Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Best Pencil Sharpener in the World

Any primary teacher will tell you that pencil sharpeners are the bane of our existence.  Our little ones are writing almost constantly, which means they need to sharpen almost constantly.  We need sharpeners that will hold up to the wear and tear of little ones, and that's hard to find.

I've purchased every electric sharpener around, at all price points,
and while many sharpen well, they just don't hold up long term.
Our class kills at least 1 a year, no matter how much I pay for it.

This is a problem because teachers receive very little money for resources, 
and we spend all of it (and more of our own) on consumable items
like paint and glue and paper and, well, pencils themselves.

So when I heard about "the best pencil sharpener in the world
from a primary teacher one hall down, I was intrigued to say the least.
When she told me it wasn't electric, I was skeptical.
Firsties don't usually have the fine motor skills or stamina to sharpen their pencils with a traditional turn handle, and I can't spend an hour on sharpening pencils.
She promised me it was easy....and even better - DURABLE, 
so I had to check it out for myself.
I was especially intrigued with their promise to 
"sharpen to a perfect point every time."  

Here's the sharpener itself:


I like the size of the sharpener.

 After using it for several weeks,
I am very pleased with this product!
It's a little different than most sharpeners in how you use it,
so I had to coach my kiddos through it.

It only took one or two tries, and they got it!
They are in awe over the sharp points their pencils get -
no other sharpener has ever done that!
I've seen improvement in handwriting as an added bonus!

The only trouble I had with it was getting it to stay in place.
The sharpener is actually designed to be a one-handed portable device that doesn't need to be secured to a surface, but I found that wasn't very user friendly for my little ones.
They send in L-clamp with it, but it's not a permanent device, either; it just assists with holding the sharpener in place.
Here is a video showing how to use the sharpener without securing it to a surface.

Classroom Friendly Supplies' customer service was excellent when I inquired about my difficulty; they were very responsive, and told me about the permanent mount they offer to secure the sharpener permanently in place.  You can check it out here: mount  

I didn't feel comfortable screwing it into the counter top,
and didn't have time to make any sort of stand.
Fortunately, customer service had another great suggestion:
Sugru  
It's a moldable glue that has been JUST the thing to use to attach the sharpener to the counter in a permanent way, that can also be removed later.  
(Sugru is ridiculously cool!)

Ultimately, this teacher designed sharpener has been a total hit for our classroom!
It's reasonably priced, simple to use, durable, and easy to empty.  
And the cherry on top is that they sell replacement blades when this one gets dull!

I'm thrilled with this sharpener, and think my next purchase is one for my kids to use at home!

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