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In Praise of Domed Pencil Sharpeners

Updated on August 24, 2017

Domed Pencil Sharpeners Solve Pencil Sharpening Woes

It was years ago, and states away, but I remember when the school 'jack of all trades' showed up in my classroom to ask where I wanted my new electric pencil sharpener. Truth be told... I didn't. As Dr Suess would say, "I didn't want it here, I didn't want it there, I didn't want that pencil sharpener anywhere." But because there was no polite way to do otherwise, I gave him a location inside the classroom.

I confess to not being perturbed when that pencil sharpening contraption ceased sharpening. But then, by gummit, our ever helpful jack of all trades showed up with another one. Now don't get me wrong. Electric pencil sharpeners do have a place... in offices, with mature adults. But elementary teachers know they can spell Trouble, with a capital T. First, they make noise, noise, noise! One really has to limit the times when kids can use those things. Secondly, electric pencil sharpeners tend to use up pencils fast -- it is easy to go from 'new pencil' to 'pencil stub' in moments. Also, while I imagine that there are top of the line pencils that sharpen pencils evenly, a lot of the classroom quality pencil sharpeners can, in the hands of any less than a pencil sharpening expert, produce pencils that are sharp lead on one side... and blunt wood on the other. (I sharpen them that way myself.)

Wall mount classroom sharpeners are a little better, but I remember how I struggled with them in first grade. Not strong enough to move the face of the pencil sharpener so that it would sharpen 'my size' pencil -- and pretty confounded by how to operate it anyway -- I resorted to chiseling away at my pencil with my fingernails.

Another issue: Any centrally located pencil sharpener can contribute to management problems. A lot of teachers choose to do the sharpening themselves, and to maintain a box for sharp pencils and a box of dull pencils -- the children simply swap one for the other. There is an alternative, though... the domed pencil sharpener.

Classroom Management, the Domed Pencil Sharpener Way

I think it's great when parents include a domed pencil sharpener among their back-to-school purchases. Sometimes I have included the domed pencil sharpener on a list of required or recommended supplies. I have also given away many of them in my time. It can be a good investment to give everyone in the class their own little pencil sharpener at the beginning of the year... and to tuck some cute ones in the prize box as well. It is important that the manual pencil sharpener have domes. Otherwise little ones tend to sharpen their pencils all over their desk or on the carpet. (And if they're limited in when they can get out of their seats... well, one can't entirely blame them.)

Croc Croc Pencil Sharpener

Maped Croc Croc Sharpener, Assorted Colors (001700ST)
Maped Croc Croc Sharpener, Assorted Colors (001700ST)

This critter would go great in your prize bucket. He could also serve as a party favor. His eyes sharpen two different sized pencils, and his body retracts and expands.


How Do You Sharpen Your Pencils?

What's your preferred method of pencil sharpening?

Would you pencil sharpen in a boat?

Would you pencil sharpen with a goat?

Would you sharpen here or there?

Now you can sharpen anywhere!

If You Need a Lot of Pencil Sharpeners

Bulk Plastic Pencil Sharpener Assortment (72 Pack)
Bulk Plastic Pencil Sharpener Assortment (72 Pack)

These come in a variety of colors -- buy in bulk.


This Pencil Sharpener Would Distract Kids From the Lesson - ... Unless It Was the Lesson!

Cute and Practical Manual Pencil Sharpener

This one lets you know when the pencil is sharpened!

Maped Stop Signal 1 Hole Sharpener, Assorted Colors (004001ST)
Maped Stop Signal 1 Hole Sharpener, Assorted Colors (004001ST)

This pencil sharpener comes in a variety of colors. It closes automatically to prevent pencil shaving messes. It's design also makes it an interesting novelty item for kids.


Never a dull moment around here.

For Sharp Observations

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    • TransplantedSoul profile image


      5 years ago

      I like really fine lead, but not pointy. That is why I stick with mechanical pencils.

    • artbyrodriguez profile image

      Beverly Rodriguez 

      6 years ago from Albany New York

      I sharpen a lot of pencils, and I use all types. NIce subject for a lens.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Old, old memory flash: I was scared of pencil sharpeners and shavings for a while as a kid, figuring graphite was poisonous like lead -- so I would hold my breath and keep from swallowing whenever I had to go sharpen pencils at the back of my 3rd grade classroom (and this teacher was mean, so she told the whole class about it when she found because I was acting odd, having been given a pile of pencils to sharpen) -- but I was over it by 4th grade, heheh, though I had to keep that same teacher those two grades in a row -- kinda horrible that was, though she had her great moments now and then, too.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      8 years ago

      I have lots of pencil sharpeners in my makeup case too. They last forever. I'll have to get the "Hello Kitty" sharpener for one of my friends. Too cute!

    • aidenw profile image


      8 years ago from USA

      Oh yes, I remember using domed pencil sharpeners in elementary school I love the different shapes and colors they came in. Nice lens!


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