Author name: kevin

Guest Review by Kevin of the Dahle 133 rotary sharpener (and Deli 0635 rotary sharpener)

Recently I purchased the Dahle 133 rotary sharpener from Amazon  UK. I wasn’t expecting a great sharpener given it’s bland looks in dull grey and black. There were however some features that drew my attention to this sharpener.

  1. The protected grippers that do not mark the pencil, unlike the usual metal “jaws of death” seen on most rotary sharpeners.
  2. The sharpener is advertised as having 2 point settings – sharp or blunt, however the screw type mechanism seems to allow for an infinitely variable sharpness between these two extremes.
  3. Low cost, from 7-10 pounds sterling depending on colour. I didn’t realise Amazon were also offering a green and white and black and white model for a couple of pounds less than my model.
  4. Sharpens pencils from the usual standard around 7mm up to 11.5mm for some chunky art pencils.


As my main interest is graphite pencils, I sharpened a selection to see if it produced a point comparable to my gold standard sharpener – a modified (with padded grippers from the premium model) Carl Angel 5 (chinese mechanism). Here’s the results.

  • Standard diameter hex pencils such as the Faber Castell 9000 and Tombow Mono 100 produced a short exposed core and a dull point. Not impressed.
  • The round barrel Papermate Black Warrior (Mexico) produced a nice long cone and good point sharpness.
  • The oversize triangular Dixon TRI-CONDEROGA sharpened nicely with a long cone and medium/long exposed core.

While not as good as a Carl Angel-5 it does have the advantage of padded grippers and the ability to sharpen oversize pencils. I would give it a 6 1/2 out of ten for graphite pencils. BUT, and here’s the big BUT, this sharpener is absolutely brilliant with all the coloured pencils I tested. It seems the thicker cores of coloured pencils – 3mm and up are better suited to the geometry of the mechanism than thinner cored graphite pencils.

– the overall cone (wood and core is long and nicely tapered) and the exposed core is almost razor sharp and with just the right length.

For comparison I sharpened a graphite pencil and more coloured pencils in one of Matthias’ favourite sharpeners – the Deli 0635. The result for the graphite Berol Turquoise was quite good but the point and cone shape/length not up to the standard of the Carl Angel 5. But, yet again the coloured pencils were sharpened to an almost absurdly cone length and the exposed core is also massively long and deadly sharp, even sharper if that’s possible, than the Dahle 133.

Of the two sharpeners I would plump for the Dahle 133 for the more reasonable length of the cone and the exposed core. The Deli 0635 cone is simply freakishly long and sharp and thus the point strength is compromised.


Both these sharpeners would fit easily in most outdoor art sketching kits. The Deli 0635 is super compact and the Dahle is compact – about half way between the Carl and the Deli in size.

Both these little sharpeners are basically plastic externally but have robust all metal cutting cylinders with all metal gear drive.

The padded grippers on both sharpeners was the main reason I purchased them and in this regard they do their job admirably. I only wish that manufacturers and sellers would promote these padded gripper models as a feature – which they certainly are.

Given the results with coloured pencils, I will certainly be using mine more often in future.

Thanks to Matthias for the airing of this guest review.


You can find another review of the Dahle 133 at Lexikaliker (Google translation of the blog post).

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.