This is a short post about how to sharpen a pencil like a boss (with a razor) that makes the most versatile drawing tool. I use Conte a Paris pencils, a very sharp razor, dexterity and focus.

This technique of sharpening your pencil will create a pencil that will allow your hand to move faster and developed what they call a “free hand” in drawing and painting. Here is how you do it.

I sharpen over a garbage can outside to avoid breathing in all the material that will be flying off as we carve up the pencil.
You will want to be extremely careful not to cut yourself and also wear eye protection.

There is nothing like cutting yourself or getting wood chips in your eye to slow you down from drawing for a bit.

So be careful!


Be smart. Be safe. If you don’t have the aptitude or dexterity for this level of wood carving work then don’t try this.

Supply List:

OEM 25181 Razor Blades, 100 Pack

Conté à Paris Pencil – Pierre Noire 1710 H [Office Product]

The best way to learn is to watch the video where I describe in detail the method used.

I’m Right Handed so the following instructions are geared that way.

Your Left Hand does several things at the same time. This is so your Right hand only needs to focus on the one thing, the razor.

That is a good thing. We don’t need our Right Hand juggling too many things while it’s repetitively pushing a sharp new razor dangerously towards our finger tips!

  • The left Hand’s job:

Left Hand holds the pencil steady for the right hand. It also spins the pencil slowly. The Left Hand thumb helps push and guide the razor being held by the Right Hand.

  • The Right Hand’s job:

The Right Hand pulls the razor’s stroke started by the Left Hand’s thumb and finishes the cut.

That is the best way to describe in writing how to sharpen a pencil like a boss. Please watch my video on this to really see how to sharpen a pencil which will give you the most versatile drawing tool for your arsenal.

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Bradwynn Jones
Welcome to my blog on drawing techniques I am learning in art school. By focusing on the core attributes of drawing, there is enough time in your day and it's NEVER too late in life. Visit me on

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