Pencil Sharpener: the Uni KH-20

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.

So---I wholeheartedly endorse this little fellow, the Uni KH-20. (As part of an artist's household, I think it's appropriate for me to call it, casually, "The KH-20.") (Then again, my kids think it looks like a Bear pencil sharpener because of its little ears.) Our pencil troubles are at an end! (ha!)  I bought it at one of my favorite pen-and-pencil sites, JetPens.


  1. Hmm. Interesting. I don't have JetPens bookmarked under my "favorite pen-and-pencil" sites. I'll have to check it out.
    Joel is going to flip for this, because we have our own pencil-sharpeners-are-pieces-of-crap,-all-of-them! Thank you for passing this along.

  2. Thank you for passing along this critical info. My son just wrecked our sharpener by jamming crayon in there and I have been going nuts using a little sharpener. Sigh.

  3. Okay - it has only taken me a week to get to this. We have a sharpener that has worked really quite well for over twenty years now. It sits by the back door and is only remembered when needed, which would probably not be the case if it had charming ears like yours does. I hate half-sharpened things too - a first world problem certainly. I'm fairly sure that my great grandfather sharpened his stuff with his Bowie knife. Or Barlow knife. Probably the Barlow. But if you can find something that works AND looks like a bear - that's more than triumph.

    I think I have the books all up on line safely now. I'm not really telling anybody about it yet (though I know the world is baiting breath over it). But I think I do.

  4. I really needed to learn about this sharpener. The ration of sharpened:unsharpened pencils in our house is 1:1000. It seems that the boys get a pencil for every little thing, and I save them all up and tell James to sharpen them at work because of our useless sharpeners. Why even make a sharpener unless you can make one that works? That's what I say, but when did anyone ever listen to me. I just have one suggestion--call it the Uni.

  5. I love that that's ONE of your favorite pen-and-pencil sites.

    So it just dawned on me that I don't have to keep using the useless pencil sharpener that we got for our wedding. Thank you for opening my eyes!

  6. can i get spare parts like when the blades get dull


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