What is the use of buying the most expensive pencils in the market if you do not possess the best pencil sharpener that can bring out the best in the pencil? You can choose either a manual pencil sharpener or an electronic one based on your specific requirements. In this segment, we will focus on manual pencil sharpeners.

We have years of experience to guide you to choose the best manual pencil sharpener from seven of the best in the market. 

Quick Buy

Dominants Name Rate,(x/5) Reviews price Buy,Now
1st Prismacolor Pencil Sharpeners 4.4 4153 $9 Only 1 Left
2nd X-ACTO KS 4.3 3241 $7 Durable & Top Quality
3rd Staedtler STD51163 4.5 1610 $23 Pack of 4
4th Bostitch Black MPS1-BLK 4.3 865 $9 Ultra Smooth
5th Toolsand Auto Pencil Sharpener 4.5 569 $14 High-Speed Automatic
6th Kum Two Hole Long Point Pencil 4.2 453 $5 Reader’s choice
7th Kutsuwa Angle Adjustable 4.5 528 $6 FREE SHIPING

I. Understand Manual Pencil Sharpener

Only by understanding the working and the various types of manual pencil sharpeners will you be in a position to decide which is the most suitable product for you.

Benefits of owning a Manual Pencil sharpener

While the staid manual pencil sharpener might not be too appealing when you hear about auto stop and smart reset often associated with electronic pencil sharpeners, it has its own benefits that can never be overlooked.

  • They are cheap
  • They are almost always kid-friendly
  • They are portable and small enough to be carried with you anytime anywhere
  • Easy to use
  • You can control the sharpness.

Top Manual Pencil Sharpener Features:

Here are listed features which help you identify a manual pencil sharpener.

  • Mechanism: There are two types of blades commonly used: simple blade and a helical cutter. The helical blades functions are a little complex. The helical cutters are positioned at an acute angle to each other to produce multiple cuts with a precise finish. They reduce the time and are quieter during operation.
  • High-Quality replacement cutters (blades): With usage blades often dull and need to be replaced with new ones. A quality sharpener must always be accompanied by high-quality replacement blades.
  • Pencil Hole Sizes: The second most important feature that you must look into is the size of the pencil hole. The standard size is 8mm but there are thicker pencils which can go up to 10.5 mm in thickness. It is advisable to go for a sharpener that can be used for varying pencil sizes.
  • The shape of pencil: Nowadays pencils are not restricted to only circular shapes, but come in hexagonal and triangular shapes too. It is crucial that the pencil hole accommodate all the shapes. You can also choose sharpeners designed exclusively for a particular shape.
  • Type of pencil: There are hard cores and soft cores in pencils; the final outcome depends not only on the core but also on the wood casing on the outside. You must choose a model that is suitable for your kind of pencils and pay special attention to :
    • Gentleness: The blade must not be too harsh on the pencil that it rips the wood casing away. It must apply the right pressure.
    • Cleanliness: Several models leave graphite marks on the pencils after sharpening which can spoil and mar your artwork or project. Hence look for models that do not leave any residue on the wood.
  • Point of pencil: Sharpener is not always meant for producing pointy tips; you might need blunt or medium tips too for work. There are sharpeners which are designed to offer you all three kinds of tips.
  • Angle of sharpening: Not all sharpeners are designed to produce long sharp leads; some are meant to produce short sharp leads which last only for a little time while the long ones can be used for more time. The length of the lead is determined by the angle of sharpening; larger angles give rise to longer leads.
  • Receptacle: Very basic models come without a receptacle necessitating the need for a trash bin every time you sharpen a pencil. There are several models which come with a special receptacle to collect shavings thereby keeping your work area clean and giving you the flexibility of sharpening your pencil anywhere.
  • Size of the receptacle: Ideally the receptacle must be see-through so that you can notice when it is full and empty it immediately and not wait till the shavings spill down or interfere with the sharpening process itself.The size of the receptacle becomes especially important based on the frequency of use and the number of people using the sharpener.
  • Mobility and speed: Is the sharpener portable at all times or should it be attached to a wall or a table?How quickly can you sharpen your pencil must also be considered.
  • Warranty: Products with warranty normally are more durable and will last longer.

What are the features of a Good Manual Pencil Sharpener?

In addition to the above features, you must pay attention to the built and ergonomic design for easy usage.

Which is the Best Manual pencil sharpener for teachers, school, classroom, business?

When the volume of usage is high like in a classroom or an artist’s studio you must prioritize heavy duty sharpeners that come with a warranty, versatility to sharpen pencils of varying sizes and shapes, large receptacle, extra replaceable blades and powerful motors.

With regards to a classroom environment, ideally, a teacher must sharpen and give the pencils because it is safer and will prevent kids from misusing the product. Fancy and small sharpeners will either get lost or will be beyond repair because kids like to experiment with such sharpeners.

