Archive for January, 2011

2:1 Or 3:1 Pitch Wire Binding Machine & Supplies?

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Twin Loop Wire Binding MachinesAre you shopping around for a wire binding machine and can’t seem to settle on a specific hole pattern? The two most common hole patterns found in twin-loop wire binding is 2:1 and 3:1 pitch. So which format is best for you and which is most popular? Here are a few answers that may help you out.

To begin with, 2:1 pitch wire has a two-holes-per-inch pattern, where 3:1 pitch wire has a three-holes-per-inch pattern. Both styles of wire look great and both have some great benefits. Here is a brief breakdown on the two hole patterns.

2:1 Pitch Wire

2:1 Pitch Wire Binding Supplies

  • Hole Pattern – 2 Holes Per Inch
  • Loop Wire Spaced Farther Apart
  • Binds Up To 1 ¼” Of Paper

3:1 Pitch Wire

3:1 Pitch Wire Binding Supplies

  • Hole Pattern – 3 Holes Per Inch
  • Loop Wire Spaced Tightly Together
  • Binds Up To 9/16″ Of Paper

Looking at these stats, you can see that 2:1 pitch wire can bind more sheets of paper together. This is the reason I believe 2:1 pitch wire is the most popular hole pattern used today. On the flip side, many people tell me they prefer the tighter look of the 3:1 wire. A lot of it depends on your personal preference.

Many people still have a tough time settling on any one hole pattern. For this reason many binding machine manufacturers have created multi-format / combination binding machines. These types of wire binding machines typically have two different punching dies. This allows you to bind in 2:1 and 3:1 wire. While these machines typically cost a little more, they do open the door to more binding options.

You can find our entire selection of wire binding machines here and wire binding supplies here. If you still have questions, feel free to speak with one of our wire binding machine specialists at 1-800-658-8788.

Choose The Right Folding, Stuffing & Inserting Machine

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Automatic Envelope Folding, Inserting & Stuffing MachinesDo you need to speed up your paper folding & envelope stuffing operations? You may want to consider upgrading to a paper folder inserter. These handy machines take a sheet of paper, fold it, insert it into an envelope and seal it shut. With so many machines out there, which one should you get? Here are a few questions you may want to ask yourself.

How many sheets of paper do you need to insert into the envelope? The machine you get will almost depend entirely on how many sheets of paper you need to insert into an envelope. The most basic machines fold and insert a single sheet of paper.

More complex machines can fold and insert two, three and even more sheets at a time. Some machines can even include inserts or business reply envelopes. The more sheets you need to fold and insert, the more of an investment you will have to make in a machine.

How many envelopes do you need inserted per day? You will want to determine how many envelopes you need to send out on daily basis. Take into consideration how many envelopes you will need to send out later on down the road. An envelope stuffing machine is a significant investment and will last you for years. You want to be sure you get the right machine.

Most paper folding and inserting machines are rated for a monthly duty cycle. The monthly duty cycle is the amount of sheets a machine can safely fold and insert in a month without causing premature wear.

What is your budget? This may seem like a silly question, but your budget will play a huge part in determining the envelope-stuffing machine you purchase. If you need help finding a machine to fit your budget and needs, call us at 1-800-658-8788 to speak with an expert.

What are all the available options? If you only need to fold and insert one single sheet of paper, you have three different options available to you.

  1. Automatic Envelope Stuffing Machine – These machines do it all from start to finish. The fold, insert and seal the envelope shut.
  2. Pressure Folder Sealers – These machines fold and seal shut special pressure sensitive paper. This paper is typically perforated and does not require an envelope. You may have received a rebate, check or other form that was folded on a pressure sealing machine.
  3. Paper Folding Machine – If your monthly duty cycle isn’t huge, and you don’t need to stuff several sheets into an envelope, you may be able to use a paper folding machine to save you time. While you will still have to stuff the folded paper into an envelope, a paper folding machine will still cut your time down in half.

How much space is available? Be sure you take into account the measurements of the machine you will be purchasing. Make sure you have a desk or table that can not only accommodate the size of the machine, but the weight as well.

Which brand is the best? I have a tough time saying any one brand is the best. I can say that I have a lot of experience with Formax brand paper folding and inserting machines and they seem to be pretty solid. Formax customer service is excellent and their machines have a great rack record with our customers.

