Since we were kids, we’ve always drawn and written a lot – and although pen looks nice and formal, there’s nothing quite like using pencil. Some say it’s old school, others say it’s simply for school.

But no matter what your stance on them, pencils are here to stay. Fun fact: there are more pencils used in the United States each year than there are grains of sand in San Diego. Can we verify that one? Not sure. But it sounds good.

Anyway, we have pencil sharpeners in two rooms in our home: the home office and the art room, which is where a lot of weird creative stuff happens. The home office is pretty straightforward, and the electric pencil sharpener we have in there just gets right down to business.

If you’re looking for the best sharpener, chances are good you already know the difference between using something sub-par and using something that’s above average, and that’s why you’re here. Turns out, that’s why we’re here too.

The Best Electric Pencil Sharpeners: 2016 Reviews

We’re big fans of the “buy once, cry once” philosophy. So sure, you might spend $25 or more on a pencil sharpener, but you’ll be able to sharpen so many pencils with that nice machine that your hands will start to hurt and you’ll be forced to where a carpal tunnel wrist brace at night, then pretty soon you wear it during the day too and people start to wonder what kind of hobbies you have that makes your wrist so fragile.

We digress. You can see the importance of a good sharpener, so we’ll leave it at that. When we were shopping around, we wanted something durable, consistent and quiet – there’s nothing we dislike more than a noisy sharpener, especially since we have two newborn babies at the time of this review. If you’re reading this in the future, they’re probably a little bit older but still, who wants a loud pencil sharpener?

To see our reviews for the best electric pencil sharpeners for home, office or artist use, check out the detailed breakdown below.

What to Look for in Your Electric Pencil Sharpener

  • Sharpening power: let’s be real: we’re here to sharpen some pencils. So you’ll want to find something that gets you as sharp or as dull as you want to be. If you’re all about the sharp tips, go with a sharpener that’s geared more toward home use. On the other hand, classroom sharpeners that may be more focused on safety may only offer sharpened points that are still rounded in order to make them safer for students. There are also sharpeners that have different options for everything in between.
  • Quietness: no one wants to spend their day listening to pencils being sharpened, unless you’re into that sort of thing and in which case, good for you. But for the most part, users want to find a sharpener that isn’t going to sound like a small vacuum on your desk.
  • Durability and consistency: if you’re sharpening pencils consistently, you’ll want something that’s going to be around for a while. Pencil sharpeners are made to go through thousands of pencils, but some die out sooner than others. Choose according to your needs – if you’re the occasional sharpener, you may be able to get away with a more basic, entry-level machine.
  • Good motor life: the motor is what powers an electric sharpener, so you’ll want to know that you’re buying something that will be around for a while. Check out reviews from users and look at manufacturer specs if you’re concerned about the lifespan of the motor in your sharpener.
  • Classroom safety: classrooms across the country use pencil sharpeners to keep their students sharp as well, and with that comes a host of safety issues. So if you’re using a sharpener specifically for a classroom setting, be sure to find one that has safety features like an auto-stop, or one that doesn’t create such a sharp point.
  • Functionality: some sharpeners come with features like multiple pencil opening sizes, and some may also double as pencil  holders or office decor. If you’re into something functional, be sure to review what each one offers and make a decision that will positively impact your life. The decision is yours and yours alone.

Avalon Electronic Pencil Sharpener

Best Overall Electric Pencil Sharpener

best electric pencil sharpeners school home artistsNothing makes us more irritated than an electric pencil sharpener that only does a half-you-know-what job.

That’s why we like the Avalon Electronic Pencil Sharpener so much. It’s often considered the Clydesdale of pencil sharpeners, and for good reason.

The sharpener uses titanium blades that, if they were used for finger cutting, would cut off so many fingers that there would be an epidemic of people walking around finger-less, but no one would mind because they would all be so impressed with the finger cutting prowess of the Avalon.

Luckily, this isn’t the case, and instead we focus on sharpening pencils. This bad boy has an auto-stop feature, and a nice big clear storage compartment for pencil sheddings. You may wonder why we call them sheddings instead of shavings, and the reason is that we like to think of pencils as little animals and the stuff that comes off of them as fur or hair, so it makes us laugh to say sheddings instead of shavings. But it’s all really the same thing.

The Avalon comes in black, pink and green, so you can choose one that meets (or goes against) gender norms, or find something neutral for the kids belonging to all those Milennial parents that are just so into that sort of thing. Anyway.

