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How to Sharpen Colored Pencils?

how to sharpen colored pencils

Colored pencils offer so much fun in drawing and coloring, but they can quickly become dull with time. Also, many have no clue how to sharpen their colored pencils without breaking the precious lead.

Indeed, colored pencils sharpen differently than regular pencils. They need to be sharpened regularly, and it’s important to do so correctly to prevent damaging your paper or dulling the pencil’s point.

This article will provide information on how to sharpen your colored pencils so you can continue using them for years. So, read on!

What is the Best Way to Sharpen Colored Pencils?

Method One: Electric Sharpener

The first method is an electric pencil sharpener. These sharpeners are specifically designed for colored pencils, so they are more likely to sharpen them correctly than a standard sharpening tool.

Most sharpeners have two holes on top of them; one large hole and one small hole.

  • The larger hole should be used if your pencil has a diameter greater than 0.75 inches or 19 millimeters
  • Meanwhile, the smaller hole should be used if your pencil’s diameter is less than that amount (sharpened lead will fall out)

It’s also important to note that most sharpeners require you to use their own brand of leads to work properly. It means you can’t simply stick any old worn-down lead into the sharpener and expect it to sharpen correctly.

Method Two: Manual Sharpener

Suppose you don’t have an electric sharpener or want to sharpen a pencil with a diameter greater than 0.75 inches. In that case, you can use a manual sharpener.

  • If you’re using a regular sharpener, make sure the blade is sharp and that the pencil is placed in the correct spot. The point of the colored pencil should be facing towards the metal blade to sharpen it correctly.
  • These are the sharpeners that look like two cones meeting at a point – the larger cone should be used for the colored pencils, while the smaller cone is for regular pencils.
  • Be sure to insert the pencil in so that the lead is facing towards the small cone – this will ensure that your pencil is sharpened evenly.

It’s important to check your work often so you can stop when the point is sharp enough. If you sharpen too much, you’ll elongate the pencil, and it will be difficult to hold.

Method Three: Sharpen Colored Pencils with a Knife

If you don’t have a pencil sharpener or your current sharpener isn’t giving you the results you want, sharpen your colored pencils with a knife.

It is a quick and easy way to get a razor-sharp point on your pencils.

  • Be very careful when using this method, as it’s easy to cut yourself if you’re not paying attention
  • Also, be sure to sharpen your pencils in a well-lit area so you can see what you’re doing
  • Hold the pencil so that the lead is facing towards the ground and slice downwards with the knife or blade
  • Be sure to keep the angle consistent, and don’t apply too much pressure, as this will quickly wear down your pencil point

How to Sharpen Prismacolor Pencils?

what is the best way to sharpen colored pencils

Just like any other pencil, Prismacolor pencils need to be sharpened to achieve a fine point. The lead-in these pencils are softer than most, so they can create a wide variety of shades and hues.

The best way to sharpen these pencils is by using an electric sharpener specifically designed for colored pencils. Manual sharpeners can also be used, but they’re not recommended unless you have experience with them.

Here are a Few More Helpful Tips

Make sure you sharpen regularly, especially if you use them often for different projects or everyday drawings. Sharpen as needed so that it does not get too dull. If you have started with an old pencil, chances are they need to be resharpened after their first few uses.

Do not sharpen more than one side of the colored pencil lead at once because this could cause breakage and decrease the amount of pigment on each color in your set. It can also result in damaged wooden casings, which result in discoloration on each pencil.

Some sharpeners also have a compartment to catch shavings while sharpening. However, this does not always work so well for colored pencils. Small pieces of wood are often left behind in the sharpeners, which can get onto your lead after sharpening if you do not empty them out regularly. This will result in inconsistent color output on your paper when coloring with these pencils.

When traveling or on the go, it is best to bring along an electric sharpener that does not require batteries so that you can sharpen your pencils wherever you are. Alternatively, manual sharpeners come in small and compact designs that are easy to carry with you.


Sharpening colored pencils can take a little practice, but it is necessary to sharpen them regularly for the best results. Try out different sharpeners and methods if you are not satisfied with your current sharpener or how your pencils look after they have been sharpened.

Feel free to share this article with those who will benefit from these helpful tips!

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