Guest Review By Kevin Of The Carl Angel-5 “Premium” Model Rotary Sharpener A5PR

Today: A blog post by Kevin from Down Under

Hi Matthias/readers:- today after a lot of searching through Japanese sites, I received the above sharpener from a store (AT-N) on (English version here). The store in this link, I’m showing because it has a close up of the rotary unit, showing the stamping “CARL” and “MADE IN JAPAN”. The standard Carl Angel-5 sharpener is now made in China. The following comments may be useful:


Design Differences to the standard CARL ANGEL-5:
1. Rubber padded pencil grippers
2. Chrome handles (pincers) in place of plastic pincers.
3. Crank handle has a nicer triangular plastic holding part in place of the ribbed plastic handle on the CA-5.
4. The milled rotary unit is stamped “CARL”, “MADE IN JAPAN”.


Usage Differences: – Now comes the disappointing part:
The rotary unit is not the same as the original CARL ANGEL – the point it produces is similar to the Mitsubishi KH-20, a somewhat dull point, and shorter, fatter cone – although I gather this is more preferred by “writers”. As I use this sharpener for sketching/drawing in a small A6 size sketchbook, my needs are for a “as sharp as reasonably possible” point. Even with the standard CARL ANGEL-5 I invariably touch up the point to serious needle sharpness with a OLFA cutting knife.


There was, however, a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow….but it means owning the two sharpeners – the Original and the Premium.
I swapped the rotary unit including the crank handles ( the premium crank handle fits the standard Carl, but unfortunately the standard Carl crank handle doesn’t fit the Premium rotary unit – weird, I know) between each sharpener…(twenty seconds) and now I have my perfect (for me) sharpener, albeit using the “cheaper Chinese” but “better” rotary mechanism from the Standard Carl Angel-5. Now I can sharpen (and already have) my premium pencils in a truly “premium” sharpener, giving me what I always wanted:
– the long cone and sharp point of the standard Carl Angel-5 AND just as importantly to me
– rubber padded pencil grippers to keep the pencil surface pristine… very necessary when sketching, where visual distractions can be a problem to the creative process.
FC 9000, Staedtler Mars, Palomino Blackwing 602, and some vintage American drawing pencils now look much prettier when I’m sketching.


The important bits:
I paid net Y2000 (they deduct Japanese tax) and Y1860 shipping EMS. Total cost – just over AUD50.00. The process of ordering on Rakuten is quite simple and there is no need to become a member. I mucked up my credit card expiry and Rakuten admin simply cancelled the transaction with the store (AT-N) – I received a cancellation email, and I placed a new order without problem. The English translations of the numerous emails (shipping, cancellation, order, new order, etc) are quite amusing, but sufficient to get the message across.


Matthias and fellow readers, I hope this is of some help.

12 thoughts on “Guest Review By Kevin Of The Carl Angel-5 “Premium” Model Rotary Sharpener A5PR”

  1. Thanks for the review — I hadn’t heard about this sharpener, even though I’m a huge fan of the original Carl Angel 5. The dark green body colour is lovely too.

    Any chance of some side-by-side comparisons of the points produced by both?

  2. Any chance of some side-by-side comparisons of the points produced by both?

    Hi, Koralatov – I can see I will have to buy a digital camera, but in the meantime I would best describe the point difference as follows:

    The Carl Angel-5 produces a cone of 22.5mm total including a long sharp graphite section.
    The Premium Carl produces a cone of 19.5mm total length – still long by manual sharpener standards with a slightly shorter exposed graphite section.

    and a Mitsubish KH-20 produces a cone length of 23mm BUT with a ridiculously short exposed graphite section – only half the length of the CA-5. This sharpener also sharpens centered leads “off center”.

    Hope this helps.

  3. ….and the point on the Premium and KH-20 are sharp by normal standards, just not sharp enough for my personal needs and not quite as sharp as the CA-5..

    AND by the way, the test pencils were previously unsharpened Venus Velvet 3557’s.

