Product Review – Scor-It Vs. Scor-Pal
By: Kim Parkinson, Product Guru
Most of you stampers out there don’t just stamp and color images. Many of you put these images onto cards or other projects. In keeping with the Stampers Quest theme of “Special Folds” in February, I’m going to review the Scor-Pal and the Scor-It.
I was lucky enough to receive the Scor-Pal as part of my Stamper's Quest Trail Blazer 2009 prizes last August and I had purchased a small Scor-It from a friend just before that. Each has a basic design that allows card makers to cleanly and neatly score a line for a perfectly folded card. But each also has their special skills. Let’s take a peek…
When I decided to take a closer look at these two scoring tools, the first thing I did was go online to their respective websites. WOW! Have you been to www.scorpal.com? Or www.scorit.com ? Both have a plethora of information. You can find videos on how to use these tools, you can find exact directions for scoring all sorts of boxes, bags, cards, books, tags and more! If you have about 3 hours to spare today, I recommend both of these sites! Lots of great ideas at both of them.
Immediately you can spot differences in each of these tools. The Scor-Pal is gray, made from hard plastic, comes with a bone folder and has many already measured lines for you to score on. The Scor-It, is made from a much sturdier plastic, has a black foam top with a piece of stainless steel running down the middle, it has a scoring tool and a stop guide. The differences don’t stop there! After reviewing the basic instructions, I noticed a few more maybe you haven’t noticed..
As I mentioned, the Scor-Pal has lines already for you at specified intervals. It has several rulers right on the tool. 0-12 inches on the top, separated in .5 inch increments except for the first and last .5 inch and then by each eighth of an inch. It has two rulers on each side of the tool. 0-12 inches here as well. These are also separated at each .5 inch intervals. They also have a metric Scor-Pal for those of you who need or prefer this one.
The Scor-Pal comes with a basic bone folder. It snaps into place at the top of the tool and is made of plastic. The bone folder has a hole in it but I didn’t find any place to actually secure it into the board. If you lose this bone folder, any old bone folder will work. Nice!
The Scor-Pal has three distinct edges for lining up your paper. There is no edge for the bottom. For a perfect card, it’s important to match up the top and left side to ensure you get the score correct. When using this tool, you will need to make sure your paper is face up. Keeping the paper face up will create the embossed area in the back of the fold. It makes a nicer, crisp, clean line with the bulk of the fold hidden inside the card/box/etc.
The Scor-It comes in several different sizes. A mini like I have. It’s perfect for card makers. It also comes in the same 12 inch size as the Scor-Pal PLUS you can also special order Scor-It Board that measure 24 inch or 26 inch papers! These larger sizes are mostly used by printers and manufacturers but hey, bigger may be better if you have the space for it!
The centering ruler on the Scor-It is an easy way to line up your paper. It’s definitely different than the Scor-Pal but in many ways, it can be easier. Making an unusual shaped card and need to know the center, it’s easy as pie on the Scor-It.
A ball chain tethers the score tool to the board. The ball chain is ample enough that you can easily reach where you need to go. A drawback for the Scor-it might just be the actual tool itself. If your chain breaks and the tool is lost, Scor-It doesn’t recommend using anything else to score your paper. The special design is a perfect fit over that piece of steel in the middle of the foam. Of course, we’re all stampers and can improvise right? Why not jimmy a paper clip to fit over it? Or notch a paint brush handle? I’m sure we could improvise if needed. Luckily, we wouldn’t have to live with it for long as they do sell extra score tools online.
Need to make a box with a 1 inch fold around each edge? Scor-It has a great solution. It has a Stop guide that comes with each tool. Each Stop Guide has a screw at the top that can unscrew enough to actually remove it from the base. Be careful not to misplace it! Although it, too, can be purchased online. The Stop Guide is easy to use and with the actual ruler measurements on the Scor-It tool, you can set the Stop Guide to one sixteenth of an inch and get it right on the money. Speaking of measurements, the Scor-It comes in Metric measurements as well.
When using your Scor-it, you’ll need to use just the only edge to the tool, the top. You’ll also need to put your projects face down when scoring. The score tool will create the embossed area on the top of your piece and again, it’s much nicer to have the bumpy part tucked inside and out of sight!
So, how did these two ‘measure’ up? Well I first used both just to score a small card. I decided that since I only owned the small Scor-It, I shouldn’t discriminate against it for its nice compact size. So, today’s card measures 3" x 3". I cut two pieces of plain white Staples brand cardstock to 3" x 6" and scored them both using the tools. As you can see, they both came out beautifully.
They look great. No problems with either of these.
Next I tried to score a thinner patterned paper. I cut this one to 2.75" x 5.5". Here’s where I noticed a difference. First, when I used the patterned paper on the Scor-it, I was a little overzealous at the end of the scoring and ended up with a slight tear. It’s tiny but I noticed it and when I finished the fold, it made the core color of the paper show through (in this case it was white).
When I used the Scor-Pal, it was evident to me that I had a small problem. Half of 5.5" is 2.75" inches. Well the Scor-Pal doesn’t have a line at 2.75”. So some figuring had to be done. I’m no math quiz so this took me a little bit of figuring. OK. OK. Let it be known I just couldn’t get it. So, I decided to slightly cheat and put a pen mark in the area where I knew the fold line ‘should’ be. Then I tried to figure out how best to decide what this needed to be. Each of my sides needed to be 2.75". If you move the paper over to the .25 inch line on the left, you’ll then see that the score line will be lined up with the 3 inch line. Whew! Did I mention I’m not so great at math?
While using the bone folder to score this thinner patterned paper, I heard some crunching going on. Maybe I was a little too forceful here, but this paper had small little stress fractures in it on the score line. And then when I folded it, boy was I unhappy with the results. Not only was it not the proper square size as I thought it would be, but the creased edge ended up being all white and looked slightly torn. OK, I know this is paper – and it’s thin patterned paper, too - but I didn’t think I was too rough with it. The tear in the Scor-it’s paper might have been a user error but this here appeared to be a slight flaw in the design.
As a matter of fact, I turned the paper inside out to see if the inside area was better and the paper ended up tearing on the score line. It tore about .5 inches into my paper! Yikes!
When I started this review, I really thought that the Scor-Pal would be the way to go. Everyone seems to love it and I hear raves about it all the time. I do agree, for a cardstock paper, it does a great job. But to measure unusual sizes, it’s not my first choice. And then for thinner papers, it definitely wasn’t the best choice. I did try to go back over the thin paper again with a lighter touch with both the Scor-Pal and the Scor-It. Notice which one still seems to have a nicer edge?
A neat feature I did want to mention about the Scor-Pal… because of the debossed lines in the gray plastic body, you can actually use these lines to draw in. Use the bone folder to score a line and then go over that same line, without moving the paper, with a marker or pen. Depending on what type of design element you are looking for, this could be a great technique for many different cards or projects. But probably best to be done on cardstock.
Of course there are many, many more items you can make with these great tools. The Scor-Pal and Scor-It both have the capabilities to create tons of fabulous cards, boxes, journals and more. Overall, though, it’s a choice you’ll have to make. Both have great qualities and each has their drawbacks. If you are math challenged, perhaps a centering ruler is necessary for you. Need to see a ruler straight across and down both sides? Then the Scor-Pal is your choice. If all you are ever going to use it for is cardstock, then the ruler is your deciding factor. Know you are going to be using a lot of thin patterned paper, perhaps the Scor-it is a better choice for you. So, which will you decide?