Metaphys VISS 44050 Eraser ReviewI first saw the Metaphys VISS eraser back in 2008 on the ISOT (International Stationery and Office Products Tokyo) Trade Fair website, and it immediately caught my attention.
フエキ Fueki (Fueki Nori Kogyo Ltd) a company whose primary business is apparently industrial glues and adhesives, but who also have some presence in the stationery market, particularly products for the construction industry, e.g. carpenter pencils.
The idea behind the Viss eraser is simple. We all know that the nice sharp corners of a block eraser quickly become rounded and far less useful. The screw thread or spiral design of Viss means there is always a sharp edge available, or at least that’s the theory.
In keeping with the premium stationery concept the Viss comes in its own little clear plastic container.
The main design concept of the Viss is that the spiral means you will always have a sharp edge available. Well, that’s a bit of a yes and no. If you hold the eraser at a relatively horizontal angle to use the edge as a thin line eraser then you will quickly wear down or blunt the peaks of the spiral. On the other hand, if you hold the eraser at a relatively vertical angle then you can use the outside edge of the spiral as the end point of what you are erasing. By that I mean you can easily erase up to a fairly well defined line from one side. The same as if you only ever held your block eraser perpendicular to the paper and just wore its end down without rounding the corners. It would still be a big fat eraser, but you could easily run the edge up to a controlled point when erasing. I think that’s the advantage of the Viss eraser, its design makes it much easier to do that. Much easier to hold it relatively perpendicular to the paper and erase up to a set point. It’s great for precisely erasing the first or last letter of a word, or even an entire word, but not so good at erasing a letter out of the middle of a word. Don’t get me wrong, you could make a reasonable attempt at erasing a letter from the middle of a word, by orientating the eraser horizontally to use a peak of the spiral but your vision is a bit restricted and the edges will blunt if used thus frequently. Of course you can re-sharpen them to some extent by later using the eraser vertically. All that aside though, long term, the spiral edges are never going to be as precise as a fine core stick eraser like Tombow Mono Zero, but they are sort of halfway between that and a traditional block eraser.
The eraser waste of Viss twists up very easily into strands. Actually it twists up better than most.
Right then, time to get serious and head on down to the lab and get our highly expereinced staff to put Metaphys Viss to the test against our benchmark eraser, Staedtler Mars Plastic.
Let’s try again, this time really pressing the pencil lead hard into the paper to make it much heavier and darker.
Next then let's try some wooden pencils, starting with two coloured pencils.
Now wooden HB grade lead.
Lastly then wooden 5B lead.
Frankly, I am surprised. I used Viss for several weeks and I thought it had only average erasing power, and that Mars would clearly be superior when they went head to head.
Overall then, I am very glad I spent my money to fly a couple of Metaphys Viss erasers across the ocean to my letterbox. Earlier in this review I described the Viss as “sort of halfway between that [Tombow Mono Zero] and a traditional block eraser”. Well being halfway between those two is a pretty good place to be. The Viss eraser looks cool, feels interesting in your hand, erases well, and the spiral design means you always have a reasonably sharp edge available. Get one and check it out for yourself.