Friday, June 22, 2012

Every Day Engineering - The World's Quietest Pencil Sharpener

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A couple of months ago, I came across a blog post from another teacher that was just raving about "The World's Quietest Pencil Sharpener".  I gotta say, this caught my attention.  If there is one thing that gets on my nerves, it is someone sharpening a pencil during my class.  It didn't take me long to decide that I wanted to try one of these out for myself.  I was pretty excited to have the chance to try it for free in exchange for a review of the sharpener on my blog.  
Before I could even give it a whirl, I received an email asking me to hold off on my review because they were OUT OF STOCK!  Wow, I figured these must be awesome!  Then mine arrived and I got a chance to test it for myself.  I've been dying to tell you about it ever since and today I finally got the go ahead that they are back in stock and I could share my review.
So... here it is.

This is a really great device.  My favorite part is the engineering design that gives you a perfect point every time while holding the pencil for you.  Yes, you read that right.  You don't even have to hold the pencil while you are sharpening it.  I've never seen anything like it and the students in my science classes hadn't either. They were really intrigued by that feature.  For me, this was an added bonus.  My 5th grade students study force and motion, simple machines, design and engineering basics.  This is a perfect example of someone seeing a need and solving the problem by inventing a new design to improve on an existing tool.  

The clamping device that secures the sharpener to a desk or table isn't very sturdy.  We find that we get better results by just holding the pencil sharpener in place.  It could be permanently fixed to a location with a screw but I like to be able to take it with me.  I teach about 100 students and we use a "community pencil box".  At least once a week, the sharpener goes home with me along with a big tub of dull pencils.  I can watch t.v. or talk with my family and still get the pencils sharpened without being disturbed by the noise.  This really is the quietest sharpener I've ever used.  

In the past, I've had a difficult time keeping colored pencils sharp.  The lead always wanted to break off in the sharpener.  This sharpener doesn't improve that to 100% but 95% of the colored pencils I sharpened with it came out beautifully!  In fact, only 2 colored pencils resulted in lead breaking off in the sharpener.  Since the sharpener wasn't mounted, it was easy to remove the broken piece and continue sharpening pencils. This is a huge plus for me since we add color to our interactive notebooks on a regular basis.

My 7 year old daughter loves sharpening her pencils with this unique pencil sharpener.
She even made her own "commercial".
video


Now bounce over to Classroom Friendly Supplies to get your hands on one for yourself before they sell out again!

If you do have one or decide to get one, I'd love to hear your thoughts about the engineering in the comments section.


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