Are you making a card, pamphlet, booklet, or origami piece that requires clean folds and crisp creases? A bone folder is the answer. Used originally for folding letters and traditionally made of wood, bamboo, or genuine bone, this tool reached commercial popularity when, in 1889, J. C. Forman of Cleveland, Ohio, patented an aluminum version that was sturdy and cheap to manufacture. Today these tools, although still called bone folders, are made of a variety of plastics, woods, and metals (and there are still some made of genuine bone). To achieve a precise line and a knife-sharp crease, peruse our roundup below to find the best product for your needs.
1. Fiskars Traditional Bone Folder
A simple folder with one end rounded and the other shaped in a soft point, this 6-inch tool is made of durable plastic. The smooth surface won’t damage paper, and the pointed tip is great for scoring, cutting clay, and getting into hard-to-reach corners. Though the plastic construction may not be as tough as bone, this sharp-folding tool is a great addition to any studio, classroom, or office.
2. Martha Stewart Bone Folder
If there’s one thing Martha Stewart knows, it’s crafts. And she was right on the money with her endorsement of this product. Made of lightweight plastic with a softly curved handle, it’s just the tool you need to create perfect, crisp edges. You can use this tool to score, crease, smooth, or burnish paper—be it paper-thin tissue or hard cardboard.
3. Arteza Bone Folders
This set of four bone folders is a great option for those looking for a variety of shapes for maximum versatility. Made of heavy-duty plastic, these tools glide easily on paper and create pin-straight edges. The standard bone folder is great for folding cards—or use the knifelike folder with a pointed tip to burnish your crease. The curved tailbone folder helps make origami folds with its curved edges and tail, and the pointed-tip tool is great for bookbinding or smoothing out glue bubbles.
4. Lineco Bone Folder
Unlike some more modern counterparts, this bone folder is made out of—you guessed it—actual bone. Measuring 8 inches in length and 1 inch wide, this large and easy-to-maneuver folder works on even the heaviest of materials. It is a standard shape, straight with a pointed tip, but its natural material makes it one of the strongest options out there.
5. Talas Teflon Bone Folder
This bone folder is made of Teflon, an ultrasmooth material that will not scratch delicate materials or surfaces as you use it. Talas is the original fabricator and distributor of Teflon bone folders, so this tool has a history of performance on its side. It has a slightly squared-off point that is easily maneuverable into tight corners.