The Best Heavy Duty Electric Pencil Sharpener for the Classroom

Teaching is a much easier profession if you have all of the resources that you need.  A high-quality teacher’s planner, modern classroom projector, and a speedy laptop really does make the job simpler.  However, there is one very useful item that most teachers don’t think of adding to their classroom — a heavy-duty electric pencil sharpener.  

An electric pencil sharpener is useful because it helps younger students sharpen their pencils safely and efficiently.  They spend less time struggling with a manual sharpener and more time focused on their classwork.  An electric pencil sharpener also prevents messy pencil shavings from being left on desks or on the floor.  It makes pencil management simple.

For older students in art classes, it makes the laborious task of manually sharpening dozens of pencils easier.  Your art students will also be able to obtain better results in the classroom thanks to having sharp pencils on hand.

In this article, I will share a few essential tips for choosing the perfect electric pencil sharpener for your classroom.  I’ll also share 4 of the best electric pencil sharpeners currently on the market.

Choosing a heavy-duty electric pencil sharpener for classroom

There are many uses for pencils in the classroom.  They are particularly handy for teaching young children basic mathematics or spelling as any mistakes can be rubbed out.  This means you can make quick alterations directly to a student’s work so they have the correct answer available to them in the future.  

Pencils are also an important part of teaching art classes.  Art students may have many types of pencils that need to be sharpened, ranging from thick graphite pencils through to colored graphite pencils and charcoal pencils.  

Before purchasing an electric pencil sharpener, think about your classroom environment and how the sharpener will be used. 

A pencil sharpener that will be used in an art class for high school children will probably need to be a higher standard than one used in a kindergarten class.  Here are a few quick tips to ensure you choose the right pencil sharpener for your classroom:

How heavy is the sharpener?

Most high-quality electric pencil sharpeners are on the heavy side.  This is because the additional weight helps to keep the pencil sharpener in place when you are using it. 

However, if you need a sharpener that can be taken outside of the classroom, consider a lighter portable electric sharpener that can run off batteries.

What is the sharpener made from?

Most modern electric pencil sharpeners will use stainless steel blades and a case made from hard plastic.  Generally, the more expensive the sharpener, the more robust that plastic case is. 

Some high-end commercial sharpeners will even have a metal case that is designed to be fastened to a desk.

How fast is the sharpener?

If you have a busy classroom with lots of students or lots of pencils in use, check how quickly the sharpener can sharpen each pencil.  Most sharpeners will finish a pencil in less than 5 seconds, however, high-end sharpeners can complete a pencil in between 3 to 4 seconds.

How big is the shavings collection dish?

If many pencils are being sharpened each day, you may require a larger pencil shavings collection dish.  This will save you time in the classroom as you won’t constantly be fiddling with the sharpener.

Can it handle pencils of larger sizes?

If your class is using very large pencils, look for a sharpener that has an adjustable pencil slot.  Some sharpeners will only accommodate 6 to 8 mm pencils, so you may need to spend a little more if your classroom uses many types of pencils.

How safe is the sharpener?

If you teach young children, it is important to keep safety in mind.  Choose a sharpener that doesn’t have pencil holes large enough for a child to put their finger in. 

If you need a sharpener that can handle larger pencils, purchase an additional manual sharpener.  You can also purchase electric sharpeners that have a safety button that must be pressed to activate it. 

The sharpener you use should also come with an auto-disable function that is triggered when the shavings container is not attached.

How is the sharpener powered?

Most electric sharpeners will use AC power.  However, some portable sharpeners will also give you the option of batteries.  This can be handy if you teach some classes outside.  

Does it produce a very sharp tip?

Some art projects will require a pencil that has a very fine tip.  A fine tip allows the artist to illustrate small details in their work like hairs, wrinkles, and creases. 

If you are teaching art students who are very proficient with pencils, look for an electric sharpener that produces a sharp tip consistently.  If you are teaching younger children, having a very sharp tip is less important. 

Some sharpeners will even have the option to choose between blunt, medium, and sharp, which allows you to use blunt pencils for smaller children.

Does it look good?

If you often have your sharpener on your desk, you will be seeing a lot of it!  That makes it important to choose a sharpener that you like the look of.  Fortunately, there are many designs to choose from, so it should be easy to find a pencil sharpener that looks great on your desk.

Consider your budget

Finally, you should consider your budget.  Most teachers aren’t particularly well paid, so every dollar counts.  Having said that, if your electric pencil sharpener will be an integral part of the classroom, it is often worth investing a little more money in it. 

This will ensure that you have a sharpener that works well for many years to come.

Best Electric Pencil Sharpeners

We’ve carefully researched a number of electric pencil sharpeners for the classroom.  Here are the best 4 that filtered to the top.

IKONG Electric Pencil Sharpener Heavy-Duty

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The IKONG Electric Pencil Sharpener is a fantastic choice for any teacher on a tight budget.    Despite being one of the most affordable electric pencil sharpeners available, it is still packed with useful features including both battery and AC power (4 x AA batteries), a heavy-duty helical blade, and an auto-stop safety feature.

This sharpener can sharpen a pencil within 4 to 5 seconds.  It disposes of the pencil shavings automatically, storing them in a large clear compartment just below the sharpener.  The clear compartment is quite useful as you will know exactly when the sharpener needs to be emptied.  Emptying the sharpener is also a simple process, with the top unscrewing in a matter of seconds.

