Welcome to the first in a series about hand-crank, long point pencil sharpeners.
Today I'll be covering the first in my stash, the Mitsu-bishi KH-20. This sharpener was my first hand-crank long point sharpener...up until I bought it last year I sharpened all my pencils with an old metal Boston sharpener that was screwed to the wall in the warehouse where I worked. So, I would literally walk 10-20 pencils from the office, through the warehouse, into this old packing room that held the sharpener. Usually most of the pencils were from home. Imagine the looks I got, carting all my pencils through the warehouse. I nearly took that sharpener off the wall when I left that job, because no one else used it and it made a phenomenal long point. Not like the X-Acto ones they have now. So I started looking into one for my desk. Everyone was extolling the virtues of the Classroom Friendly point while shaking their fists in the air at the bite marks left to mar the lacquer surface. After digging around a little bit and doing some research, I found the Mitsu-bishi made a long point and had rubber on the grippers. This was the one!
Or so I thought. I was happy with the long point, but I wanted something more concave. The KH-20 makes a really long "point" if you mean a long collar and a normal amount of graphite. But the collar is so long and the point itself so small, it seems disproportionate and aesthetically displeasing to my eye. The collar is also wildly uneven. It works great for a thicker-cored pencil, like anything in the 2B and darker range, as well as something like the 2014 Norica, but for normal writing pencils, it looks ugly.
The device itself is very quiet. It is a single-burr sharpener with 2 settings, one for the longer, sharper tip, and one for a blunt tip that does well for drawing or colored pencils. Speaking of colored pencils, the KH-20 does a good job of not eating up the softer pencils and does stop when it is fully sharpened, which is a problem for some others in this category.
It is an all plastic body. It has the automatic pulling mechanism and the teeth are tipped in rubber so they do not dig into the lacquer. I have seen 3 colors on Amazon: black, blue, and red.
1. Very quiet.
2. Two point styles to choose from.
3. Good for colored or drawing pencils.
4. Rubber tipped pencil grippers.
1. Long collar, but short core exposure.
2. Straight point, not concave.
3. Uneven collar sharpening.
4. On the expensive side.
Available on Amazon, $25.