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When I was in school it would always frustrate me that the tips of the pencil were always breaking in the sharpener. It took many tries of turning the pencil and turning the sharpener, different amounts of pressure and I finally found the secret.
Sharpening a pencil is a very easy thing to do. When you are using a hand sharpener, either a small plastic one with a cartridge to catch the shavings or the really small ones that don't catch the shaving, your put the utencile end of the pencil into the sharpener keeping it has straight as possible.
Applying a little pressure turn the pencil in the clockwise motion (you can turn either the pencil or the sharpener both will work). The shavings will begin to fall off and you keep turning until either you are satisfied with the sharpness of the tip or the shavings stop coming off. Make sure that you don't put more pressure on the pencil to make the shaving keep coming off because that will make the tip break and get stuck in the sharpener.
Pull the pencil out and clean the sharpener, it should be good to go. What I discovered was that if I had dropped a pencil a few times then the lead inside the pencil would be broken and this would cause the tip to break after sharpening. Treating your pencils nicely will keep them from breaking tips when you sharpen.
There are many kinds of pencil sharpeners that have been developed through the years.
The most common ones, the manual sharpners, can be of the following kinds:
Mechanical sharpeners: a portable variety, usually small and in the shape of a rectangular prism. The blade inside rotates around the pencil, sharpening it. The shavings emerge through a slot.
Blade sharpeners: small and portable, hold replaceable shaving razor blades or permanently fitted blades. They work similarly to knives, but in a more convenient and safe way.
Cylindrical cutters: larger variety, stationary, powered by a crank. One hand holds the pencil, the other turns the crank.
Another common pencil sharpener found often in offices is the electric sharpener. It works on the same principle as the manual sharpener, but the blade rotates quickly thanks to an electric motor, either powered by batteries or plugged into the electrical system.
There are still people, mainly artists, that sharpen their pencils with a knife.
I don't think there is, but there's a sharpener with different size holes for different types of pencils: http://www.officedepot.com/a/products/744792/Stanley-Bostitch-Classroom-Electric-Pencil-Sharpener/?cm_cat=2000000361
This happens with a lot of pencil sharpeners for various reasons, from the sensor going bad, to the motor going bad, or even the circuit shorting out. If you are a tinkerer you could probably open the pencil sharpener, by removing the screws, and look to see the problem. If not, I would advise sending it in for warranty repair, Panasonic is usually pretty good with this process. If you need help with the Warranty repair process I would advise calling them at 800-211-726.