How to sharpen Prismacolor pencils

Hi guys today I am going to give you some
tips on how to sharpen prismacolor pencils without any breakage. As you would probably know, Prismacolor is
an artist grade colored pencil brand from USA well known for its rich colors and creamy
blending properties. It’s the brand of choice for many colored
pencil artists around the world making it one of the most popular brands of colored
pencils. But recently its popularity is getting decreased
because of its poor built quality. Sharpening these pencils to a fine point without
breakage is a challenge nowadays. Its mainly because of two reasons, First one
being the nature of the lead, they are soft wax based leads which helps for the easy application
of colors and creamy blending properties. The next one being the poor quality wood casing. The wood tend to get chewed up when sharpening
and this makes the already soft lead vulnerable for breakage. So you may ask why not simply avoid prismacolor
pencils and go for some other brands with good quality construction such as faber castel
polychromos. Trust me I have been thinking about this several
times but I couldn’t leave prismacolor pencils because of many reasons. One reason is that I prefer wax based pencils
over oil based pencils for my drawing techniques and the color range you get from prismacolor
pencils are far superior to other brands. Especially if you are a portrait artist. So I have the choice of sticking on to prismacolor
pencils or other wax based pencils such as caran dache luminance. But since I live in India, its very difficult
to get caran dache products. I will have to pay a huge amount for shipping
over the already very expensive caran dache pencils. Since I am not a professional artist and I
don’t sell my artworks lightfastness of the pencil is of least concern for me. So there is no point in paying for the supreme
lightfastness and quality provided by carandache luminance. And when it comes to Derwent coloursoft which
is also a wax based pencil, they have better quality construction than prismacolor but
their colors are less intense and they tend to struggle after only about 3 layers. And above all Prismacolor is the cheapest
among all these brands. I can get a large set of 132 prismacolor pencils
for one third of the price of full set of 120 faber castel polychromos pencils here
in India. So naturally I experimented with all the brands
of sharpeners I can get with prismacolor pencils to reduce its breakage. The only problem I faced was breakage while
sharpening. I haven’t experienced a single case of lead
breaking inside the wood casing even after dropping the pencils several times. After trying several handheld sharpeners I
ended up using this particular sharpener called Shaker from the brand Maped. Its very easy to get in India, almost all
stationary stores here carry them. They are available over many other countries
too. But if you can get it, I recommend you to
try the brand called Kum since a lot of my subscribers from USA told highly about them. I haven’t tried them yet since its not available
here in India. I will show you how to sharpen the pencils
with a handheld sharpener with minimal breakage. You have to hold the pencil in your non dominant
hand and hold the sharpener in the dominant hand. Then rotate the sharpener keeping the pencils
steady. This will help prevent excess strain on the
lead and helps to keep the breakage to a minimum. Even though this reduced the no. of breakage,
I still got several incidence of lead breakage and wood casing splitting. So after doing some research I found out that
any sharpener with a flat blade tend to break the leads. Because when you sharpen a pencil with a flat
blade sharpener, the blade tend to twist the lead to the opposite direction of your pencil
rotation. Making it vulnerable to break unless you have
a super sharp blade. But there is another type of blade that is
used in many electrical pencil sharpeners and some manual table top sharpeners called
a helical sharpener. As you can see here the sharp metal parts
are arranged in a spiral manner and when you rotate the blade with the pencil inside, all
these edges work together and grind the pencil from the base to the tip. Since there is no twisting movements, it considerably
decreases the breakage even for a very soft pencil. And the best thing about them is they don’t
get unusable after a few uses. Because of this special method of sharpening,
they don’t require an extremely sharp edge and this helps to keep using them even for
several years. So either you can go for an electrical sharpener
with a helical blade such as school smart or you can buy a manual sharpener with a helical
blade. You can watch how electrical sharpeners work
in sheldenes channel here. But I personally prefer the manual sharpeners
with helical blade because of several reasons. They don’t tend to eat up the pencil since
you have the complete control on sharpening. Since electrical pencil sharpeners tend to
get heated after some use, there is a possibility of wax of the pencils melting and sticking
onto the blade, making its life shorter. This may not be an immediate effect but over
time there is a chance of accumulating wax inside the sharpener. And above all electrical pencils are hard
to get in India, even if I shipped one from USA I will have to use a transformer to adjust
to the 240 V standard of India. But electrical sharpeners are fast and don’t
require you to manually rotate the blade. So I ended up buying Derwents superpoint manual
table top sharpener. I have been using this sharpener for over
a month and till now I didn’t get even a single breakage on prismacolor pencils. And the best think about these sharpener is
that they give you a very long and pointy tip for the pencils. So it helped me get rid of the breakage issue
and now I can draw detailed artworks just like a polychromos pencil because of this
sharp point. You can see the sharpening process in action. So happy sharpening, thank you
so much for watching this video and don’t forget to subscribe to my channel for more
videos like this and you can follow me on all social media linked below.


