How to Sharpen a Pencil Without a Sharpener? Best Tips 2022

Everyone knows how to sharpen a pencil with a sharpener. However, not all of us know how to sharpen a pencil without a sharpener. Well, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, Manymoon shall look at the best way to Sharpen a Pencil. 

How to Sharpen a Pencil Without a Pencil Sharpener

How to Sharpen a Pencil Without a Pencil Sharpener

1. How to Sharpen a Pencil With a Knife

A knife is the most common and preferred way for many artists to sharpen pencils.

What type of knife do you want?

It is dangerous to learn how to sharpen a pencil with a pencil sharpener.

Any sharp knife with a sharp edge can be used. All you need is a good grip and a sharp knife.

The X-acto precision knives are top-rated among artists. They have a razor-sharp blade. The X-acto sharp knife is not only used to sharpen a pencil but for many other craft tasks.

A standard box cutter can be used for sharpening. Probably you already have one. It isn’t a huge investment to buy one if you don’t have one.

Sharpening with a box cutter or craft knife is a technique that can be used to sharpen knives.

  • First, be patient and don’t rush. You don’t want to injure yourself or cause damage to your pencil.
  • To make cutting easier, hold your knife in your dominant handed.
  • You can use your other hand to draw a pencil. Make sure you save it tightly.
  • Keep your thumb on the blade and slowly carve the wood.
  • To get even shaving, use a rotating pencil. Once graphite has been removed, it’s time to sand.
  • You can use a sand block or regular sandpaper to grind graphite onto the paper. Rotate it regularly.

Benefits of using the knife for sharpening pencils

The best thing about sharpening your pencil with a knife? It allows you to achieve a long lead. Regular pencils have concise information, so you won’t be able to get some strikes with a shorter leader.

Long pencil lead gives you.

  • You have better control of the pencil.
  • You can use it as a paintbrush to make more movements
  • You can use it on the sides for shading. This is especially useful when there are larger areas that you wish to shade.
  • Even the tones of shading can be a challenge for beginners.
  • It is easy to draw fragile lines. This makes it great for creating outlines.

how to sharpen a colored pencil without a sharpener

2. Pencil Sharpening and Rough Surface

For writing tools to be usable, roughness is the ideal condition.

A nail file is a handy tool every girl has in her bag. It can be used to grind a writing instrument. Move the file back and forth until you get the point.

Sandpaper is abrasive and can also grind down wooden instruments to make them able to write.

If you’re outside and have nothing but your pencil in your hand, you can squat on the sidewalk and move your pencil edges left and right.

If you’re outside and see a brick or a rock next to you, this could be another option for a sharpener.

Before you start with any of these methods, check out the best pencils you can sharpen in any way you like.

how to sharpen pencils without a pencil sharpener

3. Just Use Something Really Sharp

For example, some victims of stationery damage use sharp tools to sharpen their knives.

Ruler. It can be used in two different ways. You can slide the wooden stick along a ruler’s sharp edge. You can also insert a pencil point in the hole and twist it to get a good angle.

You can also use scissors. Just repeat the same steps as the ruler, but with sharper edges. You can also use them to carve the wood barrel using one side of the scissors. This works best when the edge of the scissors is very sharp.

If the table or desk is not tightly screwed, you can find a screw and use its notch for your pencil.

You always have the keyhole in your pocket. You can also use the wooden stick to solve your problem.
You can easily shave the wood barrel with a razor.

The lead can be easily trimmed with nail clippers.

These are not all the options that can be used to reach a solution. There are many other solutions.

Using Smooth Surfaces to Sharpen Your Pencil Tip

4. Using Smooth Surfaces to Sharpen Your Pencil Tip

Draw lines on a piece of paper. You may be able to sketch lightly on a piece of paper if you haven’t completely broken your pencil tip and need to make it sharper.

The pencil should lay flat against the paper. Hold it at a 30-degree angle and draw thin lines.

Use a piece of paper or a folder to rub your pencil. You can also try a slight variation on the above: hold your pencil at the same angle to a piece or folder, and then gently move your pencil tip back-and-forth several times to create a rub.

It would help if you kept your pencil flat against the paper. Rotate your pencil often. This will allow you to get a sharper, more extended point.

Rub your pencil tip against your shoe. You don’t need to mark your paper, or you don’t have an extra folder handy; you can rub the dulled edge of your pencil tip against your shoe’s sole.

To prevent the pencil from snapping or rubbing down, rotate it.

Sharpen a Pencil Without a Sharpener Nail Failure

5. Nail Failure

A nail clipper’s metal nail file can be used as a grinder to grind your pencil. It has a high grain which can sand and remove the graphite. It will take care of both your nails and dull pencils.

You should hold the pencil in your weaker hands and begin to brush it with your dominant hand. Next, you will polish the pencil through the wooden base and move the tip forward and back. Gradually sand the graphite and wood surfaces to create a sharper angle.


Asking for assistance from classmates is a risky move. Although you might hope and believe that your instructor will be able to understand why you spoke to a classmate to purchase a new pencil for the test, they may not have any other recourse than to enforce the ban on talking. In that case, you could both end up in serious trouble.

It’s possible that your instructor won’t be able to confirm that you aren’t cheating. They may also not want to create a precedent in which students believe it’s okay to speak to each other during exams. It is better to fail the assignment than lose a friend or fail the course.

You should not bring any item that could be considered a weapon to school or is prohibited by school rules.

How to Sharpen a Pencil Without a Sharpener? FAQs

How to Sharpen a Pencil Without the Sharpener? FAQs 

How Can You Sharpen a Pencil Using a Razor Blade?

You can hold the pencil in your non-dominant hand while your dominant hand controls the razor. Place the razor tip on the top and gently trace backward using pressure. You must be careful not to cut your fingers or hand.

Why Does My Pencil Break When I Sharpen It?

A pencil is made from wood that is soft enough to be cut through for sharpening but strong enough to withstand pressure until it breaks.

The pencil will crack if you apply more pressure to the wood during sharpening.

Do I Need to Clean Off My Nail File if I Use It for My Pencil?

You don’t have to clean it if it’s an old nail clip that you won’t be using again. If you plan to use it again, however, it is a good idea to clean it after you have used it for the pencil.


In conclusion, there are many ways to sharpen a pencil without a sharpener. One way is to use a knife to shave the wood off the end of the pencil. Another way is to use a rock to sharpen the pencil. The above are some of the ways you can use to sharpen a pencil without a sharpener. Just choose one that suits your needs and then practice it until you can do it perfectly. We hope that our guide can help you know how to sharpen your pencil without a sharpener.

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