Best Pastel Pencils: Top 7 Brands Compared & Reviewed In 2022

Michael Daly
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Wondering what is the best pencil to buy? Or perhaps, you want a new pencil sharpener to help you with your craft work.

Either way, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve researched the market and tested the most popular pencils and sharpeners to come up with our top 7 best brands that are available right now.

Carb-O Pncl Set 24Best OverallCarb-O Pncl Set 24
Sandpaper SharpenerBudget PickSandpaper Sharpener
Derwent Pastel PencilsUpgrade PickDerwent Pastel Pencils

1. Carb-O Pncl Set 24

Our rating: 9 / 10

Carb-O Pncl Set 24

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  • Nany color options
  • Great price for this many pencils
  • Takes standard universal lead

Stnled Czen Color: Primary

For most adult coloring books and similar products like adult coloring pages, you want to have pencils that are soft and a sharp point that will give you the most detail possible. While these pencils have a very hard lead and are difficult to sharpen, what they lack in those areas they make up for in great colors and the wide variety of different shades to choose from.

These pencils don’t come pre-sharpened, which means that for about the same amount of money you can get pencils that are already sharp, you will have to do the sharpening yourself. While this is a bit frustrating and takes a bit of time, it is pretty trivial considering the large number of pencils in this set and the great price you’re getting for them.

2. Faber-Castel FC112160 Pitt Pastel Pencils in A Metal Tin

Our rating: 9 / 10

Faber-Castel FC112160 Pitt Pastel Pencils in A Metal Tin

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  • Nice variety of colors
  • Smooth texture
  • Contains high quality lead
  • Great value for the price
  • Opaque and don't break easily

3. General Pencil 4400-12A General's Pastel Chalk Pencils

Our rating: 9 / 10

General Pencil 4400-12A General's Pastel Chalk Pencils

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  • Wide range of colors
  • Available in a variety of sizes and thickness
  • Relatively reasonable price tag


  • Chalks break very easily
  • A few complaints about poor quality
  • Colors have been reported to separate and bleed


4. KOH-I-NOOR Artist's Soft Pastel Pencil Set

Our rating: 9 / 10

KOH-I-NOOR Artist's Soft Pastel Pencil Set

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If you’re looking for high-quality pastel pencils at a pretty low price point, the Koh-I-Noors are a great option. They’re great for coloring, shading, blending, and shading. They’re also great for creating pastel paintings.

These watercolors are on the softer side and come in a rich variety of colors. You can blend them easily with other colors and keep the color intensity by brushing them with a paper towel. You can apply the pastel with the pressure of a stump.

Summing things up, these are some pretty high-quality pastel pencils at a pretty low price point. The included color palette is pretty extensive, and can likely accomplish pretty much anything you want to do with them.

5. Derwent Pastel Pencils

Our rating: 8 / 10

Derwent Pastel Pencils

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  • Choose from a big variety of colors
  • Minimum 6 pieces in each tin
  • These are long lasting pencils
  • The colors are vibrant
  • Non-toxic


  • You might not get the color you want
  • Can be hard to blend
  • Not as strong as some other brands

6. Sandpaper Sharpener

Our rating: 8 / 10

Sandpaper Sharpener

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  • Uniquely shaped pencil sharpener
  • Sandpaper technology for a really smooth point
  • Compact design
  • Locks to prevent spilling of shavings
  • Lightweight and portable

This special sharpener from Canada is designed for regular and pastel pencils. The windmill-shaped sharpener contains sandpaper technology to make it easier for you to sharpen your pencils. It also automatically adjusts the pencil's point to the correct size you need. It's a bit on the pricey side, but well worth the investment if you enjoy art and drawing.

7. Moleskine Art Sketchbook

Our rating: 8 / 10

Moleskine Art Sketchbook

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  • Book is very affordable
  • Tiny design doesn’t take up much space when in use
  • Paper quality is very good
  • Blank pages allow plenty of options for detailed work
  • Covers are hard, so they don’t get bent or damaged easily
  • Tomoe River paper feels smooth
  • Covers are an elegant black color
  • Generous 96 page count
  • Perfect for someone on the go and travelling due to its small size
  • Small enough to fit in a purse or laptop backpack


  • One customer reported the book sticking together
  • Some said scan marks show on the back of the pages
  • Not ideal for left-handed users

The Moleskine art sketchbook is a very popular notebook used by artists around the world. The sketchbook comes in various sizes and formats.

You can purchase a lined or an unlined format. Moleskine has several different color options for the covers as well, including black, brown, red, silver, and orange. With an elegant black color and hard cover, your sketchbook will be well protected against damage. There is also an elastic closure to keep drawings and notations safe.

8. Caran D'Ache Pastel Pencil Set

Our rating: 8 / 10

Caran D'Ache Pastel Pencil Set

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It's important that the color is varied and pigmented in pastel pencils because of how soft and absorbent they are when you apply them. The Caran D'Ache Pastel Pencil Set has a wonderful variety of color within a soft core. These are crayon-type pastels and are quite similar, therefore, their rendering power is so similar, the dominant feature is the color.

Some of the best features of this product are the vivid colors and the incredible price. This is a good buy for anyone who is just learning to use pastels. The pack includes 40 unique colors and this is a great way to customize a new package of pastels.

