The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews
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Purple Pencil Sharpener Review by Christy SchaeferClassroom Friendly Supplies
339 Pilot Church Road
Pinnacle, NC 27043
Often in our quest to provide the best homeschooling experience for our children we overlook the smaller items that help our days flow smoother. However, the little details are those which often can make or break our homeschooling day.
Personally, my teenage daughter and I have struggled with finding writing utensils and pencil sharpeners that fit our needs. The number of times we have stopped a lesson to sharpen a pencil, only to have it break incessantly in the sharpener, cannot be counted. We've tried hand sharpeners, battery operated, and corded electrical sharpeners that are, honestly, a pain when she schools all around the house. We had given up on having decently sharpened writing pencils and our colored pencils were in a perpetual state of dullness. That is until we tried the Purple Pencil Sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies.
When you first see the Purple Pencil Sharpener, it looks like an updated version of the old metal wall-mounted sharpeners, and that is basically what it is. Yet it is so much more than the sharpeners of old. The first change we noticed was a clear plastic lower section encased in the all-around metal frame of the sharpener which allows you to see how full the shaving compartment is. Then on further inspection, you see that the clear portion is actually a shavings drawer that easily slides out for quick emptying. Disassembly of the sharpener to empty out the pencil shavings is no longer needed and I have never seen a sharpener that empties so cleanly.
The Purple Pencil Sharpener has a large metal crank with plastic hand grips on the back side, like what you would expect from the old-fashioned sharpeners. The size and positioning of the crank make it easy to hold and use. The base of the sharpener comes with four gripper feet for use on a desk, or you can attach the included metal and plastic clamp through a bottom hole to stabilize the sharpener on the edge of a desk, counter, or bookshelf. Honestly, we found the sharpener to be perfectly stable without the clamp and loved the additional portability possible when the sharpener wasn't tightened to a surface.
Still, the main attraction for this Purple Pencil Sharpener is the unique way it holds the pencil during sharpening. Two black squeeze knobs sit at the top allowing the face of the sharpener to slide out on metal rods. After inserting your pencil into the face and through to the main sharpener, all you have to do is crank and let the sharpener do the rest. The sliding face holds the pencil in place perfectly, without any effort from the user. Literally, all the user needs to do is crank. The pencil is guided forward as needed and stays tightly in the sharpener.
When finished sharpening, release the pencil with those same knobs on the top and pull out your pencil. It's as easy as can be! Like any other manual pencil sharpener, you can tell when your pencil is fully sharpened by the amount of resistance felt during cranking. But let me tell you, I've never seen any type of sharpener that can achieve these results! This fantastic Purple Pencil Sharpener creates the sharpest point I've ever seen on a pencil, and even sharpens the cheaper novelty pencils with ease. We have yet to find a pencil in our house that could not be sharpened on the first attempt.
My daughter is especially thankful for this uniquely designed pencil sharpener since she has limited strength and grip ability in her hands due to a connective tissue disease. With this sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies, she no longer has to hold the pencil while trying to keep sufficient pressure to ensure a decent point on the pencil. All she needs to do is insert the pencil with a squeeze of the two knobs and then turn the large crank – all things she can still do with ease.
The Purple Pencil Sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies is a bargain at $24.99, especially considering the cost of the many ineffective sharpeners we have collecting dust around our house. Although the use of the sharpener seems fairly intuitive, Classroom Friendly Supplies has a page of sharpener support on their website with usage videos, clamp instructions, and information on how to change the fully encased sharpening blade. This sharpener is a must have for our homeschool.
-Product review by Christy Schaefer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November, 2016