These some of the most common questions asked by our customers. Hopefully they have helped you get a better idea as to which machine you may need. You can find our entire selection of automatic envelope folding, inserting and stuffing machines here. Feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 for answers to any questions you may have.

uAttend CB 1000 Internet / Web Time Clock Review

Monday, January 31st, 2011

uAttend CB 1000 Internet / Web-Based Employee Time ClockAre you in the process of shopping around for an employee time clock and need a little advice on a system? While it may not be for everyone, the uAttend CB 1000 Internet time clock (found here) is a feature-rich machine that you may want to consider. I have personally used this time clock and this is my review.

If first impressions mean anything to you, you will probably immediately fall in love with the CB 1000. It comes well packaged in a full-color box with English printed on the outside that actually makes sense.

When you open the box, you will find the CB 1000 time clock, wall-mounting hardware, 10 proximity cards, a power adapter and an Ethernet cable. It comes with pretty much everything you need to get started. At the time of writing this article, you get all this for just $99. To date, I’m not aware of another sub $100 time clock that even comes close to this.

The CB 1000 is what’s known as a Web-based time clock. This is because it doesn’t connect directly to a computer, but rather to uAttend’s secure online servers. Once plugged in to an Internet-capable network, the CB 1000 is extremely easy to set up.

The CB 1000 is an attractive time clock. It features plug-n-play setup that literally takes just a few minutes to set up. The quality on this time clock is exceptional.

uAttend CB 1000 Employee Time Clock Subscription ServiceOne thing you will want to be aware of, prior to making a purchase, is that the uAttend CB 1000 is a subscription based time clock. What this means is that in order to use this clock, you will need to pay for the monthly uAttend employee management system subscription service. This subscription, however, is extremely affordable. You can see the price breakdown to the right.

Considering the cost of this high-quality time clock, and the service you receive, it is still a better deal (for years to come) than buying many of the more expensive stand-alone system. uAttend offers a lifetime warranty on the clock and free customer support. They even offer free live chat help when you’re logged into your account.

Employees can punch in and out of work by using a proximity card (10 included), by using the keypad (PIN number) or through a Web browser (if so desired). Viewing employees that are logged in and out is easy for any supervisor or authorized person. Simply log into your uAttend account. Settings, features and reports are very detailed.

Do you have a front entrance, a rear entrance or an off-site work area? You can use multiple CB 1000 units together. The CB1000 can also be upgraded to support an unlimited amount of employees.

Be aware that the CB 1000 requires access to an Ethernet connection. If you don’t have one available, you may want to consider using the wireless CB 2000 time clock.

One thing I really like about the CB 1000 is its ability to export reports and data for use with payroll software and programs. By default it can export reports in Excel .csv and ProcessingPoint file formats. For $5 a month, it can also export data for use with QuickBooks, PayChex, SurePayroll, Payroll 1 and Millenium. The people at uAttend will even create custom exporting for your unique payroll software.

Overall I consider the CB 1000 to be a great deal and extremely convenient. Having dealt with the people at uAttend myself, I can tell you that they are extremely easy to work with.

You can find the uAttend CB 1000 Internet time clock here and our entire selection of employee time clocks here. Do you have a question about this time clock? Call one of our time clock specialists at 1-800-658-8788. Have a great day!

Best Credit Card Shredders (Tips & Advice)

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Credit Card Shredders from ABC OfficeIf you’re in the market for a paper shredder, but would also like to have the ability to shred credit cards, you may be wondering where to start. While many shredders are capable of shredding credit cards, not all have the capability. Shredding credit cards on a non-capable shredder can cause catastrophic jams. Here are a few tips that should get you on the right path.

To begin with, fraud is a continuous battle that we all have to deal with. An improperly discarded credit card can be a one-way ticket to a huge headache. It is recommended to properly dispose of credit cards once they expire or are no longer needed.

While some people simply cut credit cards up with a pair of scissors, this isn’t 100 percent effective, and if done improperly, data can still be read and accessed. It is recommended to shred unneeded credit cards.

Shredders provide an even, uniform and effective way of destroying credit cards. Most modern-day strip cut shredders are capable of shredding credit cards. This because strip cut shredders have fewer moving parts and require less force to shred.

