This post is part of my series on art supplies from Walmart, which is part of a larger series about art supplies from big box stores commonly found across the US. My goal is to introduce readers to easily found, affordable supplies that are a good stopgap between school-grade supplies and the expensive art supplies they read about, but may not be able to afford. During the process, I hope to introduce myself AND my readers to supplies they may not have considered before, and hopefully encourage you guys to suggest good supplies I may have overlooked.
Pentel Hi Polymer Eraser- $1.46 for three
I've mentioned Pentel's Hi-Polymer Erasers in the past, I believe, as a good, easy to find alternative to Mono erasers. In this post, I'm going to pit the two side by side, so you can see that this easily available contender is no slouch in the erasing ring.
The nice thing about these Walmart reviews is that I can finally read the packaging, and either laugh at the things they consider selling points ("Block style is perfect for getting into little corners", "Comes with a protective sleeve to keep you and the eraser clean"), or take the claims as challenges to prove or disprove ("33% cleaner erasing!"- what constitutes a regular eraser to Pentel, who hail from the land of super erasers?)
So despite coming in a cardboard and plastic blister pack, these erasers are INDIVIDUALLY sealed for freshness, which is a little annoying.
The Field Test
The field test for both erasers is set up the same way, and was done at the same time. I created a variety of circumstances you would encounter when erasing- erasing bluelines, erasing just pencil, erasing pencil AND bluelines, erasing the pencil out for under the ink, erasing over ink, erasing bluelines from under ink. You want any eraser to clean up graphite and non photo blue lead cleanly with minimal smudging of the surrounding area, but you don't want it to pick up the ink you're using. As usual, I allowed my ink (from a Kuretake No. 6, I believe) to dry overnight. Papertype does matter for erasers, but I'm using a pretty common yardstick- regular 60lb sketchbook paper (Blick Sketch, my favorite). Please keep in mind that papers with a smooth finish will be more prone to smearing, and it may be more difficult to erase on papers with a rough finish. Now that I've found a basic standard of measure for comparing erasers, I can finally go through the dozens I bought while in Japan and after, and share that here with you guys.
For size comparison, I threw in a 'large' Mono eraser- the type I regularly use for my own art. This Mono eraser is from Jetpens, and is $1.65 plus tax and shipping.
The Pentel Hi Polymer eraser erases bluelines fairly cleanly, leaves some ghosting with graphite, has a little bit of smearing with graphite over bluelines (this is pretty common), and does not pull up the black ink.
Walmart Neon Eraser- $0.26 for one
So in an attempt at being fair, I decided to grab an eraser I wasn't sure would be any good, but figured others might think it was passable. This neon eraser is pretty non descript, despite the bright color, and is produced by Walmart for Walmart.
It has a plastic feel that would have been a little disconcerting in the past, but after years of using white vinyl erasers, I figure it's at least worth a shot. It will either smear graphite and non photo blue lead everywhere, or it'll do the job it's designed to do- erase.
The Neon Eraser, which promises to erase clean an clear, comes shrinkwrapped in plastic, which might seem ridiculous, but you have to keep in mind I bought it from Walmart.
The back has a barcode and vendor information.
The shrinkwrap was removed fairly easily, although I did have to utilize the metal tip of my Clearpoint mechanical pencil to get the plastic started.
The Neon Eraser performed better than I expected, in that I expected it to smear graphite and blue lead all over my paper. It doesn't perform as well as the Pentel Hi Polymer, and for your money, I recommend skipping the Neon Eraser and grabbing the 3 pack of Pentel instead.