Usual mechanism: three spiral-grooved cutting cylinders, the whole mechanism rotating (planetary gears?) when sharpening.
Well, last night the thing stopped. I slip the pencil into the hold, motor starts (somewhat higher pitched than usual) but mechanism does not rotate. When pencil tip reaches far end, it hits something spinning, and maybe sharpens (that is what it sounds like) that tiny 1/8th or 1/16th of the pencil. MAYBE. Or maybe I'm just imagining it.
Anyway, I hit the thing (the sharpener) with the heel of my hand, and it started working -- for two seconds, then returned to the motor-going but no planetary rotation.
QUESTION: No, I do not want to throw it away. Especially if it's just a broken pencil-lead stuck in the gears somewhere.