As you might have guessed from the theme of my recent posts, lately I’ve spent a good deal of time time curating my stationery accumulation and related accessories, trying to get a handle on what my “core tools” are. My traveling kit and my journaling setup has remained consistent as of late, and I did a search around my desk at home and at the office to see whether there were any additional key items in my workflow that I had never reviewed. What was the first thing that came up? My Carl Angel-5 pencil sharpener, which I’ve owned for more than 5 years now.
Carl is a longstanding Japanese office-supply manufacturer, which since 1929 has produced products ranging from hole punches to paper cutters to pencil sharpeners. I can’t speak to their other products, but Carl’s pencil sharpeners are superb, especially for the money. The Angel-5 model has developed a bit of a cult following due to the long point this thing can put on a pencil. We’re talking daggers or vampire-stakes here.
The Angel-5 is a pretty simple contraption: it’s a single-burr, hand-crank sharpener that has held up well and shows no signs of the grinder dulling despite five years of heavy use. This sharpener’s combination of compact size and durability makes it a perfect choice for home and office desktops, as well as classrooms.
The one potential issue I feel compelled to mention is the fact that the “teeth” of the sharpener that grip the pencil will leave marks in the finish. If you sharpen enough, it can give the pencil a “chewed up” look. Since woodcase pencils are by their very nature disposable, this doesn’t bother me as the finish on the pencil is going to get “sharpened away” anyway, but as you might imagine, people have very strong opinions about these things. Carl makes a slightly more expensive model with rubber pads on the grippers that won’t mar the finish. (Link below)
Takeaways and Where to Buy
If you’re in the market for a relatively inexpensive, high-quality pencil sharpener for the home, office, or classroom that will see heavy use, consider the Carl Angel-5. For less than $20, (including free Amazon same day delivery for eligible Amazon Prime Members), this sharpener is a bargain. The one drawback, as noted above, is that you can’t adjust the length or bluntness of the point, but if you require this functionality you can opt for the slightly more expensive Carl CC-2000, which has five sharpness options. I have a CC-2000 in my office, and while it’s a good sharpener, I prefer the point on the Angel-5. (Note that the CC-2000 is the sharpener that doesn’t leave “teeth marks” on your pencil.)
Disclaimer: I purchased the product featured in this review with my own funds, for my own use. This post contains Amazon affiliate links.