Wednesday, January 24, 2024

I own the GOAT of pencil sharpeners

Behold the be-all, end-all of pencil sharpening devices: The Panasonic KP-310.

I am hesitant to tell you how excited I am to be the proud owner of a Panasonic KP-310 electric pencil sharpener.

Even I realize how odd it is to be thrilled over any device whose sole purpose is to sharpen the graphite point on a pencil.

But guys, this thing is amazing. I get tingly when one of my pencil nubs starts wearing down because I know I will have the chance to sharpen it using the KP-310.

I have mentioned here before that I am a pencil guy through and through. I'll use pens when I have to, but I prefer a good, old-fashioned #2 pencil.

NEVER a mechanical pencil, mind you. Those things are abominations. We shall not speak of them again.

Here's a true thing you may find hard to believe: Not only is there a museum devoted solely to the history of pencil sharpeners, my family has visited it.

It's the Paul A. Johnson Pencil Sharpener Museum, located in Logan, Ohio, in our state's Hocking Hills region. We took a family trip to Hocking Hills in 2012 and I think we ended up at the pencil sharpener museum simply because it was there.

At the time we kind of made fun of it. Now I want to go back and more closely examine its centuries' worth of pencil sharpeners with the proper amount of respect.

It's admittedly a small place. A very, very small place. Basically it's a shed. But the point is, it exists!

Anyway, I had never given much thought to the varying levels of quality among electric pencil sharpeners until I moved into my office at the Materion Corporation in June 2022.

The previous occupant (my former Dix & Eaton co-worker Danielle Snider) had left behind a Panasonic KP-310. Maybe she inherited it from the person who had the office before her. Maybe she never used it. I don't know.

What I do know is that the KP-310 was a revelation. Most other electric pencil sharpeners require you to rotate the pencil during operation to ensure a consistent level of sharpening all the way around. Not the KP-310. You just stick that mother in there straight on and it comes out sharp and even within seconds.

You also have to be careful with other sharpeners that you don't push the pencil with too much force, lest the small electric motor gets overwhelmed and it freezes up on you.

Again, this does not happen with the KP-310. Go ahead and push on the pencil. It can (and will) handle it.

I'm not kidding when I say the minute I submit this post I'm going downstairs to the kitchen junk drawer to collect the pencils there and bring them upstairs for a good KP-310 sharpening.

I should have mentioned that I have one of these little miracle devices at home in addition to the one at work. Got it off eBay for just $8.49.

What a steal.


  1. This is one of your best entries in recent memory.

    1. Thanks, Howard. You really have to dig deep to find good quality pencil sharpener content online.