Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Kum Scribble and Kum Tip Top Pencil Sharpeners

Kum is well known for manufacturing great pencil sharpeners, so I picked up these two sharpeners to see if they live up the reputation. The one on the left is the Kum Scribble City; there is also a Kum Scribble Garden, which has different graphics, but both sharpeners are the same. The pencil sharpener on the right is the Kum Tip Top, which comes with a matching pencil. Both of these items are available on JetPens for $4.00/each.

The Kum Tip Top is a sharpener/clip combo that sits on top of woodcase pencils. There is a blue cap that houses the sharpener, and you can see the clip on the top left of the photo. 

The sharpener on the Kum Tip Top definitely stands up to what I expected from the reputation of the brand; it sharpens evenly and leaves a perfect point for using some good ol' fashioned graphite. 

The sharpener component easily slides out of the pencil. I am not sure where to get refill blades, but, as you can see, there is a screw, which seems to indicate that one could change out the blades when this one becomes dull. The sharpener must be removed to empty out the shavings, and it doesn't hold many shavings, so I'd recommend removing the sharpener and using it directly over the waste basket to make sure you don't have graphite dust going anywhere when you don't want it to.

Here is what it looks like when you lift up the cap and remove the sharpener.

As you might have imagined, the sharpener component is quite small.

The incognito sharpener hidden safely under the cap.

This is the Kum Scribble sharpener. I had been looking for a general sharpener to keep on my desk, so I thought this might work for me.

There is a cap tethered with a plastic string. The sharpener has a standard size hole and a larger size, too.

The sharpener itself is a fairly standard magnesium Kum sharpener. I have seen these at my local art supply store. Again, there are screws, but I never really see the blades available for purchase anywhere.

Quite surprisingly, I had a terrible experience trying to sharpen one of my Field Notes Neon Ice Pop pencils. Time and time again, the result of using the Kum Scribble resulted in a weird twisted sharpening. I tried to adjust the angle of my sharpening and did this with multiple pencils but, alas, nothing seemed to correct this highly undesirable outcome.

So, the bottom line is that the Kum Tip Top worked great, and it gives you the convenience of having a nice portable sharpener right at the top of your pencil, though it may not fit well if the metal ferrule is too wide. 

The Kum Scribble did not work well for me at all, but I am assuming this is probably a fluke. I have tried several other Kum sharpeners, all of which performed amazingly well, so I think this could be really good once the removable sharpener is replaced.

I do have a few too many sharpeners lying around at this point, so both of these sharpeners will be given out in an upcoming giveaway. I will also be including the Daycraft 2012 Signature Diary from this posting and a couple other goodies, too, so stay tuned! 


  1. Nice review! I was always a tad curious about the Tip Top sharpener. I might add it to my collection sometime. Also had some hits and misses with the 2-holes wedge magnesium sharpeners, but overall I am pretty happy with the brass and magnesium block sharpeners. As for KUM spare blades, I have never found them at retail. Yet you can find a pretty wide assortment of replacement blades at Pencilthings http://www.pencilthings.com/category-s/83.htm

  2. Very cool, nice review and pics! ;-)

  3. B2-kun - Thanks for the tip on the replacement blades. I am a sucker for making things last, so any resources I come across to extend the life of a product is quite welcome, and I am glad you liked the review, too.

    Speedmaster - Thanks for stopping by. I have been a big fan of your blog for a long time, even if I feel like I should max out my credit cards to acquire some of the goodies you share.

  4. I have that exact same KUM city sharpener but my experience was not the exact same. It gives my pencils sharp, non-mangled points with ease.

    Then again, I did get two KUM lead sharpeners once that had holes too small for the lead to fit into.