Tuesday, June 26, 2012

New Favorite Eraser: Pentel Hi-Polymer

Erasin'

(Yes, seriously, a post about erasers).

NEWS FLASH: Pentel Hi-Polymer Erasers are TEH AWESOME.

1. When I first encountered the Mars Plastic Eraser a few years ago, it was a revelation. An eraser that actually...well, erased? And did so without leaving smeary crumbs like ye olde gritty pink erasers of yore? Whoa. There's a reason these are one of the benchmarks of eraserdom.

Since my eyes were opened to the possibilities, I've picked up a few other eraser varieties.

2. The Papermate Black Pearl (out sick the day the class photo was taken) is a great shape--if you use a sharp edge, you can get into pretty small spaces, but used lengthwise you can go to *town* with the thing. And being black, it doesn't acquire the grungy...um...patina of the white erasers. It does, however, produce more and messier residue than the Mars.

3. The Pentel Clic erasers get into small spaces and erase almost entirely--I think they're the same material as my new favorite eraser, actually. For things like math problems where you might need to erase one tiny character at a time, I imagine these'd be the way to go. Because they retract, they also can be kept pretty neat and clean--I keep one in my purse partly for this reason. But I like the solid, stolid simplicity of plain old block erasers, and (how shall I put this?) the way these sort of squish when you press down on them unnerves me.

4. Awhile back I picked up a Uni-ball "Boxy" eraser on a whim when placing a Jet Pens order, and this may be *the* primo eraser. Black, so it doesn't show graphite, and as you erase, the little shreds roll into a sticky little ball all by themselves, so they're very tidy. They also have that somewhat enigmatic little slogan: "The basic concept of Boxy always aims at a simple life style." Mmkay. Good to ponder. And, most importantly, wow they work well, even on dark and smeary pencil. They are, however, small, difficult to find, and rather expensive as erasers go. Also they are soft enough to damage by hard use if you aren't careful.

5. But the Pentel Hi-Polymer ZEH10 may be the Baby Bear's Chair of graphite erasers. Not only do they have a nifty '80s sort of style goin' on with the print on their little sleeve thingie, they're also large, long lasting, and work pretty much like the Boxy but are less easy to damage. As a bonus, they're available lots of places. I bought three of these bad boys for less than two bucks at Wal-Mart. I'm sold.

17 comments:

MEK said...

One of my daughters, who collects erasers, also loves the Pentel Hi-Polymer. She also does quite a bit of sketching, so she appreciates a good eraser!

Michael Clemens said...

I think I've already professed a love of the click eraser for the reasons you mentioned: cleanly erases, good for small areas, and stays neat in its case. Ideal for all the math & computer code I had to write out on exams back in college.

notagain said...

The pentel high-polymer are right up there with the Stabilo good choice.

notagain said...

oh and they both make good carving media for stamps

Bill M said...

Did you ever see a clear red kind of plastic eraser? They were neat, worked good and like a new book had their own special aroma.

I like the Staedler, Pentel and the Hi-Polymer. I use the click erasers more than any since they fit my pockets and perhaps because I used so many of them so often back in the days we drew schematics and drawings rather than make cookie-cutter ones on CAD.

Anonymous said...

Never paid much attention to erasers until I started sketching with graphite and colored pencils and various types of pastels. Now an eraser's efficacy and lack of "crumbs" matters.

I use a kneaded eraser for some things, including cleaning the type faces of my machines. I use the Pentel Clic and Mars erasers for everything else. They seem to work equally well and the crumbs are the same.

You wouldn't think an eraser would matter much these electronic days. But the Staples site has 373 reviews for the Pentel Hi-Polymer (4.8 out of 5 stars) and almost 300 reviews (4.9 out of 5 stars) for the Mars eraser.

It's kind of neat that such an ordinary, though effective, tool can engender so much interest.

Jeff The Bear

Little Flower Petals said...

I want to give the stamp carving thing a try one of these days!

I'd say the Pentel is a little softer than the Mars, and while they produce about the same amount of tightly rolled shreds, in the Pentel's case, the shreds stick together and to the eraser (a la the Boxy), making them a little easier to clean up. But the Mars is probably more durable.

I still want to pick up a couple more Clics during back to school sales. For some reason I keep losing these, though the rest of my erasers stay put. Either that or they have a mind of their own...

I vaguely remember clear erasers, but most were novelty erasers of some sort. I also had a Dino eraser (from the Flinstones) that worked really well...probably a plastic eraser of some sort. His head came off, and afterward I felt a little weird about using him. Also had a "Yikes!" eraser at one point--anyone else remember those?

Anonymous said...

One thing you should consider buying, is an eraser shield (may be called an erasing shield). This will allow you to erase specific areas of work: drawings, text, math calculations, etc. without erasing areas you want left untouched. It can be found in art supply stores and in the big office supply stores with the drafting supplies.

Little Flower Petals said...

Thanks for the tip, Anonymous! I've seen mention of these eraser shields before but haven't yet hunted one down. I'll check the drafting supplies area next time I visit my local Staples or Office Depot.

Anonymous said...

You're welcome. If you do a Google search, you can find both images of them, and companies that sell them. The shield is slightly larger than a credit card (maybe 1/8 inch or so larger, all the way around).

Besides the eraser you mentioned, another one I use is the Tombow brand "Mono" plastic eraser pictured here: http://www.tombow.com/en/catalog/erasers/mono_eraser.html I'm not sure how the other Mono erasers are, as I've used them before.

Anonymous said...

I meant, I'm not sure how the other Mono erasers are, as I've never used them before.

Anonymous said...

Per an email I just got a half hour ago, Office Max is having "Back to school deals" starting this coming Sunday, 7/8/2012. If you're looking for more erasers or other stuff, I'd check their online ad, as well as, the ads for the other stores for sales starting this Sunday.

Little Flower Petals said...

I love me some back to school sales! Could be a fun Sunday afternoon outing. ;) And I also Googled eraser shields, so I know what to look for if they happen to have those. I'm curious enough to want to try one.

Anonymous said...

If you like the Pentel Clic, you might like the Staedtler eraser holder http://www.staedtler.ca/erasers_ca?ActiveID=25031 I have two and I love using them. The sliding mechanism is slightly different in that you can move it silently if desired. I believe it uses the same eraser material as the mars rectangular blocks. Jetpens also has various stick erasers. http://www.jetpens.com/Pen-Stick-Style-Erasers/ct/1380

Little Flower Petals said...

Thanks for the added information, Anonymous!

Anonymous said...

The basic concept of Boxy is to do the job as well as it can be done and to clean up after itself afterwards. Boxy is top notch, and so are your other faves, LFP. Black Pearl's specialty beyond general erasing excellence is that it may be the hardest wearing of all the top erasers.

I'm a huge fan of your pencil reviews, please keep them coming. I can't wait to get my grubby graphite besmirched hands on a dozen Semi-Hex thanks to you LFP

Little Flower Petals said...

Thank you for your input! I hope you enjoy those Semi-Hex pencils--I can't imagine that you wouldn't! They're very fine.