Top 5 Best Pencils For Drawing

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The 5 Best Pencils for Drawing

The best pencils for drawing will take your art to the next level. Even if you were already crafting beautiful works of art before, they can still be improved if you switch to better quality pencils. Working with the best tools is a must for any artist, but it can be difficult to find those tools. Keep reading for pencils for drawing reviews and ratings.

Top 5 Pencils for Drawing Reviews

Editor’s PicksBrandRating *
Best ChoiceCastle Art Supplies Graphite Drawing Pencils and Sketch Set♥♥♥♥♥
Premium PickCaran D’ache Graphite Line Gift Box Set♥♥♥♥♥
Best ValuePrismacolor Premier Graphite Drawing Pencils with Erasers & Sharpeners♥♥♥♡♡
Runner UprOtring Rapid PRO Mechanical Pencil in Silver Chrome♥♥♥♥♡
Honorable MentionArteza Drawing Artist Sketching Tools with 20 Graphite & 4 Charcoal Sketch Pencils♥♥♥♥♡
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* Ratings are determined using our specialized rating system.

Regardless of whether you’re a veteran artist or someone who’s just getting started, you will need high-quality drawing implements to produce high-quality work. Searching for the top options can take a lot of time, which is why I’ve highlighted some of the standouts in this article. Learn more about the top five best pencils for drawing by checking out the reviews below.

★ Best Choice
Best Choice for Best Pencils for Drawing: Castle Art Supplies Graphite Drawing Pencils and Sketch Set

The Castle Art Supplies Graphite Drawing Pencils and Sketch Set features the best pencils for drawing because they feature non-slip grips help you hone your drawing techniques and come in a set of 20 pencils.

The Castle Art Supplies Graphite Drawing Pencils and Sketch Set features 20 different pencils including graphite pencisl, pastel pencils, and charcoal pencils. One pencil is never enough if you want to create a professional piece, and this set gives you plenty of choice when you need to reach for a specific pencil grade.

The graphite pencils range from 5H all the way up to 8B. On top of that, this set also includes other handy tools to help your drawings such as a pencil sharpener, kneaded eraser, paper blending stumps, and more. On top of that, everything can be easily taken on the go in the portable zipper case.

Pros

  • 20 different pencils included
  • Pencils feature a non-slip grip
  • Charcoal and graphite sticks provided
  • Set includes portable zipper case

Cons

  • Erasers and sharpeners included do not work well
♛ Premium Pick
Premium Pick for Best Pencils for Drawing: Caran D'ache Graphite Line Gift Box Set

The Caran D’ache Graphite Line Gift Box Set has the best pencils for drawing because they are well-crafted, and the set comes with 18 pencils as well as a pencil sharpener and eraser.

The Caran D’ache Graphite Line Gift Box Set comes with 15 graphite pencils ranging from 4H to 9B. You can tell which hardness a pencil is just by looking at it because each pencil shaft is colored relative to its hardness, with lighter colors being softer leads. This is extremely handy when the pencils are all mixed up on your desk and you don’t want to sort through them to find the 3B.

This set also includes several water-soluble pencils if you want to try a new technique on your work. On top of that, it also includes a smudge stick, eraser, sharpener, and other tools. With its pristine layout, this pencil set makes a fantastic gift for artists.

Pros

  • 18 different pencils included
  • Graphite pencils range from 4H to 9B
  • Water-soluble pencils present in the kit
  • Eraser and sharpeners included are of good quality

Cons

  • Included carrying case can be damaged easily
$ Best Value
Budget Choice for Best Pencils for Drawing: Prismacolor Premier Graphite Drawing Pencils with Erasers & Sharpeners

The Prismacolor Premier Graphite Drawing Set contains the best pencils for drawing for those who want to save on their art supplies. In this case, the savings you receive do not come at the cost of quality or quantity.

