Geek dreams – a pencil sharpening machine


When I was a boy, I loved using my dad’s pencil sharpening machine. Black, made from heavy bakelite, it sharpened pencils beautifully. The pencils were centred by a spring loaded clamping mechanism that pulled them into the machine as they were being sharpened.

I still use pencils daily, they are my favourite writing instruments, and had been pining for a similar machine for the longest time.

The problem was that all I could find for sale in Canada was just a weak imitation of the real thing as I remembered it. Some sharpened off-centre, others didn’t have the spring loaded action and required the user to pull the pencil against the blades by hand, which means the machine had to be screwed to the desk to work – and I’m not drilling holes into my beautiful walnut desktop.

Finally, I saw this gorgeous Caran d’Ache machine for sale on the website. The downside? They don’t ship to Canada. But, we were going to Germany for a summer vacation/family visit, so I made a beeline to the Manufactum store in Hamburg and picked up my very own model. While it wasn’t cheap, I do expect it to last me for a lifetime, just as my dad’s is still lasting him.

After installing it in my office this morning, I’m now in pencil sharpening nirvana.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *