If you stop and think about it, it's almost impossible to use an entire pencil, because, after repeated sharpening, you eventually end up with a tiny unusable stub. What a ripoff. There's a solution to that problem though: a clever new sharpener with multiple blades that lets you stack a stub onto a brand new pencil and keep using it until it's completely gone.
Japan-based Nakajima Jukyudo's Tsunago — aka let's connect — has three different holes and blades instead of just one. The first is used to sharpen a pencil like normal, but the second bores a hole in the bottom of a short stub while the third creates a plug on the tip of a brand new pencil allowing the two to be connected with a perfectly-sized interlocking joint.
The final step is to use a little bit of wood glue to permanently bond the two pencils together. Once dry, it can be sharpened again letting you reclaim the last few inches of a pencil you thought was destined for the trash. Brilliant. Available soon in Japan for about $US14 the Tsunago sharpener is one of those products that might eventually pay for itself if pencils are part of your daily routine. Or if you're tired of Big Pencil's obvious planned obsolescence with its product. [Nakajima Jukyudo via Spoon & Tamago]