This is a plastic eraser and this is a rubber eraser.

What are the differences between the two and which one should be preferred for which kind of drawing?
Why is there such a huge price difference between the two?

Says plastic eraser can tear paper:

Vinyl erasers, also called plastic erasers, are the toughest erasers on this list. If not used carefully, they can easily tear through paper.

2 Answers 2


The "rubber" eraser you linked to actually looks like a plastic eraser. "Rubber erasers" typically refer to the type on the end of a wooden pencil or a block like the Pink Pearl eraser. There are many other types of erasers; I'll focus on just the two in the question.

Just an interesting historical aside, the first erasers were made of rubber but the "rubber" in "rubber eraser" comes from the fact that when erasers were invented by accident in the late 1700's, the term "rubber" was in common use for any object used for rubbing[1].

Rubber erasers aren't usually made from natural rubber any more. They're a rubbery plastic or synthetic rubber that contains a lot of plasticizer and some abrasive filler material, the amount of which varies. Rubber erasers are generally good for pencil lines, although the surface can get saturated with graphite and then start smearing it around. Decades ago, ink erasers were rubber erasers with more abrasive. They were harder and erased the ink by sanding away the paper surface.

Plastic erasers are a soft, rubbery plastic, often vinyl, with no abrasive filler. They are generally better than rubber erasers for most purposes. They erase pencil marks more effectively and with less tendency to smear. They can sometimes remove ink marks without tearing up the paper surface.

I've come across articles like the quote added to the question, that claim plastic erasers are hard, or they more easily tear the paper. I've used them for probably decades and have no idea where those claims come from. Plastic erasers are more effective and require less pressure and rubbing. The paper is more likely to be damaged by using a rubber eraser that smears the pencil marks, then requires more aggressive rubbing to clean it up.

The plastic erasers tend to be more expensive than the rubber erasers. It's possible that they are more expensive to produce, but I suspect pricing is based on what the market will bear and the size of each market. Rubber erasers are adequate for school and a lot of general office and personal use. Plastic erasers are more in demand for more critical applications like art and drafting, where users will spend more for better performance.

Buying single erasers often carries a huge price markup that has little to do with the manufacturing cost of the eraser. If you buy packages of three or more, or especially, a bulk box of 10 or 12, you can often get a lot of erasers for what you would spend on a couple of individual erasers. Even if it takes you a long time to go through them, the initial purchase won't break the bank.

I'm not sure of the monetary conversions for the prices in your links. Looking at prices in the US market, you can easily find packages of two or three rubber erasers at around $0.50 per eraser. In-store at a retailer like Walmart, you can get a package of two for less than $0.50. For the plastic erasers, you can find bulk packages of 10 or 12 at $0.50 per eraser, like these brand name erasers through Amazon.

  • I read somewhere that if you are not careful then plastic eraser can tear the paper off. Hence I didn't buy it. Thank you for your detailed answer. Nov 10, 2020 at 3:17
  • 1
    @Aquarius_Girl, I also saw a couple of articles saying plastic erasers more easily tear paper. One also described the plastic erasers as hard. I have no idea where those ideas come from. Those articles are often written by writers who have no actual experience, they just do a little research. Plastic erasers are relatively soft and rubbery, and I've never had a problem with them tearing the paper. They're more effective and take less pressure and rubbing. A rubber eraser that smears the pencil marks and then needs more aggressive rubbing to clean it up is more likely to tear the paper.
    – fixer1234
    Nov 10, 2020 at 4:41
  • I trust you and people of this site more than random blog writers. I have cancelled the black eraser order and have now ordered plastic eraser of Stadeltor. Nov 10, 2020 at 5:07
  • @fixer1234 I'm confused. The other answer says Plastic eraser can tear the paper and not good for non-smooth paper. And you say it is good for most cases. So I'm not sure if I should use Plastic erasers (like Tombow Mono Plastic Eraser) on my sketchbook or not.
    – Vikas
    Jul 29, 2021 at 12:13
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    @Vikas, I saw that you asked this in a dedicated question. I posted an answer there rather than try to cover it in a comment. If that doesn't address what you're asking, let me know and I'll try to clarify.
    – fixer1234
    Jul 30, 2021 at 4:07

The type of drawing you're doing, the drawing medium and the type of paper you are using are determining factors.

If you are doing technical drawings on a smooth, heavyweight paper, or paper with a "shiny" surface due to size, plastic erasers will be the way to go most of the time, although you may occasionally need a rubber eraser with some abrasive qualities to get rid of "scored" lines (hard sharp lines produced by 2H and harder pencils in engineering or architectural drawings that leave indentations in the paper).

On the other hand, if you are producing artwork using soft textured papers you will probably need kneaded (gummy) erasers, as rubber and vinyl wil tend to flatten the areas you erase, leaving "shiny" spots, and any abrasive in the eraser will fray the surface or even tear the paper.

Gummy erasers are also the way to go if you draw with charcoal or pastels, as plastic erasers will smear those types of media rather than lifting them from the paper.

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    BTW if you are looking for "softer" plastic erasers, Sakura foam erasers are great. They tend to wear away faster than plastic, but they are really amazing at getting graphite off the page and don't create smears.
    – Gwyn
    Nov 13, 2020 at 22:26
  • So you mean we shouldn't use Plastic erasers in most sketchbooks?
    – Vikas
    Jul 29, 2021 at 12:12

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