Archive for February, 2010

Fellowes Powershred Paper Shredders – Overrated or Understated?

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Fellowes Paper ShreddersFellowes paper shredders are everywhere. You see their commercials on TV and you can find them just about anywhere. Money can certainly buy a lot of advertising, but that doesn’t necessarily make a great product. So how do the Fellowes Powershred paper shredders hold up? A lot better than most department store shredders. Here’s why.

Department store shredders typically have a very bad reputation. They are often synonymous with cheap, plastic parts and jams. This, unfortunately, is the truth in many circumstances. Department store shredders are great for low volume home use, but they typically just won’t hold up in an office or business environment, unless they happen to be Fellowes.

While Fellowes paper shredders can be found in many department stores, I have to say that they definitely hold their own. I don’t consider Fellowes to be in the same class as Destroyit, HSM or Formax, but they really aren’t bad for low to medium-volume use.

Of course you need to make sure you are purchasing a shredder capable of handling the number of sheets you need to shred. A small desk side 10-sheet shredder will never be able to function well in an office being used by eight people throughout the day. That’s like using a VW Bug to haul cattle.

What this all boils down to is that I would probably take a Fellowes shredder over any comparable department store shredder in a heartbeat. For the price, you do get more bang for your buck. However, if the funds are available, and you need the shredder to last for five-plus years, you may want to consider something a little more brawny.

You may find our entire list of Fellowes paper shredders here. What is your experience with Fellowes paper shredders?

Top 7 Best Vacuum Sealers for Food Packaging

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Chamber-Style Vacuum SealersVacuum sealers are a fast, effective and reliable way to package food. There are a lot of vacuum sealers out there. Which models are best for your home or business? This can be a difficult choice, especially with so many cheap “As Seen On TV” models and sub-par imported designs.

I will give you a few recommendations on vacuum sealers that have proven themselves to be reliable and have a good track record with our Service Department.

First of all, you should be aware that there are two different types of vacuum sealers. These two designs are:

External – External sealers are the most common in-home machines used today. They consist of a bag, used to hold food, with one open end. The open end is inserted into the machine where the air is removed and the bag is sealed.

Chamber – Chamber sealers are used for higher-volume industrial and commercial packaging. Food is placed in a bag, after which the bag is placed in the chamber. Air is removed from the chamber, the bag is sealed and the food is packaged.

These are my top 7 vacuum sealer recommendations based on customer feedback and track record. This includes both chamber and external designs:

  1. Minipack MVS 31 (Inexpensive. Great for low to medium-volume use. Most popular model sold.)
  2. Minipack MVS 45 (Wider chamber than MVS 31. Great for low to medium-volume use.)
  3. Minipack Food Vac (Great for home and small-volume use.)
  4. Minipack MVS 65 (Great for medium to high-volume use)
  5. Aline AVS-20 (Great for medium to high-volume external bag use.)
  6. Minipack Mini 2010 (Great for low to medium-volume home use & external bag packaging.)
  7. Minipack MVS 50 (Great for medium to high-volume use)

You can find our entire selection of vacuum sealers here. Have a question? Leave me a comment.

Why Use A Cold Laminator?

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Xyron Cold Roll LaminatorCold laminators are less common now than they used to be. Advances in hot lamination technology have allowed hot laminators to claim the bulk market share. So are cold laminators obsolete? Is there still a need for them?

While it’s true that hot laminators have ironed out the wrinkles (literally) in its technology, there is still a place for cold laminators. Cold laminators are still the technology of choice for laminating temperature sensitive documents. This includes documents with wax-based ink, organic material, some types of photographs and more.

Another advantage of cold laminators is the electricity involved. Most cold laminators use very little electricity, with some cold laminators requiring no electricity at all. This means you can use a cold laminator, such as a Xyron laminator, almost anywhere.

There is less mess and cleanup involved with a cold laminator. Because there is no hot sticky glue involved, cold roll laminators don’t experience messy rollers. Cold laminators are also safer to use. This isn’t to say hot laminators are dangerous, but you won’t experience the risk of being burned with a cold laminator.

The most popular line of cold laminators is Xyron. Most Xyron laminators are powered by use of a hand crank. They use lamination cartridges, which eliminate the hassle of having to feed lamination film around bars and rollers. Xyron laminators are commonly used (especially by scrap bookers) to create stickers, laminate photographs, single sided lamination and much more.

