Archive for February, 2011

ABC Office Given Elite Dealer Achievement Award from Formax

Monday, February 28th, 2011

ABC Office Formax Elite Achievement AwardABC Office is proud to announce that Formax has presented it with the Elite Dealer Achievement Award 2010. This award was given to ABC Office in appreciation of its excellent product sales, knowledgeable customer service and overall abilities to promote Formax products. ABC Office is very excited about this award and looks forward to a successful 2011 selling Formax office products.

Formax is a leading manufacturer of office equipment. Formax products include:

ABC Office expects 2011 to be a great year for selling Formax office machines & equipment. Formax products continue to be customer favorites and are considered to be some of the best office products available.

You can find ABC Office’s entire selection of Formax office machines here.

MBM Destroyit 2503 Paper Shredder Review

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Destroyit 2503 Paper ShredderDo you need a paper shredder that’s more robust than a deskside shredder that can be used on a departmental level? If so, you may want to consider a centralized shredder like the MBM Destroyit 2503 paper shredder (found here). This is my review.

MBM Destroyit (by IDEAL) makes some of the most reputable and best recognized office paper shredders today. These shredders are engineered and build in Germany. To date, Destroyit makes over 20 different models of shredders. This doesn’t include the strip cut, cross cut and high security variations.

The Model 2503 has been categorized by Destroyit as a centralized office shredder. This means it is designed to be placed in a centralized location for use by multiple people. This also means the 2503 has a continuous-duty motor that can be used throughout the day without needing to cool down.

While capacity is always nice to have in a shredder, speed is also very important. The Destroyit 2503 is fast. This shredder takes your paper and shreds it in just seconds. This is a stark difference from other shredders that seem to chug along while trying to shred paper. Speed is ideal for an office environment and is great when you are shredding a lot of material.

The Destroyit 2503 is available as a strip cut and two different cross cut variations. The Level 2 strip cut shreds about 19-21 sheets, the Level 3 cross cut shreds about 12-14 sheets and the Level 4 cross cut shreds about 8-10 sheets of 20# paper at a time. The higher the security level, the smaller the particle size. The smaller the particle size, the lower the capacity typically is.

While most paper shredders are designed to accept paper up to letter-size, the 2503 has a large 10 ¼” opening. This makes it easy to shred envelopes, letter-size paper, jumbled paper and much more. It is extremely easy to use.

One of my favorite features is the user interface. The newly-designed interface is about as simple and useful as they come. The rocker-style button lights up green when on (making it easy to see the shredder is on) and can be tilted back for reverse mode. Several LED indicators let you know when the back is full, door is open and much more.

The cutting blades on the Destroyit 2503 are made from high quality steel. These blades are nice, designed to handle paper for years and can easily handle staples, paper clips and credit cards. The strip cut and Level 3 cross cut versions of this shredder can even handle CDs and DVDs.

The 26 gallon shred bin holds a lot of paper. This means fewer bag changes for you. Because this shredder has a cabinet door design and a pullout bag frame, bag changes are extremely easy. Casters also make this shredder easy to move around.

I have to say that few shredders compare to the 2503 in an office environment. This shredder is excellent and well worth the price. This shredder will outlast other cheaper shredders by 2-3 times longer or more. It simply has an excellent rack record.

You can find the MBM Destroyit 2503 paper shredder here and our entire selection of paper shredders here.

Most Common Book Binding Issues – Troubleshooting

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Book Binding MachinesAre you having trouble binding your books? Are you growing increasingly frustrated at the fact that your binding elements aren’t fitting through the holes? You’d be surprised at how simple most book binding machine issues are to solve. Here are some steps and tips that should help you out.

