Archive for June, 2010

Formax FD 180 Booklet Maker Review

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Formax FD 180 Booklet MakerDo you need an affordable booklet making solution? Booklet makers are one of the best ways you can do this. These machines fold and staple paper in a fraction the time it would take manually. One of the newest machines available to create booklets is the Formax FD 180 (found here). I have had the opportunity to play around with and use this booklet maker. This is my review.

Formax has been making booklet makers for some time now. Their most recent lineup includes the Formax FD 180 and Formax FD 160. The FD 180 is probably one of the most affordable booklet makers that both folds and staples the paper for you automatically.

The FD 180 is extremely easy to set up. It comes with six preset folding sizes. Select the one you want, place your paper inside and push a button. The machine will then staple the paper down the center and fold it. The booklet comes out the top of the machine. You’re now ready to move on to the next booklet. Every time I have used this booklet maker the paper has come out registered and properly aligned.

Formax FD-160 Control Panel

The Formax FD 180 is designed to staple and fold up to 15 sheets of 20# paper. This comes out to be a total of 60 booklet pages. You can get four booklet pages (front and back) per one sheet of paper. It can be used to fold and staple thicker sheet of paper, but the thicker the paper the fewer sheets you will be able to fold and staple.  Although manually fed, the FD 180 is rated at an operational speed of up to 500 booklets per hour.

Two built-in stapling heads can be adjusted to five different positions, often depending on the size of paper you will be stapling. One nice thing about the FD 180 is that it uses standard paper staples. The Formax FD 180 can be used to fold and staple paper as large as 12 x 17-inches in size or as small as 8.25 x 10 inches.

The Formax FD 180 is commonly used by churches, schools, print shops and other organizations for creating brochures, booklets, stories, user manuals and other literature that fits within 60 pages. It weights in at about 60 pounds, which means it can be used on most tables and surfaces.

Overall I have to say that I am impressed both with the build quality and easy-of-use. I think any business or organization that has low to medium-volume booklet making needs could really benefit from using the Formax FD 180.

You can find the Formax FD 180 booklet maker here. You can find our entire selection of booklet makers here.

What’s The Difference Between GBC VeloBind and GBC SureBind?

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

GBC VeloBind System OneI had a confused customer ask me recently what the difference was between a VeloBind and a SureBind machine. I can understand the confusion. The machines look the same, have the same specifications and retail for the same amount. So what is the biggest difference between these machines?

The biggest difference between these two machines is nothing. That’s right. VeloBind and SureBind are exactly the same thing. Years ago they used to be competing brands, but GBC now owns both names. Why they continue to use both names is purely for marketing and distribution purposes, but all it seems to have done is create confusion.

Many years ago GBC also used the name QuickBind, which was synonymous for  VeloBind. Here are the VeloBind machines and their SureBind equivalents:

Confusion aside, VeloBind is one nice looking binding format. The machines are easy to use and the bind is solid. You can find our entire selection of GBC VeloBind machines here.

GBC VeloBind System Three Pro Binding Machine Review

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

GBC VeloBind System Three Pro Binding MachineDo you need a binding system that can handle a lot of paper? Perhaps up to three-inches of paper? If you need to securely bind that much paper, you should seriously consider using the VeloBind System Three Pro from GBC (found here). I have used this machine for years now and this is my review.

To begin with, VeloBind in general looks really good. The concept is very simple. You punch the paper (11 total holes), insert the VeloBind strip (11 total prongs), put it in the machine and the machine does the rest. VeloBind is one of the most tamper-proof and secure binding formats available today.

The VeloBind System Three Pro punches the paper, cuts off the excess prongs and uses heat to automatically seal the back strip to the VeloBind prongs. Apart from some manual interaction, the machine is fairly automated. Be aware that the VeloBind System Three Pro is also marketed as the System Three Pro SecureBind. They are both the same machine.

The System Three Pro can bind paper up to three-inches thick, but can also be used to bind smaller and thinner books. The machine will cut off the excess prongs and adjust the strip to the thickness of the book being bound.

The System Three Pro can use 1 x 11, 2 x 11 and 3 x 11 strips. These are one, two and three-inch strips. If you used a three-inch (3 x 11) strip with a ¼-inch thick book, the machine would cut off the excess 2 ¾-inches of prong. You can find our VeloBind supplies here.

Three inches is a lot of paper. A lot of people ask if the VeloBind System Three Pro can really bind this much paper. My answer is “yes, it can.” It does a very good job at binding that much paper. The VeloBind strips keep the paper in place and the end result is extremely secure.

