I mentioned in a blog post recently that I wasn’t a fan of using graphite pencils. As such, I had no real opinions when it comes to pencil sharpeners either. When I bought the Palomino Blackwing pencils I also bought a Blackwing long point sharpener.
This is probably the fanciest pencil sharpener I’ve ever bought. I’m surprised I’m even writing this post. For a long time, I’ve just used a scalpel when I need to sharpen a pencil. But this is the first time I’ve ever used a pencil sharpener which is actually good. It is also the strangest pencil sharpener I’ve ever used.
I realise that considering the times we are in this is a very strange post to share. This was written way before anyone considered the possibility of a worldwide pandemic. Originally it was meant to be part of my Blackwing pencil review but turned into its own thing.
Palomino Blackwing Long Point Sharpener Review
The Blackwing Long Point sharpener is actually branded under a few different names. The sharpener mentioned in this post is actually a special Palomino edition of the Automatic Long Point sharpener made by a company called KUM.
The sharpener comes in a number of different colours. The Palomino Blackwing version comes in black and gold. It also comes in blue and while under the KUM brand.
All these sharpeners feature the automatic long point system which gives your pencil a very sharp tip. The actual sharpener itself is very well made. It consists of a plastic case with a clear removable lid. The actual sharpener is a two-part system which gives your pencil that fine point. There are also a number of replacement blades included with the sharpener. So they can be replaced as the blades start to wear out.
MORE LIKE THIS: How To Start A Bullet Journal: A Beginner’s Guide
As nice as the sharpener is I wouldn’t exactly call this small and compact. Especially compared to a scalpel blade or the small metal sharpeners I’m more used to. This is very much a tool which stays at home. Mostly because it’s too big to fit in my pencil case. Funnily enough, another thing it shares with the Blackwing 602 pencil.
The long point sharpener comes as one piece, this is great because it also acts as something which can contain your pencil shavings. It has a clear plastic window which you can remove to empty the sharpener. But the design of the sharpener means its really hard to properly clean all the pencil lead from the sharpener.
I know you don’t need a clean pencil sharpener to sharpen a pencil. But it does annoy me that I can’t get all the little bits of lead out of the sharpener.
Long point sharpener
I’ve never come across a pencil sharpener with this 2-step sharpening system before but I have to say I am a convert. The first slot on the sharpener shaves away the wood from the graphite core. Once this part is done it will shop shaving. From what I can tell this process is what give the sharpener its “automatic” name.
The sharpener isn’t actually automatic, you still have to do all of the work. But this first step will leave you with a pencil that has a cylindrical piece of graphite on the top. Your pencil will look a little strange at this step. The graphic almost has a corkscrew shape to it.
The second slot on the Blackwing Long Point sharpener will give the pencil that fine point by shaving the lead away from the pencil. This results in a pencil which has a much longer point than what you would get from a normal sharpener. You definitely want to make sure you don’t accidentally poke yourself with this because I’m sure it will hurt.
You can definitely see the difference in the point when compared to sharpening with a regular pencil. One of the advantages of using this two-step system, apart from giving you a very fine point, is that you can resharpen the lead of the pencil without removing any more wood.
As you may be able to tell from the name, I bought the Blackwing Long Point sharpener to use with the Blackwing 602 pencil. Somehow I got it into my head that you had to use this sharpener with the Blackwing pencils. You don’t. You can sharpen the pencils with any sharpener.
But I would recommend you take care when choosing what pencils you use with the Blackwing Long Point sharpener. You always have to be careful with how much pressure you’re putting on the pencil lead while using a sharpener. The pressure can cause the lead to break which can be very frustrating.
Because the sharpener gives such a fine point you do need to watch how hard the lead is in the pencil you are sharpening. Not just because it could break while in the sharpener. Pencils with a softer lead might not be capable of keeping such a fine point when you put pencil to paper.
I tried the Blackwing sharpener with one of my Derwent Procolour pencils and the tip broke almost immediately after using it. The softer lead meant that fine point continued to wear down much faster compared to the Blackwing pencil.
I’m not going to lie. This is the most amount of money I’ve ever paid for a sharpener. The Blackwing Long Point sharpener costs around $17/£21 on Amazon. If you’re in the UK you can also get the sharpener from The Journal Shop which seems to be slightly cheaper. But that is still quite expensive, especially when I’m used to paying £2 for a pencil sharpener.
Fortunately, you don’t have to buy the Blackwing version of this sharpener. The original KUM branded version can be found on Amazon and is much more affordable. The KUM automatic sharpener can also be found on JetPens for $6 which is over half the price of the Blackwing version.
My Thoughts On The Blackwing Sharpener
I have to admit I do really like this sharpener. For a long time, I’ve used a scalpel to sharpen my pencils because it works and it was something I already have. One of the great things about using a knife to sharpen your pencil is that you have a lot of control over how much wood you remove and the shape of the pencil lead. The one thing you can’t really do with a knife is create a sharp point on your pencil. Or at least this isn’t something I have been able to do.
If you are using your pencils for writing or doing art. Especially if you’re doing something which requires a really fine line I would highly recommend this pencil. I used the Blackwing pencils while I was doing a fine art module last semester and I really loved it. Not just because of the pencil, but the sharpener gave the pencil a really nice point for writing.
The other added advantage of this sharpener was that I didn’t have to deal with the pencil lead breaking while trying to sharpen it. This is something you have to be really careful with while sharpening pencils and it can be really annoying.
MORE LIKE THIS: A Guide To Bullet Journal Supplies For Beginners
I will admit though that £14 is a lot for a pencil sharpener. I bought mine because I thought I needed a special sharpener for my Blackwing pencils. If I had known at the time there was an own-brand version of the sharpener I would absolutely have bought that instead.
It is a good sharpener. I really like that it comes with replacement blades, it should mean the sharpener lasts for a long time. But it will be interesting to see just how long the sharpener lasts. That will really show if the higher price tag is worth it.
That was my review of the Blackwing Long Point sharpener. Like I said at the start of the post, I really didn’t think I would be writing a review of a pencil sharpener. Its not really something I spend a lot of time thinking about, making sure I have the perfect sharpener.
But I was really quite surprised by just how good this pencil sharpener was. If you like having a really fine point on your pencils, whether, for writing or art, I would highly recommend you take a look at this sharpener.
Maybe learn from my mistakes and get the cheaper KUM branded version though. Honestly, I don’t know how I got it into my head that buying a special type of pencil meant I needed a very specific type of sharpener. Though I will say the Blackwing sharpener does work really well with the Blackwing pencils.