You can find our entire selection of Xyron cold laminators here. You can find our entire selection of Xyron lamination cartridges here. Have fun laminating!

Confidential Document Containers – Paper Shredder Alternatives

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

I’m a huge advocate for using paper shredders in the office. This is not only to comply with federal law, but because it just makes sense. Identity thieves and other lowlife criminals will never cease trying to steal information. What alternative is there to using a paper shredder?

Although shredders are ultimately still involved, confidential document containers & cabinets provide an affordable alternative to placing small shredders throughout the office. Whether it is because shredders cause too much of a distraction for your office environment, or because shredding is done at a centralized location, confidential document containers provide much-needed security.

Secure document containers are designed to provide a good deal of security. The bins themselves are made from durable, high impact materials. The lids of these containers are locked, preventing unauthorized access. They top of the bin usually features a slit just big enough to insert paper, but small enough to prevent someone from reaching in.

Confidential document containers are usually available in a variety of neutral colors that blend in with the existing work environments. While there are subtle differences in design, most of these containers vary in price according to the storage capacity. You will find our entire line of confidential document containers here.

Feel free to post a question to me in the “comments” field at the end of this entry. Have a great day!

Paper Shredder Security Levels Explained

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Shopping around for a paper shredder? If you are, no doubt you have seen shredders tagged with a security level. What is a shredder security level and which one is best for you? I will explain the different security levels here.

There are a total of six paper shredder security levels, with one being the lowest and least secure and six being the highest and most secure. The average person will normally not need anything above a security level three. Most businesses will never need anything above a security level four. Levels five and six are designed for the most secure and top secret documents.

The shredder security level system, except for level six, was designated by the Deutsches Institut für Normung (DIN). The DIN is the German national organization for standardization. The exact DIN label for shredding measurements is DIN 32757.  Security level six specifications were designated by the U.S. government.

Security Level Dimensions:

Level 1:

(10.5mm Strip Cut), (11.8mm Strip Cut), (10.5mm x 40-80mm Cross Cut)
(Approximately 3/8” x 1 ½-3 1/8” Cross Cut), (Approximately 3/8” Strip Cut)

Level 2:

(3.9mm Strip Cut), (5.8mm Strip Cut), (7.5mm x 40-80mm)
(Approximately 1/8” Strip Cut), (Approximately ¼” Strip Cut), (Approximately ½” x 9/16-2” Cross Cut), (Approximately ¼” x 9/16-2” Cross Cut)

Level 3:

(1.9mm Strip Cut), (3.9mm x 30-50mm Cross Cut)
(Approximately 1/16” Strip Cut), (Approximately 1/8” x 1 1/8-2” Cross Cut)

Level 4:

(1.9mm x 15mm Cross Cut)
(Approximately 1/6” x 9/16-5/8” Cross Cut)

Level 5:

(0.78mm x 11mm Cross Cut)
(Approximately 1/32” x 3/8-1/2” Cross Cut)

Level 6:

(1mm x 4-5mm)
(Approximately 1/32” x 5/32” Cross Cut)

You may find our entire selection of paper shredders here.

Hydraulic Stack Paper Cutters – Duplo 490, 490P & 660P Now Online

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

We have just added three new hydraulic stack cutters to our site. These are the Duplo 490, Duplo 490P and the Duplo 660P. These aren’t your typical scrapbooking paper cutters. These are the types of cutters that printers will use to cut down large printing jobs. The 660P, which is the biggest of the three, can cut up to almost four-inches of paper at a time.

Hydraulic paper cutters are considered to be the workhorses of the commercial cutting world. They are designed to be used continuously throughout the day. These cutters pack quite a punch. They can be a little intimidating to use at first, but the controller interface is easy to use and there are many built-in safety features to prevent injury.

Duplo is considered to be one of the most reputable office equipment manufacturers in existence today. Duplo has been manufacturing paper-handling machines since 1951.

Stop by our site and take a look:

Introducing: The Kutrimmer 1135 Paper Cutter by Ideal

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

We are always adding new products to our site and I am excited to announce the addition of the Kutrimmer 1135 paper cutter to our site. Anyone familiar with Kutrimmer knows that these paper cutters are very reliable.

I have personally used several Kutrimmer paper cutters. They feel very solid. The arm on the blade doesn’t flex or waiver when cutting paper. Unlike many older “Arm Style” paper cutters, these cutters have several safety features built in to prevent injury.