  • Binding Element Won’t Fit Through Holes – There are two common reasons why your binding elements won’t fit through the holes.
  1. I have found that many people, for whatever reason, try to use one diameter of binding element to bind a variety of different book thicknesses. The truth is, you need to use the correct diameter of binding element to match the thickness of the book you are binding. If the binding element is too small, it’s like trying to fit a size 5 shoe on size 10 feet.
  2. The second most common reason why elements won’t fit through holes is because the hole pattern (or pitch) isn’t the same. Binding machines like wire and coil come in different hole patterns. A 2:1 pitch (2 holes per inch) wire binding machine can’t use 3:1 pitch supplies (3 holes per inch).
  • Half-Punched Holes – Do you end up with half-punched holes on the edge of your paper? This can look pretty ugly and can get very frustrating. The first reason this may be happening is because the side guide isn’t properly adjusted. Try playing around with the guide and see if you can get the holes aligned. If that doesn’t seem to be fixing the problem, you may need to upgrade to a machine with disengageable punching pins. Disengageable binding machines have selectable punching pins, making it possible to completely disable the guilty half-punching pin.
  • Not All The Holes Punch – If you are noticing that not all the holes are punching all the way through the paper, you are probably punching too many sheets of paper at a time. Try scaling back the total sheets and see how that works.
  • Pages Tear Out Too Easily – Have you noticed that the lifespan of your bound book is really small? Are pages tearing out when they shouldn’t? You may be in need of a binding machine with an adjustable punching depth. If your machine already has an adjustable punching depth, you may want to break out the manual and try adjusting it. Pages punched too close to the edge of paper are far more likely to tear out.

We also offer a great selection of book binding machines, supplies and elements. You can find our entire selection of book binding machines here.

What Is A Paper Folding Machine Multi-Sheet Feeder?

Friday, February 25th, 2011

If you are shopping around for a paper folding machine, you may have come across some models that claim to have a multi-sheet feeder or a multi-sheet bypass slot. If you’re not familiar with folding machines, this may sound a little confusing.

Can paper folding machines fold multiple sheets of paper at a time? The answer to this question is a little complicated. I’ll try to explain.

I would say 99% of paper folding machines are unable to fold multiple sheets of paper. Most machines simply pull off a sheet of paper from the top or the bottom of a stack of paper. This sheet is then folded and expelled from the other side of the machine. Some manufacturers have gotten around this by adding a multi-sheet feeder.

Formax FD 38X Folding Machine With Multi-Sheet Feeder

A multi-sheet feeder is a slot or feed tray located somewhere on the top middle section of the machine. This feeder allows the operator to manually feed 3-4 sheets (depending on the machine) for folding. Depending on the machine, these sheets can be stapled or non-stapled.

This is a pretty nice feature, however, it is not completely automated. You are still required to manually insert the 3-4 sheets every time. The machine cannot pull 3-4 sheets in automatically from a stack of paper.

If you aware of these limitations, a multi-sheet feeder can still be a huge benefit. Manufactures like Formax and Martin Yale often add multi-sheet folders to their machines. Many Formax machines offer multi-sheet feeders as an optional attachment.

You can find our entire selection of paper folding machines here.

Features To Look For In A Coil Binding Machine

Friday, February 25th, 2011

Coil Binding MachinesCoil binding is increasingly becoming one of the most preferred book binding formats a available. Sometimes referred to as spiral binding, coil bound books are durable, pages turn a full 360 degrees and coil binding can be used to bind reports, presentations, booklets and more. So what features should you look for in a coil binding machine? Here are some tips that should point you in the right direction.

