Kneaded erasers are re-shapable. If you are just using it in brick form right out of the package, you are not getting its true value out of it.
Originally Posted by QueenGwenevere
Pull the eraser gently and smush it back together again. Pull and smush, pull and smush. If it breaks, don't sweat it...just stick the pieces back together again...it is like rubber clay.
Continue doing this for about a minute until the eraser is nice and soft and warm and pliable and in the shape of a ball. (This process is called kneading, and is the reason they are called "kneaded" erasers...they actually mimic the way soft bread was used in the olden days to erase drawings...before the advent of modern erasers).
Now that you have it nice and soft and squishy, you can use your fingers to shape it like dough into any shape you need...Make a chisled edge by pinching or pressing onto a table, twist part into a fine point, roll and press on the table to make a rounded end...the possibilities are endless.
Now, press the eraser down onto the drawing and lift straight up, no scrubbing like you do with those horrible pink erasers. You will see some graphite, charcoal, whatever you are using come off and be embedded in the eraser. Do this a couple of times with clean parts of the eraser, and then, if really necessary you can gently rub lightly to clean the paper a bit more than just lifting.
When you see that the eraser is getting too dirty from lifting off all that powder, they are somewhat self-cleaning. Simply knead the dirty parts into the center by pulling and smushing a few more times.
When you feel your eraser has absorbed too much powder (when it starts getting really dark compared with a new one, or when it starts to leave too much residue behind when using it), then you know it is time to toss it and get a new one.
Hope this helps. When used properly, the kneaded eraser is the greatest thing since slice bread (pun intended )
As the ego shrinks, so the spirit expands.