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When to Use an Erasable Pen & And When to Avoid It

Find out the best scenarios to use your FriXion pen and when to choose your favourite ballpoint instead!

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Sophia Le

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Pilot FriXion Clicker Pens with Post-it notes, showcasing their ideal use for note taking.

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Erasable pens from brands like PILOT have transformed writing for students, professionals, and enthusiasts alike. These tools offer versatility but aren’t always the right choice for every occasion. To help you make the most of this fantastic technology, we’ve crafted a clear guide in response to the lively discussions and some confusion on forums like Reddit, Quora, and other community forums about the appropriate times to use an erasable pen.

When to Reach for Your Favourite Erasable Pen?

Think of erasable pens as the perfect hybrid between a pencil and a traditional pen. They combine the flexibility and erasability of a pencil with the smooth writing experience of a gel pen, offering the best of both worlds, in situations where you might typically reach for a pencil, consider an erasable pen instead. They're ideal for various scenarios where you need the neat, crisp finish of ink but with the option to easily make corrections. Here are our favourite uses:


Sketching with an erasable pen provides a clear idea of the final design without the commitment of permanent ink—a staple for many artists.

Woman sketching using a black FriXion Clicker erasable pen.

Sewing and Crochet Patterns

If you sew or crochet, you know that precision is key. Marking the pattern on the fabric can help you maintain that precision. Erasable pens are perfect here, allowing you to mark out your patterns confidently with strong, clear markings. Then, once you've finished your beautiful craft, you can easily remove the marks by ironing—the heat will make them invisible!

Please Note: PILOT FriXion Ink will reappear at approximately -20°C.

"Stitching Love" and designs drawn on fabric in a wooden embroidery hoop, written with a black FriXion Ball Gel pen.


For students and professionals, note-taking often comes with the need for amendments. Erasable pens allow for corrections without the mess of correction fluid or the hassle of multiple paper versions.

Additionally, erasable pen ink is available in a variety of colours and tip sizes, maintaining clean and tidy notes.

Student writing with a Clicker Erasable Gel Pen in pink in her notebook for her homework.

Creative Writing Drafts

Writing drafts without fear of mistakes is key to achieving flow in creative writing. Realistically, we may make some mistakes that need alterations. Erasable pens facilitate a cleaner drafting process.

Professional erasing an error in his notepad, using the built-in eraser on his erasable pen.

Engineering Drawings Markup

Engineers appreciate the convenience of erasable pens because they allow for revisions to be made directly on the drawings without the need for messy scratch-outs or white-outs, ensuring a clean and professional final document.

FriXion Point Erasable Gel Pens in various colours, lying over technical drawings, showcasing their usefulness in a professional setting.

Crossword Puzzles and Games

If you're a crossword whiz, you might not need this tip, but here at PILOT Australia, we're often a bit too hasty with our first guesses. In those instances, an erasable pen becomes our best friend. It also allows you to pass on your favourite cryptic crossword to a partner once you're done.

A Erasable Gel Pen erasing and error in a crossword puzzle.

Child’s Play

Erasable pens can be a confidence booster for children learning to draw and write, reducing fear of mistakes, encouraging them to try new things, and promoting a growth mindset.

A child using an Erasable Gel Pen in school to draw a picture, highlighting the benefit of erasable pens for children as it allows for mistakes.

Proofreading and Editing Documents

For editors or anyone involved in the proofreading process, an erasable pen can be invaluable. It allows for marking corrections and comments directly on printed drafts without permanently altering the document. This can be especially useful in collaborative environments where multiple revisions are common.

FriXion Clicker is being used to edit a document draft.

Event Planning

Event planners often have to make numerous adjustments to seating charts, schedules, and lists. An erasable pen allows for these changes to be made neatly and efficiently, keeping essential documents clean and readable throughout the planning process.

An event planner using an erasable pen for her notes to allow for adjustments

Music Composition

Composers and musicians can use erasable pens when writing or arranging music. This allows for easy alterations of notes and rhythms during the creative process without the mess of errors being crossed out on scores.

