The Wooden Pencil Brands Ultimate Guide

While researching for a post about the different types of wood that are used to make pencils with I realized that there was not a directory or blog post that lists all the different pencil brands & their pencils. This is why I decided to create this guide which took several weeks and 17,000 words to put together.

The Wooden Pencil Brands Ultimate Guide lists the 20 major pencil manufacturers and their wooden pencil ranges. This works out at a staggering 211 different graphite and colored wood-cased pencils.

If you are unsure about which pencil you need then check out our guide How to Choose a Pencil.

The guide is easy to use simply choose a pencil brand from the main menu and click on it to auto-scroll to the correct place on this page for more information about that brand and their pencil range. Each pencil brand also has a sub-menu so that you can quickly go to the pencil that you are interested in for more information. At the end of each sub-menu is a link back to the main menu.

Wooden Pencil Brands Ultimate Guide

Wooden Pencil Brands

1. Bic Pencils

Bic Wooden Pencils

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Bic was founded in 1944 by Marcel Birch and Edouard Buffard to manufacture writing instrument parts and are most famous for their Bic Biro pen launched in 1950. In 1979 they acquired Conte a famous French manufacturer of drawing and coloring products with a 200-year-old history. This allowed them to add graphite and coloring pencils to their product range

In 1992 Bic launched their Evolution pencil which is not made from wood but from a synthetic resin that is made out of recycled products such as yogurt pots and fridges.

  • Pencil Brand – Bic
  • Website – Bic.com
  • Manufacture Graphite Pencils – Yes
  • Manufacture Colored Pencils – Yes
  • FSC Certified Wood/Sustained Yield – N/A
  • Type of Wood Used to Make Pencils – Most of their wooden pencils are now wood-free pencils manufactured from recycled materials

Bic has a limited range of pencils they no longer make traditional wood-cased pencils but use a recycled synthetic resin which is branded as Evolution. their graphite no 2 pencils are certified as nontoxic and have a latex-free eraser.

The BIC Kids range of pencils includes colored and graphite pencils with fatter barrels that are ideal for young learners as well as regular-sized pencils for slightly older children.

1. Bic Evolution Graphite Pencil

Bic Evolution no 2 Pencil

Not much of a range to choose from but the Bic Evolution #2 yellow or grey barreled pencils are their most popular with break-resistant lead, easy to erase latex-free eraser, and also their splinter free barrels sharpen with ease.

2. Bic Kids Learners Graphite Pencils

Bic Kids Learner Pencil

Bic Kids Learners Graphite Pencils have been specially designed to fit children’s hands. They have guidelines marked on the triangular-shaped barrels to help children place their fingers in the correct position. These pencils are HB #2 pencils are available with either a blue or pink barrel.

3. Bic Kids Evolution Colouring Pencils

Bic Evolution Colouring Pencils

Bic makes a range of children’s coloring pencils which include triangular-shaped pencils that are specially designed for kids and are suitable for children from the age of 2 years old. They have strong wide break-resistant lead in a range of vibrant colors they are also resistant to chewing and will not splinter.

For older children they make regular-sized coloring pencils with hexagonal barrels again these are not made from wood and contain 50% recycled materials. They have deep intense colors and are available in a range of pack sizes and with traditional barrels in one color or a striped pattern barrel design.

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2. Blackwing Pencils

Blackwing Pencil Range

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  • Pencil Brand – Blackwing
  • Website – Blackwing602.com
  • Manufacture Graphite Pencils – Yes
  • Manufacture Colored Pencils – Yes
  • FSC Certified Wood/Sustained Yield – Yes
  • Type of Wood Used to Make Pencils – Californian Incense Cedar Wood

The Blackwing wooden pencil brand is quite possibly the most famous in the U.S with a reputation for high-quality pencil, with many regarding the Blackwing 602 pencil to be the best wooden pencil in the World. They have a long-chequered history dating back to the 1930s when Edward Faber launched the first 602 pencils.

In 1998 in what is probably one of the biggest gaffs in pencil manufacturing history the then owners who were Newell Rubbermaid discontinued the Blackwing pencil and it was consigned to the pages of history. Until the Californian Cedar Products Company bought the rights to the Blackwing brand name. In 2010 they reintroduced Blackwing pencils to the world.

Blackwing Pencils are manufactured in Japan from Californian Incense Cedar Wood and Japanese graphite technology. They do not give their pencils a lead grade such as HB or #2 but their lead tends to be softer than most other pencils. Blackwing grades their pencils as soft, balance, firm, and extra firm.

Blackwing is most famous for their 602 pencils but have now extended the range to include:

1. Blackwing 602 Pencils

Blackwing 602 Pencil

Blackwing 602 pencils are widely considered to be one of the finest wooden pencils around. They are made from Californian Cedarwood which is arguably the best quality wood there is to make a pencil from. This is combined with the firm smooth writing Japanese graphite core and finished off with the iconic rectangular eraser. The eraser ferrule is unique in the fact that it allows you to extend or replace the eraser.

Blackwing describes the lead in their 602 pencils as “firm” and it is similar to that of a traditional B pencil.

2. Blackwing Matte Pencils

Blackwing Matte Pencil

Blackwing Matte pencils are made from high-quality Californian Cedarwood and the graphite core is made in Japan the same as their 602 pencils. Apart from having a matte black barrel, the main difference is in the hardness of the lead or graphite core to be more precise which is softer and darker.

Blackwing describes the lead in their Matte pencil as “soft” and it is similar to that of a traditional 3B pencil.

3. Blackwing Natural Pencils

Blackwing Natural Pencil

Again, the Blackwing Natural pencil is made from Californian cedar wood with a natural unpainted finish to its wooden barrel. Its Japanese made graphite core is described by Blackwing as “extra firm” This should be similar to HB pencils but in reality, its graphite is not as light as an HB pencil and writes nearly as dark as a 602 pencil but the lead is not as soft as that of a 602.

4. Blackwing Pearl Pencils

Blackwing Pearl Pencil

Like all other Blackwing pencils the Blackwing Pearl is made from Californian cedar wood but this time it has a white barrel. Its Japanese made graphite core is described by Blackwing as “balanced” and it is similar to that of a traditional 2B pencil.

5. Blackwing Colors Pencils

Blackwing Colors Pencil

It should be no surprise that Blackwing Colors are made from the same high-quality easy sharpening Californian Cedarwood that they use to make their graphite pencils. They have a specially designed extra smooth writing wax color core that is made in their Japanese factory.

The pencils barrels have a color-matched paint lacquer and are topped off with a silver hexagonal cap. There are 12 pencils in the set which are:

  • Black
  • Blue
  • Brown
  • Green
  • Light Blue
  • Light Green
  • Orange
  • Pink
  • Red
  • Silver
  • Violet
  • Yellow

Blackwing Ltd Edition Pencils

Blackwing limited edition pencils are available by subscribing to an annual volumes subscription on their website. Each quarter you will receive a pack of a new ltd edition set of pencils. Blackwing states these are to celebrate people, places, and events that have inspired their creative culture.

Blackwing Pencils – Check Prices and Reviews on Amazon

3. Calepino Pencils

Calepini Pencils

  • Pencil Brand – Calepino
  • Website – Calepino.fr 
  • Manufacture Wooden Pencils – Yes
  • Manufacture Colored Pencils – No
  • FSC Certified Wood/Sustained Yield – Yes
  • Type of Wood Used to Make Pencils – Pulay Wood

Calepino is a modern French company that specializes in making high-quality notebooks. They were established around 2011/2012 and make a range of good quality pencils to complement their notebooks.

Calepino pencils are made from Pulay wood by the last remaining pencil manufacture in France that is based in the Loire region La Compagnie Francaise des Crayons. The Pencils are made from FSC certified wood and have a hexagonal barrel and red eraser.

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4. Caran d’Ache Pencils

Carandache Pencils Range

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  • Pencil Brand – Caran d’Ache
  • Website – Carandache.com
  • Manufacture Graphite Pencils – Yes
  • Manufacture Colored Pencils – Yes
  • FSC Certified Wood/Sustained Yield – Most of the wood used in their pencils is from sustainable forests. but not all so check the packaging to be sure.
  • Type of Wood Used to Make Pencils – Beech, Cedar, Pine, Abachi, Ayous, and Poplar

Caran d’Ache is a Swiss luxury goods manufacturer that was founded in Geneva in 1915. They have a reputation for making extremely high-quality products that carry a premium price tag.

They use several different types of wood to make their pencils including Swiss wood this can be either beechwood or pine wood and is from FSC certified forests. They also use Cedarwood again from FSC certified forests.

Their Les Crayons de la Maison pencils are where the uncertainty lies regarding the sustainability of the wood used to make these pencils. They are made from Abachi, Ayous, and Poplar which are exotic woods. In the product description, Caran d’Ache states on their website “Wood pencils reconstituted from Poplar and abachi” with no further explanation as to what this actually means.

The Caran d’Ache range of pencils includes premium quality graphite pencils, ltd edition pencils made from exotic woods and an extensive range of permanent color and water-soluble pencils that many believe are unparalleled as the finest quality coloring pencils in the world. They have a reputation for intense color pigments and the highest standards of lightfastness that can be achieved with a color pencil.

1. Caran d’Ache Graphite Line Graphite Pencils

Caran dAche Grafwood Pencil

Caran d’Ache Graphite Line – Artists pencils with 15 degrees of graphite hardness from 4H – 9B made from FSC Cedar Wood

2. Caran d’Ache Technograph Graphite Pencils

Caran dAche Technograph Pencil

Caran d’Ache Technograph – Artist and technical pencils with 15 degrees of graphite hardness – 4H, 3H, 2H, H, F, HB, B, 2B, 3B, 4B, 5B, and 6B

3. Caran d’Ache Swiss Wood Graphite Pencils

Caran dAche Swiss Wood Pencils

Caran d’Ache Swiss Wood – Premium pencils made from wood that comes from sustainable Swiss forests including beech wood, pine wood, & Scots pine.

4. Les Crayons de la Maison Caran d’Ache Ltd Edition Pencils

Les Crayons de la Maison Caran d Ache

Les Crayons de la Maison Caran d’Ache Ltd edition premium set of pencils made from exotic woods including Abachi, Ayous, and Poplar wood.

5. Caran d’Ache Luminance Colored Pencils

Caran dAche Luminance Color Pencils

Caran d’Ache Luminance – Superior quality artists coloring pencils that produce vibrant, intense colors with a light resistance that complies with the highest international standard. Made from Premium FSC™ certified cedar wood

6. Caran d’Ache Museum Aquarelle Watercolor Pencils

Caran dAche Museum Aquarelle Color Pencils

Caran d’Ache Museum Aquarelle – Exceptional quality water-soluble pencils that have a very high pigment concentration and excellent light resistance. Can be applied dry or as a watercolor. Made from Premium FSC™ certified cedar wood.

7. Caran d’Ache Maxi Colors Fancolor Colored Pencils

Caran dAche Fan Color Maxi Color Pencils

Caran d’Ache Maxi Colors Fancolor – Water-soluble coloring pencils with a thick 6mm core, and a hexagonal-shaped barrel varnished in the same color as the pencil. Made from Premium FSC™ certified cedar wood.

8. Caran d’Ache Pablo Colored Pencils

Caran dAche Pablo Color Pencils

Caran d’Ache Pablo High-quality permanent artists coloring pencil with 3.8mm soft water-resistant lead that is available in 120 different colors.

9. Caran d’Ache Supracolor Watercolor Pencils

Caran dAche Supracolor Color Pencils

Caran d’Ache Supracolor – Superb water-soluble pencil with highly concentrated top quality pigment and lightfastness. They have a 3.8mm soft strong lead and are made from Premium FSC™ certified cedar wood.

Caran d’Ache Pencils – Check Prices and Reviews on Amazon

5. Crayola Pencils

Crayola Coloured Pencils

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  • Pencil Brand – Crayola
  • Website – Crayola.com
  • Manufacture Graphite Pencils – Yes
  • Manufacture Colored Pencils – Yes
  • FSC Certified Wood/Sustained Yield – Use “Reforested Wood” but no further details are available from Crayola
  • Type of Wood Used to Make Pencils – Unknown Crayola website only states: Crayola colored pencils are produced with wood from well-managed forests and never from tropical rainforests or endangered species. Their customer services were unable to give any more information as it is classed as “proprietary”

Crayola can trace their roots back to 1885 when Edward Binney and Harold Smith formed a company that sold colorants for use by industrial companies. They changed their name to Crayola in 2007. Crayola is best known for its range of children’s wax drawing crayons but they also make colored pencils.

Crayola Pencils Product Range

Most of the Crayola colored pencils are made for younger children and teenagers although they do have a set of pencils aimed at adults. They are not the same high quality as you get from Derwent for example which is designed for professional artists. More of a general coloring pencil for the recreational adult coloring community.

For the preschoolers and kindergarteners Crayola makes the Write Start Colored Pencils and the Short Colored pencils these have wider barrels that are better for small hands. Check out our 10 Best Pencils for Kindergarteners for a complete guide as to which pencils are best suited for young. Children,

The Crayola Erasable Pencils are aimed at children from 6 years of age onwards although they do say that they are also excellent for adult coloring. In addition to this, The Crayola Watercolor pencils are intended to be a great way to introduce children to blending colors by adding a few drops of water.

