The 8 Best Electric Pencil Sharpeners for School and Class

By Editorial Staff •  Updated: 05/27/23 •  Teaching Tools

Do you remember the sound of a pencil being sharpened by hand? It was one of the most satisfying sounds in the world, especially if you did the sharpening. However, electric pencil sharpeners have replaced manual ones for a good reason. They are faster, easier to use, and more precise.

This guide will discuss eight of the best electric pencil sharpeners on the market today. We will also provide a buyer’s guide to help you choose the suitable electric sharpener for your school and classroom. In general, we strongly suggest increasing your budget beyond mid-range sharpeners as they tend to break after a year and degrade in quality due to being used by multiple students daily.

Key things to consider

While this is a mundane purchase, there are a few critical aspects to consider when purchasing an electric pencil sharpener for your classroom or a bulk order for your entire school. Here are what we suggest taking a quick moment to consider:

Durability and size

Consider how and where you’ll use it day to day. Will it stay on your desk permanently, or will you take it with you? Consider a bigger, more durable model that can serve many students in a classroom setting; just be aware that larger devices will be something other than portable.

Available adjustments

Did you know that on many electric sharpeners, you can set how sharp the pencils come out? From sharp, medium, or blunt degrees in electric pencil sharpeners, be aware that the pencil sharpener you’re looking at has the available adjustments to match your preferences and class. Art students who work with colored pencils, for example, generally want blunted points, but for sketches, you’ll wish to be as sharp as possible for precise writing or drawing.

Safety features

In particular, when dealing with children, you’ll want to ensure your device has some common sense safety features. Things like an auto-stop mechanism when the pencil is sharp enough so your students don’t waste material or break the machine by jamming the pencil in too hard.

Linkyo -Heavy duty and cost effective

For the price, we found the Linkyo model to be the most useful for teachers. First, it is affordable, so it won’t be too costly if you need to make a bulk order. Next, we found the adjustable rotary pencil slots appropriate for more classroom activities. This device can handle everything from fat, graphite pencils to your dull standard no-two-yellow pencils.

We describe this as heavy duty because it has surprisingly good build quality given the price point and can handle everyday use from students. It has an ultra helical steel blade inside and an all-important auto-stop motor for safety. Last; it has a big, easily removable waste storage bin and a power adapter to plug into a wall socket. However, this sharpener is not battery operated, so if you need something more portable, we would consider something else.

X-ACTO Pencil Sharpener – Expensive but reliable

This X-ACTO is a bit excessive if you’re looking for a pencil sharpener for personal use as a teacher. However, it is well worth the cost for a classroom with 20+ plus students using it every day. Mid-range sharpeners are adequate for most, but in a classroom environment, they break down after six months to a year with repeated daily use.

That’s why we love the X-ACTO model so much for classroom use. While it has one hole, it is designed to accommodate different size pencils so you don’t end up with a weird, difficult-to-use cut. It makes the lead portion of the pencil long and too brittle. This machine works, is quite reliable, consistent, and easy to clean.

ZMOL Electric Pencil Sharpener – The elementary option

This sharpener is designed with the elementary school teacher in mind. With a cute, fun, and friendly design of a cat, you can easily sharpen pencils in under 5 seconds and clean the device by pulling out the tray. It’s designed like the X-ACTO for heavy use daily. One feature that also stood out with this electric pencil sharpener was its “auto stop” so that you don’t mow down your pencil by accident or by a misbehaving student.

With a whimsical design of a cat but enough build quality and features to last, the ZMOL electric pencil sharpener is an excellent choice for a class with young learners. You can also set how sharp you want the pencils to be, which is essential for small children you want to allow a bit more independence for.

X-ACTO Crayon Pro Electric crayon sharpener – Surprisingly useful

Yes, we know this is not precisely a pencil sharpener, but for any school teacher with young learners, your students will love how helpful this crayon sharpener is. The X-ACTO Crayon Pro Electric Crayon Sharpener is our most effective crayon sharpener. First, because it’s electric and not manual, it has an advantage over other crayon sharpeners by allowing for greater precision.

