Hooray! I have found a pencil sharpener that I love. This might not seem, to you, like great cause for rejoicing, but I assure you it is. At the risk of sounding rather, er, unbalanced: I wish I had the hours of my life back which I have spent growling and "argh!"-ing at our previous pencil sharpeners, which have been electric and totally useless. I hate a pencil sharpened only halfway, with wood stubbornly clinging down one side of the point and scraping horribly across the paper---or one which breaks as soon as pressure is applied to the point---or one which has become simply a hollow tube out of which the lead can wiggle at will. *shudder* This sharpener is manual, but it's faster and more effective than any of my previous sharpeners, manual or electric. We like it so much that I ordered another one for the office downstairs!
It's kind of a strange design. You pull out the top part, and then slide the lever to one side to allow the pencil into the opening. It's slightly adjustable (the hole opens up like a camera lens) but it won't fit anything much larger than a standard pencil. As you turn the crank, the top section slides back in toward the base. The sharpening mechanism stops automatically when the pencil is done.
There's a little red button on the back that you can push in if you prefer a blunter point. I love this feature. It's great for things like scripture-marking pencils, which might tear the page if they're too sharp. Or for little kids who press too hard and will break a sharp point more easily than a blunt one.
The sharper point is on the left and the blunter point is on the right.