The pencils are quite soft. You might have to press rather hard on the paper to get it started. The color is amazing, but the texture is very soft. The product's texture is not very smooth and it may take a little time to get used to.

9. Derwent Pastel Pencil Sharpener

Our rating: 8 / 10

Derwent Pastel Pencil Sharpener

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  • A very efficient pencil sharpener
  • Perfect for both artists and non-artists
  • Safe to use
  • Very affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Strong suction cup
  • No-mess shavings


  • May not sharpen all brands
  • Not very stylish; may clash with some colour schemes

The next time you’re in a classroom or art studio, pay attention to pencil sharpeners. It’s a sure sign that the people in charge take their art seriously.

While there are many mechanical devices available to sharpen pencils, the best pencil sharpeners use a blade. They do the job quicker and neater, and are less likely to ruin your pencils.

Another reason for buying a manual pencil sharpener is that they are generally quieter than the electrical models. Their key is to be well-built and well-designed so that they stay sharp for years.

10. Conté à Paris Pastel Pencils

Our rating: 8 / 10

Conté à Paris Pastel Pencils

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It’s hard to believe that pastel pencils have been around for more than two hundred years, and that’s because they’ve hardly changed in that time. They’re still good for drawing soft, delicate lines on paper, giving you the same beautiful, natural shades that made them so famous in the first place.

Pastel pencils even earned the nickname “harmless pencils,” because they’re so safe to use that they were even given to students in school to use to shade in projects and art projects. However, thanks to improved technology and the strength that pastel pencils have gained over the years, they’re now made of china clay, making them more practical and far more helpful in your every day life. Some of the best pastels pencil brands are made from China clay, but Conté ü Paris Pastel Pencils are scratch resistant and have a high-quality construction.

11. Schmincke Half-Stick Extra-Soft Artist Pastel Set #2

Our rating: 5 / 10

Schmincke Half-Stick Extra-Soft Artist Pastel Set #2

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  • Soft finish
  • Great for layering
  • Natural looking colors

The Schmincke half-stick pastel pencils are undoubtedly the best pastel pencils for beginners out there. Their soft texture makes them very comfortable to work with and the creamy texture gives a good finish on paper. The set comes with very scenic colors such as odd strawberry ice cream and sunflower yellow.

The Schmincke artist pastels have a creamy texture that makes them easy to work with. The binder keeps the pigment finely milled for extreme softness. This also makes the pastel application smooth on the paper. The softness goes a long way into providing high-quality finish just like it is with the graphite pencils.

Unlike the soft pastels that tend to disintegrate, these pastels keep their pigment strong. It has a very creamy texture but is very easy to handle. The color is dark and it is easy to blend. The triad square shape that surrounds the color enables easy application on paper without requiring constant blending.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best brand of pastel pencils?

We recommend Derwent. Many pastel pencil reviews have noted the fine texture, colour and variety of the Derwent pastel pencils.

They are also amongst the best quality on the market today. Because of this, Derwent pastel pencils are the best choice for beginners, but experienced artists also enjoy the Derwent pastel pencils.

One other reason why we recommend Derwent pastel pencils is because they are usually the best priced. This is especially true when you buy them in bulk.

What is the best brand of pastels?

When choosing a brand of pastel pencils, you want to consider overall quality, value, and how consistent the colors are. Caran d’ache is a brand that is excellent in all of the above areas, and that is why it makes our list of the best brands and products in both of these categories.

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What are the best chalk pastels?

The best chalk pastels are those that contain the highest quality pigments and do the best job of adhering to the paper. Pencils with more pigment tend to be harder, and softer pencils can smear or smudge while drying. The best chalk pastels, such as Sennelier, Derwent, and Lyra, will take time to dry–usually 5 to 15 minutes–so they won't smudge or smear. The best brands are also very student-friendly, as they often contain lower cost alternatives that perform just as well as their higher-end counterparts.

Price is not always an accurate indicator of quality, however. You can find cheap pastels that are high-quality, and you can find more expensive ones that do not live up to their price tags.

Which is better chalk or oil pastels?

Pigment leads that chalk pastels use have been in use for at least 2,500 years! That’s an eternity in the world of art supplies! Here’s a little history behind the development of chalk pastels:

Chalk pastels were popularized by the Frenchman Jean Marie Têquin. He created a new process that generated smoother pigments, and found that his new formulation worked best on paper, rather than on walls as the older method did. Soon, other artists emulated Têquin’s process, and the resulting pigments were exported all over the world. By the end of the 19th century, chalk pastels were being used not only for portraits, but for landscapes.


Pencils are a basic necessity for school and office. Everyone who is into school, work or art they can never ignore it. In this guide I will be reviewing the 7 best pastel pencils and best mechanical pencils.

I'm a colour fanatic, I love colourful things around me, when I meet people I want them to be just like me. I love art and scenic beauty of the world. When I was a child, my parents also used to search for all types of colourful pencils for me.

Still now, I like to collect different colours of pens, pencils, markers and other art and craft things. There are so many interesting things provided by the art stores.

Our Recommendation

Carb-O Pncl Set 24Best OverallCarb-O Pncl Set 24
Sandpaper SharpenerBudget PickSandpaper Sharpener
Derwent Pastel PencilsUpgrade PickDerwent Pastel Pencils