The Ultimate Staedtler Vs Prismacolor Comparison!

Although we used to only cover content about pens, we have noticed more and more people reaching out with questions about the various popular pencil brands so have decided to publish some content based around them too. Although there are a number of common questions that we see asked about the various pencil brands on the market, we have noticed a fair few people asking for a dedicated Staedtler vs Prismacolor comparison.

Due to this, we have decided to make today’s article our own comparison of the Staedtler range of pencils against the Prismacolor range. Now, although we do see a large number of people reaching out for advice between the two brands, you have to realize that they try to target different markets within the overall pencil market with their range. There is very little direct cross-over between their products due to this making a direct comparison between the two brands difficult.

Although we will be doing a more detailed breakdown of the products from both brands below, a quick and easy way to think of the majority of the product from both brands is as follows. The Staedtler range tends to have a lower price tag, a larger market share, and a wider userbase due to being a more general use pencil brand that is good for anyone on a budget. The Prismacolor range is a higher-end range of pencils that tend to offer superior performance and functionality than the Staedtler range but they also have the price tag to match.

We are now going to be taking a more detailed look at both the Prismacolor range of pencils as well as the Staedtler range of pencils to try and offer additional insight to our readers between the two brands. Our hope is that we will be able to help our readers get the perfect products for their situation and budget to help ensure you are getting the best performance possible out of your new pencils.

Is Prismacolor A Good Brand Of Pencils?

The main reason that the Prismacolor range has continued to constantly go from strength to strength amongst the artist community is due to the unique blend of the coloring agent in the pencil. Unlike many of the competing pencil ranges on the market right now, the Prismacolor range adds a wax agent to their pigment allowing the user to get a brighter, more distinct look to their work when using the Prismacolor range.

Although a number of competing pencil brands are starting to add similar systems to their pigment delivery systems, at the time of writing, nothing comes close to the Prismacolor system. This ensures that although the pencils from Prismacolor do have a higher price tag, you definitely do get the best possible performance from the pencil and if you are doing client work, it helps you deliver the best possible results on your commissions to help keep your clients happy.

Although some people don’t like the waxy texture when using Prismacolor pencils, the majority of people do tend to favor it due to the richer colors it enables them to deliver. We know that more and more art work is switching over to digital based drawing tablets but many people do still prefer paper based pen or pencil work. Although this trend in shifting to digital has caused issues with some brands, the sales of the Prismacolor range have remained consistent and see steady growth.

When it comes to actual use, the wax used with the pencils actually makes it easier for the artist to merge different pencils together helping you blend, shade, and texture the various layers of your work. The pencils are soft to use offering an excellent coloring experience during use and the wood used is light helping to prevent the build-up of fatigue on those longer coloring sessions.

Due to the price tag of the Prismacolor pencils, the majority of our readers who will usually opt for them will either be professional level artists or students studying art needing to work with their stationary for long periods of time multiple days per week. The lighter build on the pencil drastically helps to reduce the fatigue build up as well as to help prevent hand cramps too making for an enjoyable user experience.

Although this will depend on exactly what you need to do with your pencils and the style of artwork that you do, the unique blending capabilities of the Prismacolor pencils really helps to score them points over the competing products on the market right now. The wax allows you to get creative with your blending and allows you to get results that simply are not available when using a traditional graphite or lead based pencil.

The video below offers an excellent over view of the Prismacolor range showing the unique blending capabilities of the pencils as well as a number of blending and drawing examples of the pencils.

Is Staedtler A Good Brand Of Pencils?

Although the Staedtler range does have a huge market share with their pens and pencils dominating some price points, they do tend to have a more controversial reputation for their higher price point pencils but more on that later. As we mentioned back at the start of the article, the Staedtler range spans a wide range of price points in the pencil market and if you are on a tighter budget, you will be able to find a Staedtler set with lower price tags than the Prismacolor sets with ease.

Due to this, although there are a wide range of different pencil brands offering entry-level colouring pencils, the Staedtler range does tend to dominate. This tends to be due to many of the entry level pencil sets on the market being low quality and being over priced where as the Staedtler entry-level sets serve as a beacon of light offering high-quality for a fair price.

This is why we always recommend that our readers opt to go with the Staedtler range of pencils if they are on a budget as you can find some excellent deals and very few competing brands are even able to come close to what the cheaper Staedtler sets offer. That said though, as you move up through the pencil price ranges, this definitely does change while also adding some confusion into the mix too.

One of the main points of feedback that we see time and time again about both the intermediate and premium price point Staedtler pencils is that it is extremely difficult to find information on what you are actually purchasing for your money. This has been the case for over a decade now and even the official Staedtler website still offers minimal information on the their products making it difficult to find exactly what you need.

On the flipside of this, Prismacolor pencils as well as every other reputable brand that has an intermediate and premium price point range offers a ton of information helping ensure that you get exactly what you need. On top of this, some of the Staedtler premium pencil sets don’t even have a color pallet identifier on the barrel of the pencil making it a pain. We have seen some people take the steps to mark up the matching pencils to their color pallet with little stickers.

Although the Staedtler range does keep on seeing solid sales each year, we really do feel that these two simple mistakes are costing them sales and pushing potential customers to their competition. If you are a professional artist, you want to know what you are getting in exchange for your money and Staedtler definitely do lag behind the competing brands on offering their customers this information.

One thing that Staedtler do have going for them is that their brand is synonymous with quality all around the world. Both their design and production processes are flawless and we feel that it is only their marketing that lets them down slightly. Although we have seen some people say this may be due to over eighty percent of the production of Staedtler products being made in Germany, they have 20 global subsidiaries with five of them being in English speaking counties.

Anyway, back to their production and design process. The barrels of all Staedtler pencils, no matter their price point in the market has been designed and manufactured to be as lightweight as possible with the Staedtler pencils in the entry-level price bracket being half the weight of some of their competitors. If you do expect to be coloring for longer periods of time or have issues with arthritis then this may be of benefit to you as well as the unique triangle shape of the barrel for their pencils.

Depending on the price point of the Staedtler pencils that you purchase, their blending performance and be hit or miss. This is not as simple as the more expensive pencils blending better than their cheaper pencils either but the No products found. range tends to be the best option amongst the Staedtler range for professional artists who will need the best performance possible.

The video below offers some insights into a number of different Staedtler pencil products while also offering some examples of their performance as well as a number of comparisons.


That brings our Staedtler vs Prismacolor comparison article to an end. We hope that we have been able to help any of our readers who have been considering adding either pencil brand to their stationery collection. As we mentioned in the article though, in our opinion, the Staedtler range tends to be the better option for entry-level pencils where as the Prismacolor range tends to dominate the premium price points.

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