Afmat PS09 Pencil Sharpener Review

Bay doors open for shaving release.

Bay doors open for shaving release.

I was looking for something very specific when I stumbled upon the Afmat PS09 Electric Pencil Sharpener...I wanted an electric, long point, helical blade, top feeding sharpener. This sharpener hits all these points, and even more, so even though it was a bit expensive, I took a chance and have been happy with the results.

My grandfather has this old top-down electric sharpener he keeps on the end table next to his recliner. It's called a Mr. Sharpy, and apparently it's popular enough to have its own Facebook page. The Mr. Sharpy, made by Sunbeam in the 70s, is battery powered, helical bladed, top-down fed, and makes a decent point. Not super long, but as I remember it, pretty similar to those old front feed Panasonic sharpeners. I just always remember that sharpener and his pencil points looking good, so I began a search for a modern equivalent to it. Let's dig in.

Afmat is a brand I'd never heard of before. Their website isn't really much help, but it seems they're an Asian brand. They have a US storefront through a Shopify page, but I ordered this one through Amazon. There is no history of the company on their about page and both their Facebook and YouTube page links lead to nowhere. A little sketchy, but I know they've been in contact with other stationery reviewers, so I think maybe they're just not quite set up yet. Not too sure, to be honest.

The PS09 makes a ridiculously long point and takes both regular and jumbo sized pencils. Not only does it make a long point, but the collar of the pencil is long too. As you can see in the picture, it's significantly longer than the point on the Carl CP-80 sharpened pencil. It's longer than a Carl Angel-5 / Classroom Friendly point. But it also isn't as "needle" tipped, so when I first lay down the pencil to write, the point doesn't snap entirely off. This is a plus for me, because that's what I've always disliked about the Derwent / Helix / Carl Angel-5 / Classroom Friendly. The other thing I like is that there is a lot of exposed core, unlike a long point sharpener such as the Mitsubishi KH-20, which has a long collar but usually has very little exposed core. So you can write and write and write.

CP-80 vs Afmat PS09

CP-80 vs Afmat PS09

On the top of the unit, there is a dial to change the thickness of the pencil from standard to jumbo. It doesn't do much except change the entry hole so your standard pencil isn't rattling around in the jumbo hole and vice-versa. On the back there is a settings dial that has 5 different point lengths. You can see those in the photo. I'll never use the shorter setting, but I suppose it's there for a reason.

This is electric, but doesn't use a bunch of batteries. It also doesn't need to be plugged in all the time. What it does have is a very interesting USB cable that is stowed away in the bottom (and I'm presuming is hard wired, but I couldn't tell). You plug it in and charge the removable lithium battery that is also in the bottom. I don't know how many charges this big battery will take before dying, but good news is that the whole sharpener doesn't have to get trashed just cos the battery won't hold charge. The downside is it won't sharpen while plugged in, which is weird, but I suppose not a deal breaker. I've had this sharpener for over 2 months and haven't had to charge it yet. I'm sure a artist that works in pencil will use it more often, but it is stated to sharpen "100 times after an hour of charging" by the manufacturer, so even then I think they won't have to charge too much.

Big and a little misshapen.

Big and a little misshapen.

Five stages of points.

Five stages of points.

USB cord hides in the bottom.

USB cord hides in the bottom.

The body of the sharpener is over 6 inches tall, and it's about 3.5 inches wide at its widest point. The battery and the USB cord are kept in the bottom section, and it has a large shavings resevoir right in the front of the sharpener. In my humble opinion, it's kinda ugly. They have better looking sharpeners that they sell, but this one hit every item on the list, so I've dealt with the shape. I don't really like the blue accents, and would probably be happier if it were all one color, preferably black. That might make the weirdness of the shape a little less...weird.

This sharpener is branded version of this sharpener I found on Alibaba. I'm not opposed to things like this, and even my favorite Carl sharpeners and the Classroom Friendly are basically the same type of thing, but it does kind of stink that there could be 4 or 5 versions of the same product out there. I may be one of the only stationery bloggers not to have reviewed the Classroom Friendly because I had 3 other version of that sharpener with different branding already.

Overall, although it's kind of expensive, this thing makes amazing points and works like a charm. It has a lot of things going for it, even if it is kinda ugly. They have another sharpener I really want to try, but if I never get my hands on it, I will be happy with this one because it was everything I wanted and more.

Sidebar: I HATE when sellers on Amazon use one product page for multiple products and just list them as options with different pricing. This sharpener was on a listing like that, but the listing has 2 other sharpeners that are wildly different. The link below should go to the correct one.

Available on Amazon, $29.99 (at the time of this post).