Legal Documentation Drafting

For legal professionals drafting contracts or other documents, small errors can have significant implications. An erasable pen lets them make corrections during the drafting stage before finalising documents for official use.

Calendar Management

For those who use a physical planner or calendar, an erasable pen is perfect for adjusting appointments, events, or reminders without messy cross-outs, keeping the schedule clean and easy to read at a glance.

An event planner using an erasable pen for her notes to allow for adjustmentsWhen You Should Not Use an Erasable Pen

While erasable pens are incredibly handy for many tasks, they're not the best fit for every situation. Let’s explore a few instances where sticking to a traditional pen might be the wiser choice:

Exams and Standardised Tests

You might be wondering, why can’t you use erasable pens in exams, especially since they seem like such a great option for study notes. Many educational institutions explicitly prohibit the use of erasable pens during exams, and we understand their reasons. There’s a real risk that your answers could accidentally vanish, which could jeopardise not just your exam score but potentially your entire degree. We advise you to use your favourite ballpoint pen and if you make a mistake, it’s best to just cross it out neatly or use correction tape and move on.

Medical Notes and Prescriptions

In the medical field, the accuracy and longevity of written records are potentially a life-or-death issue. If you are a doctor of medicine, using erasable pens for medical notes or prescriptions could lead to potentially dangerous errors if the ink is unintentionally erased. Opt for permanent ink to ensure safety and clarity.

Legal Documents

For any legal documentation, permanency is a must. Changes, even minor ones, can lead to significant legal disputes or invalidate a document entirely. Always use a pen that guarantees your writing will remain unchanged.

Financial Documents

When it comes to financial records, audits, or other sensitive documents, the integrity and permanence of the writing are paramount. The potential for accidental or intentional alterations with erasable ink makes it unsuitable for financial documentation.

Signing Important Documents

Important documents such as contracts, wills, or certificates require a permanent signature to ensure their validity over time. Erasable pens, while convenient, do not provide the necessary permanence for these critical signings.

Extreme Temperatures

The ink in erasable pens is sensitive to temperature fluctuations, which can cause the writing to disappear or reappear unexpectedly. For documents that might be exposed to extreme conditions, it’s safer to use ink that remains stable.

Archival Documents

Documents that need to be preserved for the long term, such as those in archives or museums, require stable and enduring ink. The fading or erasing nature of erasable pens makes them unsuitable for archival purposes.


In voting scenarios, the integrity of each ballot is crucial. Erasable pens could potentially allow for the alteration of votes. It’s essential to use a pen that makes a permanent mark to maintain the integrity of the electoral process.

Official Logs

For official logs required in industries like aviation, maritime, or manufacturing, where accuracy and permanence are legally or safety mandated, erasable pens are not advisable. Permanent ink ensures that records remain unaltered and reliable.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Ink to Use to Ensure Your Writing Never Fades?

For scenarios where erasable ink isn’t suitable, choose archival ink designed to endure over time and against environmental factors. We recommend the PILOT Acroball range. Its Hybrid-ink technology resists water, light, and harmful substances such as alcohol, acid, ammonia, bleach, acetone, and oil, making it perfect for archival use and ensuring your writing stays clear and permanent.

What to Do If Your Writing Disappears?

Have you accidentally used an erasable pen when you didn’t mean to, and now your writing has disappeared? Don’t worry, there’s a simple fix. Place the document, whether it's a copy, a paper, or any other kind of written material, into the freezer for a few hours. You'll see your writing reappear as the cold temperature brings the ink back to visibility. If it’s an important document, take this opportunity to go over the erasable ink with permanent ink. This will ensure that your writing doesn’t vanish again.

Read our blog to learn more about how erasable ink works.

About Author

Sophia Le

Resident Fountain Pen Fanatic at Pilot Pen Australia.
Capless Collector. Staffy Lover. Casual Gamer and Maker.
Currently a Citizen of Super Earth after vacationing in Baldur’s Gate and Hyrule.

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