How to Sharpen a Pencil without a Sharpener?

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Learn More.

Remember when your pencil badly needs a sharpener, but you can’t seem to find one?

If you are wondering whether there are alternative ways, you are not the only one. This is a common issue that is faced by anyone who uses pencils. So, you might be thinking, how to sharpen a pencil without a sharpener?

You can use a sharp blade or knife to sharpen a pencil beside a sharpener. Nail files can also be used for this purpose. Any rough surface can help sharpen a pencil, too, like sandpaper. You can use nail clippers or scissors also to sharpen a pencil. Another simple way is to rub the pencil lead on the rough wall. 

Let’s dive into the pencil sharpening methods in detail. 

Benefits of Sharpening Pencils without a Sharpener

People use sharpeners to sharpen their pencils most of the time. Sharpeners became one of the quick and easy solutions for sharpening pencils. But sharpening pencils without a sharpener has some benefits. For this reason, many people, especially artists, use other methods other than using a sharpener. Here are some benefits of sharpening pencils without a sharpener. 

  • The required length of the core

When you sharpen a pencil with a sharpener, it points the pencil’s lead only to a specific size. When you need a longer length of lead or a particular sharpness of the lead, you can’t do it with the sharpener. 

Sharpener is only used instantly for writing purposes. But when you need to sharpen the pencil for art purposes, you can’t do it with the sharpener. Using a blade or knife can do this job. You can get the required length of the core of the pencil. 

  • Instant necessity requirement 

Sharpeners are a widespread and available element for sharpening pencils. But sometimes, grabbing a sharpener at hand is not possible, and you need to find an instant solution. 

For instant purposes, you can use an element near you to sharpen your pencil. You can use a rough wall to sharpen the pencil. Also, a knife or blade can be convenient to use instantly. But you must be careful using this sharp equipment.

  • Lead breakage problem

When you use a sharpener to sharpen your pencil, it can break the pencil’s lead. Sometimes, the lead breaks frequently. The reason can be the sharpener’s reduced efficiency. 

But the chance of breaking lead is meager when you use other methods like nail clippers, sandpaper, or a knife. So, other elements will keep the lead strong.

What Can You Use Instead of a Pencil Sharpener?

Sharpening a pencil without using a pencil sharpener can be necessary sometimes. Sometimes, you want to use something else without a sharpener. A lot of different things can be used for sharpening a pencil. You can simply use a blade or knife to sharpen the pencil. 

Sometimes, people use sandpaper or a rough surface to sharpen the pencil. Even some heavy elements can also be used for this purpose, such as a chisel, saw, lathe, wire wheel, etc. 

Some simple elements in your house can also be applied to sharpen a pencil. For example, nail clippers or nail file is convenient for sharpening a pencil. When in a rush, you can use a rough surface, like a rough wall, to sharpen the pencil. 

How to Sharpen a Pencil without a Sharpener?

Now you know many different ways to sharpen a pencil without a sharpener. But if you don’t apply the methods properly, the lead of the pencil might break, or you can damage the whole pencil. So, let’s get some ideas about sharpening a pencil without a sharpener. 

Method 1: Use a Rough Surface

1. Sandpaper

Step-1: Hold the surface

While sharpening the pencil with a rough surface, the surface must stay straight and firm. So, you have to hold the sandpaper on a straight surface so that it doesn’t move. 

Step-2: Sharpening

Once you hold the sandpaper properly, simply rub the pencil’s lead on the surface. Don’t put too much pressure at first. Keep rubbing and see whether the lead is sharpening or not. If the lead is sharpening, keep rubbing it until you get the required sharpness. 

Learn How to Sharp a Pencil With Sandpaper or Razor Blade:

2. Rough wall

You can also use a rough wall to sharpen a pencil. A rough wall is always there in your house. Find a rougher wall and rub the pencil’s lead on the wall. Make sure to put minimum pressure on the lead. Too much pressure can break the lead. Also, don’t use walls inside your house because it will make the wall dirty. Try to use a rough wall on the outer side or back side of your home.

3. Nail file

The nail file is another rough surface that you can use to sharpen a pencil. The nail file’s surface contains rough grains like sandpapers. Either you can rub the pencil’s lead on the nail file or the nail file on the pencil’s lead. Rotate the pencil while sharpening to sharpen all the edges. 

