Colored pencils are an essential for any budding artist or hobbyist. Allowing you to experiment on various mediums, colored pencils are different from lead pencils as they are made from wax.
This means that the sharpener you use should be different as it needs to create a consistent leveling around the tip of the pencil without damaging the wax or peeling away the layers which can affect the color application.
Therefore, it’s important to purchase a sharpener that is suitable for your colored pencils, which means that they are not going to get damaged and last a long time.
We’ve gathered the top five pencil sharpeners for colored pencils that you should consider followed by an exclusive Buyers Guide and FAQ so you know what to look out for when conducting your own research.
Best Pencil Sharpeners For Colored Pencils
Here are the top five pencil sharpeners for colored pencils that you should consider:
Our top recommendation is the Bostitch Personal Electric Pencil Sharpener which has a HHC cutter meaning that the hardened helical allows for a 4 times longer cutting life sharpening than the average sharpener.
The powerful motor means that there is no stalling which means that the sharpening is consistent on a variety of colored pencils. The amount of power means that it can sharpen the wax with no problem.
This sharpener doesn’t take up too much space thanks to the space saver design making it great for any working space as well as perfect for taking on your travels.
What makes this our top pick is the safety switch which means that the sharpener will not operate. This is done by removing the tray.
When the tray is clipped into place, the sharpener will work as expected meaning that you can take it wherever you go and not worry about any damage or breakage. The tray also serves as a container as it holds all of the shavings meaning that you don’t need to be beside a bin when sharpening.
- Has a HHC cutter meaning that the hardened helical allows for a 4 times longer cutting life sharpening than the average sharpener
- The powerful motor means that there is no stalling which means that the sharpening is consistent on a variety of colored pencils
- Doesn’t take up too much space thanks to the space saver design making it great for any working space as well as perfect for taking on your travels
- Produces a high pitched noise
- HHC Cutter – The hardened helical allows for 4x longer cutting life sharpening than your average sharpener
- Powerful Motor - The days of sharpeners stalling are behind us. This motor is very powerful and perfect addition to your current office supplies.
- Space Saver Design – This small electric pencil sharpener doesn’t take up too much space. As home offices become more popular, it becomes necessary to get the most out the limited space available.
- Safety Switch – When the tray is removed, no need to worry about the sharpener operator. Unless the tray is engaged, the pencil sharpener will not run
- Giant Shavings Tray – You won’t have to clean out your shavings tray often as it has a high capacity and can handle lots of pencil shavings
Our second selection is the AFMAT Colored Pencil Sharpener which features a premium and durable helical steel blade allowing this electrical pencil sharpening to work 4000 times without wearing it out.
Sharpening colored pencils perfectly within 3 to 5 seconds quickly and evenly, this battery powered sharpener is perfect for all kinds of use and can be used anywhere conveniently. With three different sharpness options available, this is perfect for any kind of colored pencil for use on any medium.
You can choose between blunt, medium and sharp by simply adjusting the side slide switch. The auto start is a great feature as this sharpener starts by simply inserting the pencil with a little bit of pressure.
The sharpener will indicate that the pencil has been appropriately sharpened when the sound of the motor changes and the amount of resistance decreases. This means that there is little chance of the pencils breaking as well as meaning that the pencils are sharpened evenly.
It will only operate if the shaving box is attached to the sharpener as it doubles up as a safety lock meaning that it is ideal for young children. You can also take it with you when travelling and not worry about any mess or damage. This sharpener can be charged by 4 x AA batteries or an AC adapter making it versatile to charge.
- Features a premium and durable helical steel blade allowing this electrical pencil sharpening to work 4000 times without wearing it out
- Will indicate that the pencil has been appropriately sharpened when the sound of the motor changes and the amount of resistance decreases
- Will only operate if the shaving box is attached to the sharpener as it doubles up as a safety lock meaning that it is ideal for young children
- High price point
- 【Electric Sharpener For φ6-8mm Pencils】 This colored pencil sharpener works very well on φ6-8mm colored pencils as it is designed to be so, along with regular pencils like graphite, most charcoal pencils, #2 pencils too for sketching and drawing, almost every pencil in your house, workplace, classroom your students use.
- 【Artist Pencil Sharpener W/ 3 Sharpness Settings】The versatility of the 3 different sharpness settings can be broadly used, depending on what you’re coloring. The sharp option gives a very sharp clean tip for delicate fine lines; The medium option, not the sharpest nor the dullest, gives a durable tip for kids who’re hard on pencils; The blunt puts a nice dull point for easier bleeding.
- 【5s Fast Sharpen Pencil Sharpener】Give a try on this automatic pencil sharpener that sharpens well in 5 seconds only and you’ll never come back to a manual pencil sharpener, which is a fight for hand arthritis suffers, teachers, artists and anybody who wants efficiency. When well sharpened, the motor sound changes and the resistance of sharpening decreases. Only a little downward pressure on the pencil while sharpening, unlike those that require too much force and cause hand pain.
