(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.