Our tour through the land of erasers continues. If you’re just tuning in, see our first edition of the search for the best eraser here.
This week we’ve expanded our search. I will admit that I stacked the deck the first round—last week I chose erasers to give a representative sample of the materials and shapes available, and included my personal favorites.
But did you know we sell nearly three dozen kinds of erasers? I like to tell people that there are a few ways to make their eraser decisions. There’s how well it works for your specific task, and then there’s how it feels in your hand and for your purposes. Do you need something for very fine line work? Do you need something exceptionally comfortable to hold? Are you just looking for a very, very stylish eraser? For many people, making eraser decisions involves a lot of consideration.
So here’s what we’ve got this time. We’re starting with the same pencil samples swatch I made for last week! From left to right:
Hi-Polymer eraser cap
Arrowhead Rubber Pink Eraser Cap
General’s Gum eraser
Koh-i-Noor Thermoplastic eraser
Tombow Mono Sand eraser
Craft Design Technology No. 014 Plastic eraser
Laufer Plast-122 eraser
How’d everyone do?
Let’s compare the two eraser caps first. We’re often asked what the difference between these two erasers is—and they both perform well.
The white Hi-Polymer, erasing the B line, was a satisfactory eraser that I’d happily use in everyday life, where I’m usually using pencils in the 2B through F range. It couldn’t handle colored pencil well at all, and I was surprised at the amount of shavings it produced. It was messy!
I noticed all this especially when against the classic pink Arrowhead, which did a similarly effective job erasing the D line of letters but left a less eraser dust in its wake. Neither eraser cap can really handle the softest graphite pencils I used or the colored pencil, but for everyday use they get the job done.
But here’s where I’ll share another angle. Did you know that the pink Arrowhead is actually double-walled to help prevent against interior cracking? It’s designed to address a common eraser cap annoyance! Many prefer the white Hi-Polymer for its looks but I always let folks know about the reinforced walls of the Arrowhead.
Next up we’ve got the General’s Gum eraser. This rubber eraser crumbles like an oatmeal raisin cookie on the page--a good thing if you're working with a delicate surface. It’s so soft and gentle that I knew it would be kind to the paper. But look at that colored pencil E I tried to erase. It’s entirely legible! The gum eraser did handle plain graphite much better (the H line of letters).
Next is a hexagonal cutie from Koh-i-Noor. It was comparatively the neatest to clean up, and the thin edges on it made it a breeze to move down the line of Js. Interestingly, I think the gum eraser handled the softest and darkest graphite grades better than this thermoplastic eraser, but the thermoplastic eraser outperformed the gum eraser on the colored pencil swatch.
The other great pluses about the Thermoplastic eraser are its unique shape and the concave indentation in the middle of the eraser which fits my thumb perfectly. Its comfortable to hold and the hexagonal shape and tapered edges give you a lot of control when erasing around smaller details.
We move on to the Matomaru-Kun mini! Did you know this is Caroline’s go-to eraser to recommend in the shop? (We sell it in a couple different sizes, too!) This eraser is a plastic eraser dream, it’s true. Don’t really ask it to eraser colored pencil, but on graphite it’s a hard worker that gets the job done with, as you can see, minimal eraser detritus.
And then we have our Tombow Mono Sand eraser! This eraser is the grittiest of them all, rub your finger across it and it’s textured—the rubber has been mixed with silica grit which actually wears away at the surface of your page to pull the marks away. For that reason we suggest it for hard-to-remove marks. Of all of the erasers in this week’s roundup it took off the colored pencil the best!
For our last two we’re looking at how well Craft Design Technology’s No. 014 eraser handled the colored pencil N and the graphite line of Xs. Did you know it’s made of the same material as the Pentel Hi-Polymer eraser cap? Interestingly, it produced comparatively less mess and, I think, even did a better job with the graphite. You can’t go wrong with the stylish minimalism of this eraser either.
And lastly we have the Laufer X-122. This chalky phthalate and PVC-free eraser is … not my favorite. For this surface and for these pencils it did a terrific job erasing everything but left so much eraser mess I’ll need to get out my vacuum after this is over to clean it up. Where it does win is on shape and size. I find tiny erasers difficult to use in my chubby hands, and this is a bulkier eraser with chiseled down sides so you get four long sharp points that stretch the length of the eraser.
And there you have it. We’ve completed yet another eraser tour! I hope I’ve shown you a helpful glimpse into this vast world! We can't let pencils have all the fun. Erasers!