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)
  • 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
  • purchased from independent art shops
  • Online Retailers include: Artifolk

Link:  More reviews of pencil sharpeners including recommended pencil sharpeners
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