Koh-i-noor Progresso Woodless Colored Pencils

12-24 count pack

Pigmented lead core

No barrel

Mid to premium-priced


Well-controlled Color Intensity

Ability to Lay Down A lot of Color

Decent Price


 Not Very Many Color Choices

Somewhat Fragile 

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Koh-i-noor Progresso Woodless Colored Pencils Review

A unique offering by Koh-i-noor, these colored pencils contain no outside wood body and, instead, the entire diameter is usable pigmented lead.  The lead is injected with special oils so as 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 really lay down some intense hues when you want.  The lead isn’t quite as hard as some of the higher-end brands so mixing and blending isn’t as easy (still not bad), but this is partially due to the fact that there is no hard wood 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.

Usability and durability – 3.5/5

These 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 really 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.

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 they outside obviously matches that actual color.  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 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

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.

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