9 Best Woodless Charcoal Pencils To Try In 2021

 5/9 of the best woodless charcoal pencils in 2021

Charcoal pencils have made it easier for artists to achieve masterpieces on a canvas, but they are often criticized for their tedious sharpening. If you're not intimidated by the maintenance that woodless charcoal requires, then check out our list of the best woodless charcoal pencils that you should consider switching into.

Our Top Picks

Dong Ku Art Woodless Charcoal Pencil Set
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Best Overall - Dong Ku Art Woodless Charcoal Pencil Set

• Comes in different hardness level
 Deep charcoal black
 Great angle for wide lines

Peffi’s Set of 10 Woodless Charcoal Pencils in a Paper Tube Case
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Best for Beginners - Peffi Woodless Charcoal Pencil Set

• Smooth and satin effect
 Deep charcoal color
 Angled well for convenient shading

Marie’s 24-piece paper wrapped charcoal pencil set in a paper tube case
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Most Travel-Friendly - Marie Paper Wrapped Woodless Charcoal Pencils

• Different hardness levels
 Eco-friendly lacquer sheath and paper case
 Paper tube case for proper storage

1. Dong Ku Art Woodless Charcoal Pencil Set - Best Overall

 Dong Ku Art’s three-piece woodless charcoal pencil set
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 Pros Cons
  • Set of 3
  • Comes in different hardness level
  • Smooth finish
  • Deep charcoal black
  • Great angle for wide lines
  • Relatively fragile



What Customers Have To Say 

One customer who bought the Dong Ku Art's Woodless Charcoal Pencil Set liked the product for its excellent performance when it came to shading on raw wood. Other people who reviewed products sold by the same company seem to have enjoyed their white charcoal pencils and graphite pencils as well.

Why We Think It's Great

Dong Ku Art's woodless charcoal pencil comes in a set of three with different hardness levels. These soft, medium, and hard charcoal pencils create a smooth finish on any canvas and work quite well, even on wooden surfaces. They have no toxic coating or wooden encasing to make it easier for artists to maximize every inch when drawing. 

Another selling point  is that this woodless charcoal pencil set produces depth seamlessly, thanks to its deep charcoal pigment. Erasing is no hassle since all you have to do is shade while angling the tip properly. The only con is that it requires proper care since they easily break if accidentally dropped.  

Who Should Buy It

Suitable for anyone who enjoys using woodless charcoal pencils, this set of three makes a great gift for artists, professional illustrators, art students, and hobbyists alike.

2. Mont Marte Woodless Charcoal Pencils - Best for Wash Effects

Mont Marte’s Set of Three Woodless Charcoal Pencils
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 Pros Cons
  • Set of 3
  • Three hardness levels
  • Suitable for broad strokes 
  • Seamless blending
  • Tricky to sharpen



What Customers Have To Say 

Those who purchased Mont Marte's Woodless Charcoal Pencils commended how easy it was to blend with water for wash effects. Another customer enjoyed how comfortable the pencils were on their hand. However, some buyers pointed out how tricky it was to sharpen on sandpaper.

Mont Marte Woodless Charcoal Pencils review

Why We Think It's Great

Mont Marte's three-piece set is the one to beat, an excellent contender for the best woodless charcoal pencils. These woodless charcoal pencils come in soft, medium, and hard levels for versatility and reliability. They're suitable for artists who experiment a lot with broad strokes and precise outlines. 

When it comes to blending your work, these woodless charcoal pencils make it seamless and adds more boldness to every stroke. Another highlight about this set is that they're easy to blend with water, producing stunning wash effects for a fuller look.

Who Should Buy It

Mont Marte's set of three woodless charcoal pencils is a great choice for beginners and professional charcoal illustrators alike. Moreover, it is perfect for those fond of using wash effects on their canvas.

