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The Scor-It by Hammonds Group

Reported by: Kristine Fowler

If you’re a regular Craft Critique reader you might recall that as reporters, we get to publish our crafty themed holiday wish lists right here on the blog – announcing to everyone, exactly what we’d like to see under the tree and why. This past year, on my list was (among other things), the Scor-It by Hammonds Group.
Now, you’d think that publishing my ‘wish’ to cyber space, printing the article and leaving it on my hubby’s desk, and then even going so far as to email him a link to the Scor-It product page at an online merchant he’d get the hint to grab one and put it under the tree……..but ah no. Unfortunately for me, while he claims he ‘got’ the hint, he left his shopping way too late (as always) and there was just no way it could be delivered in time. So I got pajamas instead. Now don’t get me wrong, pajamas are great, but let’s face it, I can sleep naked (Honey, if you’re reading this thanks for the PJs, I love them! Hugs!).

So, what would any serious crafter do in this situation? — The answer is simple, buy it for herself. And that is exactly what I did. (Yay Me!)

If you’re not already familiar with this product, you can find a ton of information about it at the product home page: http://www.scorit.com/, but to summarize, the Scor-It is a tool for making crisp, professional quality score lines in cardstock and other materials (more on that later).

You might think at first that a score board is a luxury that only the frivolous crafter would invest in, but take it from me that assumption is oh so wrong. You cannot imagine how much cleaner and crisper your folds can be until you’ve used one — and it’s a time saver, absolutely!

According to the manufacturer, with the Scor-It Board, you can score a wide variety of surfaces. In addition to scoring with and against the grain of cardstock and paper, you can score board up to 24 pt. weight (light chipboard, shirt cardboard), Mirricard and other coated cardstock that would crack with any other scoring method, lightweight papers like vellum and mulberry paper, many transparencies and films, and more. So, because this is Craft Critique, I took some time to play, and put a bunch of materials and the Scor-It to the test. Suffice it to say I was, for the most part, not disappointed.

While it takes a bit of practice to get your pressure right (heavier weight paper requires more pressure) – the Scor-It did an exceptional job once you got it figured out. I personally have never had much success scoring vellum in the past – I either used too much pressure, and it pierced, or I wind up with a cracked, spidery looking seam. The Scor-It eliminated both of these concerns. Here are some pictures of the inside and outside of my test fold.

The other material I thought worth photographing was cardboard. Now, I don’t know the weight of it specifically since it was just laying around in my craft room, but I suspect that it might be backer board from a paper packet or something similar. The inside of the fold is perfect – nice and crisp, but the outside…..well quite honestly was a bit disappointing. The paper covering on the backer board tore a bit – you can see in the photo it’s a bit scratchy looking. It didn’t tear when I scored it, but it did when I actually went to fold the piece along the line. Perhaps this product was a bit heavier than the tool was designed to handle, or perhaps it just wasn’t of great quality to begin with.

Despite the challenge with the cardboard, the most important thing that I can tell you about my tests is that scoring each and every product was effortless with the Scor-It. I got a great fold each and every time and the tool stayed on the track where it should, without gliding off.

A complete review would also not be complete without mentioning how I ‘scored’ before Scor-It came into my life and how these methods compare. I used 2 methods (well 3 if you count simply folding cardstock without scoring at all – don’t try this at home, it’s not often pretty). Before Scor-It, I used either a bone folder (with a ruler), or a bone folder (or embossing stylus) in my paper trimmer track.

  • Bone Folder with ruler: A cumbersome method to say the least. Accomplishing a nice ‘straight’ crease involves first measuring the paper and determining with your ruler the correct position of the crease, ticking it off at both the top and bottom, and then repositioning the ruler to line up with the tick marks. At this point, you need to back off the ruler just a bit to compensate for the thickness of your scoring tool else your crease will be ever so slightly off centre. Then, run the bone folder along the ruler’s edge, applying pressure. Because you are measuring and ticking and making manual adjustment for your tool, there is considerable margin for error using this method. With the Scor-It, finding the exact centre of your paper is simple because the 12″ ruler runs in both directions from the scoring rail. Simply position your paper so it’s even on both sides and you’re good to go.
  • Bone Folder (or Stylus) in Paper Trimmer track: Although not entirely dissimilar from the process described above – by using the paper trimmer track as your scoring guide instead of a ruler you can eliminate the initial process of measuring/ticking to find your project’s centre. Instead you can use the ‘ruler’ on the paper trimmer to align your paper and help you find your centre. You still should however make a manual adjustment to compensate for the width of the track/tool though if you want your crease to be exact. I also find that tool slippage is also a big problem here – as the tool sometimes ventures out of track. If you have a trimmer like mine, it came with a scoring tool which replaces the blade and is to be used exactly the same way as I use my bone folder. I have to admit though that I never use it. Quite frankly, it’s a pain to take the blade in and out. Most often when I score, I simply leave the blade in place and push it to the bottom of the track out of the way.

