When I think of BIC, I think of one thing: ball-point pens. Sure, they make other products, and they’ve got some skin in the pencil game. But their forays into pencilism seem to be limited to the Evolution-type pencils (e.g. extruded plastic) and the mechanical variety; two things that I frankly find a little repulsive.
That said, I did finally come across a BIC product that I think I might be able to appreciate: their foray into the block eraser market with the simply-titled “BIC Erasers”. I picked up a four-pack of their simple blocks on the cheap and, since I haven’t done an eraser review in a while, decided to take them for a spin today.
General Pencil Co. is best-known as one of the oldest pencil companies in the United States, and one of the few that are still making pencils right here in the US of A — Jersey City, to be precise, where they’ve been making pencils for 127 years. They’re not a one-trick pony though, because pencils aren’t all they make. One of the most important features of the graphite pencil is that it is erasable; naturally, then, General’s has several eraser products, including this cute little guy: the All Art eraser.
I originally picked the All Art up because, why not? They’re cheap. They’re cute. You can never have too many erasers. Sadly it has been overlooked as it languished in my to-review drawer, overshadowed by its relatively gargantuan neighbors. Until now! It’s time for the General’s All Art to shine on the big stage. Let’s see if it can hang with the big boys, shall we?
Here it is, mid-July, and apparently it’s already Back to School season. As anxiety-provoking is that is for me — back to school means back to winter, back to carting everyone around to hockey practice, back to hassling the kids to do their homework — one nice thing is that it’s a good time to pick up office supplies. As part of their efforts to capture some of the rush to stock up, stores are discounting — and sometimes even augmenting! — their inventory with the type of gear that students might need.
One product that went on deep discount at my favorite office supply super store is the Staedtler Mars plastic eraser. I feel like Staedtler makes some pretty solid products, and I’ve just been waiting for an opportune time to try out their eraser. A four pack hit the sale shelves for something like $2, and it’s been a minute since I’ve performed and written up an eraser review. So, earlier this week I picked up a pack and thought I’d see how good they are at getting rid of my mistakes!
On payday, I made my typical trip to Blaine’s Art Supply in search of some new toys & review fodder. I have so many pencils backed up to review — and yet, not enough to sustain this blog at the rate that I’m burning through them. So I forced myself to resist temptation to buy the few pencils they have remaining that I haven’t already picked up, and to branch out. I opted for something different and, in my line of work, potentially useful: The Tombow Mono Zero eraser; in this case, the rectangular version.
I have a very high opinion of Tombow products; in fact, the 8900 2B is one of my all-time favorite pencils. On the flip side, I’ve yet to meet a click eraser I actually really like. But then again, this one looks really promising. How will it pan out? Let’s see…
Eraser caps are kind of a big deal. A lot of times high-end or exotic pencils don’t come with erasers at all. Then there are the more mundane, everyday, school and office pencils; sure, they all have erasers…erasers that tend to be awful. For those of us accustomed to having an eraser handy at the butt-end, this is a problem. The solution is adding a pencil-cap eraser.
OK, but which ones? How do I find one that doesn’t suck as bad as the pink smudge-master “erasers” that pencil makers seem to be fond of? I, the Polar Pencil Pusher, am here to take some of the guess work out of surmounting this obstacle. I obtained three of the most commonly-available, affordable eraser caps and put them to the test to see how they perform. Then I ranked them to crown an overall champion.
Hey man, we all make mistakes. Some of us more so than others; that’s why one of the reasons I love writing with pencils is that they’re erasable. But we pencil geeks know that once you get into the realm of exotic pencils — Asian pencils, “drawing” pencils, etc. — sometimes they don’t actually come with an eraser. Of course, even those of us who stay safely within the realm of #2 “school and office” pencils and have an eraser always at our penciltips know that not all erasers actually, well, erase. So I reckon if I’m going to write a blog that focuses heavily on pencil reviews, I should review a few erasers while I’m at it.
What’s a good review without a benchmark? Something ubiquitous, middle-of-the-road, and easily obtainable to compare against, which you, dear reader, are probably familiar with? With those criteria established, I ran across the street to the office supply store and picked up a three-pack of the most cliche eraser I could find: the Papermate Pink Pearl, which will be the subject of my first eraser review.