However, I’ve got two more guilty parties we need to look at…
How about the store that allows customers to fondle and bang pencils around on open, unmonitored display shelves? If you are buying Prismas from a store like that, you deserve a broken pencil. I'm looking at you right now, you 40% off Michael Ann's Lobby shoppers.
And next, let's look at the colorer who stores their pencils rattling around loose in a shoebox or generic storage tin. Add to that anyone who allows their pencils to roll off the desk. These people are asking for breakage!
You have fragile pencils and you are not taking care of them. How is that Prismacolor’s fault?
Now I know, there are methods on the internet which claim that heating the pencil can heal the core. I’ve seen people mention the microwave, a heating pad, a low oven, and even setting them out in the sun. But here’s the deal, I don’t know if any of these methods work because I’ve never had to try them. I haven’t had a pencil with multiple internal breaks, at least not in recent memory.
I haven’t purchased a full set of Prismas in at least 20 years, so maybe that’s why I don’t see this problem much. I buy open stock pencils at two very reliable art stores (either would immediately exchange a shattered pencil) and I store my pencils in this case (affiliate link warning).
You can’t buy Prismacolor pencils from Super-Piggly-Mart and toss them loose into a desk drawer.
And if you do, don’t whine about breakage on the internet.
5. Prismacolor Soft Cores don’t erase very well
Go away. Just go away.
They’re not supposed to erase easily. If you want an erasable pencil, go shop for one.
6. Wax based pencils are bad
If you get that white wax coating called "bloom", well... there's no nice way to say this:
You’re doing it wrong.
Bloom happens when you put down too many layers of heavy pencil, when you burnish like a mad banshee, or when you fail to seal your finished project.
If you must burnish... I do not, but that's a different discussion for another day... but if you are a burnisher, then a simple spray coat of fixative or sealant will prevent blooming.
And don't use hairspray! Hairspray is not, not, not fixative.
Here's the kicker, something most people never think about when they do it- when you use a blending pencil, you are actively encouraging bloom. You don’t get to complain about wax bloom when you coat everything with extra wax! But again, fixative solves the problem.
If your project does bloom, a light rubbing with a facial tissue or microfiber cloth will remove the bloom buildup. Then spray it with fixative; fixative prevents blooming.
Are you getting the impression here that fixative is important? I hope so.
And by the way, the oil based pencil which folks keep recommending online as “super-duper awesome because it's not wax based”? Uhm, it has wax in it. All colored pencils contain wax. They just don’t mention it on the box.
7. “Prismacolors are the worst pencils ever”
This is the biggest internet bandwagon- unspecific with hints of inevitable doom.
Prismacolor did a dumb thing- they took the name “Prismacolor” which once stood for something awesome and they used it to rename of all the other pencils they crank out.
So Verithins became “Prismacolor Verithins”. And Col-Erase and Scholars now use the name Prismacolor too. And the word “Premier” seems to be leaking over into the other styles now, most of which are completely unworthy of a Premier moniker.
I’m seeing confusion with my students, something that never happened a decade ago. The names are a serious problem. I call for the Soft Core pencils but they’re labeled “Primacolor Premier” and they once simply went by “Prismacolor”. A lot of my students are accidentally buying the wrong product, no matter how specific I make my lists.
I had one online student using Verithins for a year and she never understood why I kept calling my pencils buttery because hers were hard and brittle. Once she got her hands on a real Soft Core, months of my classes suddenly made sense.
And I have some students who get enticed by the eraser on the Col-Erase version. Erasers have a special appeal to beginners. But I always end up with a few students who learn they have the wrong Prismacolor but refuse to upgrade until they feel as if they've recouped the original investment.
So please, before you accept an internet opinion about terrible, horrible, Black Plague inducing Prismacolor pencils, find out which Prismas they're referring to. They could be talking about Scholars. If that's the case, KraftyKassie95 is completely right. Scholars are terrible!