Best Cheap Colored Pencils

Not only are colored pencils easy to find, but they’re also relatively inexpensive. But sometimes you get what you pay for and end up with pencils of inferior quality if you don’t know what to look for. So what are the best cheap colored pencils?

With the vast number of colored pencil manufacturers out there, making any number of colored pencils, narrowing down the options can be daunting. That’s why we’ve done the work for you and created this list of excellent and amazingly inexpensive colored pencils.

The Best Cheap Colored Pencils

Don’t take our word for it – these colored pencils are highly rated, but Amazon reviewers are known to provide top quality at affordable prices.

Cra-Z-Art Colored Pencils

Cra-Z-Art Colored Pencils come in an array of bright colors that slide right onto the page with little effort. The hard lead sharpens to a fine point, perfect for intricate coloring projects.

Crayola Colored Pencils

These Crayola Colored Pencils aren’t your typical children’s colored pencils but an set upgraded, especially for adult colorists. Sets come in 50 or 100 vibrant colors with a smooth lead that’s easy to sharpen for detailed work.

Classic Crayola Colored Pencils

It’s hard not to acknowledge Crayola’s place when it comes to inexpensive art supplies, so they’ve made a list twice.

Their classic Crayola Colored Pencil Set is exactly what you’d expect from Crayola brand colored pencils: bright, rich colors and long-lasting leads. Perhaps the best thing about these colored pencils is their wide availability in box stores, supermarkets, and pharmacies everywhere.

Amazon Basics Soft Core Colored Pencils

Amazon Soft Core Colored Pencils come in a practical tin storage case, complete with a tray to keep colors organized. The highly pigmented lead is smooth and creamy, gliding onto the page and blending well.

Prang Thick Core Colored Pencils

Prang Thick Core Colored Pencils contain thick, break-resistant cores encased in a real wood that sharpens well. The intense shades lay down quickly and are great for blending and layering. The colors are very different from one another, meaning you won’t be confusing similar shades for each other.

Mr. Pen Colored Pencils

Mr. Pen Colored Pencils contain fade-resistant lead in brilliant shades. The premium colors blend well and are great for layering. These pencils hold a point well, making them great for detailed work in addition to blending.

Sargent Art Premium Coloring Pencils

Sargent Art Premium Coloring Pencils come in a wide array of colors, from bright colors to neutral shades. The lead is of higher quality than you’d typically find for this price, making them a wise investment for the intermediate colorist.

US Art Supply Artist Grade Colored Pencil Set

US Art Supply Artist Grade Colored Pencil Set contains pencils in just about every color you could ever want and is delivered via a creamy wax-based lead. The high-quality pigments are perfect for blending and layering.

Many artists report that using light pressure with these pencils yields a more pastel effect, and pressing more challenging results in bolder colors.

COVACURE Colored Pencils Set

COVACURE Colored Pencils Set comes complete with a canvas pencil carrier and manual sharpener, making this set incredibly cost-efficient. The leads are soft enough to quickly pay down color but hard enough to resist breakage or excessive need for sharpening.

FUNLAVIE Colored Pencils

FUNLAVIE Colored Pencils are made of easy-to-sharpen beech wood that encloses a break-resistant lead. Their compact storage tube is perfect for portability, making them ideal for artists on the go.

The soft, oil-based lead makes it easy to put color on paper, even for artists with a light touch. The bright colors blend well, too.

Cyper Top Colored Pencils Set

Cyper Top’s colored pencils come in 80 dazzling shades, all contained in a compact tube-shaped carrier. The creamy lead slips onto the page, allowing for effortless shading and blending.

These colored pencils are richly pigmented, making it easy to lay down bright, bold colors. The lead is soft enough to blend easily and hard enough not to wear down too quickly.

MEMX Colored Pencil Set

MEMX Colored Pencil Set is perfect for intermediate artists looking to step up their colored pencil game but aren’t eager to shell out for a premium pencil just yet. The cores are break-resistant, so you can push harder to darken colors without worrying about breakage.

Keyshow Colored Pencils

Keyshow Colored Pencils come in both oil-based and watercolor varieties, allowing for two completely different techniques depending on which variety you choose.

What do both options have in common? Bright, vibrant colors and thick cores that are break-resistant and easy to sharpen. The oil does tend to be a little cheaper, so if the cost is a concern, start there.

Brilliant Bee Premium Colored Pencils

Brilliant Bee Premium Colored Pencils contain oil-based lead for superior blendability. The rich, vibrant colors slip onto the page, blending smoothly without fear of the wax bloom you get with wax-based leads.

With 72 shades to choose from, Brilliant Bee colored pencils are a match for even the most specific coloring needs, and their metal case keeps them safe when not being used.

Bright Ideas Colored Pencils

Bright Ideas Colored Pencils from Chronicle Books are made with a soft, blendable lead that smoothly glides onto the page. The fun color names like greener pastures and chocolate fon-doodles give the pencils an air of whimsy, and their sleek carrying case makes them perfect for coloring on the go.

Be aware that, as with all soft lead-colored pencils, the lead wears down quickly, requiring frequent sharpening.

What to Look For When Choosing Colored Pencils

Although this list will get you started when it comes to choosing the right cheap colored pencils for you, it might help give you an idea of precisely what to look out for when perusing options.


Price, of course, is a huge factor when it comes to choosing any art supplies. This is especially true if funds are limited or you’re new to an art form and don’t want to invest too much until you’re sure it’s for you.

As we mentioned, price doesn’t always correspond to quality, and it’s possible to get high-quality colored pencils for cheap. But do keep value in mind when it comes to:

    • Usability of the pencil (Does it lay down color well? Are the colors bright or weak?)
    • Do the pencils often break or wear down super quickly?
    • Is a decently robust storage case included?

There’s no point in buying lower-quality pencils to save a few bucks if you’re going to be unhappy with them and have to replace them anyway. Ensure that you’re happy with the pencils you choose, no matter what you’re paying for them.

If you aren’t worried about cost, check out the 9 Best Pencils for Coloring In!


There are a couple of things to look at when it comes to lead:

    • How richly pigmented is it? The higher the pigment-to-binder ratio, the more vivid the colors will be, and the easier it will be to lay color on the page.
    • How hard or soft is it? This isn’t a matter of quality, but a preference. More formidable lead is suitable for detailed work, and softer lead works best for large-scale works and blending.


Many off-brand pencil manufacturers make outstanding products, but the brand is considered when buying colored pencils. Name brands tend to cost a little more, but they also usually have stronger reputations to stand behind.

Just make sure to do a little research before buying a brand you’ve never heard of.


A great way to get a feel for a colored pencil set’s flaws and attributes is to read customer reviews. Keep an eye out for things (good or bad) that are brought up in multiple reviews.

One review complaining of a problem might be a fluke, but you might want to consider buying from another company if there are numerous complaints.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it: the best low-priced colored pencils on the market. Choosing the perfect pencil is mostly a matter of preference, so make sure to try a few before settling on just one. Regardless of which one you select from this list, you’ll be surprised at the high level of quality you can get for so cheap.

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Shawn C

Hi! I’m Shawn and I Love Coloring and Art and the people in it! I created this website as a resource to help those who are considering getting into adult coloring. My website is your one-stop destination for all the inspired instruction and resources you need to start and grow your adult coloring hobby. From geometric to floral to zen doodles and from time to time even mandala’s when I am in the mood. I have researched and gathered the information to help you in your goal of starting your adult coloring hobby.

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