It all started when I realised that my pencil sharpeners just weren’t doing it for me anymore. I needed a bigger point on my pencil, a bigger nib on my stick. Let’s see in my review of the Derwent Super Point Sharpener if this is a sharpener worth having.
Dimensions and size
It’s not a huge sharpener but definitely one you’ll be using on your desk rather than putting in a bag to take around with you on location. It’s also best if you can attach it to your desk with the included F bracket and keep it in one place. It’s possible to use the Derwent Super Point without attaching it but it’s far easier if you do.
Dimensions of the Derwent SuperPoint:
It’s 13cm high, 7cm wide and 12cm deep (with the hand crank). Additionally, if you attach the desk clamp it measures downwards about 8cm from the desk surface.
The problem: My pencil nib was too short
Many of us don’t care about what pencil sharpener we use. If we find one that sharpens our pencil without breaking it in half, that’ll do for most of us. I was struggling to sharpen some pencils I bought though, so needed something better. The Derwent Super Point Sharpener quickly came up on my radar as a good sharpener that didn’t require me to sell a kidney for. It’d give me a big sharp pencil at a relatively affordable cost.
Let’s get one thing clear though, there isn’t anything wrong with shorter pencil nibs. For me, longer nibs give me more control when I shade pictures and my pencils last longer before I need to sharpen them again. Having long pencil nibs is mostly a stylistic choice.
Sharpening my pencil with a knife didn’t work
Like most of you, I’ve rarely given much thought to the pencil sharpeners I use. At one stage I thought I would be more of an artist if I used a scalpel to sharpen pencils manually. Some people do this because they like to really customise the way they sharpen their pencil.
All this scalpel sharpening stopped for me after I slipped one day cut my finger open. Also, pencils that have been sharpened with a knife look ugly as hell and the nibs are rarely very smooth. Ever since then I just used the cheapest sharpeners I could find at the art shop.
Cheap sharpeners weren’t making my nib big enough
The cheap pencil sharpeners I used to buy worked well until I bought pencils from Caran D’Ache. Those pencils are a non-standard size and so don’t fit into a lot of sharpeners. On top of that, the Caran D’Ache pencils arrive with really long sharp points. I didn’t realise there were pencil nib size was a thing that varied. I was really impressed with those long sharp nibs, so I wanted to maintain them when I sharpened the pencils.
The Derwent Super Sharp is a rotary sharpener. That means that it has a cylinder with lots of blades on it inside (as pictured above). These kinds of pencil sharpeners require less effort than standard ones do and they’re also faster at sharpening because of the amount of blades passing over the pencils.
The blade barrel of the Derwent Super Sharp seems pretty solid to me. The barrel etc is made from metal but the outer casing and screw cap is plastic. It’s the outside of the sharpener where Derwent cut costs a bit to bring the price down.
Size does matter – Pencil Sharpness with the Super Sharp
The pencil above next to the letter A is the version from the Derwent Super Sharp. The nib on the extra sharp pencil stays sharp for at least double the amount of time as the standard shape of B and C.
I didn’t actually realise that the nibs had been extra long until I began resharpening them. After resharpening the pencils I became disappointed because they wouldn’t last as long between sharpenings and especially with the Caran D’Ache pencils… they just weren’t working well with normal pencil sharpeners. The pencils above next to the letters B and C are Caran D’Ache pencils shaped with standard sharpeners.
We all say size shouldn’t matter but it clearly does. You should definitely try out a long pencil nib if you haven’t already. They’re better for shading and they last way longer before you have to sharpen them again. So long as the lead in your pencil is strong enough to hold up, you could be drawing all night without an issue.
What does the Derwent Super Point Sharpener do well?
The Derwent Super Point Sharpener solved two problems for me. One is that I wanted a really big nib on my pencil and the second is that I didn’t want to be running back and forth the dustbin. The Derwent Super Point Sharpener makes my pencils really long and sharp with very little effort.
That said, the Derwent Super Point Sharpener isn’t the fanciest sharpener on the block. It’s the kind of pencil sharpener that will give you a nice long nib but you won’t really want to see it after you’re done. It isn’t hideous but it’s still made out of plastic so it isn’t something I’d want constantly attached to my desk. If I wanted a pencil sharpener to put on display constantly, I’d probably buy the metal Caran dAche one. As it stands… I can’t afford that right now and the Derwent Super Point will do nicely for the time being.
The Derwent Super Point Sharpener might be mid-range in price but it makes my pencil nib big and it swallows all the pencil chips after it’s done. Nice and tidy.
What doesn’t the Derwent Super Point Sharpener do well?
Ok what doesn’t the Derwent Super Point Sharpener do well? Well for one, it bites my pencil a bit too hard sometimes. The Derwent Super Point Sharpener bites my pencil so hard sometimes that it leaves tiny little marks on it. I don’t mind too much personally.
The other thing that bothers me slightly about the Derwent Super Point Sharpener is that it has a problem with the circumference of Caran d’Ache’s pencils. Caran D’Ache make their pencils thick and I happen to really like that. The Derwent Super Point Sharpener’s problem is that it can only just accommodate the larger circumference of Caran D’Ache pencils. They fit in there but it’s a bit like shoving a big button through a new pair of stiff jeans.
Another occasional problem with the Derwent Super Point Sharpener is that you need to be careful that it doesn’t over-sharpen your pencil. Most of the time, it stops sharpening the pencil when it has achieved the maximum sharpness but there have also been times where it wouldn’t stop sharpening. I lost a couple of centimetres on one pencil because I didn’t realise!
The final and more obvious concern with the Derwent Super Point sharpener is the plastic outer casing. The casing etc is well made but being plastic, it probably won’t last a lifetime. It doesn’t have the durability of metal and therefore I can imagine I’ll be replacing this within five years. If I took good care of it, this sharpener would probably last longer. Knowing me though, I’ll end up dropping it on the floor or tighten something too much. I’m a bit clumsy sometimes.
Conclusion to my review of the Derwent Super Point Sharpener
Overall, I’m pretty happy with the Derwent Super Point Sharpener. It has a few weak points and I want to jam thicker pencils than it can handle comfortably in there sometimes… but overall it gives me a nice long nib that I can show off to all my friends.
Who’s the Derwent Super Point Sharpener for?
- People who can’t resist a nice, big, long nib on their pencil.
- Those who don’t want to go to the dustbin all the time.
- Those who work mostly at their desks
Who isn’t the Derwent Super Points Sharpener for?
- Those who are intimidated by huge nibs.
- Those who always use their pencils at classes and outdoor locations (away from the desk).
Where to buy the Derwent Super Point Sharpener?
I’m affiliated to these shops below and if you buy something after using the links then I might get a cent or two for writing this. It doesn’t change the price for you but it helps me pay for my web hosting and all the wheels and cogs that go behind this website. Me being affiliated to the shops doesn’t change my opinion of the products I review.
Note: Shops regularly change their prices so you should check below to see which one currently has the lowest price and soonest availability.
Online art stores:
Derwent Super Point Sharpener at Jackson’s Art (UK & EU / Worldwide shipping)
France – Caran D’Ache Plastic Desk Sharpener at Rougier et Plé – This is a different pencil sharpener but it has the same kind of design for a similar cost. Just putting it here for those in France who don’t want to use Amazon.