I made the discovery, calling it “the best pencil sharpener I’ve ever used in my life”. Mark Frauenfelder featured Thompson’s love-in on Boing Boing earlier this year, with not one but two videos in which the sharpener struts its stuff.
Mark Frauenfelder interviews Clive Thompson about the Palomino-KUM Long Point Pencil Sharpener
A comparison of the points achieved using different sharpeners.