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Old 03-30-2016, 01:15 PM
scr4 scr4 is offline
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Alabama
Posts: 14,118
Originally Posted by Ludovic View Post
I've found something similar, that pencil erasers do not actually erase these days. Far from being degraded, they are some sort of ultrahard rubber that builds up a layer of graphite on its tip and then smears it all over the paper.
It's an engineering conundrum. An eraser on the end of the pencil needs to be same (or similar) diameter as the pencil itself, and short enough that it won't break off when you use it. So the size of the eraser is severely limited. If you use a soft eraser, it will erase well, but it'll be used up or broken off long before the pencil is used up. If you use a very hard eraser, it won't erase very well.

I grew up in Japan, and pencils there don't have erasers either. I still carry a good eraser rather (and have several at home and office) than put up with the poor quality one on American pencils.