This writer first learned to use a rubber pencil eraser some 50 years ago. Back when writing in pencil was the only way to go, every kid had at least one eraser to their name. Some of us had multiple erasers – one kept at school, one at home, and the rest scattered somewhere in between. We didn’t have the electric erasers available on today’s market.
Yes, the electric eraser is a real thing. It is not something you are going to see in the desk of the average elementary school student. Rather, electric erasers are more the domain of artists who make frequent use of standard pencils, colored pencils, and other media.
A post published by ARTnews in January, 2021 suggests that hand-held electric erasers are faster than their manual counterparts. They are also said to deliver better performance. Best of all, an electric eraser will allegedly “save your finger and wrist joints from fatigue and aches.” Who knew?
A Rubber Tip with a Motor
If you are having trouble envisioning an electric eraser, imagine combining the eraser tip on a No. 2 pencil with the body of a more robust electric toothbrush. That’s about it. Inside the case is the same type of electric motor. On the outside is a rubber tip that moves back and forth with considerable aggression.
Place the rubber tip on the marks you want to erase and press the button. Then prepare to be amazed. In no time at all, all your previous work will disappear. Move the tip across the paper until it is all gone. You will wind up with a clean piece of paper and no strain on your fingers or wrists.
Choose the Right Battery
As long as you are going to invest in an electric eraser, you might just as well choose the right battery to go along with it. Forget disposable alkaline batteries. They cost too much and take up space in landfills. No, you want a rechargeable USB battery built on lithium-ion technology.
Lithium-ion batteries have become the de facto replacement for alkaline, NiCad, and NiMH cells. And why not? According to Salt Lake City’s Pale Blue Earth, they perform just as well as alkaline batteries in most devices. That instantly makes them better than NiMH and NiCad rechargeables. And unlike alkalines, lithium-ion batteries can be charged up to a thousand times.
By investing in lithium-ion batteries, you can:
- save money
- keep batteries out of landfills
- help promote a more sustainable future
- avoid running out of power when you most need it.
It is true that people still buy disposable alkaline batteries in the modern era. But once they are exposed to the efficiency and financial savings afforded by lithium-ion cells, it is hard to convince them to go back to their single-use habits.
Have Motor, Will Travel
It’s amazing how many hand-held devices have been motorized over the years. The electric eraser is just one of them. What about the electric toothbrush? It takes a practice that has been done manually for thousands of years and transforms it into a motorized experience. Truly amazing.
These days, it seems you can put a motor on just about anything. Some of that is due to better technologies that make it easier to miniaturize motors. But the real success story is battery technology.
There would be little point in electrifying so many hand-held devices if disposable alkaline batteries were the only game in town. Manufacturers could have done it decades ago. Yet they didn’t. What changed? The introduction of rechargeable batteries that now make hand-held electric devices viable.