I love click erasers. I enjoy their plastic housing that holds a cylinder of wobbly eraser safe while I use the knock to ease out just a small amount of eraser. Inside the plastic housing the eraser stays clean, ready to clean up my drawings. Mostly, these click erasers work really well but are not all that easy to use to clean up detail areas. That is, until I picked up the Tombow Mono Zero rectangular ultra fine click eraser. This thing has a tiny slip of eraser, it’s 2.5×0.5mm in size (3/8×1/8 inches). In other words tiny.
The housing is also small. It’s black with a small tip of metal at the business end. The knock pushes out 0.7 mm of eraser per click. The eraser is Tombow elastomer eraser. It’s white plastic and the “crumbs” stick to one another and ever so slightly, the page, eliminating a lot of eraser mess. The crumbs can then be swept away with a soft brush or the side of a hand, depending on your preference. (A perfect use for those useless fan brushes IMO.) (This eraser also comes in a stainless steel or shiny metal looking body.)
This isn’t going to be the eraser you use to clean up large areas of page, rather this is going to be the eraser you use to clean the whites of the eyes in portraits, or reflections on glass. This is the eraser you’ll use to take care of the details. It might also be the eraser you use as an everyday carry with your pocket journal. This has been my use for this diminutive eraser. Because it is incredibly small and light weight I’ve been clipping it to the cover of my pocket journal and using it combined with a 2B mechanical pencil for sketching. The little eraser has been quite a workhorse for me. Cleanly removing pencil from the pages of my Field Notes and BanditApple Carnet. For small pocket sketching it’s been top notch.
As for cleanliness of the erasing, it does well on smooth paper. In Field Notes and BanditApple carnet minimal ghosting was apparent. However on rougher paper, like the Staples sticky note, which is quite rough, ghosting is apparent. Is it bad enough to not get one of these erasers? I don’t know. If you work on rough paper with graphite you might want to go with a rougher eraser, like the Papermate Tough Stuff Eraser Stick.
While we’re at it, let’s talk price. I was able to pick up my eraser at Artist & Craftman for $5. I also bought a pack of refills for a few bucks, bringing my total to about $7. That’s pretty pricey, but I had been eyeing this eraser for a few months and in 2 weeks of frequent use I’ve used a very small amount of the eraser, about 2mm. The eraser is also available from JetPens for about $6 and Amazon for the same. Refills range in price from $2 at A&C to $5 on Amazon. Any way you look at it, it’s not a huge value, but it does a damn good job for what it is. In this case the function of this eraser makes it a worthwhile investment.
Over all, the minute form factor of this eraser is what really makes it worth the cash. Most other click erasers are encased in so much plastic that they are ten times thicker than the eraser encased inside. If you are putting together a pocket sketching and journaling kit, size matters.