Prismacolor Premier Sharpener Review

I don’t know about you, but I’m constantly on the hunt for a great pencil sharpener. Whether it be hand-held, electric or battery operated doesn’t really matter because at the end of the day they just need to do one thing well for me – sharpen my colored pencils.

Back in November of last year, I purchased the Prismacolor Premier hand-held sharpener. Normally I get super excited and want to review something right away, but this time I thought I would give it a few months. The thing I have found with most pencil sharpeners is that they all seem to work great at first and it isn’t until a couple of months in that you start to notice things like whether the blades are still performing well, and if any parts of it are broken. A friend of mine had mentioned she owned this same product and hadn’t been that happy with it so, despite my initial positive feeling towards it, I wanted to take some time with it so I could give a fair review.

Packaging & Presentation
My initial impression of this product is that it looks pretty slick with uniform black coloring, translucent case, and ergonomic design. It also came in packaging which a lot of hand-held sharpeners don’t. This, of course, allows for more opportunities from a marketing perspective to sell the customer on the product by incorporating Prismacolor’s branding for easy identification, space to call out some the product’s features and mention the satisfaction guarantee clause. This also means that the barcode is on the packaging as well instead of the product itself. I understand barcodes are a necessity of the buying process but it’s a pet peeve of mine to pull them off products and have to deal with the sticky residue left behind. That’s also assuming that you were able to peel it off in its entirety, to begin with, but that’s a rant for another time. The packaging is also recyclable so its easy enough to toss this in the recycle bin once you’ve opened it.

Product Features
The sharpener has a flip top lid that stays securely in place if you want to take this with you in pencil case. This is a nice subtle feature and also a plus for not having stray pencil shavings and dust everywhere. My only concern with this feature is that the hinge seems like it could break after multiple uses or if you were accidentally a little too aggressive with it. Mine has been holding up so far, so that’s a great sign.

I must admit that I was perplexed on how to open this sharpener. There was no indication on the packaging, on the company’s website or even on the product itself for that matter. After multiple attempts and fear of breaking it, I found a video on YouTube of someone demonstrating it, thankfully. The top is removed by pushing up with your thumb where the V-shaped indent is. I thought this was just for ease of flipping up the lid but it has a dual purpose. The first few times I still found it a little difficult to get it open, but after the first couple of times, it seems to open quite easily now.

Translucent cases on pencil sharpeners are always a plus and this one also seems to hold a decent amount of shavings. One of the main features of this sharpener is that it has dual holes for sharpening to either a narrow or wide point. Because of this though, it only allows for one size of a pencil. Since it’s marketed specifically for Prismacolor Premier colored pencils, this makes sense, however, it’s not great if you plan on using this with other brands that may not have the same diameter.

In the last image on the far right, I sharpened one colored pencil in each of the holes. To be perfectly honest though, I didn’t like using this with my Prismacolor Premier pencils at all. I found it worked great with my Faber-Castell Polychromos ones, however, which is what is pictured. I got a great sharp point with them which was awesome, and the wide point is not a feature I tend to use often, but still functions well. When I used the Prismacolor Premiers with it, I got continual breakage.  After being incredibly frustrated I decided to not keep trying.

Final Thoughts
The Prismacolor Premier hand-held sharpener has some questionable flaws but is overall a really well-performing sharpener. (Just not, in my opinion, with the product it was designed for. ) After a few months of using this product, it still sharpens great and some of the design concerns I had don’t seem to be an issue, thus far. The price point is relatively reasonable and in the areas where it excels, it’s well worth the price.

For more on Prismacolor product visit their website HERE

Have you tried the Prismacolor Premier Sharpener? Share with me in the comments!

Please Note: I am in no way being paid to promote this product. The opinions in the blog post are my own.

Barb Sotiropoulos

Barb Sotiropoulos

I’m a Canadian artist and designer specializing in coloured pencil and mixed media. When I’m not creating art, I love helping other artists by sharing tips and tricks that have helped me. You can find me on all of my social channels @barbsotiart or check out my past Q&A articles for COLORED PENCIL Magazine or my co-hosting appearances on the Sharpened Artist Colored Pencil Podcast.

5 Responses

  1. I came here to find out how to open the sharpener. Thank you for telling me. I haven’t tried it yet. I too am always looking for a decent sharpener!

    1. Hi Diane! No problem, I had to look it up as well when I bought mine so I thought it was an important thing to include! Hope you like the sharpener. 🙂

  2. Oh the quest for the perfect sharpener! I haven’t tried this one, but did try a Faber-Castell one and was really disappointed. I’ve had really good luck with the Maped sharpeners which work amazingly well and are super sturdy for how inexpensive they are.

    1. Funny how sometimes the cheap ones are the ones that work best! I also don’t feel as bad when I need to replace them. Supposedly you can replace the blades in pencil sharpeners but I have yet to find a place that carries them.

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Hey, I'm Barb!

I’m a Canadian artist and designer specializing in coloured pencil and mixed media. When I’m not creating art, I love helping other artists by sharing tips and tricks that have helped me. You can find me on all of my social channels @barbsotiart or check out my past Q&A articles for COLORED PENCIL Magazine or my co-hosting appearances on the Sharpened Artist Colored Pencil Podcast.

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