Perfect Pair: The Write Notepads & Co. Jumbo Pencils and the Classroom Friendly Large-Hole Sharpener

Write Notepads & Co. pencils

Right before Christmas, I ordered the full slate of pencils from Write Notepads & Co., as well as a couple of notebooks. After my visit to their headquarters last summer, I’ve become an even bigger fan than I already was. The jumbo pencils really intrigued me, but there was a problem—how to sharpen them?

Classroom Friendly Sharpeners

So while I sharpened and used the other pencils—the maroon hex and the natural round—the jumbo pencils sat unused. Then, about a month ago, I noticed someone mention a large-hole sharpener available from Classroom Friendly Supplies. WHAT??!! Since I’ve yet to tackle “artisanal pencil sharpening” (by hand, via knife + bandaids), I knew that I’d have to get my hands on this sharpener. I should also add that I have the regular version of the Classroom Friendly Sharpener and use it almost daily. (Actually, I have THREE—one for home, one for work, and one for back-up.)

Jumbo pencils and Large-Hole Sharpener

Where the regular sharpeners are metal and available in handful of colors, the large-hole sharpener is plastic and available only in a black and white version. No worries, though, it sharpens like a champ, and doesn’t leave “bite marks” on the pencils like the regular sharpener does.

Large-hole sharpener and jumbo pencil

Most importantly, it sharpens the Write Notepads & Co. jumbo pencils perfectly. These beefy, smooth, dark, and “made in America” pencils are now right up there among my favorites—the Palomino Blackwing Pearl and the Musgrave Test Scoring pencil.

Write Notepads Jumbo Pencils

I should mention that all of the Write Notepads & Co. pencils are “left-handed” pencils. When I first heard this I thought, “What?? How can a pencil be right or left handed?” Well, here’s the thing—branding on the pencils is printed in such a way that it appears right side up when held in the left hand, and upside down when held in the right. I’d never considered this before, undoubtedly because I’m right handed so the issue just never occurred to me. Chris Rothe—one of the founding brothers— is left handed, so this bit of whimsy makes perfect sense. Why shouldn’t left handed writers have pencil branding oriented for them?

Write Notepad & Co. jumbo pencils

When I hold one of these over-sized pencils, memories of elementary school, hot lunch, hissing radiators, recess, and learning to read and write all come flooding back to me. They conjure up thoughts of simpler times and simpler tools. They are the “comfort food” of pencils.

Jumbo pencil cores

Wonderfully smooth, thickly painted, and perfectly branded, this is the pencil that I’m reaching for when I’m making lists, balancing my checkbook, and jotting down groceries. How can you resist a pencil that says, “THIS IS A GENUINE WRITE NOTEPADS & CO PRODUCT-TO COUNTERFEIT IS DEATH.” The cores are centered and sharpen without issue. Point retention is very good. I rotate my pencil a bit as I write and find that I can go for quite awhile without re-sharpening (and that’s one of my quirks—the need for a pretty decent point at all times.)

Ferrules and erasers

The gold ferrules are gorgeous and do a fantastic job anchoring the equally girthy erasers. When erasing, the bits left behind are strand-like, not “crumby,” and erasing is quite clean with just a faint ghost of the erased word visible.

Hex pencils
Long point from regular sharpener (top) vs. short point from Long-Hole sharpener (bottom)

The Classroom Friendly Large-Hole Sharpener can also be used to sharpen regular size pencils, but the resulting point is shorter and more conical than the long point you get from the regular sharpener, as you can see in the photo above. But if you want a Classroom Friendly Sharpener that doesn’t put bite-marks on your pencils, the Large-Hole Sharpener is the one to go with, despite the somewhat stunted point.

Write Notepads & Co. Jumbo pencils

The Write Notepads & Co. Jumbo pencils and the Classroom Friendly Large-Hole Sharpener really are the perfect pair. They go together like gin and tonic, bacon and eggs, Thelma and Louise. If you have one, you gotta have the other.

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3 thoughts on “Perfect Pair: The Write Notepads & Co. Jumbo Pencils and the Classroom Friendly Large-Hole Sharpener

  1. Pingback: Link Love: Molly Ringwald Writes Letters | The Well-Appointed Desk

  2. Pingback: Perfect Pair: The Write Notepads & Co. Jumbo Pencils and the Classroom Friendly Large-Hole Sharpener | From the Pen Cup | The Cramped

  3. Hi,

    I’ve been wandering around some writing websites for the past day, and I stumbled upon this- I have to admit the ‘left-handed’ was what caught my attention. But then you mentioned not having ever seen jumbo sharpeners- and there I became amazed. I’m not sure in what area/where you live (and I’m not asking, don’t worry!) but all my life I’ve seen multi-sized pencil sharpeners all around me- at home, in schools, in stores, in business and doctor’s offices for cry- erm, yeah. I’m not sure how to add images here, so I’m just going to post some links to images of the types of sharpeners I mean- and there’s everything from tiny-fits-in-your-smallest-jeans-5th-pocket size to big electrical ones ones, in all shapes and colors.

    These first three are for 6-8 different sizes of pencils, with the ‘standard’ marked:
    This one is an old one, manual:

    and this one is a newer version, still manual (this one has the eight sizes):

    this is more of the same, but electrical:

    this one is a manual one that comes with a box to catch the pencil shavings in, for regular and jumbo:

    These following ones are the small, easy-to-buy-easy-to-lose type (prices range from 10-75 cents in the places I’ve lived):
    some color variety:

    slightly different shape:

    my admitted favourite metal ones (I firmly believe that they provide the sharpest points, and since I write tiny, ridiculously sharp points are awesome):

    And the tiniest one: a single jumbo sized sharpener:

    There’s also a lot of fun-shaped ones, anything from cute bunnies and flowers to creepy and weird, and some decidedly pervy-humoured ones.

    So…yeah. I just couldn’t go past this page without mentioning this. ^-^~

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