  • Fifi Leigh

    i think the metal silver sharpeners are the best.

  • basavaraj JG


  • Garance Art

    I hate Swiss however I'm able to go to that store and buy anything with no shipping YAY NO NEED FOR PAYING 100 IN SHIPING FROM STUFF FROM THE USA!

  • C C

    I'm just starting Prismacolors thank God I came to realize this problem

  • Naji Koko

    Excellent magnificence You arrived a great teacher

  • Naji Koko

    I'm Naji from Algeria Please help me please I do not have drawing tools
    You can buy drawing tools

  • HarleyQuinnYT

    So I can just use the maped sharpener?

  • Kitty Rose

    Mine have only broke once or twice

  • Leah Allen

    Great video – thanks for the info. Never knew all that!

  • Crymson Ranger

    Thank you for the very articulate tutorial on how to reduce breakage when sharpening prismacolor pencils.


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  • Swimming Duck

    Which would you say are the hardest, sharpest colouring pencils? Berol Verithin were the best I'd found but think they've changed the way they make the pencils over time and now they're not very precise.

  • Bubbs Art

    Thanks! This helped a lot

  • Jenny Jones

    Yes but I compared the hand sharpener with another kind of electric sharpener and it ate up alot of my pencil before it sharpened

  • Darrell Reid

    As a new artist in the coloured pencil media, I am an oil painter and use graphite , but found some beautiful pieces of work in coloured pencil and decided to give my hand. Since I was new to it I had no preconceived ideas, so I tried every coloured pencil that was available to me, because I live in Toronto, all brands are available. As it worked out ,I left nothing to chance and gave each brand a working evaluation, and what it melted down to is, my go to pencils are Derwent Coloursoft, with Prismacolor Premiere a very, very close second, but Prismacolor has colours that Derwent doesn't have. Then for fine lines and special effects I use Prismacolor Verithin, which I love. Because coloured pencils being expensive I tried every sharpener ,from manual to mechanized. After destroying so many pencils I come back to what I use for graphite, and that is a razor utility knife, and because I love long sharp points, care and lots of sand paper is required. The reason I love long points it that it requires a very soft touch and I can use the side of the pencil for difference special effects. I am not posting this because I feel that my way is the best way , but offers a different perspective to a wonderful media.

  • Della Simbulan

    how about the prismacolor premier sharpener?

  • Noora

    Thanks. That was very insightful and helpful xx

  • M G

    any substitute of prisma colour pencils?

  • Nyan Nightcore

    omg i used to own the maped sharpener but the blade broke and i had to throw it out

  • himanshuTIWARI

    are you a full time youtuber or you work for someone..?

  • zen mirio

    i have never faced any breakage while sharpening them lol

  • James Atkinson

    Got the Derwent Superpoint Sharpener for my coloured pencils. Works great, not a single issue. Thanks

  • kevin ramos

    Here's a tip use a sharpener with for big pencil the tip will be good but short still better than nothing

  • Lizzystitch484

    As with many art mediums and brands, to each their own. However, I would like to add that I do own and use a large number of Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils, and I am not totally satisfied with them. The wood casing is supposed to be made of cedar…so Prismacolor claims. Why doesn't it smell like cedar when the pencils are sharpened? Also, the breakage rate in this pencils is really disturbing. I have tried several methods of remelting the color base, and it still didn't help. I think that like Staedtler and a few other brands, Prismacolor needs to re-engineer their pencils: stronger wood, stronger color base, add a resin around the lead for strength when coloring and sharpening. I feel as though I have spent alot of money on these only to have them go to pieces in the sharpener….and I only sharpen by hand doing it the proper way with a Prismacolor sharpener the way Prismacolor recommends. Some of them sharpen better in my electric sharpener. Once I am done with these, I will not be reinvesting in them. I do like their Scholar range of pencils….stronger, better blending, etc. Think I will be changing brands eventually.