1. Crayola Colouring Pencils

Crayola 120 Colored Pencils

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Crayola makes a wide range of different pack sizes for their colored pencils but one of the most popular is a pack containing 120 different colored pencils. At just over $20 this represents excellent value for money.

6. Cretacolor Pencils

Cretacolor Pencils Product Range

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  • Pencil Brand – Cretacololor
  • Website – Cretacolor..com
  • Manufacture Graphite Pencils – Yes
  • Manufacture Colored Pencils – Yes
  • FSC Certified Wood/Sustained Yield – Unknown No information is available from the manufacturer
  • Type of Wood Used to Make Pencils – Unknown

Cretacolor is an Austrian-based premium manufacturer of artists’ materials. Its history date back to 1863 when Carl Brevillier started the Zeus graphite pencil factory in the Austrian town of Hirm. The company was bought out in 1996 by Hans Wolfgang Hromatka and a couple of years later renamed Cretacolor. Since then, they have grown in reputation as a premium brand of art supplies.

Cretacolor makes a range of colored oil-based and pastel pencils and also graphite pencils for artists. They are renowned for the quality of their graphite pencils and many believe that they are at least as good as the Faber-Castel 9000 pencils.

1. Cretacolor Cleos Fine Art Graphite Pencil

Cretacolor Fine Art Graphite Pencil

The Cretacolor Cleos Fine Art Graphite Pencil had a traditional hexagonal shaped barrel and break-resistant lead. The pencil is easy to sharpen and is available in 20 degrees of lead hardness from 9B – 9H.

2. Cretacolor Graphite Aquarell

Cretacolor Graphite Aquarell

The Cretacolor Graphite Aquarell is a high-quality water-soluble graphite pencil. It has a round barrel and is available in HB, 4B, and 8B lead grades.

3. Cretacolor Mega Graphite Pencil

Cretacolor Mega Graphite Pencil

The Cretacolor Mega Graphite Pencil is a superior quality artist pencil with a wide hexagonal-shaped barrel and thick 5.8mm lead. It is available in 5 degrees of hardness which are HB, 2B, 4B, 6B, and 9B.

4. Cretacolor Monolith Graphite Pencil

Cretacolor Monolith Graphite Pencil

Strictly speaking, the Cretacolor Monolith Graphite Pencil is not a pencil as its graphite is not encased in wood. It is actually pure graphite shaped to resemble a pencil that has had a thin lacquer coat applied to its outer surface to give it extra strength. It can be sharpened with an ordinary pencil sharpener just like a wooden pencil but Cretacolor does recommend that it is sharpened with their Monolithpencil sharpener. It is available in six different lead grades which are: HB, 2B, 4B, 6B, 8B, and 9B.

5. Cretacolor Watersoluble Monolith Graphite

Cretacolor Watersoluble Monolith Graphite

The Cretacolor Watersoluble Monolith Graphite pencil again has no wood but a lacquered finish to protect the graphite. It is a water-soluble graphite pencil with a 7mm diameter and 4B lead that can either be used with other watercolor pencils or as a graphite wash.

6. Cretacolor Black Pastel Pencil

Cretacolor Black Pastel Pencil

The Cretacolor Black Pastel Pencil is a deep dark black pastel pencil with medium hardness and 3.5mm Lead that can be used on its own or blended with other pastel colors using water.

7. Cretacolor Charcoal Pencil

Cretacolor Charcoal Pencil

The Cretacolor Charcoal pencil is a smooth writing pencil that lays down a uniform intense black color. It has 3.8mm lead and is available in three different grades of lead which are soft, medium, and hard.

8. Cretacolor Darkening Pencil

Cretacolor Darkening Pencil

The Cretacolor Darkening Pencil is an oil-based colored pencil with soft dark 3.5mm lead. It is ideal for shading and adding depth to darkened areas.

9. Cretacolor Lightning Pencil

Cretacolor Lightning Pencil

The Cretacolor Lightning Pencil is an oil-based white pencil with soft white 3.8mm lead As its name suggests it is perfect for brightening in drawings and can be used when working in layers.

10. Cretacolor Nero Pencil

Cretacolor Nero Pencil

The Cretacolor Nero Pencil is another oil-based water-resistant artist pencil with shiny black 3.8mm lead. It is available in 5 different grades which are extra soft, soft, medium, hard, and extra hard.

11. Cretacolor Sanguine Pencil

Cretacolor Sanguine Pencil

The Cretacolor Sanguine Pencil is available as either a dry pastel pencil or a smooth water-resistant oil-based pencil. both pencils have a 3.8mm color core.

12. Cretacolor Sepia Pencils

Cretacolor Sepia Pencils

Cretacolor Sepia pencils are available in either a light or dark pencil and a choice of oil-based or with a dry non-oil based sepia-colored core.

13. Cretacolor White Pastel Pencils

Creatacolor White Pastel Pencils have a 3.8mm white-colored core and are available as either an oil-based or dry pencil.

Cretacolor White Pastel Pencils

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7. Derwent Pencils

Derwent Pencil Range

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  • Pencil Brand – Derwent
  • Website – Derwentart.com
  • Manufacture Wooden Pencils – Yes
  • Manufacture Colored Pencils – Yes
  • FSC Certified Wood/Sustained Yield – Yes, they are sourced ethically from environmentally friendly, sustainable forests.
  • Type of Wood Used to Make Pencils – Weymouth Pine or California Cedar Wood

Derwent Pencils are the only remaining UK based pencil manufacturer and can trace their history back to 1832 in Keswick where you can visit the Derwent Pencil Museum which is at the location.

They are best known for their range of high-quality colored pencils that are available in seven different formulas the latest of which is a lightfast range.

1. Derwent Artists Pencils

Derwent Artists Pencils

Derwent Artists Pencils are one of their flagship products they have a wide color core with a low wax content which is ideal for layering and blending and creating broad strokes of color. There are 120 different colored pencils in the range.

2. Derwent Charcoal Pencils

Derwent Charcoal Pencils

Derwent Charcoal Pencils offer a different drawing experience than graphite pencils and they are available in three grades dark, light and medium.

In addition to their standard charcoal pencils, they also offer a tinted version available in 21 different colors. Derwent Tinted Charcoal pencils offer a unique drawing experience of charcoal with a subtle hint of color.

3. Derwent Coloursoft Pencils

Derwent Coloursoft Pencils

Derwent Coloursoft Pencils have as the name suggests a very soft colored core. These are quite possibly the softest colored pencil available and lay down color effortlessly. There are 7s different colored pencils in the Coloursoft range.

4. Derwent Drawing Pencils

Derwent Drawing Pencils

Derwent Drawing Pencils are a soft creamy textured drawing pencil that was introduced in 1986 and has a unique waxy consistency. This makes it easy to apply their color to paper and gives a smooth velvety finish. There are 24 natural shades to choose from.

5. Derwent Graphic Pencils

Derwent Graphic Pencils

As you would expect from the place where graphite was first discovered Derwent Graphic pencils are very good quality graphite pencils. They have a hexagonal barrel that feels well balanced and weighted in your hand and is available in 20 degrees of hardness from 9H to 9B.

6. Derwent Inktense Pencils

Derwent Inktense Pencils

Derwent Inktense Pencils are a highly pigmented water-soluble pencil that when mixed with water creates a vivid ink like color. When the color dries it becomes permanently fixed and as an added bonus can be used on materials such as cotton and silk. There are 72 colors in the Inktense range of water-soluble pencils.

7. Derwent Lightfast Pencils

Derwent Lightfast Pencils

Derwent colored pencils are made from wax-based cores the only drawback with this is that they are not very lightfast and can fade over time. Derwent introduced its Lightfast range of pencils in 2018. These have a revolutionary oil-based core that has taken lightfastness in colored pencils to a whole new level. In fact Derwent state that these pencils are 100% lightfast and will not fade for up to 100 years.

The slight caveat with this is that is under Museum conditions but this is a giant leap in the right direction for those who want to preserve their artwork. There are now 100 colors to choose from in the Derwent Lightfast range.

8. Derwent Metallic Pencils

Derwent Metallic Water Soluble Pencils

The Derwent Metallic Water Soluble Pencils were the original metallic colored pencil that Derwent made. They have a silver barrel and are available in 12 colors.

Derwent Metallic Pencils

In 2019 Derwent introduced their new metallic range of pencils these have an intense metallic shimmering pigment formulation with a strong core. They are not water-soluble but many believe that this makes them a far superior metallic pencil they have a soft and creamy core that produces vibrant metallic colors. The new metallic range of pencils has a rose gold barrel and is available in 20 colors.

9. Derwent Pastel Pencils

Derwent Pastel Pencils

Derwent Pastel Pencils are made from Californian cedar wood and are available in 72 pastel shades. They are soft and powdery which allows them to mix and blend easily. The thing to bear in mind with pastels is that they are so soft compared to colored or graphite pencils which are why these pencils have a wide core to try and minimize breakages. There are 72 different shades of pastel color available.

10. Derwent Procolour Pencils

Derwent Procolour Pencils

Derwent describes their Procolour Pencil as “The perfect combination of a strong point and smooth laydown, with a texture that has the covering power of wax but glides like an oil”. So how do these compare to the other Derwent colored pencils? The Derwent Artist pencils have harder cores that are ideal for detailed work and the coloursoft pencils have soft creamy cores that lay down color easily.

The Derwent Procolour Pencil is designed to be a combination of the best characteristics of both these types of pencils and sits happily in the middle making them an extremely versatile coloring pencil.

11. Derwent Studio Pencils

Derwent Studio Pencils

The Derwent Studio Pencils have the same core ingredients as their Artists pencils the only difference is the size of the core which is 3.4mm compared to 4.0mm. As these are a lot finer they are ideal for Artists who want to create more detailed work. They are available in 96 different colors.

12. Derwent Watercolour Pencils

Derwent Watercolour Pencils

Derwent Water Colour Pencils can be used wet or dry allowing you the control of a pencil and the artistic creativity of watercolors. Their colors are not as vivid and intense as Derwent Inkntense pencils. But are just the thing if you are looking for something more subtle for your drawings and artwork and are available in 72 colors.

13. Derwent Graphtint Pencils

Derwent Graphtint Pencils

Derwent Graphtint pencils are a unique water-soluble graphite pencil with a tint of color. They are available in 24 color tints and are similar to use as an 8B water-soluble Derwent sketching graphite pencil.

14. Derwent Water Soluble Sketching Pencils

Derwent Water Soluble Sketching Pencils

Derwent Water Soluble Sketching Pencils are great for sketching but when you add them with water is when they really come into their own right giving your drawings a softer feel. They are available in light (2B) medium (4B) and dark (8B).

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8. Dixon Ticonderoga Pencils

Dixon Ticonderoga Pencil Range

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  • Pencil Brand – Dixon Ticonderoga
  • Website – weareticonderoga.com
  • Manufacture Wooden Pencils – Yes
  • Manufacture Colored Pencils – No
  • FSC Certified Wood/Sustained Yield – Yes
  • Type of Wood Used to Make Pencils – Cedar Wood and Jelutong Wood

Dixon Ticonderoga is one of the U.S.A.’s oldest and biggest pencil manufacturing companies with a history dating back to 1812. They are renowned for making high-quality pencils from cedar wood and are famous for their #2 pencil with its yellow livery and the iconic green and yellow ferrule that holds the eraser in place.

If you would like to know more about Dixon Ticonderoga then check out Dixon Ticonderoga Pencils A Comprehensive Guide for more information.

To compete with the cheap Chinese pencil imports then Dixon Ticonderoga makes a value range of pencils out of jelutong wood. Ironically, these are made in China and imported into the U.S under the Dixon brand name.

To distinguish between the two only pencils branded Dixon Ticonderoga is made from cedar wood and has the iconic green and yellow ferrule if an eraser is fitted.

Dixon Pencils

Some of the more popular Dixon Pencils are:

1. Dixon Carpenters Pencil

Dixon Carpenters Pencil

Dixon Carpenters Pencil – a traditional oval-shaped carpenters’ pencil

2. Dixon No 2 Pencil

Dixon No 2 Pencil

Dixon No 2 Pencil – cheap and cheerful #2 HB pencil

3. Dixon Oriole Pencil

Dixon Oriole Pencil

Dixon Oriole Pencil – Slightly better quality than a Dixon No 2 pencil but not as good quality as a Dixon Ticonderoga Pencil.

Dixon Ticonderoga Pencils

4. Dixon Ticonderoga #2 Pencil

Dixon Ticonderoga No 2 Pencil

Dixon Ticonderoga #2 Pencil – Their flagship #2 HB pencil that the company is named after.

5. Dixon Ticonderoga Golf Pencil

Dixon Ticonderoga Mini Golf Pencils

Dixon Ticonderoga Golf Pencil – Handy short pencil designed for marking golf cards although is actually primarily bought for young children of kindergarten age.

6. Dixon Ticonderoga Laddie Pencil

Dixon Ticonderoga Laddie Pencil

Dixon Ticonderoga Laddie Pencil – designed for children as the next pencil for them to use after they have mastered the beginner’s pencil.

