The Koh-I-Noor Triograph: The Sharpie of pencils

The Koh-I-Noor Triograph

I finally got my hands on a pencil that I’ve liked for a long time — the Koh-I-Noor Triograph. I fully realize that it’s not a writing pencil, but a sketch pencil. From the Koh-I-Noor website’s product page:

These 5.6mm lead pencils are excellent for working in large areas and for quick, loose strokes; they blend extraordinarily well too.

They can be used alone or in combination with a plethora of artistic media to achieve effects as unique as the individual artist.

That’s a little fancier that I get, folks. But man, they’re gorgeous. I love the stain on the wood barrel:

Closeup of the Koh-I-Noor Triograph tipCloseup of the Koh-I-Noor Triograph barrel.

I also really like triangular barrels. That was definitely a big decision factor for me.

So when my pencils arrived from Jetpens (Disclosure: I received these pencils at no charge for review purposes), I opened then excitedly.


The first thing I noticed? Man, were they thick! Pencil Talk had a great post about them back in 2007, where he compared the diameter to some of the other thick, triangular pencils, like the Tri-Conderoga (one of my favorites) and the Faber-Castell Jumbo Grip.

The Triographs measure in at 10.5 millimeters diameter, compared to the relatively slim Tri-Conderoga’s 7mm. Turns out, the Tri-Conderoga is just the right width. I felt like a preschooler holding the Triograph. It was to the point where it felt unwieldy, especially, when I tried to lay down fine marks on a page.

While the barrel was a bit too thick, I really liked how thick the graphite core was. It held strong! I imagine its so thick because, as the description page says, it’s great for shading in large areas.


The Koh-I-Noor Triograph Performance

(As you can see, I tried it out in my brand new Baron Fig Confidant notebook! A review of that will be coming soon!)

Because it’s a drawing pencil, I ordered a 2B, which was the hardest grade they make. So you’ll notice that it’s a bit darker than many HB pencil reviews you’ll see. The graphite itself was smooth. I would say it’s somewhere smack dab in the middle of the buttery smooth Palomino Blackwing classic, and the slightly grittier ForestChoice. It’s just so hard to compare — the thickness and triangularness (triangularity?) makes it hard to judge for sure.

For a 2B pencil, it held its point pretty well. Good thing, too, because I own no pencil sharpener that would fit it! I’d definitely need to take a knife to it, and man, am I bad at sharpening pencils with knives.

If I were to find an ink equivalent to the Triograph, I’d compare it to a Sharpie marker. I wouldn’t use it to write on, say, college-ruled paper, but if I needed to write something large and dark, it’d be perfect.

Bottom line: this pencil isn’t necessarily for me, but it’s not because of poor quality or performance. If you sketchers and artists out there need a nice, thick, multi-grade pencil set, definitely pick these up.

Koh-i-Noor Triograph Mixed Grade Three-pack at

The Koh-i-Noor Triograph mixed grade three-pack is $6.55 at Click for the link.

They’re available in 2B, 4B and 6B at You can get each grade in a six-pack for a reasonable$11, or a three-pack blister with one of each grade for $6.55.

8 thoughts on “The Koh-I-Noor Triograph: The Sharpie of pencils

  1. Pingback: Link Love: Official Mascot and more catch-up | The Well-Appointed Desk

  2. These are great drawing pencils. The graphite is very smooth, they are a great fit in the hand and don’t go rolling off when you set them down. The wife had a sharpener for her makeup pencils which she let me use to sharpen them with (they are thick so it takes a large hole sharpener). These are a GREAT sketching pencil for sure.

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