Pros: portable, small, battery operated, easy to use, safety switch, sharpens standard pencils quickly and evenly
Cons: small shavings compartment does not fit snugly against unit (see review for details)
For years I owned a nice heavy Boston Electric Pencil Sharpener. It followed me through college and beyond, finally becoming a frequently used item by my 7 year old. Not too long ago she needed to sharpen some pencils so she could do her homework. Unfortunately my trusty Boston was, well, no longer so trusty. It had died, just like that - kaput!!
The next day I had to go purchase a pencil sharpener; my daughter is not allowed use a pen on her school work and I didn't want to resort to the old fashion method of using a knife to sharpen her pencils. I wanted another electric model but was in no mood to shop store to store looking for such a device. What I found in Target was a battery operated pencil sharpener by Westcott. The cost was $5.99 which I didn't think was too bad considering I was in no mood to shop for pencil sharpeners. But I did hope it had enough power utilizing 4 AA batteries to actually sharpen pencils.
The Westcott Battery Operated Pencil Sharpener is a nice small size (about 4 ½ inches long x 3 in. high) which makes it pretty convenient to store in/or on a small desk or kitchen drawer. It doesn't take up near the space of my old electric sharpener and since it's handheld I can keep a closer eye on my daughter to make sure she is only sharpening pencils.
As I've mentioned this little battery operated sharpener takes 4 AA batteries. We've owned our Westcott for about a month (as of the date of this review) and so far I've yet to change the batteries, and that's with the sharpener being used on an almost daily basis.
This pencil sharpener didn't include any instructions; I mean just how hard could it be to figure out, right? The battery compartment is located at the back of the unit and simply slides down and off for battery installation and/or removal.
The front of the sharpener has a clear hard plastic cap where the shavings are housed. This cap pops off easily by gently squeezing the sides but beware, the cap shouldn't be removed unless the unit is positioned over a garbage can, etc as the shavings will fall out. As a safety feature this sharpener does have a switch which stops operation until the shavings container is back in place.
The battery powered motor automatically starts when a pencil is inserted into the top of the unit. Over all I've been pleased with how well the sharpener functions, sharpening pencils quickly and evenly.
For the most part I'm satisfied with the function, durability, and reliability of the Westcott Battery Operated Pencil Sharpener. The only minor complaint I have is the size of the shavings compartment which requires emptying after two or three pencils have been sharpened; but the unit is small and meant to be space saving and portable. Also the shavings compartment does not fit snugly against the unit which means, especially in the hands of a 7 year old, that tiny bits of shavings will fall out especially if the unit isn't emptied immediately after sharpening pencils.
The actual blade on the unit resembles that of a cheap manual sharpener so I do wonder just how long the Westcott will really last us. Through this school year, maybe next year too? But for now it serves the basic function of sharpening my daughter's pencils and it buys me some time to shop for a new (heavy duty) electric sharpener.
Thank you for reading my review of the Westcott Battery Operated Pencil Sharpener.