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Mistakes are inevitable, but that doesn't mean they have to be permanent—even if they're written in ink. A good eraser removes marks and mistakes with ease, without damaging the surface they're made on (whether it be paper, canvas, or even fabric).
When shopping for an eraser, you'll want to consider what you need it for. Are you buying for a child who will mainly be erasing graphite from paper, or are you an artist who needs something a little more heavy-duty? Erasers come in a range of styles and materials, allowing you to find the perfect one for whatever you'll be removing.
Here, the best erasers for every kind of creator.
Best for Overall: Prismacolor Scholar Latex Free Eraser
If you need a high-quality eraser for removing unwanted marks, look no further than the Prismacolor Scholar Latex-Free Eraser. Its triangular shape fits snugly in your hand and is capable of removing both large and small marks. The flat surface covers more ground and can remove large marks, while the corners of this eraser are ideal for getting rid of smaller details. Thanks to its latex- and PVC-free design, there's minimal dust and smudging.
The multipurpose design makes it great for students, artists, teachers, and those who just like to draw for fun. This eraser has racked up hundreds of glowing reviewers, with users calling it the “best eraser in the universe” for its ability to cleanly erase even the darkest pencil marks without leaving smudges or scuffing up the paper.
Best Budget: Sakura Sumo Grip Eraser
On a budget but still want a quality eraser that actually works? The Sakura Sumo Grip Eraser is both reasonably priced and effective at removing marks, thanks to its open-cell foam technology and special hybrid-matrix formula that thoroughly picks up and traps erased graphite. Because of this eraser’s black color, you can expect your paper to stay clean and smudge-free, no matter how many times you need to erase a mark. This set comes with four erasers (B60 size) on a blister card. Reviewers love the gentleness of the Sakura Sumo Grip Eraser, with multiple reviewers stating that this eraser is definitely best for removing graphite pencil marks as opposed to other materials.
Best for Colored Pencils: Tombow MONO Colored Pencil Eraser
If you’re a colored pencil enthusiast, using the right type of eraser is crucial. We love the Tombow MONO Sand Eraser because it's effective at removing colored pencil marks, as well as ink marks (ballpoint or rollerball) and even some markers. It’s produced from all-natural materials such as silica grit and natural rubber latex, and has a recycled pulp sleeve. It comes in a pack of two erasers, so you can keep one at home and take the other one to work or school. Reviewers found that the MONO Sand Eraser doesn’t smear or tear the paper and it even removes sticky adhesive residue. A few customers noted that this eraser is great for blending out different colors in their work, too.
Best for Charcoal: Faber Castell Kneaded Eraser
Removing charcoal smudges from paper can be tricky, but a kneadable eraser can correct mistakes by lifting charcoal from your medium instead of moving the charcoal around. For anyone that works with charcoal, the Faber-Castell Kneaded Eraser is a great product to have on hand. Plus, it works great on pastel and pencil marks.
Each pack comes with four putty erasers in different colors, so one order will last you a long time. According to customers, the putty is absorbent and won't wear down or leave behind residue. Just keep in mind that, with kneaded erasers like the Faber-Castell, you should try to press (not rub) and pull the eraser away from the paper. Another trick is to warm up this eraser by pulling and folding its body. Each eraser in this set comes with a plastic case for convenient storage and proper preservation.
Best for Canvas: Pentel Ain Regular Size Eraser
The Pentel Ain Eraser is ideal for those who work with canvas, whether you’re an artist, student, or teacher. Imported from Japan, the Pentel Ain is made of PVC, a specialized polymer material that produces less dust and causes fewer abrasions on paper: just a few light, gentle strokes are able to remove any unwanted marks. Reviewers love this product for its ability to cleanly erase marks without leaving behind eraser debris or holes, which is especially important if you’re working on a material like canvas. In terms of more critical reviews, some customers wished these erasers were bigger, but say they're still effective at removing unwanted marks.
