Prang Thick Core Colored Pencils Review

Review Summary
3.6/5 Our Score
• Very affordable
• Good color quality
• Various count selections and
available in bulk
• Very hard core; makes the lead
brittle and difficult to sharpen
• Not good for use with delicate paper
• Difficult to blend
• Causes strong wax bloom

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While they definitely embody some of an artists worse tool performance issues, they have great qualities that make them ideal for practicing for aspiring artists and a good choice for kids.
Color Intensity


Prang’s extremely affordable line of thick-cored colored pencils are novice-grade tools with very decent performance, especially for practicing various coloring techniques. Budget-priced and very accessible, these colored pencils are made with an especially thick core to withstand long days in the classroom and many years in your colored pencil drawer.

Prang’s colored pencils are designed with distinguishing durability and are characterized by a 3.3 mm hard wax core encased in a real wood barrel.

Manufactured with non-toxic materials and withholding a high novice-grade performance, these pencils are ideal for children and are used in thousands of schools worldwide.

The line of colored pencils is pretty versatile, with sets of 12, 24, 36, 50, and 288-count pencils. The line has 50 different colors to choose from with the bigger packs containing repetitive colors for convenient use in the classroom.

What They’re Good For

Prang Thick Core colored pencils are made for (and mainly used by) children. Their non-toxic formulation and hefty design make them an ideal tool to use in the classroom or at home. That being said, this brand (and type) is a great tool for beginners as the pencils’ durability, quality, and price make them great practice pencils, especially for techniques such as blending, layering, and shading.

Prang colored pencils also have a very good quality for amateur colorists; their core is very hard. When you move on to more sophisticated colored pencil sets, you’ll find that most of them contain a soft core; this feature allows color to glide smoothly and effortlessly onto the page. A hard-cored lead, while not ideal for high quality pieces, is a great practice tool for pressure control, especially when blending is a matter of light, repetitive strokes. While working with a colored pencil like this can be tedious, the patience pays off in a perfect execution of coloring.

Ratings Breakdown

Prang’s line of thick-core colored pencils are definitely not a premium brand of artist-quality coloring tools, but they certainly perform well above their price tag value.

Lightfastness 2/5

These are novice-grade colored pencils, which means that the colors are prone to fading over time. As opposed to other premium and even scholastic grade colored pencils, these will fade quickly when exposed to sunlight and even without direct exposure.

Durability/ Sturdiness 5/5

This brand of colored pencils is defined by unsurpassed durability. Made with an especially thick core and matching hard lead, these pencils were designed with a non-forgiving classroom environment in mind. Not only are these pencils durable, they are nearly indestructible.

Binder/ Quality 3/5

Prang’s thick-cored colored pencils are made with hard lead and while this may sound like a pretty hefty substance, hard-wax cores tend to be quite brittle and resist sharpening. In addition to the brittle core issue, Prang colored pencils have also been accused of being “too hard” and consequently impressing indentations and lines onto paper. These thick-cored pencils can also outright rip paper if used with a blunted point.

Color Intensity 3/5

Given the tight nature of this pencil’s hard core, it’s quite difficult to get an intense color lay down without leaving indentations on the page. On the other hand, blending to create more intense colors is also a tedious, patience-testing ordeal because light pressure produces very faint shades that must be layered again and again to produce decent color intensity. If you don’t mind hard lines on your paper, then yes, Prang can produce vibrant colors- at the cost of a lot of pressure.

Value 5/5

Prang’s thick-cored colored pencils are a budget friendly buy. Their value-packs make them the cheapest colored pencils on the market and with a quality very similar to Crayola’s basic colored pencils, they are nothing to shake your coloring book at. In terms of getting what you pay for, these colored pencils are what you make them- kids get a decent, non-toxic colored pencil and adults get a great quality practice tool; both consumers get a product that lasts a lifetime.

Final Verdict

Prang Thick Core Colored Pencils are a great colored pencil choice for kids and an even better practicing tool for aspiring artists. While they definitely embody some of an artists worse tool performance issues, they have great qualities that make them ideal for practicing.

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