A few weeks ago I noticed the drink coaster on my desk was starting to flake paint everywhere. It’s one of those items I just take for granted, but with the amount of coffee I drink, that coaster gets a lot of work. Time to replace it. I decided to look for something a little more fun than utilitarian this time. I found the perfect option in Dirty and Scratched 4.2-Inch Record Drink Coasters. I’m a big record fan, my desk is surrounded by crates of vinyl and several turntables, so these things—designed to look exactly like miniature 45s—seemed like the perfect choice.
They Look Like Records, But They’re Not…
Standard 45 singles measure 7-inches across. That’s a bit large to use as a drink coaster. There are 3-inch records (I reviewed a record player for the 3-inch format a few years ago), but those are too small. Besides, it seems a little disrespectful to be putting my drink on something released by an artist, even if it were repurposing a worn record.
The Dirty and Scratched coasters measure 4.2-inches in diameter. Someone did the math and decided this was the optimal size for a drink coaster, given the average size of a cup or glass bottom.
The company (Ankzon) did a nice job of making these things look authentic. They are black plastic with tight grooves and even a runout groove. The center is punched and each coaster (there are six in a box) has its own label. They are printed with different colors and pithy titles. The one currently on my desk is “Tea Time (Don’t Spill This)” by The Nostalgics. In fact, they look so convincingly real that it might be tempting to put one on a record player to see what happens. I don’t want to risk damaging a turntable stylus so I didn’t try it myself, but there are several comments on Amazon from people who say they have given them a spin and found that they are blank.
How Well Do These Work As Coasters?
If they’re not records, how well do the Dirty and Scratched coasters do in their primary job?
As a coaster that protects a surface from heat, cold, or a bit of condensation, they are fine. They do the job. There’s enough plastic surface to accommodate most cups or glasses, and a rubber pad on the bottom to keep them from sliding around. None were warped and hot drinks haven’t caused them to warp. In addition, the coaster itself is thick enough to prevent heat from damaging the surface beneath.
However, if you spill your drink, these coasters have no rim and are not going to prevent more than small amounts of liquid from sloshing onto the table. In addition, even a bit of liquid (and dust for that matter) can get into the “record” grooves, so if you leave them out you may need to give them a blast of compressed air or a good wipe with a damp cloth. The labels are a potential weak point. If you end up with liquid pooling on the coaster surface, I could see that label coming loose. The company says the labels are UV printed (they are quite glossy) so they will not fade or be damaged by liquid—and I have run into no issues—but if there’s a weak point, that’s it.
However, you get six coasters in a box and they’re cheap ($6.99)—so just buy a few boxes if you want to have some spares in case extreme use damages one or two.
If you’re into vinyl, music, or just retro-themed things in general, the Dirty and Scratched 4.2-Inch Record Drink Coasters are a great find. They are priced at $6.99 on Amazon. At that price, they would also make great gifts or party favors. At the time of writing, they were showing as unavailable but I suspect this is temporary—I was able to buy them from Amazon Canada.
Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, I earn affiliate fees from qualifying purchases.