7. Dixon Ticonderoga My First Pencil

Dixon Ticonderoga My First Pencil

Dixon Ticonderoga My First Pencil – Also sold as the beginner’s pencil in boxes of 12 it is a wide barrelled pencil designed for young children who are just starting to learn how to write.

8. Dixon Ticonderoga Triangular Pencil

Dixon Ticonderoga Tri Write Pencil

Dixon Ticonderoga Triangular Pencil – These have a triangular-shaped barrel that is designed to help children use a proper tripod grip.

9. Dixon Ticonderoga Black Pencil

Dixon Ticonderoga Black Pencil

Dixon Ticonderoga Black Pencil – a Dixon Ticonderoga pencil with a black barrel and green a green and yellow ferrule.

10. Dixon Ticonderoga Noir Pencil

Dixon Ticonderoga Noir Pencil

Dixon Ticonderoga Noir Pencil – Fashion Pencil made from cedar wood that has been dyed black and has a sparkling silver wrap.

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9. Faber-Castell Pencils

Faber Castell Pencils

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  • Pencil Brand – Faber-Castell
  • Website – Fabercastell.com
  • Manufacture Wooden Pencils – Yes
  • Manufacture Colored Pencils – Yes
  • FSC Certified Wood/Sustained Yield – 
  • Type of Wood Used to Make Pencils – Californian Cedar Wood & Caribbean Pine

The German Pencil manufacturer Faber-Castell is the world’s oldest pencil manufacturer. They are respected internationally for the quality of their wooden pencils and can trace their history back to 1761.

They are also one of the largest if not the largest pencil manufacturer in the world producing a staggering 2.3 billion pencils a year. Until 2007 they were in the official Guinness book of records for manufacturing the World’s Biggest Pencil. All Faber-Castell pencils are FSC certified that their wood is from sustainable forests. Traditionally they used Californian cedar wood but they now have their own sustainable forest plantation in Brazil that grows Caribbean Pine which is fast-growing softwood that is ideal for pencils.

Faber-Castell colored and graphite pencils are very high quality. They make what they describe as high-value pencils that are for everyday use and also premium pencils designed to be of the highest quality for professionals.

The Faber-Castell 9000 graphite pencils are premium quality drawing pencils and favored by artists worldwide. For coloring their Polychromos artist pencils are widely regarded as being unsurpassed for their strong vibrant colors and effortless shading. They are also renowned for their “Grip Pencils” and watercolor pencils.

1. Faber-Castell Grip 2001 Graphite Pencils

Faber Castell Castell Grip 2001 Pencil

The Faber-Castell Grip 2001 pencils are an ergonomically designed triangular shaped pencil with a special grip that is a series of dimples embossed on to the pencil. The triangular-shaped barrel of the pencil helps to keep your fingers naturally in a tripod grip for maximum comfort and control while the dimples prevent them from slipping down the barrel.

The pencil has strong break-resistant bonded lead available in 2B B HB.H & 2H grades and it is painted in an eco-friendly water-based paint.

2. Faber-Castell Jumbo Grip Graphite Pencils

Faber Castell Castell Jumbo Grip 2001 Pencil

The Faber-Castell Jumbo Grip pencil as its name suggests has a thick triangular shaped ergonomic barrel and the same special soft grip dimpled design as the other pencils in the grip range to prevent your fingers from slipping.

These pencils are ideal for kindergarteners and primary school children when they are first learning to write and are highly recommended by many teachers. The Jumbo grip pencils have break-resistant lead and are available in #2 HB lead grade.

3. Faber-Castell 9000 Graphite Pencils

Faber Castell 9000 Pencil

The Faber-Castell 9000 Graphite Pencils are considered by many artists, illustrators, and draughtsman as their go-to pencil. It is an outstanding quality pencil with extra strong SV bonded lead and a choice of 16 degrees of hardness from 6H – 8B. 

The 9000 is an eco-friendly pencil with a water-based painted finish and its wood is from sustainably managed forests.

4. Faber-Castell 9000 Jumbo Graphite Pencils

Faber Castell 9000 Jumbo Pencil HB

Nearly every jumbo pencil is intended for use by young children learning to write but the Faber- Castell 9000 Jumbo Pencil is the exception to the rule. It is designed for professional users like artists, architects, graphic designers, cartoonists, and designers as well as hobbyists.

The pencil has a thick 5.8mm extra-strong SV bonded graphite core which can produce an extensive range of line widths and gives an even graphite laydown. It is available in 5 degrees of hardness HB, 2B, 4B, 6B, and 8B.

5. Faber-Castell Graphite Aquarelle Pencils

Faber Castell Graphite Aquarelle Pencil

Faber-Castell Graphite Aquarelle Pencils are a water-soluble graphite pencil with strong 3.3mm diameter break-resistant lead. They are available in five hardness grades which are HB, 2B, 4B, 6B, and 8B. They can be used the same way as watercolors or applied dry then brushed over with a wet paintbrush to creating shading.

6. Faber-Castell Design Pencil Extender and Pencil

Faber Castell Perfect Pencil Extender

The Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil Fine Writing is one of those things that you know are going to be of excellent quality from a respected pencil brand. But can you justify the price tag for a luxury item that is the equivalent of a Swiss army knife in the world of pencils?

Faber-Castell has coupled their finest quality pencil with B hardness and a multi-function accessory that is much more than just a pencil extender. This means that you can write, erase, sharpen, protect the point of the pencil, extend your pencil, and clip it in your pocket.

I suppose the Faber-Castell Design Pencil Extender and Pencil is a bit like wanting an Apple iPhone they are very expensive, and you can buy a cheap smartphone that will do pretty much what an iPhone does. But that doesn’t stop you from wanting one. You could easily buy a cheap pencil, eraser, sharpener and pencil extender that will do the same things. If you would like to know more about Pencil extenders then check out our guide to the 10 best pencil extenders which includes a cheaper version of this one.

7. Faber-Castell Polychromos Artist Colour Pencils

Faber Castell Polychromos Color Pencil

Faber-Castell Polychromos Artist Colour Pencils are widely regarded by artists as the best oil-based color pencils there is. The pencils core is made from the highest quality pigment that is acid-free with unsurpassed lightfastness and gives bright vivid colors.

It has a good-sized 3.8mm break-resistant color core that lays down color easily without smudging and is water-resistant. There are 120 colors to choose from which should be more than sufficient for most people.

8. Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolour Pencils

Faber Castell Albrecht Durer Watercolour Pencil

Albrecht Dürer artists’ watercolor pencils are truly and outstanding water-soluble pencils. They have a high quality 3.8mm in diameter color core that is acid-free with unsurpassed lightfastness and vibrant colors that lay down easily on paper. The color core is fully water-soluble and depending on the type of paper can be completely dissolved to work in the same way as traditional watercolor paint. There are over 120 colors to choose from in the Albrecht Dürer Watercolour Pencil range.

9. Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer Magnus Watercolour Pencil

Faber Castell Albrecht Durer Magnus Watercolour Pencil

Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer Magnus Watercolour Pencil has the same high-quality acid-free lightfast core as the Albrecht Dürer watercolor pencil but here are two main differences.

The first is that these color pencils have an extra thick 5.3mm lead (the Albert Dürer has 3.8mm lead) and the second is that they are only available in 30 colors compared to 120 in the standard Albert Dürer 3.8mm pencil range.

10. Faber-Castell Pitt Artists Pastel Pastels

Faber Castell Pitt Artists Pastel Pastels

Again the  Faber-Castell Pitt Artists Pastel Pastels are widely regarded as the best of this type of wood-cased pastel pencil. These pastel pencils have a thick 4.3mm core that is highly pigmented, acid-free with unsurpassed lightfastness.

They can be used with fixatives to ensure that your drawings retain their vivid colors. What sets these pencils apart is that the pastel core formula combined with the high-quality cedar wood helps to prevent breaking as can be the case with some other brands. The other advantage of these pencils compared to traditional pastel blocks is that you can add detail.

11. Faber-Castell Goldfaber Colour Pencils

Faber Castell Goldfaber Colour Pencil

The Faber-Castell Goldfaber Colour Pencils are a wax-based coloring pencil with a soft color laydown. The highly pigmented wax core has excellent lightfastness and is very strong with a high break resistance due to its SV bonding (the core is glued along its entire length to the wood case)

These colored pencils are waterproof and smudge-proof and can be easily sharpened with a normal pencil sharpener. There are 48 colors to choose from in the Goldfaber range.

12. Faber-Castell Goldfaber Aqua Watercolour Pencils

Faber Castell Goldfaber Aqua Watercolour Pencil

The Faber-Castell Goldfaber Aqua Watercolour Pencils are a fully water-soluble color pencil that differs slightly from the Albrecht Dürer Watercolour Pencils. They have a slightly thinner color core 3.3mm compared to 3.8mm and are aimed at hobbyists and budding artists. Whereas the Albrecht Dürer Watercolour Pencils are designed for professional artists.

These are less expensive than the Albrecht Dürer’s but there is a slight trade-off as these are described by Faber-Castell as having excellent lightfastness whereas the Dürer’s are acid-free with unsurpassed lightfastness.

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10. Generals Pencils

General Pencil Range

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  • Pencil Brand – General Pencil Company
  • Website – Generalpencil.com
  • Manufacture Wooden Pencils – Yes
  • Manufacture Colored Pencils – Yes
  • FSC Certified Wood/Sustained Yield – Yes
  • Type of Wood Used to Make Pencils – Californian Incense Cedar Wood

Generals Pencils is another of the USA’s oldest pencil manufacturers. They are a family-run company that is based in Jersey City, New Jersey, and can trace their history back to 1860 with the opening of one of America’s very first pencil factories by Edward Weissenborn.

Today they pride themselves in making quality pencils using the traditional methods from sustainably sourced forests.

The General Pencil Company makes a wide range of high-quality artist pencils including charcoal, pastels, and graphite drawing pencils. They also make everyday pencils such as their Semi Hex pencil which they are perhaps best known for with its distinctive yellow livery.

1. General’s Charcoal #557 Pencils

Generals Charcoal Pencil

Generals Charcoal Pencils are made from high-quality incense cedar wood and are available in 4 degrees which are HB, 2B, 4B, and 6B. They are a smooth writing oil-free pencil that gives intense black colors. They can be blended and can be used on traditional artists’ media such as canvas as well as on fabric.

2. General’s Charcoal White #558 Pencils

Generals Charcoal White Pencil

Generals Charcoal White Pencils are again made from high-quality incense cedar wood and from General’s unique smooth writing charcoal formula. They are used by artists in conjunction with General’s black charcoal pencils for blending and highlighting in their drawings.

3. General’s Cedar Pointe Graphite Pencils

Generals Cedar Pointe Graphite Pencil

General’s Cedar Pointe Graphite Pencils are made from cedar wood which is the most common type of sustainable high-quality wood that is used to make premium quality pencils. What sets these pencils apart is that they have no coating just the raw wood stamped in black with USA General’s Cedar Pointe #333 and the hardness of the pencil e.g. 2B.

The pencils are finished off with a black ferrule and black eraser and available in two degrees which are:

#1/B Extra Soft

#2/HB Soft

4. General’s Semi-Hex Pencil

Generals Semi Hex Pencil

The General’s Semi-Hex Pencil is perhaps their best-known pencil with its distinctive yellow hexagon shape and rounded corners. It’s a premium quality workhorse pencil designed for everyday general use. The pencil contains a propriety blend of graphite that is break-resistant and has a pink eraser fitted in a metal ferrule.

As with all General Pencils it is made from sustainably sourced Californian incense cedar wood that is easily sharpened. It is available in 5 degrees which are:

#1/B Extra Soft

#2/HB Soft

#2 ½/F Medium

#3/H Hard

#4/2H Extra Hard

5. General’s Big Bear Primary Pencils

Generals Big Bear Primary Pencil

The General’s Big Bear Primary Pencils do exactly what it says on the tin. They are an oversized jumbo pencil that is designed for young students and those that either has difficulty holding a tinner pencil or prefer one with a wider diameter barrel. Speaking of which the barrel of this pencil measures 11/32 inches or for those who prefer metric 8.7mm.

6. General’s Goddess Pencil

Generals Goddess Pencil

The General’s Goddess 692 pencil is a premium quality yellow-colored #2/HB Soft lead pencil with a metal ferrule and a pink eraser. Unlike their Hex pencils, the Goddess has a round barrel.

7. General’s Kimberly Graphite #525 Pencils

Generals Kimberly Graphite Pencil

The General’s Kimberly Graphite #525 Pencils are a premium quality drawing pencil manufactured from Incense Cedar Wood. They have a dark green hexagonal-shaped green barrel that is finished off with a brass cap. They are available in 21 degrees of graphite which is from 9H to 9XXB.

8. General’s Kimberly Graphite #525-9XXB

Generals Kimberly Graphite 9XXB

The General’s Kimberly Graphite #525-9XXB is their darkest pencil and has a specially formulated extra soft and smooth deep dark black matte core. it is one of the 7 darkest pencils listed in our post The Complete Guide to the Darkest Pencil Leads.

