Best Colored Pencil Reviews 2020

As we all know, color helps define the world around us. It can be a humongous task simply picking out the best colored pencils to work with for the perfect coloring. We’ve expedited and simplified things by sorting through the junk and showcasing our top five best colored pencil brands that are sure to get your art work popping. Do go through this review and if you don’t like our featured products, you can always check out other offerings from your favorite brand.
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Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Design
Colors
Binder
Lead Size
Count
Our Top Choice
Staedtler Ergosoft Colored Pencils
Staedtler prides itself on being the user’s clear favorite and it has justifiably earned this title owing to its giant strides in innovation to the benefit of its teeming customers.
Ultra-soft, non-slip grip for comfortable coloring. Comes in a pack of 24 brilliant colors. Triplus triangular barrel with inner core to prevent lead breaking.
More pencils in a pack might have been ideal.
Triangular barrel
24 colors
Water-based lacquer
0.3mm
24, 2 pack available
Best Value
Melissa & Doug Disney Princess Stamp Set
Melissa & Doug has a mission, to ignite the imaginations of kids everywhere and foster a sense of wonder so they can discover themselves.
Features favorite Disney princesses. Comes with 9 wooden stamps, 5 colored pencils, and 2 color stamp pads. Stamp ink is washable. Sturdy wooden box for storage and organization.
Stamp pad limited to two colors.
Kids set with Disney stamps
Green, yellow, pink, blue, purple
Water-based lacquer
0.5mm
5 plus stamp accessories
Faber-Castell Colored Pencil Set
A world-leading brand in the manufacture of wood-cased pencils, Faber-Castell is well-known as a stickler for high quality, innovation, and environmental awareness.
High quality, brilliant pigments. Lead is thick-oil based, water resistant, and smudge-proof. Pencils are break-resistant due to SV bonding. Comes in economic 120 pack.
Lighter colors sometimes streak darker hues.
SV bonding-break resistant
120 colors
Oil-based lacquer
3.8mm
36 or 120 count
Crayola Pre-sharpened Colored Pencils
Crayola’s brand culture is entirely inspired by kids and this has defined the way it goes about delighting children all over the world with its products every day.
Features 50 long pre-sharpened pencils. Great grip on each pencil. Pencils are easy to sharpen. Lead core is resistant to breakage. Non-toxic and suitable for children.
Color blending might be an issue.
Break resistant
50 colors
Info not provided
3mm
50
Prismacolor Soft Core Colored Pencils
Prismacolor is the artist’s trusted ally in his quest for self-expression as it keeps him fully equipped with every material he requires for full, uninhibited expression.
Soft, thick cores that give great shades and shadows. Gives an ultra-smooth, even color laydown. Pigments are richly saturated and lightfast. Robust, anti-chipping lead.
Round body form not ideal for comfortable coloring
Soft core
24 colors
Oil-based lacquer
0.7mm
24 or 48 count 2 pack

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Watch Our Colored Pencil Review

What is the Best Colored Pencil?

Now you’ve read our buying guide, you should know what’s what about colored pencils. We’re confident you’ll make a great choice when it’s time to order. Do go on to our review and see what’s popping in the world of color!
Our Top Choice
For that perfect blend, you’ll need really soft pencil leads, and that’s what the Staedtler Ergosoft Colored Pencils offer. They feature soft leads, protected by an inner core that prevents them from breaking off easily. Need more colors? This set comes with 36 pencils that sharpen easily and come covered with anti-breaking coating to prevent damage: The Staedtler Colored Pencils – 36Count.

Staedtler Ergosoft Colored Pencils – Set of 24 Colors in Stand-Up Easel Case


Features
Staedtler is a German brand that’s stayed ahead of its time right from its inception. This culture of setting the pace is evident in the kind of products it manufactures and the way they’re delivered to the consumer. Starting from producing pencils, this brand has diversified its product lines, adding to it even more products that are specifically designed to help the customer create and follow through on every idea and thought they conceive. Apparently, Staedtler is achieving its aim as more and more customers depend on it for excellent writing materials for everyday use.

There’s everything to love about the Staedtler Ergosoft Colored Pencils.

First off, with the ultra-soft triplus triangular barrel, you can be sure you’ll enjoy your grip on these pencils much better than those round pencils we’re all so used to and tired of. And that’s not all – it also features an inner core that prevents your lead from breaking off easily.

