Our Rating Criteria

Since we are artist ourselves and regular users of pencils for various projects we know what are the things that people tend to look for, what frustrates people, what is important or not and rate the pencils based on 5 major criteria as you can see below.

Explanation of Rating Criteria

Within each type of colored pencil grade, we assign a rating based on a number of individual factors, explained briefly below:lightfastness


Lightfastness is a term used to describe a medium’s permanence over time, especially in the presence of sunlight.

Colored pencils are especially notorious for fading over time however many manufacturers develop their colored pencils to be as lightfast as possible.


Both the casing and color medium are rated for sturdiness. While the classic colored pencil is encased in wood, casings today range from plastic, to paper, to no casing at all.

Sturdiness includes everything from how well a pencil stands up to sharpening to how well-incorporated the medium is within the casing.


The binder is the substance that holds together the pigment and it directly determines how well the color is transferred to a surface. Binders also determine the grade of a colored pencil. There are three types: wax, oil, and water-soluble.

Color Intensity

Color intensity depends on the grade of colored pencil, however there are marked differences within types, depending on the brand of colored pencil.


Also, dependent on the grade of colored pencil, durability consists of how long one pencil within a type will last. For example, while a scholastic grade pencil will last far longer than an artist grade pencil, Brand A artist grade may be more durable than Brand B artist grade.