- 【Break-resistant Pencil Sharpener】The helical steel blade, refined to be beefier, more wear resistant as well as more precise, can last for 4000 sharpenings and give a more precisely-cut durable tip every single time so that it’s really a hard thing to encounter a broken lead or a jam. Though this battery pencil sharpener is palm-sized, the improved strong motor inside has plenty of power to take more force sharpening without an unwanted stall.
- 【Kids' Safety Sharpener W/ 2 Power Options】These portable electric pencil sharpeners do fine in the hands of teachers and artists, in kids’ backpack, or on the desk(with 4 non-slip pads) in classroom, office, and studio without much estate taken. 2 safety designs for kids: Sharpener won’t work if the shavings box is open; Round edges everywhere, no sharp edges, which is good in hands and safe for kids to use. 2 power options: Plug it in for desk use or put in 4xAA batteries in for portability.
Our third choice is the X-ACTO Pencil Sharpener which avoids any broken pencils thanks to the electrical design that helps to indicate when the pencil is perfectly sharpened. This sharpener has been designed with wooden pencils in mind which is great for the majority of colored pencils.
The SafeStart Motor stops when the shaving bin has been removed. The shaving bin makes emptying the excess easy to do and has helped X-ACTO become one of the leading brands in sharpeners. The compact design means that it is perfect for taking with you on your travels and can fit easily into any setting thanks to its size.
This sharpener is one of the most versatile options on our list as it can accommodate an array of different types of pencils, particularly colored pencils. Thanks to its auto start, it can gage when the pencil has been sharpened evenly and quickly which will help to produce the best work.
Whether you are a hobbyist or aspiring artist, this sharpener is ideal for any situation and perfect for those who want a sharpener that is easy to use and perfect for a variety of situations.
- Avoids any broken pencils thanks to the electrical design that helps to indicate when the pencil is perfectly sharpened
- The compact design means that it is perfect for taking with you on your travels and can fit easily into any setting thanks to its size
- One of the most versatile options on our list as it can accommodate an array of different types of pencils, particularly colored pencils
- Doesn’t have the sharpest setting
- As the fastest electric pencil sharpener from X-ACTO, the X-ACTO Mighty Pro sharpens woodcase pencils to a precise tip in no time. With the SmartStop feature, the break-resistant pencil sharpener prevents over-sharpening. It’s also compatible with colored pencils. Stay sharp with X-ACTO, the #1 electric pencil sharpener brand!
- Break-resistant electric pencil sharpener creates precise tips to reduce lead breakage and frustrations
- Electric pencil sharpener with SmartStop feature prevents over-sharpening
- Fast X-ACTO sharpener keeps distractions to a minimum
- SafeStart motor stops shaving when bin is removed
Our penultimate recommendation is the JARLINK Electric Pencil Sharpener which has a heavy duty and durable helical blade that provides fast sharpening within 5 to 10 seconds. Featuring a powerful motor, this sharpener has an auto stop which will sharpen the pencil to the perfect point so it has been sharpened evenly and prevents broken tips.
It can be used on an array of pencils as well as colored pencils including graphite and charcoal so it is versatile. The auto and safety features are highly advanced as it automatically works when the pencil is plugged into the shaving entrance.
If the lid is opened then the sharpener will not operate at all making it safe for younger children. The 8mm diameter entrance is safe for younger children to use.
This sharpener can be powered by 4 x AA batteries or an AC charger which makes it versatile as well as flexible and convenient to use anywhere and easy to carry around. The large capacity shavings reservoir can hold a lot of shavings making it great for those who like to work on bigger projects.
It can sharpen pencils over 3,000 times without suffering from wear and tear. The sharpener is easy to clean as the reservoir can be removed easily and the shavings simply tossed in the bin.
- Has a heavy duty and durable helical blade that provides fast sharpening within 5 to 10 seconds
- Featuring a powerful motor, this sharpener has an auto stop which will sharpen the pencil to the perfect point so it has been sharpened evenly and prevents broken tips
- The sharpener is easy to clean as the reservoir can be removed easily and the shavings simply tossed in the bin
- Not suitable for plastic covered pencils
- Fast Sharpen: With a more powerful motor, this electric pencil sharpener sharpens quickly in 5-10 seconds and automatically stops working at the perfect point to protect pencil cores and intelligently handle broken pencil cores. It can sharpen almost all 8mm pencils, such as #2 pencils, colored pencils, charcoal and more.
- Auto Stop & Save Pencils: The colored pencil sharpener works automatically when inserting the pencil into the shaving entrance. Automatically stops working when finished or the lid is opened without over-sharpening, saving pencil lead. The 8mm-diameter shaving inlet keeps children's fingers out of harm's way.