Best Manual pencil sharpener for artists

Not all manual sharpeners take good care of your expensive pencils. Choose a model that is gentle on the core and the wood casing and doesn’t leave any residue. Good quality sharpener will save you significant costs which will result from poor quality pencil eating sharpeners.

But aren’t knives a better option for artists?

While knives do give you greater control over how much to sharpen the risk of injuring your hand is far greater and this will incapacitate you for a long time. It is therefore recommended to choose one of the sharpeners from our below list.

Which is a better choice – Electrical or manual?

The factors that determine an ideal choice is the number of pencils that you sharpen at each given time, the time is taken, the portability of the product and of course the cost. It is best to have both because they both have their advantages and manual sharpeners are really cheap.

Which is the best manual pencil sharpener for colored pencils?

Colored pencils are different from regular ones; they are softer and have a core of wax and colorants. As a result, they need a sharpener that will be gentle and not break the leads. It is best if the sharpener has a receptacle as it will protect the gentle tips.

Seven “top rated”&Dominants Manuals Pencil Sharpener

1st Dominants – Prismacolor Pencil Sharpeners

review for Prismacolor Scholar Pencil

Ideal for artists, the Prisma color sharpener is exclusively designed for color pencils. The sharpener is gentle on the casing and ensures that there is no extra pressure on the lead leading to its cracking. It is easy to use and clean. Its translucent body notifies you when the receptacle is full and needs to be emptied. It is ergonomically designed and compact enough to fit into any art case.


  • Ergonomic design
  • Translucent body for easy viewing
  • Gentle on pencils
  • Comes with an eraser.


  • The receptacle led keeps coming off
  • Is slow and tips tend to break.

User reviews:

Users like the compact nature of the sharpener and especially the triangular eraser which apparently does a good job.

BUY Prismacolor Pencil Sharpeners

2nd Dominants – X-ACTO KS

review for X-ACTO KS

This model is suitable for a classroom as it can be mounted on a wall or fixed to the table with screws provided. Nickel plated shaving receptacle, die-cast metal base and the helical cutters which last 33 times longer than normal blades make this an ideal choice for heavy-duty usage. It has to be cranked manually which is easy enough for kids to do and exciting too.


  • Adjustable for 8 pencil sizes
  • Is precise and fast
  • Durable and built to last.


  • Eats away pencil unless stopped willfully
  • Sometimes mounting is troublesome.

User reviews:

Teachers have well received the product and find that it saves time and is really efficient and easy for 6-7 year old’s to use without any issues.


3rd Dominants – Staedtler STD51163

review for Staedtler STD51163

A no-nonsense kind of sharpener that does its job. It has no frills and is a very basic model. It has a removable cap to dispose of the shavings and a straight blade.


  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to use
  • Sharpens really precisely and cleanly.


  • Blades cannot be replaced
  • Difficult to replace the receptacle head once removed.

User reviews:

Users like its compact size, sturdy feel and easy to use mechanism. The only concern though is that replacing the cap is not easy.

BUY Staedtler STD51163

4th Dominants – Bostitch Black MPS1-BLK

review for Bostitch Black MPS1-BLK

This is a mountable heavy duty manual pencil sharpener with an inbuilt HHC2 cutter technology that can accommodate 8 different sizes of pencils. The special technology increases the lifespan of the blades by 6 times. It also has a tip saver feature which ensures that the tips don’t become too pointy and break.


  • The product has an antimicrobial coating.
  • It can accommodate 8 different sized pencils
  • The cutters are replaceable
  • Easy to remove and clean without tools
  • Wall or table mountable
  • Large receptacle to gather the shavings.


  • Eats pencils as it does not have an auto stop
  • The receptacle is hard to remove and replace
  • Not industrial grade sturdiness
  • Doesn’t sharpen pencils evenly.

User reviews:

Despite the above drawbacks users are happy with the speed and the ability to sharpen several sized pencils. Another feature well-liked is that it can be fixed to a particular location and nobody can even complain about a missing sharpener anymore.

BUY Bostitch Black MPS1-BLK

5th Dominants – Tools and Auto Pencil Sharpener

review for Tools and Auto Pencil Sharpener

Now, here is a model that works both manually and on batteries. If your batteries run out of charge, just change the setting to manual and voila the sharpener works efficiently as a manual sharpener. It gives you best of both worlds. It is fast, safe and suitable for all brands of pencils of 8mm diameter.


  • Sharpens new pencils in 5 seconds
  • Has a safety feature which prevents it from running till the receptacle is closed
  • Is suitable for both cylindrical and hexagonal pencils
  • Compact and lightweight
  • The lid stays in place
  • The foam feet ensure that sharpener does not slide off the table when in use
  • Easy to empty and clean.


