Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Great Eraser Review: Pentel Hi-Polymer, Staedtler Mars Plastic, and Staples Brand Erasers

I've never reviewed an eraser before.  In fact, there aren't even all that many eraser reviews out there.  The lowly eraser, an essential tool if you write with a pencil, often receives relatively little acknowledgement.  Well, that is about to change - at least in this post.  Several months ago, I received a Pentel School Essentials pack from a giveaway at Tiger Pens Blog.  Included in the kit was a Pentel Hi-Polymer eraser.  Having never reviewed an eraser before, I wasn't prepared to review it then, but I was curious to see how it would perform in comparison with other erasers.  Hence, this review - in which I compare three common plastic erasers: the aforementioned Pentel Hi-Polymer, the Staedtler Mars Plastic, and a Staples brand eraser.

Here they are!  Exciting, yes?  Okay, maybe not so much.
All of these three erasers are fairly basic looking rectangular white plastic erasers.  Each comes wrapped in a paper sleeve.  This can protect the eraser but can also become rather ratty over time.  The one on the Hi-Polymer feels a bit loose and easily slides around, so it would be more likely to fall off, but the sleeves on the Mars Plastic and Staples brand erasers feel tight.  The Mars Plastic is made in Germany and the Hi-Polymer in Taiwan, while the Staples brand eraser is not telling - but I'm assuming that it's probably China or some place like that.  The Mars Plastic is latex-free, while the Hi-Polymer and Staples brand erasers are presumably not (correct me if I'm wrong, but I checked out the Pentel website and found no mention of the eraser being latex-free).  This doesn't matter to me, but it may be important for some of you.

Taken out of the plastic sleeve, the Mars Plastic is imprinted on the top and bottom with the Staedtler logo, a nice touch that allows the company to set their branding on the eraser even when it is separated from its sleeve (at least until the eraser itself is worn down).  The other two erasers are plain.  The Hi-Polymer has a slightly smoother texture than the others, while the Staples eraser feels slightly stiffer and not as soft as the others.  The Hi-Polymer is probably the softest of the three, but only by a very small margin over the Mars Plastic.

Now, let's put these erasers to work!
This takes me right back to my days in physics class, and brushing the eraser crumbs off my desk until the ground around me was littered with them.  (And for the curious, the pencil I used in this review was a Staedtler Norica HB.)
All of these erasers are going to be messy.  They all produce a substantial amount of eraser dust.  The Mars Plastic may have been the messiest by a very slight margin, as its crumbs seemed to stick together the least.  Based on these tests (and some further erasing that I didn't photograph), I would have to say that the Pentel Hi-Polymer erases the most cleanly of all the erasers, although it is closely followed by the Staedtler Mars Plastic.  The Hi-Polymer also had the softest and smoothest feel to it while erasing.  All of the erasers left some shadow behind on the paper, but the Staples brand eraser was probably the worst - although it actually wasn't that far behind the others.  The worst thing about the Staples eraser was that it made a rough scraping sound on the paper (sort of like two pieces of rough paper rubbing against each other).  That kind of sound just drives me crazy (it's like the sound of nails on a blackboard is for some people) and I probably wouldn't use that eraser just for that reason.  The other two erasers were quiet.

Overall, I would say the Pentel Hi-Polymer is the best of the three erasers I reviewed here today, although both it and the Staedtler Mars Plastic are great erasers, and either one would be an excellent choice.  The Staples brand eraser, although it would probably be acceptable in most situations, is not as enjoyable to use and does not erase as cleanly as the other erasers.  I would not recommend it if you could buy a better eraser (i.e., the Hi-Polymer or Mars Plastic) instead.

Will there be more eraser reviews here in the future?  This one was fun to do, and erasers are fairly cheap, so there may well be more.  Are there any other erasers that you would like to see me review?

Related reviews for Pentel Hi-Polymer: pensandmore, The Writing Utensil Geek, Lung Sketching Scrolls (this review includes a great comparison!), Little Flower Petals

Related reviews for Staedtler Mars Plastic: The Pen-Guin, Dave's Mechanical Pencils, Pencil Talk (this review also includes a detailed comparison with a number of other types of erasers)

14 comments:

  1. I would love to see a comparison review of the FACTIS Black 18 eraser which I found at Pearl Art Supply. For me it is the best with no shadow and minimum crumble.

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  2. I would love to see a review on the Papermate Pink Pearl and the Sanford Magic Rub 1954. Both are fairly affordable!

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  3. Pentel has a pencil form of retractable eraser, does Staedtler only offer theirs in block form?

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    Replies
    1. Staedtler offers retractable erasers as well. Check out these:
      http://www.amazon.com/Staedtler-Plastic-Refillable-Includes-52850BK/dp/B005DDJT5G/
      http://staedtler.com/erasers_with_sliding_plastic_sleeves
      (I'm not sure if the second one is the Mars Plastic or not, but it comes in fun colours!)

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  4. I used Pentel erasers during my school days many years back and love them alot. However, I recently bought them for my school going children and they created such a mess in their pencil cases. Pencils(Lyra, Jockey etc.) that comes with painted surface will dissolve when they come into contact with these erasers. I wasn't sure at first that it was the erasers that caused the problem. I put them in my own stationery drawers and there the same thing happened.

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  5. Hey, anonymous at Mar 2,
    There's two type of Pentel Hi-polymer: the blue and the green sleeve one. The green one is non-dust type and it will disolved any plastic go near it.

    Buy the blue one.

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  6. Thank you. Very useful. Erasers are indeed very important.

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  7. i used both the pentel and the staedtler but i think the steadtler works better...

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  8. I would be interested in a more general review of the new-fangled plasticy erasers, such as reviewed here, versus the old-fashioned soft, pink rubber kind. Is it worth paying extra for the new-fangled kind?

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  9. Great blog post! I am currently doing a lot of tattoo design work, so need to draw and erase many fine lines over and over again. From all of these comments, I have decided to buy the Steadler eraser mars pen, I'll let you know what I think of it : )

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  10. seriously my favourite eraser will forever be from pentel but not the type you reviewed here but the green ^.^

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  11. Hi...your post was very interesting and informative. I don't know how old you are, but when I was young we had erasers that were white, with a green top and alphabet pictures on them. These erasers were the best! Now they only have the boring plain white erasers with the company names on the sleeve. But out of the new ones, I like the Hi-Polymer that you reviewed and the Staedtler. Both my kids use those for middle and high school.

    I would love to see a review of the Arrowhead cap erasers vs other cap erasers. Arrowhead ones are as good as the erasers on the end of the Ticonderoga pencils. Have you tried these?

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    Replies
    1. I've never seen those white & green alphabet erasers before, they sound fun :) I had a fairly large collection of novelty erasers when I was a kid, but sadly all of those are long gone now.

      I haven't tried any cap erasers yet, but I should do so! That's a whole category of erasers that I haven't gotten into at all yet.

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  12. Just what I was looking for .. many thanks for the review. ..

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