What Makes a Pencil Good or Bad? – Erasers

This is part 3 in a 4 part series. You can read part 1 and part 2.

One of the things that drew me to pencils in the first place is the fact that they can erase. I am prone to making many mistakes, mixed with a desire to have neat, clean pages. I hate seeing a page with a bunch of words crossed out because of misspelling or other mistakes because they were written with pens that can’t be erased (those erasable pens are a joke, so don’t get me started on those). The pencil is a beautiful piece of engineering genius that can be erased when mistakes are made, or changes need to happen.

However, if you buy a pencil with a no-good eraser on it, this point is moot. So far, I have not found a proven method to figure out how to know if an eraser is going to be good or bad. This is normally something you have to figure out over time. However, when buying a pencil, I have found that if the eraser is made out of rubber or plastic, then it tends to be a better eraser overall. A good way to avoid buy a pencil with a crappy eraser on it, is to not buy those store brand pencils from Staples or Target. If you stick with good pencils, even Ticonderoga’s which are everywhere, then you can rest assured that you will have a decent eraser on your pencil.

Why doesn’t my pencil have an eraser on it?

One thing that I have learned that I have found very interesting, is that only American pencils are made with erasers on them. Although the Palomino Blackwings are Japanese made, since they are an American company, they have erasers. Same goes for all of the other American pencil makers, give or take a few. Pencils that are made in other countries, tend to not have erasers on them.

Some of my favorite pencils are ones that are from other countries, and don’t have erasers. To remedy this, I always keep a stand-alone eraser with me. My go-to is the Caran d’Ache Technik, which you can get here! I can keep this little guy in my pocket almost at all times. It is a great eraser that does the job excellently! I even use it with my pencils that have erasers on them, because I don’t like the look of a pencil with a worn down eraser.

While not as necessary to a good pencil as the wood or graphite, the eraser is a big deal for a pencil, and I hope this was helpful for you in your future endeavors!

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