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General Pencil 33-Piece Classic Charcoal Drawing Set Review

General Pencil 33-Piece Classic Charcoal Drawing Set Review
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Charcoal is considered to be one of the oldest known forms of art mediums. In fact, these have been used by the early man for cave drawings. Back then, these were used by burning sticks and using the end of it.

In the present day, we have come a long way. While we still use charcoal pencils, we have far more options which are modern. These include vine charcoal, compressed charcoal, and powdered charcoal.

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The reason why charcoal is so popular even today is because of various factors. For starters, it smears easily giving that soft effect, is easy to use, and ultimately offers dark and realistic results which a regular pencil will never be able to provide.

If you’re on the market looking for a high-quality charcoal drawing set, look no further since we will be doing a detailed review of the General Pencil’s Charcoal Drawing Set.

General Pencil’s Charcoal Drawing Set

General Pencil is a company based in New Jersey, USA, and founded in the 19th century. Edward Weissenborn started the company, and to this date is still owned and operated by the same family. The company is well-known amongst established artists, and each of their products is handcrafted using traditional methods that have been passed down for six generations, in their own factory.

General Pencil’s products are a benchmark in the industry for all kinds of art pencils, and this 33-piece charcoal drawing set comes with the highest quality built and products. Let’s dive into its features below.

  • The Set

Before we begin to review the charcoal pencils, let us talk about the package it all comes in. The dimensions of this package are 12.7 inches x 1.1 inches x 10.3 inches, and it weighs about 15 ounces.

The package is black in color and holds all the different charcoal pencils and the accessories well. This helps keep everything well organized.

The company has gone above and beyond with this charcoal drawing set to ensure that artists are truly satisfied with everything in it. In this package, you will get 18 pencils, along with 12 drawing sticks, a sharpener, an eraser, and a drawing pad. Each of these conforms to the ASTM D 4236 and is made in the USA itself.

  • The Charcoal Pencils and Sticks

The pencils and sticks are the most important part of the set. You will notice that half of them are orange in color while the remaining is black. The orange pencils are from General Pencil’s which are made from their old classic formula and come in different grades.

On the other hand, the black pencils are from a company named Ritmo, a brand known for how smooth and dark their pencils are. After General Pencil bought the company, they rebranded the pencils as Primo Euro and sold it in color black. It goes without saying that the black colored pencils are significantly darker, richer, and smoother than its orange counterparts.

To be extremely specific about these pencils and sticks, they include:

  • One Primo Blanco charcoal pencil
  • Six Primo charcoal pencils; two each of grades HB, 3B, and B
  • Eight black charcoal pencils; two each of grades 2B, HB, 4B, and 6B
  • Two white charcoal pencils
  • Four wide compressed charcoal sticks; two in 6B, one in 2B, and one in 4B
  • Six regular compressed charcoal sticks; two each of grades 6B, 4B, and 2B

What we liked about the pencils, in particular, is that they are all handcrafted with sustained yield cedar wood. This wood ensures that you have a smooth sharpening and it has enormous strength. This makes it ideal for all types of art projects from field sketching and creative projects of all different levels.

The charcoal is quite good too. It is bendable and quite versatile. It makes your sketches appear cleaner, darker, and richer. Additionally, the charcoal pencils and sticks aren’t as messy as other brands.

  • The Drawing Paper

The General Pencil Charcoal Drawing Set comes with drawing pads as well. These pads are white in color, and you get about 20 pages in it. The measurements of this drawing pad are 9.5 inches x 6.5 inches.


  • The packaging is neat and holds everything in place.
  • Tons of pencil and stick choices
  • Each of the pencils and sticks is available in different grades
  • The pencils are made only from high-quality wood.
  • Pencils last long and are easy to sharpen.
  • The sharpener and eraser work well.
  • High-quality charcoal sticks which offer dark and rich looking results


  • Package breaks quite easily
  • The charcoal set is sometimes shipped without the drawing pad.


The General Pencil 33-Piece Classic Charcoal Drawing Set is a must-have for every sketch artist. There are ample choices in charcoal pencils and charcoal sticks. The pencils are made from high-quality wood, and the charcoal offers rich, bold, and dark color.

You also get a drawing pad, an eraser, and a sharpener. However, while the packaging keeps all the things well in place, it isn’t made from the best quality and can tend to break quite easily. Nonetheless, each item included works well and conforms to the ASTM D 4236.


To ensure that you are getting the best charcoal drawing set, we decided to test it with a somewhat similar charcoal drawing set. We found that Lightwish 29-piece Drawing Set was an excellent contender to the General Pencil’s 33-piece Drawing Set since, on the surface, the products are pretty similar. You get charcoal pencils and charcoal sticks, along with a sharpener and an eraser.

The difference between the two products is primarily the quality. The General Pencil’s drawing set is made from a better wood which not only lasts longer but also sharpens better. Similarly, you do not get a drawing pad with the Lightwish drawing set, and you have to buy a rolling pouch for it.


In conclusion, the General Pencil 33-Piece Classic Charcoal Drawing Set is an amazing product for any sketch artist. It comes with high-quality charcoal sticks and pencils which are durable and offer bold colors. You also get a sharpener, an eraser, and a drawing pad, making it absolutely good value for your money.

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