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10 Best Sharpeners for Colored Pencils in 2023 | Reviews

Colored pencils are simple mediums that can produce extraordinary artwork.  Unlike regular lead pencils, these are very fragile and soft. This is because of their core composition. 

Best Sharpeners for Colored Pencils

Most good-quality colored pencils contain wax or oil in their composition that can help make their pigments vibrant. They are also much more expensive than graphite pencils. Therefore, it’s important to take good care when using colored pencils. And one of the best ways to care for them is by using a good sharpener

Using a good sharpener can go a long way than just keeping your pencils sharp. 

Listed below are the top 5 recommendations for the best sharpeners for colored pencils:

  • Staedtler Metal Sharpeners: Featuring dual sharpening holes (8.2 mm and 10.2 mm) and durable all-metal construction, this sharpener offers versatility for artists. Lacking child safety measures and a small size requiring frequent disposal of shavings may impact user experience.
  • Staedtler Pencil Sharpener: Known for sharp blades, affordability, and a child-friendly design, this sharpener is favored. Yet, the single chamber limits tip size options, potentially affecting its appeal to advanced artists.
  • Bostitch Electric Pencil Sharpener: Recognized for removable blades, a soundproof design, and six chambers accommodating diverse pencil shapes, this electric sharpener caters to varied user needs. A comparatively higher price point and electric operation may influence user preferences.
  • Maped Shaker 2 Hole Pencil Sharpener: Standing out for its economical pricing, durable metal build, and versatility with various coloring mediums, this sharpener is not recommended for children due to sharp blades. It offers fewer features compared to higher-priced alternatives.
  • The Duet Manual and Battery Pencil Sharpener: Offering adjustable tip sizes at an affordable rate, this sharpener serves both studio and outdoor use. User reports indicate occasional lagging in battery mode, and manual tuning demands attention during use.

Here is the list of the 10 best sharpeners for colored pencils that you can use to achieve a sharp, precise point for your artwork.

1. Staedtler Metal Sharpeners - Best for Dual Sharpening Holes

Staedtler is a German company that has been around for almost 200 years now. It is one of the most respected brands when it comes to stationery supplies. 

And we have metal sharpeners, each with dual sharpening holes to serve two purposes. If you want a pointy tip on your colored pencil, use the 8.2 mm hole, while if you’re planning to draw wider lines, then the 10.2 mm hole will be perfect. 


The sharpener is ideal for working with a piece where you can use your pencil for many different textures since it offers two sizes for the tip.

We love that there are two high-quality pieces within the pack, so we can take one out for plein air projects and keep one as a backup or for use at home. They can also sharpen soft oil-based pencils without breaking them in the process. 

For their use and durability, we think the price is very reasonable. It’s worth investing in a sharpener that won’t malfunction as soon as regular ones do after a certain period of usage.

However, the sharpener is not designed to be safe for children as it is fully constructed from metal and there are no outer plastic covers to prevent possible cuts. It is also very small so we don’t suggest giving it to younger kids. 

And since the pencils don’t come with a shell, you must have a trash can by your side all the time to prevent creating a mess. 

Nonetheless, the sharpener is great for those who are in search of quality and reliability since it has already withstood the test of time. 

Dimensions: 4" x 3" x 0.5" | Weight: 0.11 lb | Material: Metal | Operation: Hand-Operated

2. STAEDTLER Pencil Sharpener - Best for Kids & Portability

Here is another sharpener from Staedtler. This one comes in a very simple, yet attractive design which also happens to be child-friendly and portable. 

It’s also one of the cheapest sharpeners on the list, but that doesn’t compromise its functionality. 


Those who are starting out with colored pencils as a coloring medium will find this sharpener very handy and suitable to carry around. 

We personally love that a high-quality sharpener from a renowned name such as this comes at a very reasonable price. Its sharp blades allow for clean and pointy tips. 

You can use it for both graphite and colored pencils. But the reason we included it on this list is that it takes good care of your colored pencils by keeping them fine and pointy at all times.

While the quality is good, the only limitation is it does not have dual holes for sharpening. For advanced artists, this might not be preferable when working with more than one tip size. 

However, it’s a perfect sharpener to carry around for outdoor drawings since it has a secured plastic cover to hold the shavings inside. It’s also a good pick for kids since the cover hides away the sharp blade.

So, if you want a good, reasonably-priced sharpener for kids, give this one a try. It also comes in different colors! 

Dimensions: 1.5" x 1.5" x 2" | Weight: 0.04 lb | Material: Metal | Operation: Hand-Operated

3. Bostitch Electric Pencil Sharpener - Best Multi-Functional Sharpener

Bostitch is a name that has won the Teachers Choice Award of 2023. 

