Koh-I-Noor Progresso Woodless Colored Pencils Review

Review Summary
3.6/5 Our Score
• Dispenses a lot of color with
minimal pressure
• Enables different coloring
• Fairly cheap
• Basic novice grade performance
• Tricky to sharpen
• Not good for detailed work

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If you're looking for a good basic colored pencil, this woodless one from Koh-i-Noor is great value.
Color Intensity


Koh-I-Noor Progresso colored pencils distinguish themselves from the bunch via a self-descriptive lack of wood. Instead of being encased in a wooden barrel like traditional colored pencils, these have a thin lacquer coating around a core that contains five times more lead than regular colored pencils.

Woodless colored pencils, while markedly different than their wood-encased counterparts, are not really that much different than a regular colored pencil. Actually, the lead composition is nearly identical. The difference however, lies in the application and manipulation of coloring techniques you are able to achieve, given that each surface of this pencil dispenses color.

What They’re Good For

Other than the fact that these colored pencils contain no wood, the lead performs like a basic colored pencil-  think Crayola or Prang for reference.

These are novice-grade colored pencils and while they lend better to specialized techniques given the amount of surface area available, they are still basic colored pencils susceptible to wax-bloom and poor blending.

While you can sharpen this pencil to a fine point, they are best used for covering large areas. With careful pressure, they can be blended and layered, but it takes more effort than a softer-cored pencil.

Ratings Breakdown

Woodless colored pencils are definitely fun to work with, but they are not necessarily different than any other basic colored pencil. There are some advantages to using them however and Koh-I-Noor makes a good quality pencil to work with.

Lightfastness 3/5

While Koh-I-Noor makes a good colored pencil, the lightfastness rating is quite low as the pencil is not professional grade. That being said, the colors themselves are not faint and do not fade quickly.

Sturdiness/ Durability 3/5

Woodless colored pencils are basically lead covered in lacquer. This means that there is no protective wood casing and no binding substance, making for a sturdy feeling, but quite fragile pencil. On the good hand, if the pencil does break, you’re not losing a significant amount of lead- simply sharpen the blunt end, and you’re good to go!

Binder/ Quality 4/5

Koh-I-Noor Progresso colored pencils are made with a wax-based binder, and a similar formula to other basic colored pencils like Crayola or Prang. For a novice-grade colored pencil, these are very good quality and available in 24 different colors.

Color Intensity 4/5

Available in 12 basic colors and a complete set of 24, there isn’t much variety. That being said, the color intensity depends on the pressure you apply.

Value 4/5

Priced in the low to mid price range, these are very affordable pencils, especially given that you’re getting five times the lead than you would get from a regular colored pencil.

Final Verdict

If you’re going to choose a basic colored pencil, woodless ones have certain appealing traits. The fact that they are pure lead means that they can be used in different ways, for different coloring techniques. Additionally, if you’re looking for a good basic colored pencil, a woodless one is great value.

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