« Craigslist! for iPhone | Home | BehindTheMedspeak: Real-time X-ray speech analysis »

October 27, 2011

My new favorite pencil sharpener


Panasonic has stopped selling its iconic battery-powered model KP-4A in the U.S., as best I can determine, and anyway I've been growing increasingly disenchanted by the noise and poor job the device sometimes does.

So I had my crack research team drill down — as it were, in this case — and see what's out there in the manual small sharpener space.

After ordering about six different models, I settled on the KUM Long Point Pencil Sharpener (above and below).


It's different than the others in two respects:

1. It has two holes — #1, labeled as such, trims the wooden barrel, and #2 hones the point (below).


2. It has an automatic brake built-in so you don't waste time and lead after you've achieved a perfect point.

Because besides being great fun to use, and silent, it produces a fantastically good point.


There's also a nice clear lift-up lid to easily empty shavings.


Highly recommended.

But don't take my word for it: turns out Clive Thompson fell in love with the tool long before I twigged, calling it "the best pencil sharpener I've ever used in my life"; Mark Frauenfelder featured Thompson's love-in on Boing Boing earlier this year, with not one but two (2) videos in which the sharpener struts its stuff.


It costs $4.10.


October 27, 2011 at 11:01 AM | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference My new favorite pencil sharpener:


Then again I shall buy many of them for my customers as christmas gifts, thank you Joe.

Posted by: Frisky | Oct 27, 2011 11:52:48 PM

There is just no living without one after reading this post.

Posted by: Frisky | Oct 27, 2011 11:48:28 PM

I seem to lose focus of the topic when Grey Cat is in the picture.

I love his cameo appearances.

Posted by: Joe Peach | Oct 27, 2011 11:23:40 PM

Avogadro, you're wonderful!

Posted by: Flautist | Oct 27, 2011 6:08:47 PM

ER, Smith - graphite pencil and acid-free paper have a proven record of archival survival of 446 years (correcting the Julian calendar date of 1565 to comport with the Gregorian calendar presently in use), See, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pencil#Discovery_of_graphite_deposit

You got a Hollerith card reader handy? Automated punch card readers date back to 1896 and mechanical card sorters to the 1700's http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punched_card

How about a nine track tape (1964) reader? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9_track_tape

Winchester drive (1973)? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winchester_drive#IBM_3340

12", 8", 5 1/4" or 3.5" floppy drives handy?

Most modern inks are subject to UV degradation and can fade in mere weeks when exposed to direct sunlight. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ink

So, pencil and paper are proven 21st - 25th century technology. Name your computing archive format that equals or betters that time frame.

Posted by: 6.02*10^23 | Oct 27, 2011 5:12:54 PM

Any good pencil sharpener will benefit from periodically having it's cutter(s) sharpened-
Even old style crank sharpeners can be rehoned to do a quality job once more.

Posted by: Julian | Oct 27, 2011 2:49:14 PM

That's why I like the internet. I get to see what still possesses the mind of all you old fogeys from the twentieth century.

HA HA a "pencil" wtf?

Posted by: Smith | Oct 27, 2011 2:36:16 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.