10 Best Manual Pencil Sharpeners : Reviews for 2023

You’re working on an urgent writing or drawing project using a pencil. Suddenly, the tip breaks.

You try to look for something to sharpen it, and finally, you resolve to use a knife. Using the knife is a bit hectic and unfortunately, you slit your skin.

Ugh! If only you had a proper sharpener!

You’d just have picked it from your drawer or bag, and sharpened the pencil quickly. No accidents, and no time wastage.

The best manual pencil sharpener is a handy gadget. You can carry it in your bag or pockets and take it anywhere for on-the-go use.

This guide introduces you to the good quality pencil sharpeners on the market to help you make the right choice.



Editor's Rating


X-ACTO Ranger 1031

5 out of 5

STAEDTLER pencil sharpener

5 out of 5

AFMAT Artist Pencil Sharpener

4.5 out of 5

Staedtler ST Double-hole Sharpener

4 out of 5

Bostitch Manual Pencil Sharpener

4.5 out of 5

Our Recommended 10 Best Manual Pencil Sharpener Reviews 2023

1. X-ACTO Ranger 1031 Wall Mount Manual Pencil Sharpener

X-Acto is a brand of the USA-based firm, Elmer’s Company, a well-known producer and seller of adhesives and home and office supplies. If you’re in the search for high-quality cutting tools, X-Acto is a brand worth checking out.

The first product in this review is the X-ACTO Ranger 1031, a favorite for thousands of teachers, students, and art lovers out there.

From featuring the old-fashioned crank-style sharpening to being sturdy-made and easy to use, this tool has all the features of the best manual pencil sharpener.

The device is made of hard steel, putting it in a position to withstand years of use. Being made of die-cast steel, the base has the strength needed to support the device.

There is a screw hole in the base, which you can use to attach the sharpener firmly to a table or wall. Screws are included, so you only need a screwdriver.

When it comes to the blade design, almost no brand out there offers what X-Acto offers. The blades are dual steel helical cutters made of hardened steel.

These cut with ease and last years without damage. Due to their robust nature, the cutters are suitable for everyday use.

There are eight holes on the device. That means you can sharpen 8 pencils sizes, from small to large. To sharpen, you simply turn the hand crank on the opposite side.

For best manual wall mount pencil sharpener that works with ease and sharpens effectively and evenly, try the X-ACTO Ranger 1031.

Highlighted features:

  • Made of hardened steel – durable and built to withstand everyday use.
  • Has a die-cast steel base with a screw hole – can be mounted to a wall/desk.
  • Adjustable entry holes for accommodating up to 8 pencil sizes.
  • Operated through a hand crank.
  • Dual helical blades that sharpen easily and cleanly.
  • Long-lasting – the quality build and robust cutters last years.

2. STAEDTLER Pencil Sharpener

When looking for the best handheld pencil sharpener, you want a device that is well-made and durable, and also easy to use.

The STAEDTLER pencil sharpener features quality construction, and even after years of use, it works like it was bought yesterday.

And you know what else? This unit collects the shavings properly, allowing you to dispose of them with ease.

The gadget is made of a small can of about 0.9-oz capacity, and a screw-on lid on it. On its inner side, the lid has a blade unit attached. The lid also has a hole in it, which serves as an entry for the pencils.

The can is made of hard plastic while the blade unit is crafted from stainless steel. As long as you take care of the device, you can expect it to last over five years.

So, to use it, you insert the pencil through the hole in the lid and turn it. As you turn the pencil, the blade unit shaves the head.

As you might agree, that’s a really simple sharpening concept. In fact, ease of use is one of the reasons why so many people love this portable pencil sharpener.

As you sharpen your pencil, the shavings collect into the can. You can let the shavings accumulate in there, but any time you want to remove them, you simply open the lid and empty the can.

Highlighted features:

  • Made of hard plastic can with a blade attached to the lid.
  • One pencil hole in the lid.
  • Durable straight blade crafted from stainless steel.
  • Compact size you can carry in your pockets.
  • Easy to operate.

3. AFMAT Artist Non-Electric Hand Pencil Sharpener

Are you seeking the easiest to use non electric pencil sharpener? You may want to hear about the AFMAT Artist Pencil Sharpener.

I find this gadget’s design really interesting, but what I love about it is how effortless it makes pencil sharpening.

