Möbius+Ruppert Granate

I don’t have many different kinds of hand sharpeners. In fact, I really only have one—the small sharpener made by Graf von Faber-Castell. But lately I’ve been using this sharpener made by Möbius+Ruppert, and it’s very good. By its weight you get the feeling that it’s durable, and since it’s made of brass, I don’t hesitate to toss it in a backpack or carry it in my pocket along with some change.

You can read more about this sharpener over at Lexikaliker (and thanks to Gunther for sending this to me). As is the story with many common objects associated with writing instruments, this sharpener’s form factor has a long history. Along with my opinion about musical instruments, this sharpener reminds me that all you really need is one thing that’s made well, and the rest will take care of itself.

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6 Responses to Möbius+Ruppert Granate

  1. Kevin says:

    Sean, I had a Bruynzeel version of this sharpener…exactly the same, from about 15 years ago. It was truly a dreadful sharpener in performance, so I’m glad you not only have a great, solid design, but a nice sharpener. Unfortunately, for me it seems I have to buy many sharpeners to marry up with my different pencils. A case in point is the cheap, plastic Faber-Castell sleeve sharpener which sharpens a round barrel Eagle Draughting 314 to absolute perfection, every time, yet with hex pencils it’s a ‘”lemon”.

    Forgive my infatuation with sharpeners, but I have recently noticed “Maped” sharpeners taking over the supermarket stationery sections in Sydney, with about 5 or 6 different models. I had the misfortune to buy a Maped SIGNAL sharpener which releases a green trip button when the pencil is sharpened. In the bin it went after five or six goes at getting it working. No more Maped for me. Absolute rubbish!!


  2. Gunther says:

    Thank you for the great photos, Sean! I am happy to hear that you like the sharpener.

    Kevin: I am very sure that the number of sharpeners will decrease considerably if you switch to Möbius+Ruppert 😉 They are excellent and worth every cent. – Most sharpeners are utter crap, including some from major companies who obtain them from China. It’s really disappointing.


  3. Sean says:

    Gunther: Your comment brought my attention to the missing “p” in Ruppert. All fixed now. 🙂

    Kevin: I know what you mean about the fickleness of hand sharpeners. I think that’s why I’ve stuck with my GvFC sharpener, which came with a set. Since replacement blades are easy to buy, I don’t hesitate to use it with all kinds of pencils (lower- and higher-quality ones) and it works out perfectly pretty much each time. (On a side note, the cedar in the GvFC pencils seems to just melt away in that sharpener; they are perfectly matched—the epitome of precision German design.)

    I’ve also used the larger, round double-hole sharpener by M+R, which includes an oversized hole. It’s just as good as the granate. New GvFC sharpeners can be pricey, but they are frequently found on eBay (if it hadn’t been in a set, I don’t think I would have bought it). I think if you bought one though you’d find that it would pay for itself rather quickly, and that your search might be over. 🙂


  4. adair says:

    Alas, even the Granate hasn’t worked well for me, though I admit it did the best job of all the handheld sharpeners. But even it did not give me a good long point and there was chipping of the wood around the lead. These days, I only use hand-crank sharpeners from Carl and even carry one in my bag with me at all times. Faber-Castell and GvF-C sharpeners were all uniformly unlucky for me. A pity—I love the design of the Granate as well as of the GvF-C “UFO”.


    • Sean says:

      Adair, I liked the “UFO” too, but it pretty much chewed-up pencils. It’s a shame since the form factor made it easy to hold. Surely the quality of the blade makes a difference, but how can it be that there is so much disparity between items that are all designed to do the same thing? I suppose the answer also lies in the disparity of the pencils, too. True story: one of the best “regular” plastic sharpeners I’ve used was the one that came in the green, plastic, Perfect Pencil with the Castell 9000 in it.


    • Gunther says:

      Adair, I am sorry to hear that the Granate hasn’t worked for you. However, please don’t expect a so-called “long-point” from it – the Granate has the standard conus angle of 22±1° (the KUM Long Point has 19°). Regarding the chipping: I have noticed that problem too, both on the wood and the lead, and found out that it is likely to occur with brand new blades. My older Granate with a blade that has been in use for quite a time doesn’t cause this problem (except with inferior pencils, of course). – Besides the disparity of the pencils (lead and wood quality, bonding) even small details in the sharpener’s geometry are important. While tinkering with old and new sharpeners I found out that even small changes in the blade’s distance, inclination and rotation (if possible) can cause big differences in the result, yet even render the sharpener unusable.

      I second your praise of the Carl crank sharpeners – I have a DE-100 both at home and in the office, and I am still very happy with it. Of course one should not forget that the operating principle of these sharpeners doesn’t stress the pencils’s lead and wood as a manual sharpener does.


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