As a new pocket calculator tribute demonstrates, the Tombow Mono eraser is a design icon. It is also a mighty fine eraser. And similar to other successful products, the Mono has several brand “extensions”.
Looking just at the traditional block format erasers, here are five variants:
PE-04A, the basic Tombow Mono.
EN-MN, the “Non Dust” version.
PE-LT, the “Light” version.
EL-KA and EN-MA, which don’t have English names.
The EL-KA is distinguished by a slight blue tone – the other four erasers are bright white.
Readers of this blog are probably aware that top modern erasers are all first rate. The Pilot Foam, the Mitsubishi Boxy, and many others are great erasers. Differentiating between their performance is often a matter of discerning slight variations.
So I’ll admit to some curiosity about what might make these five PVC erasers from Tombow different from one another.
First observation: all five are excellent, and share much in common.
The name of the Non-Dust confuses me, as it seems to produce the same residue as other erasers. Perhaps there is some specific type of particle that it isn’t emitting? It is denser than the Mono, but the results seem very similar to me.
The EN-MA is spongier and lighter, but it also produced a very similar result. I like the feel.
The Light is the first one that truly feels different. It feels exceptionally smooth on paper – it does feel “light”. You also experience something the photo partially reflects – it excels at attracting and absorbing graphite. I don’t love the design of the sleeve (versus the original), but it is definitely an eraser worth trying.
Finally, the bluish EL-KA seemed to produce a different residue type – finer particles. Yet, the performance was similar to the others.
Are all these variations worthwhile? I imagine that for certain specialty pencil/paper combinations, one of these erasers might just be perfect. But for most general pencil users, I’m not so sure.
Does anyone like one or more of the Tombow Mono variants? If so, what do you like about it?
8 Replies to “Tombow Mono block erasers”
I am amazed by the grip of the basic Mono eraser – it just knuckles down to it (so to speak). For a portable eraser I like the Mono One. It is very good too although I have the impression that its formula is different (maybe to withstand the different mechanical stress). – The pocket calculator is nice :-)
All of them look great, especially the blue-ish one, but none of those erasers are locally available.
I’m no expert, but it seems the EL-KA and EN-MA are made of recycled materials. The EL-KA is described as “super easy erase” and the EN-MA is sold as a sticky-debris eraser. Thus it appears to me that they are just slighly more eco-friendly versions of their other offerings.
I like the standard Mono eraser, and I always have one or two laying around. They’re cheap and common where I live, and they are very effective. I also enjoy using the Mono One that Gunther mentioned, though I don’t use it often since I’ve gotten pretty good at precise erasing with a simple (and cheap) block.
I don’t have the light-touch version of the Mono, but I do have the light-touch Pentel Ain eraser, and I like it a lot.
Are these all PVC? I thought the erasure manufacurers were moving away from PVC because of health issues. We should do a non PVC erasure review. http://www.besafenet.com/pvc/The_Poison_Plastic.html
Each one has a “PVC” logo.
In regard to the Tombow EN-MN “Non Dust” version, perhaps it is similar to the Faber-Castell “Dust Free” vinyl eraser? Having never used the Tombow version, I can’t draw an accurate comparison. The F-C version is a white vinyl eraser that leaves one or a very few large eraser dust bits that are easier to clean up afterward than the many tiny bits of debris left behind by most white erasers I’ve used previously.
The regular Tombow Mono is still the best eraser in my opinion. It’s just perfect.
There’s another Tombow eraser that is much better than the Non Dust in avoiding shavings. It’s the Tombow Dust Catcher. It’s VERY effective on that.