Saturday, August 11, 2007

Prismacolor pencils

I ran across this info on the Prismacolor site, and thought I'd post it here. Probably my only frustration with the pencils is the tendency for the leads to break when sharpening. This info is in their FAQ:

When first getting your colored pencil set, it is best to sharpen all of your pencils and from then on, keep them sharpened. Since the "leads" are colored pigment in a wax base, care should be taken and one should not use excessive pressure or "force" when sharpening. Some members of the Colored Pencil Society of America (CPSA) suggest keeping your pencils extremely sharp. Using an electric sharpener quite frequently shaves off only a bit of wood each time (as compared to letting the pencil get extremely dull and then grinding it down about a half an inch).

Another suggestion is to use an electric sharpener initially and then afterwards, sharpen your pencil manually with a handheld sharpener. We offer a manual Prismacolor sharpener (item no.24188) for this purpose. Cosmetic sharpeners (the kind used for pencil eyeliner, for example) can also be effective. If you decide to use a hand sharpener, it is less stressful on the pencil to hold it vertically in the hand sharpener. Please note that the more common method of holding it horizontally with a natural wrist action causes stress on the colored core and thinner wood near the top.

If your pencil splinters when sharpening, evaluate the force you are using, how you are holding the pencil when sharpening and check that you are using a sharp sharpener. If a particular pencil is breaking, you may want to try a larger opening sharpener, which can be a little gentler. know what I did yesterday...! By the way, speaking of Prismacolor pencils, if you're like me and have to have aaaaaaaaaaaaaaallllllllllllllllll the colors in the world...the Lightfast line of pencils has quite a lot of colors that are not in the Premiere line.


  1. Thanks for posting this, Dina! I am forever trying to find a way to sharpen my beloved pencils...I just can't use a handheld cause I break them all!! I've found that old old electric sharpeners work best.

  2. Good info, some of which I didn't know, and will try... But the Colored Pencil Society of America?!? I find this hysterical!

  3. Very helpful into - thanks for posting this!

  4. Thanks for the sharpening info. I have their sharpener. Didn't know about the vertical vs horizontal hand hold.