KUM Masterpiece 10


Introduction

I have used KUM’s Automatic Long Point sharpener, a two-step sharpener, for six years now, but I can’t say that I’ve ever been very happy with it. In the end, it didn’t use it much at all – saying that: it is a good sharpener for Staedtler’s Wopex, though.

kum-masterpiece-1

After reading Lexikaliker’s blog post about the KUM Masterpiece, a very similar sharpener with a magnesium body, I couldn’t resist and had to try it. I’ll spare you most details about the sharpener as I’d never be able to write them up as well as Lexikaliker anyway.

The Masterpiece

The Masterpiece is quite expensive. I paid €9.25. Luckily Lexikaliker was kind enough to help me get my hands on one. No wonder it’s expensive: There is a lot of manual work involved and that doesn’t come cheap in Germany (but in this case it’s much cheaper that products from another German company involving a lot of manual work).

kum-masterpiece-2

It’s a two-step sharpener, meaning that in the first step you only ‘sharpen’ the wood away. You then move to the second part of the sharpener where you sharpen the actual lead of the pencil.

The Masterpiece comes in a plastic container that is in a neoprene case.

Stop removed

Stop removed

Actually, the first time I used it I damaged the lid of the plastic container that sits inside the neoprene case – closing the snap fastener needs so much force that the case under it got a crack.

Conclusion

I can’t say that I get much better results with the masterpiece – compared to KUM’s Automatic Long Point sharpener, but it was slightly easier to achieve good results. Another benefit of this model: You can also slide the blue plastic stop off to expose the lead even further before sharpening in the second step. One last point to mention: The Masterpiece has an even more acute angle. Technically the angle for wood and graphite are different. In reality, assuming you used the built-in stop to expose just the right length of graphite, you get an angle of just over 15°. This is the most acute angle I know.

Step 1 completed

Step 1 completed – look at the beautiful shavings from my Noris.

It’s a nice sharpener, top marks for beautiful shavings, and I’m sure it will see more use than it’s Long Point sibling, but I still prefer my Deli 0635.

Step 2 completed

Step 2 completed


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10 thoughts on “KUM Masterpiece

  • Gunther

    Thank you for your review.

    I find the packaging of the Masterpiece awkward. It is not very practical to use both the plastic box and the neoprene case so I think that most users will end up using only one (or none). To me it would have been a better solution if they had omitted the plastic box and used a smaller case which isn’t so bulky (and of course with a smoother snap fastener).

    It is interesting to hear that you don’t get much better results with the Masterpiece than with the Automatic Long Point – my experience with the latter was disappointing because I mostly had problems but I am very happy with the results of the Masterpiece.

  • Matthias

    Gunther, thank you for your comment.

    I kind of like the packaging, but the plastic box should be stronger if it’s supposed to be used under a snap fastener.

    It’s slightly easier to use than the Long Point. Probably just enough to cross the invisible line that will make me pick it up in the future (vs. hardly ever picking up the Long Point) to sharpen pencils.

  • Ryan Chang

    Hello,

    Thanks for this review! I love the points on my KUM ALP and Masterpiece sharpeners, but I often find that after a while, even after replacing blades, I’ll have broken points during Step Two. Does anyone else have this issue? And if so, how to resolve?

  • Matthias

    Ryan, thanks for your comment. I guess you could sharpen your blades, similar to what I have done in one of the Little Shaver videos (see https://bleistift.memm.de/2015/11/lee-valleys-little-shaver/ ).
    I wonder whether the fault is with the pencils, not the sharpener – maybe the pencils were dropped at some stage (maybe even before they were sold). Which pencils are affected? Maybe you could try some SV bonded / break resistant pencils just for comparison.

  • Ryan Chang

    Hey Matthias,

    Thanks for the reply. I only use the Blackwing 602s. Just starting to get into the pencil game, so I haven’t done a lot of research on other pencils.

    I was also thinking that it might be the pencil but, in the past, I’ve tried five different pencils and gotten the same result (broken point while on Step 2). Just couldn’t imagine it’d be the whole batch! Maybe it’s a combination of blade/pencil quality.

    Any recommendations for a comparable long-point sharpener?

    Thanks!
    Ryan

  • Matthias Post author

    Eberhard Faber’s Blackwing 602 had a special lead bonding, so I guess yours is the Palomino Blackwing 602.
    I don’t know where you live, but the Mars Lumograph is available more or less everywhere. I wonder whether it is worth trying another pencil first before trying another sharpener. That would be a cheaper option. You could try a soft Lumograph (Not sure what is equivalent to the Palomino BW 602, maybe a 3B?) and see whether you have the same problems with the lead breaking.
    If you want to try another sharpener: My favourite sharpener is the Deli 0635 (see https://bleistift.memm.de/2010/02/deli-pencil-sharpener-0635/ ). It will produce a long point (see https://bleistift.memm.de/sharpeners/ ).

  • Ryan Chang

    Matthias,

    Fantastic information. The Staedtler pencils are readily available where I live (CO, USA); I will try some of those as well. I do use the Palominos–last time I checked the scale, it was closer to 2B, so maybe it’s in between 2B and 3B.

    I did look at the review of the Deli sharpener. Definitely will get one and try it out.

    Thanks a million again!
    Ryan

  • Matthias Post author

    I’m happy this was useful to you.
    It would be great to hear whether the issue was with the pencil or the sharpener and what you think of your new purchase.