Nataraj (and Apsara) includes a block eraser and sharpener in every pack of 10 pencils you buy. The eraser measures 3.5*1.7*10mm, is made of firm white plastic, and sports red printing on one side. The red printing has the brand name Nataraj in a red stripe and the words Jumbo Plasto. On both my erasers the printing is slightly different and the color of the red differs ever so slightly. In use the printing blurs under my fingers, but leaves no marks upon paper or my hand.The firm white plastic reminds me very much of the Staedtler Mars Plastic and performs as well, if not better. It is not dust gathering. I’ve tested it across No Brand Notebooks, Field Notes, Yoobi Composition Notebooks, cheap 3×5 cards, Story Supply Company notebooks, and the cheap recycled paper at work. Overall it performs really quite well removing most of the graphite from most of the papers. Here and there it would leave a ghost of an image but if one is writing over the space, it isn’t noticeable.
The size is perfect for pocket carry. It’s small so it disappears in a pocket but isn’t so small (think of the KiN pebble) that it is lost when you reach for it. The edges are rounded and comfortable to use. The Nataraj eraser is naked while the Apsara is sleeved in a little card stock sleeve. Somewhere in my piles of stationery shit, I have a sleeved Apsara, one might think I could find it for this review, but no, it remains hidden. I’ve been carting this eraser around in my pocket and it has provided not only useful for erasing but has also served as a very pleasing worry stone.
I have to say, that though this is a “freebie” it certainly adds to the appeal of the bonus items in the Nataraj boxes. Some bundled erasers are truly horrible, but these are darn nice.
In one of my last CWPE orders I added the $1.75 Thermoplastic to my cart. It was a whim, as if I needed another eraser. I ordered the teal, because I really like teal. Anyway, I was looking for a pocket eraser that would stand up well without needing protection from the wear and tear of pocket carry.
Anyway, this hexagonal teal eraser is a nice size and shape for both pocket carry and using as a fidget and worry stone. It is a decent general eraser but it doesn’t do as good a job as the Sakura foam. It cleans well enough for writing but it is too hard and stiff to really get deep into the fibers of the paper, so a little bit of graphite remains. It does a decent enough job for quick notes and notebook use. I was happy with how well it did with the majority of my pocket notebooks.
The hexagonal shape allows for many corners and edges for detailed erasing and getting into single lines for erasure. It wears well and for a quick eraser doesn’t leave a ton of crumbs on the page. It does leave crumbs though, so be aware you’ll be dusting off your page and desk after useage. It isn’t gritty so it is gentle on the surface of your page. It isn’t as aggressive as a Pearl or other silica containing eraser.
Overall, it’s not a bad eraser. It feels nice in the hand and is gentle on the paper. Granted it doesn’t remove all the graphite but that isn’t really needed for notes and writing. It is worth the price, plus it is a really really pretty teal color.
After reading a bunch of reviews I sprang for a Boxy eraser. I’ll also admit that I have a thing for black erasers. They are super cool, or have been stuck in that “super cool” frame since I was 12 and in 8th grade and most erasers were pink. I missed out on the bright neon Yikes! erasers that came out in the following years. See I graduated straight from pink pearls to art erasers, and once I became an art kid only art erasers would do. I digress, back to the Boxy.
I must admit that I was underwhelmed with the Boxy when I first used it and it has sat in my eraser cart* for months before I pulled it into regular rotation. The only reason I pulled it into regular rotation at all was because I misplaced my Sakura Foam, which is STILL the greatest eraser of all time. When compared to the Foam, the Boxy falls short. The Foam is still superior.
Enough talk about the Foam, the Boxy is not a BAD eraser, it’s a great eraser. First off it is a great shape, the long squared rectangle is perfect for cleaning lines of text out of small tight areas.It also cleans my soft dark 2B and 4B pencils off every page I’ve used. I used the Boxy during a class and it cleared away General’s Cedar Pointe #1 graphite off a composition book page like it had never been there. The soft body of the Boxy got into the nooks and crannies of my writing and cleared that graphite until it was gone.
I also got a chance to test out the Boxy on some art. I had sketched a drawing onto really rough thick paper and then inked it with Carbon Black in a brush pen. Loads of dark pigment over the graphite. Now the main issue when cleaning up graphite is that the eraser also picks up some of the ink and either smudges or grays it out. The Boxy did not gray out my image, at all. Areas that were damp smudged but the dry ink didn’t turn gray. Which is awesome. Another added benefit of the Boxy is that it is sturdy enough to carry in a pocket without any additional protection other than it’s own paper sleeve. The Sakura Foam turns blue in the pocket of my jeans and seems to shrink as the cotton wears away at it’s soft body. The Boxy has none of these issues. First it’s black, so even if it were dirty who would know? And secondly it’s a smidge firmer than the foam so the simple act of walking doesn’t create quite enough friction to wear it down.