- Electric Pencil Sharpener with Cord: This plug-in electric pencil sharpener can be powered by 4 AA batteries (Batteries NOT Included) or a USB cable. It is easy to carry and can be used anywhere. (Power Supply: input 100-240V, output 6.0V/1500mA or 4 AA alkaline batteries)
- Durable Pencil Sharpener: A mechanical pencil sharpener with a heavy-duty durable spiral blade that will sharpen your pencils over 3000 times. It's faster and more durable than ordinary electric pencil sharpeners.
- Easy to Clean: The blade of this classroom pencil sharpener is detachable, making it easy to clean up the shavings quickly. Open the cover of the reservoir to pour out the pencil shavings when finished, not adding too much trouble. Please contact JARLINK support if there are any problems during the use.
Our final selection is the Staedtler 512 001 ST Double-hole Tub Pencil Sharpener which is the best option for those on a stricter budget or those who are looking for a cheap option to kick start their new hobby or purchase for a younger child.
Staedtler is a brand that makes quality items targeted at schoolchildren specifically and this sharpener is perfect for those who are wanting to draw with colored pencils.
With a plastic and metal build up, this sharpener is easy to handle while also boasting a sturdy interior that makes it safe for children to use. The plastic casing makes it perfect for traveling and want to draw wherever they are.
This sharpener has two holes which means that it can cater for different size pencils which is ideal for those who want to experiment with different kinds of colored pencils.
The hinged cover helps to prevent the shavings from spilling out and means that there is reduced mess as well as meaning that you can sharpen wherever you are. The lid also works as a safety lock which avoids any accidental opening.
- Best option for those on a stricter budget or those who are looking for a cheap option to kick start their new hobby or purchase for a younger child
- With a plastic and metal build up, this sharpener is easy to handle while also boasting a sturdy interior that makes it safe for children to use
- Has two holes which means that it can cater for different size pencils which is ideal for those who want to experiment with different kinds of colored pencils
- High price point
- Staedtler Double-hole Tub Pencil Sharpener
- 2 Hole(s)
- Blue, Silver
Best Pencil Sharpener For Colored Pencils Buyer’s Guide
When researching which sharpener is best for you, there are certain things you need to consider before making that final decision. When looking, always look into the size, material, whether the sharpener is electrical or manual and your budget.
Once you’ve weighed these factors up against your own criteria then you’ll be in a position where you can make a final decision with confidence.
The first thing you should consider is the size of the sharpener. If you are an artist who likes to draw while on the go then having a sharpener with a compact design is ideal so you can easily take it with you.
However, a lot of electrical sharpeners have more bulky designs and are perfect for those who like to work from the comfort of their own home or studio.
The material of the sharpener will determine the longevity of the product. Stainless steel sharpeners have the durable and reliable meaning that they are designed for long term use. On the other hand, plastic sharpeners will have to be used with care to prevent any damage or breaking.
Electric or manual
Next, you should consider whether you want to purchase an electric or manual sharpener. Electric sharpeners can create more consistency when working its way around the edges whereas manual sharpeners allow you to have more control when sharpening.
The majority of recommendations in this article are electric and have been designed with colored pencils in mind.
Lastly, think about your budget. Although the majority of sharpeners are reasonably priced and suitable for those on a budget, there are some that are costly due to their advanced features, especially those models that are designed with colored pencils in mind.
So whether you are working with a stricter budget or have the money to spend, you’ll be able to find an option that is best for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are colored pencils bad for pencil sharpeners?
As colored pencils are made from wax and coloring compared to lead pencils which contain graphite, electric pencil sharpeners can be unsuitable depending on how much wax the pencil contains. However, if the pencils contain little wax then an electric sharpener should be okay.
Can you sharpen colored pencils in a regular pencil sharpener?
Regular pencil sharpeners may cause the tip of the colored pencil to become uneven due to the wax. There are plenty of sharpeners available that are made with colored pencils in mind. However, it’s always best to check the reviews to ensure that the sharpener you are purchasing can be used for colored pencils.
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Joseph Colella is a frustrated artist with over 40 years experience making art (who moonlights as a certified Business Analyst with over 20 years of experience in tech). While he holds a Diploma in Information Technology, in true wasted talent style he spent years trying to get into various Art degrees from the Accademia di Belle Arti (Napoli), and failed to get into the Bachelor of Arts (Fine Arts) at the University of Western Sydney. His goal is to attend the Julian Ashton School of Art at The Rocks Sydney when he retires from full time work. In his spare time, he writes for the this blog, WastedTalentInc, where he shares practical advice on art, making art, and art materials. Joseph’s art has been sold to collectors all over the world from the USA, Europe and Australasia. He is a trusted source for reliable art and copyright/fair use advice and is committed to helping his readers make informed decisions about making them a better artist.
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