I am with Gina, I use the electric sharpener. except if I am doing field work,then I use the hand pencil sharpener. If lead breaks within the pencil, can be do to shipment and dropping damaging the lead. also check the end of your pencil and be sure that the lead is in the middle of the pencil. that too can cause breakage. I love my Prisma pencils, hope you have many days of joy with yours. OH! also remove the cover to your sharpener and clean with an old tooth brush, sometimes that causes breakage as well.