Method 2: Use a Sharp Element

1. Knife or blade

A knife or blade can sharpen your pencil instead of a pencil sharpener. Here is how you can do it if you are a right-hand person. 

Step-1: Hold the pencil

For sharpening a pencil with a knife or blade, you need to hold the pencil properly. Hold it tight, so the pencil doesn’t fall out when you sharpen it. If you are a right-hand person, hold the pencil in your left hand.

Step-2: Use the knife or blade 

Hold the knife or blade in your right hand and start to cut the edges of the pencil’s wood. After cutting one side, you will see the lead. Rotate the pencil to cut another part of the wood. Keep doing it until you see a short and long lead on the pencil. 

Check This Video:

Method 3: Other methods

Some other methods are also helpful in sharpening a pencil. Use a nail clipper and the tip of the clipper to sharpen the lead. The tip will peel away some graphite from the pencil lead and make it sharper. 

A razor can also be used to sharpen the pencil. Putting minimum pressure on the razor, sharpen the lead of the pencil. 

Numerous methods are available to sharpen your pencil. These methods are often helpful and save you valuable time and money.

How Do You Sharpen a Pencil with Your Hand?

Sharpening a pencil with your hand is not easy, but you can do it. It would be best if you use any equipment and your hand to hold the equipment. Otherwise, you have to use your nails to sharpen the pencil. 

The moment you have nothing around you to sharpen the pencil, try to cut the soft wood of the pencil with your nails. Make sure not to hurt your nails in this process. Once you trim some edges of the pencil’s wood, rub the lead with any rough or smooth surface. Rotate the pencil while doing this. This process will allow you to sharpen a pencil with your hand. 

Also, you can use other equipment and hold it in your hand to sharpen the pencil. For example, for using knife, blade, razor, etc., elements, you need to use your hand. By holding the pencil in one hand, you have to cut the pencil’s edges with the other hand. This way, the pencil will be sharpened. 

What Is the Fastest Way to Sharpen a Pencil?

The fastest way to sharpen a pencil is to use a rough surface. You can find a lot of different rough surfaces. But you have to use the surface that you can find nearly. Using a rough wall or sandpaper will be the most convenient. 

Take a piece of sandpaper; you need to rub the pencil’s lead on the paper. The coarse grain on the sandpaper will peel off some lead on the pencil and make it sharper. Also, you can find a rough wall and rub the pencil’s lead on it. The process of using sandpaper or wall is quite the same. 

This way, the lead will be sharpened instantly, but the length of the lead will be the same. So, you can use this technique for temporary purposes or to do it in the fastest way. But when you need a longer lead, you have to follow other processes.  

How to Sharpen a Pencil without a Sharpener at School?

When you are at school, you will only find some of the elements of sharpening a pencil. So, if you don’t have a sharpener or you have lost your sharpener, you have to sharpen the pencil following some techniques. 

Obviously, you are not allowed to carry a knife, blade, or any sharp objects in your school, so you have to use a safe technique. You can apply the following two methods to sharpen your pencil at school. 

  • Rough surface

Finding a rough surface at school is not easy because you can’t make your school’s walls dirty. Sometimes, sandpapers are available for science projects sometimes. So, you can use sandpaper to sharpen your pencil. But if you don’t find sandpaper, rub your pencil’s lead on smooth paper. Rotate the pencil while rubbing and this will instantly sharpen the lead. 

Learn Several Ways to Sharpen a Pencil:

  • Plastic or metal scale

You might carry a plastic or metal scale at school in your pencil box. Use the scale like a knife to sharpen the pencil. Be very careful while doing this to prevent scratches on your hand. 

Final Thoughts

People use pencils almost every day. From kids to adults, pencils are helpful for all of them. Primarily creative people and artists use pencils the most. So, sharpening the pencil with a sharpener is very common. 

When you don’t have a sharpener, you can use other techniques. Also, when you want a long lead on the pencil, you need to sharpen the pencil in different ways. 

You can use a sharp object like a nail clipper, blade, razor, knife, etc., to sharpen the pencil. Otherwise, you can use a rough surface like a nail file, sandpaper, rough wall, shoe sole, etc., for the purpose.

Leave a Comment