This review is from Gary Varner from Inkmusings. Many many thanks to Comrade Gary!
The General’s 3-in-1 Pencil Sharpener: Form AND Function?
What’s about $5, doesn’t make a mess, and even keeps colored lead shavings from staining your Palomino? Why, the General 3-in-1 Pencil Sharpener, that’s what! But before you run down to your local art supply to pick up one, there’s some good news and bad news.
First, the technical specifications:
Type: Three blades, double receptacle.
Blade material: Steel.
Shavings Receptacle: Two plastic snap-off cups.
Point Type: 5/16â€ pencils on colored pencil side, 7/16″ and 3/8″ pencils on lead pencil side.
Markings: “Made in Germany” on bottom, “Color” on colored pencil cup lid,”Made in Germany” on metal blades.
Physical size: 2-1/2″ high, 1-5/8″ wide.
Availability: Online at most art supply sites; local art supply; some office supply stores.
And now, the good news:Â the General 3-in-1 definitely scores points for form. The halves snap together solidly and keep any debris from messing up your pocket or backpack. Snap the sharpener open, and there’s a side for colored pencils (yellow) and a double sharpener for non-colored (orange). Separation means your colored pencils won’t gum up the sharpeners for your serious pencils. The black receptacle caps snap off easily to empty the shavings cups, and while not holding a lot, they certainly help when you’re places you don’t want to make a mess. All of this combines into one compact, portable sharpening solution.
So does it score as well for function? Not exactly. The quality of sharpening is okay, but not great. Colored pencils seem fine, but harder lead tends to chatter a bit in turning, but with practice produces a decent point. And thatâ€™s the bad news, although not terrible news.
Ah, comrades, don’t despair: the Revolution is all about finding a better way. There is a simple hack that will make this sharpener with its snap-cups and multi-point versatility, a “must take” tool. With a flick of your fingernail lift the plastic stops (see photo), remove the orange double blade, and replace it with a KUM double-holed wedge. NOW you’ve got a heckuva sharpener, and you won’t incur the wrath of your wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/roommate for getting shavings all over the carpet.
Life is good.
[Text and images, G.V. Used with kind permission.]