We have used these are they are unlike anything we have seen. They are like a woodless graphite pencil, only they are made of charcoal. They are extremely black. they have a lacquer coating, so you can use them without getting charcoal on your fingers. Pentalic Woodless Charcoal Pencils are made from superior grade charcoal. Use on an angle for broad strokes or with the point for fine details. To sharpen use a regular sharpener, sandpaper block or blade. The set comes with a hard, medium and soft.