(Sarah Read is an author, editor, yarn artist, and pen/paper/ink addict. You can find more about her at her website and on Twitter. And check out her first novel, The Bone Weaver’s Orchard, now available where books are sold!)
Well, these aren't all bad. The textured coating on the body feels great and provides excellent grip, and the design overall looks lovely. That's the extent of the 'pro' column. The 'con' column lists every other feature of the Pilot FriXion Colored Pencils.
The lead is waxy and brittle with poor pigmentation. It only lays down very faint color and even that has messy inconsistency. The soft tip wears down quickly and breaks when you attempt to sharpen it.
The FriXion magical eraser does remove all color, briefly, from the colored area, but it does not remove the waxy residue--just its coloration. So you can't easily go back over the area with anything else, whether that be another pencil or mixed media. Also, after a few minutes, the color begins to creep back into the erased area.
These Frixion pigments suffer the same weakness as their pen inks--the erasure is a heat reaction, so changes in temperature to your work can also affect the visibility of your notes/sketch/journal. I tested it by putting my page in the freezer, where much of the pigment reappeared, and then also taking the page with me while I ran errands and left the paper in my hot car, where most of the pigment disappeared.
I know the Frixion line is beloved by many. I, personally, am averse to writing anything in disappearing ink. I know that, in theory, it can always be re-appeared, but it still makes me nervous. And while I understand the unique advantages of an erasable pen, an erasable pencil is ... well, most of them. And this doesn't erase any better than the others. I think it's safe to say that other pencils erase more completely, as there isn't a waxy residue left behind.
These are priced at $22 for the 12-set, and over $3 each open stock. That's over a dollar more, apiece, than many high-quality artists' pencils. That's actually a bit alarming, and way overpriced. Even if these worked pretty well, that would be expensive. But, alas, they don't, and that makes these a product that I recommend avoiding.
(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)
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