Best Pencil Sharpener For Colored Pencils

Best Pencil Sharpener For Colored Pencils

Not every colored pencil sharpener was born equal…

The definition of a pencil sharpener might vary from person to person depending on whether they use sharpeners as a student in school or if they are artists and using it for technical purposes. Whatever the purpose might be, the general idea for using a sharpener is the same. And that is to make your blunt and gloomy color pencil as sharp as a tack to brighten your artwork and sheets.

There was a time when even the basic small sharpeners were not available and artists used sharp pointing knives to get the job done. While some artists still prefer this traditional way, you do not have to brush up your pencils like a caveman in this day and age. To help you maintain the health and longevity of your pencils, I will be talking to you about the humble (and also the not so humble) colored pencil sharpener.

Technological advancements have brought different types of colored pencil sharpeners into the market. While still keeping manual systems intact, there are new battery-operated and electric pencil sharpeners available.

With distinct operating modules, shapes, and sizes it might become a bit confusing to choose the colored pencil sharpener suitable for you.

Hopefully, by the end of this article, my thorough reviews and counsel will assist you in finding the best sharpener whether it’s an electric pencil sharpener or simply just an ordinary one.

01) El Casco Black & 23 Kt Gold Plated Pencil Sharpener

“an extraordinary example of engineering.”

El Casco Black & 23 Kt Gold Plated Pencil Sharpener main image


  • The 23k gold plated components along with copper, nickel in the build make it look different from most manual pencil sharpener sharpeners in the market.
  • Steel-made and hand polish will ensure durability over long-term use for colored pencils.
  • The dimensions of  11 x 11 x 15 cm. (4.3 x 4.3 x 5.9 inches) makes it quite big and the weight of 1.1kg means it will be heavy. So, traveling with this type of colored pencil sharpeners might be a hassle.
  • The lever on the side of this manual pencil sharpener that is used for sharpening the pencil has a wooden handle to it. This gives the overall tool not just a premium feel and compact shape but works nicely in terms of functionality.
  • The packaging is exceptional and can be an ideal gift item for someone.


As far as a color, manual pencil sharpener goes, this one will most definitely be a unique item on your desk for your colored pencils. While looks are subjective, there is no denying that it is different. El Casco, the company started as a gun company in Spain during the 1930s. They kept their motto of making stationery that should be as heavy-duty as their revolvers. Hence, they have continued their legacy of unmatched craftsmanship to this date.

The highlight of this tool has to be its incomparable build and make. But, even with its unusual looks, functionality is not sacrificed at all and it can sharpen colored pencils with its sharp blade to its very fine point.

  • Well-made and heavy-duty sharpener.
  • Unique looking pencil sharpeners.
  • Performs well to make pencils sharp.
  • Heavy in terms of weight.
  • Looks might be a bit tacky for some.


While this is not for everyone, I can assure you that it has the qualities to be one of the best pencil sharpeners for colored pencils. The price tag is a bit heavy, but it is worth it when compared to the cheapest sharpeners in the market because of the quality.

I had to nitpick to find even the slightest of problems when I used it for my colored pencils.  Even though I was not able to find any, it would have been better if the collet that holds the pencil together did not have a burr in it. However, this is something minor and shouldn’t affect your purchase of this regular pencil sharpener to give your colored pencils their pointy tip.

02) X-ACTO Pencil Sharpener

Mighty Pro Electric Pencil Sharpener, Auto-Adjust Dial, SafeStart Motor, SmartStop, Black, 1 Count

X-ACTO Pencil Sharpener main image


  • Provides a clean and minimal design that helps in functionality for sharpening colored pencils.
  • The sharper inside is break-resistant, which means that every time you sharpen your colored pencils, it will provide you with a fine tip. In doing so, there will be less lead breakage and waste.
  • The electric sharpener works nice and smooth and has something called a SmartStop feature. This feature ensures that the pencil is shaped as much as needed and there is no extra sharpening to give it a fine tip. This eventually increases the longevity of the colored pencils.
  • The bin that is there along with the sharpener is not only there to store waste. As soon as you remove the bin, the SafeSmart motor will sense it and stop working immediately.
  • Includes XL pencil shavings bin that acts like a trash can to help manage all the waste. 


The X-ACTO Pencil Sharpener removes all the unnecessary stuff needed in best electric pencil sharpeners and rather focuses on things that matter in terms of use such as giving the colored pencils a finer tip.

The motor is ultra-fast, sharp, and smart as it has features that help reduce waste to a great extent. Since this automatic pencil sharpener focuses mainly on colored pencils, I would put this on my favorite list. It would still work effortlessly on all types of watercolor pencils as well.