If you are shredding a credit card on a strip cut shredder, feed the card into the shredder at an angle. This will decrease the chance of the credit card numbers making it through unscathed. I personally like to inspect the shredded strips after shredding a credit card to make sure the shredder did the job.

Strip cut shredders are usually fine for shredding credit cards, but if you want to be 100% sure your credit card can’t be read, use a cross cut shredder. Cross cut shredders leave no room for doubt as they effectively shred credit cards in a crisscross pattern.

Not all cross cut shredders can shred credit cards, however, most modern-day office shredders can. Paper shredder product pages should mention that they can shred credit cards. If they don’t mention the ability to shred credit cards, assume they can’t.

Shredding a credit card in an incapable cross cut shredder will more often than not result in a jam. Prying 30 mil plastic strips out of a cross cut shredder is no fun. Worst-case scenario, this can result in gear or motor damage.

You can find our entire selection of both strip cut and cross cut paper shredders here. Remember, our shredders will indicate they can shred credit cards if they are so capable. Feel free to contact one of our paper shredder specialists at 1-800-658-8788 if you need assistance tracking down a credit card shredder.

Affordable Pizza Packaging Machines

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Affordable Pizza Packaging MachinesI recently had a customer ask me if we sold anything that could be used to package pizza for a local pizza shop. I told him that we had several “pizza packaging machines” and the model he used depended entirely on how many pizzas he needed to package. You know what that pizza packaging machine was? It was a shrink wrap machine. I’ll explain.

Shrink wrap machines aren’t only used for packaging DVDs, CDs and software boxes. They are also very commonly used to package food. That’s right! Shrink wrap machines can be used to package pizzas, chocolates and even fruits. The trick is to use the correct type of shrink wrap film.

PVC film, which is often used to package DVDs, CDs and other products is not safe for use with food. If you are packaging food, you will need to use Polyolefin film. Polyolefin is 100% food safe, has a stretchier feel than PVC and looks very professional.

One of our manufactures, Minipack, told us that a lot of people use the Minipack Galileo to package pizzas. This is because the Galileo has a large chamber area and can be used to package a pizza in just seconds. In fact, it operates at a speed of up to 300 items per our. That’s about 5 seconds per item. Of course the speed can vary depending on the operator.

We also offer what’s known as an I-bar sealer. These types of sealers take longer to package ranging from 30-60 seconds, but they also cost less money to buy. Our I-bar sealers use a heat gun, rather than a heat tunnel, to shrink wrap pizza.

Here are a few popular shrink wrap machines you can use to package pizza:

  1. Minipack Galileo
  2. Compack 5800 Shrink Wrap Machine
  3. Traco SS Standard Super Sealer
  4. Traco DS Deluxe Super Sealer
  5. AIE I-Bar Shrink Wrapper

All five of these models have a great track record. As a general rule, L-bar sealers like the Compack 5800 and Minipack Galileo are better for higher-volume packaging. The I-bar sealers, such as the Traco and AIE models, are best suited for medium-volume pizza packaging.

Packaging pizza is very easy to do and you shouldn’t feel intimidated by the prospect of packaging your own food. You can find our entire selection of shrink wrap machines here. Feel free to call us up at 1-800-658-8788 to speak with one of our shrink wrap specialists. They should be able to answer all your pizza-packaging questions.

AIE 310HD Double Impulse Bag Sealer Review

Friday, January 28th, 2011

AIE 310HD Double Impulse 10mm Bag SealerDo you need a heavy-duty tabletop bag sealer that can be used to close bags for retail sale? While there are many handheld heat sealers out there, few are designed for high-volume commercial use. One model you may want to take a look at is the AIE 310HD double impulse bag sealer (found here). This is my review.

AIE manufactures are wide variety of impulse sealers, bag sealers, band sealers and shrink wrap machines. AIE products are considered to be some of the best available for retail packaging purposes. One of their more unique products is the AIE 310HD.

Both the AIE 310HD and the AIE 305HD are very similar machines. The biggest difference between the two is that the 310HD has a 10mm sealing width and the 305HD has a 5mm sealing width.

Many people have asked me why someone would need a machine this big. To begin with, many of our customers use the 310HD to bag and seal computer components, cosmetics, personal care items, baby wipes and coffee bags. Because the 310HD has a 10mm sealing width, the packaging holds up extremely well.

