Pros: Portable, batteries easy to replace, shavings easy to remove.
Having two children in elementary school, we go through a lot of pencils in my house. Homework is given every day, and the best way to begin that task is with a nicely sharpened pencil. Since my children are involved in a variety of after-school activities, they often need to do homework tasks while waiting in the car or on bleachers at a sports practice. This means that we need to make sure we have plenty of sharp pencils with us, or at least a way to sharpen those pencils that we do have.
This Panasonic Battery Operated Portable Pencil Sharpener (item number KP-4A) is the one we bring with us when doing homework outside of the home. We have an abundance of those little plastic manual sharpeners, but they often do not give us quite a sharp enough point, plus, they tend to open and spill shavings all over whatever bag they are being carried in.
This pencil sharpener weighs less than a pound, even with the four "AA" batteries inserted, so that it can be placed in a backpack along with books and not make the bag overly heavy. It is compact in size, measuring 5.5" by 3.5" by 1.5", with the hole for the pencil on the top, and the battery compartment on the bottom. The battery compartment slides off with a bit of pressure, and does not require a screwdriver to open, which is good when we are out and about and the batteries need to be replaced.
Simply insert the pencil into the hole and apply slight pressure to sharpen the pencil. The shavings collect in a compartment on the right side of the sharpener and you can see how full it is through the darkly tinted plastic. This compartment is easily removed by an adult, or strong child, by squeezing either side of the door and pulling, but has not fallen off accidentally which is nice when we are on the go.
There is no on/off switch on this sharpener and the blades engage as soon as the pencil is fully inserted. As long as the pencil is inside the unit, the blades will continue spinning, but you can hear when they are no longer making contact with the pencil, meaning that the point is sharp.
Since we us an electric pencil sharpener for most of our sharpening needs at home, the batteries in our Panasonic Battery Operated Portable Pencil Sharpener seem to last a fairly long time. Of course, when one of my children bring home all of the pencils from their table at school to sharpen thirty or forty pencils at a time (yes, this is general school policy around here), the batteries get worn down rather quickly. Most people, however, would not be sharpening that many pencils on a daily basis.
This machine seems to make more noise as the batteries wear down, or it might just be that it takes longer to sharpen the pencil with weaker batteries, so that we are hearing the noise for a longer period of time.
This sharpener seems to make more noise than other pencil sharpeners we have had, but it does produce a nice sharp point. The cordless feature of this sharpener makes it great for taking with you, either out of the house, or from room to room within your home. The small, sleek design makes it easy to find a home for, even on the most cluttered of desks, and the fact that the hole is on the top, allows it to be squeezed in between other items on a desk and still be useful.
I purchased this Panasonic Battery Operated Portable Pencil Sharpener for about fifteen dollars at an office supply store. It has served us well for more than a year and still appears to have a lot of life left in it.