Koh-i-noor Progresso Woodless Colored Pencils
12-24 count pack
Pigmented lead core
Mid to premium-priced
Well-controlled Color Intensity
Ability to Lay Down A lot of Color
Not Very Many Color Choices
Koh-i-noor Progresso Woodless Colored Pencils Review
Updated by Brandon F. on July 1, 2020
A unique offering by Koh-i-noor, the Progresso colored pencils contain no outside wood body and, instead, the entire diameter is usable pigmented lead. The lead is injected with special oils to allow dense, lively strokes of color to come off when applied to paper.
The large 7.6mm diameter lead tip means that you can produce a lot of color with these and cover a lot of areas. However, not having the wood outer layer does mean these aren’t quite as strong as conventional pencils. Packs come in 12 to 24.
Visual Appeal – 3.5/5
Overall the color layers smoothly and easily. The intensity range is pretty well-controlled by altering how much pressure you apply, and it can lay down some intense hues when you want. And for those times when you want a lighter result, simply let off some of the application pressure some.
The lead isn’t quite as hard as some of the higher-end brands so mixing and blending aren’t as easy (still not bad), but this is partially because there is no hardwood frame to support super soft lead. The color options are a bit limited, with a majority of the 12-pack options being all the same color and the largest variety pack only being 24.
Because of the limited color options, you will likely have to have a supplemental set that has more of the colors you will need on a more complex art piece. Noticeably missing are more earthy color options as well as colors for landscapes.
Usability and durability – 3.5/5
The Koh-i-noor Progresso Woodless Colored Pencils are quite versatile in that you can take advantage of their large surface area to cover a lot of space quickly and easily, or you can sharpen them to a fine tip to focus in on more detailed areas. However, the weak point is that these are a lot more fragile than conventional pencils since they do not have a wood outer layer.
This means that if you push down hard with these they can deteriorate quickly at the tip at best and completely break in half at worst. Thankfully the color comes off well enough that extreme pressure doesn’t have to generally be applied to get the results you want but it is still important to take extra care with these. Overall, the color isn’t too bad about getting off on your hands while holding either.
Another cool feature is that you can wear the point down so that it covers a large amount of surface area. This results in an enormous application tip. This allows you to be able to cover very large amounts of a surface in short order. This is perfect for drawing skies and other solid colored objects.
Packaging and presentation – 3.5/5
They come in a sleeved cardboard box with corrugated plastic for each pencil. While nothing overly fancy, it gets the job done. The pencils themselves are just one giant piece of lead and nothing else so the outside matches the actual color that is put on paper. There is no identification on them, however. Lacking identification is something we wish Koh-i-noor would implement in future revisions as this makes color recognition much easier.
Cost – 4/5
These are typically in the mid to premium price. This is a pretty good deal considering how much color output you are getting with each pencil. You will be able to cover a lot more area and do a lot more work with each example than you would with a conventional, wood-encompassed product.
Beyond raw output, the nice color intensity, relatively decent blending ability, and good layering are additional aspects that support this purchase. It would be nice to have a few more colors to choose from, though.
Overall Ranking – 3.5/5
The Koh-i-noor Progresso Woodless Colored Pencils are a solid choice for both beginners and intermediate users that are looking to get a lot of color for their purchase. No major complaints and a good price point make these a recommended offering. However, there is a lack of color options. Also, you will likely need an additional set of support pencils for those times when this amount of color coverage isn’t necessary or you simply want a smaller tip that allows for better application control.