The dimensions of 10.35 x 5.82 x 10.11 inches make it quite tall and big when compared with regular pencil sharpeners. Despite its size, it does an excellent job in holding on to the table as there are four rubber feet instead of suction cups that are often seen on big sharpeners.

There might be complaints regarding the build quality as the collector and the dial for the pencil diameter are made of plastic. Even though that is a part of cost-cutting, it is well made up in the base and cutters as they are made of high-quality metal to give your colored pencils a sharp point. 

  • Strong and sturdy.
  • Easy to use.
  • Quick and responsive.
  • Has a variety of whole sizes.
  • Can get a bit noisy
  • Internal plastic gears make it lightweight
  • Not good for short pencils and can lead to over-sharpening.


The X-ACTO Electric Pencil Sharpener focuses on providing efficiency and easy long-term use for your colored pencils; I found it extremely easy to use.

If you are OK with sacrificing the build quality for performance then this is a no-brainer. I have had my friend use this who is a nursery/kindergarten teacher (depending on where you live) and she was delighted at the performance considering she has to sharpen hundreds of colored pencils every day. The sharp blades makes things really easy.

If you are a school teacher and need something heavy-duty to sharpen your colored pencils then this is the way to go. The adjustable sizing wheel allows you to sharpen pencils of all types whether you are using it for sharpening graphite pencils or charcoal pencils.

In addition, the attached big holder gives a smooth user experience than manual pencil sharpeners.

03) Caran D’ache Pencil-sharpening Machine

Swiss-made and constructed with solid metal

Caran D'ache Pencil-sharpening Machine main image


  • Ideal for using triangular pencils and pastels that range from 4 to 10mm in diameter.
  • Swiss-made construction and high-quality metal make it an absolute tank in terms of durability.
  • Compact shape allows it to be easily mounted on a table, bookcase, or other solid platforms. 
  • For the weight and shape of the sharpener you do not have to mount it, you can just hold it with one hand while sharpening.
  • Can be used on pastel pencils as well.


If you are an artist and appreciate the fine elements of craftsmanship then this is something that will surely grab your attention. This looks very classy, elegant, and old school. Each component of the sharpener is solid and is surely a contender for being among the best colored pencil sharpeners with high-end designer looks.

The lever on most manual sharpeners is usually of poor quality and does not serve the purpose well.

That is not the case here.

To accommodate the compact size, it is a bit small. So, if you are looking too sharpen many pencils over some time then it might be a bit troublesome to clean the compartment with all of its pencil shavings. 

  • Well Built
  • Compact size.
  • The sharpness of the lead is adjustable.
  • The lever will take some time and uses to fully break in.
  • Compact shavings tray.
  • The looks might be a bit too old school for some.


If you are wondering if spending this much on a manual pencil sharpener will be worth it or not, then I will tell you to ponder no more.

Yes, this might not have the best electric pencil sharpener features and all that mumbo jumbo technology. But that also makes this less prone to faults or damages. If you are in the market looking for an incredibly sharp blade that is manual and gives your regular pencils with soft leads a fine point then this is the ideal one to go with. 

I have used wax and oil-based pencils on it and found it to be fine. But stepping up a level, high-quality artist colored pencils work like a gem.

I have tested the sharpener with  Prismacolor colored pencils as well and they did not cause any breakage to the pencils whatsoever. 

04) Bostitch SuperPro 6

Extra Heavy Duty Classroom Commercial Electric Pencil Sharpener, 6-Holes, Black/Gray (EPS12HC)

Bostitch SuperPro 6 main image


  • Multiple selector dials allow colored pencils of all shapes and sizes to be used.
  • Very small and lightweight so that you can just carry it in your backpack.
  • Smooth and quick battery-powered sharpener experience with long cutter life.
  • The motor will switch off automatically when the shavings bin is removed, making it safe and easy to use.
  • Bostitch has something called Tip Saver Technology to avoid over-sharpening.


The Bostitch SuperPro 6 is very simply designed with no complications whatsoever. So if you are looking for something that will attract looks on your desk then this is perhaps not the one for you.

Keeping that aside, it does every task that a sharpener is bound to do with utmost resilience. The sharp blade inside the sharpener is very heavy-duty and provides a smooth cut every time.

There is no sharpening noise from these sharpeners for colored pencils so you can relax in a calm and pleasant environment.

The Super Pro 6 Commercial Electric Pencil Sharpener is the mother of the best colored pencil sharpeners. From usability to form, each component was engineered to use in commercial environments.

For heavy-duty use, it features QuietSharp fan-cooled, thermally insulated motor. XHC² Cutter Technology is 75% faster with 12 times better health for ultra-quick sharpening.

