The best pastel sharpener is a must-have for any serious artist. There are many different types of pastel sharpeners on the market. Choosing a good one is essential to make your art stand out.
If you are a pastel artist, you will want to sharpen your pastels correctly or find it challenging to create the artwork you envision. There are different ways to sharpen your pastel, and each has advantages. This article will give you the best sharpener for pastel pencils, along with tips on sharpening your pastels.
Pastels are one of the best mediums for creating realistic works of art. But it can be challenging to sharpen pastels to the perfect point.
What is a Pastel Sharpener?
Sharpening pastel and charcoal pencils differs from regular graphite pencils because pastels and charcoals have a softer core, making it difficult to achieve a fine point with most electric sharpeners.
A pastel sharpener is a device used to sharpen pastels, charcoal pencils, colored pencils, and graphite pencils. The two different pastel sharpeners are manual pencil sharpeners and electric sharpeners.
A manual pencil sharpener is an excellent tool for sharpening pencils. It is straightforward to use and requires minimal space.
How To Use A Manual Pencil Sharpener?
To sharpen a pencil, push the end of the pencil into a conical chamber and turn the handle. The pressure forces the end of the pencil into contact with the rotating blade, which is stationary. As the pencil rotates, the blade will pare away the wooden casing of the pencil and sharpen the lead.
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Best Manual Pencil Sharpeners For Pastel Pencils
Suppose you create detailed artwork like wildlife pastel paintings or portrait paintings. You will need to have a sharp point to produce fine lines. Here is a list of the best manual sharpeners for hard pastels.
Derwent SuperPoint Manual Pencil Sharpener
Image credit – Blick
This is a great choice if you want a pencil sharpener that’s strong enough to withstand heavy use. It produces a long point and can sharpen pencils of different sizes. It’s easy to use and features an auto-stop safety feature, and it can be mounted to any surface using the included clamp.
Pros: Auto-stop safety feature Mounts to any surface using the included clamp Can sharpen pencils of different sizes. Easy cleaning.
Cons: It doesn’t come with any extra blades. The Derwent sharpener is perfect for light daily use.
X-Acto Ranger 55 Wall Mount Pencil Sharpener
Image credit – Blick
The X-Acto Ranger 55 is an excellent manual pencil sharpener. It’s built with solid double-bearing, all-metal construction. The adjustable pencil guide has a new design that will help you sharpen a wider variety of pencils. Its twin cutters with 30 cutting edges will allow you to finish the job quickly and easily. This sharpener is made of steel and weighs just over one pound. It’s perfect for wall mounting.
Pros: Two super-sharp steel cutters with 30 sharpening edges. Perfect for daily use. Wall mountable. Cons: No extra blades.
Cons: No extra blades.
Dahle Professional Pencil Sharpener
Image credit – Blick
If you want a professional tool that works for you, there’s no better choice than Dahle’s mechanical pencil sharpener. The quality of Dahle’s shut-off mechanism is outstanding. It creates sharp points from soft leads and pastels. And its automatic feed feature will keep your tips moving right on through to your eraser.
Best Hand-Held Pencil Sharpeners
Sharpening your pencils is a necessary part of drawing and illustration. Most pencil sharpeners are made from plastic and are inexpensive; however, quality pencil sharpeners can cost as much as $40 or more. You can also buy cheap pencil sharpeners, but they may not hold up as well, and they often break easily, and the blades dull quickly with pastel pencils.
Here are some durable hand-held sharpeners for soft leads like pastels.
Prismacolor Pencil Sharpener
The best way to sharpen your colored pencils and soft pastels is with the Prismacolor Pencil Sharpener. You can use this sharpener with all of the company’s pencils, including colored pencils, graphite, and Prismacolor Verithin pencils, as well as your best pastel pencil. The blades sharpen pencils to a precise point, a sliding cover keeps the shavings inside the hand sharpener, and the clear cover lets you see when the shavings receptacle needs to be emptied. The sharpener’s small size makes it great for tucking into a backpack.