Unlike with other sharpeners, where you have to push the pencil manually with your hands, this unit pulls the pencil for you. That means you only have to insert the pencil and turn the crank. The device will pull in the pencil as shavings get removed.

Isn’t that cool?

Another innovative feature I love in this unit is the sharpness adjustability. At the crank, a knob is attached that lets you choose whether to come up with sharp or blunt points.

As you use your pencil, the point grows blunt, right?

But it is not always that the point is blunt to the point of needing sharpening. Sometimes, all it needs is honing. Thankfully, this sharpener’s shaving container has sandpaper attached, which you can use to hone points.

Last but not least, the unit has an elegant design. It is a little gadget you’ll likely be happy to have on your desk.

Highlighted features:

  • Helical blade made of steel for easy and quick sharpening.
  • Nib adjustment knob – blunt to sharp.
  • A clear plastic shavings collection jar.
  • Sandpaper is attached to the jar for point honing.
  • Hand crank for easy operation.

4. Staedtler ST Double-Hole Sharpener

Imagine putting your pencil sharpener in your bag when going to school or on a trip. Upon arriving, you open the bag only to find pencil debris scattered inside the bag. It wouldn’t be a good experience, would it?

But that is what happens with some sharpeners. If the tool’s lid doesn’t close properly, the shavings can spill out.

One sharpener that is built with that in mind is the Staedtler ST Double-hole. The reason why this is the best pocket pencil sharpener is that it features a strong lid that fits securely, ensuring the debris has no chance of getting out.

The sharpener features a can with a lid, to which a blade is attached. On the lid, two holes are cut out, through which you insert the pencils.

The holes feature different sizes – a bigger one and a smaller one. Therefore, you can sharpen pencils of varying sizes.

When you turn the pencil, the shavings drop into the can. The straight stainless steel blade works surprisingly well.

The can is made of plastic, but it is pretty sturdy. You can expect it to last at least two years or so, which is more than okay for the price.

Highlighted features:

  • Made of plastic with a straight stainless steel blade.
  • Two holes for different pencil sizes.
  • Clear viewing plastic so you can see the level of the debris.

5. Bostitch Manual Pencil Sharpener

Bostitich is one of the most familiar brands in the US. It supplies some of the highest-quality and useful home and DIY tools. Well, in the battle of offering the best hand crank pencil sharpener, Bostitich hasn’t been left behind.

What makes the Bostitch Sharpener the best mechanical pencil sharpener is that it is built to last. This unit is constructed using alloy steel, which gives it a body that can put up with carefree use.

Imagine a sharpener that allows you to sharpen your pencils without you to support it. That is exactly what this unit is. On the base, it has a screw hole, which you can use to attach the unit to a wall or table.  

You won’t have to stress about where to get the screws as these are already provided in the package.

What about the sharpening efficiency?

Dual helical blades make this unit the sharpest pencil sharpener within its price range. The blades sharpen easily, which means you won’t end up with exhausted fingers/hands to sharpen your pencils. The hand crank also works faultlessly, turning effortlessly without jamming.

Highlighted features:

  • Made of alloy steel for carefree use – lasts years.
  • Dual helical blades for efficient sharpening.
  • Eight holes to accommodate eight pencil sizes.
  • Can be attached to a wall or desk with a screw in the base.
  • Installed with a tip saver so you don’t over-sharpen.

6. Bostitch Office Twist-N-Sharp Manual Sharpener

Usually, when using a straight-blade sharpener, you have to turn either the pencil or the sharpener. If you asked me, turning the sharpener is the easier choice.

The Bostitch Office Twist-N-Sharp Manual Pencil Sharpener is a model that you can turn to sharpen the pencil, and the whole task is a piece of cake.

When I first saw the sharpener, I thought to myself – what a lovely little gadget?

Yup, the tool features a quite eye-catching construction. It is made of a translucent plastic flask with a helical cutter installed on the inside. When you purchase a set, you get the flasks in different colors, such as red, pink, and green.

A hole is positioned at the top, through which the pencil gets in. The shavings drop inside the little flask.

Since the material is translucent, you get to see how the flask is filling up and remove the debris at the right time.

Normally, when sharpening a pencil, you want it to have a sharp or blunt point. At the lower side of the flask, a dial is attached. This feature lets you choose between creating sharp and blunt points.

Highlighted features:

  • Made of translucent plastic material with nice colors.
  • Stainless steel helical blade.
  • Adjustable point – blunt or sharp.
  • Easy shavings removal – door snaps open easily.
  • Tip saver to prevent excess sharpening.

7. X-Acto Bulldog Vacuum-mount Pencil Sharpener

Are you looking for a high end pencil sharpener that you can hook to your desk or wall? Do you also want to be able to quickly and easily unhook the sharpener and take it wherever you like? In that case, the X-Acto Bulldog Vacuum-mount might be just what you need.

Rather than using a screw to attach it to the surface, you simply use a vacuum mount. This innovative mount is comprised of a suction cup and a little lever.

To operate it, you just place the unit on any flat, non-porous surface and turn the lever.

As you’ll see if you get the tool, the suction cup works very well. It holds the unit so securely that you can sharpen pencils without worrying about the tool getting detached.

Then again, to disconnect the sharpener from the surface, you just twist the lever to the original position.

Therefore, as you can see, this is a truly portable and convenient sharpener to have. It is small and lightweight, and you can comfortably carry it in your pockets or bag.

Highlighted features:

  • Helical stainless steel blade.
  • See-through chamber – easily see debris level.
  • Hand crank operation.
  • Reliable vacuum mount.
  • One pencil hole.

8. TGHCP Double Hole Electric Pencil Sharpener

Are you looking for the best hand pencil sharpener for your little one? A small and lightweight unit with a bright and beautiful color would be the ideal option.

With that in mind, the TGHCP Double Hole Electric Pencil Sharpener is a great model to consider.

It features a bright and beautiful pink color, which is attractive to kids. You can also get it in green or black color.

When looking for a sharpener, you have two major choices – a manual one or an electric one.

For kids and even adults, an electric unit is easier to use. You don’t need strength to operate it. This device takes 4 AA batteries and it has a USB port.

The tool has two holes at the top for different pencil sizes. The smaller hole accommodates a diameter of 6 to 8 mm while the larger one accommodates a 9 to 12 mm diameter.

Highlighted features:

  • Electric – uses 4 AA batteries or USB connection.
  • Bright and beautiful pink color.
  • Two holes for different pencil sizes.
  • Two straight blades.
  • Clear debris collection compartment.

9. Aipker Double-hole Pencil Sharpeners Kit – 4 Pieces 

Are you looking for a good quality but affordable set of pencil sharpeners? The Aipker Double-hole kit is worth looking at.

The set is composed of four units, which come in varying colors. The colors are bright and beautiful, so if you’re looking for sharpeners that your kids will find attractive, these will do.

Each unit is made of plastic material, and though colored, the material is see-through. That way, you get to monitor the level of the debris.

At the top, each sharpener has a lid attached. When you open it, you reveal two holes, each of which leads to a straight stainless steel blade.

One hole is smaller while the other is larger. With two hole sizes, you enjoy more freedom with regard to the pencil sizes you can sharpen.

When you get this product, you receive four sharpeners instead of one. That’s convenient in that you can keep one unit at school, another one at home, and perhaps keep one sharpener in your bag for on-the-go use.

Highlighted features:

  • Two holes of different sizes.
  • Stainless steel straight blade.
  • Colored see-through plastic body.

10. Deli Manual Pencil Sharpener

The last item on our review is a wonderful manual pencil sharpener for colored pencils and regular pencils. It makes a great choice for you if elegance is one of the aspects you’re looking for.

The item features a magnificent color with a see-through debris container. I don’t like that the color shipped is picked randomly, but on the brighter side, they ship beautiful colors such as blue and red.

At the top, the unit is fitted with a sturdy lid and has two holes cut into it. The holes are sized differently to make it possible for you to sharpen both thin and thick pencils.

Made of a plastic body, this tool is lightweight and easy to carry anywhere. You can put it in your bag or pocket when traveling.

The blade is made of stainless steel, and with its ratchet technology, and sharp nature, it works efficiently. Because of that, using this tool to sharpen your pencils is easy and comfortable.

Highlighted features:

  • Elegant design with an amazing color.
  • Two pencil holes for versatility.
  • See-through box for viewing the debris level.