Features To Look For In A Coil Binding Machine

  1. Machine Pitch – The pitch of a binding machine is the hole pattern that particular machine uses. Coil binding is available in two different hole patters. These are 4:1 pitch and 5:1 pitch. The “pitch” you choose will depend on the hole spacing you like and the thickness of your book. Once you select a hole pattern, you will need to be sure you use supplies with the same hole configuration.
  2. Round or Oval – While round holes are by far the most common available for coil binding, some newer Akiles machines now feature oval holes. Oval holes are supposed to make coil insertion and page turns a little easier.
  3. Book Thickness – How thick a book will you need to bind? A 4:1 pitch can bind a book up to about 1 ¼” of paper where a 5:1 pitch binds a book up to about 13/16″ thick.
  4. Page Size – Most coil binding machines are used to bind letter-size paper. Some machines, however, can bind legal size and larger documents. Be sure to check the maximum page length of a machine before making a purchase. Some coil binding machines are open ended, which means you can punch paper, slide it over and punch it again.
  5. Margin Depth – If you are binding books of varying thicknesses, you may need a machine with an adjustable margin depth. I have found with coil binding (versus wire or coil), margin depth isn’t quiet as big a deal. This is because there are more holes, providing more stability to the bind. An adjustable margin depth is nice, however, if you are binding thick books. Punching deeper into the paper should help prevent pages from accidentally tearing out.
  6. Disengageable Punching Pins – While most people bind  8 ½” x 11″ books with coil, some of you may want to bind a custom cookbook or booklet. If you are binding odd-size paper, a disengageable punching pin will help you to disable dies that may otherwise punch a half hole on the edge of the document.
  7. Machine Construction – As with most binding machines, you will usually find coil binders made from plastic, aluminum, steel or a combination thereof. Build quality will affect the longevity of your machine. Steel will last longer and is best for high-volume binding. Aluminum and plastic components are better for light to medium-volume binding. Some machines feature steel gears and components with a plastic shell. Looks can be deceiving.
  8. Electric Inserter – Electric coil inserters are rubber wheels or rollers that are used to spin coils through punched paper. About 65-70% of the machines out there feature an electric coil inserter. While you can manually insert coils through punched holes, an inserter can quadruple (or more) coil insertion speed. I personally love having an electric inserter.
  9. Coil Pliers – Be aware that you will need coil-crimping pliers to finish the coil binding process. Many machines come with pliers, but an equal number don’t. Be sure to check whether or not your machine comes with pliers. If your machine doesn’t have crimping pliers, they can be purchased separately. I have even heard of people using wire snips to cut and crimp coil.
  10. Electric & Manual Punch – Coil binding machines come with manual and electric punches. The style of punch you use will depend on preference, budget and output capacity. If you are binding high-volume amounts of books, you may want to consider using an electric punch. If you are only binding a few dozen a day, a manual punch should be more than enough.
  11. Foot Pedals – Foot pedals, whether for an electric inserter or paper punch, allow for hands-free operation. Hands-free operation is awesome when you are binding a lot of books per day.

You can find our entire selection of coil binding machine here and coil binding supplies here. Feel free to speak with one of our coil binding experts by calling us at 1-800-658-8788.

Martin Yale J1824 Giant Padding Press Review

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Martin Yale J1824 Giant Padding PressPadding presses are cool little devices. They make it easy to recycle paper, create notepads and scratchpads. So what do you do if you need to pad thousands of sheets of paper at a time? What you need is a giant padding press like the Martin Yale J1824 Giant Padding Press (found here). This is my review.

Martin Yale is probably better known for their shredders, paper cutters, forms cutters and paper folders than for their padding presses. While Martin Yale doesn’t make dozens of padding presses, like they do paper cutters, they certainly hold up well.

The Martin Yale J1824 Giant Padding Press is called giant for a reason. It can pad a stack of paper up to 19 ¾” high by 17 ¾” wide. Now break out a ruler and take a look at those dimensions. Big, isn’t it? Not only can the J1824 pad larger paper, it can also be used to pad two separate stacks of letter-size 8 ½” x 11″ paper (or A4 paper) at a time.

This padding press can be used to pad paper, carbonless forms, note pads, scratch pads and more. Paper thickness doesn’t really matter. This makes it possible to pad notepads with chipboard on the bottom, with card stock and much more.