Mobius & Ruppert Brass Pencil Sharpeners
These pencil sharpeners are great for heavy-duty use. Available in single hole, or double hole Grenade and Wedge models, they’re very popular with designers and artists. They are made in Germany. They offer replaceable blades for when the razor blade gets dull so you can get the perfect point every time.
Blackwing Long Point Pencil Sharpener
You’ll love the precision of this two-hole pencil sharpener. It shaves away the casing to expose the core and then uses a two-step sharpening process to make a perfectly sharp point. It automatically stops sharpening before you’ve over-sharpened the pencil, and it comes with two replacement blades.
Best Electric Pastel Pencil Sharpeners
Sharpening pastel pencils can take up a lot of time, so if you are in a hurry, you might want to consider electric pastel pencil sharpeners. The downside of an electric sharpener is that the wood barrel of pastel pencils tends to dull the blades quickly. When the blades dull, the pastel core will crumble, making it nearly impossible to get a sharp point. At that point, you will have to purchase a new sharpener.
Here is a list of the top three electric sharpeners professional artists use for their pastel paintings.
X-Acto Heavy-Duty 41 Pencil Sharpener
The best electric pencil sharpeners for demanding office, studio, and classroom environments are X-Acto’s Heavy-Duty 41 sharpener and the Extra-Large Shavings Receptacle. They’re quality tools that will last for years of service and come with extra heavy-duty AC induction motors. They have solid steel cutters and two cutting edges and stop automatically when the point is made. If you sharpen all sizes of pencils, this pencil sharpener is for you. It features an extra-large shavings receptacle.
Bostitch QuietSharp6 Classroom Electric Pencil Sharpener
The QuietSharp6 is built for students in studio and classroom environments. It sharpens pencils quickly, quietly, and safely. The motor is powerful enough to handle high volumes, and the thermal overload protection will protect you from overheating pencil sharpeners. The six-size selector dial makes it easy to choose the proper size for your pencil and sharpens your pencils ten times faster than a traditional cutter. The high-volume shavings tray features a tamper-proof MagnaSafe switch that shuts down the motor when the tray is removed.
How To Choose The Best Pastel Sharpener?
If you’re in the market for a new sharpener, there are many things you need to consider when looking for the best one, but the choice comes down to a few simple factors.
- First, do you want a manual or automatic one? Second, what’s your budget?
- Third, how do you plan on using the sharpener?
- And finally, are you looking for a tool that will last a lifetime or a cheap one that you’ll only use for a few months?
Get The Right Tools For The Job
If you’re interested in a sharp point for fine lines, you must use the right tool. Using a sharp craft knife and sandpaper is recommended for the perfect tip. The soft pastel strip and hard wooden casing can mean that a standard pencil sharpener on its own will not work. What usually happens is that the pastel strip crumbles away or gets lodged at the thin end of the sharpener and snaps when the pencil is withdrawn from the sharpener.
At first, most sharpeners will produce a sharp point, but after just a few sharpens, the sharp blade will dull from the wood casing of the pastel pencils. When the blade dulls, it will be useless for sharpening pastel pencils. However, they will still sharpen graphite pencils.
How To Sharpen Pencils With A Knife
Put the pencil in your left hand.
Hold the tip of the knife in your right hand and place the tip of the blade just above the pencil.
Push the blade forward onto the pencil.
Make a shallow cut along with the pencil. The shavings will resemble thin little wedges.
Continue until you have about an inch or so of the pastel core showing.
Rub the pastel core gently on sandpaper to get a sharp point.
Final Thoughts On Pastel Sharpeners
The art of pastel art takes years to master and requires extensive knowledge of materials and equipment to create amazing artwork. Many different types of sharpeners are available in the market, which can be used to sharpen pastels. A good sharpener must maintain the consistency and quality of the original sharpness of the pastels. Most professional artists use a combination of electric, manual, and hand sharpeners and craft knives for their pastel paintings.