This machine is particularly popular with lawyer’s offices, businesses that deal with contracts, construction companies and other organizations that need to bind a lot of paper. VeloBind is also popular with businesses that need a “tamper proof” binding system. A VeloBound document cannot be tampered with. Pages can be ripped out, but it is obvious.

GBC VeloBind Binding MachinesAlthough the VeloBind System Three Pro does have a de-bind feature, it doesn’t work that well. It essentially heats up the back strip, making it possible to peel it off. Because the prongs are cut off and sealed with heat in the binding process, the prongs have almost a mushroom-like shape to them. Because the end of the prong is “mushroomed” out, they don’t pull back through the paper easily. Ultimately you will get the VeloBind strip back out of the paper, but the paper won’t look “untouched.”

Also be aware that pages bound with VeloBind will not lay flat. If you need a document that lays flat, you will need to go with a binding format like coil / spiral binding. Coil and spiral binding cannot, however, bind three-inches of paper.

Overall I really like the VeloBind System Three Pro. It is secure, easy-to-use, inexpensive to operate and the end results look professional. In fact, I think VeloBound documents look far more expensive than they really are. You can find our GBC VeloBind System Three Pro here. You can find our entire selection of GBC VeloBind machines here.

Semacon S-1000 Mini Currency Counter Review

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Semacon S-1000 Mini Currency and Bill CounterAre you looking for a reliable bill counter? There are many different brands and models out there. One brand that has grown in recognition and popularity over the past several years is  Semacon. Semacon recently released the S-1000 Mini currency counter (found here). So is this a model you should consider buying? Here is my review.

To begin with, Semacon is known for its build quality. Many of their bill counters are made in Japan, versus China, and the quality really shows through. Their machines are rigorously tested prior to shipping, so you know you’re not getting a dud. Semacon bill counters also have a generous warranty, typically covering parts, labor and shipping.

The Semacon S-1000 Mini is a compact little machine. It weighs in at about 10 pounds and measures in at 9-inches wide by 11.5-inches deep by 5.5-inches high. This makes the S-1000 Mini very easy to pick up and move around.

The hopper on this machine can hold anywhere from 80-120 bills at a time. The counting process takes just seconds from the time the bills are inserted. As you might imagine, this is far faster than counting bills by hand. The motor is rated at 900 bills per minute.

While it is primarily designed to count bills, it can be used to count coupons, tickets, cards and other paper material. Just be sure the item you are counting falls within the machine’s specifications. It can also be used to count foreign currencies.

The control panel on this machine is fairly simple. There aren’t any complicated settings required prior to use. It can also be used for batch counting, which is a pretty cool function to have if you are a bank.

Be aware that the S-1000 Mini does not have built-in counterfeit detection. It is also not capable of distinguishing the difference between denominations. Very few bill counters have the ability to distinguish the difference between bill values (bill discrimination). The S-1000 is made in a counterfeit detection model.

My overall impression with the Semacon S-1000 Mini is that it is a solid little machine. While it may be more of an investment than other counters with similar specifications, you won’t be disappointed with the quality or the warranty.

You can find the Semacon S-1000 Mini bill counter here. You can find our entire selection of bill and currency counting machine here.

Do Bill Counters Only Count Money?

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

ABC1150 Bill CounterI had someone recently ask me if bill counters can only count money. The quick answer to that question is no. Bill counters can be used to count a wide variety of items. This includes coupons, cards, paper, checks and more. In fact, bill counters are perfect for keeping tabs and inventory on a wide variety of paper products.

The most important specification you will want to keep an eye open for is the maximum and minimum specifications. All bill counters have minimum and maximum tolerances.

Most bill counters can count items up to 4 x 7-inches in size or as small as 2 x 4-inches. If you’re not sure the bill counter you are looking at will work, call us at 1-800-658-8788. One of our specialists should be able to answer your questions.

Because bill counters can count bills and paper in a variety of sizes, this means most of our bill counters can be used to count bills from other countries as well. Again, just make sure your country’s bill falls within the minimum and maximum specifications.

You can find our entire selection of bill counters here.

Tamerica V2000-Pro SecureBind Review

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Tamerica V2000-Pro SureBind Binding MachineDo you need to VeloBind documents but don’t have the budget to buy a GBC VeloBind machine? You may want to consider an alternative. That’s right. Tamerica makes a machine called the V2000-Pro SecureBind (found here) that punches the same hole pattern as VeloBind and uses the same supplies as VeloBind. Here is my review of the V2000-Pro SecureBind.

