Eraser Off

After appearing on the Eraser episode of the Erasable podcast, I decided to fully test all the erasers (and then some) that were in the awesome CW Pencil Enterprise eraser pack as well as some of the erasers that were mentioned on the episode. Some were long time favorites of mine and others were new-to-me goodies so I thought it was time to do a side-by-side comparison.

The challengers:

The tools:

The papers:

Eraser Off

The first phase of this experiment was to test each eraser on the smooth, everyday paper. I chose Leuchtturm1917 which is a warm white, smooth paper. I wanted to test three “everyday pencils” as well as three colored pencils that might be used by people who might want to add color, sketches or more creative elements to their notes or everyday notes.

Eraser Off

For regular graphite, most of the erasers were acceptable. The Koh-i-noor Thermoplastic Hexagonal “throwing star” and the Kohi-noor Pebbles were the least effective on the Leuchtturm1917 but for daily writing, they were acceptable. The Staedtler Mars Plastic, the Tombow, the Sakura and Pilot Foam and the Campus Plastic all performed above expectations for graphite erasing.

Eraser Off

What was most surprising to me was that the Foam erasers by Sakura and Pilot usurped by beloved Staedtler for the best eraser when erasing the colored pencil markings from the smooth Leuchtturm paper. And the unusual and rare-as-a-coelacanth pink Campus Plastic Eraser also did a better-than-average job of erasing both graphite and colored pencil too. Not that I’m biased against pink erasers but it was pink and scented or at least swee-smelling so I wasn’t expecting it to be a top-performer too. The Koh-i-noor Pebbles did a good job of erasing the Col-Erase on the Leuchtturm which was a bit of a surprise.

Eraser Off

In an effort to be completely thorough, I also decided to test the erasers on the toothier Stillman & Birn Alpha sketchbook paper which allowed some erasers to really shine where others had a lot more challenges. The Pebbles struggled on the textured surfaces but the Tombow Mono, Campus Plastic and Staedtler Mars Plastic all did well. The Sakura Foam and Pilot Foam erasers did quite well too.

Eraser-off eraser challenge on #stillmanandbirn alpha sketchbook paper.

A video posted by ana reinert (@wellapptdesk) on

The Pebbles struggled on the textured surfaces but the Tombow Mono, Campus Plastic and Staedtler Mars Plastic all did well. The Sakura Foam and Pilot Foam erasers did quite well too.


Eraser Off

The finalists: Tombow Mono and Pilot Foam.

Runners-up: For toothy paper, Staedtler Mars Plastic. For smooth paper, Koh-i-noor Pebbles.

Most likely to smell good: Campus Plastic Eraser (could not decide if it was scented or not but it smelled sort of sweet).

Still coolest looking: Koh-i-noor Thermoplastic

DISCLAIMER: Some items were sent to me free of charge by JetPens for the purpose of review. Other items I purchased myself. Please see the About page for more details.

5 Comments on The Great Eraser Rub-Off Challenge

  1. You are doing the good work.

    I loved the one foam eraser I had (must get more). It did great things on toothier watercolour paper with graphite pencil.

  2. It was an excellent review, and I thank you for talking about some erasers on the artsy side of things. My talents sadly do not extend past writing neatly, so I cannot comment beyond 2B-F graphite, but my conclusions largely agree with what you have here. The Mars Plastic was the best eraser for years, but it has been surpassed by the “foam” erasers. They are very low friction erasers, in which I basically mean you don’t rub very hard. From what I’ve been told, the Sakura and Pilot foams are the same product, but others with more experience with both could probably speak to the truth of this. The only warning for these “foams” is that the wear very, very quickly. The erasers being a little over dollar each means that this is not too big of a deal, but expect to wear through them ~2x-3x faster than other erasers.

    Not shown here are the AIN Hi-Polymer and “Boxy” erasers, which are my favorite block erasers of the higher friction, lower wear ilk. The Boxy does have a problem with cracking and becoming useless after breaking into a bunch of small pieces over time. It does work very well before that happens, though.

    My favorite eraser is actually not a block eraser, but a newer pen eraser, which with a few moderate rubs erases graphite marks completely, leaving only the indentations of the mark, the E-Knock Dust Gathering (Broad). The broad erases much more cleanly than the fine, probably relating to how the eraser itself beads more effectively in the broad. The mechanism isn’t perfect, and the white eraser can be snapped if used too vigorously or let out too far, but such can be avoided, and boy does it erase pencil lead. They seem to be sold out and I don’t know if JetPens will bring them back, they said “last chance” the other day. I bought a few after I got my first one and enjoyed it, but hopefully there will be a restock or a mechanism redesign. They’re too good to go out of stock forever.

    • The Boxy and Ain erasers were reviewed earlier in my Black Erasers vs. Black Pencils review and I liked them both. For this review though, I decided to focus on mostly erasers I hadn’t reviewed yet with just the Staedtler as my “control.” At some point, I’ll do a review of several of the pen-style erasers since I’ve collected quite a few of those as well. Thanks for the feedback!

      • Very interesting conclusions. For at least my uses and pencil pressures, the AIN Hi-Polymer (white eraser, red packaging, ZEAS model) and Boxy erased more cleanly than the Mars, but I also don’t press particularly hard or shade larger regions.

        If you end up doing a pen-eraser review and the E-Knock in broad is has gone into permanent retirement state-side, get in touch and I’ll send a beloved spare your way.

  3. I tend to use the Staedtler Mars Plastic eraser for a lot of my art (mostly because I bought a shit tone one time!). Maybe I’ll pick up a Tombow Mono! (I do have a ‘Moo’ eraser I have yet to use, I wonder if it’s good??)

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