Archive for November, 2009

Paper Folder Maintenance & Repair Tips

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Paper folders play an important role in many aspects of a business’ daily operations. They are used to fold mailers, bills, invoices and much more. Although many of these paper folders are beasts, able to withstand a lot of use, all paper shredders require some type of maintenance.

Here is a list of some of the most common maintenance steps you should be taking and a list of the most common problems associated with paper folders.

Clean the rollers – The rubber rollers found in a paper folder get very dirty after a while. Why is this? It is because paper dust and ink from the folded paper start to stick to the rubber rollers. This causes paper to slip on the rollers, causing paper jams.

Use rubber cleaner rejuvenator to clean the rollers. Not only does this clean, but it also re-hydrates the rollers. Many people have asked me if they can use rubbing alcohol to achieve the same results. The answer is a huge no. Rubbing alcohol will dry out the rollers and cause them to crack.

Turn off the motor – If your paper folder doesn’t have an “auto off” function, be sure to turn off the motor after the job is done. This will help prevent unnecessary motor wear.

Surge protector – After having suffered some electronics losses myself as a result of power surges, it isn’t a bad idea to put your mid to high-end paper folder on a surge protector.

Folding plates – Make sure the folding plates are securely in place. A lot of paper jams result from incorrectly seated folding plates.

Static electricity – Static electricity can cause sheets of paper to stick together, resulting in paper jams. Some paper folders have built in components to channel away the static electricity. If static electricity continues to be a problem for you, we do sell static eliminator spray that will eliminate this problem.

Paper Jams – What should you do if you get a paper jam? If the paper is easily accessible, try pulling out the paper. NEVER use scissors or sharp objects to “fish” out the paper. This could very likely cause damage to the rubber rollers. Replacing the rubber rollers is no easy task.

If you cannot access the paper, you can try to open the case of the machine (at your own risk) to access the jammed paper. Very rarely does a paper folder have to be opened. If you aren’t mechanically inclined, or are nervous about operating on a paper folder, you can always call our service technicians at 1-800-658-8788 and ask them for tips and advice. You can also send in your machines to us for repair, should the need arise.

You can find our entire line of paper folders here.

Deals on Low Cost Paper Shredders – Gift Ideas

Friday, November 20th, 2009

Have you ever considered giving a paper shredder to someone as a gift? It may not be the first gift idea that comes to mind when shopping for your girlfriend or boyfriend, but paper shredders have become a popular gift idea for family members such as siblings or parents.

Other than cutting down on ID theft, here are a few other reasons your family member may want a paper shredder:

  1. Your little brother can use a shredder to take out his frustrations on pictures of ants rather than frying them with a magnifying glass.
  2. Your sister can shred pictures of her ex boyfriends after the “big breakup.” Very therapeutic from what I hear.
  3. Your mother or father can use the shredder for making pasta. Seriously, people have done it. Read more here.
  4. You can use it to strip cut paper as bedding for your pet hamster.

Although we do sell a lot of higher-end paper shredders designed for corporate or business use, we do have several models that are perfect for use at home. These shredders are compact, many no taller than a wastebasket, and can easily fit in a closet or next to a desk. Best of all, many of these home shredders are under $100.

You can find a list of our best paper shredder deals here. You can learn more about paper shredders by reading our paper shredder FAQ found here.

Introducing the InfoStroyer 301 NSA Disintegrator

Friday, November 13th, 2009

Destroying data and sensitive information has just become a lot easier. We have just added the InfoStroyer 301 disintegrator, made by Applied Magnetics, to our site. It is kind of a cross between a shredder and a disintegrator. It can be used to shred and destroy disks, punched key tape, credit cards, microfilm, id badges and much more.

One unique part of the InfoStroyer 301 is that it only has one moving part, which means there are fewer parts to break down and it never has to be oiled. This type of paper shredder exceeds Level 6 requirements for security and is popular with the federal government and military. The InfoStroyer 301 is NSA approved for the highest security shredding.

It uses a combination of filters and a vacuum to keep the working area clean. Tools are included with this disintegrator that make it easy to open up and service. Most servicing can be done by anyone. All parts, gears and components are made of metal.

We are excited to have the InfoStroyer 301 available on our site. Stop by our site and take a look at the InfoStroyer 301 Disintegrator here.

Paper Shredder Tips & Suggestions – Cut Down On Identity Theft

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

Let’s all be honest, identity theft is a growing problem. Criminals are becoming smarter and craftier at what they do. Chances are pretty good you know someone who has had their identity stolen. There are many aspects to identity theft. As an office equipment business, we focus on the paper end of identity theft. This involves the proper disposal of receipts, bills, bank statements, credit card applications and other paper material that can potentially be used in identity theft.

The best way to cut down on identity theft related to personal information on paper is to use a paper shredder. We recommend that paper shredders be placed in your house wherever you open your mail. This makes it more convenient to shred sensitive information versus throwing it away. Cross-cut shredders do the best job of shredding sensitive information. You can find our huge selection of paper shredders here.

If you own or run a business, there are a few paper shredder related laws that you should be aware of. Two such laws are HIPAA and FACTA. Both of these laws are federally mandated and apply to most businesses. I will go into a little detail on both of theses laws.

The HIPAA Act (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) enforces strict standards that protect patient health information. Part of this law requires that if patient data is no longer required or needed, it must be destroyed rather than thrown away. Paper shredders are probably the most common and convenient way of doing this.

FACTA (Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act) is a law designed to protect customer and employee information while cutting down on identity theft. A part of this law involves properly destroying personal information when it is no longer needed. This means employers cannot throw employee information in the garbage and consider it properly discarded. This new law applies to all employees, even if you have just one. One of the best means of destroying personal information is by using a paper shredder.

