While I do use a regular eraser, there are times when I needed an eraser that would not also erase everything surrounding that tiny spot that I was aiming for. A typical eraser eventually rounds up as you rub it on its edges. That’s where these sliding, flat-type erasers come in to play - it is designed for “high accuracy” erasing as the eraser tip area is very small. However, it should not be seen as a viable replacement for regular sized erasers as they are terribly inefficient when used to erase a lot of text off the paper.
There’s probably a different name for these types of erasers but I’d figured I should point out what I use them for - precision erasing. This comparison guide focuses on the thin rectangle type, and not the tubular ones which are quite common in the stationery market outside of Japan.
Originally, I just wanted to buy the SEED Slendy+ because it was the cheapest of the lot that would meet my needs. However, the Tombow Mono Zero received lots of high reviews so I decided it couldn’t hurt to pick that up as well. And finally, these three brands were the main ones that sold these types of eraser dispensers so I ended up throwing in the Pentel Clic Eraser into my shopping cart as well. I figured I’ll just test out all three and write a comparison review for them.
I had initially considered concluding with a pro and con list for each eraser but decided otherwise because they are each very different in design and in use.
Pentel Clic Eraser For Pro, ZE31
I bought the Pentel Clic Eraser for 321円 (MSRP: 700円) - the cheapest of the three. Originally, it was priced at the retail price which was why I had not planned to pick it up. However, when I was ready to make my purchase, the price had dropped significantly so I decided to add it into my shopping cart. And boy, I sure am glad I got it because it is the best of the three!
Pentel is very well-known for making excellent mechanical pencils so it makes perfect sense that their eraser line would live up to the same fame. Available in three different configurations - oil-based ink eraser, pencil eraser and multi-type eraser - this particular review is just for pencil version.
The body is 122mm in length, 12mm in width, 4mm in depth. It may be the largest amongst the three, but it is about the size of a pen knife (or “exacto knife”, for the North American people) so it does not seem bulky to me.
Speaking of pen knives, the mechanism does mimic the same sliding motion that allows you to slowly push out the eraser in small notched increments. This means you can extend as much eraser area as you need and also easily retract it in the same way. It also makes that really loud clicking sound as the stopper slides into each notch — which can be quite noisy if you are using it in a shared space like a classroom or lecture hall.
In terms of functionality, it cleans up best among the three erasers so it serves its purpose perfectly. The eraser does feel a little harder than the one that came with the Seed but softer than the Tombow. The eraser remnants also stick together which is a plus for me and the other two erasers do not exhibit the same behavior. Although the body has the type of eraser printed on it, you can buy eraser replacements in whichever type you prefer and still use the same body since the replacements are the same size. That can be quite handy!
The body, unfortunately, is made of plastic. While it’ll probably survive a drop onto a hard surface, I don’t think it will last that trip mulitple times. Despite that, it does appear to be sturdy (perhaps the “For Pro” marketing gimmick makes it seem more high quality) and does not feel flimsy nor cheap in my hands.
Overall, it is the cheapest of the three erasers (at least on Amazon Japan as of this writing), cleans up the best so it checks all the boxes for being the best choice if you’re looking for a sliding-type precision eraser!
SEED Slendy+, orange color
I bought the SEED Slendy+ in orange for 347円 (MSRP: 500円), which is also available in five other colors: green, silver, pink, black and blue. It is the shortest of the three at 100mm in length, 11mm in width, and super slim at 3mm in depth (not including the extruding clip). It weighs a mere 14g, coming in as the lightest of the three. The eraser edge is 6 x 2.2mm.
Since it is fairly small and light, it can easily fit into any pencil case without taking any room at all. In fact, its very size makes it difficult to find when stored inside in a crowded pencase.
The mechanism that holds the eraser in place is a simple plastic jaw which loosens when you push down the sliding button at the top of the eraser. You’ll then have to manually extend the eraser to the desired length and release the slider which will tighten the jaws and hold the extended eraser in place.
Since extending the eraser is a manual process, it is designed to remain extended instead of retracted back inside the body for storage. This means it can pick up dirt when rubbed with pencils or other stationery items in a pencil case. While nothing is stopping you from retracting the eraser fully inside the body, when you first purchase it, the eraser length does exceed the storage space inside the body so you won’t be able to store it inside the body until you’ve used up some of the eraser.
