Faber-Castell EcoPencils Colored Pencils
12-24 count pack
Very Smooth Application
Good Color for the Price
A Little Stubborn to Get a Sharp Point
Limited Color Options
Faber-Castell EcoPencils Colored Pencils Review
Last Updated by Brandon F. on 5/9/2021
We tend to focus more heavily on artist-inspired colored pencils reviews, but there are a lot of sets that are more designed for classroom or beginner settings. An example of this type of set that does things well is the Faber-Castell EcoPencils. While the pencils offer up the proven performance that we are used to seeing from Faber-Castell, they also have a unique twist with their triangular ergonomic grip. This makes it easier for smaller hands to hold. And seeing how these are targeted more for beginners, the asking price is quite a bit lower than typical Faber-Castell colored pencils.
Visual Appeal – 3.5/5
We were actually quite impressed with the overall color intensity of these pencils. While they aren’t on the level of the premium Faber-Castell sets, they provide enough color to be more than adequate in a classroom setting. In particular, the reds and oranges seem to pop quite well given this price point.
Color dynamic is about average. We did have a little trouble applying extremely light layers of color. But if you are after more intense color, with proper application pressure, you can get a lot of color on the paper.
Due to the smaller set sizes, there will be noticeable color gaps. Most notable are gaps in the yellows, purples, and “earthy” colors. So if you are wanting a full-color spectrum, you will need to find a larger student set. But if you do want to get this specific set, then we highly recommend spending a little extra for the 24 pack.
The blending is about average. So you may be able to fill in some of the gaps but not to a full extent. But seeing how these pencils are targeted in a beginner setting, having the blending skills to achieve this may be a stretch for many.
The core is pretty waxy. As such, you will find a decent amount of wax bloom when trying to apply multiple layers. This may also play a part in the lightfastness. These pencils don’t have a lightfast rating that we could find but we don’t imagine that it is comparable to the premium Faber-Castell sets.
Usability and Durability – 3.5/5
Probably the most unique characteristic of Faber-Castell EcoPencils is their shape. These come in a triangular barrel. The idea behind this shape is that it makes it easier for smaller hands to hold. For adult hands, the triangular barrel usually has mixed reviews. Some people love it while others can’t hold them for very long periods of time without having rubbing and discomfort.
Core size is about average. So there is a nice balance between being able to put down adequate amounts of colors while also being able to handle more detailed areas when necessary.
The core is also pretty tough. This is important in a classroom setting as newer artists may have a habit of pushing down too hard when coloring. This is thanks to Faber-Castells SV (secure-all) process. Specifically, this is a manufacturing process where the entire length of the pencil is glued. This is allegedly supposed to help minimize breaking and being easier to sharpen.
We definitely saw this in regards to being break-resistant. But we did have some issues sharpening to a fine point. But it may have been related to the pencil sharpener we were using. But in classroom settings, there is no guarantee that the children will have an artist-grade manual pencil sharpener.
That being said, we did seem to get a serviceable point pretty easily. So in other words, you shouldn’t have to remove a lot of pencil to re-sharpen. This should help maximize the life of these pencils.
We did try testing out mixing water/solvents in with the color with mixed results. Some colors seemed to handle it better than others.
As for layering different colors, the more intense color seemed to overpower the lighter color. So you may need to try to mix in some white or lighten it up with a solvent before you will be able to layer well.
Overall, the application of color is quite smooth. Some of the budget pencils we have reviewed have almost a chalky feel when putting down color. That is not the case here. Despite these being somewhat “beginner” pencils, they are a joy to use. And the consistency through the entire core is very similar.
Packaging and Presentation – 3/5
Similar to other budget pencils, the packaging is nothing special. Faber-Castell EcoPencils come in a thin and flimsy cardboard box that will likely be in pieces after a few days in a vibrant school environment. So we recommend having a “plan B” for storing these.
The pencils themselves are surprisingly attractive given their price point. They come with a ribbed barrel with rows and small dots that not only add to grip but also look quite nice. At the base, you will find the pencil type and the Faber-Castell logo. Missing is any information related to lightfast information or color codes but that is the norm for classroom setting colored pencils.
Cost – 4.5/5
One of the biggest selling points (no pun intended) of Faber-Castell EcoPencils is their asking price. These pencils fall comfortably into the budget tier, making them good candidates for educational settings that need to stick to a tight budget. We are glad that Faber-Castell has expanded from their other (much more expensive) offerings to dive into pencils at this price point. Even more impressive is that they managed to retain some of the qualities that you will find in their higher-end pencils.
That being said, these pencils won’t be quite as cheap as the ultra-budget lines from brands like Crayola. And noticeably missing are the 100+ color sets that you will typically find in school settings. But due to how well they handle being sharpened (excluding getting a super sharp point) they may last longer than other budget pencils with typical use.
We also saw the option to buy a 288 count school pack. These aren’t 288 unique colors, but rather a large quantity of the same colors. But there are cost savings on a “per pencil” basis if you go this route.
Overall Ranking – 4/5
We left quite pleased with our experience with Faber-Castell EcoPencils Colored Pencils. For a beginner type of pencil, this set has some qualities that are more common in higher-end pencils. We left impressed with the color intensity and the overall quality and durability of these pencils.
The ergonomic triangular grip, while not for everybody, seem to work well with smaller hands that children have. It also helps these pencils to stand out from the crowd.
Another essential aspect of this tier of pencil is being priced appropriately. And while these pencils are a little more expensive than the cheapest budget lines, they are still priced where a normal classroom could afford them.
There are a few minor complaints, however. Limited set sizes, the stubborn wax bloom, and less than stellar lightfastness are all considerations. But we feel that the positives outweigh the negatives and can recommend this set to beginners or classrooms.