Milan Colored Pencils

12-24 count pack

Wax core

Triangular barrel

Mid-priced

Pros:

Extremely Tough Lead

Easy to Grip Barrel

Decent Blending Ability

Cons:

Small Set Sizes

Somewhat Small Core Diameters 

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Milan Colored Pencils Review

One of our readers from Australia actually introduced this brand to us as we did not have any experience with them beforehand.  Milan is a Spanish brand and is better-known for their erasers but they do offer a variety of other items as well.  Specifically, they have a few different choices of colored pencil sets that mostly revolve around variations in barrel size and shape.  All of their sets are on the smaller side and are designed for student-level applications.  The main selling points that they go for are their ease of use, optimal barrel shapes, toughness, and reasonable price.

Visual Appeal – 3.5/5

You can immediately tell that these are student-level colored pencils as the leads are a bit on the harder and smaller side.  There is a set that has larger lead diameters (3.3mm to be precise), but this review is using their standard leads which are significantly smaller.  Due to the relatively hard nature, you won’t get the level of color control that you may be used to in some of the creamier and softer leads on the market.  That being said, they do blend surprisingly well for being such a firm core and color output is average to above average of other brands targeted at kids and young students.  This is quite necessary as the set sizes are extremely small, with the largest only being 24 pencils.  The colors to choose from are relatively diverse, with a few choices for greens, blues, and reds.  There is quite a bit lacking in tans and browns which may make coloring faces, animals, etc. a bit difficult.

Usability and Durability – 4/5

As mentioned above, these are very tough colored pencils.  The leads are on the harder side which means that you can put a decent amount of pressure down without having major breakage issues.  This also helps in being able to control your color depths due to altering pressure.  It also means that you can easily sharpen them to a nice point which makes dealing with intricate areas such as hair, blades of grass, etc., much easier.  According to Milan, they also incorporate what they call their LPS (lead protection system) into the pencils.  This further increases the lead resistance to breaking.  We do wish that the lead cores were a bit larger, however.  If you plan on trying to cover large areas with a single color you will find that you are having to make more passes than you may like.  All in all, these are great pencils for somewhat who has a tendency of pushing down really hard on their paper naturally while coloring.  We also like that these come in unique shapes such as triangular and hexagonal.  This not only greatly assists in gripping and control but also stops the pencils from rolling off the table.

Packaging and Presentation – 2.5/5

Similar to many student-oriented colored pencil sets, we are a bit underwhelmed with the packaging that these come in.  Most of Milan’s colored pencil sets will come in flimsy cardboard packaging that does little in the way of protecting the pencils.  We luckily experienced their pencils that come in the optional Flexibox packaging which is a plastic enclosure that not only looks better but also does a much-improved job of protecting the pencils.  As for the pencils themselves, they come in a very standard design that has all of the typical stampings including brand name, color etc.  Since these are designed for students there really isn’t a huge concern in their aesthetics as they will likely be put to heavy use right away.  And even with the pretty standard styling, these pencils’ somewhat unique shape will still make them stand out from a lot of the competition in the looks department.

Cost – 3/5

While these are advertised as being student-level colored pencils they do cost a bit more per pencil than your typical student-grade colored pencils.  This might be because of the smaller set sizes or it might be because of being a less-established colored pencil brand with more relative overhead.  Either way, teachers or parents who are just looking for cheap, durable colored pencils for a classroom or a group of excited kids may simply go with other options since they are much cheaper.  However, these do have a noticeable bump up in both durability as well as in performance which makes their higher asking price somewhat justified.

Overall Ranking – 3.5/5

Milan colored pencils bring us an interesting twist on conventional student-grade colored pencils.  They definitely meet the toughness criteria thanks to their tough and resilient lead but they actually have surprisingly good blending as well.  We also like that they come in triangle shapes that might be easier for kids to handle and also make it easier to keep up with all of the pencils.  Our only minor complaints are in the somewhat lacking set sizes, the relatively small lead diameters, and in the asking price that may be higher than people who are only after absolute budget colored pencils may want to spend.  That being said, for those willing to spend a bit more you will be pleasantly surprised with the added performance you receive.

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