The J1824 is a pretty simple machine, and that’s by design. The first thing you will want to do is put your paper in the padding press. The padding press tips back, which in turn helps to jog the paper being padded. This keeps everything squared up and aligned.

Once the paper is in the Martin Yale J1824, two sets of wing screws are tightened down. This helps apply pressure along the back of the paper stack. This helps to produce a neat and professional pad of paper. Once the screws are tightened, glue can be applied. Once the glue has dried, the wing screws can be loosened.

Depending on how thick the pad of paper is, you may want to consider using a padding knife to cut the separate stacks of paper apart. Once everything has been removed, you are able to use the padding press again. You are really only limited by the glue drying time as far as padding speed is concerned.

The build quality on the J1824 is exceptional. Unlike many pressed wood padding presses out there, the J1824 is made from sturdy steel construction. This makes the J1824 durable, reliable and easier to clean up.

I would personally recommend the J1824 to anyone interested in light to medium volume paper padding projects. Weighing in at only 26 pounds, this padding press can be used on most tables and desks.

You can find the Martin Yale J1824 Giant Padding Press here and our entire selection of paper padding presses here. Good luck and happy padding!

MBM 55 2″ Paper Drill Review

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

MBM 55 Single Spindle 2" Paper DrillIf you punch holes in large volumes of paper on a daily basis, you may be in need of a paper drilling machine. Paper drills quickly drill through hundreds of sheets of paper in just seconds. If you would like to drill up to 2″ of paper at a time, you may want to consider a reputable machine like the MBM 55 2″ paper drill (found here). This is my review.

To begin with, MBM manufactures several different pieces of office automation equipment. This includes paper shredders, paper cutters, folding machines, paper drills and more. MBM products are some of the best quality machines manufactured today.

The MBM 55 paper drill is a single spindle 2″ paper drill. This means it can drill through 2″ of paper at a time, one hole at a time. While it is just a single spindle paper drill, it can still be used to easily do 2-hole and 3-hole paper drilling. This is all due thanks to a very clever design. At the time of writing this article, the MBM 55 is made in Tokyo, Japan.

The Model 55 paper drill has an easy-glide sliding platform that rolls on bearings. This gliding table allows the paper to slide left, to right, and back again. A dial, located on the right of the folding machine, makes it easy to select up to 5 different hole patterns. This includes margin depth and hole pattern distances.

If you select 3-hole paper drilling, the easy-glide sliding table will move and lock in place for the first hole. A handle, located on the easy-glide sliding table, has a button located on it. Once the first hole is drilled, the button can be pressed to release the easy-glide table. The platform then moves on to the 2nd hole and then the 3rd.

The drill on the MBM 55 is hollow. This allows the drilled hole particles to travel through the bit and into a chip receptacle located on the back of the machine. This receptacle will need to be changed every so often (as it fills up). The drill bit itself is very easy to remove. Simply use an included hexagon (Allen) wrench to loosen the drill chuck. Once loose, the bit can be removed or replaced. The MBM 55 comes with two different diameter drill bits (1/4″ and 5/16″).

The MBM 55 is extremely easy to use. The paper drill tray has self centering guides that keep the stack of paper properly aligned. A quick release clamping mechanism keeps paper held in place during the drilling process, ensuring accurate hole drilling every time.

Overall I really like the MBM 55 paper drilling machine. It is easy to set up, features MBM quality and build and is perfect for desktop paper drilling.

You can find the MBM 55 2″ paper drill here and our entire selection of paper drills here. Do you need a replacement paper drill? You can find our entire selection of hollow paper drill bits here.

Features To Look For In A Wire Binding Machine

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Wire Binding MachinesWire binding is one of the classiest and best-looking book binding formats available today. When done correctly, twin loop wire almost appears to defy the laws of nature. Wire binding is commonly used for binding reports, presentations, books and more. So what should you look for when buying a wire binding machine? Here are a few tips that should help you out.

