I distinctly remember two instances of culture shock when I first set foot in stationery geekdom. The first one was at a pen forum, where I came across people discussing the properties of individual inks, how some flowed better than others and how you could therefore manipulate the thickness of the strokes your pen made by changing the ink. Up till that point ink was, for me, something you just put in a pen. The pen was then supposed to write. End of story.
Later on, when I ventured out into the larger world of general stationery, I discovered that there was such a thing as an eraser review. I mean, really! What was there to say about erasers? You can get them anywhere, they’re cheap, and they were either crappy or they worked. End of story, right? This seemed to be a whole new level of nerdiness to me at that time.
Fast-forward a couple of years, and I’m now in possession of a few respectable erasers myself. Am positively discerning about them. I even know enough to recognize and get excited about a Tombow Mono Zero holder-type eraser spotted in the wild. And this is my first eraser review.
The Mono One is so named because it can erase a single (Japanese) letter based on the parameters of a 6mm- or 7mm-ruled notebook. The Mono Zero is so named because it can erase less than a letter. The folks at Tombow say that “erasing, either at the office or at school, involves less than three letters more than 80% of the time”. Amazing, the kind of figures these eraser guys come up with.
The hyperslim Mono Zero (there are two kinds, a 2.3mm-diameter round one and a 2.5mm×5mm rectangular one; I bought the round one) is the kind of thing that would have struck me as somehow overdoing it in the past. I may have bought it, out of curiosity, but would have probably stowed it away in a drawer somewhere. But this pinpoint eraser is actually very useful! Since it took up residence in my pen pouch it has been an indispensable tool for my daily Hobonichi journaling, as it is gentle on the thin and easily stressed Tomoe River Paper. It also helps me address a daily problem:
Exactly the kind of thing that needs the Mono Zero treatment.
As other reviews point out, the eraser itself is made of a slightly different material (elastomer, whatever that is) and so does not erase well compared to a block eraser, but does precision erasing well enough. On the package it says it “even changes the nuances of a dot”, and I agree! It not only erases wayward strokes but can make lines appear lighter and thinner without erasing them completely. A welcome tool for anyone who hates having to rewrite anything…