3. Peffi Woodless Charcoal Pencil Set - Best for Beginners

Peffi’s Set of 10 Woodless Charcoal Pencils in a Paper Tube Case
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 Pros Cons
  • Set of 10
  • Smooth and satin effect
  • Deep charcoal color
  • Angled well for convenient shading
  • Comes in a paper tube case
  • Not shatter-proof




What Customers Have To Say 

"Very smooth transfer to paper," says one buyer who liked the smooth and satin effect of these woodless charcoal pencils. Another customer commended the Peffi's charcoal pencils for their precision and compared them to her set of vine charcoal and sticks.

Why We Think It's Great

Another possible option to consider when buying an alternative medium to charcoal pencils is Peffi's Woodless Charcoal Pencil Set. This set of ten woodless charcoal pencils are angled properly to make it convenient for artists to shade without having to put too much pressure on the pencil. 

Each pencil produces a deep charcoal black color that you can't get from other bands. Plus, they create a smooth and satin effect on any canvas. This set also comes in a recycled paper tube case to prevent damage. 

Who Should Buy It

This 10-piece woodless charcoal pencil set is perfect for beginners or art students learning the intricacy of charcoal art. It's enough for a series of trial and error to hone various drawing techniques.

4. Jin DaSheng Professional Woodless Charcoal Pencils - Best Grip

Jin DaSheng’s set of six professional woodless charcoal pencils
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 Pros Cons
  • Set of 6
  • Comes in several hardness levels
  • Smooth outlining
  • Surface paint layer for fewer stains
  • Easy-grip
  • Fragile




What Customers Have To Say 

An Amazon customer said Jin DaSheng's woodless charcoal pencils were made of great quality and excellent for shading. Another buyer enjoyed giving the set to her daughter, who said the woodless pencils were smooth and very easy to blend.

Why We Think It's Great

Jin DaSheng's Professional Woodless Charcoal Pencil Set is a great fit in our list of the best woodless charcoal pencils. The set has two soft, two medium, and two hard woodless charcoal pencils for variety which artists will find useful. 

They're coated with a layer of paint for a comfortable hold that makes it less likely to stain on your hands when creating beautiful masterpieces. 

Those used to charcoal as a medium will enjoy how smooth and precise the lines these pencils produce. It can help create a pop in very tricky parts of a life portrait, like the eyebrows on a face or the eyes of an animal portrait.

Who Should Buy It

Jin DaSheng's woodless charcoal pencils are something professional charcoal artists will enjoy as a present. It boasts performance and practicality, making it a great addition to any artist's tool kit.

5. Artecho Woodless Sketch Pencil Set  - Best Extra Features

Artecho woodless sketch pencils with the free sketch book
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 Pros Cons
  • Set of 24 
  • Comes in three hardness levels
  • Non-toxic material
  • Free sketchbook
  • Beautiful packaging
  • Not pigmented enough




What Customers Have To Say 

While many believe this product was exactly what they needed, others thought the watercolor pencils were better than the charcoal variants. Regardless, customers said that the Artecho woodless sketch pencil set was a "joy to sketch with" and was worth their money.

Why We Think It's Great

Artech's woodless sketch set is another promising option to consider for the best woodless charcoal pencil. It offers a set of 24 graphite and charcoal pencils. Made from non-toxic material that is EN71 and ASTM D-4236 certified, these woodless pencils boast softness and smoothness in every stroke, creating a promising depth in your life portraits. 

The set comes in three hardness levels for flexibility - soft, medium, and hard. Although some users think the charcoal is not pigmented enough, quick sketches are seamless using these lightfast and durable pencils. They're also packaged beautifully and come with a free sketchbook, the perfect gift for every aspiring or professional artist.

Who Should Buy It

Anybody who likes charcoal drawing should try this woodless charcoal pencil set. They boast smoothness, precision, and durability with a freebie you wouldn't mind keeping. Great for art students looking for the best budget option.

