Prismacolor Pencils: They’re a Gamble in Regards to Quality Control

In the last few years or so, the company started making their colored pencils in Mexico and I don’t know what happened but quality became erratic. (I suspect they might have lost some of their more experienced employees?) Regardless of trying these made in Mexico pencils with an array of quality pencil sharpeners both handheld and electric, pencil leads break repeatedly on some pencils, the wood splits, and the leads are not bonded to the wood as they are with some other high quality colored pencils. Some of the colors don’t feel as creamy either.

If you look at reviews on, for example, and they’re one of the sites with the most customer reviews, some customers are happy and some aren’t.

Since the quality control problems are erratic, their quality control issues haven’t hit Prismacolor financially, and therefore they don’t address the quality control issues on their site and things haven’t improved.  Quality is still erratic. Sometimes everything’s fine with their pencils, sometimes people notice the problems mentioned above.

Therefore, buying Prismacolor colored pencils is a bit of a gamble, quality control wise.

I’m so angry that I bought these a few years ago, thinking they had a long standing reputation for turning out high quality pencils. I will never buy art supplies again without researching them and paying closer attention to reviews and talk about their quality.

2 thoughts on “Prismacolor Pencils: They’re a Gamble in Regards to Quality Control

  1. I am comforted about your comment about the quality of Prismacolor Pencils. I was freaking out , not knowing why the lead breaks so often. Until now I believed that It was sort of error with my sharpener
    which is brass. At least I can cope with colored pencils now, I can get intense colors out of them, which I found to be a drawback in the past. I am going to look around your site to see if there is a post about what you consider good pencils. Thank for this post, I am relieved!


    • Prismacolor is the only brand of colored pencils that I presently own and use for drawing with colored pencils, specifically. There were probably my last investment in colored pencils. The CP books I got mentioned them. The authors couldn’t have foreseen the move in manufacturing and resulting drop in quality, I don’t think.

      If I were to get more CPs, however, I’d get Faber-Castell Polychromos…after checking for any recent changes in manufacturing and quality, of course.


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