The sharpener is made to meet both classroom and industrial requirements. It can be used for graphite pencils, but it works excellently with colored pencils too. 

It has a blade that can easily be removed while using in case the oil/wax binder gets stuck inside and prevents the pencil from sharpening. 


Many artists love this sharpener for many reasons. First of all, unlike other sharpeners, the blade on this electric sharpener can be removed for easy cleaning if the wax ever gets clogged inside while sharpening colored pencils. 

On top of that, the blade is very sharp and is always able to produce pointy tips in every single use without damaging the outer wood casing as cheap sharpeners do.

We love the design as it is sturdy and compact. It adds to the overall high-quality performance. Moreover, it is also soundproof which even makes it more desirable. Unlike sharpeners from older days, this one creates very little sound which eliminates distractions. 

Besides its removable blades, the sharpener has 6 chambers meant for different pencil shapes and tip sizes. So if you’re using round or triangular-shaped pencils, this is the perfect pick.

And if you are looking for a more reliable or long-lasting option, this one would be a pretty good investment.

Although the price of this sharpener is much higher than that of other more popular sharpeners from the same brand, we are very satisfied with the quality and multiple features it offers.

All in all, we recommend investing in this sharpener as it lasts long and you can buy separate replacement blades. Moreover, it can be used by both adults and children.

Dimensions: 10.63" x 6.13" x 9" | Weight: 4.03 lbs | Material: Metal | Operation: Electrically-Operated

4. Maped Shaker 2 Hole Pencil Sharpener - Best Budget Option

There are a lot of reasons to love this sharpener from Maped. 

One of the main reasons is because of its very low price for only $1.79 for a double chamber and $0.79 for a single chamber. 

We included this one on our list solely because it comes at an inexpensive price, but still performs as other high-end sharpeners do. 


If you’re planning to buy a sharpener that will last for a very long time, we recommend the Maped Hand-Held Sharpener. Not only is it cheap but it is also highly durable.

This metal sharpener is suitable for professionals and it has a rating of 4.8 on the Blick art supplies website. All of this is a reason for its multiple features. 

It has a perfect grip on both of its sides for precise pencil sharpening. The double-chambered unit has one large hole which can be used for graphite pencils, colored pencils, and even pastels or charcoal. And it works incredibly well with all of them. 

Because it accepts more than one coloring medium, artists find this sharpener to be more convenient than other ridiculously priced high-end units out there that only serve one purpose. Rather than buying multiple sharpeners to meet different requirements, this one already serves 4 coloring mediums. 

We can say that the only setback is that it is not suitable for kids even though it comes at a very cheap price. Because it also has sharp blades, you’ll also want to store it in a place where kids won’t find it. 

But other than that, this sharpener is one of the cheapest options that comes with amazing features you’ll find in the market.

Dimensions: 10.63" x 6.13" x 9" | Weight: 4.03 lbs | Material: Metal | Operation: Electrically-Operated

5. The Duet Manual and Battery Pencil Sharpener - Best for Adjustable Tip Size

We have here another electric pencil sharpener. Duet has come up with this electric pencil sharpener which operates on two batteries and has manual settings. 

The innovative idea by Duet for this sharpener allows users to have control over the size of the pencil tip by tuning it. 


We love how colored pencils can be sharpened effortlessly. The only time you need to pay undivided attention to it is when you have to choose a tip size for your pencil, right before the sharpening is complete.

It also falls under the inexpensive sharpeners on this list which is around $7 and may be highly favored by users on a tight budget. It has most of the features one would look for in an electric pencil sharpener. Moreover, it is perfect to take along for outdoor projects. So, investing in it will be a pretty good idea. 

However, some users reported that when keeping it on battery mode, it has a tendency to lag or stop. Other than that, the manual option works pretty well. 

For what it’s worth, this will be a good pick for those who are looking forward to having control over the pencil tip.

Dimensions: 3" x 3" x 3" | Weight: 0.23 lb | Material: Plastic, Metal | Operation: Hand & Battery-Operated

6. Prismacolor Premier Pencil Sharpener, 2-pack

Prismacolor is a brand name that is respected for its high-quality pencils that come at affordable prices. For this reason, they came up with a sharpener that works well with their colored pencils, but we don’t doubt it is excellent for other colored pencils too. 


If you have been around the world of colored pencils for some time, you’ll know Prismacolor is a very trusted brand. So, when they introduced the colored pencil sharpener, we knew it was going to be nothing short of a good-quality product. 

And as we expected, their sharpener performs very much like the other high-end ones. It has a large casing which allows us to store the shavings when working outdoors. There are also two chambers - one for a wider tip and another for a finer tip. 

One thing to keep in mind is that this sharpener is only meant for colored pencils. Although it might work well for graphite pencils too, we recommend sticking only to the intended purpose as the blade is not replaceable. 

