Pentel Ain Clic 7


After seeing my link on facebook about the effects of erasers on paper1 you must have guessed that the next post is about erasers, so today: a belated blog post about the Pental Ain Clic, an eraser in a pen shaped holder2. There are strong links to the recent Temagraph blog post: More or less the same eraser is also available under the Temagraph brand.

Temagraph eraser (Image © Fila)

Temagraph eraser (Image © Fila)

I don’t own the Temagraph version though, so my blog post is based on the Pentel Ain Clic version, which was sent to me by Fudepens.com, where it currently retails for €4 (~$5.50; £3.30). If you like their products: they do ship internationally and orders over €30 get free international shipping.

Pen Erasers Overview

Different erasers in pen shaped holders.

Shape

The main difference, compared to other erases that come in pen shaped holders, is that the eraser core is triangular. This means that you usually end up having a ‘corner’ of the eraser left when you need to erase small, tricky traces of graphite – a bit like Kokuyo erasers, just not that extreme. The problem with the round eraser sticks is not so much that the area you end up erasing is too big (the end of the stick ends up, more or less, in the shape of a half sphere. If you think of a ball lying on the ground, the contact area with the ground is very small), the problem is more that the point where you erase is difficult to control, because it is difficult to see where the eraser will make contact with the paper. This is where the triangular shape comes in handy, but the pointy corners you see in the picture will of course round off, too.

Pentel Ain Clic

New and unused, let’s try it out next….

Materials

The body of the Ain Clic eraser is made in Mexico, while the eraser itself is produced in Japan and is composed of PVC and DINP. Just a warning, the P in DINP stands for phthalate, which you might have come across in the news. In the EU DINP is banned in toys and childcare articles that children can put into their mouths (see European Directive 2005/84/EC3 ). This eraser doesn’t seem to be marketed at children, but I would keep in mind that it contains phthalates and would keep it away from children (or adults tempted to put it in their mouth). It might also be advisable to put the eraser crumbs in the waste bin ,instead of just blowing them off the paper, so they don’t end up on the desk or floor.

The Staedtler Mars plastic eraser stick 528 50, used in the comparison, did contain phthalates in the past (as shown in the paper about the effects of erasers on paper), but the current product specification sheet shows that the Mars plastic, which is also PVC based, is now phthalate free. I hope Pentel will change the Ain Clic in the future and will switch to a more ‘human friendly’ plasticiser.

Pentel Ain Clic

Performance

The Ain Clic doesn’t only look good, performance-wise it’s also very good.

When just erasing with a single stroke (maybe more suitable for artists) performance is not too good, but when repeatedly moving the eraser across the graphite to be erased (which, I would think, is the standard way of doing it) performance is great. With repeated movement graphite doesn’t stick to much too the eraser and the eraser dust will roll up into strands – I like erasers where the dust rolls up like that.

Comparison

Comparison on Banditapple 3G paper. The shaded areas were erased using eight strokes (Mars left, Pentel right)

Conclusion

Overall a great and good looking eraser, but the use of DINP is a black mark against it and the eraser shouldn’t be given to children.

I use pencils and erasers for writing, where I don’t need to eraser very fine details, but I can imagine this being an eraser very suitable for artists.


I would like to thank Fudepens.com for the Pentel Ain Clic, which I got sent for free. I don’t think the fact that I didn’t pay for the eraser influenced my opinion of this eraser in any way.

 

I would like to thank Pentel USA and Staedtler for the additional information they have provided about their erasers.

 

The photo of the Temagraph eraser is © Fila. I believe that the use of the photo shown in this blog post falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.

 

I bought the Staedtler Mars plastic eraser stick at Granthams, a local art supply shop. I paid between £1 and £2 for it, but I can’t remember how much exactly.

 

Price (for the Pentel) and exchange rates: April 2014.

  1. Sorry, I didn’t find an English, only  a Dutch and a German version of the paper. []
  2. Previously reviewed at East…West…Everywhere. []
  3. http://ec.europa.eu/health/opinions/en/phthalates-school-supplies/glossary/def/dinp-di-isononyl-phthalate.htm []

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7 thoughts on “Pentel Ain Clic

  • Shangching

    Thanks for linking back to my original assessment. I still use it on a daily basis and will say that it is an indispensable member of my pencil case. As much as I love Staedtler Mars eraser (the bar type), I cannot wrap my head around the stick version of it. The texture is very different from the bar eraser and it also does not erase as well as the original one. What is your experience with the two?

  • jacob

    Hello!

    Very fun website. For a novice pen fanatic, what kind of “beginner” pens do you recommend? I’m a virgin in this matter and ive used shitty pens my whole life. I hope this will change. I live in europe, if this helps in ordering pens.

    kind regards

  • Matthias Post author

    Shangching, the texture of the stick type eraser is quite different. While I know both and have used both I don’t use the squary one. I prefer the dust-free or non-dust erasers, using them feels best to me, but I do also use other erasers if they happen to be on my desk. The argument is that they need to be used up before I can use the nice dust free erasers. Using the stick type eraser does not feel as nice, but the eraser stick shape has its advantages and performance is actually good, even though it feels a bit hard. I think I will avoid the Ain Clic or will bring it to my office, just because of the phthalates. I know it’s not uranium, but if it’s not necessary, why not use an eraser made from what seem to be “friendlier” materials.

    Jacob, I assume you want pencil advice, not pens in general, is that right? What kind of things do you want to do with the pencils/pens are what do you like in pens? Your answer might help recommending something more suitable for you.

  • jacob

    Well pens in general is ok for me, but pencils have a special room in my heart. I’ve never used a fountain pen, and my life has been shaped by lousy ballpoint pen and cheap, school pencils in my younger years. I write quite alot and trying to learn to paint but that isn’t going very well. I like cheap and durable pens like most people.

  • Claire

    Do you think the stick shaped erasers are made from exactly the same material as the bar ones? Not sure how erasers are made, but I’m imaging a huge block of block being sliced in different dimensions.

    Out of the sticks shown in the pictures I only own a Tikky (same color too). I carry it with me in a pencil bag all the time. For me Tikky has just the right stiffness. Are the Mars stick and Ain Clic both harder than Tikky? Did you notice much difference in terms of performance?

  • Matthias Post author

    Jacob, as I don’t feel I have enough information to recommend a nice pen for you (e.g. what purpose it’s for etc) I tell you which pens I like. My favourite pencils are probably the Mars Lumograph in F, because you can just use it and it will keep its fine point for a long time, the Noris, because of its iconic looks, and the Wopex, because it is so innovative. Mechanical pencils are a complicated topic, so I skip them for now. When it comes to fountain pens I like Lamy if you want a work horse, doesn’t spill easily, doesn’t dry out easily. If you want a piston filler I recommend Pelikan.

    Lexikaliker, thanks for the link!

    Claire, the stick eraser is definitely different to the more traditional, squary one. Staedtler has confirmed this.
    Here’s a good video about eraser production http://bleistift.memm.de/?p=625
    I actually never used my Tikky before. I just had a very quick look and it felt quite hard, similar to the Mars plastic, but it’s old stock, so I don’t know how the age has changed the rubber. The Ain Clic feels softer. When using it for real world purposes the Ain Clic feels more messy to use.