An electric pencil sharpener gives your pencils, whether they’re plain lead or rainbow-colored, a narrow, tapered tip that stays sharp for precise note-taking and drawing. Here’s what to look for to avoid fuzzy pencil tips.

Editors’ Choice

Metal gears are more durable than standard plastic. AFMAT

Most electric pencil sharpeners use a helical blade, which revolves around the pencil so that you don’t have to do any of the manual work. The larger the blade and the sturdier the gears surround it, the longer your sharpener will last.

Versatile Pick

Adjust the blade to accommodate six different-size writing implements. X-Acto

If you plan to use your pencil sharpener for more than just #2 pencils, like oversize colored pencils for drawings, look for a sharpener that can adjust to multiple lead sizes. An electric model will sharpen a whole batch of pencils in minutes.

Total Bargain

An oversize tray collects super-fine shavings. Bostitch Office

When you’re sharpening a whole bunch of pencils at once, you want a shavings tray that won’t fill up too fast and is easy to clean when it does. Electric pencil sharpeners produce ultra-fine shavings and empty them in a large tray that slides out easily.