David Rees started an Artisanal Pencil Sharpening service and kept a mostly straight face about it the entire time. The execution was brilliant. Of course I bought one:

My artisanally-sharpened pencil from David Rees

My artisanally-sharpened pencil from David Rees

He wrote a book on the subject: “How to Sharpen Pencils


Chapter 11 of “How to Sharpen Pencils” includes an in-depth discussion on mechanical pencils, which is included here in its entirety:

Mechanical pencils are bullshit.

The book is filled with terrific and useful information about pencil sharpening. I recommended his service to all my friends. I can only assume each and every one of them purchased his or her own pencil.

So it was with surprise and what I can only describe as horror that I read the following tweet:

I see that he’s changed the price of newly-sharpened pencils from $40 to $500, which could be why he says “effectively done”. The good news is that you could still get one. At least for now.

A professionally-sharpened pencil isn’t just a tool, it’s an investment.