In terms of functionality, the soft-type eraser did an excellent job rubbing out carbon from the paper. The Pentel does beats it in terms of efficacy but the Slendy+ does hold its own and you won’t be disappointed. While the brand SEED isn’t well known outside of Japan, their regular erasers line, Radar, is considered to be one of the top performers as reviewed by the Japanese stationery critics (or high school students). The replacement erasers are sold in packs of two and there is only one type available so if you were looking for a hard eraser, you are out of luck here.
The body itself is made of metal, probably sand-blasted to have the pearlescent look then finished with a heavy gloss so that it looks shiny. Out of the three brands, this one actually looks nice and fancy! While it does look elegant at first sight, it immediately feels light and cheap once you have it in your hand. I should also mention that I bought the orange colour, but if you see the photo above, it looks more gold than orange.
Unfortunately, the most crucial furniture on the eraser would be the cheap feeling plastic parts. If either slider button or its jaws broke (and they certainly seem flimsy when handled), you will be out of luck and will need to buy a new one to replace it.
However, if you are looking for a simple precision eraser that just does what it needs to at the best price point and actually looks good, this is your best option!
Tombow Mono Zero, metal edition
Although the Tombow Mono Zero was the most expensive of the three at 490 yen, it was the most anticipated of the three since it had really positive reviews. I truly expected this to be one I’d like best among the three. How wrong this expectation turned out to be…
Shape-wise, it seems to complement with a mechanical pencil best making it a good pair. It’s just slightly longer than the Pentel but oh so thin in girth! It’s even slimmer than the Slendy+. On the off chance that you might own a Ｃカンパニー Repos leather pencase like I do, it’s thin enough to fit into the tiny slim slot in the middle of the outer case (which wasn’t designed to fit anything!). It is also available in a variety of colors. The one I’m reviewing is the newer model sporting a metal body but it also comes in a more affordable plastic model. Despite having a body made of metal (probably aluminium), it feels quite flimsy in my hand.
In terms of design, I actually really like how it functions like a mechanical pencil in that it uses a knock mechanism. You just give it a “knock” and the eraser moves down an increment. You can also hold the knocker in place and push the eraser back into the body for storage. Since I only use mechanical pencils, it’s nice to have something that “matches” when used it in tandem.
Functionality-wise, I was seriously let down by its inability to clean the carbon off the paper properly. I mean, it is unable to perform the sole purpose it was designed for, which makes it money down the drain. I’ve tried it on different types of paper, different leads (2B vs HB) and it repeatedly fails to perform as expected. I had not expected this disappointing turnout because my regular eraser is a Tomobow Mono and I absolutely love it. My best guess is that its fomulation is different to make it suitable for this eraser dispenser. Some dead giveways is that the eraser that came with the Mono Zero is stiffer (or hard) and produces a mess of eraser dusts when used.
As a result, I cannot recommend this eraser at all and have retired mine into storage. If any reader wants a free (but slightly used) eraser, you’re more than welcome to have it as long as you cover shipping.
There is no perfect eraser because when it comes to stationery, it’s all up to personal preference and what works best for your usage. So I’ve decided to summarize my opinions in the following categories:
Design & Dispensing Method: Tombow Mono, or Pentel
I liked the fact that the Tombow Mono uses the same knock mechanism found in the typical mechanical pencil. As a mechanical pencil user, I think it complements the mechanical pencil very well. But the Pentel is also very well designed and performs like a pen knife in that you can easily extend and retract the eraser. It’s also built more formidable than the Tombow.
Form & Size: SLENDY+
If you want something that just fades into the background, SLENDY+ is the perfect choice.
Personally, I find the size variance between the three to be very minimal. Weight is also a negligible difference.
Hands down, Pentel totally wins this category and the Tombow totally disappoints.
Eraser Options: Pentel
The Pentel Clic Eraser comes in three different options: oil-based ink eraser, pencil eraser and multi-type eraser. The other two only erases pencil markings.
Overall Winner: Pentel
You certainly can’t go wrong with the Pentel. For me, I just needed an unobstrusive precision eraser that works and that describes the Pentel Clic for me. The SLENDY+ does come in second, which I leave mine at work so I think it’s a good performer as well.