How to Sharpen Pencils

A hilarious guide to the lost art of artisanal pencil sharpening

Have you got the right kind of point on your pencil? Do you know how to achieve the perfect point for the kind of work you need out of that pencil?

Deep in New York’s Hudson River Valley, craftsman David Rees—the world’s number one #2 pencil sharpener—still practices the age-old art of manual pencil sharpening. In 2010, he began offering his artisanal service to the world, to the jubilation of artists, writers, draftsmen, and standardized test takers.

Now, in a book that is both a manifesto and a fully-illustrated walk-through of the many, many, many ways to sharpen a pencil, he reveals the secrets of his craft. How to Sharpen Pencils takes the novice pencil sharpener through a variety of sharpening techniques and includes chapters on equipment, current practice, and modern technologies. It also points at essential new trends in sharpening, including "Celebrity Impression Pencil Sharpening (CIPS)," a warning about the “Psychological Risks Associated with Pencil Sharpening”, and a survey of "Wines that tastes like pencils."

As Rees implores, "Sharpening pencils should be an activity that enriches the senses."

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