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Old 06-10-2009, 09:21 AM   #766
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 17
Default Breaking pencil leads

[What can you do if the leads keep breaking on your prisma pencils? I bought the set of 120 and have only sharpened about 15 so far and on about half of those when I go to use them the leads pull out of the hole. It is frustrating because these are not cheap pencils and it seems so wasteful.[/quote]

Are you using an electric or battery operated pencil sharpener? Those devices are meant to sharpen hard graphite lead pencils. In addition, after you have sharpened 2-3 pencils, the machine heats up to the point where it softens the lead on a wax pencil, causing it to break. This was explained to me by a Prismacolor representative who is also a working artist and uses the pencils herself.

Softer pencils should be sharpened by hand because it is gentler on the lead. However I understand when you have a set of 120 pencils, hand sharpening isn't an appealing option. Here's a compromise. Sharpen your pencils 3/4 of the way by machine, then complete sharpening by hand. Remember to allow the electric sharpener to cool off after 3 - 5 pencils or you will melt the wax.

Hope this helps.

- Gitana, the Creative Diva
Ballo ergo sum,
- Gitana, the Creative Diva
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