How centered should the lead in pencils be? [Archive] - Artist Forum

: How centered should the lead in pencils be?

06-05-2016, 11:51 AM
Hello, I have a question about the lead in the colored pencils. I recently purchased a set of 72 Derwent Coloursoft Pencils. This is a lot of money for me to justify for pencils.

I just received them and last night started to color with them. First thing I noticed a pink pencil was off-centered. The pink lead inside was off-centered.

This morning I sharpened each of the 72 pencils and noticed 22 are off-centered. There were several that were "borderline" and I did not count them.

Now what I want to know... Is this normal? Is this something I should return them for?

I can use them off-centered. Like I said I just got them, so I have not colored enough to notice if they break easily.

I read and watched a lot of reviews before purchasing these. And one thing that was consistent through most reviews was to make sure the lead is centered. So maybe I am more conscious because of that?

I spun a pink around in a short video to show one of them.

I used a good manual pencil sharpener. I also used the manual sharpener one that came with a different order of Derwent blender pencils.

I did a quick search on this forum and couldn't find an old post with a similar question. So sorry if I am repeating.

Susan Mulno
06-05-2016, 05:04 PM
I recently purchased Derwent Colorsoft and mine are perfect, this is the first I have ever heard of such a thing

06-05-2016, 05:40 PM
I never thought to check and I've been using pencils for the last 70 years. Don't think I'll bother starting now. A pencil's a pencil after all.

06-05-2016, 06:16 PM
Honestly I don't think it is a problem, unless if the led is broken inside or does not sharpen properly I would not worry about it.

06-07-2016, 09:41 PM
Actually, this can be a big problem, and is due to more recent years changing manufacturing locations to less quality controlled places.( guess where)
This can cause your lead the break very easily when pressure is applied, and also not sharpen correctly. The leads will have less resistance on the side that has less wood casing. They also break very easily inside th casing if dropped and sometime the leads will actually start to slip out of the casing. if you go to some of the colors pencil forum sites, you will see discussion on how this has become a big issue recently. Many pros will not use the brands that have lowered thier standards like this, as it is occurring more and more frequently. I personally, would return them and let them know why you are not happy, as allowing it to continue, will totally allow quality to slip in all directions.
I think there are a couple you tube videos discussing this as well.look for comparision of prismacolor vs Faber Castel, i think you will find one that goes in depth on the issue
One brand that is consistantly excellant (so far) is Faber Castel. They are more expensive, but quality is right on and still there.
Good luck with your drawing.

06-17-2016, 03:08 PM

Are the leads so off centered you cannot use them? If you feel they are unusable by all means contact Derwent and get them replaced. Ideally they should be perfectly centered, but for reasons stated above sometimes that doesn't happen.

Although I'm not using Derwents, I've used up many off centered leads with no problems.

Good luck.