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Plain school pencils just need your average pencil sharpener, manual or electric. Carpenter pencils, however, need flat point pencil sharpeners. You can also use flat point pencil sharpeners with artist pencils. For colored pencils, we recommend a rotary sharpener. Be sure to empty the sharpener every time you sharpen a pencil. Mechanical pencils self-sharpen, take lead refills, and thus require no sharpeners.