Our last look at erasers got some good feedback, so I thought I’d try four more erasers, though in a much more limited way.
We’ve established that erasers have to be judged in context, and this time we’ll narrow that context – one type of graphite on one type of paper. In particular, our reference pencil, the Staedtler Mars Lumograph 100 in HB, on an 80g/m2 Rhodia pad. Though not the cheapest brands, Staedtler and Rhodia have near-global distribution, so they seemed appropriate choices as references.
The four erasers are the Faber-Castell 7081 N Vinyl Eraser, made in Germany, the Pilot Foam Eraser, made in Japan, the Tombow Mono Plastic eraser, made in Vietnam, and the Sanford Magic Rub 1954, origin unstated.
All erasers were purchased new. The Magic Rub came loose, and the others were wrapped in cellophane. The three cellophane wrapped erasers also have paper sleeve holders.
Appearance wise, the Magic rub seems to have many air bubbles, and is a greyish off-white. The other three were variations of white.
On the Rhodia pad, I drew ovals from an Acme template, and shaded in a diamond pattern.
I’ll admit my expectation – I thought these erasers would all be roughly the same. All did well, but there wasn’t any doubt for me about which were best and worst.
At both lines and shaded areas, the Magic Rub was clearly the worst. Also fairly clearly, the Faber-Castell was the next to worst eraser in both tasks.
At lines, the Pilot Foam seemed best, with the Mono close behind. The positions were reversed with shaded areas.
I made some additional marks for an overtime round, and the Mono came out ahead. The differences are subtle, and hard to capture without professional equipment.
The description at Dick Blick suggests that the Magic Rub isn’t a paper eraser – which might explain the performance.
Further reading: Effects of eraser treatment on paper, American Institute for Conservation, 1982.