The 310HD has both a top and a bottom heating element. This is necessary for sealing thick bags. The 310HD has been rated for sealing bags up to 20 mils thick. This is perfect for plastic lined, foil and gusset bags.

The build quality on the AIE 310HD is exceptional. It features a heavy duty transformer designed to keep up with commercial and industrial bag sealing operations. It also has a durable cast aluminum housing that can take a pounding. The handle is leveraged in such a way that it is extremely easy to pull down.

Simply make the proper adjustments on the machine, place your bag in the opening and pull down the handle. Literally seconds later the bag with have a durable 10mm seal. Once done, the bag can be removed and another can be placed inside.

Like most AIE products, I highly recommend this model. It is tough and great for long commercial runs. There are literally dozens of retail packaging possibilities with this machine.

You can find the AIE 310HD double impulse bag sealer here. You can find our entire selection of bag sealers and heat sealers here.

uAttend CB 2000 Wireless (WiFi) Time Clock Review

Friday, January 28th, 2011

uAttend CB 2000 Wireless WiFi Employee Time ClockAre you in need of an efficient, affordable and hassle-free time clock that is easy to set up? Many time management systems require being interfaced to a computer or being networked via an Ethernet cable. This sometimes isn’t a possibility. One time clock you may want to consider is the wireless WiFi enabled uAttend CB 2000 employee time clock (found here). This is my review.

One of the biggest complaints I get from people searching for time clocks is that they don’t have the ability to attach it to a computer easily. This is where the CB 2000 finds its mark. The CB 2000 doesn’t need to be attached to a computer, yet data can still be accessed from just about any computer. This is because the uAttend CB 2000 is a Web-based time clock.

The CB 2000 is completely wireless. If features a plug & play WiFi connection that can integrate with most wireless routers. This means if your office has wireless functionality, you can set up and use the CB 2000 terminal just about anywhere.

Employee time is stored via the Internet on uAttend’s secure servers. This makes the data easy to access from any authorized user via a computer’s Web browser.

There are three ways an employee can punch into work using the CB 2000. One way is by using the proximity card sensor. The CB 2000 comes with 10 cards, but more may be purchased. The second way is via the CB 2000’s keypad. The third way, if so desired, is via a Web browser.

The uAttend CB 2000 takes just minutes to set up. Adding and removing employees is extremely simple. The full-color screen makes data easy to read and even allows you to add a company logo. You can even link multiple CB 2000 systems if you need easy access around a larger building.

uAttend CB 2000 Wireless Time Clock Subscription Price BreakdownThe CB 2000 by itself is extremely inexpensive. Owners of the CB 200 need to be enrolled in the uAttend employee management system subscription service. The monthly subscription rate is based on how many employees will be using the clock. You can see the rate breakdown on the right.

One of my favorite features is the CB 2000’s ability to export data for use with Payroll software. By default, reports can be exported in ProcessingPoint or Excel .csv formats. Other formats (such as QuickBooks, PayChex, SurePayroll, Payroll 1, and Millenium) are available, but cost $5 a month to use.

While the monthly subscription fee may be a concern for some people, it should be noted that there is no contractual obligation, and because the CB 2000 itself is so inexpensive, the subscription fee is extremely reasonable.

The features the CB 2000 comes with are amazing. The clock has a lifetime warranty and service from uAttend is free. They even offer a live chat when you are logged in to help answer any questions you may have.

Overall I consider the uAttend CB 2000 to be a great wireless time management system. I think their subscription-based model is very reasonable and works well with many businesses.

You can find the CB 2000 (WiFi / Wireless) employee time clock here. You can find our entire selection of employee time clocks here.

10 Mil Laminating Pouches & Film Explained

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

10 Mil Thick Laminating Pouches & FilmDo you have a pouch laminator and want to be able to use the coveted 10-mil thick pouch? There are a few things you may not know about 10 mil thick pouches. I will explain in great detail everything you need to know about 10-mil thick film in this article.

In case you are unfamiliar with the term “mil,” a mil is one thousandth of an inch. That means that a 10 mil pouch is 10 thousandths of an inch or 0.010″ thick.

A bit of trivia: A 10-mil pouch isn’t actually 10 mils thick. It is in fact 20 mils thick. This is because pouch thickness measurements only take into account one side of the pouch. That means both flaps together equal 20 mils.

