Staedtler Wopex and Noris Eco Not-quite Wooden Pencil Review

Staedtler Wopex review

The Wopex and Eco are, as far as I can tell, identical except for the finish. They are made from a wood-plastic composite and shout out their environmentally friendly credentials. What are they like?

Lead grade options: HB (Wopex and Eco), 2B (Wopex), 2H (Wopex)
Barrel colours: green/black (Eco), silvery blue/green/red (HB/2H/2B respectively) plus some limited edition finishes
Barrel shape: hexagonal
Eraser?: an option for the Eco

Staedtler Wopex lined up side by side

According to Staedtler, Wopex is a combination of wood and plastic that’s heated and moulded into a long pencil shape, which is then chopped into appropriate lengths. It’s apparently better for the environment than using just wood and the page about this displays all kinds of badges to prove it. I have to take their word for it, it’s way beyond my knowledge. It seems strange that disposable plastic is more environmentally friendly that wood but I don’t suppose for a moment they’re making it up. Perhaps the manufacturing process itself is greener.

Staedtler Wopex laid out

The lead is good. It’s nice and smooth, fairly smudge-free and shades well. It’s easy to erase. It doesn’t feel like normal pencil lead. In common with the barrel, it’s a little plasticky feeling.

Staedtler Wopex pointy bit

The paint used feels a little plasticky and takes some getting used to but I particularly love how the Noris Eco version looks.

Staedtler Wopex branding

As is so often the case, it’s marred by a barcode and serial number, particularly so in this case as Staedtler didn’t make any attempt to match it to the rest of the printing on the pencil.

Staedtler Wopex barcode

The barrel material also feels, and looks, plastic. This is really obvious when sharpening.

Staedtler Wopex sharpening

My initial reaction on picking up the Noris Eco was less than positive. I have to be honest: if I pick up a pencil, I expect it to be a certain way and made from wood is pretty much at the top of the list of ways I expect it to be. I put it back down and avoided it for a long time. Then I saw a pack of Wopexes in a French supermarket and, inevitably, bought them and gave them, and then the Eco, another try. The Eco in particular has grown on me. It’s a good pencil. It sharpens well, keeps a good point and looks fab. It will never be a favourite wooden pencil because, well, it’s not really wooden, but I no longer shun it. I’d even go as far as to say I like it.

Staedtler Wopex lined up from pointy bit


Supposedly better for the environment
Good looking (particularly the Noris Eco)
Good writer


None, as long as you like how it feels

You can find some more reviews of the Staedtler Wopex on Pennaquod.

Staedtler Wopex handwritten review


  1. Great review! I also wonder how the Wopex can be more eco-friendly, as it contains plastic and most plastic will not degrade in the wild. But, it is an interesting pencil either way and definitely something everyone should try.

  2. I’m quite fond of them – although their lightness on the page with some papers is their disadvantage, imo.

    I do like the extra “heft” they have in feel, they have a weightiness that isn’t matched by woodcase pencils of the same size, and the rubbery feeling they have can be nice too.

    The Noris ECO is quite easy to “skin”, if you have a few lying around – that gives the pencil a colder, more slippery (but surprisingly textured) feel. ( )

    I can picture the multipack of WOPEXes you bought – my youngest picked up a mixed grade pack in a Chapitre in Boulogne, although the grades didn’t seem that different to each other.

    One final though is that the Neon WOPEX makes quite a good workshop/out and about pencil – the brightness of the casing means that it’s easily visible should it fall off your pad or work, or be set against the darkness of the interior of a toolbag.

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