Features To Look For In A Wire Binding Machine

  1. Binding Pitch – Wire binding machines come in 3 different hole patterns. These hole patterns are 3:1 pitch (3 holes per inch), 2:1 pitch (2 holes per inch) and Spiral-O (19-ring wire). The 3:1 and 2:1 pitch are the most popular hole patterns. Some wire binding machines come with multiple punching dies, making it possible to bind in 2:1 or 3:1 pitches.
  2. Paper Size – The majority of wire binding machines can easily handle letter size 8 ½” x 11″ paper. If you are wire binding legal size documents (14″) or larger, you will want to get a machine that either has a wider punching width a machine is open ended.
  3. Punching Capacity – Each wire binding machine has a maximum punching capacity. This amount is the absolute maximum amount of sheets you can punch before breaking or jamming the machine. Most wire binding machines punch anywhere from 8-20 sheets of paper, depending on the make and model.
  4. Book Thickness – Be sure and determine the maximum thickness you need for your books prior to purchasing a machine. Be aware that 3:1 wire can only bind up to 9/16″ of paper and 2:1 pitch up to 1 ¼” of paper. Spiral-O 19-ring wire handles about 1″ of paper.
  5. Margin Depth – Different diameters of wire require holes to be punched at different depths in the paper. This capability is known as an adjustable margin depth. Not all wire binding machines have this capability. I, for one, really like this feature.
  6. Disengageable Dies – If you plan on binding non-standard paper sizes, or smaller lengths of paper, you may want a wire binding machine with disengageable punching dies. This will allow you to disable specific punching pins, which will allow you to eliminate half-punched holes that often show up on the edges of non-standard paper sizes.
  7. Machine Durability – How durable do you need your machine to be? Wire binding machines come in plastic, aluminum and heavy-duty steel designs. Many machines implement a combination of the three. Most heavy-duty steel machines hold up better when used continuously throughout the day. If you are only binding a few books a day, machine composition may not be as big a deal as plastic and aluminum machines typically cost less.
  8. Wire Closer – If you find a wire binding machine that doesn’t come with a wire closer, don’t buy it. A wire closer is 100% needed to complete the wire binding process. Wire closers, however, can be purchased separately if needed. Machines that have wire closers (which is most models) come in different configurations. Some require you to eyeball how far the wire has closed where other machines allow you to dial in the wire radius you are using for an even “close” every time. I personally like it when the wire binding machine allows you to set the wire diameter. Wire that has been closed too much or too little can cause some serious problems.
  9. Electric or Manual – Wire binding machines are often available with manual or electric punches. While the end results look the same either way, electric wire punches are better for higher-volume binding. If you are only binding a few books a day, a manual wire punch is probably more than enough.
  10. Foot Pedal – If you are buying a wire binding machine with an electric punch, you may want to consider a machine with a foot pedal. Foot pedals allow for hands-free punching, which is really nice when binding a lot of books.

You can find our entire selection of wire binding machines here and our entire selection of wire binding supplies here. Good luck with your wire binding! If you still have questions, give us a call at 1-800-658-8788.

Rebinding Old Paperback Books With Comb or Coil

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Rebinding Paperback BooksYou’re probably seen them at the library or on your own bookshelf at home, old tattered paperback books that are beginning to lose pages. These beat up books often end up in the garbage, deemed by the owner to be too far beyond repair. It is possible, however, to breath life back into those old paperback books. I will explain how.

The reason I am writing about rebinding paperback books is due to a conversation I had with a customer. They were looking to rebind old paperback books. They wanted to do this as part of a business. Here are the steps I explained to the customer, which you can use, to rebind a paperback book.

Paperback books are bound using a method referred to as perfect binding. Essentially the pages of the book are run through a machine that applies glue to the backside (spine) of the paper. These pages then rest on a cover that is then wrapped around the book.

