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Old 08-28-2011, 12:48 PM   #1
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Default Sharpening Prismacolor Pencils

I am having trouble sharpening my prismacolor pencil crayons. I bought a Faber-Castell pencial sharpener, which was recommended by my local crafting store, but when I sharpen the pencil the lead just falls out and will not sharpen to a point.

Does anyone have any suggestions? What am I doing wrong?
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Old 08-28-2011, 12:59 PM   #2
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I have the same problem. I've bought the same Faber-Castell one and I've used the Stampin Up! one.
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Old 08-28-2011, 01:15 PM   #3
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Hi Betty,
I pretty sure it's not the sharpener that is the problem. If you notice...Prismacolor pencils have a wood casing around the soft lead core of color in the middle. When the pencils are dropped the cores can crack...then when the pencil is sharpened and the wood is shaved off...as you get close to the place where the crack is...the leads will just fall out of the wood casing. It happens to me all the time. I think what bothers me the most is when you buy a new pencil and sharpen it for the first time...and the lead falls out. Gotta be careful not to drop these pencils. You can also get one of those lead holders at an art store. Usually in with the drafting supplies. Hope that helps.
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Old 08-28-2011, 01:23 PM   #4
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Those lead holders are great! I can't say I ever have to use them for my Prismas. I have never experienced a problem with them. But I always used them when I did any drafting type work. They can handle short leads.

However, I do think that the sharpener is one factor in the "leads" breaking. Maybe not the only one though. I have an OLD Boston electric pencil sharpener that has a cutter that isn't so sharp any more. It grinds away pretty slowly. I think that saves my colored pencils. I would think that if dropping the pencil would break the lead inside the wood, then so would a pencil sharpener that chews into the "leads" and the wood so rapidly that it could torque the lead inside the wood. Just my thoughts, though, for whatever they're worth. May not be much
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Old 08-28-2011, 01:57 PM   #5
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Good point Diane. I have never sharpened my art pencils with an electric sharpener...that would freak me OUT! eeeek! LOL! So that gets me thinkin' --- I use the hand sharpeners...and I usually twist my pencil pretty slow. I wonder if going to slow could do what you are saying...torque the lead?
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Old 08-28-2011, 02:28 PM   #6
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I had that same problem with mine. So I sharpened them without a sharper.

I took my pencils and held it at a slight angle. and smoothed on to the paper.
Making sure I got all sides of the lead. Bringing the lead to a point.

This way they don't break.
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Old 08-28-2011, 02:41 PM   #7
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If a box or individulal Prismas are dropped the leads will break internally. They're very delicate. The company will replace free of charge any pencils suffering that damage. They are very nice about it. I have put pencils with broken leads in the microwave for ten +/- seconds then let them sit for half an hour and the leads fuse again. I sharpen mine with a hand sharpener and exacto knife.
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Old 08-28-2011, 02:49 PM   #8
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I use a small hand-held sharpener, and I usually don't have any problems. I can even get by if the leads are already broken. I occasionally have a small piece of lead fall out, but it isn't too bad. The hand-held sharpener gives me more control over how much pressure to exert and how slowly to turn the pencil.
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Old 08-28-2011, 03:59 PM   #9
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You can use one of those sandpaper thingy's too. That's what I use for certain pencils that keep breaking on me. I just 'file' down the point. When it wears away, I use an Xacto to scrape away some of the wood, then use the sandpaper to shape the point.
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Old 08-28-2011, 04:43 PM   #10
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I am using a hand sharpener and I have not dropped my pencils - so I am at a loss. Maybe I am sharpening them too far. I am getting frustrated because the pencils are not cheap and I cannot sharpen them properly. I will try some of your suggestions. Thank you.
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Old 08-28-2011, 05:33 PM   #11
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A few weeks ago I took a Prisma coloring class at a LSS given by Karen Lockhart of Lockhart Stamps. Her "tip" in sharpening was to hold the pencil while moving the hand-held sharpener. I've found it's kind of tricky to hold that darn pencil still - kind of like putting on mascara without opening your mouth - lol! It does seem to me that I have had less broken lead since I started doing that!
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Old 08-28-2011, 11:02 PM   #12
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I recently bought a handheld sharpener from Michael's. It's their store brand. Of course while typing the name just decided to leave and I can't remember it. I really love that sharpener. I can get a nice sharp point with my pencils. I remember the brand name now. It's Artist's Loft.

I read on RubberStampChat to glue the broken leads back inside the pencil. I have been doing this and works like a charm.
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Old 08-29-2011, 10:34 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lylacfey View Post
I recently bought a handheld sharpener from Michael's. It's their store brand. Of course while typing the name just decided to leave and I can't remember it. I really love that sharpener. I can get a nice sharp point with my pencils. I remember the brand name now. It's Artist's Loft.

I read on RubberStampChat to glue the broken leads back inside the pencil. I have been doing this and works like a charm.
What kind of glue do you use??
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Old 08-29-2011, 10:52 AM   #14
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well, I am so glad I am not the only one! I use a Prisma hand held sharpener and always have this problem. Well, now I know to put them in the microwave for a few LOL

I will wait to find out what kind of glue as well.

Thanks!
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Old 08-30-2011, 05:04 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheabella View Post
What kind of glue do you use??
I use Super glue.
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Old 08-30-2011, 05:49 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lylacfey View Post
I use Super glue.
Oh fantastic.
I have lots of superglue.
Thanks Lylacfey
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Old 08-30-2011, 07:07 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Betmey View Post
I am using a hand sharpener and I have not dropped my pencils - so I am at a loss. Maybe I am sharpening them too far. I am getting frustrated because the pencils are not cheap and I cannot sharpen them properly. I will try some of your suggestions. Thank you.
Maybe you didn't drop the pencils but perhaps someone dropped them in the store before you purchased them or they were dropped in transit to the store.
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