Laser-cut score vs. pressure score

When having items laser cut you also have the option of adding laser score lines. By lowering the laser power the beam will cut partially into the paper instead of through it. I use laser scores for all Candyspotting greeting cards; however, they are not appropriate for every job.

Laser-cut score line on a card

Pros:

  • Precision: scores are computer controlled and will be parallel with the edge of the card.
  • No additional cost: the scores are fast straight lines
  • Time savings: card does not need to be scored afterwards.

Cons:

  • Potential weak point: if the cut is too deep or the card is flexed too many times it may tear. I err on the side of shallow rather than deep scores. I do not recommend laser scores for pocketfolds or other mailers without an external envelope.
  • Exposed fibers: when the card is folded the paper fibers will be exposed. Sometimes irregular fiber bumps can be seen and the score won’t look as nice as a pressure score. For troublesome papers I like to smooth over the exposed fold with a bone folder.
  • One-sided: for the most accuracy scores can only be all mountain or all valley, not a mix of the two.