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What Is a Kneaded Eraser? (How to Use It)

A close-up of kneaded eraser

Wondering what is a kneaded eraser and how to use a kneaded eraser?

A kneaded eraser is a soft and pliable eraser that can be molded and shaped. Regarding how to use a kneaded eraser, you can use it to erase small details or add highlights to your drawing.

As opposed to regular erasers, a kneaded eraser allows you to erase fine details or add highlights to your drawing without damaging it or being forced to erase large chunks.

In this post, we will go over how to use a kneaded eraser and other commonly asked questions, such as how to clean and store your kneaded erasers.

Plus, our top recommended kneaded erasers on amazon. 

There’s a reason why serious artists strongly prefer kneaded erasers over regular erasers, so let’s get right to it!

A comparison of a regular and kneaded eraser
Table of Contents

    What is a kneaded eraser used for in art?

    As mentioned above, a kneaded eraser used for art is soft and pliable that must allow every user to mold it in the way they want or need for precise erasing. Kneaded eraser picks up and holds graphite and charcoal particles and erases very well without damaging the paper.

    The type of it that artists usually use is a gray or off-white color for all mediums to prevent smudging while drawing and leave no residue.

    What is the difference between a regular eraser and a kneaded eraser?

    Why use a kneaded eraser when you can use a regular one? Are there any differences?

    The regular erasers are what you typically see in and use- the firm, sometimes soft, that is usually in a block form and stays in its shape. This eraser can be a plastic, rubber, or gum eraser. 

    They tend to leave residues and sometimes cause damage to your paper, especially after being used several times. 

    On the other hand, a kneaded eraser is a soft eraser that can be shaped into different forms and sizes. It removes marks from the paper by making the graphite or charcoal stick to it and does not leave any residues. 

    This eraser is ideal for erasing intricate areas of your drawing.

    Our Recommendation for Kneaded Erasers on Amazon

    June Gold Kneaded Rubber Erasers

    June Gold Kneaded Rubber Erasers

    This absorbent kneaded eraser is great for erasing graphite, charcoal, pastel, chalk, and colored pencils or just lightening their marks. It is also effective in blending and highlighting your drawings. It works fine on any paper and molds easily. Although you need to have something to store it into as it does not come with one, or it might dry out.

    Faber-Castell Kneaded Erasers

    Faber-Castell Kneaded Eraser inside a case

    These putty erasers are absorbent, easy to knead, and soft in texture. One good thing about this product is that it barely or does not even leave smears when erasing and is excellent for cleaning and lighting your work. Each eraser comes with a storage plastic case for convenient and safe storage.

    Mr. Pen – Kneaded Eraser

    Mr. Pen- Kneaded Eraser in green, blue, pink, and yellow

    If you are looking for colored kneaded erasers, Mr. Pen would be our top choice. And, of course, the colors have their purpose. It is suitable for erasing graphite and charcoal. Also, it is more helpful for artists who work with darker papers and colored pencils and need to erase or fix without affecting the other layers or colors. 

    The eraser might be stiff at first, but it will come soft as you knead and can be mixed to create new colors.

    How to Use a Kneaded Eraser

    We already know that kneaded erasers can remove graphite and charcoal lines cleanly. But what it can do goes beyond just erasing. 

    Because of their malleability and unique composition, one may utilize this eraser for various purposes, including adding highlights, making pencil marks lighter, and detailed erasing.

    Detailed Erasing

    The best feature of kneaded erasers is that you can shape them into any form, making them ideal for detailed erasing tasks. To do that, you must knead and pinch or create a shape appropriate for the area you wish to change, lighten, or erase.

    Adding Highlights

    Highlights add volume and depth to your drawings, making them more realistic. Using your kneaded eraser, you can add highlights or shadow-like effects. Gently dab or rub your eraser on the paper on the spot you want to highlight. 

    Making Pencil Marks Lighter

    With a kneaded eraser, you may lighten pencil markings without tearing the paper or leaving eraser dust. This feature is a helpful solution for artists who unintentionally made too much or dark markings.

