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AIBU to have lost the ability to use a pencil sharpener?

7 replies

YouPrettyThings · 24/03/2021 09:14

As a child it seemed a natural skill, I don’t ever recall struggling to sharpen a pencil. I just used the standard old fashioned hand held sharpener. I remember one teacher having a hand cranked pencil sharpener attached to her desk causing all sorts of excitement in the classroom and another teacher even had an electric pencil sharpener which was just out of this world!

Fast forward to now. Following a year’s on and off of home learning with primary aged children, it is apparent that I have forgotten the age old art of pencil sharpening.

I either sharpen the pencil too much and the lead falls out.

Or I don’t sharpen it enough (to avoid the lead falling out) and the pencil stays blunt causing the writing to appear a little too thick.

Or the most annoying and common of all - I inexplicably end up sharpening only one side of the pencil ending up with an unevenly sharpened pencil which no matter how hard I try, I just can’t even out - until the lead falls out and I throw the pencil away.

Don’t get me wrong, I thought maybe I just had a particularly rubbish sharpener so invested in several new ones but kept running into the same problems. I lost count of how many pencils I bought my children over the last year because I’m either cack-handed or… they don’t make pencil sharpeners like they used to.

Am I the only one to have this problem? Perhaps I would benefit from a pencil sharpening tutorial.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

skirk64 · 24/03/2021 09:16

Sounds like a case of shit sharpener and/or shit pencils.

If a pencil is dropped (or box of pencils dropped) the lead breaks. Then whenever it's sharpened you get bits snapping off.

A lot of pencil sharpeners are miscalibrated, it's pot luck whether you get a good one or not.


MrsTulipTattsyrup · 24/03/2021 09:18

I think the problem is your pencils, rather than the sharpener, if the lead falls out. They’ve likely been dropped and the lead has broken into sections inside the wooden outer, so will fall out when you reach a break.

Mechanical or propelling pencils can be bought cheaply, even in multipacks, with refills. Much easier. I use them all the time for my work drawings.


DancesWithDaffodils · 24/03/2021 09:19

You need one of those desk ones. Revolutionised my home schooling!


Royalbloo · 24/03/2021 09:26

Shitty old pencils - if you drop them once I've found they shatter on the inside and then you're stuffed forever


Atalune · 24/03/2021 09:33

What type of pencil are you trying to sharpen?

Poor quality pencils don’t sharpen well I find.


CateTown · 24/03/2021 09:34

I've never successfully sharpened a pencil, OP. My one week stint as pencil monitor at primary school was a disaster and I burn with shame at the memory of it.


YouPrettyThings · 24/03/2021 10:19

Perhaps the issue is not the sharpener but the pencils then. I'll buy some better quality pencils and see if that does the trick.

Oh dear @CateTown - maybe some of us just weren't built for sharpening pencils?

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