You can experiment with a wide variety of drawing techniques with the help of the Prismacolor Premier Graphite Drawing Pencils with Erasers & Sharpeners. For starters, you get three distinct types of pencils: seven traditional drawing pencils, three water-soluable pencils, and four woodless graphite pencils.

This kit shows you that you don’t have to spend a fortune in order to obtain the best pencils for drawing. If you’re new to drawing with graphite, this is the perfect set to start with, but you might want to also get a blender. Aside from the pencils, you should also get good use out of the steel sharpener and sanding board included.

Pros

  • 14 different pencils included
  • Water-soluble and woodless graphite pencils allow you to use more techniques
  • Sharpener and sanding board are useful additions
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • Erasers included do not work as well as the other items
♥ Top Pick
Runner Up for Best Pencils for Drawing: rOtring Rapid PRO Mechanical Pencil in Silver Chrome

The rOtring Rapid PRO Mechanical Pencil in Silver Chrome shows you that the best pencils for drawing can also be innovative and unconventional. If you want a mechanical pencil that will last for a long time, this could be the item you need.

If you want to try a mechanical pencil for drawing, the rOtring Rapid PRO Mechanical Pencil in Silver Chrome might be for you. Traditional pencils are not the only options for artists, and you can miss out if you disregard them automatically. This rOtring mechanical pencil features a sliding sleeve and cushioned lead advance mechanism that help make drawing easier.

The non-slip, knurled grip makes using this mechanical pencil a breeze, and its hexagonal shaft keeps it in place when you set it on your table. This pencil also features a built-in eraser and sharpener that is hidden under the metal cap. You’re also given a limited warranty, which protects your investment. The limited warranty is good for two years from the original purchase date.

Pros

  • Design of the mechanical pencil promotes comfort while working
  • Knurled grip makes the pencil easier to hold
  • Hexagonal shape prevents the pencil from rolling off tables

Cons

  • Built-in eraser and sharpener are not very useful
♥ Top Pick
Honorable Mention for Best Pencils for Drawing: Arteza Drawing Artist Sketching Tools with 20 Graphite & 4 Charcoal Sketch Pencils

The Arteza Drawing Artist Sketching Tools with 20 Graphite & 4 Charcoal Sketch Pencils provides the best pencils for drawing because you have so 24 pencils to choose from, and it also comes with other useful accessories.

The Arteza Drawing Artist Sketching Tools with 20 Graphite & 4 Charcoal Sketch Pencils comes with a total of 24 pencils. Included in this set are 18 graphite pencils that range from 4H to 14B. Add to those three charcoal pencils, two woodless pencils, and one white charcoal pencil. You won’t run out of the best pencils for drawing by purchasing this kit.

The fineliner pen included can also be used to create more detailing in your pieces. I also like the addition of the hobby knife as that’s not something you typically see in these art sets. The set also comes wiht a metal pencil sharpener, two erasers, and a small brush for sweeping away eraser dusts.

Pros

  • 24 different pencils included
  • Graphite pencils go from 4H to 14B
  • Fineliner pen also provided
  • Hobby knife is an atypical but useful addition

Cons

  • Sharpener included doesn’t work very well

Features to Consider for the Best Pencils for Drawing

What you see as the best pencils for drawing will still hinge largely on your preferences. That said, there are certain qualities that can determine how well a pencil performs and you need to be cognizant of them before making any purchase.

Consider the factors mentioned below while shopping and reading pencils for drawing reviews, so that you can find a high quality set of pencils that also suits your preferences.

Pencil Type

There are four common types of drawing pencils: standard graphite pencils, charcoal pencils, mechanical pencils, and colored pencils. So, which among them are the best pencils for sketching?

Charcoal pencils are best for creating bold marks on the drawing surface while mechanical pencils are somewhat similar to pens in that they excel at detailing. Colored pencils are best for finishing up your creations if you want a splash of color. When it comes to versatility, you cannot go wrong with graphite pencils and you need to have them in your toolset.

Variety of Pencils

If you’re putting money down for a drawing pencil set, you need to get a great return on your investment. What that means is that the set should contain a wide variety of pencils.