It may not be as sleek as some of the other sharpeners, but we’ve found that after many hours of use, the blades are still sharp and the machine still spits out pencils just like it was new. Because of its consistent performance over time and quality construction, the Avalon is our top pick.

Quotes from Reviews

“Lets get right to the point ~ this product is fast, efficient and does the job right!”

“It worked very well. I sharpened to a nice point without taking half the pencil like many pencil sharpeners I used have done and the price was good. If you have Prime you can get it in two days. I would recommend this pencil sharpener.”

“When I first used this, I think I ran It consistently for over 5 minutes, as I had a lot of pencils to sharpen. I have over 150. It worked great. Motor gave no sign of stress.”

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X-Acto School Pro Heavy-Duty Electric Sharpener (1670)

The Best Electric Pencil Sharpener for School Classrooms & Teachers

best electric pencil sharpeners for school classroom home

Just when you think you know everything about pencil sharpeners, BOOM – here comes X-Acto out of right field.

We say right field because left field would suggest that it came out of nowhere, but really they’ve been making great machines for a while now, so by saying right field, we sort of mean it’s new (-ish) to us, but they’ve been here before. This isn’t their first pencil sharpening rodeo.

The 1670 is great because it offers a few different sizes for all sorts of pencils, which is handy if you’re a teacher or artist who uses a variety of penciling utensils.

One of the main benefits of the 1670 is that it produces slightly rounded tips, although they are still sharp. What this means is that if you are a teacher or someone else responsible for making sure students don’t stab themselves or others, this can make your job slightly easier by making it slightly more difficult for a pencil stabbing to occur. Though there’s always a chance, no matter how blunt the object.

This sharpener was made specifically for classrooms, and includes a larger than average storage area for pencil shavings, so that it doesn’t need to be emptied out as often as other electric sharpeners. It’s quiet and handles a variety of materials, including wood and composite, so that no matter what kind of pencils you’re little freak kids are using, chances are good that this bad boy will sharpen them.

The X-Acto also protects against over-sharpening, and its wide base make its sturdy and great to use for kids.

Quotes from Reviews

“It sharpens really fast and great. It doesn’t eat up the pencils.”

“I haven’t had this pencil sharpener long, but it is great so far. I haven’t had any trouble. I would purchase one for any teacher friend.”

“Every teacher knows that pencils can make or break their day. This pencil sharpener has made my days easier!”

“This sharpener sharpens equally and evenly each time without breaking the pencils. A great purchase overall.”

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School Smart Vertical Pencil Sharpener

best electric pencil sharpeners for school classroom home

We wanted to mix things up a bit so here’s a vertical sharpener from School Smart that is focused on power sharpening.

Unlike the larger sharpeners, this one has to be emptied out a little more often, but in exchange, you get extremely sharpened pencils that are ready to draw, write or do whatever it is you do with pencils.

It’s not recommended as much for classroom settings because of its size and sharpness rating, but it’s perfect for the artist or home office worker who needs consistently sharp pencils, all the time.

Also, it’s a great space saver for those who have tight desk quarters or just need something small and sleek. It gets 5 star reviews more than 75% of the time on Amazon, making it one of the highest rated electric sharpeners out there.

Quotes from Reviews

“I would recommend this sharpener to anyone who uses standard pencils. (It does not adjust for wider, early childhood-type pencils.)”

“The School Smart Vertical Pencil Sharpener works well and quickly (just a few seconds) to sharpen dull pencils, brand new, unsharpened ones, and colored pencils. The points come out sharp, and do not break with normal writing pressure.”

“It is quieter, takes less time to sharpen and doesn’t overheat quickly. It stops grinding the pencil tip when sharpened, even in the hands of ‘helpful’ ram-that-pencil-home type students.”

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OfficeGoods Electric & Battery Operated Pencil Sharpener

Best Electric Pencil Sharpener for Home Office Use

best electric pencil sharpeners for school classroom home

If reliability and consistency are your big things in life, you’ll probably enjoy the OfficeGoods pencil sharpener.

Is it winning any design awards? Probably not. But is it sharpening literally thousands of pencils every day across the country? Most likely, though we don’t have exact statistics.

The OfficeGoods sharpener prides itself on consistent sharp points and overall performance, and it gives you several options for how sharp you want things to get.

It’s a classroom favorite because it’s a no-frills machine that gets to the point (excuse the pun). It’s also extremely convenient for moving around – it can be powered by batteries, an A/C adapter and even a USB cord. So even if you’re in the middle of nowhere and need sharp pencils, the OfficeGoods sharpener can do its thing. Assuming you have some batteries.

