Pencil Review: Pilot Color Eno Mechanical Colored Pencils

Pilot Color Eno Colored PencilsPilot Color Eno Colored Pencils Title

I was very curious about the Pilot Color Eno Mechanical Pencils ($2.75 each) so I bought all eight colors. The are 0.7mm colored pencils in mechanical pencil form and they are supposed to be erasable in the same vein as the Col-Erase but in mechanical pencils which means that pencil sharpeners would not be needed. So, I thought these would be worth a try. Each pencil is $2.75 each and there are replacement colored leads ($1.65 per tube) in the original formula and newer Neox leads ($3.30 per tube) as well and there are replaceable erasers too. ($1.65 per pack of 5)


Because the leads are 0.7mm, you can get a fine line but there are some sacrifices.  If you press too hard on the fine 0.7mm lead, it will snap. But with some of the lighter colors like the yellow, you can’t really see the color unless you bear down on it. Some of the other colors, like the blue, is just too hard and scratchy. You can’t get a rich, creamy color like you can with other colored pencils because the lead had to be formulated such to hold together in such a fine diameter. So, yeah… sacrifices.

Pilot Color Eno Colored Pencils: Good Colors

Based on my experiments, I wouldn’t recommend getting ALL the colors. I’d recommend getting the “animator’s friends” which would be the soft blue (AKA non-photo or non-repro blue) and red (which is similar to the beloved Col-Erase Vermillion or Carmine Red favored by animators). I would recommend, if you like thes ecolors, to then upgrade to the Neox leads though.

I also like the violet and pink pencils for sketching. The violet is actually quite dark and smooth and, conversely, the pink is pretty light. I liked the pink so much, I actually upgraded the lead to the Neox which doesn’t seem to wear down quite as fast. I burned through three of the standard pink leads in about a week.

Pilot Color Eno Colored Pencils Pink Jelly Fish

Pilot Color Eno Colored Pencils Cyan Dragonfly

Above are some quick sketches using the Pink Neox and the standard soft blue leads.

Pilot Color Eno Colored Pencils: Not So Good Colors

The colors I wouldn’t recommend are the yellow and the blue. The yellow was just too light to be useful and the blue was the hardest lead of the lot. Maybe I got a dud lead but it was super scratchy and uncooperative. I just couldn’t get it to lay down any color. I might try the Neox lead for the blue pencil to see if I have better luck because the stock lead did not do me any favors. I found the orange and green to be acceptable but not colors I’d race out to buy again.

Pilot Color Eno Colored Pencils: Worst Color

As for the erasability, I’d not recommend the erasers anymore than I do the erasers on Col-Erase. They do erase a bit but its by no means a complete success. They are just OK. I would recommend trying other erasers like a foam or plastic eraser for better success. The nice thing is that the pencils are not super smudgey like graphite and that their erasable tendencies mean that if you use these as part of a base drawing for a painting or inked artwork, you can choose a color that might coordinate with your overall color palette so that it will blend in and disappear as color is added where graphite might gray your colors.

For sketching in meetings, the Pilot Color ENO mechanical pencils are a lot less intrusive to use rather than being the d-bag who brings in the handheld sharpener and leaves a pile of shavings on the table. They also make it easier to have a good portable kit for travel as the pipe for the lead is fully retractable into the plastic barrel so it will not be damaged in transport.

Note: These pencils were tested on the Block Bitacora spiral-top 90gsm bond paper made by Minerva from Peru. Acquired in one of the many kits received from Rad + Hungry.

DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by JetPens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Pilot Color Eno Colored Pencils

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11 comments / Add your comment below

    1. I’d say they are comparable to a Verithin in hardness. Definitely good for detail work. If you order from JetPens, add the pale blue or red to your next order to try. They aren’t terrible but they are no Caran d’Ache or Faber-Castell, that’s for sure.

  1. I think the blue one is actually a non-photo blue? I’ve used it as non-photo blue and it was awhile ago but if memory serves it worked magically well not showing up on a B+W Laser copier.

    1. The blue pencil is probably light enough to work as non-photo blue for some folks but the Soft Blue version is the one that most of the comments on Jet Pens recommend for non-photo blue. And I found the lead core much easier to work with.

  2. Color saturation a little underwhelming for me. Have a purple one. Not that I am actively looking but am yet to find color leads that are better. It is a decent mechanical pencil for the price though.

    1. I think the purple is the most saturated of the bunch but I agree, I wish there were more options for mechanical colored pencils.

  3. I’ve been using Pilot’s Eno Color for over a year, and am very happy for the detail I’m able to manage with these. The GREEN is disappointingly blue. If there is a way to get to the manufacturers directly, I will be happy to participate in a request to add some yellow to that pigment in order to get a more balanced green. Or maybe even create a more leaf-green shade.

  4. I have some of these pencils and am trying them to mark fabric for quilting. Do you know what the “lead” is made of? So far I have just used them on wrong side of fabric, I will have to test erasability if I use them on the right side of the fabric.
    One quilting suggestions is Fons & Porter – strong ceramic 0.9mm white lead made from water-soluble dyes for dark fabrics. The dark lead apparently is graphite. I’m not sure where the ceramic is.

    1. I suspect that the Color Eno lead is a wax based pigment so I wouldn’t recommend it for fabric as it might stain with heat or absorb into the material as a result of the wax oils.

      Ceramic would suggestion powders of some sort and would probably be safer for fabric.

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