Friday, September 20, 2013

Classroom Friendly Supplies Pencil Sharpener Review

So today I have a rather different review for you, as you could probably tell from the title.  Since starting my art class, I've been desperate for a good pencil sharpener.  Up until now, I've been sharpening pencils four times a day with a little hand sharpener, which has not been the most convenient way to do things. :}  The old crank-handled sharpener has probably been there since I was in school and needs to be fixed, and the electric sharpeners in the classroom don't work very well.  

My ever thoughtful Hubby decided he wanted to find me a good classroom pencil sharpener for my birthday, so he immediately started researching pencil sharpeners online.  The one he was most satisfied with was the pencil sharpener produced by Classroom Friendly Supplies.  Designed by an elementary teacher, these pencil sharpeners were made to offer a quieter, more effective classroom sharpener.

When Hubby was showing me the sharpener, we saw that there was an opportunity to do a blog review (you can get more information about that HERE).  So all that to say, I'm reviewing a pencil sharpener today instead of a doll or toy. :}  However, I thought that this post might still be relevant to some of my readers.  And depending on the response to this post, I may do additional art supply reviews every once in a while. :)

Buttershy thought that she should make an appearance to keep with the overall blog theme (you'll see more of her later).  She was very impressed with how well the sharpener matched her hair. ;)

Once removed from the shipping box, the pencil sharpener comes in a clear plastic box.

The sharpener itself is in plastic packaging.  It also comes with an extra accessory to help attach it to a counter or desk.

There is a little piece of paper in the drawer that has (I'm assuming) the item number on it.  I selected the pink sharpener, but they also come in blue, green, black, or red.

Here's a closer look at the front of the sharpener.

There is a clear plastic drawer underneath the sharpener that catches the pencil shavings.

There are two tabs at the top of the sharpener.

When you squeeze the tabs together, the pencil hole opens fully, allowing you to put the pencil in.  When you let go of the tabs, they keep the pencil in place.  

Here are views of the sides, the back, and the bottom:

And here's a closer look at the extra gadget that helps the pencil sharpener to attach. 

Once I had my sharpener all set up, I decided it was time to give it a try.  I'd recently purchased several packages of Dixon pencils at the school clearances at Walmart (I've been supplying the pencils for art), so these were on hand for the trial.  As far as inexpensive pencils go, I've been very pleased with the Dixon brand (although I can't help thinking of Jane Austen's "Emma" every time I use them). ;)  Plus, getting a pack of eight pencils for forty seven cents is a pretty nice deal. :}

So here is the pencil unsharpened. 

Okay, I would like to preface this next part with the fact that I am NOT mechanically inclined, and there were no instructions whatsoever that came with this sharpener.  I also have not used a pencil sharpener of this style before.  :}

I put the pencil in, gripped it with the tab thingees, and tried to sharpen it.  And this was the result:

I knew that something had to be wrong, especially with all of the glowing reviews my husband had talked about, so I checked the box to remind myself of the name of the company and then Googled it to find their site.  Once I'd found it, I was relieved to see this extremely helpful page HERE, which demonstrates how to use the sharpener and how to remove lead from the blades.

"Oh, so you pull this metal thingee out!" :}

Once you pull the metal part out, you use the tabs to hold the pencil in place.

Then, you press down on the top of the sharpener to keep it from traveling and wind the handle to sharpen the pencil.  (Side note here:  I borrowed Oldest Gal's hands for this picture.  It's rather uncanny how much her hands look like mine.) :)

And here is the pencil, beautifully sharpened.  I thought I should mention that there is a definite difference in the sound of the sharpener when the pencil is completely sharpened, making it very easy to tell when to remove the pencil.

When the sharpening is over, you simply push up on the top metal portion and it will go back in.

And now you can empty the shavings.

The drawer comes out all the way for easy disposal.

And now for the extra piece.  The curved part goes into this hole at the bottom of the sharpener. 

Once it's pushed all the way in... can adjust the plastic piece to accommodate the width of the desk or counter.  Then you can use the metal part to tighten it.  (No laughing, people...I know that metal thing has a name, but I don't remember what it is.) :}

Buttershy was so excited to see this newfangled contraption, she had to try it for herself. ;)

It was a little difficult getting the pencil in on her own... I had to help her a bit. ;)

Sharpening, sharpening...

Time to survey her handiwork.

Ta-da!  A perfectly sharpened pencil!

Buttershy approves of this product. ;)

As far as my own thoughts, I was very pleased with this sharpener...once I figured out how it actually worked. ;)  I am excited for art class next pencil sharpening will be a lot quicker and a lot easier. :)  I also may have to pick up another of these for home at some point...we're always searching for our little sharpeners around the house.   

The only thing I would suggest to the company is either including a basic instruction sheet for the mechanically challenged like myself, or at least a little sheet of paper with the website address on it so we can get more information.  Once I watched the how-to video, I had absolutely no problems.  

I realize this wouldn't be an issue for everyone.  My husband would be able to look at this and figure it out by himself. :}  However, I'm sure there have to be at least a few people out there like me who need just a little bit more direction. :)  Granted, most people who purchase one of these will have seen the website and already know how to work it from that.  I did notice, though, that there is an option for a "School Special", where you can by thirty six sharpeners at a time.  I would assume that some of the teachers who got them in a bundle like that might like to have a little more information before using their sharpeners.

That is literally my only complaint, however.  I am thrilled with the ease and convenience of this pencil sharpener and will definitely be recommending it to the other teachers at the school. :)

I'd like to thank Classroom Friendly Supplies for giving me the opportunity to review their product.  

I received this as a free sample product from Classroom Friendly Supplies.  All opinions and ideas expressed are my own.


BlackKitty said...

Lucky kids in your class! We had to bring our own sharpeners to school - reason why I only use mechanical pencils except for coloured drawing.

Nina said...

It is really hard to find a good working pencil sharpener. I can't find one anywhere! But I'll keep an eye out for this one!

Thanks to your Disney Store Belle review, I just got her here in Disney World! She's a little different, mainly her dress and shoes, but I LOVE her! Thanks for such a great review!

beastsbelle said...

In some classes, that has been the case, BlackKitty. This year is a little different because the teachers are supplying all of the pencils.

I've found that I enjoy using regular pencils for drawing, especially when it comes to shading. They do go dull pretty quickly, though. :} I'm very happy to finally have a good sharpener.

I would definitely recommend it when you're ready for a good one, Nina. :)

Congrats on your Disney World Belle. I've seen pictures of the new one (I have the older Disney World edition, purchased from eBay) I love her dress!! :)