As we have seen from many online reviews, users said the sharpener is more than enough for those who daily work with colored pencils. They found that the price is worth its performance.

If you always use Prismacolor colored pencils, this would be the perfect sharpener for all your projects. But we also urge you to try it for other colored pencils as well since it has everything you might be expecting from a colored pencil sharpener.

Dimensions: 3" x 6.1" x 0.2" | Weight: 0.2 lb | Material: Stainless Steel | Operation: Battery-Operated

7. X-ACTO Electric Sharpener

X-ACTO is a brand known for producing some of the sharpest knives and razors universally. And now, they introduced this electric sharpener for multipurpose uses. 

It can be used for colored and graphite pencils. The blade is incredibly sharp which allows users to cut pencils easily. 


We love that this sharpener keeps our pencils pointy all the time until they become too short to use. Besides graphite and colored pencils, it can also be used for either soft or hard leads and triangular pencils. Therefore, this increases its versatility. 

Like most of the options we mentioned before, this one is suitable for children and adults to use, as well as for taking outdoors. 

However, what sets it apart from the rest is that it comes with a warranty of 10 years. This hints that the sharpener is of very high quality. We take this as an opportunity to get the most performance from the sharpener. Rest assured, it is incredibly durable.

Another feature we must include is that the blades can be removed for cleaning. In case we lose them, there are replacement blades that are available online. 

Expect to find the blades dull after a long while of use which means there is a need to change them.  

Besides artists, professionals who are looking for a heavy-duty sharpener to carry to their work site found this sharpener very handy. 

Dimensions: 7" x 3.13" x 4.5" | Weight: 0.87 lb | Material: Plastic, Metal | Operation: Electrically-Operated

8. Mobius & Ruppert Brass Round Double Hole Sharpener

In our review of the Alvin Brass Bullet Pencil Sharpener, we mentioned that the blade it utilizes is from this particular brand. 

Mobius & Ruppert is a company making stationery that has been around for more than a hundred years now. All of the products are known for their premium quality, and that’s the same case with this sharpener. 


As the name suggests, the Brass Round Double Hole Sharpener has double chambers - for wide and fine sharpening. It comes at a very affordable price, so students as well as artists with a restricted budget can use it. 

The round body is made entirely of brass. It is one of the smallest sharpeners on our list. Although its shape is round, we can still get a good grip for smooth sharpening, all thanks to the side grooves.

The blades on this sharpener can be removed as well as replaced with new ones which you can find on any online stationery-selling platform.

Many artists who have used this sharpener for a while now said that it is durable and still functions pretty well.

Since it is an open-blade sharpener, it means that it is not designed to have a casing. Therefore, its usage is restricted only to adults, and not children. 

Dimensions: 3.9" x 2.7" x 0.7" | Weight: N/A | Material: Brass | Operation: Hand-Operated

9. Dahle 155 Professional Pencil Sharpener

The Dahle Professional Pencil Sharpener is used for sharpening a variety of coloring mediums such as watercolor pencils, pastels, colored pencils, and charcoal. 

One important feature about it is that it has the looks of a crank sharpener but functions as a modern one. 


This sharpener is one of the best that we have reviewed. 

What we truly love about it is that it allows us to choose the right tip size simply by tuning the adjustment lever. Moreover, it contains a chamber opening that is large enough for any pencil size to fit inside. It has a small casing to save unwanted shavings. 

The benefit you’ll get from manually tuning the tip is if the art piece requires patches and lines of different sizes, which the sharpener can easily provide. You will also have more control over the outcome of the piece. 

We also like that it is inexpensive so that everybody can have access to it. We can use it both in the studio or outdoors too. 

One drawback is that, unlike automatic or even hand-held sharpeners, you need to actually turn the handle for sharpening, and this requires more time and effort. 

But apart from that, this would be a good pick for your studio or if you want an accurate tip size.

Dimensions: 3.9" x 2.7" x 0.7" | Weight: N/A | Material: Brass | Operation: Hand-Operated

10. Derwent Super Point Manual Helical Pencil Sharpener

Another manually operated crank sharpener is the Derwent Super Point Manual Helical Pencil sharpener. It can be used for pencils of different sizes. 

Its features include having helical blades to ensure long-point sharpening and many more. 


We love this sharpener because of the multiple features it includes. It is ideal for pencils with a size that reaches up to 8mm.  

First of all, the secured metal casing is one feature that assures us that the sharpener will last for a long time.

Although you have to turn the lever, it automatically stops when the cutting process is done. The sharpener will slack and that’s when you know it’s ready. There is no need to hold the sharpener with your hand since it comes with a clamp that can be attached to a desk or work table.

The blades are easily reachable for cleaning since all you have to do is pull out the reservoir tray.

