Scoring Tool - what should I get?

I’m just starting out and will need to be scoring my cards before sending them off. Anyone have recommendations for their favorite scoring tool/machine? Looking for something relatively low-price to begin with.


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Scoring rule + channel matrix. It’s been discussed at length…just search the discussion archives.

As a backup, I always have a bone folder on hand, but it won’t help with the cracking that happens when you fold super thick papers (like lettra).

Good luck!

Channel matrix is effective and convenient but there are also traditional methods that require only tape and string (in some cases only tape) which cost basically nothing. Scoring rule can be made from regular brass rule if that’s all you have. Channel matrix and scoring rule are available from NA Graphics and I believe American Printing Equipment.


Front Room Press
Milford, NJ

Channel Matrix is so amazing and easy. It’s really hard to beat. But I also once used one of those hand scoring machines they sell on eBay. The thing worked pretty darn good. It was easier than setting up the press for quantities less than 100. It put the same kind of hinge in the paper that channel matrix provides.

Some time back there was available a large plastic sheet about 13 x 19 inches. with an adjustable guide on the left side and a channel parallel to it about half way across the board. After setting up for position, the business end of a crotchet needle was used to score the sheets individually at the channel. Very useful to score sheets that are too large for your press.

Hi Allison,

I have both the channel matrix and the hand-scoring device that Mad Maude mentioned, a “Scor-It” board. I don’t make huge runs, so I find myself using the Scor-It board more often than the press. It doesn’t have multiple widths like the channel matrix, though. Still, it works fine for both text and cover-weight stock if you adjust the pressure you apply.


For short runs and the convenience of doing the job at my kitchen table, and also for doing it very inexpensively, I do this:

Tape a ruler/scale to the table to locate the position of the score/fold. Place a right triangle against the ruler. I score with the backside of a common table knife.

Remember, contrary to intuition, the bump goes on the inside of the fold. You need a diagram to fully understand why. I don’t have one to enclose. You will have to seek out a good text if you need to know why. The exception to the bump on the inside may be coated stock which may crack. With the coated stock you have to try both ways to see which is best.