Koh-i-noor Polycolor Colored Pencils Review
Another oil-based offering from Koh-i-noor, these colored pencils capture the most colors of any pencil that the company offers. Sets range up to 36 pieces with a nice variety of choices. The special oils in the lead, along with other binders, allow for dense, thick strokes without having to apply significant amounts of pressure. This is important since these are notorious for being quite fragile. Also, despite nice application, colors can seem to run together. They have a hexagonal outer wood shell.
Visual appeal – 3/5
The oil-based lead really goes down smoothly and creates nice, consistent color. Blending is decent, although not quite as good as some of the competition out there with much softer (often wax) leads. A nice range of light and dark application exists by varying pressure, so a given color is quite versatile. However, there isn’t a lot of variety between similar colors. All of the oranges tend to look the same when put on paper, so your potential 36 choices actually feels like a lot less.
Usability and Durability – 2.5/5
Strokes are smooth and easy, although I wouldn’t go so far as to call it buttery. Being a relatively hard, oil-based lead it is somewhat easy to get a nice, sharp point which helps in doing highly detailed areas. Unfortunately, these pencils are quite fragile and breaking the tips during use is rather common, especially if you aren’t careful with how hard you are pushing down. The results can almost feel chalk-like. In addition, simply dropping these or being too forceful with them when inserting back in the container can result in breakage, so extra caution should be taken to help preserve the life of the pencil.
Packaging and presentation – 3.5/5
These sets primarily come in a tin container, although I have seen them come in a cardboard and even wood box as well. The tin or wood box is definitely preferred to help protect these due to how fragile they are. The pencils themselves are pleasant looking with color-coordinated exteriors, gold lettering, and a nice gold accent at the base. For the price they definitely fit the part nicely.
Cost – 3/5
Depending on packaging and quantity, these will be in the mid to premium-priced range.. This is a good price for an intermediate-level pencil with decent performance. The only main concern is that it might be difficult to get the full life out of some of some of the pencils due to how fragile they are, which would obviously mean looking into replacements sooner than anticipated.
Overall Ranking – 3/5
Another solid but not spectacular offering, there is nothing this set does terribly wrong but nothing stands out as being out of this world either. For the price it is a solid option that will give you good color manipulation, although the color selection will be a bit limited. Also it would have be nice if they could take a bit more abuse.