We’re not just talking about quantity here. The set should also feature pencils that vary in terms of where they end up along the grading scale. If you have pencils that run the gamut of the grading scale, that will allow you to feature a greater variety of sketches and techniques.

Some sets even come with different styles of pencils such as woodless pencils or water-soluble pencils. If you want to get the most out of making washes with water-soluble pencils, make sure you get a watercolor brush. These brushes use special bristles that hold a lot more water than other paint brushes, making them great for putting down washes of color, or in this case, pencil lead.

Pencil Shape

The shape of the pencil you’re using matters because it can affect your level of comfort. A misshapen pencil can be incredibly difficult to use, especially during those marathon drawing sessions.

The good news is that most of the pencils included in art sets are shaped properly. The round and hexagonal pencils are particularly sought after because they are easy to grip. I would lean towards using hexagonal pencils more often and that’s because they don’t roll around as much.

Accessories

Finding the best art pencils should obviously be your priority, but since you’re purchasing a set, you might as well look for one loaded with useful accessories too.

Erasers and sharpeners are common inclusions, but I would prioritize finding a set bundled together with a quality carrying case because that’s more valuable. You can find good erasers and sharpeners pretty easily, but a reliable carrying case is not quite as common.

Benefits of Using Pencils for Drawing

Investing in the best pencils is going to be beneficial to you both short and long-term. They can make your daily life easier while also aiding in your growth as an artist.

The entries below are just some of the most notable benefits you can receive from using the best artist pencils.

Pencils Are Easier to Travel With

While there are travel watercolor kits and portable easels for drawing, very few art supplies come close to the portability of a set of pencils. Even if your pencil set doesn’t come with a convenient carrying case, you can easily just wrap a rubber band around them, toss them in your bag, and take them anywhere. The same definitely can’t be said for airbrush kits.

Pencils Allow You to Experiment

Experimentation will help you grow as an artist, and pencils are great for that. If you’re interested in seeing how a technique works for a particular piece, you can try it out. You can always erase the mark you made if you feel that the technique does not work with the rest of the piece. Break out your favorite poseable artist mannequin and start learning some new dynamic poses.

Pencils Are Great for Practicing

Younger artists in particular can benefit a lot from using the best drawing pencils because it will help them grow. They can let their creativity loose and then make tweaks later by erasing elements that should not be on the paper. As you continue drawing with pencils, you’ll learn how to use techniques better and also discover the finer points of self-editing. Also, because you’re working with monochrome, you don’t have to spend quite as much time learning about color theory.

Precautions of Using Pencils for Drawing

After finally getting your hands on the best pencils for drawing, the last thing you obviously want is to wear them down too quickly. With that in mind, I’ve included some tips that should help preserve the longevity of your preferred drawing instruments.

Store Your Pencils Properly

Compared to pens for drawing and markers for drawing, storing pencils is significantly easier. You can use all kinds of household items such as old jars, clean cans, and glasses to hold your pencils. If you want to invest in a pencil case or box, you can do that too.

Since most drawing pencil sets are sold together with carrying cases, you can just use those as your storage units. You should also take care not to place your colored pencils in a spot that is exposed to sunlight. Prolonged exposure could cause the colors to fade.

Be Careful When Sharpening

Improper sharpening can deal significant damage to a pencil. If the tip does not come out right, you may have to sharpen it again, thus reducing its lifespan even further. Electric pencil sharpeners are good to have around because they pair well with the best drawing pencils. Follow the instructions detailed in the manual regarding how to sharpen a pencil to get the best results.

Conclusion

We got to look at a bunch of great products in these pencils for drawing reviews, but the Castle Art Supplies Graphite Drawing Pencils and Sketch Set are definitely the best pencils for drawing. When you buy these pencils, you’re getting a wide variety of high quality pencils from that set, and they are all comfortable to use. Plus, the portable zipper case is a really handy addition that should prove useful to you on more than a few occasions.