Tombow Irojiten Colored Pencils

1-30 count pack

Wax core

Round barrel



Great if Using for Intended “Themes”

Beautiful Presentation



Very Poor Color Variety

Somewhat Light Application 

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Tombow Irojiten Colored Pencils Review

Tombow is a Japanese-based company, and from looking at their colored pencils you can definitely feel the Asian heritage injected into them.  Their colored pencil sets range from singles up to 30 pack sets, with the larger sets focusing on certain ideas such as “rainforests” or “woodlands”.  The medium wax core allows for good color application and decent blending.  The addition of additives to the pigment can give off good color, although nothing extraordinary.  The core is wrapped in a round wooden shell.

Visual Appeal – 3/5

The color choices can be quite limiting, even in the largest sets of 30.  This is because they decided to build the sets around certain scenes (in this case “rainforests”, “woodlands”, and “seascapes”).  This is great if you are doing one of these, but what if you want to paint a portrait?  Or a cityscape?  You could run into some major issues with not having the right colors at your disposal.  The core is a “medium” hardness which allows for OK blending and applying various levels of pressure will result in a pretty dynamic range of color depths.  The core could be a bit softer to assist in better blending but it is still serviceable.  However, don’t use the color marked on the pencil as a representation of the actual output because what comes out on the paper can look totally different than what the label shows.

Usability and Durability – 3.5/5

Overall the application process is pretty smooth, albeit a bit waxy.  This makes it much easier to be consistent with color for areas such as skyscapes and smooth, solid surfaces.  The color can be a bit on the light side, so increased pressure might be necessary to get the desired color depths. The core is hard enough to hold up to many application cycles and it sharpens fairly easy.  It would have been nice to have a hexagonal exterior to assist with handling but this is a minor complaint.

Packaging and Presentation – 4.5/5

These pencils come in an attractive case with grooved channels for each pencil.  Depending on which set you go with, the exterior of the case will have a different color tone to it which helps easily identify them and also makes them almost appear like a set of books.  The pencils themselves are very attractive.  They have a white exterior with a colored base for identification purposes (although as mentioned earlier the color doesn’t exactly match what comes out on the paper).  There is also the necessary information stamped on the side of the pencil in silver ink.

Cost – 2.5/5

These pencils are pretty expensive, getting well into the premium range.  This puts them squarely in the price range of many of the top-of-the-line artist pencils on the market.  When you are paying that much for a pencil you should expect a very high-quality product in all accounts.  While these aren’t bad by any means it is hard to make a case for choosing these over some other options if you are looking to spend that much.

Overall Ranking – 3.5/5

An attractive pencil on the outside and not terrible on the inside, but due to lack of exceptional blending, somewhat light colors, and the poor color options in a set, these wouldn’t be at the top of our list for someone looking to purchase some artist-grade pencils.  At this price point, we are allowed to be pickier.  However, the approach is original and with a few small tweaks, this could be a definite buy in our book.

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