This is a professional-grade sharpener, hence, it falls under the expensive options on this list. It may not be suitable if you’re either on a tight budget or just looking to sharpen your colored pencils with a cheaper alternative. 

Overall, the sharpener produces amazing extra long and extra pointy pencils. 

Dimensions: 5.31" x 2.95" x 4.92" | Weight: 1.1 lbs | Material: Metal | Operation: Hand-Operated

What Is the Best Sharpener for Colored Pencils?

This table offers a concise overview of essential attributes for various pencil sharpeners, detailing dimensions (in inches), weight (in pounds), number of chambers, operation mode, and material composition.

ProductDimensionsWeightNo. of ChambersOperationMaterial
Staedtler Metal Sharpeners4" x 3" x 0.5"0.11 lb2Hand-OperatedMetal
STAEDTLER Pencil Sharpener1.5" x 1.5" x 2"0.04 lb1Hand-OperatedMetal
Bostitch Pencil Sharpener‎10.63" x 6.13" x 9"‎4.03 lbs6Electrically-OperatedMetal
Maped Shaker Pencil Sharpener‎1.02" x 4.92" x 4.92"0.05 lb2 or 1Hand-OperatedPlastic, Metal
The Duet Pencil Sharpener‎3" x 3" x 3"0.23 lb1Hand & Battery-OperatedPlastic, Metal
Prismacolor Pencil Sharpener‎3" x 6.1" x 0.2"0.2 lb2Battery-OperatedStainless Steel
X-ACTO Electric Sharpener‎7" x 3.13" x 4.5"0.87 lb1Electrically-OperatedPlastic, Metal
Mobius & Ruppert Sharpener3.9" x 2.7" x 0.7"N/A2Hand-OperatedBrass
Dahle 155 Pencil Sharpener2.25" x 3.5 "x 3.75"0.55 lb1Hand-OperatedStainless Steel, Plastic
Derwent Pencil Sharpener‎5.31" x 2.95" x 4.92"‎1.1 lbs1Hand-OperatedMetal

Can I use a regular pencil sharpener for colored pencils?

Although it is possible to use a regular sharpener, it is preferable to use a sharpener designed for colored pencils. Colored pencil leads are generally softer than graphite, and a specialized sharpener will provide better results and prevent breakage.

What types of sharpeners are best suited for colored pencils?

The best sharpeners for colored pencils include manual, electric, and battery-powered options. Look for sharpeners with high-quality blades and sharpness adjustment features to better protect the delicate leads of the colored pencils.

How do I choose the right sharpener for my colored pencils?

To choose the right sharpener for your colored pencils, consider the sharpener’s compatibility with the pencil diameter, the quality of the blades, and adjustable sharpness. It can also be helpful to read product reviews and consult fellow artists for tips and recommendations.

Do I need a separate sharpener for each color?

No, it’s not necessary to have a separate sharpener for each color. You can use the same sharpener for multiple colors; just make sure to clean it periodically to avoid mixing colors.

How often should I sharpen my colored pencils?

The frequency of sharpening depends on your usage and desired level of precision. Frequent sharpening helps maintain a fine tip, but over-sharpening can waste the colored lead. It’s essential to find a balance between performance and pencil life.

How do I prevent lead breakage while using a sharpener?

To prevent breakage, use a gentle grip, rotate the pencil slowly, and avoid excessive pressure. Make sure the sharpener is clean and free of debris. High-quality sharpeners with adjustable sharpness also help to prevent lead breakage.

How do I clean and maintain my colored pencil sharpener?

Regularly clean your sharpener to remove debris and prevent lead/color mixing. Use a small brush, toothpick, or pipe cleaner to remove lead remnants. Always handle the sharpener carefully, and replace the blades when they become dull.

As we've explored various sharpeners for colored pencils, it's apparent that the right sharpener can make a significant difference in the quality and precision of your artwork.

Having analyzed the top 10 best sharpeners on the market, we've narrowed down our expert recommendations to the following top three options:

For those who appreciate quality and durability, the Staedtler Metal Sharpeners with their dual sharpening holes are an ideal option. Providing two different tip sizes and withstanding the test of time, it's a reliable investment for artists who want a versatile, long-lasting sharpener.

The STAEDTLER Pencil Sharpener, on the other hand, is a good option for kids and artists on the go. With its child-friendly design, sharp blade performance, and reasonable price, this might be just the sharpener you're looking for.

Lastly, the Bostitch Electric Pencil Sharpener is the right choice for artists seeking a multi-functional sharpener. Its removable blades, ability to accommodate various pencil shapes and tip sizes, and wide range of use make it an excellent investment.

No matter which one you choose, you'll be equipping yourself with the right tool for creating exceptional artwork with vivid, precise colors. Happy coloring!