Koh-I-Noor Polycolor coloured pencils 3800

(Nederlandse versie klik hier)
Information by Koh-I-Noor Hardmuth:


The key components of POLYCOLOR professional coloured pencils are rich, top quality with perfectly dispersed pigments, carefully selected and purchased from renowned producers around the world. Their light permanency and dosed concentration also influence the final result and durability of the artwork. Therefore, a high concentration of pigment dosing has been prescribed for this product in its entire colour range. The final product is resistant to water thanks to the oily treatment.

This gives our coloured pencils, along with the addition of binders and other additives, an unsurpassable ability to make a unique stroke on paper or another medium. The pencils contain a set of unique components which ensure a convenient, full colour stroke without the necessity of high pressure. This handy feature is enhanced by the preparation of pastels in special oils. Thanks to the diameter of the lead, 3.8 mm, POLYCOLOR coloured pencils provide excellent artistic value to any user. Noble wood, from which the pencils are made, allows easy sharpening.

None of the components used during production contain toxic or otherwise harmful substances and the final product is therefore suitable for all age categories.

I’ve bought these pencils some time ago in a set of 72 colours, plus two single pencils, they recently added a few new colours, and a blender pencil.
I had no experience with oil-based pencils; I chose Koh-I-Noor because of the relatively cheap price and good reviews.


I like the packaging; a tin box with a separate lid, containing two layers of plastic. The first layer has a piece of cardboard on both sides, which you can lift to place the layer in the reversed lid.

You can also buy sets of 12, 24, 36, and 48. There are also single pencils available, which ofcourse is a good thing because you can try out a pencil before buying a whole set or refill your stock.

Would you like to know how the pencils are made? Take a look here.

My experience

Even though I’ve coloured a lot with KIN pencils already, I coloured a new colouringpage with only KIN pencils for this review. Normally I like to use a few different brands together in a colouring.

This colouringpage is from a colouringbook I bought in a Dutch budgetstore (‘Zeeman’).
The paper is véry smooth and I noticed for the very first time that the Polycolor 3800 pencils are not working well on a kind of paper. With these pencils I’ve coloured drawings on 200 grams paper, in colouringbooks by Johanna Basford, Millie Marotta and others before, and the pencils always worked very well. So I guess I just made a bad choice by picking this paper and pencils together.


Besides the 3800 set, I also have a 3830 set of 24 colours that I have won in a contest.
They are part of a ‘Color your Days’ set. The pencils don’t have the gold end and beside the looks the pencils colour quite different. I don’t know exactly what the difference is, but they colour a little less rough (oil-based pencils give a rougher feeling while colouring than wax-based pencils).
As a surprise, there’s a red pencil in the 3830 set nr. 132, that the 3800 set doesn’t have!
I was very pleased when I found out about his, because I find the red colours very limited.

I can’t seem to find any information about the 3830 set and that is a pitty. Now I will never know for sure if the difference is a real thing or just my imagination.
Also, I can’t find where to buy a ‘Color Your Days’ set.
(If you do know, please send me a message).

I also used these 3830 pencils and they did fine. They have a good colour laydown and mixing the colours goes very well. Just like the 3800 pencils do. When I first coloured with a 3830 Polycolor pencil, and then added a layer with a 3800 pencil, it went very good.

I didn’t  use any blending tools or solvent. Except that I used baby oil for the green belly of the bird. The belly was the first thing I coloured and as I wrote above, that didn’t went that well. With the baby oil it now turned out great.

A couple of colourings I did before with Koh-I-Noor 3800 and where the pencils gave no problems on the paper at all.

Sharpening with a Koh-I-Noor Hardmuth sharpener (as recommended) goes very well. The points get very sharp and smooth. I’ve had no broken points, which did sometimes happen when I sharpened them in a Bruynzeel or Faber Castell sharpener.


Blank downloads you can colour in yourself:

Polycolor 3800-72
Polycolor 3800-22 new colours    
Polycolor  3830-24

I’ve tested the pencils on blending and layering. I did this at 200 grams drawingpaper.





Black, white, gold and silver


There are no other colour tones in the black or white. Black is black and white is white (some brands have for example a green tone in the black or a grey tone in the white). To get the black the same as on the scan (above) you have to colour in different directions and alternate between these two.
You can hardly see the white on the black, but silver and gold work great on black. The gold on the black isn’t showing on the scan, so you just have to trust me on that.

As you can see on the scan it’s a good idea to use a fixative. Hopefully you won’t smudge or wipe out the colour like I did  (it will not happen while drawing or colouring if you don’t do it on purpose, I had to push a little). With purpose, you can maybe create some nice effects.

The silver and gold pencils are the most beautiful ones I’m in possession of.

The Polycolor coloured pencils are one of the three favorite brands I own.
I love to use those three together.
For the people that want to try out a higher quality and/or oil-based coloured pencils, the Polycolor are a good choice considering the price/quality, which is very good.


  • Handy nice tin box
  • Blending goes great
  • Layering goes great
  • High light permanency
  • Sharpening in a KIN sharpener goes very well
  • No chemical additions
  • Good price/quality ratio (about 1€ per pencil)
  • Solo pencils available


  • Colours are a little less bright/vivid than other brands
  • Limited red tones

The Koh-I-Noor Polycolor sets are for sale here:

Koh-I-Noor E-shop

Sets and singles

CultPens (UK)

Sets and singles




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