  • Requires effort to press and sharpen
  • Blades dull fast
  • Points are not really sharp.

User reviews:

Some users like the versatility while others are not too pleased with the extra effort needed to sharpen the pencil.

BUY Tools and Auto Pencil Sharpener

6th Dominants – Kum Two Hole Long Point Pencil

review for Kum Two Hole Long Point Pencil

With the outer body made from polystyrene, the Kum Two is a one-of-its-kind manual pencils sharpener with two holes. The holes are not meant for different sized pencils but for the same pencil; one hole is for shaving the wood while the other is for the long points. The blades used are high carbon steel and hence they produce clean points. It is suitable for school home or office.


  • Ideal for shading as the points are long and clean
  • Portable
  • Well built
  • Sharp blades
  • Has a receptacle to catch the shavings.


  • The extra blades drop off when emptying the sharpener
  • Blades dull within a few uses.

User reviews:

There are those who love it and those who hate it because it is different. It requires a bit of using to get sharp points using both the holes.

BUY Kum Two Hole Long Point Pencil

7th Dominants – Kutsuwa Angle Adjustable

review for Kutsuwa Angle Adjustable

An attractive pink colored manual sharpener made in Japan, the Kutsuwa has five dial settings to choose a short or long point. There is innovative shutter that ensures that the pencil shavings do not fall out during sharpening. It is suited for both hard and soft lead pencils.


  • Ergonomic design
  • 5 dial settings for determining the length of the point
  • Suitable for both hard and soft leads
  • Portable
  • Comes with a shutter to prevent the falling out of shavings
  • Shaves very thinly thereby ideal for even expensive pencils.


  • Suitable only for standard sized pencils
  • Sometimes the shaving leak into the dial area
  • Not durable.

User reviews:

Users love the aesthetics of the sharpener and recommend it for all regularly sized graphite and soft-core pencils. The ability to control the degree of sharpness is well appreciated.

BUY Kutsuwa Angle Adjustable

How to choose between them

When faced with umpteen choice of excellent sharpeners it is not easy to choose a product that will be useful for your specific needs. In case you have reached such a roadblock here is a brief checklist to make the process easy and choose the best manual pencil sharpener on the market.

  • Budget: Choose according to your budget; there are sharpeners ranging from a few dollars to tens of dollars.
  • Purpose: What kind of pencils do you plan to sharpen? What sort of point do you require for your work? Find a sharpener that answers these questions.
  • Frequency of use: If you plan to use occasionally then a normal sharpener will do but in case you want for your classroom or your art studio where the volume of pencils to be sharpened is immense you must look at a model that is durable, well-built and with excellent blades that retain their sharpness even after repeated use.
  • Versatility: In case you work with a wide variety of pencils of varying thickness and types, choose a model that can work on all of them.
  • Portability: Do you need to carry your sharpener everywhere or you prefer to have it wall mounted in one place.

Once you answer these questions making a choice becomes relatively simple when you have to choose between the best manual pencil sharpener around.

Electric Sharpener Accessories

1. AA 4 Pack Rechargeable batteries

review for AA 4 Pack Rechargeable batteries

It is prudent to have a pack of rechargeable batteries handy if you use electrical sharpeners as they will ensure that your sharpener never runs out of charge. They also maintain a constant charge and are economical in the long run. They are of various types – alkaline, Ni Zn, Ni Mh, NiCd, and lithium. NiMH batteries are the safest for the environment and the most preferred in the present times.

BUY AA 4 Pack Rechargeable batteries

2. AA Battery Charger


review for AA Battery Charger

If you plan to use rechargeable batteries for your electronic sharpener you must invest in a good battery charger. Ensure that the battery charger is meant for the specific rechargeable batteries because not all chargers are compatible with all rechargeable batteries. Look out for the Ah rating and the temperature override while buying to ensure the long life of your batteries.

BUY AA Battery Charger

3. Mesh Wastebasket


review for Mesh Wastebasket

Wastebaskets are quintessential in any classroom or office. There are available in various types and sizes, each with its own benefits. If you are looking for an economical solution to dispose of your wood shavings opt for the mesh wastebasket which is cheap, easy to clean and lightweight. It also prevents moisture build-up keeping your debris dry.

BUY Mesh Wastebasket


A good sharpener is a friend that understands your needs – a point for every occasion of drawing, writing or shading. It ensures that your pencil glides smoothly when it contacts paper. As seen from our list X-Acto is a leading brand renowned for manufacturing some of the best sharpeners in the market. In case you know of any specific brands that are noteworthy and not on our list, we will be happy to know about them. Do mention them in our comments section.

Tags : best Manual Pencil SharpenerBest Manual Pencil SharpenersManual Pencil Sharpenerpencil sharpener
Bessie B. Wilson

The author Bessie B. Wilson

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