Review: X-ACTO Vacuum Mount Manual Pencil Sharpener

4 months ago Jack 0
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I prefer a wood pencil over mechanical because they’re mostly biodegradable and recyclable. To put a fine point on it, pencils need to be kept sharp to write, draw, and otherwise mark precisely. This X-ACTO sharpener is one economical way to do it, but does cause more problems than it solves?

The body of this sharpener is almost entirely plastic. The suction base is rubber. Metal is reserved for components that need the most durability and strength.


I didn’t take it apart, but it looks like the suction base operates on a cam controlled by the lever. When the sharpener isn’t on a table, you can spin the suction lever freely. Suction is very strong if the sharpener is held down to a mostly non-porous surface while moving the arm. In fact, my computer table, which is natural wood with a polyurethane textured finish, provided a smooth enough surface that the suction held to the point of lifting up most of the table. Impressive.

The sharpener uses a single blade. You might find higher end models with two or three blades. One here is enough. It doesn’t provide as smooth and easy of a crank as models with more blades, but it does practically guarantee a consistent sharpening angle. That combined with the narrow sharpening cylinder prove a good combination for sharpener dynamics. Models with many blades and loose cylinders can eat pencils quickly.

On that point, standard sized pencils work well with this sharpener, but anything wider, like these Tri-conderoga large pencils, will not fit.


The shaving holder comes off with a twist. It’s easy to dump shavings out in the trash, garden, or wherever you choose.


The X-ACTO manual pencil sharpener does keep pencils sharp. For such a simple goal, I would be really disappointed if it failed. The suction holds well, the point is fine, and it should satisfy most people’s needs. From an ecological standpoint, I would rather buy a metal simple sharpener sharpener (where you have to twist the sharpener and pencil with your own grip – no gears), use a knife, or spend the extra few bucks and get an all-metal manual sharpener. This will get the job done for the majority of folk out there and will probably be a good option for kids that you might not trust with an open blade. It doesn’t feel too cheap to use, but all that extra plastic is going to end up in the trash some day.

My preference is to grab a set of these and be done with it: