Sharpen Oil Based Pencils

Sharpen Oil-Based Colored Pencils with the 10 Best Sharpeners

The majority of us have used pencil sharpeners for as long as we can remember. However, sharpening your regular lead pencils is much different than sharpening oil-based colored pencils. If you are new to the art world, we have the best advice on how to sharpen oil-based colored pencils. We’ve also included a list of the 10 best sharpeners (both hand held and electric) to use for your oil-based colored pencils as well!

Sharpen Oil Based Pencils

Sharpening oil-based colored pencils is not like sharpening your regular lead pencils. This is due to colored pencils being a softer material. To follow the right steps for sharpening your oil-based colored pencil, you need to decide if a flat, dull, or sharp point will be the best for your coloring project. There are a variety of pencil sharpeners you can use for oil-based colored pencils, including electric sharpeners.

How to Sharpen Oil-Based Colored Pencils

If you use the same methods to sharpen your oil-based colored pencils as you use for your regular lead pencils, you may notice that the pencils continually break. This is due to the fact that oil-based colored pencils are made out of a softer material than your regular lead pencils. This is why you can’t use the same methods to sharpen them.

You can use various tools to sharpen your oil-based colored pencils. You can use hand held sharpeners, electric sharpeners, knives and even sandpaper! As you begin using oil-based colored pencils, you will find the type of sharpeners that you prefer the most. There is no perfect fit for everyone since our preferences are different.

The first step is sharpening an oil-based colored pencil is deciding on the type of point you want for your coloring project. You can use flat, dull or sharp points. Each point can come in handy for specific projects. For example: If you are making small details like hair, you will have the best luck with using a sharp point.

To achieve a sharp point, we recommend using a hand held sharpener. It can be much more difficult to get with an electric sharpener. This is due to hand held sharpeners giving you a lot more control when sharpening. Dull points can be achieved using multiple types of sharpeners and are easy to achieve. However, you do want to ensure that you use a higher end sharpener. Using cheap pencil sharpeners can decrease the life of your pencils.

Flat points are hard to achieve with a sharpener since the purpose of a sharpener is to sharpen the point and not flatten it. However, you can easily achieve a flat point with a knife, if that’s the type of point that you need for your project. Flat points can come in handy for coloring in areas that need consistent color with light pressure, like skin tone.

Sharpen Oil Based Pencils

No matter what type of sharpener you are using, there are a couple tips you should use. Our first tip is to be gentle when sharpening your pencils! If you use a lot of force, it can cause your pencils to break more easily. You want to take your time when sharpening, even if you’re using an electric sharpener.

Our second tip is to keep your sharpeners in great condition. Once the blade on your sharpener has been worn down, you will have a much more difficult time achieving a sharp point with your oil-based colored pencils. It’s important to not put off replacing your sharpener when the blade has been worn down, or it can hurt the life of your pencils!

Another option when your blade has been worn down is replacing the blade in your pencil sharpener (instead of the entire sharpener). However, your sharpener must come with replaceable blades in order for you to be able to replace only the blade and not the entire sharpener. By replacing your blade or the sharpener when the blade is getting worn down, your colored pencils will work better and also last you much longer!

Another way for you to get your pencils to last longer is to look for pencil sharpeners that come with heavy duty and high-end blades. If the blades are heavy duty and good quality, they will cut your pencils much better while sharpening.

If you are new to shopping for pencil sharpeners, we recommend looking for pencils at a slighter higher price, like $7 or higher. These sharpeners will typically come with blades that have a higher quality. You should avoid buying extremely cheap pencil sharpeners that range around $1. Although these pencil sharpeners may be attractive with the low price and also easy to find, you will have a more difficult time sharpening your colored pencils with these.

For our last tip, we recommend twisting your sharpener and not your pencil if you’re using a hand held sharpener. This may feel different than what you’re use to, but it will help your pencils last longer. You want the blade to be the thing that’s moving and not the pencil. When the blade moves, it cuts clean into the pencil and makes for a better point.

10 Best Sharpeners for Oil-Based Colored Pencils

1. EX-20 Electric Pencil Sharpener

This EX-20 Electric Pencil Sharpener is both heavy duty and quiet, which can come in handy in many situations! It works for many pencils, including oil-based colored pencils and other art pencils. This sharpener is also very durable.

One of our favorite parts about this sharpener is it comes with a lifetime warranty. If you purchase the EX-20 Electric Pencil Sharpener and you ever have issues with this sharpener, you can contact the manufacturer and they will help you with no hassle!

When you are using your EX-20 sharpener, a LED light will turn on when your pencil has been completely sharpened. The motor will also shut off, letting you know that your pencil has reached the perfect sharp point.

2. STAEDTLER Mars 501 180 Rotary Pencil Sharpener

This STAEDTLER pencil sharpener has characteristics that make it a perfect sharpener for colored pencils, including oil-based colored pencils. Our favorite part about this pencil sharpener is that you can set various adjustments with this pencil sharpener to achieve either long and sharp points or short and blunt points for your pencils.

We recommend using the long and sharp adjustment if you need clear and precise lines. The short and blunt adjustment works better for lines that have a softer look and are broad. If you are using a desk for your coloring projects, this pencil sharpener can be attached to your desk with the desk clamp. Attaching the sharpener can make it much more convenient to sharpen your colored pencils.Sharpen Oil Based Pencils

3. Koala Tools Double Pencil Sharpener

When it comes to hand held sharpeners, this Koala Sharpener is one of our favorites. We love that it comes with the two different sizes. It’s a great option for all colored pencils. With the hand held sharpener, you have a lot more control over the sharpening than you do when you use an electric sharpener.

Another benefit of purchasing hand held pencil sharpeners is they can often be more durable than and last much longer than electric sharpeners. Hand held sharpeners are also easy to take with you if you’re traveling!

4. X-ACTO KS Manual Vacuum Mount Pencil Sharpener

This manual X-ACTO Pencil Sharpener has an outstanding blade since it comes with X-ACTO dual hardened helical cutters. Your pencils will be in great care with this sharpener and you’ll be able to reach a much sharper point! One of our favorite perks of this sharpener is it comes with a vacuum style mount. That means it can easily be mounted on the surface of your choice. It’s easy to install and easy to remove from the surface as well.

Since this sharpener is made out of metal, it will also last longer than some other sharpeners. The metal material makes this sharpener tough. Metal can be less likely to break over time. On top of being tough, this sharpener is also low maintenance and doesn’t require much work to keep in great shape!

5. AFMAT Electric Pencil Sharpener

If you’re looking to get a long point for your pencils, then this AFMAT Electric Pencil Sharpener is an excellent option for you! This pencil is specifically designed with artists in mind. When you purchase this AFMAT sharpener, you know you’re getting a high-end pencil sharpener that will last you a long amount of time. With high-end sharpeners, you will have to purchase less sharpeners in the long run, which will save you money.

This electric pencil sharpener stops sharpening automatically when the pencil is done being sharpened. It’s also rechargeable, so it doesn’t need to be plugged in all the time. You can take the sharpener with you if you’re traveling.

Another benefit of this AFMAT sharpener is it comes with a 12-month warranty. If you have any problems with your product within the first year, you can reach out to the manufacturer. This takes away any anxiety you may have when purchasing a pencil sharpener that comes at a higher price point.

6. Alvin Brass Bullet Sharpener

When it comes to hand held sharpeners, this Alvin sharpener is another one of our favorites. We love that the strong blade is replaceable. This means when the blade has become dull, you don’t have to replace the entire sharpener. You can simply replace the blade!

As we mentioned before, we love the control a hand held sharpener will give you. When sharpening oil-based colored pencils, you can still use your standard hand held sharpeners that you would use for regular pencils. You just need to make sure that you use more gentle pressure when sharpening your oil-based colored pencils.

7. OfficeWorld Electric Pencil Sharpener

This OfficeWorld sharpener is one of our favorite pencil sharpeners when it comes to using heavy duty blades! Similar to the X-ACTO KS Manual Vacuum Mount Pencil Sharpener, this OfficeWorld pencil sharpener also has heavy duty steel helical blade.

One thing we love about this pencil sharpener is it gives you multiple power options. You can use batteries, plug it in using a USB cord or use an AC power adapter. It also has a large capacity, so it can hold a large amount of shavings from your pencils.

Similar to the AFMAT Electric Pencil Sharpener, this OfficeWorld Electric Pencil Sharpener also automatically stops when the pencil has been sharped completely. This makes this sharpener even easier to use and less maintenance!

8. Tihoo Professional Art Pencil Sharpener

We love convenience when it comes to pencil sharpeners, which is a reason why we love this Tihoo Professional Pencil Sharpener. Like some of our other favorite sharpeners, this electric pencil sharpener also automatically stops when your pencil has been sharpened to the perfect point. You can also use three various ways to power this charger. You can use batteries, a USB cord or an AC adapter.

This Tihoo pencil sharpener is also a very heavy-duty sharpener with blades that are made with high quality. This sharpener is dependable, so you don’t have to worry about it breaking on you constantly throughout your coloring projects. It also gives you some variety, since the length and sharpness are adjustable!

9. Wolverine SP5490 Compact Battery-Operated Pencil Sharpener

This Wolverine pencil sharpener is an excellent electric option that comes in a convenient, compact size. It’s also quiet and can easily be traveled with. To add to the convenience that this sharpener comes with, you can use AA batteries, or you can also use a USB to charge the sharpener.

Similar to the Alvin Brass Bullet Sharpener, we love that you can also replace the blades in this Wolverine sharpener. It will save you money over the long run because you will only have to replace the blades and won’t have to replace the entire sharpener. We recommend replacing the blades when your current blades have gotten dull.

Like many of our other favorite pencil sharpeners, this sharpener also comes with a one-year warranty. If you have any issues with your product becoming defective within the first year of purchasing it, you can reach out and get assistance. The manufacturer will issue a replacement or refund your money!

10. Koh-I-Noor Pencil SharpenerSharpen Oil Based Pencils

This Koh-I-Noor pencil sharpener is an excellent option if you’re looking for a hand held sharpener. We absolutely love that you can reach 3 different lengths for your points with this sharpener. All three points are also tapered. This hand held sharpener can work for a variety of pencils as well, including oil-based colored pencils.

If you’re looking for a pencil sharpener that has great quality and still has a great price attached with it, we recommend considering this Koh-I-Noor. It’s also a great option for those who may be just starting out with coloring as a hobby. It gives you a chance to get use to using a hand held sharpener for your oil-based colored pencils.

Related Questions:

1. Are there multiple types of sharpeners available to sharpen my colored pencils?

Yes, there are multiple types of pencil sharpeners that you can use to sharpen your colored pencils. The two main types are hand held sharpeners and electric sharpeners. As you start using colored pencils, you will likely begin to develop a preference for the type of pencil sharpener that you like the most.

The benefit of using hand held sharpeners is it gives you more control when you are sharpening. However, electric pencil sharpeners do offer convenience. Some electric pencil sharpeners will even automatically stop once the pencil is sharpened.

2. Is it more common to use colored pencils or markers for coloring projects?

Both colored pencils and markers are common for coloring projects. Some artists prefer to use colored pencils, but others may prefer to use markers. As you begin coloring more often, you will likely start to develop your own preference between the two.

The benefit of using colored pencils is they can help you learn how to shade and add texture to your coloring projects. As you develop your skills and artistic abilities, it will be easier for you to learn how to start shading using markers, which can be more difficult.

3. What are the benefits of coloring as an adult?

Coloring has a large amount of benefits, no matter what age you are! As adults, coloring can help us relax and relieve a large amount of stress. Since coloring allows us to focus on one task, it calms our brain and allows us to stop thinking about any stressful thoughts that may have previously been taking over our brains.

Coloring also increases our creativity, both during and after coloring. Increased creativity can help us in other areas of our lives, like at work. Overall, coloring is a very beneficial hobby for a large amount of children and adults!

Take care of all your coloring tools with my free adult coloring eBook and signup for my email newsletter HERE

Please note: This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal or medical advice. Please consult a legal expert or medical doctor to address your specific needs.


Shawn C

Hi! I’m Shawn and I Love Coloring and Art and the people in it! I created this website as a resource to help those who are considering getting into adult coloring. My website is your one-stop destination for all the inspired instruction and resources you need to start and grow your adult coloring hobby. From geometric to floral to zen doodles and from time to time even mandala’s when I am in the mood. I have researched and gathered the information to help you in your goal of starting your adult coloring hobby.

Recent Posts