Thursday, June 09, 2011

Tombow Mono Zero Stick Eraser Review

Tombow Mono Zero Stick Eraser Review

Insanely useful.
The End.

The shortest review ever on DMP? Well, I could just leave it there, and I have found the Tombow Mono Zero 2.3mm diameter stick eraser so useful I am very tempted to do just that for maximum impact, but that would make me a plagiarist, and not really provide some information that folks might find useful.
3 x tombow mono zero erasers

Firstly then, the plagiarism. When first using the Mono Zero the Eraser Queens comment that it was “insanely useful” immediately came to mind, and I can’t think of anything better to say about it. So, now I’ve acknowledged the source I think I’m cleared of the accusation of plagiarism.

Right then, a little more information about this eraser. Actually there are two versions of the Tombow Mono Zero stick eraser. The one I have primarily been using is the EH-KUR “Ultra Fine 2.3mm” version. So, its eraser is a 2.3mm diameter round core.
tombow mono zero 2.3mm eraser
Tombow Mono Zero round core
There is also the EH-KUS “Ultra Fine 2.5 x 5mm” version, which is a rectangular eraser core.
tombow mono zero rectangular eraser
Tombow Mono Zero rectangular core
I personally prefer the blue/white/black striped colour scheme to the solid silver grey scheme.
Tombow Mono Zero alternative colour scheme
The Tombow Mono Zero stick eraser functions like an ordinary push top ratchet pencil. You push the top pocket clip section down to advance an increment of eraser. Ten clicks will get you about 9mm of eraser. The amount advanced has to be kept fairly short because the thin eraser cores do not have a lot of strength and will bend, tear and break if you advance too much out of the tip. The erasers are actually stuck onto the end of a plastic rod, and it is the rod that is held and advanced by the clutch mechanism. There is about 45mm of usable eraser length on each refill. You feed a new eraser core in through the tip rather than in through the top end like a mechanical pencil.
Comparison of Tombow Mono Zero eraser sizes
tombow mono zero eraser refills
Tombow Mono Zero eraser refills
The elastomer eraser core erases quite well, but there are better. I would describe its erasing power as adequate or good rather than top notch. Let’s be fair though, the Mono Zero is not made to compete with block erasers, rather it is all about precision erasing of very small areas. I have been playing a certain online city building game and in my notebook have ruled up a grid of buildings and cities to record the level of advancement of each building in each city. As they are upgraded I erase the existing score and write in the new score. The Mono Zero is fantastic for this sort of thing. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Ganesh Daily Notebook and Tombow Mono Zero Eraser

I said above that the Mono Zero was not meant to compete with block erasers. ..well that is of course unless you toss an eraser shield into the mix.
eraser shield

I wonder how many younger folk even know of these? Staedtler and others still offer them. For those not familiar, an eraser shield is a very thin piece of metal (usually stainless steel) with a range of holes and shapes cut out of it so you use an appropriate opening to reveal only the area you want to erase and then rub away with your normal big fat block eraser.

Some might moan about the Mono Zero eraser core not being suitable for erasing large areas, the core breaking if you advance too much, the eraser residue not twisting up nicely like a good block eraser, the price, the refills not being big enough, blah blah, blah. Get over it! It’s an eraser for small precision work. Use it for what it is intended for and I stick by the opening statement, “ insanely useful”. If it was a pencil I’d add it to My Top 5 Pencils list, but it’s not, so I can’t.

The three Tombow Mono Zero stick erasers pictured in this review were tossed into a parcel sent to me ages ago by Cult Pens. Thanks Cult Pens – excellent freebies.

16 comments:

Gunther said...

Thank you for that review! The Mono Zero is indeed insanely useful – I have a black one with my all the time, especially for erasing in my notebook. – Of course I am familiar with eraser shields. I have used one during engineering drawing about 25 years ago and found it indispensable (by the way, I still have and use it).

Matthias said...

The blue/white/black striped eraser holders are really good looking, so much nicer than the lifeless silver grey version. Thanks for the long version of the review and for not making it the shortest review ever.

Julia said...

Holy cats! I am not "younger folk" but I had no idea eraser shields existed! And of course now that I know, I must have one; heading off to the nearest art supply shop pronto. The Mono Zero also looks quite nice as well.

Gunther said...

The striped version has the classic Tombow Mono colour combination; to me this is the best looking version (don't ask me why I have purchased a black one).

As a Staedtler fanboy ;-) I wish I had the original cardboard sleeve of the eraser shield. It looks like you have one from the mid-80's, Dave.

Kiwi-d said...

Julia - good luck with the shopping. I would be interested to hear how easy it is to find an eraser shield out in the real world ;-)

Gunther - your timing is about right. A couple of years ago I was having a big clean out of stuff around the house and there was my old set of drawing equipment - big old Rotring compass, sets of triangles, french curves, flexi-curve, all sorts of hole templates, etc etc etc...and an eraser shield. I kept the shield, auctioned the rest as one lot on the net.

B2-kun said...

Nice review and excellent points. I was originally underwhelmed when comparing its performance against block erasers

JoBi said...

Got mine as a gift after a purchase in Japan, and I'd say is really useful (with and without shield) for cartooning.

razide said...

I've been eye-ing those eraser pencils for a while, looks like I'll have to get one now.

Had a metal eraser shield for HighSchool tech drawing. I remember rubbing too hard and putting a kink in it.

Anonymous said...

Nice review - I have both the rectangular 2.5 x 5.0mm in blue and white and a Stealth Black 2.3mm round. The stealth black looks better but the rectangular blue and white seems more adaptable - the squared off corners make a huge difference when erasing tiny areas.
2 1/2p

Gunther said...

Dave, selling most of the stuff was a sensible decision – I should do the same ...

Anonymous said...

what online city building game is it?

Germ said...

My daughter LOVES her Mono 2.3mm. Germ

AIB Internet Banking said...

I tried to train myself to use one of these or a similar product in my left hand, and pencil in the right, but it never worked out.

Kiwi-d said...

The game is Ikariam.

Ralrara said...

I have TOMBOW MONO one eraser, but I also want a buy that product.

jonjon737 said...

I joined the engineering scene long after the heyday of manual
drafting. One of the old timers I work with introduced me to the
eraser shield. I was a little skeptic at first but it's now an
indespensible part of my collection. The Tombow Mono may give it a
run for its money.