Simply put, a bone folder is an indispensable and essential tool for any bookbinder, graphic artist, or craftsperson.  Why you ask?  Because it’s a great tool for turning corners on cloth and leather, scoring paper, folding, smoothing out surfaces and burnishing surfaces.

So what’s the difference between a bone folder and a teflon folder?

The obvious answer is the material.  Our bone folder are made from genuine bone, whereas our teflon folders are made from you guessed it – teflon!

But, what really differentiates the two?

The main difference is that teflon folders will not burnish or mar the surface in the same way that a bone folder will.  When you use a bone folder there is a chance that it will leave a slightly polished or glazed look where the tool has been used.  A teflon folder prevents this from happening.

The photo below demonstrates the burnished “sheen” that a bone folder can produce.  Please keep in mind that the results are always more dramatic on black, and are typically only visible from certain angles when the light catches the surface:

A teflon folder also tends to be softer and more flexible, which can be seen as a positive or a negative given the situation.

TALAS offers a variety of different shaped Teflon Tools and Folders.  The variety of shapes and sizes help to suit your specific needs.  The Folding Rib is ergonomically shaped to fit in the palm of your hand and can easily get into those hard to reach corners.

Customers also carve their bone folders and teflon folders to best suit their needs and to fit their hands.  Carving a bone folder is relatively straight forward albeit labor intensive process of sanding and filing.  Teflon is highly toxic when inhaled and we recommend using great caution if you plan to file your teflon folder.  We also suggest using a high quality respirator and submerging the teflon folder in water before filing.  This will help prevent the teflon particles from becoming airborne.

Prefer to leave it to the experts?  We get it.  Be sure to check out of hand carved folders by Jim Croft, Shanna Leino, and more!   Both the Croft and Leino folders are sourced from wild animals and tend to be more dense than our conventional bone folders.  These are truly a treat.



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