And this very lead which we speak of is actually soft. Yea, so you must have put two and two together by now: you’re going to have a great time blending and creating new and beautiful shades!

And Staedtler doesn’t stop here. It offers more amazing products that you just have to see:
  • There’s the Staedtler Noris Club Marker Set with 20 assorted colors and fine tips
  • The Staedtler Textsurfer Gel Highlighter is also available so you can enjoy your study sessions better
  • For the little ones, there’s the Staedtler Luna 12 Color Jumbo Wax Crayons for them to enjoy
  • It also offers the Staedtler Mars Adjustable Set Square – 15 centimeters, for your technical drawings
  • And then there’s the Staedtler Mars Double Side Graphic Marker for the love of sketching, and the like
Best Value
Get your kids obsessed with coloring with the Melissa & Doug Disney Princess Wooden Stamp Set. With its five colored pencils, nine wooden stamps featuring favorite Disney princesses, and a two-color stamp pad, your kids will love to color! Here’s something the boys might like. This stamp set features vehicles with 10 stamps, 5 colored pencils and a 2-color stamp pad: The Melissa & Doug Wooden Stamp Set: Vehicles.

Melissa & Doug Disney Princess Wooden Stamp Set – Comes with 9 Stamps, 5 Colored Pencils and 2-Color Stamp Pad


Features
Melissa & Doug’s idea of disaster is a world where kids no longer have the space or freedom to be kids – a world where they can’t explore their surroundings and be curious about it; where children are overscheduled and over-stimulated. To prevent this disaster from happening, it has committed itself to making products for children that could hopefully ignite some open-ended thinking and take back childhood for the children so they can begin their journeys on the path to the realization of full potential.

We all love our Disney princesses and if we can play dress up with them, albeit with colored pencils, then that’s totally fine by us. By “us”, we mean the kids of course. The Melissa & Doug Disney Princess Wooden Stamp Set will get your girls obsessed about coloring, no doubt, and we know it because:

It comes with 9 wooden stamps, that is 9 of our favorite Disney princesses; and a 2-colored stamp pad that kids can hardly say no to. It also comes with 5 colored pencils, and a sturdy wooden storage box to keep your amazing set in good condition and help you organize better.

And yes, the ink of this stamp pad set is totally washable.

If you’re in love with this product, then you’ll definitely love Melissa & Doug’s other products. Here are some of them:
  • The Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden Railway Train Set with over 130 pieces of fun
  • And for the love of dolls, there’s the Melissa & Doug Classic Heirloom Victorian Wooden Dollhouse. And it’s pink
  • The Melissa & Doug My First Daily Magnetic Calendar helps you keep up with the special moments and events in your kids’ lives
  • Make biology more fun for your kids with the Melissa & Doug Magnetic Human Body Anatomy Play Set
  • And then there’s the Melissa & Doug Let’s Play House Pretend Play Set. What a cool way to teach the kids hygiene and responsibility!
For those times when blending will just not cut it and you need a precise color, you can be sure to find it in the Faber-Castell Polychromos Color pencil Set. It comes complete with 120 brilliantly colored pencils! There’s a more affordable color pencil set that features 48 colors with a hexagonal shape for better grip suitable for kids: the Faber-Castell premium Color Pencils – 48 Color.

Faber-Castell Polychromos Color Pencil Set – Comes with Storage Tin, Choice of 60 or 120 Colors


Features
Faber-Castell has been around for a while – and that means as far back as 1761. It’s therefore safe to say it’s one of the oldest industrial companies in the world. With all this time in operation, this brand has picked up a few tricks which have, invariably, given it an edge above its competitors. Well-known as a stickler for quality, innovation and environmental-awareness, the brand – aside being a world-leading manufacturer of wood-cased pencils – also offers other top-notch products used for writing, drawing and creative design, and decorative cosmetics too. Its legacy of making the best of anything that can be made has paid off both for itself and for its customers, as customers can’t get enough of them, and Faber-Castell keeps retaining prominence.

There’s hardly any color you can’t find in the Faber-Castell Polychromos Color Pencil Set. It’s got a whopping 120 count! That’s more than twice the number of states in the U.S!

And these pencils include smudge-proof, water-resistant, thick-oil based lead that ensures your coloring exudes brilliance through and through, come rain or shine – literally!

Due to its patented SV bonding that we really should thank them for, your pencils come with break-resistant leads that sharpen easily to a fine point, so you can enjoy coloring.

