I really wanted to like this pencil sharpener.
Since I primarily use my pencils for writing, long points are my preference. They allow more precise writing, and let me write for longer stretches between sharpenings. This is why I like the Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener (CFPS hereafter): it gives you seriously long writing points, without breaking the lead or leaving it ragged. It has me very, very spoiled.
There are a few reasons I wanted the Kum as an option:
- The CFPS leaves bite marks on your pencils. If you look up close at my pencil photos, you'll notice all the little pinprick holes left by the gripping mechanism*. I've learned to live with them, since I've found no other pencil sharpener that does as nice a job on the writing points (including a fancy Carl), but it would be nice to have another option for the most premium pencils.
- The CFPS isn't exactly something I can toss into my book bag for coffee shop runs.
- You can be a bit more conservative with a hand held sharpener: only shaving off juuust enough to give you a point and no more. Granted, the CFPS is pretty good about stopping as soon as you have a sharp point, but again, for the most premium pencils (or stubbies), I thought a good hand held sharpener might be nice to have.
I've tried Kum's two step long point sharpener. It's a pretty neat concept: the first step clears some of the wood away, the second sharpens the exposed lead to a nice long point. But...in practice, I found it finicky and a bit unpredictable, and broke more lead than I could happily live with. I hoped this new sharpener would be the answer to my wishes, especially since I really like my simple little brass Kum, and this seemed to be almost the same thing but with a longer resulting point.
Except...it hates me. I either mangle the lead or break it off entirely. Every...single...time. Even when I do get a semi long point, it's warped and brittle and snaps the instant I try to use it. Wah. So I guess I continue with my current approach, which is to sharpen only at home or at the office, and carry a boatload of pencils with me so I don't need to sharpen on the go. Bonus of this approach: validish excuse to carry a boatload of pencils.
But I'm saddened, nonetheless.
*One thing that helps a smidge with the aesthetics of the bite marks: I try to always face the pencil the same way when sharpening, e.g. with the text upright, so at least the holes line up...