Faber-Castell Polychromos Colored Pencils

1-120 count pack

Oil core

Round Barrel



Fantastic Color Intensity

Good Blending

Great Color Selection

Impressive Packaging


Pretty Expensive 

Check Current Prices on Amazon

Faber-Castell Polychromos Colored Pencils Review

One of Faber-Castell’s primary offerings, these oil-based colored pencils emboss the fantastic quality that we have come to expect from this company.  The unique core design results in a thick, pigmented application that is right at home with aggressive blending and shading.  The color manages to feel soft and thick while still being easy to work with.  With a huge color choice of up to a 120 set available, just about any color approach imaginable can be achieved with these.  The hearty core is wrapped around in a round wooden exterior.

Visual Appeal – 4.5/5

Color-wise there isn’t much that can beat these.  The color is mostly true-to-form and what you see on the outside of the pencil is what you get.  Depending on the application, you can get deep colors with a fantastic intensity.  Blending is quite good although, being an oil-based pencil, the assistance of turpentine/thinner is recommended.  Polychromos literally means “many colors” and this name is quite accurate as you can go from singles all the way up to the 120-piece behemoth set.  There are some minor complaints with the smaller sets of there not being a good representation of the entire color wheel, however.  But with the blending that is available, you still have plenty of flexibility even in the smaller sets.

Usability and durability – 4/5

The oil-based core manages to be quite strong while still having a soft feel to it.   The application is a joy and exploring the different characteristics of the color on the paper never gets old.  Blending will be greatly assisted with the help of a thinner, however, so this needs to be considered before going to work with these.  That being said, you can still blend successfully without the assistance of paint thinner if necessary.  The cores can also be sharpened to a decent point thanks to their strength.

Packaging and Presentation – 5/5

The smaller sets come in a sturdy metal tin with individual compartments for each pencil.  The larger sets (72 and 120) can also be had in a gorgeous wooden case.  The pencils themselves have a thick, round color-matching exterior with attractive gold labeling and band on the base.

Cost – 3.5/5

These pencils are definitely in the premium group of offerings and their price reflects this.  Prices per pencil go well into the premium price range, especially with the optional wood case.   For some people, this might be too much for what amounts to a casual hobby but for those professionals who want some of the best, you have to pay to play.

Overall ranking – 4.5/5

The Polychromous series has been a proven main offering from Faber-Castell for hundreds of years, and their approach hits on all points.  For those who can handle the sticker shock, these oil-based pencils will be a joy to use: great color, usability, packaging, and construction.  There really aren’t any major (or even minor) downfalls with this set other than the asking price, which we feel is completely worth it.  We encourage yout to save up and check them up for yourself.

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