    Other Benefits of Using A Kneaded Eraser

    In addition to the mentioned ways to use the kneaded eraser, there are several more reasons why you should use it. 

    Some of the benefits include the following:

    • ‘Can be shaped into any form for more precise erasing
    • Doesn’t damage paper when erasing
    • ‘Can be used to remove pencil marks from hands
    • Affordable 
    • Reusable
    • Dust-free
    • Environmental-friendly

    What are Kneaded Erasers Made Of?

    A close up photo of kneaded eraser

    Have you ever wondered what exactly kneaded erasers are made of?

    Well, kneaded erasers are made mainly of rubber, which may be either natural or synthetic, depending on the brand or manufacturer. 

    Natural rubber is derived from the sap of the rubber tree. It is softer and more pliable than synthetic, making it perfect for shaping, and it is good for erasing delicate lines and details.

    While synthetic rubber, on the other hand, is an artificial material made of polymers. Because it is mixed with other chemicals, it beats natural rubber in terms of durability and longevity. It is suitable if you are using your erasers frequently.

    Do kneaded erasers dry out? 

    Yes, kneaded erasers can dry out or stiffen over time. Like any other material, rubbers degrade, making the eraser less malleable and inefficient.

    Drying out may occur due to constant use and too much exposure to air and sunlight.

    So when not in use, your kneaded eraser should be kept in a cool, dry place to prevent this risk from happening.

    How to Soften a Kneaded Eraser 

    Two kneaded erasers and a pencil

    To soften a kneaded eraser, hold it in your hand and knead and tear it for a couple of minutes until it is stretchable enough to be manipulated or shaped. 

    Suppose the eraser remains unworkable over a long time of kneading. In that case, you can sprinkle a little water on it and continue to play with it until it becomes soft. 

    Are you supposed to knead a kneaded eraser?

    Kneading is, in fact, an essential step in the process of using a kneaded eraser. The act restores the eraser’s pliability every time you use it, so it erases and picks up particles more effectively. 

    How to Clean Kneaded Eraser 

    Sooner or later, the eraser will become dirty from graphite, charcoal, and dust accumulation. Even worse, it might affect its performance and cause smudges when used for erasing. If that happens, do not throw your erasers!

    One good thing about kneaded erasers is that they can be cleaned and restored. You may it by kneading, stretching, and tearing. This way, it removes any dirt or debris. It returns the eraser to its smooth state, absorbing the particles that adhere to it.

    You might also use a soft brush to remove any particles gathered around the eraser.

    In addition, if you want to make it lighter or back to its original color, you can add a small amount of soap or lotion to your eraser while you knead it.

    How to Store a Kneaded Eraser 

    If you want to keep your kneaded eraser in good condition for as long as possible, Safekeeping or right storing is the key. Your erasers must be kept in a cool and dry place. 

    Most kneaded erasers come in plastic wrap. You can use it again to store your eraser. Still, it is better to place it in an airtight container or even just an ordinary one with a lid to prevent it from drying out.

    How Long Should You Use a Kneaded Eraser?

    How long your kneaded eraser lasts depends on how you use and store it. But if you take good care of yours, it may last several months to a year.

    If the eraser is dirty, hard, does not erase well anymore, and can’t be saved by cleaning it, you should eventually let it go and buy a new one.

    What Is a Kneaded Eraser? (How to Use It) – Conclusion

    A kneaded eraser is a must-have in your drawing materials, and it doesn’t matter whether you’re an artist, a writer, or a student. 

    Their versatility and malleability, especially their ability to be molded and shaped, make them an excellent choice for precise erasing, highlighting, and shading. And they can also be easily cleaned and restored with a simple kneading!

    If you’re interested in some kneaded eraser tips and learning about other art supplies, we’d be happy to talk with you about it. Schedule a discovery call with us today.

    Thanks for reading, and see you at the next one!

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