Best for Drawing: Tombow MONO Eraser
If you’re into sketching and drawing, the Tombow MONO Eraser will protect your work with top-quality precision. The rectangular body is easy to grip, while the protective paper sleeve will keep the eraser from getting damaged during use. It's crafted from rubber and polyester and comes in three different sized packs (a 3-pack, 5-pack, and 40-pack). Customers agree that this product is affordable, but wish that the erasers were bigger. However, despite the Tombow's small size, it works great without smearing and easily lifts up graphite without ripping the paper. "They really do a great job at erasing even darker lines," wrote one mother. "My daughter loves it."
Best for Kids: LW Funny Toys Animal Erasers
Delight kiddos with these vibrant, animal shaped erasers that are perfect for small hands. In this 30-piece collection, there are jungle and sea creatures, teddy bears, dogs, cats, pandas, unicorns, and more. Kids will also love that each eraser can be taken apart and reassembled just like a puzzle! Since there are several small parts involved, these erasers are recommended for kids age 7 and older. Several reviewers said that they’ve used these erasers in gift bags for parties, as classroom treats, or as a stocking stuffer during the holidays.
Best for School: Paper Mate Pink Pearl Erasers
Looking for the perfect eraser for school? The Paper Mate Pink Pearl Eraser is a classic eraser that's designed for erasing marks on notebooks, looseleaf paper, standardized tests, and more. The sharp ends are perfect for removing small mistakes, while the flat surface is capable of erasing large marks. Because it comes in a pack of 12 erasers it's an economical choice if you're buying for several school-aged children or an office. Reviewers note that the Paper Mate Pink Pearl Erasers don't wear out as quickly as the softer, white ones and it doesn't tear up the paper. Note that this eraser is great at removing pencil marks, but it's not the best choice for colored pencils or ink.
What to Look for In an Eraser
Ease of Use
Of course, you don't want to get an eraser that's hard to use. Choose something that fits nicely in your hand and is easy to store. You'll also want to consider if there will be a lot of eraser shavings when you begin to remove a mark. Do you mind shavings being on your desk? Or would you prefer to use something like a kneading eraser that "absorbs" your marks? You also shouldn't have to press or rub too hard to erase a mark, otherwise, you could damage your medium.
What You'll Be Erasing
There are tons of different erasers out there for all kinds of things: ink, graphite, colored pencils, and more. If you're mainly going to be erasing graphite, most kneadable and rubber erasers will remove those marks. Colored pencils and ink, however, are a little more difficult to remove. You'll want to look for erasers specifically made to remove those kinds of marks.
Medium You're Erasing From
If you're drawing on paper, you'll want an eraser that won't rip the page. Similarly with canvas or other materials, you want something that won't damage your medium. Keep in mind that kneading erasers are a little more gentle (you dab instead of rub) than rubber erasers, but they may not work depending on what you're using to make your marks.
How do pencil erasers work?
Most erasers work in one of two ways. Kneadable erasers work by picking up pigment and absorbing it into themselves, lifting marks from the page and holding it. Rubber erasers work by lifting marks and then shedding little rubber flakes with those marks on the page. Then, you wipe the flakes away along with the marks.
Who invented erasers?
British engineer Edward Nairne is credited with inventing and marketing the eraser—by mistake. Supposedly, Nairne picked up rubber instead of breadcrumbs when trying to remove a mark from paper, and he found the rubber worked really well. Philosopher and theologist Joseph Priestly is also someone who helped invent the eraser, when he found that rubber removed marks from paper.
What was used to remove marks before erasers?
As strange as it sounds, it was moist bread. People balled up pieces of bread, wet it a little bit, and rubbed it on paper to remove graphite marks. While they did a decent job, they were susceptible to mold and rot, which isn't ideal.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was researched and written by Justine Harrington, who is a freelance travel journalist for Texas-based publications and global tourism brands and she writes primarily about sustainability, social entrepreneurship, feminist culture, and identity. Additional reporting was done by Katie Pittman, who has more than five years of experience in lifestyle and digital media and is an expert writer for MyDomaine.