9. General’s Semi-Hex Drawing Graphite #497 Pencils 

Generals Semi Hex Drawing Graphite Pencil

The General’s Semi-Hex Drawing Graphite #497 Pencils are another high-quality drawing pencil with a hexagonal-shaped barrel. The pencil’s lead is break-resistant as its graphite core is bonded to the cedar wood casing using a Carbo-Weld” bonding process which provides extra strength and protects it from breaking or shattering if the pencil is accidentally dropped.

The semi hex shape of the barrel is not only comfortable to hold but helps prevent it from rolling off the table.  Semi-Hex Drawing Graphite #497 Pencils are available in 14 degrees of graphite from 6B to 6H.

10. ​General’s Kimberly Watercolor #700 Pencils

Generals Kimberly Watercolor Pencil

The General’s Kimberly® Watercolor Pencils have an acid free, highly pigmented colored core. They can be used as a dry pencil, blended and fully water-soluble turning into a watercolor paint when a wet brush is applied over the surface. These pencils are available in 35 different colors.

11. General’s MultiPastel #4400 Pencils

Generals MultiPastel Pencils

The General’s MultiPastel #4400 Pencils have smooth writing highly pigmented pastel core. They can either be used on their own or with pastel sticks for adding fine lines and detail to your drawings. They can also be used on cloth as well as traditional media and are available in 36 colors.

12. General’s Primo Euro Blend Charcoal #59 Pencils

Generals Primo Euro Blend Charcoal Pencils

General’s Primo Euro Blend Charcoal #59 Pencils are a premium quality charcoal pencil made from t General Pencils’ unique formula. They are handmade and produce bold black marks with less dust than other traditional charcoal pencils. They can be used on their own or blended with other charcoal or pastel pencils.

13. General’s Carbon Sketch Pencils

Generals Carbon Sketch Pencil

Highly regarded by artists General’s Carbon Sketch Pencils No 595 has a unique formula that writes smoothly like a graphite pencil giving jet black dark lines that are obtained from using charcoal. If you apply water with a brush over the pencil’s marks, then this changes the top layer into a liquid that can be used for creating tonal changes. It is made from genuine sustained yield incense cedar wood.

14. General’s Layout Pencils

Generals Layout Pencil

The Generals Layout Pencil no 555 is a smooth writing extra dark black thick graphite pencil that is superb for creating your preliminary sketches. The black color produced by this pencil is the equivalent of the black that you get when using an Ebony graphite pencil.

15. General’s Sketch & Wash Pencils

Generals Sketch Wash Pencil

The Generals Sketch and Wash #588 pencil is a water-soluble graphite pencil. It can be used just like any other regular pencil. But where it really comes into its own is if you use a wet brush over the top of your pencil marks on a drawing. This dissolves the graphite into a liquid form so that you can use it just like a watercolor with a paintbrush. It can be used to mark most surfaces including canvas, fabrics, paper, and wood.

16. General’s Draughting Pencils

Generals Draughting Pencil

The General’s Draughting Pencils no G314 is a smooth writing pencil graphite pencil that retains the shape of its tip longer than any other pencil. When you need a consistent line width then this is ideal and is perfect for draughtsmen, fine art, and cartoonists.

17. General’s Flat Sketching Pencils

Generals Flat Sketching Pencil

The General’s Flat Sketching Pencil 533 is a flat rectangular shaped pencil with a large flat graphite core. It can be used to create either thin or broad lines by simply turning the pencil through 90 degrees to use either r the large flat face or the edge of the pencil to draw with. To sharpen this pencil for best results use the General’s S-6000 Flat Point™ Sharpener.

10. General’s Color-Tex Colored Pencils

Generals Color Tex Colored Pencils

General’s Color-Tex Colored Pencils have a thin acid free colored core and hexagonal shaped barrel. They are made from genuine incense cedar wood and are available in sets of 12, or 24.

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11. Koh I Noor Pencils

Koh I Noor Pencil Product Range

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  • Pencil Brand – Koh I Noor
  • Website – kohinoorusa.com
  • Manufacture Wooden Pencils – Yes
  • Manufacture Colored Pencils – Yes
  • FSC Certified Wood/Sustained Yield – Yes
  • Type of Wood Used to Make Pencils – Californian cedar wood

Koh I Noor can trace their history back to Austria in 1792 when Joseph Hardtmuth founded L&C Hardmuth and relocated to the Czech Republic around 1840 where they are still based to this day.

They are renowned for making premium quality graphite and are credited with inventing the pencil lead hardness scale in 1802. Franz Hardtmuth invented the system and it is reputed that he H represents the family name, F represents his first name, and B after a town called Budějovice where they made the pencils.

In 1889 L&C Hardmuth made their 1500 series pencils which were by a far superior quality to any other pencils at that time. They had 14 coats of Yellow lacquer and the end of the pencil had been dipped in 14-carat gold. As well as their own propriety kiln-fired blend of graphite and clay in an unheard-of 17 different grades. These pencils were then displayed at the World fairs in London, Paris, and New York. Queen Victoria was so impressed with the quality of the pencils she likened them to the famous Koh I Noor diamond and they became known as the Koh I Noor 1500 pencils.

After the success of the world fairs, L&C Hardmuth opened up an office in New Jersey and changed their name to Koh I Noor Hardmuth. It is believed that the American pencil companies copied the yellow color of the Koh I Noor Pencils to associate their own pencils as being top quality. This is why you now see yellow is the prominent color of pencils in the U.S.

1. Koh I Noor Toison D’or Graphite 1900 Pencils

Koh I Noor Toison D or Graphite 1900 Pencils

Koh I Noor Toison D’or Graphite 1900 Pencils are a premium quality hexagonal shaped pencil that is made from Californian cedar wood. They have a distinctive black lacquer finish with cream and gold-colored bands near the end of the pencil.

The pencils core is made from the patented high-quality Hardmuth graphite that is combined with a specially selected mixture of clays and binders. This makes for an extremely smooth scratch-free drawing experience across the full range of all 20 graphite grades which run from 8B to 10H.

2. Koh I Noor Magnum Black Star Pencils

Koh I Noor Magnum Black Star Pencil

Koh I Noor Magnum Black Star 1820 Pencils are a hexagonal shaped pencil with a black stained finish and are made from Californian cedar wood. They have a gigantic smooth writing 9mm HB graphite core that is ideal for covering large areas. This core is glued along its length to the outer wood core that prevents breakages if the pencil is accidentally dropped.

3. Koh I Noor Triograph 1830 Pencils

Koh I Noor Triograph 1830 Pencil

Koh I Noor Triograph 1830 Pencils have an ergonomic triangular-shaped design and a giant-sized 10.5mm graphite core.  They are made from Californian cedar wood and have a brown stained finish. There are three graphite grades to choose from which are 2B, 4B, and 6B. They can be sharpened with any larger hole pencil sharpener.

4. Koh I Noor Gioconda Graphite Aquarell Pencils

Koh I Noor Gioconda Graphite Aquarell Pencil

Koh I Noor Gioconda Graphite Aquarell Pencils are a fully water-soluble pencil that can be used either dry or as watercolor with a brush when water is applied over the top of the pencil marks or when its end is dipped into the water. They are available in 2B, 4B, and 6B graphite grades.

5. Koh I Noor Progresso Woodless Graphite Aquarell Pencils

Koh I Noor Progresso Woodless Graphite Aquarell Pencils

Koh I Noor Progresso Woodless Graphite Aquarell Pencil has an outer lacquer to protect the graphite. They are water-soluble and act like a watercolor when water is applied and are a 4B graphite grade.

6. Koh I Noor 1500 Graphite Pencils

Koh I Noor 1500 Graphite Pencil

Koh I Noor 1500 Graphite Pencils have the traditional yellow barrelled lacquer that the company is famous for with their original 1500 pencils that gave the company its name. They are made from cedar wood and available in 20 degrees of graphite from 8B to 10H.

In the UK these pencils are known as 1860 pencils but they are the same pencil but have a silvery colored barrel.

7. Koh I Noor Flat Sketching Pencil

Koh I Noor Flat Sketching Pencil

The Koh I Noor Flat Sketching Pencil is a rectangular shaped pencil unlacquered wooden with a flat graphite core. The pencil’s flat lead is break-resistant and can be sharpened with a knife. It is available in 2B, 4B, and 6B graphite grades.

8. Koh I Noor Jumbo Graphite 1820 Pencils

Koh I Noor Jumbo Graphite 1820 Pencils

Koh I Noor Jumbo Graphite 1820 Pencils are an oversized pencil with a 10mm graphite core and are available in HB, 2B, 4B, 6B, and 8B graphite grades.

9. Koh I Noor Polycolor Colored Pencils

Koh I Noor Polycolor Colored Pencils

Koh I Noor Polycolor Colored Pencils are professional quality colored pencils that have a unique blend of oil and premium pigments that are combined with binders. They produce dense colored lines with minimal pressure applied.

The pencils are made from high-quality Californian cedar wood and have a 3.8mm diameter core and are available in 72 colors and also a blender pencil.

10. Koh I Noor Tri-Tone Colored Pencils

Koh I Noor Tri Tone Colored Pencils

Koh I Noor Tri-Tone Colored Pencils are a unique pencil that has 3 different colors twisted together in its core. The color of the pencil can be changed by a slight movement of the wrist to use a different place of its point. Each pencil has colors that are selected for tonal harmonization and there are 23 colors available.

11. Koh I Noor Magic FX Colored Pencils

Koh I Noor Magic FX Colored Pencils

The Koh I Noor Magic FX colored pencils were the first pencils that contained a multi-colored braided core. They have 5.6mm mm lead and the barrel is dipped in colors that represent the core. There are 5 different color combinations to choose from including a neon pencil that looks fluorescent under UV light.

12. Koh I Noor Mondeluz Aquarelle Colored Pencils

Koh I Noor Mondeluz Aquarelle Colored Pencils

Koh I Noor Mondeluz Aquarelle Colored Pencils are water-soluble pencils with a soft vibrant core that produces dense colors that lay down easily. They can be used either wet or dry and are suitable for use on a wide variety of surfaces such as canvas, vellum, and watercolor paper. They have a hexagonal shaped barrel and are available in 72 colors.

13. Koh I Noor Astra Neon Colored Pencils

Koh I Noor Astra Neon Colored Pencils

The Koh I Noor Astra Neon Colored Pencils are a very versatile pencil that can be used as either a dry highlighter, to accent colors or to create special effects that can be viewed under black light. They are especially suited for use on black paper and are available as a set of 6 colors which are: neon blue, neon green, , neon orange, neon pink, neon red & neon yellow,

14. Koh I Noor Triocolor Pencils

Koh I Noor Triocolor Pencils

Koh I Noor Triocolor Pencils have an ergonomic triangular-shaped barrel and a thick 5,6mm diameter colored core. The pencils have a soft colored core that is easy to blend and lay on the paper. As with all Koh I Noor’s artists colored pencils they are made from premium quality cedar wood and the core is glued into the wooden case to prevent breakages. There are 24 colors available in the range.

15. Koh I Noor Gioconda Pastels

Koh I Noor Gioconda Pastels

Gioconda Pastels are wood-cased pencils that have a core made from colored pigments and soft binding agents such as calcium and carbonates. There are 48 pastel colors and 6 chalk colors in the range. Their core is a bit harder than traditional pastels which makes them ideal for detailed work.

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12. Lyra Pencils

Lyra Pencil Product Range

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  • Pencil Brand – Lyra
  • Website – filabrandlyra
  • Manufacture Wooden Pencils – Yes
  • Manufacture Colored Pencils – Yes
  • FSC Certified Wood/Sustained Yield – Yes
  • Type of Wood Used to Make Pencils – Lyra uses Cedar Wood to make their premium pencils They are also known to have used EasternWhite Pine Wood and White Fir. 

Lyra is one of Europes oldest pencil brands and can trace its roots back to 1868 when Johann Froescheis II started the Lyra Pencil Company

In 2008 they were bought out by the giant international Italian stationery company Fabbrica Italiana Lapis ed Affini S.p.A better known as F.I.L.A. It is difficult to find any information on the type of wood that is used to make their Ferby pencils but they do use cedar wood to make their more expensive artists pencils.

Lyra makes a wide range of pencils for younger children their Ferby and Super Ferby coloring and graphite pencils with wide ergonomic barrels are popular in Europe. They also make a wide range of lof artists pencils including professional quality ones that are branded “Rembrandt”

1. Lyra Ferby Pencils

Lyra Ferby Graphite Pencil

Probably one of the best known Lyra pencils in the U.S is their Ferby chunky pencils designed for younger children. They are available in both colored and graphite versions and have a triangular-shaped barrel that is 10 mm in diameter and 12 cm in length. The thick lead is 6.3mm in diameter and is break-resistant.

2. Lyra Super Ferby Pencils

Lyra Super Ferby Pencil

Lyra describes their Super Ferby Pencils as “the next generation of the original Ferby pencil”. unfortunately, they do not go on to describe why this is the case. The Super Ferby has the same triangular-shaped barrel that is 10mm in diameter. Their graphite or colored core is still 6.3mm in diameter.

