You know the old saying: We all make mistakes—that’s why pencils have erasers. Well, apparently, some of us make more mistakes than expected, because those pencil erasers are always worn down before the pencil is used up! That’s why separate erasers are standard on school supply lists. Kids need a reliable eraser that works well and won’t tear up the page. But which one do you choose? We took some top choices and pitted them head-to-head to find the best erasers for classroom use.
How We Tested for the Best Erasers
There are a LOT of erasers on the market, so it’s impossible to test them all. We picked up a handful that are readily available and popular among teachers and students.
We set our contestants to the task of erasing both writing and scribbles, made by pressing fairly firmly on a piece of printer paper. Then, we looked at how hard we had to press to erase, whether the eraser left smudges, and how fully the eraser removed the pencil marks. We also considered flexibility and whether the eraser seemed likely to break when used by over-eager hands.
All the erasers produced at least some “eraser dust,” those pesky rubber bits that are left behind. That’s to be expected because it’s how erasers work, but we did note if any seemed to leave excessive amounts eraser dust.
Finally, we took cost into account. Note that prices vary depending on where you buy them, and you’ll nearly always get a better price when buying in bulk.
On to the results! (Feeling impatient? See side-by-side comparison photos at the bottom of the page.)
(Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. We only recommend items our team loves!)
6. Paper Mate Pink Pearl
From the Manufacturer: “Thanks to a smear-resistant, latex-free design, the erasers remove mistakes so thoroughly, only you will ever know they existed.”
Our Take: The Pink Pearl is a classic eraser, and it does get the job done. We didn’t note any smearing, and it didn’t tear the paper either. It’s soft and flexible without breaking too easily, with beveled ends for precision erasing. That said, it took more effort to erase completely than some of the best erasers on this list.
Real Customer Review: “They work very well, but they are so soft, they do not last long.”
Cost: About 42 cents per eraser
5. Prismacolor Magic Rub
From the Manufacturer: “The Prismacolor Magic Rub art eraser quickly and cleanly erases delicate surfaces without smudging or marring your work. Designed to work wonders on graphite and rub away India ink, it’s the perfect art eraser. The vinyl erasers also have sharp corners to help you clean up details.”
Our Take: While these erasers may work well on ink (we didn’t test for that), they’re not the best for pencil marks. They were more likely to smear and didn’t erase as completely as most. They’re also more expensive than some other choices on this list, so we expected higher performance. However, many artists note these are a go-to choice, as they work well on specialty papers.
Real Customer Review: “Not very clean erasures. I expected more from these, especially based on the cost.”
Cost: About 84 cents per eraser
4. Pentel Hi-Polymer Eraser
From the Manufacturer: “Erases cleanly without scratching or tearing paper surface, and leaves no dust! Non-abrasive block eraser will not crack or harden with age, and remains soft and ready to use.”
Our Take: This eraser definitely performed well, erasing cleanly in just a few strokes. Pentel suggests storing the eraser in its cardboard sleeve for best performance, which doesn’t seem very practical for younger kids. It also seemed to leave behind more eraser remnants than others (regardless of what the manufacturer claims). Final thoughts: This eraser gets top grades for performance, but it’s by far the priciest one on the list.
Real Customer Review: “These erasers are great for school and work. When erasing pencil, they erase virtually all of the marking and leave almost no shadow.”
Cost: About $1.75 per eraser
3. Paper Mate White Pearl
From the Manufacturer: “Paper Mate White Pearl Erasers are smear-resistant and latex-free to keep your notes and drawings looking clean. Classic design with sharp corners and flat face to help you erase small and large areas.”
Our Take: The White Pearl is the Pink Pearl’s softer, slightly better cousin. It had less smearing and erased more completely with less effort. But it is more expensive than the Pink Pearl, at nearly twice the cost. If you do a lot of erasing, the small splurge on the White Pearl might be worth it. For occasional use, though, the Pink Pearl works nearly as well.
Real Customer Review: “Greatly prefer these to Paper Mate’s Pink Pearl erasers as the White Pearl version erases more completely with basically no marking/smudging.”
Cost: About 82 cents per eraser
2. Office Depot Eraser Caps
From the Manufacturer: “These high-quality eraser caps fit most standard pencils. Smooth-erase angled tip is ideal for removing unwanted marks.”
Our Take: We won’t lie: We did not expect these erasers to perform as well as they did. They erased completely and with little effort. Plus, you get the ease of keeping them on the end of your pencil, right where you need them. They’re smaller, so they won’t last as long as the bigger erasers, but they’re so inexpensive it doesn’t really matter!
Real Customer Review: “Sturdy and erases clean without black marks. Love the colors!”
Cost: About 8 cents per eraser
1. Pen+Gear Eraser
From the Manufacturer: “Set of 2 beveled pink erasers, smudge-free pencil erasing, latex-free.”
Our Take: Talk about a shocker! This low-priced Walmart-branded eraser actually outperformed them all, erasing cleanly and quickly with no smudges or tears. It’s very soft and flexible, so it might wear down a bit more quickly. But for the price, parents likely won’t mind so much. Overall, this bargain pick works well and fits any budget, earning the number-one spot on our list!
Real Customer Review: “This eraser is a great value! They last a long time. They are cheaper than other brands and do not leave a pink streak when erasing. You don’t need to apply a lot of pressure to erase.”
Cost: 31 cents per eraser
Best Erasers, Side by Side
See the results for yourself! Here’s how the best erasers stacked up in our test.