How You Really Should Be Sharpening Your Prismacolors

Have you ever had your colored pencil lead sever directly amidst a project?? We hear it constantly and know how amazingly frustrating it is. In addition to the fact that you have to stop everything you're doing to fix the issue, it's also such a waste of a great pencil! If you're a Prismacolor pencil fan, you know just how defenseless they are. You may think all expectation is lost and your only alternative is to manage the breakage, but there is really a right way to sharpen colored pencils that will help! Here are the means by an introduction which you should truly be sharpening your Prismacolors.

Our favorite — The basic handheld sharpeners

Why we adore them: They're small, simple, inexpensive, and compact.

Tip: Don't put a ton of pressure while sharpening! This could cause the lead to break. Instead, be delicate. It might be easier to sharpen the pencil vertically versus on a level plane.


Check your sharpener: When your pencil shavings are short little bits, it means your sharpener blade is dull. Make certain to have pleasant long shavings when you sharpen. Sometimes the blades are replaceable and with others, you'll just have to purchase another sharpener.

Go old school — Knife

Using a knife is a brisk and easy way to sharpen your pencils but one drawback is that it's the most dangerous alternative. Be extremely cautious when doing this and always sharpen away from you.

Tip: Pivot the pencil so you get a decent shave right around.

Super simple — Sandpaper

Another different way to sharpen colored pencils (or other drawing tools such as charcoal and pastels) that we cherish is with sandpaper.

What to search for: There are special sandpaper blocks made for the artist which are basically layers of sandpaper stapled together on a wooden square (see picture above).

Why we adore them: They're so helpful, you can take them anyplace, and just remove a sheet after use for a fresh new one.

Tip: Make certain to turn your pencil as you run it across the sandpaper surface so it's pleasant and even sharpen.

Electric sharpeners are debatable

We adore the electric pencil sharpeners for graphite pencils but they aren't our top choice for colored pencils. However, every artist is different and we do know some that use an electric sharpener.

What we don't like: You don't have as much control and sometimes it tends to be a lot of power for the sensitive colored pencil.

Another drawback: The wax from the pencils will eventually stop up the sharpener.

Hand crank sharpeners — Don't USE!

These classroom style pencil sharpeners were not made for colored pencils. Try not to even attempt them because they can destroy your precious colored pencils!


When your pencil lead is broken, you can forget it in the sun for a few minutes. The warmth will soften the wax lead and fuse the pieces back together.

Keep in mind that every artist is different so you may have to play around with a few options to see what works best for you. Some individuals have the enchantment contact using a handheld sharpener and others are extremely great at using the sandpaper strategy. Whichever you choose, always make a point to handle with consideration. Prismacolors are amazing colored pencils but so fragile. Treat them well and they'll last awhile.

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