Manual vs. Mechanical Sharpening

So why on earth would anyone sharpen a pencil by hand. I mean, other than as an artisinal pencil sharpener?

Well, if you haven’t tried it before you should.


First, you get a point that is the shape and thickness that you want. If you are looking for the greatest possible efficiency, you can just carve away the wood to expose the graphite and not waste any. A hand sharpened point tends to have sides rather than be round, which actually enables writing with a finer point because of the corners.

Second, it’s satisfying to do, if a bit messy. It takes longer than using a sharpener, but because the resultant point lasts so much longer I believe it may be a wash over the long haul.

Third, it’s portable. Ok, maybe not for air travel, but a pocketknife is easy to carry and serves a lot of purposes.

Fourth, you can sharpen any pencil, any size.

Fifth, it’s cool. I haven’t ever carved my own quill pen, but I imagine writing with a hand sharpened pencil has some of the same mystique.

2 thoughts on “Manual vs. Mechanical Sharpening

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