  • Artaestic Asian

    Meh. I use a makeup sharpener from my dollar store right next to my house. It works like a charm. Also, it sharpens the pencils (like in the first photo in the video). It uses less of the pencil and for a bonus, since it's a makeup sharpener, it can handle wax (and maybe oil, I don't know much about makeup).

  • Valerie Ponce

    I use my pencil eyeliner sharpener to sharpen my colored pencils and it actually works πŸ˜‚

  • Sylvia Hanna

    A very informative video. So helpful. I appreciate all the information and explanations on pencil sharpeners, especially how electrical ones heat up. Thanks, Sylvia.. a newbie to coloring books and colored pencils.

  • Hermuchness

    Thank you so much for your instruction. I have a set of the prismacolor student and followed your instructions using a Spectrum Noir hand sharpener and it worked great.

  • Nikki B.

    I had a purple prismacolor pencil in a pack of 24 break so much that I didn't even get to use it really until it was about half the size the original pencil was :/

  • sultan Merchant

    Can you please specify model no of Derwent sharpener ?

  • Choeros

    Is he left-handed?


    Love the music

  • Mon Ami

    WOW! That is sharp, thank you!


    will the lead on the prismacolor premier break when it falls???

  • sweta kaushik

    Just found your channel, video is really helpfull, thanks, subscribed!! Btw i am also frm india:)

  • SparklePineapple

    I just have the crayola 36 set of pencil crayons and I really like them

  • Adnan Raksha

    Is Prismacolor available in India? Or you shipped it)


    Great information

  • Serendipity

    I swear you would have atleast 5 times more subscribers if you lost that accent

  • Ψ±Ψ­ΩŠΩ‚ Ψ§Ω„Ψ¬Ω†Ω‡

    Ψ§Ω†Ψͺ ΨͺΨ¬Ψ±Ψ΄ حجي ΩˆΨ§Ω†ΩŠ Ω…Ψ§ فهمΨͺ ΩƒΩ„Ω…Ω‡ =)

  • Morrigan Arianrhod

    I read that is you take a hair dryer and heat the pencils for about 30 seconds and let them cool for 10-15 before you use them that this helps with the breakage problem…I've not tried this yet, as I only just ordered my prismacolor pencils today but worth a shot, right?

  • Punchy Salazar

    This is cute

  • Tayohni

    I bought a similar electric sharpener that cost me dearly. But, much better off paying big for something of quality that will last a long time than to buy a cheap thing that will break in a matter of months. I've had an X-acto teacher pro sharpener for more than a year now, sharpening on average 4 pencils a day and it shows no signs of wearing down or getting dull. Works on Crayolas, prismas, regular lead pencils, and has the ability to sharpen different size pencils.

  • ART with Bhaskar Sharma

    I prefer blades for sharping the pencil

  • Silver

    I just got prismacolor junior but do they break cause you know its junior

  • Gacha Yandere

    who watches videos about super cool and great perfect pencils like these but cries internationally realising they can't afford these pencils.

  • Marie Just Marie

    I like prisma color pencils. It is all in the sharpener. Great video.

  • Zane Robbins

    Heres how to care for your and pencyals(inspired by jenna marbles)
    1. Do not drop your an pencyals. It does not keep them sheeerp
    2. Sheeerpen your an pencyals with a sheeerp pencyal sheeerpener, and use smooooothe consistyant hyand motioyans
    3. Dont not press to herd on your an pencyals, this may cause your an pencyal to break, which does not keep your an pencyals sheeerp
    4. Be careful of your an pencyals worst enemie, wacks bloooom.
    5. Do not put your an pencyals in the meercrowave to soooften the lead. It does not keep them sheeeerp
    There is your compleyte guide on how to care for your an pencyals.

  • Angela Peterlin

    I use battery-operated pencil sharpener and never got breakage with my Prismaolor Premier.

  • Emilio Lopez

    Ew that accent

  • ArtCat34

    This really helped, thank you for such a helpful video!!

  • MeGustaChuletas

    With electric helical blade sharpeners, it is suggested to run a "normal" graphite pencil through it (sharpen a normal pencil) every few sharpens of a Wax based pencil. It cleans and lubricates the blade with the graphite (as far as I understand it).