Regardless of who you are or what you do, be sure to properly dispose of your personal and sensitive information. If you own or run a business, be sure to take the proper precautions to prevent issues with HIPAA or FACTA. You can learn more by reading our paper shredder guide found here.

Akiles DuoMac – Streamline Your Binding Machine

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Are you having a hard time settling on one format of binding machine? I can’t say that I blame you. Depending on what is being bound, different binding machines create completely different looks. Wire works great for a professional report, where coil is perfect for a cookbook.

Buying multiple machines for multiple binding formats can be costly and takes up often-valuable space. Luckily machines have been engineered and manufactured to bind multiple formats. These types of machines are typically referred to as multi-format or combination biding machines.

Initially these machines consisted of just comb and wire combinations. In the past few years, several machines are now available that can punch and bind coil and comb, or wire and coil. Some are manually operated while others feature electric punching dies.

The most popular manufacturer of multi-format binding equipment is Akiles. The most recent line of combination-style machines from Akiles is known as DuoMacs. The DuoMacs are available in several models in several different punching combinations.

Akiles is well known for manufacturing solid machines. If you ever get a chance to use one of the DuoMacs, WireMacs or CoilMacs, try lifting them. You will be surprised how heavy they are. This is because they are made from all-metal construction.

We are pretty excited to have the Akiles DuoMacs on our site. You can find all these Akiles DuoMac binding machines and more by going to our Akiles binding machine index here.

Paper Shredder Repair & Maintenance – Keep It Alive!

Friday, November 6th, 2009

Paper shredders can be tricky beasts and the quality ranges wildly from very low end toys to post-apocalyptic strength monsters that even Mad Max would be proud to use. Some paper shredders have plastic and nylon gears, where others have titanium-enhanced blades that can chew through staples, credit cards and CDs.

The shredder you use will depend entirely on what you need to use it for. As the Boy Scouts would say, “be prepared.” Don’t underestimate what your future needs may be and always get a shredder that can handle the job. If you purchase a cheap department store shredder, you may be cruisin’ for a bruisin’. In the shredder industry, you often get what you pay for.

Once you have purchased the “right” shredder, there are a few things you will want to do to keep it running correctly. The first thing you will want to do is purchase some shredder oil. Shredder oil keeps the moving blades from wearing out. Running a car without oil will eventually lead to a seized engine or a thrown rod. The same goes for shredders, especially those of the cross cut variety.

Change the bag when the shredder tells you to! Most modern shredders have a bag-full indicator. Luckily most shredders will turn off if the bag is too full. If your shredder does not have this capability, be sure you empty it before your shredder erupts like a confetti volcano. Too much paper in the bin will cause the blades to become constrained with packed paper particles. This isn’t good for the motor.

Much like you would with a high-end home theater system, I personally recommend putting your shredder on a surge protector. While most shredders feature built-in fuses, a surge protector will still help preserve electronics and extend its life. This isn’t terribly important for low-end kid’s meal shredders, but is ideal for higher-end office shredders.

Throw away those paper clips and don’t experiment with the shredder, it’s not a toy. Although many shredders claim they can handle paper clips and staples, it is still a very good idea to remove the paper clips. While staples don’t pose much of a threat, a thicker paper clip still has the potential of nicking and damaging the shredder blades. Don’t hold “what can it shred” contests either. You don’t want to get a sock or old 80’s mix tape jammed in the shredder.

If for any reason your shredder does break, you’re in luck. Here at ABC Office we have a fully trained and staffed service department. Not only can we service major brand shredders like Destroyit, Intimus, HSM, Kobra, Dahle, Formax and Fellowes, we can also service many brands we don’t have online. You can reach our service technician by calling 1-800-658-8788 or by filling out this form. May your shredder live long and prosper.

What should you look for in a good pouch laminator?

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Pouch laminators are still widely used because they provide an affordable and effective way to protect documents. Pouch lamination film can be used to coat business cards, menus, photographs, important documents and more. Although lamination film has remained relatively the same for 10+ years, the equipment has progressed significantly during that same period of time. Here are a few tips on what to look for in a pouch laminator.

Rollers – All pouch laminators have at least a minimum of 2 rollers, one on top and the other on the bottom. Higher-end laminators will often come with more rollers. Many medium and high-volume laminators have 4 rollers. Photograph laminators will sometimes feature 6 to 8 rollers. The more rollers present, the more evenly pressure and heat are distributed.

Variable Temperature – Different thicknesses of film require different temperatures. Having a variable temperature control allows the operator to select exactly what is needed for the film being used. Many laminators have a simple toggle switch (5m, 7m or 10m) that will cool down or heat up the laminator. Many higher end laminators use a dial for precise degree adjustments.

Thermometer – This feature is not a necessity for most users, but if an object being laminated is temperature sensitive, or if the film being used requires a specific temperature, a thermometer is ideal to have.

Reverse Button – A reverse button is especially nice to have if you are concerned about jams. When laminating a document with little clearance (left or right), a reverse switch gives the user peace of mind. I personally like to have a reverse button on my laminator.

Motor & Heat Controls – Many laminators have a single button to turn on the motor and heat. This is fine if you are laminating a few items, but if you are laminating a lot of documents you will probably want to get a laminator with a separate button for the motor and the heat. This allows you to keep the laminator warm without having the motor on 100 percent of the time. This helps save energy and prolongs the life of the laminator.

While these are all great things to keep in mind while looking for a laminator, you can learn even more by reading ABC Office’s laminator guide here. You can also find our entire selection of pouch laminators here.

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