Monday, 6 June 2011

Product Review: KUM Automatic Long Point Pencil Sharpener



ProductKUM Automatic Long Point Pencil Sharpener
Summary:  An excellent manual pencil sharpener for those who like their pencil leads to have a long point.  Made by a manufacturer with lot of experience in the manufacture of manual pencil sharpeners.  Recommended for occasional use.
Technical Details:
  • Two stage pencil sharpener
  • the first stage involves sharpening the wood in the left hand hole - this shapes the wood and produces a blunt point and an automatic brake prevents over-sharpening
  • The second stage involves sharpening in the right hand hole - this produces a fine and very sharp point
  • The best method for getting it to sharpen effectively is to hold the sharpener and the pencil horizontally
Who should buy this? Pencil artists working away from home and in need of a small instrument to produce a sharp pencil point.  As it's manual, there are better pencil sharpeners to use at home eg electric sharpener.
Who should not buy this? 
  • people who find manual sharpening tiresome
  • people wanting a heavy duty pencil sharpener (buy electric instead)
Highlights:
  • efficient process despite the two stages as it avoids repetitive sharpening to try and achieve a long sharp point
  • includes an auto-stop which prevents over-sharpening in the first stage
  • includes two spare blades
  • Top flips back easily to reveal pencil shavings
Think Again?
  • the container is not big and the design means it fills with wood shavings very quickly - which in turn compromises the sharpening.  If sharpening more than one or two pencils you'll also need a bag or another container for the shavings.  I'd recommend emptying after a couple of pencils.
  • watch out for very different prices quoted by different suppliers (ranging between $27.06 and £3.99 inc VAT).  If it looks too expensive try shopping online to find cheaper prices.
  • I've read some reviews of this sharpener which suggested that the second stage starts to break the lead after a while.  However since some of those reviews were also pitching other products I'd take this feedback with a pinch of salt.  I haven't encountered any problems so far - however it only gets occasional use (away from home) as I usually use my electric sharpener for heavy duty sharpening.
Manufacturer / Distributor:  KUM GmbH & Co KG Kunstoff- & Metallwarenfabrik - a leading supplier of school and office supplies
Essenbacher Str. 2, 91054 Erlangen, Germany
Email: kum@kum.net
Web: www.kum.net
Suppliers: 
  • purchased from independent art shops
  • Online Retailers include: Artifolk

Link:  More reviews of pencil sharpeners including recommended pencil sharpeners

14 comments:

The Bimbler said...

I have one of these excellent pencil sharpeners. I got mine online from
Cultpens.com

Katherine Tyrrell said...

The Cultpens website currently indicates that they have none in stock and don't expect more any time soon

The Bimbler said...

I did get mine at Cultpens a couple of years ago though.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

It's always disappointing when suppliers cease to stock an item.

Ontheroad said...

I was very (underlined) in this sharpener and had it replaced by the supplier because I thought I had a defective one. It doesn't hold up to some of KUM's other products or General's simple sharpeners.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Very...????

I don't think compares at all to ordinary sharpeners - but then it works in a completely different way.

If you don't want a long point, you're best off buying a different sharpener

Ontheroad said...

I should have typed slower or read before hitting send....very disappointed (disappointed omitted).

I bought the sharpener for the Blackwing pencils because it was the recommended sharpener.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Thought so!

Were you reading this on a review site - or one which was trying to sell pencils?

Ontheroad said...

I believe both. Of course, pencils.com had a video with their brand name on the sharpener, but I think I also read a review at one of the folks who often gets featured at http://www.penaddict.com/

I don't know if you have one, but if you were around the corner or within a short drive, I'd gift you mine.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

I'd take it off you! I like long points and have two of these!

However it takes twice as long to sharpen because of the process involved.

Until I understood how it worked - first one hole and then the other - I also thought it was a duff sharpener.

Ontheroad said...

Oh, I understood how it worked, but it ate the Blackwing and didn't get a sharp point.

I've now been sharpening them with another KUM, a General and a MAPES, all of which seem to get the point sharper and with less fuss.

But truth be told I have not tried to sharpen any other pencils with it. Perhaps I ought.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

If it didn't get a sharp point despite
1) getting a long lead in the first hole
2) sharpening the long lead in the second hole then you have indeed got a duff sharpener!

The best sharpener I know is this one http://makingamarkreviews.blogspot.com/2010/03/product-review-round-solid-brass-double.html

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Sorry - should have made it clear - that's as in "Best Hand Pencil Sharpener"

Ontheroad said...

Thanks. I'll get this one next. Alvin Products are general good quality. I see it on line and is easily available.

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