The only obvious difference is that the Super Ferby is 5.5 cm longer measuring 17.5cm in length and there is a wider range to choose from. As the Super Ferby can also be bought in sets of pastel or metallic colors.

3. Lyra Color Giants Pencils

Lyra Color Giants Pencil

Lyra Color Giants Pencils have the same highly pigmented 6.5mm core as the Ferby and Super Ferby pencils. The main differences are that these pencils have a hexagonal shaped barrel and therefore designed for older artists. Also, the color ranges is greater they are available in 23 standard colors, 6 fluorescent colors, four metallic colors, gold & silver as well as a pack containing all 12 skin tone colors.

4. Lyra Groove Graphite Pencils

Lyra Groove Graphite Pencil

Lyra Groove graphite pencils have an ergonomic triangular-shaped barrel that is 10mm in diameter with side grip areas that prevent your fingers from slipping. They have B grade graphite and are designed to aid children who are just learning to write.

5. Lyra Groove Colored Pencils

Lyra Groove Colored Pencil

This is the colored version of the popular ergonomic graphite Lyra Groove pencils. They have the same 10mm hexagonal barrel and are available in 20 standard colors, 2 fluorescent colors as well as gold and silver.

There is also a slimmer version which is the Lyra Groove Slim and has a thinner barrel that is more like the diameter of regular-sized pencils.

6. Lyra Groove Triple One

Lyra Groove Triple One Pencil

This is a really thick chunky pencil with the same nonslip grooved areas of the pencil. The size of the pencil is very similar to that of the Stabilo Woody pencils. Lyra describes this pencil as having the same qualities as a colored pencil, watercolor pencil, and wax crayon hence the name triple.

They are available in packs of 6  or 12 colors and are water-soluble making them easy to blend.

7. Lyra Graduate Aquarelle Pencils

Lyra Graduate Aquarelle Pencil

The Lyra Graduate Aquarelle Pencils are a water-soluble watercolor pencil that can be used for blending and shading. They are made from cedar wood and have a 3.3mm colored core are available in sets of 12, 24, or 36 colors.

8. Lyra Graduate Colored Pencils

Lyra Graduate Colored Pencil

Lyra Graduate colored Pencils are easy to sharpen as they are made from cedar wood and have a strong 3.8mm colored core. They are available in sets of 12, 24 or 36 colors.

9. Lyra Rembrandt Aquarelle Pencils

Lyra Rembrandt Aquarelle Pencil

The Lyra Rembrandt Aquarelle Pencils are professional quality artist’s water-soluble pencils with an extra-large colored core that is highly light-resistant. These pencils have intense bright colors and are wax-based which allows the colors to be easily blended. There are 96 colors in the Aquarelle range and they also make water-soluble graphite pencils to complement these.

10. Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor Pencils

Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor Pencils

The Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor Pencils are a high-quality coloring pencil that can write on many surfaces including those with a rougher texture. They are made from cedar wood and are available in 78 colors which are both light and water-resistant. They have a round barrel and a larger colored core diameter than standard colored pencils.

11. Lyra Rembrandt Carbon Pencils

Lyra Rembrandt Carbon Pencil

Lyra Rembrandt Carbon Pencils core is made from a combination of charcoal and graphite making them soft and smooth to use. They are an oil-based pencil and available as Extra Soft, Soft, Medium, Hard and Extra Hard. Lyra recommends using a fixative in conjunction with these pencils to protect your drawings.

12. Lyra Rembrandt Special Carbon Pencil

Lyra Rembrandt Special Carbon Pencil

The Lyra Rembrandt Special Carbon Pencils have a high ratio of charcoal in their core which produces a deep black color for drawing and shading. . They are available as Extra Soft, Soft; Medium, Hard, and Extra Hard. Lyra recommends using a fixative in conjunction with these pencils to protect your drawings.

13. Lyra Rembrandt Sketching Pencils

Lyra Rembrandt Sketching Pencil

Lyra Rembrandt Sketching Pencils are oval-shaped like a traditional carpenter’s pencil. However, they are designed for drawing and sketching and Lyra recommends use a knife to sharpen them with which allows you to create a wide variety of tip sizes. Because the lead has a curved shape different line widths can be obtained depending as to what the angle of the pencil is held at in relation to the paper.

14. Lyra Rembrandt White Pastel Pencils

Lyra Rembrandt White Pastel Pencils

Lyra Rembrandt White Pastel Pencils are a white chalk pencil that is ideal for use on black or colored paper. They can be used for highlighting, blurring or blending and it is recommended that you use fixative with these pencils. They are available in soft or medium hardness.

15. Lyra Rembrandt Art Design Pencils

Lyra Rembrandt Art Design Pencil

No good pencil manufacturer worth their salt would not have a range of graphite pencils in various degrees of lead hardness. Lyra has their Art and Design pencil which is a high-quality pencil made from cedar wood with an extra-fine durable graphite lead core. They are available in 17 grades from 6H to 9B.

16. Lyra Robinson Graphite Pencils

Lyra Robinson Graphite Pencils

The Lyra Robinson Graphite Pencils are a general-purpose pencil for use in schools and offices. They are available in 12 hardness grades which are: B, 2B, 3B, 4B, 5B, 6B, H, 2H, 3H, 4H, HB, HB.

Lyra Pencils – Check Prices and Reviews on Amazon

13. Mitsubishi Pencils

Mitsubushi Pencil Product Range

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  • Pencil Brand – Mitsubishi
  • Website – Uniball.com
  • Manufacture Wooden Pencils – Yes
  • Manufacture Colored Pencils – Yes
  • FSC Certified Wood/Sustained Yield – Yes
  • Type of Wood Used to Make Pencils – Cedar Wood and Basswood

The Japanese Mitsubishi Pencil Company can trace its roots back to 1887 when Niroku Masaki formed the Masaki Pencil Manufacturing Company that was based in Tokyo. Today they are better known for their wide range of pens and markers which are sold under the Uni-ball brand name.

They have a reputation for making high-quality products but amongst pencil aficionados, the Mitsubishi Hi Uni Pencil is widely regarded as being the best of the best for a wood-cased graphite pencil. Which is some accolade considering the quality of the top of the range pencils made by the likes of Blackwing, Faber-Castell, Staedtler, and Tombow.

Mitsubishi used to make all their pencils out of cedar wood but it is now believed that they only use Cedar wood for their premium pencils such as the Hi Uni and use Basswood for their entry-level pencils ie 9000, 9800, 9850.

1. Mitsubishi Hi Uni Pencils

Mitsubushi Hi Uni Pencil

Introduced in 1966 the Mitsubishi Hi Uni is widely regarded as the world’s best wooden pencil. In 1967 another highly respected Japanese stationery manufacturer Tombow launched their Mono 100 to rival the Hi Uni and for many years these two pencils ruled the world of premium quality pencils in Europe and Asia.

However, in the U.S the Blackwing 602 pencil despite its colorful history is dating back to the 1930s is regarded as the no one wooden pencil with many celebrity endorsements. Although it is actually made in Japan using imported Californian cedar wood for its casing.

The Mitsubishi Hi Uni is made from cedar wood and has a deep luxurious maroon lacquer coating that has a silky feel in the hand. But what makes this pencil so special is the quality of its graphite core, during the manufacturing process the graphite and clay particles are finely graded so that they are exactly the same size and then uniformly mixed to ensure even distribution in the core of the pencil.  There are 22 grades to choose from which are: 10H, 9H, 8H, 7H, 6H, 5H, 4H, 3H, 2H, H, F, HB, B, 2B, 3B, 4B, 5B, 6B, 7B, 8B, 9B, 10B.

2. Mitsubishi 9000 Pencils

Mitsubushi 9000 Pencil

The Mitsubishi 9000 Pencils are their entry-level everyday office pencil. They have a green hexagonal barrel and are stamped with General Writing. Slightly harder to find in the U.S they are available in a range of lead grades but tend to be the softer ones for artists ranging from HB – 4B although pencils with H grades are available in Japan.

3. Mitsubishi 9800 Pencils

Mitsubushi 9800 Pencil

The Mitsubishi 9000 pencil was the first pencil that the company manufactured and is still going strong today. As is the tradition with Japanese pencils it is marked with its intended purpose which in turn determined its price. The 9800 pencils have a dark green hexagonal-shaped barrel and are marked with General Writing on the back of the pencil.

These pencils are renowned for their matured dark smooth writing graphite and are the pencil of choice for many Japanese schools for their students to learn to write with. They are available in grades from 9H – 9B

4. Mitsubishi 9850 Pencils

Mitsubushi 9850 Pencil

Mitsubishi 9850 pencils do exactly what it says on the tin to quote a famous paint manufacturer’s advert. They are an HB pencil with a hexagonal-shaped maroon-colored barrel, silver ferrule, and white eraser. Marked on one facet of the barrel is “Smooth Writing Pencil for Office Use. Like most Japanese pencils their graphite tends to write a little darker than a German or US-made HB pencil.

5. Mitsubishi 9852 EW Recycled Pencils

Mitsubishi 9852 EW Recycled Pencil

The Mitsubishi 982 pencil is an HB pencil with a triangular-shaped natural wood barrel, dark-colored ferrule and black eraser. It is made from recycled wood and is marked as intended use “Master Writing”

6. Mitsubishi Uni Star Pencils

Mitsubushi Star Pencil

Mitsubishi Uni Star Pencils are one of their lowest grades of a pencil with one reviewer describing them as their student quality pencil. It has a hexagonal-shaped maroon-colored barrel with Established 1887 Mitsubishi Uni-Star marked in gold-colored lettering.  It is available in 2B, B, and HB graphite grades.

7. Mitsubishi Vermillion/Prussian Blue Pencils 772

Mitsubishi Vermillion Prussian Blue Pencil 772

The Mitsubishi 772 pencils are a two-colored hexagonal-shaped unsharpened pencil with half of it being blue and the other half in red. For those who may be wondering why? The answer is before the digital age bi-colored pencils were used by anyone who needed to do editing such as journalists and accountants.

8. Mitsubishi Uni Colored Pencils

Mitsubishi Uni Colored Pencils

Mitsubishi Colored pencils are a premium-priced coloring pencil with a round barrel and a 4.2mm wax core. They are available in sets of 36, 72, 100, and 240 colors and can be quite hard to find in the U.S. it also looks like they do not have any lightfast ratings although they do have quite favorable reviews from those who have used them.

Mitsubishi Pencils – Check Prices and Reviews on Amazon

14. Moleskine Pencils

Moleskine Wooden Pencils

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Pencil Brand – Moleskine
Website – Moleskine.com
Manufacture Wooden Pencils – Yes
Manufacture Colored Pencils – Yes
FSC Certified Wood/Sustained Yield – Yes
Type of Wood Used to Make Pencils – Cedar Wood & Linden Wood

Moleskine is an Italian manufacturer of high-quality notebooks, journals, diaries, and planners. The company was started in 1977 by Francesco Franceschi in Milan. Moleskine introduced their first pencil to their product range around 2011 and today has a small selection to choose from.

1. Moleskine 3 Black Pencil Set

Moleskine 3 Black Pencil Set

The Moleskin 3 Black Pencil Set contains two 2B pencils and an HB pencil. They are made from Cedar wood and have a larger rectangular shaped black barrel imprinted with Moleskine and the pencils graphite grade in black on the barrel. They have a high-quality graphite core and require sharpening via the Moleskine Sharpener which is not included in the set.

2. Moleskine Highlighter Pencil Set

Moleskine Highlighter Set

The Moleskine Highlighter Pencil Set contains an orange and yellow fluorescent dry highlighter pencil that is made from Linden wood. The pencils have a black rectangular-shaped barrel and a colored cap that matches the highlighter color. There is also a pencil sharpener included in the set.

3. Moleskine 5 Pencil Drawing Set.

Moleskine 5 Pencil Drawing Set.

The Moleskine 5 piece drawing set contains 5 pencils that are made from high-quality FSC certified Cedar Wood with a 3mm graphite core. They are square-shaped but a lot smaller in diameter than their black pencil or highlighter set.

The pencils have a black and silver-colored barrel and each pencil has its grade and a word marked on to describe the pencils interaction. Wow, words fail me whatever will the marketing people dream up next to help sell their pencils. For those that are interested here are the pencils grades and Moleskine’s marketing spiel?

  •  6B Rumble – Smooth and dark for thunderous shading and full lines
  • 4B Echo – Softly smudged strokes that roll on and on and on and on
  • 2B Quiet please – Discreet, hushed lines sketch out definite ideas
  • HB Respire – As natural as breathing, for perfectly balanced impressions
  • H Chat – Light and quick-fire marks for sketches drawn on the go

4. Moleskine 12 Watercolor Pencils – Naturally Smart

Moleskine 12 Watercolor Pencils Naturally Smart

The Moleskine naturally smart set of 12 watercolor pencils are a water-soluble square-shaped pencil that is made from Cedar wood and has a 3mm colored core.  The pencil has a black barrel with the end portion colored to match its lead color. Being an Italian luxury goods manufacturer they do not provide anything useful such as how lightfast these pencils are but they do give you the colors and a description of the color and the feelings that it evokes.

