Sometimes it's worth doing even if there's little hope of success.
I hate that also. And the funny thing is... you can twist that damn pencil around while sharpening, and you still get one side that is still "sporting the wood".
That is why I have switched to mechanical.
I learned this in art school...the only way to really sharpen a pencil is by hand with a razor blade (but be very careful and always shave away from your hand) First shave off the wood all the way around to expose the graphite, then do the graphite to make a point. It takes longer than a mechanical or hand sharpener (and kids shouldn't do this), but you will waste less of the pencil and won't have the problem of the one-side not cutting away properly.
I hate it when my eyebrow pencil keeps breaking off when I sharpen it. :) Those things aren't cheap!
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