Rebinding paperback books using perfect binding is cost prohibitive. This is why comb and coil have become the binding formats of choice when it comes to rebinding paperback books. The method (comb or coil) will depend on personal preference. Comb biding and coil binding are usually chosen for rebinding due to their durability. Both plastic comb and PVC coil are next to indestructible.

Paperback Rebinding Steps

  1. Coil BindingFirst you’re going to want to cut off the old tattered spine of the paperback book. This is usually done by using a stack paper cutter. Stack cutters, depending on the model, can slice through ½” to 3″ of paper at a time.
  2. Now that the old spine has been cut off, you will want to begin comb punching or coil punching the paper. If the cover is still good, go ahead and use it. If the front and back covers are beyond repair, you may need to replace them with cover stock.
  3. Once all the holes have been punched, the new binding element may be inserted.
  4. Comb Binding

  5. If you are using comb, use the comb opener to open the comb and insert spine through the now comb-punched pages. Now close the comb. You’re paperback book is now solid again and has a brand new comb spine.
  6. If you are using coil, spin the coil through the punched holes on the paperback book and crimp off the excess coil. You now have a rebound paperback book using coil.

The end results look great. The information in those books is now accessible and easy to read again.

Be aware that I recommend using a book binding machine with disengageable (selectable) punching dies. This helps cut down on half-punched holes and will ultimately result in a better bound paperback book.

You can find our entire selection of comb binding machines here and coil binding machines here. You can find our entire selection of stack paper cutters here. Good luck! I hope you are all able to use this tips to breath new life back into your old books!

Dahle 585 Premium Guillotine Paper Cutter Review

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Dahle 585 Premium Guillotine Paper CutterDo you need to cut large sheets of paper, posters, banners and signs? While many paper cutters are unable to handle larger sheets of paper, some higher-end guillotines are capable of handling the job. One such cutter is the Dahle 585 premium guillotine paper cutter (found here). This large format guillotine has many features that should help you out. This is my review.

Dahle is one of the largest manufacturers of paper cutters. This includes rolling trimmers, guillotines and stack cutters. They currently offer over a dozen different models. The majority of Dahle paper cutters and trimmers are German engineered and German built.

The Dahle 585 is in a class of its own. This guillotine cutter has an impressive 43″ cutting length, which is just over 3 ½ feet in length. This impressive length allows the Dahle 585 to be able to cut a wide variety of large sheets of paper. While big, it can also be used to cut the small stuff as well.

So how does the paper stay in place during the cutting process? You would think that cutting larger documents, paper and material would cause a lot of shift, resulting in a crooked cut. This is not the case with the Dahle 585. This is because the Dahle 585 has a tough built-in clamping mechanism. This clamp can be activated by pressing on a foot pedal. Because the clamp is foot operated, it frees up both hands for proper positioning of documents.

Safety is often a concern with guillotine paper cutters. Many of the older cutters, such as the old Premier cutter my school used to have, had an exposed blade. The Dahle 585 uses a safety acrylic shield that keeps the blade covered during the cutting process. A built in spring system helps to keep the blade from falling.

While the overall design of the Dahle 585 is solid, there is more to a paper cutter than clamps and a metal base. The blade is one of the most important parts of the cutter. The blade on the 585 is razor sharp. It is made out of German Solingen steel. You can read about the benefits of Solingen steel here.

The Dahle 585 is a little to large and awkward for most tables and desks. For this reason, the Dahle 585 includes a stand. This stand not only holds the 585 in place, but keeps it at an optimal cutting height.

This cutter also has a sturdy metal base with pre-printed guides. This guides make it easy to align paper for common cuts. The 585 also includes an adjustable side guide and a ruler for measurements.

Overall I think the Dahle 585 is a great cutter. For its size, it is perfect for cutting large format material. The German build quality really shines through.

You can find the Dahle 585 premium guillotine paper cutter here and our entire selection of Dahle paper cutters here. You can find our entire selection of guillotine paper cutters here.

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