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 rakuten.com (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.