[Today’s post comes from Comrade Logan. Thanks to Logan for a great post about an….interesting product.]
When I first saw the drill powered pencil sharpener on Notcot I was vaguely disturbed by it, but I wasn’t sure why. On the practical side, if you regularly find yourself with an unsharpened round or hex pencil in one hand and a drill in the other, this gizmo will effectively sharpen your pencil in about 5 seconds.
Lets look at the pro’s and con’s:
Pro – low effort; makes big cool shavings; you get to use a drill; bright color so it won’t get lost easily; cheap ($4 for 1 sharpener & 15 pencils at Lowe’s); useable without the drill for resharpening; could sharpen a dozens of pencils in no time without the overheating problems most inexpensive electric sharpeners have.
Con – doesn’t work with carpenter’s pencils; round so it would roll off a table or roof easily; could be awkward to use with larger drills; construction site folks don’t usually need a finely pointed round pencil.
Upon further reflection, I think my issue with the drill sharpener is that I really enjoy using a hand crank sharpener for initial sharpening, and a blade sharpener for resharpening. But what do I know? I’m not the target market for the product.
That in mind, I asked two friends about it. One is a former construction worker; the other restores furniture professionally. Thumbs down from both. The construction worker only used carpenter’s pencils, and only sharpened with a utility knife: “I bought a square pencil sharpener once, used it one time and never bothered again. Finding it in my tool box and using it was slower than just carving a point with my utility knife, which I always had on me. It would take even longer to find this thing, take out the bit that was in the drill, put it in the chuck, use it, then replace the other bit. Besides, you don’t need a sharp pencil for marking boards.” The furniture restorer wasn’t any hotter on the idea. He uses finely pointed pencils for his detailed woodworking, but always works in a shop, so he has an electric sharpener on his workbench.
Not that it isn’t an interesting sharpener. In fact, I’d probably pick one up next time I was at Lowe’s if it didn’t come bundled with 15 generic HB pencils that would just take up space in my already overflowing pencil drawer. Hopefully there’s some other application it is perfect for that I haven’t thought of.
[Text, L.L. Used with kind permission.]