This sharpener will reshape crayons without breaking them into pieces. This crayon sharpener has a blade that only cuts crayons (it can’t be used for pencils, we tried it does not work), which helps to preserve your crayons for coloring activities. Furthermore, this device includes an extra blade cartridge and a handy cleaning brush that may be used after each sharpening.

Finally, it peels back the paper wrapper of the crayons and stores the shavings in a container so you can easily throw them away or make them into melted crayon art.

AFMAT Electric Pencil Sharpener – A good mid range option

This heavy-duty electric pencil sharpener is a must-have for teachers who need to use a pencil sharpener frequently. It can sharpen your No. 2 style pencils or colored pencils to a perfect and durable point in only five seconds. Professional automated pencil sharpener with a heavy-duty helical blade; just be careful not to push the pencil too hard when sharpening, or the safety feature of the device will turn on and not sharpen your pencils.

The high-quality blades and sharpener are faster, more durable, and stronger than any other helical blade sharpener since it has a larger and more powerful helical blade and accompanying motor. It’s the ideal mid-range electric pencil sharpener for classrooms that need a high-quality pencil sharpener!

Last, it has two safety features. The first is that it stops working when the shavings box is taken out or not tightly closed; next, it shuts off sharpening when it becomes too hot or if you or a student jam the pencil in too hard. It also comes with non-slip foot pads at the bottom to make it easier to sharpen.

Riyo Sharpener – Small pencil sharpener for home

The Riyo model is a small, lightweight electric pencil sharpener that is good for personal use or if you’re a home tutor. As it is small and light, you’ll need to put one hand on the device to hold it down when sharpening; we can’t recommend this for classroom use with young learners.

Instead, it’s ideal if youneed a reliable, cost-effective pencil sharpener for everyday use as a teacher in your home office. This model is also portable because it can be battery-powered, or you can use the included adapter and plug it into a wall socket. Last, thing little device is annoyingly loud. OK, for your home office, a distraction in a classroom setting.

Aogwat – The battery powered choice

This Aogwat portable sharpener is ideal if you need a device to move around the classroom quickly. Say you put your students in different groups to work on an art project using pencils; it could be disruptive to have your students getting up to use the pencil sharpener and getting distracted. Instead, you can place this small device on the table for your students.

So that you know, this electric pencil sharpener is battery-powered only and of low build quality. It’s not built to last more than two years, but for the price and the use case behind this sharpener, we still think it is a good buy for the right person.

Bostitch – Personal Electric Pencil Sharpener

Last on the list is the Bostitch electric pencil sharpener, a tremendous stand-alone device for personal use in your home office on your desk at school. It’s a little device with a good motor and a bin builtto collect shavings. One quirk of this device is you need to apply a bit of force to activate the motor and sharpen the pencil. You’ll feel like you’re potentially damaging the sharpener, but this is how this model works.

Because you have to push the pencils in a bit more complicated than other sharpeners, we had one pencil stuck to some degree. Not a big deal as we’re adults, but for a young learner using this pencil sharpener, we could see them breaking this machine inadvertently.

Overall a great electric pencil sharpener for the price, Bostitch makes good home office supplies. However, due to the quirks of this sharpener we don’t suggest it for younger learners given the other options.

Best electric pencil sharpeners conclusion

When choosing the best electric pencil sharpener for your needs, there are a few factors you’ll want to keep in mind. The most important is what type of pencils you’ll be using it with, the safety features built, and the overall durability.

Some sharpeners work better with thinner pencils, while others can handle thicker ones. It would be best if you also thought about how often you’ll be using it and whether you want a battery-powered portable model. We hope our list of the best electric pencil sharpeners has given you some ideas on what to look for when purchasing. Keep these tips in mind, and happy sharpening.

Editorial Staff

I'm David Unwin and I head the editorial staff here at Teach and GO. I've taught as an ESL teacher in Thailand for 5+ years at all levels of education, from elementary to University. I was also one of the first 1000 VIPKID teachers. I and my team now share my extensive experience as a teacher here at Teach and GO. Learn more.