When you write with a pencil, the quality of the lead is only half the calculation. A low-quality eraser can interrupt your smooth writing experience just as surely as snapping lead or a scratchy pencil tip. Luckily, these days there are erasers galore, with different qualities that make them suitable for a variety of tasks and help you rub out your most stubborn mistakes.
Rubber was once the monarch of eraser materials, but these days some of the best erasers are made of plastic. For regular pencil marks, plastic erasers tend to be highly effective, fairly gentle on paper, and less likely to smudge than rubber. Plastic block erasers are great for rubbing out large areas of writing or drawing.
- The Tombow Mono Dust Catch eraser picks up dust and shavings as it erases instead of leaving them all over your paper
- Some other great plastic eraser options include the Tombow Mono eraser, the Kokuyo Resare eraser, and the Seed Radar eraser.
Retractable erasers are long, thin erasers that can be extended and retracted inside their protective holder to keep them clean inside your pencil case. They’re as comfortable to hold as a pen or pencil, they last a long time, and their smaller diameter makes it easy to erase precise areas. Unlike block erasers, which can be tricky to use once they get too small, retractable erasers let you use the eraser right up to the end - and then you can refill them.
- The Tombow Mono Zero is a precision eraser with a small diameter for erasing only the specific spot you need.
- The Sumo Grip eraser is wider and has a rectangular shape, so you can erase small details with the corners or larger areas with the middle of the eraser.
Pen erasers and erasable pens
While most ink isn’t really erasable, ink erasers made of gritty materials will remove the top layer of the paper and any marks on it, much like a scribe in medieval times would scrape mistakes off the parchment with a knife. Of course, paper isn’t as hardy as parchment, so pen erasers do cause minor damage to the paper, and on more delicate papers they can even rip through the surface. If you prefer not to risk damaging your paper, innovative pen companies have also invented erasable inks.
- The Mono Sand eraser is made of a fine abrasive sand that works like sandpaper, gently cutting up the surface of the paper and removing any marks on top.
- Frixion erasable pens use thermosensitive ink that is erased by heat. The friction of erasing makes the ink disappear.
Erasers for colored pencils
The pigments of colored pencils are harder to erase than graphite marks, but there are a couple of erasers out there that will do the trick.
- The For Color eraser is a great choice for removing as much pigment as possible.
- The Kneadable Eraser for Colored Pencils helps pick up color without totally erasing so you can lift and lighten different areas of your drawing.
Sometimes, an eraser isn’t just an eraser. It might also be an adorable kitten, a piece of sushi, or a sea creature. Novelty erasers come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, making adorable desk accessories as well as useful tools.