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The Best Drawing Pencil Sets

Last updated on March 7, 2024
Best Drawing Pencil Set

Our Review Process

Don't Waste Your Money is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to. Learn more.

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Our Picks For The Top Drawing Pencil Sets

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Top Pick

ARTEZA Break Resistant Drawing Pencil Set, 12-Piece

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Break Resistant Drawing Pencil Set, 12-Piece

Whether you're a student in elementary school or an engineer just starting out, you'll find this drawing pencil set is a must-have item. Each set includes 12 pencils, all of which are sharpened and ready for use. The pencils also have a hexagon shape, which makes them easier to grasp and more comfortable to hold.

Overall Take

Must-Have ToolThis drawing pencil set is made using wood and features a #2 break-resistant core.

 Runner Up

Dyvicl Non-Toxic Wood Drawing Pencil Set, 12-Piece


Non-Toxic Wood Drawing Pencil Set, 12-Piece

Great shading and blending capabilities is what you'll get from the pencils in this drawing pencil set. Each of the 12 graphite pencils is pre-sharpened, non-toxic and eco-friendly. Each pencil has a different hardness, allowing you to create a wide variety of drawings.

Overall Take

Another Great ChoiceThe graphite pencils in this drawing pencil set can be used on just about any medium, including traditional and sketchbook paper.

 We Also Like

Castle Art Supplies Step-By-Step Drawing Pencil Set, 40-Piece

Castle Art Supplies

Step-By-Step Drawing Pencil Set, 40-Piece

The 40-piece drawing pencil set has 12 graphite pencils, four pastel pencils, three charcoal pencils (soft medium, hard varieties), one soft graphite sketching pencil, two paper blending stumps, a pencil extender, four charcoal willow sticks, three charcoal sticks, three graphite sticks, one pencil sharpener, one two-hole sharpener, and two erasers...

Overall Take

Take It With YouThe travel-friendly kit has all of the essential graphite, pastel and charcoal pencils for drawing, shading, blending and sketching.

 Strong Contender

Prismacolor Premier Ultra-Smooth Drawing Colored Pencil Set, 150-Piece


Premier Ultra-Smooth Drawing Colored Pencil Set, 150-Piece

Whether you're an artist looking for premium colored pencils or a mom with several children, this extra-large set is an excellent choice. It includes 150 pencils with rich pigments that really make your creations come alive. Their thick cores also allow for implementing special techniques, like shading and shadowing.

Overall Take

Extra-Big SetIf options is what you're looking for, this colored drawing pencil set with 150 unique shades is your best bet.

Buying Guide

Pencils, one of the most essential tools of human written communication, are also universal tools for sketching, drawing and shading.  Drawing pencils are produced in several different graphite grades, allowing the user to produce everything from fine lines to textured shading. The grades can range from 4H to 12B, with B-grade numbers indicating the graphite’s level of blackness or softness and H-grade numbers indicating its level of hardness. Pencils with a higher H number will create cleaner, lighter tones that are less susceptible to smudging, while pencils with a higher B number produce richer, darker tones that are ideal for shading.

Pencil sets include a collection of varying lead grades, so you can use different tones to create depth and dimension. Gauging your volume of usage is the first step to determining which pencil set is right for you. For example, if you just need pencils for stretching out ideas or causal doodling, a 40-piece art set may not be necessary. Those kits, which can include items like charcoal pencils, multiple erasers and sharpeners, and shading tools, are better suited for more complex art projects.

What to Look For

  • Pencils with a hexagonal casing have well-defined edges that make them easy to grip, giving users superior control. They also won’t roll off your work surface as easily.
  • Look for pencil sets that are made from non-toxic, eco-friendly materials.
  • For beginner sketchers, some artists recommend using H-scale pencils as a foundation for your drawings, then finishing with darker B-scale pencils.
  • Gripping the pencil as close to the point as possible will give you more control but will produce heavier, darker lines.
  • To avoid smudging your work, place an extra piece of paper under your hand and consider using a blending stick for smoother shading.

More to Explore

  • In the late 18th century, French inventor and artist Nicolas-Jacques Conté created the mixture of clay and graphite used in modern pencils. In 1870, English philosopher and theologian Joseph Priestley uncovered the erasing properties of rubber, leading to the development of modern erasers.
  • How do pencils and erasers work? The graphite center of the writing and drawing tool mingles with paper’s fiber particles erasers remove the markings using sticky polymers that adhere to the graphite.

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