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Unread 06-10-2009, 04:43 PM   #776
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Folsom, CA
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Originally Posted by Gypsiwoman View Post
[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.
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[/quote]

If your prismas were dropped during shipping then you will have broken leads - awful, but it happens

Since I started using a $10 electric pencil sharpener I have very few broken leads. It has never "over heated when sharpeing several pencils at a time. In a pinch, I'll use the silver metal pencil sharpener.

If you have the Prisma pencil sharpener, throw it away! It broke way too many leads.

When sharpening by hand, you can twist to hard and torque the pencil to the degree where you shred the wood and break the lead.

I tried microwaving the pencil to melt the lead and all it did was melt the paint on the outside of the pencil so it was all bumby!

Freezing the lead didn't help if the lead was broken - it won't seal it back up.

IMHO - Overall, buy an electric sharpener.

One last thing - watch how much pressure you put on the lead. I learned from in a class to hold the pencil more upright so the pressure is put more directly on the lead instead of an angle.

I may not be a professional artist, but I've been using the pencils for years and I hardly ever have a broken lead any more. HTH
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