Posts filed under Pencil Sharpener

Carl Ein Pencil Sharpener Review

Carl Ein Pencil Sharpener Review

One of the most fun parts about being obsessed with stationery isn’t just discovering new writing instruments, but also the accessories that go with the writing instruments. I’ve developed a fondness for wooden pencils over the years, and as much fun as I have trying new ones and discovering my favorites, I also enjoy exploring pencil-adjacent accessories, like pencil sharpeners.

Carl Ein Pencil Sharpener

The Carl Ein Pencil Sharpener is the latest to hit my desk, and has a feature I wasn’t aware I needed: Two stages of tip sharpness. Why is this important to me? I’m so glad you asked!

Not all pencil cores are created equally. Traditional writing pencils, like your standard HB, have a graphite core. They sharpen to a pointy, durable tip and write well from the moment they hit the page. Colored pencils use a clay-based core, making them softer and more prone to breakage when sharpened to a point as fine as I like with my writing pencils. Have you ever sharpened a colored pencil in a regular sharpener and snapped the tip of the pencil off the moment it touched the page? That’s why.

Carl Ein Pencil Sharpener Open

The Carl Ein helps with this issue by having two settings in one sharpener: An 0.5 mm standard pointed tip for traditional writing pencils, and an 0.9 mm broad, stub tip for pencils that are softer or use different core materials, like colored pencils. This setting is simple to swap between with a simple twist of the knob on the handle side of the sharpener.

Carl Ein Pencil Sharpener Tray

While the selling point of the sharpener works as intended, Carl and I had a rough start. When my package arrived and I pulled out the box I noticed a lot of rattling. Opening it up, there were small, loose parts everywhere. The front, slide-out panel had become completely disassembled in shipping. Putting it back together was a 20-30 minute exercise in frustration. It’s one of those things that requires three hands to assemble, and unfortunately, I was only born with two.

Carl Ein Pencil Sharpener Crank

This had me worried about the overall build and sturdiness of the sharpener from the jump, but it has proven to be a workhorse and no further issues with functionality have been detected.

One design feature I noticed and appreciated with regular use was the sloped top cover of the sharpener. Desk sharpeners usually require two hands to operate, one on the crank and one on the top of the sharpener to hold it steady. I didn’t even realize this feature until I was switching back and forth between my favorite Uni KH-20 sharpener and felt that the Carl was easier to hold on to. It’s also slightly wider and has a wider base, so that contributes to its sturdiness.

0.5 mm on the top of each pair, 0.9 mm on the bottom

0.5 mm on the top of each pair, 0.9 mm on the bottom

I’m happy overall with the Carl Ein, but their is one final gotcha to be aware of: The price. This is a $40 desktop pencil sharpener. I’ve used great desktop sharpeners in the low-$20 range, like the Classroom Friendly. My personal favorite is the aforementioned KH-20, which runs $30.

Carl Ein Pencil Sharpener Test

Does the Carl Ein offer enough in its added features to justify the extra cost? For me personally, no. I will recommend the KH-20 every time over the Carl. But, for hardcore colorists and soft-pencil core users I can see the benefit of having dual point sizes built into a single sharpener. And for that, I think the Carl Ein is a good choice.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


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Carl Ein Pencil Sharpener Notebook
Posted on December 10, 2018 and filed under Carl Ein, Pencil Sharpener, Pencil Reviews.

Palomino KUM Blackwing Automatic Brake Long Point 2 Step Pencil Sharpener Review

Palomino KUM Blackwing Automatic Brake Long Point 2 Step Pencil Sharpener Review

(Jeff Abbott is a regular contributor at The Pen Addict. You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution and Twitter.)

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.

Palomino KUM Blackwing Automatic Brake Long Point 2 Step Pencil Sharpener

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.

Palomino KUM Blackwing Long Point 2 Step Pencil Sharpener

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.

Palomino KUM Blackwing Long Point 2 Step Pencil Sharpener Step One

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.

Palomino KUM Blackwing Long Point 2 Step Pencil Sharpener Step 2

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.

Palomino KUM Blackwing Long Point 2 Step Pencil Sharpener Review

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.

Palomino KUM Blackwing Long Point 2 Step Pencil Sharpener Shavings

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.)


Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, for which I am very grateful.

Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!

Portable Pencil Sharpeners
Posted on December 5, 2018 and filed under Blackwing, Kum, Palomino, Pencil Sharpener.

Sonic Toga Return Pencil Sharpener Giveaway

Image via  JetPens

Image via JetPens

Japan makes the best stationery goods on the planet, and the Sonic Toga Return Pencil Sharpener is a prime example of their awesomeness. This is a fun and functional product that can’t help but put a smile on your face every time you use it. I’m giving one of these sharpeners away, and the winner will be able to pick any one of the four colors to adorn their desk.

Read the rules below, and enter away!

Posted on April 10, 2018 and filed under Sonic, Pencil Sharpener, Giveaways.