  • mpetersen6

    For what its worth I use a Prisma two hole manual sharpener almost exclusively. And i use it on Prismas, Faber Castells, Derwents, CretaColors and the cheap brands. The only problem is the blades just don't hold up. I wish you could get new blades to just put new one in or somebody would come out with a sharpener that used blades for box cutters.

  • Adil Draws

    Very helpful tips.

  • peggy picasso

    wow your info was so interesting and useful. I will try to sharpen with a sharpener like yours ..I am sure my son will think I am nuts as he bought an electrical oine but it scares me that my poor pencils will get eaten up lol,..Plus the point never is any where like how sharp yours performs for you

  • Rachael Hutchings

    You are VERY talented indeed, sell your work. I looked through so many YouTube videos to see how to use prismacolours (complete beginner) your work just stood out above all the rest. I have learnt so much too.

  • Ritwika Ghosh

    Very informative video!

  • Jackie M

    Excellent information. It is so frustrating to have these expensive pencils just eaten up and never sharp. Thank you for the information.

  • Freddy Fonseca CR

    How to NOT sharpen your prismacolor

  • ImAnAlbatroaz 12

    To me its really easy and I use a cheap sharpener from Wal-Mart

  • Lucy Xu

    Now I get why I never get problems with my Prismacolor pencils well sharpening! I always use a manual table top sharpener (haha because normal sharpeners hates me). Thanks a lot!

  • Jaime Vanegas

    Super helpful thanksπŸ‘

  • apollonia

    I agree. The Derwent manual crank sharpener is great.
    Yes, it does eat the wood a bit BUT it is better than ending up with broken tips all of the time.
    Personally, I prefer to see my pencils sharp even if they end up a bit smaller than a pencil I cannot use at all.
    Kind regards from GB.

  • Karmen Coombs


  • μ•ˆμ¦ˆν—‰

    KUM is just worst, because it broke my leads

  • Katniss Everdeen

    I mostly use the prismacolor sharpener and I find that it works fairly well, but I do have to replace it from time to time because I notice that the blade dulls and they break more easily

  • fairylovr33

    Ty so much for this! Ughhhhhhh primacolor USED to have quality colored pencils but ever since the company changed to prismacolor their pencils are shit I’m just gonna say it! Too freakn expensive for them to be breaking soooo often you wanna literally pull your hair out. It’s majorly frustrating!!!

  • UCLAJediKnight

    is this a man or a woman?

  • Helen Gillis

    I wouldn't buy prismacolor anyway – I will stick with the quality of Faber Castell or Derwent and stay in Europe – thanks!

  • Linda Benny

    Your voice is wonderful, I could listen to you all night!

  • Nunu I.

    i know u like ur prismacolors but OMG blick studio pencils at eTHE best compared to all of the ones that u mentioned but its not a very popular company

  • Catrina Bradley

    Thank you! Excellent video. Now I'm doubly glad I chose Prismacolor. My only problem (with all colored pencils) has been breaking when sharpening. Now I know what my eighth, and hopefully last, sharpener will be.

  • ezcomezgo11

    Well done video. Accurate information. Keep up the good work. πŸ™‚

  • turtle turtle

    ! Juuu


    Bhaiya..1sub or like mardiya😁

  • brokenwing2005

    I hate prismacolor watercolor pencils. What a waste of money. All the leads break. Poor quality.

  • TheNerdyBunny

    I know there are many colored pencil brands, but if prismacolors are too expensive for you, I recommend Koh-I-Door Polycolor. You cann often find them for inexpensive prices on amazon (If you look) or you can find them at hobby lobby, and, granted, they are oil based and not exactly like prismacolor, they are still very nice and I like them a lot;

  • yanca


  • NeNe Animations

    Thank you very much !!

  • Linda Leigh Johnson


  • Siraj Ahmed

    In india this is of 1400 rs 60 rupees is 1$

  • Monty Saha

    I have a Shaker sharpener of Maped.

