Pencil sharpeners come in a variety of forms made from plastic, wood or metal and feature a cylindrical, interior pocket that is equipped with a filing material or a blade, which is the component used to cut the point of a pencil when turned. The first pencil sharpener was constructed in 1828 and made of wood and a metal file that sat at a 90-degree angle, according to the Early Office Museum.
Pencil sharpeners have greatly evolved since their introduction in 1828. Many of the pencil sharpeners to come after featured more advanced mechanisms like the Planetary Pencil Pointer, which used a rotating crank to turn the interior two milling disks around the pencil, as stated by the Early Office Museum. Similar crank-like models that attached to a wall or desk were rapidly produced throughout the mid 1800s to the early 1900s. One of the biggest sharpener advancements was created in 1904 and became widely popularized by 1910: the Oclott Climax Pencil Sharpener was constructed of metal with spiral cut edges, a design that is highly valued today. The cylindrical shaped cutter was able to make fine cuts on the pencil, rather than grinding it, as previous pencil sharpeners had done.