Now my biggest gripe with the Boxy is that it leaves crumbs everywhere. The eraser bits, so eloquently known as crumbs, roll up a bit but don’t stick to themselves or to the eraser. Because it is a soft eraser, it makes a ton of crumbs. After using the Sakura Foam for so long I spent a few minutes looking at the mess of crumbs on my paper and trying to press the eraser to them to see if they would stick with little success. Your page must be brushed or tapped clean. I don’t find this quite as annoying when drawing as I do when I’m making notes in a notebook, the crumbs get caught in the gutter of the book and leave bumps. Annoying.
Bottom line: The Boxy does a fantastic job of cleaning the page and stands up to pocket carry better than the Sakura Foam. If you are looking for a pocket eraser that does a great job, get the Boxy, Available at a bunch of retailers, but I got mine from Jetpens with my own cash money for general use and not for teh purposes of review. The review occurred organically.
A few week’s ago Johnny Gamber of Pencil Revolution, my comrade in pencils, posted a picture of the always wonderful Staedtler Mars Plastic Eraser(SMPE). It’s one of my long time favorite erasers. It’s plastic is gentle on paper and soft enough to clean graphite out of almost any rough paper. It is an eraser that I suggest to friends who are seeking a good eraser. I do this for many reason. First you can’t get a SMPE just about anywhere. Every art, craft, or stationary store carries them. Second, I have used them for years and know they are reliable. Third, there is something safe in recommending this old standard. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like it, it’s a safe recommendation.It has a few problems. The largest is that it’s a messy eraser that leaves crumbs everywhere. It also collects dirt as if it is a magnet. So if you are bothered by your erasers looking filthy, well, this one is going to piss you off. Finally, without it’s paper sleeve it tends to tear into smaller pieces if you don’t support it well with your fingers. Th9is is why I told Johnny to “up his eraser game, and get the Sakura “Super*” Foam Eraser.”The Sakura Foam Eraser (SFE) is a soft, white plastic eraser that arrives in a bit of cellophane and a card sleeve. It has a sticky texture that I’ve grown to love. The stickiness allows the crumbs to be rolled into a ball that sticks to the end of the eraser or picked up by pressing the eraser to the crumbs. When I read the sticky rubber info online I thought it was kinda stupid, but oh no, it makes clean up so much easier. That’s not just add copy, that’s a really real useful addition to the plain old plastic eraser.It is a super soft plastic that wears down pretty quickly on rougher paper. But it’s also relatively cheap at Jetpens. I don’t find it to be that much softer than the SMPE in use they seem to wear down at about the same rate. It cleans the page of every trace of graphite. On some paper it’s as if the writing never existed at all. It is soft enough to get down into the crevices left by the writing and clean the graphite out. Which is pretty amazing. Then when you are done cleaning, the crumbs are all clumped up and clinging to one another or to the eraser.I have has small bits break off the edges of my eraser as I used it, but like I wrote, these bits were small, and didn’t affect performance of the eraser. I did not get any cracking where the eraser and the paper sleeve met. I also purchased the smallest offering on Jetpens, though I later purchased a much larger version when I neared the end of my small SFE W60. This should be an indication of just how much I enjoy this eraser. I own over a dozen different erasers and I bought a duplicate. I haven’t bought a duplicate of any eraser save a kneaded, a SMPE, and a few that were required in college. For me to buy a second of any eraser, now, when I can purchase any eraser that I desire. Well, that’s a ringing endorsement. Anyway, you can up your eraser game by purchasing a Sakura “Super” Foam Eraser of your very own.
My least favorite of the pencils in the Pencils.com Palomino pencil pack is the Forest Choice. This “least favorite” business must be qualified with the fact it’s my least favorite of a group of spectacular pencils.
This is a very good looking pencil. It’s incense cedar case is lightly finished with a clear finish. the green imprint is crisp and includes the logo and website. The ferrule is a nice evergreen color and holds a pink eraser. The ferrule is fixed securely. Even after repeated use it doesn’t loosen.