Faber-Castell still has a lot more fascinating products just like this one and we’ve highlighted a few of them below:
  • There’s the Faber-Castell Paint by Number Peacock Art Kit that you can be sure the kids would absolutely love
  • If crayons are more your thing, there’s the Faber-Castell Beeswax Crayons with 12 vibrant colors also available
  • There are also quality markers: The Faber-Castell 20 Count Grip Washable Marker Pens
  • Also for the kids, there’s the fantastic Faber-Castell Watercolor Paint Set with Brush for even more coloring options
  • There are gel crayons here also with vibrant colors: The Faber-Castell Gel Crayons – 12 Count
You don’t have to be frustrated by terrible colored pencils that break off at the slightest stroke and are hard to sharpen. These Crayola Colored Pencils come with break-resistant lead cores that are a breeze to sharpen. Would you like more colors? Then here’s this set of 100 vibrant colored pencils that come pre-sharpened and non-toxic. Check out the Crayola Colored Pencils – 100 Count.

Crayola Colored Pencils – 50 Premium Pre-Sharpened Long Pencils, AP Certified Nontoxic


Features
Crayola is all about the kids. It’s entirely inspired by children and lives to please them with everything it does. From its offices to work culture, all are set up with the child in mind. Employees of this company are constantly thinking with the mind of a child and seeing through kids’ eyes in order to come up with the most fun, creative, harmless ways to engage kids productively. Lest we forget, this brand is totally environmentally-friendly. In its own words, it makes a lot of colors but green is its favorite. Doubtless, Crayola has earned an unshakable spot in the hearts of kids worldwide.

Coloring should be fun and no colored pencil should spoil that. Crayola’s Colored Pencils feature almost everything you need for an enjoyable coloring session.

First off, there are 50 long sturdy colored pencils in a pack that grip just right. And these pencils are easy to sharpen too! Because of the way the lead cores of these pencils are made, they do not break off easily so you can color with a little less frustration.

They’re non-toxic, so children can enjoy a coloring spree freely! Great! Crayola still has many more quality products that have gotten a lot of love from customers worldwide. Let’s see some of them:
  • There’s the Crayola Inspiration Art Case that comes with 140 art supply items, markers, crayons, paper, you name it. This thing can be your muse
  • And there are beautiful crayons for the kids: The Crayola Crayons – 24 Count
  • Also need some watercolor for the next art project? There’s the Crayola 24Count Washable Watercolor Set
  • There’s the Crayola Core Pack for Back to School that comes with crayons, colored pencils, and more that your kid in kindergarten just has to resume school with
  • The Crayola Light-up Tracing Pad comes with 12 colored pencils, a tracing pencil and sheets for kids to trace and color all they want
Bring your drawings to life with the Prismacolor Soft Core Colored Pencils. This 24 count pack features colored pencils with richly saturated pigments that will take your drawings from lifeless to vivacious in a beat! If you would like more colors, then see this 48 count colored pencil set with soft, smooth leads for great blends and shades: the Prismacolor Scholar Colored Pencils – 48 Count.

Prismacolor Soft Core Colored Pencils 24 Pack – Can Bundle with Sharpener, Portrait Color Set Also Available


Features
Prismacolor gives itself to supporting the artist, young or old, with every material required for full, uninhibited expression. For this reason, it’s continually reinventing and evolving with the times to meet the ever dynamic needs of the modern artist. For 75 years now, this brand has remained true to its vision and customers all over the world testify of, and recommend its products to anyone who cares to hear. It’s hard for competitors to keep up with Prismacolor as its range of professional art and drawing supplies is not only professional, but fairly priced.

It’s a well-known fact that a great many artists trust Prismacolor for brilliant coloring solutions and the Prismacolor Soft Core Colored Pencils set is another one of the brand’s genius solutions.

These pencils come with a soft core for easy blending, shading, and layering. With richly saturated color pigments, your drawings come alive and look vivacious!

Although the leads of these pencils are soft for an ultra-smooth and even-colored laydown, they are still quite thick, and do not chip off easily. You’re sure going to love your coloring set, but there are even more things to love that Prismacolor offers. Let’s see a few:
  • There’s the Prismacolor Premier Art Marker Set for the fans of markers
  • If you also draw, then you might be needing its Prismacolor Scholar Drawing Set that features 7 pencils and 2 erasers and of course, we don’t need to tell you that they are Amazing
  • There are also erasable color pencils over here, see the Prismacolor Col-Erase Erasable Color Pencil
  • The Prismacolor Premier Water Soluble Watercolor Pencil works wonderfully when you want to achieve that stunning water-based painting
  • And if you need even more colors in your colored pencil set, Prismacolor stocks the Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils that come with 150 assorted colors

How Do I Choose the Best Colored Pencil?

