Koh-i-noor Polycolor Colored Pencils Review

Visual Appeal
Overall Ranking

Koh-i-noor Polycolor Colored Pencils

12, 36, 48, and 72 count pack

Oil core

Hexagonal barrel

Mid to premium-priced


Decent Color Consistency

Good for Doing Highly Detailed Areas


 Tips Break Easily

Not A lot of Color Selection

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Koh-i-noor Polycolor Colored Pencils Review

Updated by Brandon F. on September 5, 2023

The Koh-i-noor Polycolor Colored Pencils are another oil-based offering from the popular online company, these colored pencils capture the most colors of any pencils from this brand and could be considered their premium set.  Sets range up to 72 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 the impressive application, colors can seem to run together.  They have a hexagonal outer wood shell.

Visual appeal – 3/5

The oil-based lead goes down smoothly and creates a nice, consistent color.  Blending is decent, although not quite as good as some of the competition out there with much softer (often wax) leads.  There is a nice range of light and dark applications that exist by varying pressure, so a given color is quite versatile and can be used in a host of applications.

However, there isn’t a lot of variety between similar colors and you may end up wishing that there was less overlap.  For instance, all of the oranges tend to look the same when they are put on paper, so your potential 36 choices feel like a lot less.  Similar to other Koh-i-noor sets, we wish there were some larger sets to choose from.  There are noticeable gaps in purples while a much larger selection of oranges and blues.

Usability and Durability – 2.5/5

Strokes are smooth and easy with Koh-i-noor Polycolor Colored Pencils, although we 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.  This will be reflected in the application and also their “feel” while using these colored pencils.  Simply dropping these or being too forceful with them when inserting them back in the container can result in breakage, so extra caution should be taken to help preserve the life of the pencil.

The oil core allows you to put out quite a bit of color and it can also work with various solvents.  Using a Prismacolor solvent, for instance, these had instances where they almost reminded us of a watercolor pencil.  And as we mentioned above, you can manipulate how light or dark you go with a pencil.  So for those who are good a shading and transitioning, you will be able to show off your skills with these.

Packaging and Presentation – 3.5/5

These sets primarily come in a tin container, although we have seen them come in cardboard and even wood boxes as well.  The tin or wood box is 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 fit the part nicely.  We also like the large font that makes it easy to identify the brand, pencil type, and color.

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 the pencils due to how fragile they are, which would mean looking into replacements sooner than anticipated.  Also, if you can snag a set with the tin case, it helps to justify the price even more (compared to the much cheaper-looking cardboard box).

Overall Ranking – 3/5

The Koh-i-noor Polycolor Colored Pencils are another solid but not spectacular offering.  There is nothing this set doly wrong but nothing stands out as being out of this world either.  Bright spots include having good color control and attractive styling while some concerns include the reliability of the pencil and the lack of certain colors. 

Depending on what price you find these for, they may either be a soft recommendation for us are a soft pass.  If this company manages to work on its color selection and pencil durability, we would be more confident recommending them to you.

BestColoredPencils tests and reviews colored pencils and more to find the best products for you. When readers buy our reviewed picks, we earn affiliate commissions that help support our work.
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