The 8 Best Electric Pencil Sharpeners for School and Class

By Editorial Staff •  Updated: 05/27/22 •  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 were the one doing the sharpening. These days however electric pencil sharpeners have replaced manual ones, and for good reason. They are faster, easier to use, and more precise.

In this guide we 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 right 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 pretty mundane purchase, there are a few important aspects to consider when purchasing an electric pencil sharpener for your classroom or perhaps 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. Is it going to stay on your desk permanently, or are you planning on taking it with you? Consider a bigger, more durable model that can serve many students in a classroom setting, just be aware that larger devices are not going to be portable.

Available adjustments

Did you know that on a lot of electric sharpeners you’re able to set how sharp the pencils come out? From sharp, medium, or blunt degrees in electric pencil sharpeners, be aware if 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 want as sharp as possible for precise writing or drawing.

Safety features

In particular when dealing with children, you’ll want to make sure your device comes with some common sense safety features. Things like an auto-stop mechanisms 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 quite affordable so if you need to make a bulk order it won’t be too costly and next we found the adjustable, rotary pencil slots to be appropriate for more classroom activities. From fat, graphite pencils to your boring standard no 2 yellow pencils, this device can handle it all.

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 on the inside and that all important auto-stop motor for safety purposes. Last it comes with a big waste storage bin that is easily removable and a power adapter to plug into a wall socket. This sharpener in not battery operated however, so if you need something more portable we would consider something else.

X-ACTO Pencil Sharpener – Expensive but reliable

If you’re looking for a pencil sharpener for personal use as a teacher then this is X-ACTO is a bit excessive. However, for a classroom with 20+ plus students using it everyday then it is well worth the cost. Mid range sharpeners are adequate for most but in a classroom environment they do tend to break down after 6 months to a year with repeated daily use.

That’s why we love the X-ACTO model so much for a classroom use. While it does have one hole, it is designed in a way to accommodate different size pencils so you don’t end up with a weird, difficult to use cut. Making 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 for 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 on a daily basis. One feature that also stood out with this electric pencil sharpener was it’s “auto stop” so that you don’t mow down your pencil by accident or by a student who is misbehaving.

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

X-ACTO Crayon Pro Electric crayon sharpener – Surprisingly useful

Yes we know this is not exactly a pencil sharpener, but for any school teacher with young learners in the classroom your students will love how helpful this crayon sharpener is. The X-ACTO Crayon Pro Electric Crayon Sharpener is the most effective crayon sharpener we’ve used. 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 stylepencils 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 classrooms that need a high-quality pencil sharpener!

Last, tt 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 ore student jam the pencil in to hard. It also comes with foot pads at the bottom which are non-slip to make it easier to sharpen.

Riyo Sharpener – Small pencil sharpener for home

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

Instead, it’s more ideal if you as a teacher in your home office need a reliable, cost effective pencil sharpener for everyday use. This model is also portable in that it can be battery powered if you like or you can use the included adapter and plug it into a wall socket. Last, thing little device is annoyingly loud. Fine 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 with easy. 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 to use.

Please note that this electric pencil sharpener is battery powered only and of low build quality. It’s not exactly built to last more than 2 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 great stand alone device for personal use in your home office on on your desk at school. It’s little device with a good motor and a bin built in to collect shavings. One quirk of this device is you need to apply a bit of force to get the motor to activate and actually 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 harder than other sharpeners, we did have one pencil get stuck to some degree. Not a big deal as we’re adults but for a young learner using this pencil sharpener we definitely 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 it comes to 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. You also need to think about how often you’ll be using it and whether or not you want a portable model that is battery powered. We hope our list of the best electric pencil sharpeners has given you some ideas on what to look for when making your purchase. Keep these tips in mind and happy sharpening.

Editorial Staff

The editorial Staff at Teach and GO is a team of teachers with a broad range of experience led by David Unwin. We have been creating helpful advice, guides and tutorials for teachers since 2018.