The Pollux is finally here! The Möbius + Ruppert sharpener has been long sought after in the US stationery nerd community. It has been only available in Europe up to this "point" (har har har). A few made it over here, and those who had one were nice enough to brag about it to all of the unworthy on the Erasable Facebook group.
Why is this expensive little brass hand-held sharpener so sought after? Why, when it gets shavings everywhere and graphite dust all over your fingers, were people waiting? The point! It shaves your wood-cased wonder into a concave shape, which allows for a longer point than previous simple, one-stage sharpeners. Can you get a similar long point with a Kum Masterpiece? Sure, but that thing has parts and a plastic case that fits inside a carrying case...whoa. Too much. The Pollux is perfect to toss into your pocket and go. No case, no problem.
You've probably seen a similar M+R brass sharpener they call the Grenade. It's just as much of a tank, but the point is not as long. Good, but not great. Serviceable, and equipped with those great M+R blades, but there were better options out there.
Replacement blades are not yet available in the States, as far as I can find, but CW Pencils says they'll have some soon. There have been a few reports online that there's a few duds out there that keep breaking points, but I'm happy to report no problems with mine.
I sharpened hard and soft pencils, and everything in between. All sharpened up great. The only drawback I saw came from the sharpening of a new pencil. It ate it down in a way a hand crank never would, breaking off the initial lead exposure. But once that was cleared out, it worked like a champ. I personally never start a new pencil with a hand-held anyway, so I don't see this as a problem for me.
If you want one of these, they aren't cheap and don't give a point any longer, stronger, or better than something like the KUM Masterpiece, but it is a simpler machine and not as labor intensive to sharpen. I full recommend this based on my first day's use. Check out my video review.
Available at CW Pencils. $28