  • demon6937

    I kind of regretting my polychromos though the colors are vibrant I find it hard to blend πŸ™

  • John Kon

    I love prisma myself but, don't use them for finished work anymore. I prefer oil or if wax, luminance. Main reason (since sharpening isn't a issue for me), is lightfast quality & wax blooms.
    Prisma application is great but, they are not made like they were. Get your hands on a old Venus pencil (the original recipe for these pencils), & you'll be so angry that they aren't made that way anymore. It is a shame

  • Alexandra Z

    I don't understand the hype around these pencils, everyone getting angry when an artist says they don't like them. For me, as a European, these pencils are extremely expensive and not worth it. Why on earth would you like a pencil that you can't use for layering without getting wax buildup and fuzzy looking edges? Whenever I see a portrait or landscape made in prismas on Instagram, I immediately recognize the muddy blending that ALL prisma users achieve. Even their aspect is bad, they are cracked, thin, their matte varnish looks old, with light cheap feeling of the pencil. They are not worth the 200 dollars they ask for a big box, plus shipping. If you really are a serious artist, Polychromos, Pablo or Luminance, or Holbein are the best. They layer to infinity, especially Polychromos, and they look absolutely amazing. Plus, they are lightfast! Unlike Prismacolor. People who use Polychromos like Prismacolors make me cringe, you shouldn't use a coloured pencil like you use your oil pastels or wax crayons, that is a thing only Prismacolor pencils do, and it gets muddy soon, as they are not transparent like Polychromos. I am sorry, but unless they change their barrels and lightfastness, I will not pay so much money on pencils that are not worth even half the cost. Oh, and another thing. If these pencils were so good, there shouldn't be videos explaining HOW to sharpen them without breakage, as that shouldn't even happen in the first place. I have been using Polychromos for a year, and no pencil has broken or even snapped while sharpening or dropping, which says alot.

  • Prey Rez

    Im over thinking the fact that theres a brand called 'KUM' .-.

  • ΨͺΨ³Ω†ΩŠΩ… Ψ¬Ω…ΨΉΩ‡

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  • Erica Felman

    Thank you for the excellent video. Just bought Prismacolor pencils and saw all of the complaints about breakage but also saw the comments on color intensity and selection so I went for it. Now I need to look for your recommended sharpeners. Excellent video. Thank YOU>

  • Azzab

    I got an arteza ad at the beginning of this video omfg arteza is trying to steal y’all away from prismacolours

  • Auby Besties

    I found this when I searched how to sharpen woodless coloured pencils since mine will not sharpen.

  • Astrin Ymris

    I've found a Japanese handheld sharpener which gives a short cone, but with a very sharp tip. Since there's less exposed core, there's less chance of tip breakage. I just wish it came with a shavings receptacle.


    But if you're happy with your current sharpener, great! I'm old enough to remember the old Berol Prismacolors, which were a lot less fragile than the post-NAFTA ones. There's a lot to be said about using well-paid experienced workers instead of outsourcing the manufacturing to the lowest bidder.

  • ooak mini world

    I've got a heliblade manual the one you have with the handle but it takes about 3rd of a pencil each time so I can't use it. Any ideas why it's doing that it's not had much use at all so it can't be blunt already. I use prismacolor and carandache luminance so I need a sharpener that doesn't ruin my expensive pencils. I'm from England any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

  • Xxjovit GamingxX

    My prismas keep BREAKINGGGG poor lavander hasnt even lived a month and is already half the size in what it used to be

  • β€’ Mitzuki β€’

    haha, polychromos is coming after you Prismacolor πŸ™‚

  • Ragini Ghag

    Hello Sir are you still using the Derwent sharpener , is it still working properly ? Have you ever used the apsara long point sharpener , we get a fairly long point in it the only drawback is we cannot insert any of the Derwent pencils in it but polychromos and prismacolors go well with it.

  • shadowmohd

    Get the poooooiiiiiinnnt! Aaaaaaa

  • Lobetec

    I always get scared when im sharpening, since some of the lead comes off with the wood, so i feel like im burning money lmao

  • STICKYArt Channel

    Watch out for fakes!! they break easier! I made a vid to show how to avoid fake prismacolors πŸ™‚

  • Rebecca Mitchell

    Your method of holding the pencil in the non dominant hand and turning the manual sharpener in the other worked perfectly. Not one break in 72 pencils. Thank you!

  • BeeBea

    YOU SUCK- Can NOT understand your curled up English. Go back to the immigrations and learn to speak CLEAR English! you terroist!!!😫😫🀐


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