  • 1 Pitch Black – hot asphalt
  • 2 Woodnote Brown – natural tones
  • 3 Maze Green – Explore. Get lost.
  • 4 Breathe Green – leafy, alive
  • 5 Lift Blue – sketch up to the sky
  • 6 Plunge Blue – the deepest ocean, the furthest star
  • 7 Rave Purple – urban eccentric
  • 8 Blush Pink – a rosy skyline sunset
  • 9 Pulse Red – Stop. Think. Feel.
  • 10 Glow Orange – tangerine sunbeams
  • 11 Shine Yellow – bright popcorn ideas
  • 12 Dazzle White – reflections

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15. Musgrave Pencil Company

Musgrave Pencil Company Product Range

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  • Pencil Brand – Musgrave Pencil Company
  • Website – Musgravepencil.com
  • Manufacture Wooden Pencils – Yes
  • Manufacture Colored Pencils – No
  • FSC Certified Wood/Sustained Yield – Yes
  • Type of Wood Used to Make Pencils – Tennessee Red Cedar Wood, Californian Cedar Wood and Basswood

The Musgrave Pencil company was founded in 1916 by James Raford Musgrave. The company was based in Tennessee started out with a mill that cut Tennessee red pine into pencil slats that were sold in Europe and Germany to the big pencil manufacturers. In 1919 they started to manufacturer their own pencils out of red pine which was ideal for making pencils.

However, the stocks of red pine were starting to dwindle so production was switched to using Californian Incense Cedar wood which was a fast-growing wood that is also well suited for making pencils.

Today the Musgrave Pencil Company is still based in Tennessee and has a reputation for making good quality pencils and uses either Tennessee Redwood, Cedar Wood or FSC certified Chinese Basswood for the outer wooden casing of its pencils. They also make promotional or white label branded pencils for other companies.

1. Tennessee Red Cedar Pencils

Tennessee Red Cedar Pencils

The Tennessee Red Cedar Pencil pays homage to the pencils made by the company’s founding father James Radford Musgrave. They stopped making them decades ago but have recently introduced these pencils to their product range.

The pencils have a matte clear coat to show off the grain of the wood and a matte red imprint with Musgrave Pencil Company Genuine Tennessee Red Cedar. As well as a very distinctive cedar fragrance.

They are a little different from most pencils as there are certain production challenges with using this wood which can result in the lead being a little off-center. However, it does affect the performance of the pencil. They might have lighter and darker shades of wood in the same pack of pencils and they are easier to sharpen with an electric pencil sharpener rather than a traditional handheld sharpener.

2. Harvest 320 Professional #2 Pencils

Harvest 320 Professional Pencils

The Harvest Professional #2 pencil is one of the finest pencils that the Musgrove Pencil Company makes. It has the classic yellow hexagonal shaped barrel topped off with a gold ferrule and red eraser which is made from high-quality Californian Incense Cedar Wood. It also has an improved graphite core that delivers a better writing experience.

3. Sidekick Carpenters Pencils

Sidekick Carpenters Pencils

Musgrave’s Sidekick Carpenters pencils are a superior quality tradesman pencil made from raw red cedar wood and laser etched with Sidekick and kicking horse logo. The graphite core is the equivalent of a #2 pencil and produces strong dark lines that are clearly visible on wooden surfaces.

As these carpenters’ pencils are made from natural cedar wood they have a lovely aromatic aroma and show off the grain of the wood. There may also be some knots or imperfections, color variation, and a slight bowing which occasionally occurs as the wood dries in the production process.

4. Debate Pencil Set

Debate Pencil Set

This limited-edition pencil set contains three pencils that were designed by Musgrave to commemorate the 2020 debate that was held at Belmont University on the 22nd October 2020. The university gave out these pencils to members of the press who attended the event and additional sets were made that can be bought from the Musgrove Pencil Company website.

5. Test Scoring 100 Pencils

Test Scoring 100 Pencils

The Musgrove Pencil Company’s Test Scoring Pencil is a hexagonal shaped pencil with a striking silver painted finish, silver ferrule, and red eraser. It has Test Scoring 100 printed in bold black lettering that really stands out against the silver background.

What’s really intriguing is that Musgrave describes this pencil as being made from artificial graphite and also that it has a soft electro graphite core but gives no further details as to the benefits or about the graphite core. They do go on to say that its soft smooth core writes dark lines that can be easily erased which suggests it may be comparable to a traditional graphite 2B pencil.

6. Ceres 909 Pencils

Ceres 909 Pencils

The unusually named Ceres 909 pencil is described by Musgrave as their “most popular all-round school pencil”. It is a yellow hexagonal-shaped #2 pencil with a silver ferrule and red eraser. According to the company, it is a competitively priced high-quality pencil that is easily sharpened and erases cleanly. They then go on to say that its laydown is superior to most pencils. A few facts or independent reviews to back these bold claims up would be handy.  

7. Single Barrel 106 Pencils

Single Barrel 106 Pencils

The Single Barrel 106 pencil is a limited edition #2 pencil made from Vintage Tennessee Red Cedar Wood. It has a hexagonal shaped barrel with a clear matte coating and is marked in black lettering with “Musgrave Pencil Inc Single Barrel 106 Vintage Tennessee Red Cedar”. The pencil is capped with a jet black end cap.

Buyers, take note: We’ve combed through these slats as best we could, but some of them will come imperfectly perfect. What can we say other than nearly 90 years of hanging out in a pencil factory will do that to you. We think the charming blemishes make them all the more interesting.

8. 600 News Pencils

600 News Pencils

The 600 News pencil is a regular-sized round pencil black pencil overprinted in white with Made in U.S.A 600 Musgrove Pencil Company Inc News. The pencil has an oversized softcore but no indication of its equivalent graphite grade.

It can be used for drawing and sketching, marking sheet music, or writing on newspapers which is how we assume it acquired its name.

9. My Pal 2020 Pencils

My Pal 2020 Pencils

The My Pal 2020 pencil is a jumbo pencil with an 8.5mm round barrel. This makes it ideal for younger children just learning to write who have yet developed the motor skills to hold regular sized pencils. It is an untipped pencil with a soft graphite core.

10. Bugle 1816 Pencils

Bugle 1816 Pencils

The 1816 Bugle Pencil has a round barrel that has a natural finish coated in a clear lacquer coat which shows off the wood grain. It is a lightweight pencil with an HB graphite core.

11. Tot 500 Pencils

Tot 500 Pencils

The Musgrave Pencil Company TOT pencil is a jumbo pencil with a 10mm round barrel. The barrel is available with either a metallic blue or metallic red barrel. It is made from high-quality wood that is easy to sharpen. Its graphite core is medium soft.

12. Hermitage 510 Pencils

Hermitage 510 Pencils

The Hermitage 510 pencil is a red-colored lead pencil that is ideal for anyone who needs to carry our editing. The red core is highly pigmented and has a similar laydown to that of a crayon.

13. Unigraph 1200 Drawing Pencils

Unigraph 1200 Drawing Pencils

Unigraph Drawing pencils have a black hexagonal shaped barrel with gold-colored lettering. They are available in 12 graphite grades from 6B – 6H

14. Choo Choo 8500 Pencils

Choo Choo 8500 Pencils

Choo Choo 8500 pencils are a jumbo-sized pencil with a round yellow oversized barrel, gold ferrule, and red eraser.

15. Cub 3030T Pencils

Cub 3030T Pencils

The Cub 303T pencil is a medium-sized jumbo pencil with an oversized core. The only difference between Musgraves 3030T pencil and their My Pal 2020 pencil is that this has a gold ferrule and eraser. Whereas the My Pal 2020 does not have an eraser fitted.

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16. Paper Mate Pencils

Paper Mate Wooden Pencils

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  • Pencil Brand – Paper Mate
  • Website – Papermate.com
  • Manufacture Wooden Pencils – Yes
  • Manufacture Colored Pencils – No
  • FSC Certified Wood/Sustained Yield – Unknown
  • Type of Wood Used to Make Pencils – Unknown

Paper Mate is one of those interesting brands that pop up stores such as Walmart & Target and for our UK readers Tesco’s and W H Smiths. They have a mixed heritage starting out in the early 1940s as the name of a pen with quick-drying ink. The company that made it went out of business and it was acquired by the Frawley Pen Company who in turn were bought out by the Gilette Company who formed the Paper Mate business unit.  In 2000 Newell Rubbermaid acquired Paper Mate as part of Gilette’s stationery products unit and still owns the company today.

Paper Mate is best known for its ballpoint and fine liner pens as well as inexpensive mechanical pencils but they do make a couple of wooden pencils. Most likely outsourced to China for production but I have still included them in this guide for completeness more than anything else.

1. Paper Mate Mirado Classic Pencils

Paper Mate Mirado Classic Pencil

The Paper Mate Mirado Classic pencil is an inexpensive #2 pencil with a hexagonal barrel and a traditional yellow coat of paint. At the end of the pencil is a pink eraser with a gold ferrule that has a red band. Apparently, this is the  “Mirado” signature meaning the highest quality pencil available.

Where the packaging gets really interesting is that it states waxed lead for exceptional strength and smooth writing and then makes the bold nay foolish claim that it is the “worlds smoothest write guaranteed”.

 I may be a little skeptical here but you can get a pack of these 96 pencils for around $15.00. The Mitsubishi Hi Uni which is widely regarded as the world’s best wooden pencil retails for around $21.00 for a pack of12. Or 12 Blackwing 602’s will set you back around $25.00.

2. Paper Mate Ever Strong Pencils

Paper Mate Ever Strong Pencil

Paper Mate Ever Strong Pencils look identical to their Mirado Classic pencils with the same hexagonal-shaped yellow barrel, pink eraser, and gold-colored ferrule with a red band. The only difference I can see is that is branded Ever Strong and is sold in retail packs of 24 pencils.

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17. Prismacolor Pencils

Prismacolor Product Range

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  • Pencil Brand – Prismacolor
  • Website – Prismacolor.com
  • Manufacture Wooden Pencils – Yes
  • Manufacture Colored Pencils – Yes
  • FSC Certified Wood/Sustained Yield – Unknown
  • Type of Wood Used to Make Pencils – Unknown

Prismacolor like many of the U.S.A’s pencil brands has a long history and can trace its roots back to when Daniel Berolzheimer founded the Eagle Pencil Company in New York City way back in 1856. They launched their first colored pencils in 1938 which are known today as their Premier Soft Core Pencils.

In 1969 Berol acquired the Eagle Pencil Company which in turn was being bought out in 1995 by the international consumer goods company Newell Rubbermaid which is now known as Newell Brands. Newell Brands messed around the name for a while branding Prismacolor as Berol Prismacolor before settling on Prismacolor as a brand.

Prismacolor sells their entry-level colored and graphite pencil as part of the Scholar range and their professional quality pencils as their Premier range.

1. Prismacolor Premier Ebony Pencils

Prismacolor Premier Ebony Pencil

Prismacolor Premier Ebony Pencils have jet black soft graphite core that blends easily and produces thick black lines.

2. Prismacolor Scholar Graphite Pencils

Prismacolor Scholar Graphite Pencils

These are a cheap and cheerful set of pencils containing a 2h. HB, 2B, and 4B pencil.

3. Prismacolor Premier Turquoise Graphite Pencils

Prismacolor Premier Turquoise Graphite Pencil

Prismacolor Premier Turquoise Graphite Pencils are available in 20 graphite grades making them suitable for both technical and artistic drawing.

4. Prismacolor Premier Col-Erase Colored Pencils

Prismacolor Premier Col Erase Colored Pencil

The Prismacolor Premier Col-Erase Colored Pencils are part of their professional quality range of colored pencils and have a built-in eraser at the end of the pencil. The pencils have easily erasable pigments that produce vibrant intense colors and there are 24 different colors in the range.

Unfortunately, these colored pencils do not have a lightfastness rating which is a prerequisite for nearly all professional artists these days. So they are perhaps more suited for those who enjoy adult coloring.

5. Prismacolor Premier Watercolor Colored Pencils

Prismacolor Premier Watercolor Colored Pencil

Prismacolor Premier Watercolor Colored Pencils are water-soluble pencils that when combined with a brush and water can produce watercolor effects that are similar to traditional artists’ watercolors.

They can be used either wet or dry and there are 36 high-quality vibrant pigmented colors to choose from.

6. Prismacolor Premier Soft Core Colored Pencils

Prismacolor Premier Soft Core Colored Pencil

Prismacolor Premier Soft Core Colored Pencils have a thick wax-based core that is ideal for layering, blending and shading. Depending on how much pressure is applied you can produce either vivid and intense colors or softer more subtle colors.

There are over 150 colors to choose from but the only issue is that each color has a different lightfastness rating. Some are rated one which is very good and others are rated five which is poor. Therefore you will need to check with a Prismacolor lightfastness color chart before using if this is important to you.

7. Prismacolor Scholar Colored Pencils

Prismacolor Scholar Colored Pencil

Prismacolor Scholar Colored Pencils are their entry-level pencil that is designed for use by students and hobbyists. They have rich pigmented colors that lays down smoothly and blend easily and there are 58 colors to choose from.