To begin with, Tamerica’s SecureBind is their own take on VeloBind. The V2000-Pro SecureBind is very similar in operation the GBC VeloBind V800 Pro. The biggest difference between the two machines is that the Tamerica V2000-Pro can bind two-inches of paper where the V800 Pro can only bind one inch of paper. Because VeloBind supplies are so readily available, you will have no trouble keeping the V2000-Pro up and running.

The V2000-Pro can punch between 20-22 sheets of standard copy paper at a time. This amount will vary depending on the type of paper you are punching. I recommend starting at about half the maximum punching capacity and working up from there. The V2000-Pro punches a total of 11 holes along an 11-inch side of paper.

Hole punching is completely manual. One thing I really like about the V2000-Pro is the “U” shaped handle. This makes it easier to punch paper with your left or right hand.

Once the holes are punched, an 11-prong SecureBind or VeloBind. Strip can be inserted through the punched holes. A back strip is then placed on the back of the paper. The document is then placed on the V2000-Pro.

Much like the V800 Pro from GBC, the V2000-Pro automatically cuts off the excess prongs and seals them shut using heat. The end result is an extremely secure bind, hence the name SecureBind.

This style of binding is very popular with lawyer’s offices, construction companies and other businesses that bind large volumes of paper. You are able to use your own covers and back sheets.

You can find the Tamerica V2000-Pro SecurBind here. You can find our VeloBind supplies here. You can find our entire selection of VeloBind machines here.

Mini 2 Padding Press Review

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Mini 2 Padding PressPadding paper is convenient, a great way to recycle used paper and is perfect for creating scratch pads. The entire process is extremely easy to do. So which padding press should you use? You may want to consider using the Mini 2 padding press (found here). I have personally used this model. This is my review.

The Mini 2 padding press is a fairly simple little device. It has a wooden base, a back wood plate and two side rails with clamping mechanisms. The entire padding press comes in a rectangular shaped box. Some assembly is required, but it isn’t difficult at all. The padding press is light enough that it can be placed on almost any table or countertop.

The Mini 2 can pad up to a 12 ½-inch stack of paper. That is a lot of paper. It is designed to be used with 8 ½ x 11-inch paper, but you can pad smaller paper in this padding press.

All that is involved in padding with the Mini 2 is taking a stack of paper, placing it on the base (making sure the paper rests flush against the back panel) and clamp the paper down. Once clamped, the back plate can be removed and glue can be applied.

The glue is of the consistency of Elmer’s glue and is applied by using a padding brush. You can find our padding brushes, glue, chipboard and accessories here. We sell glue in red and white colors. The glue takes about 10-15 minutes to dry. Once the glue is dry, the clamps can be releases and the pad can be removed.

The pad can then be cut down into smaller pads. This is a great way to recycle old paper and scratch pads are very nice to have on hand or on a desk. We have businesses, schools, churches and other organizations that use padding presses.

Overall I am impressed with the Mini 2. It is a very simple piece of equipment. Everything on the Mini 2 has been designed and measured to be used for padding paper. You can see a video demo of me using the Mini 2 here.

You can find the Mini 2 Padding Press here. You can find our entire selection of padding presses here.

Applied Magnetics Infostroyer 101 CD Destroyer Review

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Applied Magnetics Infostroyer 101 CD DestroyerDestroying unused information seems like a no-brainer. You certainly don’t want sensitive information falling into the wrong hands. One thing a lot of people don’t think of is that compact disks (CDs) also need to be destroyed. In fact, one CD can hold thousands of pages of data. One good way to destroy this data is by using a CD destroyer like the Applied Magnetics Infostroyer 101 (found here). This is my review.

The Applied Magnetics Infostroyer 101 is a CD destroyer, sometimes referred to as a CD grinder. The science behind the machine is sound. You insert the disk into the machine and it grinds the disk down, destroying the data and making it completely unreadable. The machine is automatic. Put in a disk and the machine does the rest. It can destroy CDs, CD-Rs and CD-RWs.

The Infostroyer is NSA approved (NSA/CSS 04-02). This means it can be used by the government and military for the destruction sensitive and top-secret data. The entire CD grinding process takes about four seconds, which is really fast. This is fast.

The Infostroyer 101 is designed to be portable. It only weighs in at 19 pounds and is available with an optional carrying case with wheels and telescoping handle. This makes the Infostroyer 101 deployable.

Are you feeling patriotic or are you required to buy American? We have you covered. Our entire line of Applied Magnetics shredders, disintegrators and grinders are made in the USA. The quality is unsurpassed.

One downside to the Infostroyer 101 is that it cannot be used to destroy DVDs. It is designed for CDs only. If you are destroying DVDs, you will need to upgrade to the Infostroyer 201 found here.