  • 7 years manufacturer warranty.
  • Smart technology to minimize waste.
  • Convenient one-hand dial and turner system.
  • Might be a bit too basic for some.


The best thing that I liked about this is the multiple holes and dial system. It is undoubtedly better than the double-hole sharpeners currently available in the market. You can use different sizes of pencils according to your preference. These sharpeners for colored pencils are filled with innovation and has technology all around it. To emphasise this it has a cooling fan that helps to cool the sharp blades down after a long sharpening session. 

All in all, Bostitch SuperPro 6 falls among the best electric colored pencil sharpeners that you can’t go wrong with for the very reasonable price it offers.

It is the perfect sharpener for your art pencils.

05) iPoint Halo Pencil Sharpener

Battery Powered – Westcott Gray

iPoint Halo Pencil Sharpener main image


  • Coming in at 7.68 x 4.86 x 3.15 inches this is the ideal size for carrying around.
  • The box it comes in with has a USB charger along with the dongle so that is a nice touch.
  • Has a lock and unlock option that is super easy to use.
  • The prolonged shape just requires a little slide of the pencil inside and it will sharpen it out nicely.
  • The hole is wide and accommodates wider pencils as well.


The majority of pencil sharpeners in the market tend to be quite bulky in size. This size issue often makes use and functionality a bit troublesome.

The iPoint Halo Pencil Sharpener is one of the simple-looking yet significant performing electric sharpeners that does the job well. The blade inside is made of heavy-duty titanium.

  • Minimal design.
  • Competitive price.
  • Delivers good sharpening for renowned colored pencil brands.
  • The open display is not safe.
  • Plastic made
  • Cannot be mounted.


The iPoint Halo Pencil Sharpener all in all is a good machine if you are looking for something simple and basic for your personal use. I wouldn’t suggest sharpening multiple pencils over a short period.

General Information About The Best Pencil Sharpener For Colored Pencils

If you are an artist or a teacher who needs to keep their pencils sharpened at all times then you very well know the importance of having a good sharpener. However, you will be surprised to know of the huge amount of individuals who need a sharpener but are not aware of it. I had written this article for both of these types of users. To make things easier here are a few things that will assist you in making your purchase:

  1. Identify the fit of the colored pencil. Make out which size and type of pencils you use the most and buy your sharpener accordingly to it.
  2. Let the sharpener do its job because you spinning your pencil while it is inside will ruin the sharpener as well as your machine.
  3. It might seem fun at first, but over-sharpening your pencils will reduce their life expectancy.
  4. Always maintain your sharpener and keep it clean.

Conclusion / Roundup

In conclusion, sharpeners are a blessing for color pencils as the days of ruining your beloved drawing gear are over. There is still a lot of stigma surrounding the use of sharpeners amongst veteran artists, but I personally believe that if any piece of gear makes your life easier and saves you money then you should definitely check it out.

All in all, all the sharpeners that I have talked about have been thoroughly tested and no matter which one you get you will receive a good performance from it.


1. Are pencil sharpeners safe?

The manual ones are absolutely safe. However, if you are using electronic sharpeners for colored pencils then it is advised you keep it locked at all times and unlock it before you use it.

2. Do electric pencil sharpeners get damaged very soon?

No, if you buy something from a well-reputed brand and maintain it from time to time then it will keep itself intact for a long time.

3. Will spending so much on a sharpener be worth it?

Investing in a high-quality sharpener will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

4. Is the prismacolor premier pencil sharpener any good?

There’s a lot of debate over whether the Prismacolor Premier pencil sharpener is good or not. Some people swear by it, while others find it unsatisfactory.

One thing that’s for sure is that this sharpener is less expensive than many mentioned in the article above. It retails for around £15 / $20, which is significantly cheaper than other sharpeners on the market.

So is it worth the money? That depends on your needs and preferences. If you’re someone who likes to use Prismacolor colored pencils and wants a sharpener that can handle them well, then the Premier sharpener is a good option. However, if you’re not a fan of Prismacolor pencils or don’t need a sharpener that’s specifically designed for them, there are alternatives that will do the job just as well.

5. Is the afmat colored pencil sharpener any good?

The afmat colored pencil sharpener is one of the best on the market. It is easy to use and very efficient at sharpening your colored pencils. I would highly recommend this sharpener to anyone looking for an easier way to sharpen their colored pencils.

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Written By Adam Rushton

Adam has made a name for himself in the illustration industry and is a passionate blogger and writer on the subject of art, illustration and graphic design.

His artwork has been featured in countless publications and used for very well-known media projects. As a professional illustrator for over 20 years, Adams media outlets, a wealth of knowledge, and experience enable him to consult and advise artists and illustrators in this country (from York and Manchester to Southampton and London) and all over the world.