While the name is comically long, the Palomino KUM 2 step pencil sharpener is quite a small device that can create an exceptionally fine point on your pencils. The market for small, portable pencil sharpeners has plenty of standard options, but there's also plenty of unique selling features. 2 step sharpeners are capable of achieving a long, fine point that most other sharpeners can't touch.
As the name implies, this product is actually made by KUM, a company that produces many different pencil sharpeners. The Palomino product is a white-labeled version of KUM's own sharpener of the same name, except this sharpener features the Blackwing branding on the side and comes in unique color options.
What sets this sharpener apart from other standard sharpeners is the fact that it is two sharpeners. The first slot shaves away the wood casing while allowing the whole lead to pass through almost untouched. This allows the lead to reach a much longer length than normal, and it looks quite weird.
The second slot is much smaller and only shaves the lead. Once this sharpener starts removing more from the wood casing, you know that it's ready to go. This two step approach results in a point that is about 1-2 mm longer than usual.
I've used this sharpener over the past few months, and I've had mixed results. When done correctly, it does produce a long tip with a very fine point. In practice, I've broken the lead several times while trying to use the second slot to sharpen the lead core. From what I can tell, you have to use extremely light pressure and be incredibly careful about the angle that you use when sharpening.
The sharpener is a convenient size and also collects shaving inside the transparent compartment. The blades are really high quality, and it also comes with two extra blades that are stowed in the end of the shaving compartment. Aside from the learning curve that resulted in a lot of broken lead, I've really enjoyed this sharpener.
For me, I prefer using my Kutsuwa Stad T-Gaal pencil sharpener most of the time, but it's nice to shake things up. Like most small sharpeners, they're incredibly affordable (less than $10) and easy to experiment with. If you're interested in the 2 step sharpening method, this is a great place to start. You can buy the Palomino-branded sharpener, but you can also purchase the KUM version of the same product, and you can even purchase the sharpener without the plastic container and shavings compartment. For any wood-case pencil lovers, it's a great addition for your arsenal!
(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)
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