The IKONG Electric Pencil Sharpener can handle 6 to 8 mm NO.2 pencils and colored pencils.  However, it is not designed for eyebrow pencils or wax pencils.  Weighing 12 ounces, this is also a great choice if you are looking for an ultra-portable sharpener.  This sharpener has a 2-year money-back guarantee.  Check out the IKONG Electric Pencil Sharpener Heavy-Duty.

X-ACTO School Pro Classroom Electric Pencil Sharpener (1670)

X-ACTO(R) SchoolPro(R) Electric Pencil Sharpener, 001670
  • The X-ACTO School Pro Pencil Sharpener can sharpen a wood case pencils to a precise tip. The fly-away cutter stops sharpening when a pencil has reached its ideal sharpness. It’s also compatible with colored pencils. Stay sharp with the X-ACTO electric pencil sharpener brand!
  • Quickly sharpens so you can get more done.

Last update on 2023-09-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

X-ACTO is one of the leading suppliers of precision cutting devices, sharpeners, and staplers.  Their electric pencil sharpeners represent some of the best products on the market.  

This particular pencil sharpener is a heavy-duty product designed for classroom use.  Its helical steel sharpening blades use a flyaway cutter system, which stops the sharpener as soon as the pencil is sharp.  Despite being a powerful sharpener, the motor is very quiet, which is useful if you are concerned about noise in the classroom.

The pencil shavings fall from the sharpener into a large clear plastic compartment.  This compartment slides out of the sharpener for easy emptying.  The quality of construction is very high on the 1670 model and its durable plastic case should last for many years.  This product is adjustable for six pencil sizes.  Other features include non-skid feet and an auto-reset feature to stop the sharpener overheating.  Check out the X-ACTO School Pro Classroom Electric Pencil Sharpener or view it in action (video).

AFMAT Electric Heavy Duty Pencil Sharpener

Electric Pencil Sharpener Heavy Duty, AFMAT Pencil Sharpener for Classroom, Auto Stop, Super Sharp & Fast, Commercial Pencil Sharpener for 6-8mm No.2/Colored Pencils/Office/Home, Upgraded Packaging
  • 【Heavy Duty Pencil Sharpener with UPGRADED Electric Motor 】With upgraded electric motor, this AFMAT heavy duty electric pencil sharpener is powerful enough to sharpen your No. 2 pencils or colored pencils to a sharp and durable point in only 3-5 seconds with ease. With strong and durable helical blade, this AFMAT pencil sharpener can sharpen over 6000 times. Try it today with the security of our 365-Day (1 Year) warranty guarantee.
  • 【Electric Pencil Sharpener with Advanced AUTO STOP Feature 】This AFMAT electric pencil sharpener will stop automatically when the pencil is sharpened well, known as AUTO STOP feature. It makes pencil sharpening so simple and effective. It will stop working when the shavings box is removed, which makes this pencil sharpener safe for CHILDREN to use.

Last update on 2023-09-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This sleek-looking pencil sharpener is one of the most powerful on the market in this price range.  It uses a heavy-duty helical blade that sharpens a pencil within 3 to 5 seconds.  The automatic cutoff system will ensure that the pencil is not over sharpened.  It also has a cutoff for when the shavings box is removed, to make the sharpener safer for small children.

One of the best features of this sharpener is the settings.  You can choose between blunt, medium and sharp.  This makes it a great choice if you are teaching very young children or special needs children and you don’t want them to use extremely sharp pencils.

This is also one of the most aesthetically pleasing sharpeners.  Its low profile design is quite elegant and it looks very professional.  Other features include non-skid feet, AC power, and a 365-Day Money-Back Guarantee.  Checkout the AFMAT Electric Heavy Duty Pencil Sharpener.

X-ACTO High Volume Commercial Electric Pencil Sharpener (Model 41)

X-ACTO 1606 High Volume Commercial Electric Pencil Sharpener, Model 41, Beige
  • High volume commercial pencil sharpener has adjustable guide and all-steel blades.
  • Pencil Saver prevents over-sharpening

Last update on 2023-09-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you are looking for a commercial-grade sharpener that can handle high-volume environments, consider the X-ACTO Electric Pencil Sharpener (Model 41).  This sharpener uses dual helical cutters to precisely shave pencils extremely quickly.  It is perfect for larger classes or art classes where students often have to sharpen many pencils.

The powerful electric motor has a built-in cut-off feature which prevents over-sharpening.  It also has an auto-reset and internal fan to prevent the engine from overheating.  Although the engine is very powerful, it has been designed with the classroom environment in mind so it is also very quiet.  

A part of the reasons for its quiet performance is its heavy-duty plastic shell.  It is engineered to a high standard and designed to handle commercial operations.  The Model 41 is adjustable for 6 pencil sizes and comes with an extra-large shavings receptacle.  The sharpener also has a cut-off feature that prevents operation when the receptacle is removed.  This is the perfect choice for busy classrooms where pencils are often sharpened.  Check out the X-ACTO High Volume Commercial Electric Pencil Sharpener (Model 41).

Well, there you have it, your guide to the best electric pencil sharpeners for the classroom. Make sure you check out our best backpacks for male or female teachers as well.

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A collection of 4 great pencil sharpeners for the classroom.