The Kutrimmer 1135 Features:

  • A solingen steel blade
  • An adjustable back gauge
  • A transparent Lexan® safety guard
  • An integrated cutting line indicator
  • All-metal construction

Swing by our site and take a look at the Kutrimmer 1135 by going here. You can view our entire selection of Kutrimmer paper cutters here.

Best Ways To Shred or Destroy CDs, DVDs and Optical Media

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

By now most of us know how important it is to shred paper documents when they’re not longer needed, but what about optical media, such as CDs and DVDs? These disks can contain far more sensitive information than a stack of paper. A disk tossed in the garbage can easily be taken out by just about anyone. This article will cover a few different ways you can get rid of old disks.

Breaking the Disk Apart: Disks can be broken apart manually, but you risk possible injury from sharp shards of plastic, not to mention it is very tedious. Also be aware that broken pieces of CDs and DVDs can still be read with the right equipment. This method is not recommended for high security disk destruction.

Optical Disk Shredders: Many shredders are now capable of shredding CDs and DVDs. Simply drop the disk into the shredder and let the machine do the rest. This method of disk destruction is convenient and fast. Be aware, however, that there are varying degrees of security between shredders. Some shredders will only cut the disks into strips, which is less secure. Other high-end shredders will turn the disks into tiny sand-like particles. You can find our CD and DVD shredders here.

Optical Media Grinders: These machines will grind and sand off the surface of a disk. It only takes a few seconds and literally grinds off the data. This technology is portable and fast, but it only works with CDs. Optical media grinders can be used for high-security data destruction. The Infostroyer 101 is an example of an optical media grinder. You can find it here.

Destroying optical media is an important part of any business’s operations. These machines can also be used by hospitals (HIPAA Compliancy), government and the military. Feel free to comment on this post if you have questions about machines used to destroy this information.

Foil Fusers vs. Foil Stampers – What’s The Difference?

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

What is the difference between a foil fuser and a foil stamper? They both create a foiled metallic logos or text. The end results look very similar. So it’s no surprise that many people get confused between the two. Be aware, however, that foil fusers and foil stampers are two very different machines. Be sure you get the right machine for the right job.

Foil fusers are designed almost exclusively to work with paper and cardstock alone. They cannot be used to put foiled lettering on photographs, pencils, matchbooks and other objects. Foil fusers use a special type of foil that literally fuses to toner. Toner is what copy machines and laser printers use. This means everywhere text or images are printed, the foil will stick. Foil fusers will not work with ink or ink jet printers.

Foil stampers, sometimes referred to as hot stamping machines, use a heated aluminum alloy die to stamp text and logos onto leather, cards, photographs, napkins and other solid objects. The foil stamper has a type holder that holds the lettering, the logo or both, after which the machine heats up. The heated lettering, along with pressure from the machine, transfers foil from a roll (usually attached to the machine) to the surface of a different object.

The end results of both foil fusers and foil stampers looks very similar. It is pretty safe to say that if you want foil on paper or card stock, to use a foil fuser. If you need foil on a book, napkin, photograph or other object, use a foil stamper. Be aware that the supplies for foil fusers and stampers are not interchangeable.

You can find our foil fusers and stampers by going here. Have more questions about foil stampers or fusers? Write a comment and I will post an answer.

Are Spiral and Coil Binding the Same Thing?

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Are Spiral and Coil Binding the Same Thing? We get asked this question almost every day. I can completely understand the confusion. There are so many different binding formats out there. The quick answer is that spiral and coil binding are exactly the same. They are just synonyms of each other. Both terms describe the binding element in great detail. I have even heard coil supplies described as spring supplies, due to the look.

I’ve been also been asked, “Isn’t coil binding metal?” Coil / spiral binding supplies can be metal, but for the last 10 years they have been primarily made from PVC plastic. Plastic is easier to work with, more durable and available in multiple colors. The machines we sell are designed for plastic coils.

Many people also get twin-loop wire binding confused with spiral binding. I just spoke with a lady today who said, “Coil bindings are those metal loops with the straight wire going down the center, right?” Twin loop wire binding looks much different than coil binding. You can see the wire binding above.

Hopefully I have helped clarify the definition of coil / spiral binding. You can read more about coil binding by reading our detailed coil-binding guide found here.

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