Overall I am very impressed with the Infostroyer 101 and consider it to be one of the fastest and most efficient ways to destroy CDs. You can find the Applied Magnetics Infostroyer 101 here. You can find our entire selection of CD shredders and destroyers here.

Lassco Spinnit EBM-S Single Spindle Paper Drill Review

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Lassco Spinnit EBM-S Paper DrillAre you in the market for a reliable, dependable and affordable paper drill? Even if you are only in need of a single-hole paper punch, you may want to consider a paper drill. One model you may want to consider using is the Lassco Spinnit EBM-S single hole paper drill (found here). This is my review.

The Spinnit EBM-S paper drill from Lassco is designed for budget-minded people who are in need of a good reliable paper drill. It is commonly used for small print operations. Lassco has a great reputation for making high quality equipment and the EBM-S is no exception. This drill should easily last you for years.

To begin with, the Spinnit EBM-S paper drill is a single spindle design, which means it can drill one hole at a time. This doesn’t mean it can’t be used for three-hole drilling. It just means that three-hole drilling requires a total of three passes. This drill is capable of drilling through up to two-inches of paper.

The drill itself can be used on most tables and surfaces. It weighs in at 62 pounds, which means it may require a couple of people to move around.

The EBM-S paper drill is turned on by flipping a switch found on the front of the machine. Once on, the handle can be pulled down. This brings the paper drill head down, causing it to drill through the paper. The Spinnit EBM-S uses a hollow drill bit. This style of bit allows drilled paper holes to travel up the bit into a storage compartment. The entire process takes just seconds.

The Spinnit EBM-S uses drilling blocks. Once the paper drill has gone through the paper, it rests in the drilling block. These blocks help give the operation an idea on when the paper has finished drilling and helps prevent damage to the drill bit.

The biggest downside to the EBM-S is that the table where you place the paper is stationary. This means it may take a little longer to drill multiple holes. The EBM-S does, however, include a stationary table with an adjustable back-gauge slide guide system.

The Spinnit EBM-2.1 is an upgraded version of the EBM-S that includes an EZ-Glide movable table that has four interchangeable hole patterns. You can find the Lassco Spinnit EBM-2.1 here.

Overall I consider the Lassco Spinnit EBM-S to be a reliable little machine, ideal for low to medium-volume paper drilling. You can find Lassco’s Spinnit EBM-S paper drill here. You can find our entire selection of paper drills here.

MBM Triumph 4705 Stack Paper Cutter Review

Monday, June 28th, 2010

MBM Triumph 4705 Stack Paper CutterIf you need to use a manual stack cutter for cutting reams of paper, the MBM Triumph 4705 (found here) may be just what you need. This robust cutter is very popular with our customers. Is it the right cutter for you? Here is my review.

The ability to cut large stacks or reams of paper is a huge benefit if you are a printing press, copy shop or a business that cuts down fliers, card stock or promotional material. Many of our customers will use stack cutters to also cut down business cards. Stack cutters will save you hours of time versus using a traditional paper trimmer.

The MBM Triumph 4705 is at the top of the manual stack cutter list in cutting volume and page size. It has a cutting width of 18 ¾-inches and can cut a stack of paper up to 2 ¾-inches thick

The blades on the Triumph 4705 are made from some of the highest quality metal I have seen in a manual stack paper cutter. They are made from soligen steel. These blades, as they become dull, can be re-sharpened. The ability to sharpen blades will save you a nice chunk of change later down the road.

I have actually used this cutter and the manual lever is effortless to use. It is designed in a way that is long and is leveraged in way that requires little force. I have used this to cut a ream of paper using only one finger. Manual labor shouldn’t be a concern with this cutter.

The backstop on the Triumph 4705 is very easy to use. It is a hand-crank style lever and is turned clockwise to increase cutting depth and counterclockwise to decrease cutting depth. The backstop has an arrow pointing to a ruler, which is extremely accurate and makes it easy to determine where the blade will cut.

One of Triumph’s biggest plusses is safety. Stack paper cutters exert a lot of force and cutting power. Luckily Triumph takes some serious safety measures. They utilize a safety cutting system (SCS), which utilizes a transparent safety guard on the front of the table that locks in place while cutting. Blade changing is even designed to be safer.

Another nice thing about the Triumph 4705 is the clamping mechanism. The 4705 utilizes a lock-down clamp. Many people say it looks like a submarine hatch lever. This style of clamp keeps the paper solidly in place.

The only downside to the Triumph 4705 stack cutter is that it doesn’t have an electric or hydraulic motor. The manual lever, however, is very user friendly and will save you some money. You can find the MBM Triumph 4705 stack cutter here. You can find our entire selection of stack and ream paper cutters here.

by Category