8. Prismacolor Premier Pencil Blender

Prismacolor Premier Pencil Blender

The Prismacolor Premier Pencil Blender has a soft wax water-resistant core. It is a colorless blender that allows for easy layering and blending colors and is perfect if you want to soften an edge. They can also be used in conjunction with watercolor pencils.

Prismacolor Pencils – Check Prices and Reviews on Amazon

10. Stabilo Pencils

Stabilo Product Range

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  • Pencil Brand – Stabilo
  • Website – Stabilo.com
  • Manufacture Wooden Pencils – Yes
  • Manufacture Colored Pencils – Yes
  • FSC Certified Wood/Sustained Yield – Yes
  • Type of Wood Used to Make Pencils – Basswood, Incense Cedar, Linden Wood, and Weymouth Pine.

Stabilo International GmbHe an international manufacturer of stationery products with a history that can be traced back to 1855. Like most of the big European manufacturers, they started life in the German town of Nuremberg making pencils. This was because there was a plentiful supply of graphite and clay in the local area.

They are perhaps best known for their range of highlighters and Easystart ergonomic children’s pens. However, they manufacture an extensive range of high-quality wooden graphite and coloring pencils. The wood that they use to make their pencils is FSC certified from sustainably managed forests.

1. Stabilo Easygraph Handwriting Pencils

Stabilo Easygraph Handwriting Pencils

The Stabilo Easygraph Handwriting Pencil is an ergonomic pencil that is specially designed for use by left-handed and right-handed writers. It has a triangular-shaped barrel with non-slip grip areas along its barrel.

The end of the barrel is color-coded red for right-handed and yellow for left-handed users. Its lead is 3.15mm in diameter and it is available in HB B and 2B graphite grades.

2. Stabilo Exam Grade Pencils

Stabilo Exam Grade Pencils

Stabilo Exam Grade pencils have a hexagonal shaped barrel and high-quality lead that is perfect for using to complete multiple-choice papers in exams and can easily be erased if required. It is available with either HB or 2B lead.

3. Stabilo Greengraph Pencils

Stabilo Greengraph Pencils

Stabilo Greengraph Pencils have a hexagonal shaped barrel and are made from FSC certified wood from sustainably managed forests. The Pencil has HB lead that is highly break-resistant.

4. Stabilo Othello Pencils

Stabilo Othello Pencils

Stabilo Othello Pencils have a hexagonal shaped barrel that is painted in the classic Stabilo Stripes design with a glossy varnish finish. The pencil has a super-hardened break-proof lead that is available in 10 graphite grades from 4B – 4H.

5. Stabilo Pencil 160

Stabilo Pencil 160

The Stabilo Pencil 160 is a high-quality graphite pencil that is available with either HB or 2B break-resistant lead. There is a choice of 5 bright barrel colors that are finished with Stabilos trademark white stripes, and each pencil has an eraser that compliments the barrel color.

6. Stabilo Pastel Graphite Pencils

Stabilo Pastel Graphite Pencils

The Stabilo Pastel Graphite Pencil is a hexagonal shaped pencil with an eraser and HB lead. It takes its name pastel not from the pencils core color but the fact that the barrel color is available in 6 different pastel shades

7. Stabilo Trio Graphite Pencils

Stabilo Trio Graphite Pencils

The Stabilo Trio Graphite Pencil is an ergonomic pencil with a triangular-shaped barrel which is available in five different colors. It has a strong lead that is 2.2mm in diameter and available in HB and 2B grades.

8. Stabilo Trio Thick Graphite Pencils

Stabilo Trio Thick Graphite Pencils

 

The Stabilo Trio Thick Graphite Pencils have an ergonomic triangular-shaped barrel that as the name suggests has a larger diameter than their regular-sized trio pencils. It is also available in five barrel colors and has a thicker lead that is 3.15mm in diameter and available in HB and 2B grades.

9. Stabilo All Pencils

Stabilo All Pencils

The Stabilo All pencil can write on most surfaces and is more commonly known as a chinagraph marker. There are 8 aquarelle colors to choose from.

10. Stabilo Aquacolor Pencils

Stabilo Aquacolor Pencils

Stabilo Aquacolor Pencils are premium quality water-soluble pencils that can be used as either a dry pencil or wet. When used as a dry pencil the colors can be blended with a wet brush or they can be applied to wet paper and the colors will easily blend into each other.

The pencils have a  2.8mm colored core and you can even use a wet brush on its tip to transfer color to the brush. Stabilo Aquacolor Pencils are available in sets of 12, 18, 24, and 36 colors.

11. Stabilo Carbothello Pencils

Stabilo Carbothello Pencils

Stabilo Carbothello Pencils are a pastel pencil with a highly pigmented 4.4mm diameter core. They have excellent lightfastness and can be blended. There are 60 pastel shades to choose from and they produce excellent results on darker colored and specialist paper.

12. Stabilo Easycolors Pencils

Stabilo Easycolors Pencils

The Stabilo Easycolors Pencil is an ergonomic pencil that is specially designed for use by left-handed and right-handed writers. It has a triangular-shaped barrel with non-slip grip areas along its barrel.

The end of the barrel is color-coded red for right-handed and yellow for left-handed users. Its lead is 4.2mm in diameter and it is available in 12 vibrant colors.

13. Stabilo Color Pencils

Stabilo Color Pencils

Stabilo Color pencils have a hexagonal shaped barrel and 2.5mm lead. They are only available in sets that contain between 12 – 30 colors. These are made up of various combinations of 30 standard colors and 4 fluorescent colors.

14. Stabilo Jumbo Coloring Pencils

Stabilo Jumbo Coloring Pencils

Stabilo Jumbo Coloring pencils have a wide hexagonal-shaped barrel with strong break-resistant 5.0mm lead. They are made from FSC certified wood and are available in sets of eight or twelve colors.

15. Stabilo Original Coloring Pencils

Stabilo Original Coloring Pencils

Stabilo Original Coloring Pencils have a strong 2.5mm color core with high lightfast and vibrant colors. They are ideal for creating thin lines.

16. Stabilo Trio Pencils

Stabilo Trio Colouring Pencils

Stabilo Trio Coloring Pencils have an ergonomic triangular-shaped barrel and 2.5mm colored core. They are available in sets of 12 or 18 colors.

17. Stabilo Trio Thick Coloring Pencils

Stabilo Trio Thick Coloring Pencils

Stabilo Trio Thick Coloring Pencils have an ergonomic triangular-shaped barrel and a 4.2mm colored core. They are available in 24 vibrant colors.

10. Stabilo Woody Pencils

Stabilo Woody Pencils

The Stabilo Woody Pencils are a unique pencil that can be used as either a coloring pencil, wax crayon, or a watercolor pencil. They are a short pencil with a very wide diameter barrel with a strong 10mm diameter colored waxy core.

These are ideal for laying down lots of colors and have a high opacity and deep rich colors. The color core is water-soluble simply add water with a brush to blend and wash in the same way as a traditional watercolor paint does. There are 18 vibrant colors to choose from.

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19. Staedtler Pencils

Staedtler Pencil Product Range

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  • Pencil Brand – Staedtler
  • Website – Staedtler.com
  • Manufacture Wooden Pencils – Yes
  • Manufacture Colored Pencils – Yes
  • FSC Certified Wood/Sustained Yield – Yes
  • Type of Wood Used to Make Pencils – Unknown

Staedtler is yet another International pencil brand that started life off in the German town of Nuremberg. The company was started in 1853 by Johann Sebastian Staedtler whose family had a history of making pencils with records dating back to 1662 that mention Friedrich Staedtler a lead pencil maker.

Today they have a reputation for manufacturing high-quality writing instruments and in particular their pencils. Their range includes Norris pencils which are general-purpose pencils with the iconic black and yellow stripes.

Mars Lumograph is a premium quality range of artists pencil that is highly rated and available in 24 degrees of graphite as well as charcoal and aquarelle pencils.  In addition to this, they make the Mars Lumograph Black pencils that have added carbon to give jet black results and available in 6 degrees of lead hardness.

Staedtler also makes their Tradition pencils that are slightly better than Norris pencils but not as good as the top-of-the-range Mars Lumograph pencils. There are fewer pencils in the Tradition range to choose from compared to the others.

Staedtler is also very proud of its reputation in helping the environment by using FSC certified sustainable wood to manufacture its pencils.

1. Staedtler Mars ergosoft 150 Pencils

Staedtler Mars ergosoft 150 Pencils

The Staedtler Mars ergosoft 150 pencils have an ergonomic triangular-shaped barrel with a soft non-slip coating. They have Staedtler’s unique lead formula that is bonded to the wood which gives it an extremely high break resistance. They are available with 2B and HB graphite and the wood is sustainably sourced from FSC managed forests.

2. Staedtler Mars Lumograph 100 Pencils

Staedtler Mars Lumograph 100 Pencil

Staedtler Mars Lumograph pencils are their top of the range premium quality pencils that are held in the same regard by many people as Faber-Castell 9000 pencils. Their unique lead formulation gives a grey metallic sheen in the harder graphite degrees.

The pencils graphite core is super bonded to the wood which gives it a very high break resistance. There are 24 lead grades to choose from which are from 12B to 10H. An unusual feature of these pencils is that the diameter of the lead core is not the same size across the range.

  • Graphite Grade 12B – 4.5mm diameter lead.
  • Graphite Grade 11B to 6B – 3.6mm diameter lead.
  • Graphite Grade 5B to 3B – 2.5mm diameter lead.
  • Graphite Grade 2B to 10H – 2.0mm diameter lead.

Staedtler Mars Lumograph 100 pencils are made of high-quality wood from sustainably managed forests.

3. Staedtler Mars Lumograph Aquarelle 100A Pencils

Staedtler Mars Lumograph Aquarelle 100A Pencils

Staedtler Mars Lumograph Aquarelle 100A Pencils are a water-soluble artists graphite pencil with a 3.6mm lead core. They are available in 4B, 6B, and 8B grades. They can be used dry for sketching or with water to produce traditional watercolor effects.

4. Staedtler Mars Lumograph Black 100B Pencils

Staedtler Mars Lumograph Black 100B Pencils

Staedtler Mars Lumograph Black 100B Pencils are ideal for artists who are looking to produce a matt jet black color. Their special lead formulation contains extra carbon to give these pencils their deep black color when drawing on paper. The bonded graphite core is extra strong and there are six lead grades to choose from. Again these pencils have different sized graphite cores.

  • Graphite Grade 8B – 4.5mm diameter lead.
  • Graphite Grade 7B to HB – 3.6mm diameter lead.

The pencils wood is from PEFC-certified, sustainably managed forests

5. Staedtler Mars Lumograph Charcoal 100C Pencils

Staedtler Mars Lumograph Charcoal 100C Pencils

Staedtler Mars Lumograph Charcoal 100C Pencils are a high-quality charcoal pencil with a unique combination of charcoal of graphite to produce a range of deep black color tones.

They have a 4.5mm diameter core and are available in 3 degrees soft, medium, and hard. These pencils are ideal for blending, hatching, sketching, and portrait work. The pencils wood is from PEFC-certified, sustainably managed forests

6. Staedtler Mars Lumograph Jumbo 100J Pencils

Staedtler Mars Lumograph Jumbo 100J Pencils

Staedtler Mars Lumograph Jumbo 100J Pencils are a jumbo pencil with a large wooden barrel and a thick 5.3mm diameter graphite core. Part of the Lumograph range they are professional quality artists pencils with strong break-resistant lead and a choice of five graphite grades, 8B, 6B, 4B, 2B & HB.

7. Staedtler Mars Lumograph Pastel 100P Pencils

Staedtler Mars Lumograph Pastel 100P Pencils

Staedtler Mars Lumograph Pastel 100P Pencils are professional quality artist’s pastel pencils. They have a special core formulation that is highly pigmented to add depth to the pastel colors and is 3.6mm in diameter. They are available in 6 colors which are:

  • Light Sepia
  • Dark Sepia
  • Umber
  • Sanguine Dry
  • White
  • Lightning Pencil

8. Staedtler Norris 120 Pencils

Staedtler Norris 120 Pencils

Staedtler Norris 120 Pencils are part of the Norris range of pencils these are high-quality everyday pencils and often referred to as their student range as they not quite as good as the professional artists quality pencils in the Mars Lumograph range.

Staedtler Norris 120 Pencils have a special lead formulation that uses a process known as super bonding where the lead core is glued on all sides into its outer wood case. This gives them a high break resistance and they are available in lead grades 2B, B, HB, H, & 2H

9. Staedtler Norris 122 Pencils

Staedtler Norris 122 Pencils

Staedtler Norris 122 Pencils have the distinctive Norris black and yellow livery. The main difference between these and their Noris 120 pencils is that these have a ferrule fitted with a pink latex-free eraser. Also, they are only available with HB lead grade.

10. Staedtler Norris Jumbo 119 Pencils

Staedtler Norris Jumbo 119 Pencils

The Staedtler Norris Jumbo 119 pencils are an oversized graphite pencil with a triangular-shaped barrel and 4.0mm break-resistant HB lead. These pencils are ideal for younger children when they are first learning how to draw and write.