6. Marie's Paper Wrapped Charcoal Pencils - Most Travel-Friendly

Marie’s 24-piece paper wrapped charcoal pencil set in a paper tube case
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 Pros Cons
  • Set of 24
  • Comes in different hardness levels
  • Eco-friendly lacquer sheath 
  • Good grip
  • Dense strokes
  • Strokes aren’t so smooth




What Customers Have To Say 

People who purchased Marie’s set of woodless charcoal pencils liked its quality and packaging. However, one user said that the strokes weren’t as smooth, but the pencils still stood out for their comfortable grip.

Why We Think It's Great

A promising product in its own right, Marie's 24-piece woodless charcoal pencil set is great not just for artists but for the environment. It is made with superb drawing material and a lacquer sheath that makes it easy to hold to avoid staining. 

Enjoy producing bold outlines with its dense strokes for a visually appealing finish in every crevice of your canvas. These woodless charcoal pencils also come in an eco-friendly paper tube case that traveling artists will find particularly useful.

Who Should Buy It

This woodless charcoal pencil set is ideal for illustrators always on their feet and travels a lot for work. Each charcoal pencil is easy on the hand and comes with a case to avoid breakage.

7. Pentalic Assorted Woodless Charcoal Set - Most Functional

Pentalic’s three-piece woodless charcoal pencil set
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 Pros Cons
  • Set of 3
  • Different hardness levels
  • Superior grade charcoal
  • Lacquer coating for clean handling
  • Still requires sandpaper for sharpening


What Customers Have To Say 

Some customers said that this woodless charcoal pencil set is a great gift to children. It is also less of a hassle than charcoal pencils that require sharpening. Another buyer also liked the assortment since it made it quite handy for figure drawing. 

Why We Think It's Great

Pentalic's Assorted Woodless Charcoal Pencil Set comes in three different hardness levels. They're made from superior grade charcoal for hyper pigments ideal for blending and creating depth.

These woodless charcoal pencils may still require users to sharpen them with a sandpaper or sanding block, but the shading outcome produces intense pigmentation. Holding these pencils is easy since it has a lacquer coating to spare artists from the mess. 

Who Should Buy It

Since this set comes in soft, medium, and hard levels, they're great for beginners who need to learn how to blend and shade in various gradients. These are also superb for illustrators who enjoy live sketch sessions which don't particularly like making a mess in public. They're also excellent for sketching by the park, the museum, or anywhere under the sun.

8. General's Peel & Sketch Woodless Charcoal Pencils - Best Budget

General’s three-piece peel & sketch charcoal pencils
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 Pros Cons
  • Set of 3
  • Three hardness levels
  • No need to sharpen
  • Includes a free kneaded eraser
  • Paper is quite tricky to peel off

What Customers Have To Say 

Customers liked the quality of these woodless charcoal pencils, which were useful for art school. One user said it has "great value." However, other shoppers were critical about the paper on the charcoal that was a bit tricky to remove.

Why We Think It's Great

General's has been in the business of creating quality art products for years, and their peel and sketch charcoal pencil set is a must try. Each pencil is not encased in any type of wood, but is wrapped with paper that requires users to pull a string to reveal more charcoal. 

It's a better alternative for artists who do not enjoy making a mess with regular charcoal pencils. It comes in three hardness levels - soft, medium, and hard. This woodless charcoal pencil set also includes a free kneaded eraser for convenience. 

Who Should Buy It

This woodless charcoal pencil set is ideal for those new to charcoal or experimenting with a new medium. It is also an awesome gift for those who are into art. This set is not messy and challenges anyone to try new ways to be creative.

9. Prang Gallery Medium Woodless Charcoal Pencils

 Prang Gallery’s two-piece charcoal pencil 
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 Pros Cons
  • Set of 2
  • Self-sharpening
  • Good for figure drawing
  • No mess
  • A bit hard to peel



What Customers Have To Say 

Five stars went to this woodless charcoal pencil set for its quality and blending capacity. Customers enjoyed its pigment, which was great for figure drawing. However, a few of its buyers were concerned with how tricky it was to peel off the string without breaking the charcoal.