The cedar sharpens with ease in any sharpener. The core holds a nice point with the KUM long point sharpener or a wedge. It’s labeled an HB and performs as such when compared to normal type pencils. In the Palomino world this would be rated an H as it’s the hardest of the group of pencils. As such it’s pretty good for underdrawings or taking notes, as the harder core holds a point better than a softer core. It will not give a range of shades nor a deep dark.
I like the look of this pencil very much, but wish it came with the standard Palomino core. This is a nice core but for my preferences not soft and smooth enough. Honestly though, if you are looking for an ecologically minded pencil for note taking or writing this is a great pencil. Even for basic sketching this is a great pencil.
In my next to last review of the individual pencils in the Palomino mixed pencil pack from pencils.com I’m looking at the Palomino premium HB eraser topped pencil. It’s features a perfect bright orange finish with a gold imprint. The ferrule is a matching gold colored ferrule holding a white eraser. The ferrule is well fitted to the pencil and stays strong even after repeated use. The eraser is, like most Palomino erasers, disappointing. For writing and general use it cleans most of the pencil off the page but to really clean the page you’ll need a stick or block eraser.
The pencil is made of incense cedar, smells great, and sharpens easily. The core holds a point really well from any of the sharpeners I’ve used. It is especially good with the KUM long point sharpener. The Palomino HB rating is similar to a 2B in most other brands of pencils. That makes this pencil super smooth in use. The point also wears down pretty quickly for class notes. But for drawing, this is a great pencil. It gives a nice gradation of shades, and decent darks.
These are not extreme value pencils. A 12-pack will cost around $13. Compared to other art pencils this isn’t a bad deal. Palomino sells the HB pencil in 12-packs. It’s unfortunately that Palomino doesn’t sell the 2B- 6B pencils in mixed drawing pencil pack in individual packages of 6 or 12. It’s a fantastic pencil for writing or drawing.
The Palomino Golden Bear is my second review of the pencils.com Palomino pencil pack pencils. The Golden Bear pencils (GB) are in the mid-range grouping of the pack. The are available in blue and orange. Like all of the Palomino pencils the finish is crisp and perfect. the ferrule is brass with an orange stripe in the middle, on both colors of pencil. It is fitted to the pencil sturdily and without any wiggle, even after repeated use of the eraser. The blue eraser is fitted with an orange eraser and the orange pencil has a blue eraser. The erasers are okay, but not great. For sketching one will need a block or stick eraser to do a job. For just writing, the included eraser is just fine.
The GB is made of cedar and as a result sharpens easily and smells great. Using any of my sharpeners, like the KUM long point or wedge. the lead itself holds a point well. The lead is an HB so it’s a good balance of soft and hard for writing. It won’t need to be sharpened every 5 seconds of writing and drawing. The lead is a nice dark shade, but won’t give you deep darks as you draw. It gives a decent range of shades for an HB but to get true dark shades you’ll need to switch to another pencil.
This is a completely enjoyable pencil that looks great and is great to use. A 12-pack on pencils.com is about $3. Not a bad price for a pencil that performs as well as this one. The pencil was made in this US.
The first of my full reviews for the Pencils.com palomino pencil pack is for my favorite of the mid-range pencils, the Palomino Prospector. The prospector is available in 2 different finishes clear and bright green. The ferrule on both is a light golden color and holds a white eraser. The imprint is gold foil. The quality of these pencils is top notch. On both my pencils the finish is flawless, smooth and crisp. The ferrule is fitted strongly to the pencil and even after repeated use doesn’t get loose. The eraser is okay but not great. For writing the eraser does okay but for sketching you’ll need a block or stick eraser to do a good job.
I’d rate the pencil an HB when compared to sketching pencils. For writing this is a fantastic pencils. I used it for note taking during class and was quite happy with it’s performance. It’s just hard enough that I’m not sharpening it after every written word. For sketching the pencil is quite nice. Again, it’s HB so it won’t give you deep darks or huge range of shades but it does quite well. It’s a good starting pencil for drawing. After getting the bones of a drawing down with this pencil you can shift to a darker pencil.
The pencil sharpens well with every sharpener used. It holds a long point from the KUM long point sharpener well. It also does well with wedge sharpeners and other sharpeners.
These pencils are fantastic. I’m quite taken with the natural clear finished pencil. The clear finish is thick and smooth. Not only is it a great looking pencil it performs really well. These are my favorite of the mid level pencils in this pack.
These pencils were once produced in Thailand but are now made in the US. The wood of the pencil is Basswood which is soft and sharpens easily. It doesn’t smell as nice as cedar but looks great. At $1.95 per 12-pack these are an affordable HB pencil that is fantastic for writing or sketching.