Sharpener Review: KUM Automatic Long Point (Blackwing edition)

Pencil sharpeners seem like they’re a dime a dozen. That is, until you begin searching for that coveted ultra long point. The urge to find the ultimate long-point sharpener is kind of like Hepatitis B: some people get it and it just never goes away. A sharpener that reliably generates an elegant, long taper is even more elusive in hand-blade format.

Esteemed German manufacturer KUM has attempted to solve this issue with their Automatic Long Point sharpener. I purchased this sharpener without necessarily intending to review it, and have been using it off and on for several months now, so I reckon I’m highly-qualified to give you the dirt on it. In this case, I’ll be reviewing the Blackwing-branded model, although I’m pretty sure that there is no difference between this and the “white label” model other than the screen-printed Blackwing logo. So keep reading, long-point enthusiasts; because herein lies an in-depth look at one of the most popular long-point hand sharpeners on the market today.

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Sharpener Review: T’Gaal Multisharpener

Getting a nice, long point on a pencil without having to use an elaborate or bulky sharpener is kind of a rare joy for writers. On the one hand, there are lots of desktop sharpeners that give a long point, but that would be kinda dumb trying to carry one of those around in your pencil case. On the other hand, there are tons of high-quality compact wedge, bullet, and canister-type sharpeners, but most of those make pretty short points. Among those that leave long points, many of them involve some sort of multi-step process. Of course, if you happen to be an artist with different types of pencil requiring different shapes of point, then things get even more complicated.

Kutsuwa’s STAD T’Gaal Multisharpener takes a crack at solving these problems by combining the flexibility of adjustable point length and the compactness of a bladed canister sharpener in one small package. With the turn of a dial, the position of the blade adjusts to allow for point angles ranging from “fancy long” to “mascara pencil small”.

I picked up one of those nifty-looking sharpeners to test out and see how effectively it manages to pull all of that off!

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Berol Premier Vacuhold APSCO sharpener is my latest Goodwill find

I’m just writing a quick post to share this funky vintage gem I found at the local Goodwill store: the Berol Premier Vacuhold APSCO sharpener!

It was almost like it was communicating with me telepathically. I originally passed it up on the office supply aisle (my favorite aisle, obviously) but I just had a certain feeling that I needed to go back and look underneath a random pile of junk. So I did, and…voila!

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Unconventional advice: Don’t schedule time for journaling

Have you ever googled something like, “how to start journaling” or “journal tips for beginners?” If so, you’ve probably come across one piece of advice that is suggested consistently on pretty much every single web article that has to do with keeping a journal/diary/whatever: you’re supposed to make a specific time in your schedule to write in your journal, and do it at that specific time every day.

That’s some bunk, yo.

I journal regularly. Probably excessively. But for a period of time I tried and tried and just couldn’t get into it. It wasn’t until I broke the supposedly iron-clad rule that says you’re supposed to journal at a specified, consistent part of the day that I was able to make it a regular part of my life.

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Pencil Review: Nataraj Bold (bonus: sharpener and eraser!)

In case you hadn’t noticed, I love soft pencils. The smoothness. The darkness. Oh yes. Another thing you may have noticed (or probably will in the near future, if you continue reading this blog) is that I enjoy sampling pencils from every corner of the earth. So when I found out that India’s largest pencil-maker, Hindustan Pencils, is producing a product called the “Bold”, which it markets as being “super black”, you know I was all over that.

India is a country that straddles the line between “developing” and “industrialized”. Their economy is more developed than most of their neighbors, and yet their median quality of life is not on par with most Western countries. All of that is to say, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this product of their pencil industry. Would it be a hidden gem, or a flop? Well, my box of Nataraj Bold pencils finally arrived, so let’s find out.

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