With either of these methods, it is also worth mentioning that you do need to be careful that the bone folder/stylus/scoring tool doesn’t pierce the paper if too much pressure is applied. Again, the result is not pretty, and can be very frustrating, especially if you’ve just spent time creating a number of accordion folds and it’s the last one that pierces through, requiring you to start your project over again. Also, despite best efforts you often still end up with a fold that looks ‘cracked’ and can be more than just a wee bit crooked.

So you might be wondering at this point what makes the Scor-It so different and why it is so effective. I definitely was wondering, so I jumped on their website to see if I could find the answer and lo and behold I did. While the answer is pretty technical and there’s a whole downloadable document explaining it, it can be summarized like this. Instead of pulling a ‘male’ ended tool through a ‘female’ channel (like the track of your paper trimmer), the Scor-It uses a ‘female’ tool pulled along a ‘male’ or raised rule. As a result, when pressure is applied it raises a ridge inside the fold creating a proper hinge (you can see this pretty clearly in the photo of the cardboard above).

Pros:

  • awesome product support on their website including a project gallery, training videos and presentations, a newsletter archive and so on.
  • you don’t need to figure out which way the grain of your cardstock runs, the Scor-It scores equally well with and against the grain
  • 2-way ruler makes centering your paper, and thus your fold, a cinch
  • the surface upon which you lay your paper for scoring is made of a rubbery material that grips your material and won’t let it slip
  • the board is not tray-like, thus does not have stops on the sides – this means you can use any size paper on the Scor-It board – your paper would just extend over the edges (centering a larger paper might be a bit tricky, but it’s great that the makers of Scor-It considered this and made it doable)
  • because there is only one fixed scoring rail in the centre of the board, you can score at any increment – you simply pick up and move your paper along to the desired spot
  • the scoring tool is attached to the board (at either the top right, or top left, your choice) with a chain so you don’t lose it (this is a great idea considering I myself have seriously spent hours looking for my bone folder – which is still missing by the way).
  • a mini Scor-It board is available, it features a 9″ centering ruler and a 6″ scoring rule – so it’s the perfect size for the cardmaker and is less of an investment (available for around $30)
  • the board comes with an optional paperstop that you could employ if you were mass-producing folds for say a group of greeting cards or wedding invitations

Cons:

  • price – it’s definitely useful and does a great job, but if you’re like me it may take saving your craft budget $$ for a couple months before buying
  • unlike the Scor-Pal, you need to pick up and move your paper each time when making a series of creases (check out this Craft Critique review of the Scor-Pal if you’re making a comparison)
  • not a biggie, (and I’m really grasping here) but Scor-It scores in only one direction – you need to rotate your paper to score horizontally

Last but not least, here some pictures of a recent project I’m working on. The Scor-It board made it soooo easy to create the accordian spine, and also to create new ‘designer’ flaps for my envelopes:

{All paper & stickers used in this project are CTMH Emporium Creative Basics Collection. The ribbon and the vellum are of unknown origin.}

These are my designer envelope flaps.

This is a picture of my scored spine before I glued it in.

In summary, the Scor-It is the first scoring board I have ever owned, and unless something catastrophic happens to change my opinion, it will be the last. It ROCKS! I totally love it! My rating is a 9 1/2 out of 10 – with price being the only factor marring a perfect score (pun totally intended!)

The Scor-It retails for around $60, and is available at numerous online and brick and mortar scrapbook, and specialty paper/craft stores. On their website, there is a link (with a great little map) to help you find retailers in your local area, but here’s a couple of sites that I visited to verify pricing.

Have you used the Scor-It? What’s your opinion? Leave us a comment or drop us a line and let us know!

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

Sound Off: Scor-Pal vs. Scor-It

We’re starting a new feature here on Craft Critique. We want to get all our readers more involved in the review process. So we have started Sound Off. This will be a series of posts about 2 products that are similar in form and function.

We want you to leave comments with your review of either, or both, of the named products. We will also post a poll on the sidebar. The poll will ask you about if you own one, both, or neither of the products. This is your chance to help us provide the Craft Critique readers with the most comprehensive information possible.

So lets get started with our very first Sound Off, Scor-Pal vs. Scor-It.

Here’s a little bit of information about both products.

Scor-Pal:

  • Comes in 1 style, 12″ x 12″
  • Retails for $39.95
  • Features scoring groves across the board at various intervals

Scor-It:

  • Comes in 5 styles, ranging from 6″-36″
  • Retails around $49.99
  • Features 1 main scoring track in the center

So now here’s your chance. Let us know what you think. Please use the following format so everyone can easily see which product you have and what you think. Please be as constructive as possible and note that posts that are overtly derogatory or inflammatory will be deleted by our editors. You are encouraged to use your name… but anonymous posts will be accepted.

For example:

Product Name

# of Stars (out of 5)

Your comments

So, get to Sounding Off…we can’t wait to hear what you think! We will also post a link to this post on the sidebar for easy access later… feel free to add your critique to this post at anytime. Thank you for helping our readers!

ETA: Here are the results from our sidebar poll

Scor-Pal : 158 (32%)

Scor-It : 82 (17%)

Both : 40 (8%)

None-but may buy : 148 (30%)

Not interested : 53 (11%)

Votes : 481

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!