Comparison Table of Top Manual Pencil Sharpener


Number of supported pencil sizes

Type of blade

See-through debris box


Hand crank

X-ACTO Ranger 1031 


















Staedtler ST 






Bostitch Manual Sharpener






Bostitch Office Twist-N












TGHCP Double Hole






Aipker Double-hole






Deli Manual Pencil Sharpener






Manual pencil Sharpener Buying Guide 

Whether you’re an artist, a teacher, an office worker, or a student, pencils are some of the tools you probably cannot do without.

By getting a high quality pencil sharpener, you get to keep your pencils sharp and ready to write or draw.

As you may already know, not just any sharpener out there will serve you well. Therefore, it’s essential to be careful when making your choice.

Well, here are some of the crucial factors to consider when looking for the best manual pencil sharpener.

Manual pencil sharpener Buying guide


When shopping for a good quality pencil sharpener, the first thing to consider is the material. Because you see, what the sharpener is made of will determine the amount of beating it can withstand.

A sharpener has two main parts – the body and the blade.

Usually, the body is made of either plastic or metal. Sharpeners with a plastic body are cheaper, so you may want to consider getting one if you’re on a budget. Another huge benefit is that plastic sharpeners can be see-through.

However, keep in mind that they aren’t long-lasting.

If you want a sharpener that is resilient to abuse, get one with a metal body. Such a unit will last much longer than one made of plastic.

When it comes to the blade material, you should stick to stainless steel. This material is strong and resistant to bending and rust. Moreover, stainless steel will not go blunt very fast.


Sharpeners are available in wide-ranging sizes. Some are so small that you can carry them in your pockets and take them anywhere, while others are too large to carry in that fashion.

When mulling over the right size, consider your needs. Typically, the ideal size is one that you can carry with ease.

Mounting type 

Most sharpeners are designed such that you have to hold them with one hand while operating the pencil with the other hand.

But did you know some sharpeners can be mounted to the wall or desk so that you don’t have to worry about supporting them?

Some models use a screw in the base while others use a vacuum suction cup. A screw in the base is a little more secure, but a vacuum mount is easier and quicker to detach.

Hole size and number 

The size of the hole on the sharpener determines the size of pencils you can sharpen. Therefore, be sure to pick the hole size carefully.

When talking about the hole size, I am referring to the diameter. A small size is about 6 to 8 mm while a large size is about 10 to 12 mm.

Some sharpeners come with multiple holes of varying sizes. These might be a great choice if you work with different pencil sizes.


There are various ways to categorize a manual pencil sharpener – by the number of holes, by the material, by the mounting type, and so on.

But there’s one way we haven’t looked at, which you might find useful – the type of blade involved.

There are two types of sharpeners based on this factor – straight-blade and helical-blade.

Straight-blade sharpeners are okay, but if you want high sharpening efficiency, a helical-blade sharpener would be a better choice. It sharpens quicker and neater.

People Also Asked

FAQs About Manual pencil sharpener

Do I really need a pencil sharpener?

There are various ways to sharpen a pencil – you can use a knife or a razor blade. However, using these tools is neither easy nor safe. If you want the easiest, quickest, and safest means to sharpen pencils, you’re better off with a sharpener.

Is an electric sharpener better?

An electric sharpener can be quite convenient, as you don’t need to use your strength to turn the pencil or the sharpener.

That said, it is not easy to control, and you can end up under or over-sharpening your pencil. When it comes to ease of control, a non electric pencil sharpener is better.

How long does a sharpener last?

The longevity of a sharpener depends on the blade’s sturdiness and the frequency of use. A regular sharpener with a straight stainless steel blade should last at least 8 months. A helical-blade sharpener can last years of use.

Why does the pencil lead keep breaking in the sharpener?

A dull blade can cause the lead to break. Therefore, if your sharpener is old, try replacing it to solve the issue. Otherwise, try turning the sharpener instead of the pencil.

Final Word

A portable pencil sharpener is a handy tool to have if you’re an artist, teacher, student, office worker, or someone that uses pencils.

With it, you will no longer struggle to keep your pencils sharp. And of course, using a sharpener is easier and safer than using a razor blade or knife.

When looking for the best manual pencil sharpener, ensure you consider the factors we’ve discussed above – the size, material, blade type, number of holes, and so on.

Well, I hope you’ve found the review helpful. Any model up there will serve you well.


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