  4. Hi Kevin, thanks for reviewing for the three (including Mitsubishi KH-20) sharpeners and highlighting the features and downsides. It helps people that know exactly what they want from sharpeners to make a decision, and tells people that aren’t familiar with sharpeners what to look for. Also, thanks for sharing your experience with Rakuten, I’ve been eyeing some pencils from store Atn for a while now but wasn’t sure what to expect as a buyer that doesn’t speak any Japanese. Think I’ll give them a try soon.

    Back to the sharpeners, I’ve been using hand sharpeners before receiving a (used) KW-trio 305 rotatory sharpener from a friend. It produces a charming long concave point (22mm with 7-8mm graphite) but unfortunately it’s not a desirable sharpener: the bite mark is unbearable and is dangerous to use: either it’s because my unit is old or because it’s a defective product, the top front section that one pulls out to sharpen can spring back suddenly any time during sharpening (auto-stop! joking). But now I’ve seen the long point, can’t un-see it, the normal point handsharpeners make has become so unsightful that I picked up knife sharpening. In the mean time, a Carl CP100 is in the mail, hope I don’t need to wave the knife any more!

  5. Kevin, thank you for your review, which I enjoyed very much. I was not aware of this sharpener, and it looks quite compelling.

  6. Thanks Claire and Stephen for your comments.

    It was remiss of me not to provide the English translation of the above. The english (machine) translations are provided through, and when there, simply type the search term A5PR and you will see several results including the ATN store, which is the cheapest. The link is On this page you will also see yet another version of the Carl Angel-5 Premium called the Carl Angel-5 Royal which is the same sharpener with 2 point settings – for a few bucks more.

    Further info on the premium model:

    I have the Blue model which is finished in a subtle but shimmering deep, deep, blue metallic – looks beautiful under the right lighting.

    Claire, according to Rakuten the Carl Decade-100 is still sold in Japan and indeed I received an email from that they are back in stock with them. The DE-100 on Rakuten is priced between Y1850-2200 whereas the CP-100 I saw priced at Y1260 or thereabouts, so it seems there are differences other than the color. I will be keen to hear from you about the CP-100.

  7. Thank you for the review of the Carl sharpener and the comparison to the Mitsubishi. I’ll have a closer look at the Carl next time I’m in Shanghai. I think Meriful sold this sharpener…

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  9. A late comment on that post. – Thank you for your review, Kevin!

    Quite a while ago I received two CARL Angel-5 Royal sharpeners, bought at Rakuten/AT-N. I have read about the Royal and the Premium models in the current issue (10) of the Stationery Magazine and wrongly thought they were new (I haven’t remembered this post).

    I was also surprised to see that the milling unit of the Royal doesn’t produce a point as sharp as the one produced by the standard Angel-5. I followed your advice and swapped the milling units (in my case the one from the standard Angel-5 fits into the Royal); now I have an almost perfect crank sharpener. “Almost” because the gripping unit of both Royal models make an unpleasant sound when opened and closed and feel like something is grinded inside when opened – something I haven’t experienced with CARL sharpeners before. However, the unit keeps the pencil perfectly in place so it is more of an aesthetic issue (provided the mechanism isn’t faulty and doesn’t break down after some use). – By the way, I wonder why the gripping unit isn’t screwed but closed with bent metal tabs so most likely it can’t be opened non-destructively.

    Now I am able to compare the points produced by four CARL crank sharpeners. Here they are, beginning with the sharpest: Standard Angel-5, CC-2000 Custom, Decade DE-100 and Angel-5 Royal. The difference between the standard Angel-5, the CC-2000 Custom and the Decade DE-100 is quite small but the difference between these and the Angel-5 Royal is clearly noticeable. However, the latter may be the best of the four for colour pencils, especially with the point adjuster (maybe CARL had these in mind too). Overall I would rate the CC-2000 Custom as the best of these four since it has rubber-padded grippers, a five-step point adjuster and a silent, smooth gripping unit. Besides that, it is built like a tank (and has almost the size of one).

  10. thanks, Gunther – very informative. Well after 3 years of quite heavy use, mine is still working like a charm. Still don’t understand why CARL can’t produce the same.

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