All said and done, counting the paper / material inside the pouch, a 10 mil pouch is closer to 30 mils thick laminated. A credit card is 30 mils thick. I can tell you from personal experience that a laminated 10-mil pouch is extremely rigid.

Ten mil thick pouches are not the most common thickness used with laminators. The 5-mil thickness is actually the most common thickness purchased today. This is due in part to the fact that 5 mil pouches are almost universally accepted by pouch laminating machines.

Not all pouch laminators can handle a 10 mil thick pouch. Before you purchase film, be sure your laminator can handle a 10-mil thick pouch.

At ABC Office we offer a huge selection of 10 mil thick laminating pouches and film. This includes credit card, IBM card, business card, luggage tag, letter size and many other pouch sizes. You can find our entire selection of 10 mil thick laminating film here.

You can find our entire selection of pouch laminators here. Our laminators, under the specifications, will indicate the thickness of laminating film they can handle.

Bill Counters With Dust Extractors, Shields & Filters

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Bill Counter With Dust Extractor & ShieldThere are a log of bill counters out on the market, some of which tout features like dust extractors, shields and filters. So do you really need these special filters to properly count money? I’ll explain why you may or may not want these features.

To begin with, money is dirty. Just think about where it has been. It sits at the bottom of purses, in wallets, on the floor, floating around in a pocket next to who knows what. Money contains germs, dust, trace elements of narcotics and more.

As money runs through a bill counter, particles on the bills can become loosened and become airborne. I have found that this dust can agitate people who suffer from respiratory ailments and allergies. Most people, however, won’t notice much difference.

If you are sensitive to dust, I do highly recommend using a bill counter with either a dust extractor, a shield or a combination of both.

Dust extractors on bill counters are fairly rare, however, manufacturers like Cassida and Semacon both manufacture counters with dust extracting filters.  The Semacon S-1400 series of bill counters are prime examples of machines that combine both dust extractors and shields.

Another great option, that is more common than dust extractors, is a protective shield. Bill counters with shields have a special plastic cover that is pulled down during the counting process. This keeps bill dust from becoming airborne.

I wouldn’t count a bill counter out for not having these features as I don’t personally notice a difference either way, but it is nice to be aware of your options.

You can find our entire selection of bill counters here. Feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any bill counter questions.

Lassco LJ-4 11″ x 17″ Electric Paper Jogger Review

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Lassco LJ-4 Electric 11" x 14" Paper JoggerAre you in need of a paper jogger, but need something that can handle anything from business cards up to 11″ x 17″ paper? If so, you may want to consider the Lassco LJ-4 electric paper jogger (found here). This jogger is ideal for use with larger paper. This is my review.

Lassco-Wizer manufactures a wide variety of electric paper joggers. These paper joggers are generally considered to be some of the best on the market. This includes standard letter-size joggers, multi-bin joggers and much more.

The LJ-4 paper jogger is in a class of its own. This is because not only can it job letter size 8 ½” x 11″ paper, but it can also jog an entire ream of 11″ x 17″ paper. Most joggers cannot do this without some sort of assistance. This is due to the size of the jogging table.

If you look at the table, you will notice that it is tilted at about a 45 degree angle. This is ideal for keeping larger paper in place. The size of the jogging table is also large enough to handle the longer paper. The table itself measures in at 17″ x 17″.

You will notice in the picture that the table has two semi-circles cut out of it. This has been done for your convenience. Once an 11″ x 17″ stack of paper has been jogged, the semi-circle cutout makes it extremely easy to grab the jogged paper and remove it from the machine.

Just because the LJ-4 has a large jogging table doesn’t mean it can’t jog smaller documents. This jogger will easily jog smaller documents, letter-size paper and much more.

The motor on the LJ-4 is tough, as is the case with all Lassco paper joggers. The motor on this jogger operates on a 115 volt current at 60 hz / 2.2 amps. The motor vibrates at a speed of 1550 revolutions per minute (RPM).

Once you place a stack of paper in the LJ-4, the paper is jogged and squared up in just seconds. This is especially ideal for printing presses, copy shops and other businesses that handles stacks and reams of paper on a daily basis.

The construction on the LJ-4 is exceptional. I rate the LJ-4 a 5 out or 5. Few paper joggers, especially in this size, come close to this quality.

You can find the Lassco LJ-4 electric paper jogger here. You can find our entire selection of paper joggers here.

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