Why are there so many pencil erasers that don't?
June 29, 2005 3:51 PM   Subscribe

Why do they make so many pencil erasers that don't erase? Isn't that the point? Some do, but lots don't. It doesn't make any sense. This has bugged me for years.
posted by judybxxx to Society & Culture (11 answers total)
Best answer: The vast majority of nonfunctional pencil erasers I encounter are merely stale rubber. At one time they were functional erasers, but the rubber has aged and hardened to the point where they do not erase.
posted by majick at 4:01 PM on June 29, 2005

It is marketing gimmick...
People are so used to having eraser at the end that when you have choice people will choose one with eraser even if it is non functional.

As long as there are pencil with erasers, not many will make eraser-less pencil. Think of it eraser-pencil 25cents... noneraser-pencil 20cents.... hmmm.. what would you choose.

Technically those erasers are functional. but very cheaply made.
posted by curiousleo at 4:15 PM on June 29, 2005

Best answer: If it's stale rubber, I take an X-acto knife and cut off all the edges to expose the useful rubber underneath. Presto: A working pencil eraser... that, um, looks like it was all hacked up with an X-acto.
posted by Gucky at 4:17 PM on June 29, 2005

I always rub mine on my jeans or on carpet or something to freshen them up. I've seen many erasers for kids though, that just don't do anything but make a mess. You know, like Hello Kitty and stuff.
posted by snsranch at 4:43 PM on June 29, 2005

I always thought it was the kind of paper you were trying to erase on. Printer paper or copier paper is problematic because it's got a gloss to it. Are you trying to erase notebook paper or similar?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 4:49 PM on June 29, 2005

Best answer: Some decorative erasers seem to be made of a plastic that isn't much use for erasing. If the eraser on a pencil is dried out, an emery board works nicely to file off the hard shell.
posted by theora55 at 5:36 PM on June 29, 2005 [1 favorite]

Quit buying cheap pencils and you won't have this problem. Get yourself a nice set of Dick Blicks or Dixon Ticonderogas and you won't have to worry about your rebranded, facetless, shitty eraser "pencils" any longer.
posted by angry modem at 6:11 PM on June 29, 2005

Response by poster: Well, by gum, it works. I used an X-acto (thanks Gucky) but now I can try an emery board. I guess I just have a lot of O.o.o.ld pencils.

and I think this applies to lots of kinds of paper.

Thank you thank you.
posted by judybxxx at 6:15 PM on June 29, 2005

Why do they make so many pencil erasers that don't erase? Isn't that the point?
No, that's your problem. The eraser is on the other end.

OK, OK, I couldn't resist.
Buy one of those large, white Staedtler erasers, and cut it into about eight small cheesecake-shaped wedges. You've got lots of edges and points for precision erasing, and you have one for every work location. They're much better erasers than anything on a pencil.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 7:53 PM on June 29, 2005

I heart Staedtler plastic erasers.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:41 PM on June 29, 2005


I didn't know these existed.

Staedtler Cadet Pencil

* Pre-sharpened (time saver!)
* Made from 100% wood (vegan!)
* #2 / HB
* White, latex-free eraser (latex alergies? no problem!)
* Hexagonal barrel shape - won't roll off tables (phew!)
posted by Jack Karaoke at 12:05 AM on June 30, 2005

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