I happily settled on Diana Crick's excellent Scor-Pal and have been very happy since.
But now there's a new kid on the block. You can hardly call yourself a papercrafter and not be aware of the juggernaut that is Martha Stewart and her presence at Michael's and other crafting havens. With her cleverly designed tools, she's really created a lot of covetable items.
And now she has a product that competes directly with the Scor-Pal.
After seeing a lot of interesting videos of how to use Martha's product and with a 50% off coupon at Michael's burning a hole through my pocket, I finally sprang for the MS Scoring Board.
To help you with your own buying decision, if you are thinking of getting one tool, I thought I'd point out my own personal findings.
So here are the two competitors:
Martha's product is on the left, the clean white board. The Scor-Pal has seen a lot of years of use. You can see some ink where I've marked some measurements that I score a lot.
Here are a couple of differences. Below, the ends of the two scoring tools. Martha's tool is a lot thinner and held below:
The first time I tried out Martha's board, I cut right through the paper with the thinner tool, which was very sad. However, once I changed the way I was holding the tool (so I wasn't pressing down with the very tip) and eased up on the pressure, it worked just fine.
Martha's tool comes with measurements for common projects (cards, boxes, etc) in a compartment at the top of the board. Handy!
The Scor-Pal has its tool held near the top of the board. It is VERY easy to grab and snap back into place whenever I need it. The scoring tool in the MS board tends to rattle around in its spacious compartment and, because you have to open the space, it's not nearly as handy as the Scor-Pal's.
Another immediate difference: the MS Scoring Board has grooves every 1/8". The Scor-Pal only has grooves every 1/2" plus some additional grooves at commonly used points (like 4 1/4"). Some argue that the MS Board has too many grooves and that you can skip into a nearby groove too easily when you use it. I haven't found this to be the case. The additional grooves give you extra flexibility and allow for extra projects, like rosette-making, that would be harder to make with the Scor-Pal.
The triangle that is the extra piece that comes with the MS Board fits cleverly into a slot at the bottom of the board. This I like!
The triangle is the envelope-making part of the MS Board, which is unique to this product.
Note the handy measurements below. The video I found on YouTube describing how to make envelopes with this tool was what really sold me on trying this product and I was delighted on my first try at making an A2 envelope.
As per the instructions, I cut an 8.5" square of paper and then lined it along the edge of the triangle and scored it alternately at 3" and 3 3/4". Cut off the four small triangular pieces between the folds and voila!
A quick and special little envelope.... I can totally see designing and printing out some paper that would include a cute design on it for a really fun homemade envelope!
(in the above piece, I rounded the flap's corner for a little extra oomph.)
So, what do I think?
I have LOVED my Scor-Pal. Really, it's been a terrific part of my papercrafting arsenal! But if you don't have one already and were thinking of buying a scoring tool, I think I'd advise you to get the Martha Stewart Scoring Board. Not only is it a great deal ($20 retail, but who ever pays retail at Michael's when you can so easily get a 40 or 50% off coupon, which brings it down to the insane price of $10?), but the envelope-making tool really makes it quite a bit more versatile.
The Scor-Pal is about $30, but is only available online, so you'd have to spring for the shipping on top of it.
(Update: there is a newer version of the Scor-Pal that has grooves every 1/4" plus additional ones here and there.)
Here's how to make envelopes with the Martha Stewart Scoring Board:
The Scor-Pal's website includes a ton of intersting projects (however I find the navigation of the site a bit difficult to manage): http://www.scor-pal.com/projects.htm
I hope that this is helpful!