Why We Think It's Great

Prang Gallery's woodless charcoal pencils come in soft and medium. They're prone to making any stains and are easily sharpened with a string. Artists would just have to peel off the string to reveal more charcoal for a seamless sketching experience.

Who Should Buy I

Prang Gallery's pencil set is perfect for those new to charcoal medium and loves figure drawing. It also makes for a great addition to any artist's charcoal collection.

Best Woodless Charcoal Pencils Buying Guide

When you decide to switch from charcoal pencils to woodless charcoal pencils, consider the following to better prepare yourself.

  • Breakage-resistance

Ensure that you check the quality of a woodless charcoal pencil by applying some pressure on the charcoal variant to test its durability. Since woodless charcoal is far messier than regular charcoal pencils, knowing how to hold them, sharpen them, and maintain them properly are all essential.

  • Depth 

When it comes to visual impact, woodless charcoal pencils create more depth that makes the drawing pop. Effective woodless charcoal pencils should create a dark black that is unmatched by other pencil types. The depth that creates form and bolder outlines is a must to experiment on if you wish to master charcoal drawing.

  • Grip

It's crucial to hold woodless charcoal pencils without having to worry so much about the mess, but more about the size and feel in your hand. Maneuvering your hand with a woodless charcoal on a canvas can be challenging if you're not familiar with the medium.

  • Extras

If you're on a budget and trying to maximize everything a new medium has to offer, then the extras should matter. Some woodless charcoal pencils come as is, while others include sharpeners, sandpaper sheets, and even a case to keep it safe.

Make the most out of every penny and find the best woodless charcoal pencils with high-quality additional accessories that help maintain its quality.

  • Price

Another determining factor when choosing the best woodless charcoal pencils is the price. Some sets offer woodless charcoal pencils, regular charcoal pencils, and charcoal sticks and vines. These tend to be more expensive.

If you're someone experimenting with an alternate medium, then woodless charcoal pencils are more affordable than charcoal pencils. 

Regardless, it's best to do a thorough comparison between them to ensure you're getting value for money. You can still find new ways to elevate your drawing techniques without breaking the bank. 

Woodless Charcoal Pencil FAQ

1. What is the best woodless charcoal pencil?

The best woodless charcoal pencil in our book would have to be Dong Ku Art's Woodless Charcoal Pencil Set, which is a set of three in soft, medium, and hard levels. It has a smooth finish, great for creating a pop of color in your life drawings and figure sketches. It also features a deep charcoal black which is uncommon in other types of pencils.

2. How do you sharpen woodless charcoal pencils?

From the point of the woodless charcoal pencil, push away from the sandpaper to sharpen the tip. Ensure you do this a couple of times before proceeding to shade. For a more thorough guide, check out this tutorial.

3. Are charcoal and graphite the same?

No, charcoal is softer in material and has a matte dark color often used to create deep expressive marks for life portraits. On the other hand, graphite is more gray than black and has a shiny gloss after several strokes on a surface or canvas. 

4. What erases charcoal?

Using a kneaded eraser will erase charcoal. It's a flexible eraser that can be molded into any shape to remove charcoal on any part of your canvas. 

5. What is white charcoal for?

White charcoal is generally used as a highlighter for black charcoal drawings. Applying a shade or two with black charcoal will create a better gradient and more depth into a charcoal drawing. 

Conclusion

When it comes to achieving a beautiful masterpiece, it's important to set the canvas using high-quality woodless charcoal pencil. The Dong Ku Art Woodless Charcoal Pencil Set is the best set to invest in for those experimenting with charcoal and trying new ways to improve their technique. It has three different hardness levels that help artists create a smooth finish on any canvas.

Another great choice is the Mont Marte Woodless Charcoal Pencils which is more ideal for experimenting with wash effects. They are suitable for broad strokes on artworks that require seamless blending. 

How was your experience using charcoal pencils? Let us know in the comments which among the list of the best woodless charcoal pencils would you like to try.

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