At first glance the El Casco M430 is as beautiful as you can imagine. It’s rather heavy, feels very solid, and the polished surfaces are striking against the black lacquered body:
Upon closer inspection though, I’m not so sure about this storied pencil sharpener. In the photo above you can see the difference in finish between the drawer and the rest of the body. In the photo below you can see that the tolerances between the drawer and the body aren’t the tightest:
The crank handle is where you set the length of the point. The very tip of the point it makes is actually flat, which can be further shaped against the rasp found in the opening of the drawer—something that is a bit messy and seems more complicated than is necessary.
If you look closely though, you can see the finish is uneven here on the crank; there is an area that is spotted and thin compared to the rest of the handle:
It is overall a beautiful item but after trying it out, I couldn’t help reaching for my $15 Carl sharpener. If I had paid anywhere near full price for this sharpener (it was new old stock at a bargain basement price) it would already be on its way back. It’s not as if it doesn’t work, but there is a bit of “the emperor’s new sharpener” about it.