Humans can hardly stay away from color and we can understand why. Color is beauty! We all want things brighter, clearer, sharper. From our LCD TVs to our digital cameras, we continually change them for higher specification models, all in the hope of seeing the world in clearer colors.

The act of coloring itself is so provocative and therapeutic and you can’t imagine all the million and one things that have been achieved and even cured just by coloring.

While you may be familiar with the bonding families share when they get their faces painted to support someone’s game, there’s a myriad of other ways coloring brings lasting solutions to life-threatening issues, especially with the use of colored pencils. It might sound strange, but it’s so true. Allow us to tell you this short, compelling story.

In a book titled “Perfect Match” (it’s not romance so get your head outta the clouds), a 5-year old boy was abused by his catholic priest (told ya!) and that made him go into shock and become temporarily dumb. While he was in his dumb state, his mother met a shrink who advised her to get him a drawing book and coloring pencils. Strangely, that was the only thing the young boy was not averse to at that time. Every day, he sat in the same spot with just his drawing book, his jar of colored pencils and his sharpener by him. Even his teddy didn’t get a look-in.

A few weeks after he started coloring, the boy didn’t begin to talk but he did identify his abuser when he colored the word “father’. We will not go into all the detail of the story and how his mum mistakenly thought it was her husband that was the abuser, and all the blood and gore that your mind is already probably imagining right now.

Okay we’ve given away too much. But you get the picture. Coloring isn’t just child’s play. It can yield powerful results and it’s great that you’re considering owning your own set (or replacing it, or adding to your array as the case may be – just had to put that out there!).
Price
Colored pencils are affordable, even for good ones. In this case, you can focus on value rather than price. You can get great colored pencil sets for between $5 and $300+, and many times, factors like quantity and type of pencil affect price. For instance, you don’t expect a colored pencil set meant for kids to cost as much as a set for a professional adult. Get it? But for the cheap colored pencil sets, quality is dreadful. From pencils that chip easily to some that won’t just blend in easily to those that are sharpening-resistant – those things are like police yellow tapes. We have cordoned them off for you in this review, so please don’t go looking for them.
Features
So, before you name a particular set ‘colored pencils of the year,’ some few pertinent boxes have to be checked and we’ll go through a number of them now:
  • Type of application
  • Necessary color range
  • Level of experience
  • Quality of lead
  • Body shape
Construction and Design
The shape of your colored pencil’s body is quite essential in determining how you enjoy comfort while coloring. Usually, the more common rounded bodies aren’t as comfortable as the hexagonal and triangular shapes and more people tend to favor these kinds for grip and long-term coloring comfort.

The lead of the pencils must not be prone to easy breakage. Some manufacturers protect the lead with an inner core that prevents breakage, others don’t care about your feelings that much. Sound advice: stick with those who care about you, for the sake of your pocket at least!

A final word on lead – the pencil must be easy to sharpen to any point you so please and generally, softer leads give better blending when compared to the harder ones.
Performance and Ease of Use
Your set’s range of colors is another important factor to consider. While blending brings about beautiful new colors, it’s not always enough and sometimes you just feel like something is missing. So, get a color range that suits you. Of course, if you’re just coloring for stress management rather than complex artistic composition, you may not need a full range. Well, it’s your choice.

The type of job you want to do determines the kind of colored pencils you should get, as does the kind of paper and canvas you’ll be using. If you’re already considering this, then you probably already know what you’re looking for so we won’t go into detail about that.

Finally, your level of experience: The child in kindergarten and the professional artist cannot use the same type of colored pencils. While the former will most likely use a harder lead to avoid breaking it with young fingers, the latter would require a much softer lead for blending colors seamlessly for a perfect finish.

Get the Best Colored Pencil of 2020!

And that’s all folks! Hopefully, you saw the right pencils for you, and you’re ready to go ahead and place that order. We look forward to your creations!

Our Top Choice
Staedtler Ergosoft Colored Pencils
Best Value
Melissa & Doug Disney Princess Stamp Set
Faber-Castell Colored Pencil Set
Crayola Pre-sharpened Colored Pencils
Prismacolor Soft Core Colored Pencils