The only thing that doesn’t charge this pencil sharpener is solar power, wind power, coal and mind-energy. But that’s a whole other conversation.

Best of all, OfficeGoods offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and we have no reason to doubt that this is real. So if you want something you know will be around for you, your kids and potentially your grandkids, then the OfficeGoods electric pencil sharpener may be your best bet. We can totally picture you and your family in the future using this thing, even at a time when pencils are just not really in style anymore, but they are just there sort of hanging out the way a lot of things (and people) from the ’90s do.

Quotes from Reviews

“Excellent. Compact, quiet, cordless (unless you want to use a cord — you can use it either way).”

“This is a very good sharpener with some great features. It is quieter than I expected and pretty small but feels very solid…”

“I did not plan on spending $30 + dollars for a pencil sharpener (not even close) but when I saw the list of features on this model and read the number of positive reviews I thought I would give it a try. Glad I did.”

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School Smart Electric Pencil Sharpener

Best Electric Pencil Sharpener for Artists

best electric pencil sharpeners for school classroom home

If you’ve paid any attention to recent Amazon trending books or cultural trends in general, you may have seen that adult coloring books are all the rage and seem to be the only way grown people can get out their stress in a natural, healthy way. God speed people.

For those of you who are into the adult coloring book stuff, or if you have kids that really love colored pencil sharpeners, the School Smart Electric Pencil Sharpener may be the way to go.

It can sharpen any pencil like a pro, but it does particularly well with colored pencils, which makes it a great sharpener for artists and school kids who color a lot.

This one also comes with a pack of pencils so you have something to start with.

The beauty of this sharpener is also in its ease of use. It has an automatic stop so that your pencils will never go beyond what they need to in terms of sharpness, and it has a wide base so that it won’t tip, which is especially helpful if its used in a classroom or other setting with lots of small clumsy people who still haven’t perfected their motor skills.

It also prevents itself from overheating, so you won’t have any of the issues that makes today’s hoverboards so dangerous. In fact, these pencil sharpeners may go so far as to be “not dangerous,” under normal use.

If you’re looking for a standard workhorse, this is your pencil sharpener. Good for kids, good for adults and built to last. Also has enough features that it’s easy to use for just about anyone, even grandma, the one who is still getting used to this new fangled idea of colored pencils to begin with.

She’s sort of the traditionalist who thinks that if it’s not a standard number two pencil, she doesn’t want it in her hands. And we can’t blame her, though we would try to convince her that things are different now. But we all know how those conversations end.

Quotes from Reviews

“This is a solid product that I recommend highly. It’s a real workhorse. Heavy and sturdy on the table, and the auto-stop feature is great.”

“I bought this pencil sharpener for my first grade classroom. I have had lots of others that didn’t last very long, so I am very happy with this one.”

“Wife is a teacher for 14 years and thought it was a bit of heaven in her classroom.”

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Nil-Tech Portable Fully Automatic Vertical Electric Pencil Sharpener

best electric pencil sharpeners for school classroom home

This pencil sharpener is your basic “do it all” machine. Nothing in particular stands out, but it offers a little bit of everything, so if you’re concerned with safety, convenience, options and durability, this one ranks high on all accounts.

The company offers a full guarantee, and the sharpener features many of the same safety benefits as the others – auto-stop, prevention of too-sharp points and so on.

So what makes this one of our top picks? More than 90% of all the Amazon reviews give it 5 stars, which makes it one of the highest rated electric pencil sharpeners ever. We’re talking all-time.

So although it’s not blowing anyone away with one particular feature, it offers an all-around pencil sharpening experience that seems to impress a lot of users, and who are we to disagree?

Quotes from Reviews

“This is a very good sharpener with some great features. It is quieter than I expected and pretty small but feels very solid…”

“The 3 different point selections is cherry on top and works well. You don’t buy a pencil sharpener often, but when you do you need to consider cost vs. performance and convenience. Is it worth $10-$15 more than other sharpeners? I think so, and you have warranty to try it with peace on mind.”

“This will be such a time-saver! I sharpened about 30 pencils before I had to empty the shavings chamber. Even sharpening pencil after pencil without a pause the unit never got warm. I’m so happy with this sharpener.”

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Did we miss an electric pencil sharpener that you recommend?

Let us know! Or check out more reviews, including the best hot glue guns for crafts, the best calligraphy pens for beginners or the best guillotine paper cutters.