Caran D’Ache Graphite Pencils Grafwood

Metal box of Caran D'ache graphite pencils next to several pencils neatly aligned on a white surface

Posted On April 20, 2020

Graphite pencils are a very important part of any creative process and it’s also very important using good quality graphite pencils in the process of creating. Whether you are making simple sketches or complete works of art tools you use largely influence the quality of your work.

Caran D’Aches Graftwood graphite pencils have exquisite swiss quality and precision and can satisfy the needs of even most demanding artists. The company was founded 100 years ago in Switzerland, since then they brought the pencil manufacturing to perfection.

Caran D’Ache products are well known worldwide by their outstanding quality and exquisite performance.

Tone chart of Caran D'ache graphite pencils in a notebook next to several pencils

Appearance And Performance

Grafwood graphite pencils are professional drawing graphite pencils. They can be purchased in two sets one of 6 pencils of different hardness and one of 15 pencils of different hardness.

They also have a very neat pack of graphite pencils in different grades and it’s a box of 15 Hardness degrees graphite line in which you can find Grafwood pencils along with Technalo graphite pencils sharpeners, sanding paper eraser… You can buy pencils individually as well in case you need to replace only a few of them.

Pencils come in protective metal tins. The barrel is made of premium cedar wood. It is hexagonal which I know many painters prefer since it more pleasant to hold and it doesn’t roll off the table as easy as the ones that are round.

The diameter of the barrel is 8mm and the graphite goes from 2,1 to 3,6mm. The grade range is from 4H up to 9B. What is a very neat feature of these pencils is that the barrel is varnished differently on pencils of different grades 4h being the lightest grey almost white and 9B being the darkest.

This feature makes it easier for you using the pencils since all you have to do is look at the barrel to choose the hardness of the pencil you will use next.

On each pencil, there is a brand name, manufacturer, country of origin and a lead grade imprinted in nice silver letters which makes it easy for you when replacing just certain pencils you used up. On the opposite side though there is a black barcode along the pencil which I must admit gives the pencils cheap look.

Since the barrel is a birth wider than those you usually get you might experience some difficulties with sharpeners, some might feel a bit tight.

The barrel is produced of top quality wood so it’s very easy sharpening the pencils to a very fine tip, also the lead is of great quality so it will not break.

When it comes to performance these are excellent. Top quality lead is smooth and lays nicely on the paper even in the hardest grades as 4H.

Lead is very pure and there isn’t scratching on the surface of the paper while you are working which can often happen when you are using cheaper brands of graphite pencils.

The pencils blend very well on the paper either you are using paper blending stump for blending or a tissue paper graphite moves amazingly well.

It is easy removing the graphite off the paper using an eraser without any staining and smudging.


  • Top quality Cedar wood barrel
  • Top quality lead
  • Smooth and soft lead
  • Sharpens very well
  • Blends easily
  • Erases without leaving stains on the paper

The price of Caran D’Ache pencils might come off as somewhat high but they are worth every penny. You may think it is just a graphite pencil what is the difference what pay so much for this particular pencil?

And yes, if you are only planning to use the pencils for sketching feel free to go for cheaper ones it will not matter that much to you anyway but if you plan to do studies and complete drawings there is a huge difference between ordinary graphite pencils and professional grade graphite pencils.

Also what people usually do not take into consideration when buying cheaper products is the fact that those products last much shorter than good quality ones since the lead is not of good quality and it tends to break a lot also there is a much smaller amount of graphite in the lead so you need to sharpen them more and in the end, the price evens out considering the life of a pencil you pay for.

Anyway, Graftwood pencils are sold individually and you do not have to buy a set just choose a few and try them out. I am sure you will enjoy using them and also I am sure that you will not be disappointed since you will be getting your money’s worth.

Overall Opinion

All in all, these are an excellent choice for all of you that enjoy drawing whether you are a beginner or a professional artist these will not fail you. Practical and sturdy design with an excellent lead that is smooth and buttery even in the hardest grades. 

Caran D’Ache Graftwood pencils can be sharpened to a very fine tip allowing you to use them for detailed work without any crunching or breaking even when pressure is applied to the paper. They blend well and erase well without leaving smears on the paper. Price is very reasonable considering the quality you get.

If you still feel these are not the right choice for you I can recommend you Derwent graphite pencils Graphic which are of excellent quality and somewhat cheaper. 

Derwent graphite pencils Graphic are produced in Britain by with long tradition and a lot of experience in pencil manufacturing. 

With Derwent, you can not make a mistake especially when it comes to pencils. They offer top quality products carefully designed to suit the needs even of the most demanding artists. In their pencils, you can see that typical British durability, sturdiness and quality. They deliver products that are made to last.

Derwent graphite pencils Graphic are of superb quality, they are designed so they fit the hand very well. The lead is soft and yet very strong perfectly blended so there is no scratching or any other inconvenience while you are working.

They can be purchased in many sets and also individually if you just wish to try them out which is my recommendation since we are all different and we seek different things in our tools and materials.

I am only here to give you some basic pointers on the materials but in the end, you are the one to decide what is best for you. 

If you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comment section and I will be more than happy to answer them.

Written by Magdalena

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