January 24, 2016
I bought nearly every block eraser that Japan makes in a recent shopping binge.
As a math major, I need lots of erasers as it is, but I also wanted to determine
which ones worked best for my needs. I tested all of the erasers on three
different types of pencils: a Pilot Eno color .7, a Pentel graphite .5 and a
Pentel color 2mm, and then on three different paper types: Rhodia, an index
card, and then plain old American junk copier paper.
The type of paper wound up not mattering with the performance of any of the
erasers. What mattered was what they were erasing.
So with that established:
I don't know which came first, the Uni Boxy or the Ain Stein, but this one sort
of loses out when it comes to the concept of re-shaping the eraser to make it
distinctive to look at, yet more comfortable in the hand and more maneuverable
on the page.
It's not as cool to look at as the Boxy, and it feels off, somehow. It feels
sort of like a long mini-eraser, whereas the Boxy feels like it went out of its
way to be completely unlike anything else.
As for erasing, the Ain does well enough with .5 and .7 leads, but not as well
as the Boxy. The Ain erasers are oddly better at doing their job than the
American Hi-Polymer versions that they're so much like, but they're still only
middle of the road compared to other Japanese erasers.
I'm still shocked that these Ain erasers do such a poor job of erasing Pentel
2mm color writing. You'd think that the Ain people would walk down the hall to
the 8 in 1 pencil department, cadge one that's laying around, and make sure the
erasers they design will work on its marks, but obviously this hasn't occurred
The only thing that the Ain Stein has going for it over its obvious rival, the
Boxy, is that it doesn't stain anything in a pencil case, so I'll be able to
toss it in there and use it up quickly. After that, I won't be buying more.
There's just not enough as an eraser or as something different to have around to
make it worth replacing.
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