11. Staedtler Norris eco 180 30 Pencils

Staedtler Norris eco 180 30 Pencils

Staedtler Norris eco 180 30 Pencils are made from Wopex which is a combination of wood from sustainably managed forests and plastic which gives the pencils a thick waxy soft feel coating. For those used to using traditional wood pencils, this may not be the pencil for them but they still perform very well for a pencil and have a weightier feel than a pure wooden pencil.

Staedtler Norris eco 180 30 Pencils are available in 5 degrees which are 2B, B, HB, H, and 2H. The wood content of these pencils is from PEFC-certified German forests.

12. Staedtler Norris eco 182 30 Pencils

Staedtler Norris eco 182 30 Pencils

The Staedtler Norris eco 182 30 Pencils are made from Wopex. Unlike the Norris 180 30 pencil, these are fitted with an eraser and are only available with HB lead.

13. Staedtler Carpenters 148 40 Pencil

Staedtler Carpenters 148 40 Pencils

The Staedtler Carpenters 148 40 Pencil is a traditional oval-shaped carpenters pencil that is 175mm in length. It is made from wood that is sourced from FSC-certified, sustainably managed forests

14. Staedtler Neon 180 Pencils

Staedtler Neon 180 Pencils

Staedtler Neon 180 Pencils are made from Wopex and have a brightly neon-colored barrel with HB lead.

15. Staedtler Tradition 110 Pencils

Staedtler Tradition 110 Pencils

Staedtler Tradition 110 Pencils are their 2nd tier pencils they are not quite as good as the Mars Lumograph pencils that are professional quality artist’s pencils. However, they are of better quality than the Staedtler Norris student range of pencils.

These pencils have a distinctive red and black painted barrel and specially formulated high-quality lead that is super bonded giving them high break resistance.  Like all Staedtler wooden pencils, their wood is from sustainably managed forests. There is a choice of 12 graphite grades which are: 6B, 5B, 4B, 3B, 2B, B, HB, F, H, 2H, 3H, and 4H

16. Staedtler ergosoft 157 Coloured Pencils

Staedtler ergosoft 157 Coloured Pencils

Staedtler ergosoft 157 Coloured Pencils are high-quality colored pencils designed for students and adult coloring. They have an ergonomic triangular-shaped barrel and a soft richly colored core. There are 42 different colors in the ergosoft range.

17. Staedtler ergosoft Aquarelle 156 Watercolour Pencils

Staedtler ergosoft Aquarelle 156 Watercolour Pencils

Staedtler ergosoft Aquarelle 156 Watercolour Pencils have an ergonomic triangular-shaped barrel and a water-soluble soft richly colored core. They can either be used dry or blended with water and a brush to create watercolor artistic effects. There are 36 aquarelle colors available and the pencils wood is from sustainably managed forests.

18. Staedtler ergosoft Jumbo 158 Coloured Pencils

Staedtler ergosoft Jumbo 158 Coloured Pencils

Staedtler ergosoft Jumbo 158 Coloured Pencils are jumbo-sized colored pencils with a thick soft core. They have an ergonomic triangular-shaped barrel and are available in a pack containing 12 colors.

19. Staedtler karat Aquarell 125 Watercolour Pencils

Staedtler karat Aquarell 125 Watercolour Pencils

The Staedtler karat Aquarell 125 Watercolour Pencils are a high-quality water-soluble pencil with a hexagonal shaped barrel and soft-colored core. There are 60 colors to choose from and they can be used as either a dry pencil or a watercolor with a brush and a little water applied to the pencils marks on the paper.

20. Staedtler Norris 144 Colored Pencils

Staedtler Norris 144 Colored Pencils

Staedtler Norris 144 Colored Pencils are children’s coloring pencils that are half the length of standard-sized pencils. They have a hexagonal shaped barrel and they are available in packs containing 12 or 24 assorted colors.

21. Staedtler Norris 145 Colored Pencils

Staedtler Norris 145 Colored Pencils

Staedtler Norris 145 Colored pencils are students coloring pencils with a hexagonal shaped barrel. and are available in packs containing 12 or 24 assorted colors.

22. Staedtler Norris Aquarelle 144 Watercolour Pencils

Staedtler Norris Aquarelle 144 10 Watercolour Pencils

Staedtler Norris Aquarelle 144 10 Watercolour Pencils are students water-soluble coloring pencils with a hexagonal shaped barrel. They can either be used dry or blended with water and a brush to create watercolor artistic effects. They are available in packs containing 12 or 24 assorted colors.

23. Staedtler Norris 185 Colored Pencils

Staedtler Norris 185 Colored Pencils

Staedtler Norris 185 Colored Pencils are made from Wopex which is a combination of wood from sustainably managed forests and plastic. They have a hexagonal shaped barrel and are available in 36 colors.

24. Staedtler Norris Jumbo 128 Colored Pencils

Staedtler Norris Jumbo 128 Colored Pencils

Staedtler Norris Jumbo 128 Colored Pencils have a jumbo-sized ergonomic triangular-shaped barrel and are available in a pack of 12  colors.

25. Staedtler Norris Super Jumbo 129 Colored Pencils

Staedtler Norris Super Jumbo 129 Colored Pencils

Staedtler Norris Super Jumbo 129 Colored Pencils have an extra thick barrel and colored core and are ideal for those first learning to write. They are available in a pack of 12 colors.

26. Staedtler Watercolour 146 10C Pencils

Staedtler Watercolour 146 10C Pencils

Staedtler Watercolour 146 10C Pencils are a water-soluble colored pencil with a traditional hexagonal shaped barrel. They have a soft lead that can be used either dry or with water to create watercolor effects. There are 48 colors to choose from.

27. Staedtler 149 10C Coloured Pencils

Staedtler 149 10C Coloured Pencils

Staedtler 149 10C Coloured Pencils are a hexagonal-shaped coloring pencil with a super soft colored core. They are available in sets of 12  or 24 assorted colors.

Staedtler Pencils – Check Prices and Reviews on Amazon

20. Tombow Pencils

Tombow Pencil Product Range

Buy Tombow Pencils on Amazon

Pencil Brand – Tombow
Website – Tombow.com
Manufacture Wooden Pencils – Yes
Manufacture Colored Pencils – Yes
FSC Certified Wood/Sustained Yield – Yes
Type of Wood Used to Make Pencils – Incense Cedar Wood

Tombow is a Japanese stationery manufacturer that life in 1913 when Harunosuke Ogawa opened a shop in Tokyo and started to manufacture his own pencils. Initially, they were made by assembling parts from other manufacturers. Then in 1928, his company opened up a factory where they could manufacturer everything themselves. They adopted the Tombow name and the symbolic dragonfly logo.

Today they manufacture a wide range of stationery products but they are famous for their luxury high-end Mono range of pencils with the Tombow Mono 100 pencil widely regarded as the best pencil in the world. The Tombow 8900 pencils are graded by Japan as a “General Writing Pencil” and are the most popular affordable everyday pencil in Japan. It may be an everyday pencil but the quality is still far superior to a lot of pencils in the U.S so it’s worth checking out if you fancy trying something different to a Ticonderoga or General’s pencil.

1. Tombow 8900 Pencils

Tombow 8900 Pencils

The Tombow 8900 pencil was introduced in 1945 as a top-end pencil for retouching photographs. It is now the best-selling wooden pencil in Japan for office and school use. It is available in 6 graphite grades from 2H – 2B. The pencil has retained to this day its now-iconic olive green barrel and yellow box with a dragonfly logo.

2. Tombow Mono Pencils

Tombow Mono Pencils

Tombow Mono Pencils are the entry-level pencil of the luxury high-quality Mono series of pencils. They are a professional pencil that has Tombow’s proprietary ultrafine particle lead and designed for drafting and drawing.

Tombow wanted a name that reflected the fact these pencils are of superior quality to all other pencils. They settled on the name Mono which is from the Greek word Monos and means unique or incomparable. There are 14 lead grades available which are from 6H – 6B

3. Tombow Mono J Pencils

Tombow Mono J Pencils

The Tombow Mono J pencil is what Tombow describes as their standard pencil that is designed for home, office, and school use. It is available in 9 graphite grades from 4H – 4B

4. Tombow Mono R Pencils

Tombow Mono R Pencils

The Tombow Mono R is their standard pencil for drawing and writing and is available in 7 graphite grades from 2H – 4B. It has ultrafine lead particles that are high density in the lead core making it a smooth drawing pencil with dark lines. The R stands for regular, this pencil is a high-quality pencil that is part of the Luxury Mono range but it is not quite of the same quality as their top of the range Mono 100 Pencils.

5. Tombow Mono 100 Pencils

Tombow Mono 100 Pencils

The Tombow Mono 100 pencil is their top of the range pencil and it has almost legendary status in the world of wood-cased graphite pencils. It was first introduced in 1967 to rival the Mitsibushi Hi Uni that was launched a year earlier in 1966 as the world’s finest pencil. There has been much debate ever since as to which really is the best pencil. Both are exceptional pencils and it probably comes down to personal preference.

The Tombow Mono 100 has their proprietary ultrafine particle graphite that is highly condensed,. When drawing with this pencil it produces smooth dark clear lines. It is available in 17 graphite grades from 9H – 6B.

6. Tombow Mono Calligraphy Pencil

Tombow Mono Calligraphy Pencil

The Tombow Mono Calligraphy Pencil produces very dark marks on paper, it is classed as general writing and is available with either 4B or 6B lead. Its lead core is break-resistant and made from ultrafine particles. The core is 3mm in diameter which is wider than that of standard pencils. This is so that you can draw tome, hane, and harai (stops, hooks, and curves)

7. Tombow Mono Mark Sheet Pencil

Tombow Mono Mark Sheet Pencil

The Tombow Mark Sheet Pencil is specially designed for marking what the Japanese refer to as optical answer sheets but in the west, we use multiple choice answer sheets which are slightly different. The end result is that you want to be leaving a clear dark mark on your answer sheet.

These pencils have an ultrafine HB grade particle graphite core that does not smear and can be cleanly and easily erased if required.

8. Tombow 2558 Pencils

Tombow 2558 Pencils

The Tombow 2558 Pencil is a basic eraser-tipped pencil that is described for office, general, and family use. It is available in H, HB, & B lead grades.

9. Tombow Kimonogatari Recycled Pencils

Tombow Kimonogatari Recycled Pencils

Tombow Kimonogatari Recycled Pencils are an eco-friendly pencil that is made from offcuts of wood and the graphite that is a by-product from the manufacturing process when making their premium Mono pencils.

The wood offcuts are joined together to make the barrel of the pencil using a process that is known as the finger joint technique. Where they are interlocked like fingers to bind the wood in place. Kimonogatari pencils were the first pencil to be given the Eco Mark Certification of having the least impact on the environment.

The pencils have a natural finish and are available in HB, B, and 2B lead grades. Their packaging is made from recycled paper.

10. Tombow 8900 VP Pencils

Tombow 8900 VP Pencils

Tombow 8900 colored pencils are ideal for marking text they are available in either vermillion red, indigo blue, or as a half and half red and blue pencil.

11. Tombow Color Pencils NQ

Tombow Color Pencils NQ 36 Set

Tombow NQ colored pencils are their oldest and best-selling range of pencils that were first introduced in the 1970s. They have high-quality colored cores that produce vivid colors and are smooth drawing with excellent adhesion to the paper.

There are 36 colors and the pencils are available in sets of 12, 24, and 36 as well as a set of 12 mini colors.

12. Tombow Irojiten Colored Pencils

Tombow Irojiten Colored Pencils

Tombow Irojiten Colored Pencils are available in 100 different colors that were inspired by nature. They have a soft well-balanced core and each color represents the name that inspired them such as kingfisher, shell pink, and dandelion.

Tombow Pencils – Check Prices and Reviews on Amazon

If you found this useful or there are any pencils or brands that you think need adding or have any experience using any of these pencils please let me know in the comments.

You may also be interested in:

Wooden Pencils Vs Mechanical Pencils

There are actually 12 different types of pencils to find out more check out The Ultimate Guide to Pencil Types.

10 thoughts on “The Wooden Pencil Brands Ultimate Guide”

  1. I only use pencils for jotting stuff down ( ie i’m not an artist) but have become annoyed why so many seem to have broken leads etc. In looking for info on the web I came across this site – genius! Well done and thanks for the huge effort you must have put in.

    Reply
  2. Can you help please?
    I need a thin pencil to use with a pair of compasses?
    Max diameter 6mm?
    Do you know of any please?

    Reply
  3. Fantastic work. Well done!
    May I suggest adding Viarco (from Portugal)?
    So glad to have stumbled on this blog.
    Congratulations!

    Reply
  4. I extremely appreciate the huge amount of effort in making this, it’s invaluable to have so many different pencils compared without advertising attempts. Thank you so much for making and sharing this catalogue, greetings from Mexico.

    Reply
  5. What about Conte a Paris? Their Pierre a Noir pencils are much used by artists, but their graphite drawing pencils are excellent; I use them as well as the Pierre a Noir. Also known for their Carre Crayons for sketching.

    Reply
  6. Great guide, but one question: One of my all time favorites is the Mirado Black Warrior. I didn’t see any mention of it.

    Reply
    • Hi, thanks for the comment I was not sure if Papermate still make the Mirado Black Warrior but will look into it.

      Reply

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