Akiles WireMac 2:1 / 3:1 Wire Binding Machine Video Demo

April 27th, 2011

Akiles WireMac 2:1 / 3:1 Wire Binding MachineWhen people ask me which manual wire binding machine I prefer to use above all others, I have to answer back with the Akiles WireMac. This machine, although several years old now, continues to be one of the most solid and reliable wire binding machines around. It is solid, easy to use and the end results are highly professional. Here are a few other reasons why I like this machine.

To begin with, the machine has truly been built from the ground up for the sole purpose of durability. It is heavy, weighing in at a solid 45 pounds. The handles are metal, the dies are metal, the gears are metal and the housing is die cast metal.

Because the Akiles WireMac is so incredibly solid, punching and binding on it is a piece of cake. It is available in either a 2:1 pitch or a 3:1 pitch hole pattern. The hole pattern you use really depends purely on your preference. The reports it produces look just as good as anything a professional copy center could make.

While I could continue to go on about this machine, this video demonstration will probably do a better job of helping you familiarize yourself with the Akiles WireMac. Enjoy!

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I hope that video demonstration helped you understand why I like this wire binding machine. You can find the Akiles WireMac wire binding machine here and our entire selection of wire binding machines here.

Aline S-10 & S-6 Impulse Scissor Sealer Review

April 27th, 2011

Aline S-10 / S-6 Impulse Scissor SealersDo you need to quickly package and seal polyethylene or laminated foils for retail packaging purposes? Do you need to quickly seal around odd-shaped products, drums, box liners or perhaps larger items like furniture? You may want to consider using an impulse sealer like the Aline S-10 or S-6 impulse scissor sealers (found here). This is my review.

Scissor sealers are nice because they are easy to pick up, move around and they allow easy insertion of polyethylene or laminated foils. Aline manufactures a wide range of scissor sealers including floor models and handheld units. The S-10 and the S-6 are both handheld sealers, allowing for easy movement and use.

Using the S-10 or S-6 is extremely easy. The scissor sealer itself is attached to a cable that leads down to the main housing. This housing has a master power switch and a sealing time adjustment dial (timer). Simply take the housing, plug it into the wall and you’re ready to go.

The power cable is 8 feet long and the cable connecting the main housing to the scissor sealer is also 8 feet long. This provides for 16 total feet of length, making this sealer very portable and easy to use.

Both the Aline S-10 and Aline S-6 are pretty much the same in functionality and build, with the S-10 measuring in at 10″ long and the S-6 measuring in at 6″ long. Using them is extremely easy. Simply squeeze the handles to open the scissor-like jaws. These jaws easily and quickly clamp down on bags or film for fast sealing. An indicator light on the main housing will let you know when the sealing process is completed. Once sealing is completed, the handles can be squeezed again to release the product.

Both sealers work on the concept of impulse sealing. This means they use impulses of electricity to quickly cut through material, which is a huge benefit over straight heat. Impulse sealing produces less heat and less smell with continuous use.

One feature I really like about the Aline S-10 and S-6 is the optional flat band elements. You can use a 1/8″, 3/16″, ¼” or ½” flat band element. They can both also be used with wire cutting elements or cold cut wire. Both also come in a 220-volt version upon request.

Aline is known for their high-quality heat sealers, shrink wrap machines and other sealing products. The S-10 and S-6 fall right in line with this reputation and both feature an impressive 2-year warranty, a detailed manual and a spare parts kit.

You can find the Aline S-10 or S-6 impulse scissor sealers here and our entire selection of heat & impulse sealers here.

How Many Times Can You Sharpen a Paper Cutter?

April 27th, 2011

Sharpen Paper Cutter BladesA few months ago I wrote a popular article entitled “How To Sharpen A Paper Cutter Blade.” This article went into great detail on where to go and what to do when your paper cutter becomes dull. Our Service Technician stopped by my desk today and told me that there was one small thing I missed. How many times can you sharpen a paper cutter?

I hadn’t really thought about it, but our Service Technician made a great point. You can only sharpen a paper cutter so many times before it has to be replaced. She told me that you can sharpen a paper cutter about 3 times before it has to be replaced.

Apparently, especially in the case of stack paper cutters, the blade gets shorter every time it is re-sharpened. It eventually gets to a point, around 3 times, that the blade is too short to correctly or effectively cut paper.

If you need a replacement blade, or just advice on sharpening a paper cutter, I highly recommend contacting our Service Department by calling 1-800-658-8788 x129 or by filling out this form.

If for any reason you need new equipment, you can find our entire selection of paper cutters here.

Laminating Film is Cloudy! What Can I Do?

April 27th, 2011

Laminating Pouches & Film / TroubleshootingHave you ever run a picture or an important document through a pouch laminator only to have it come out with cloudy splotches all over it? It can be pretty frustrating, especially if it is something you really care about. So is there anything that you can do to fix the cloudy splotches? Here are a few tips.

You may have noticed, when you first place a document in a laminating pouch, that the film is translucent. That is because the glue, which lines the inside of the pouch, hasn’t been melted. Once melted, the glue becomes clear and stays that way. If the glue isn’t properly melted, some of that translucent cloudiness remains.

I would say 9 times out of 10, when cloudy splotches and spots appear, the laminator being used is running too cool. Some areas of the film melt and laminate properly, but the rest remains in an “unlaminated” state.

There are two things you can do to fix this problem. The first thing you can do is run your pouch through the laminator again and hope that a couple of passes will properly laminate the film. Your second option is to increase the heat of the laminator and run the pouch through. This should eliminate the cloudy spots.

If you are still noticing cloudy spots, even after adjusting the temperature or re-running the pouches through the laminator, your film may be too old or the laminator may be defective. If the film is too old, you’re probably out of luck and will need to buy new film. Unfortunately, the item you are laminating may be irreparably cloudy. I would certainly try at least running the pouch through another laminator before deeming the project a failure.

Some lower-end pouch laminators may require that you run the laminator through multiple times, every time. This is often the result of the laminator only having 2 rollers, which sometimes results in uneven heat distribution, or the laminator may simply have a week heating element.

For clean and clear results every time, I highly recommend using a laminator with 4 rollers or more. The more rollers used, the more evenly heat is distributed, which in turn produces great results.

You can find our entire selection of pouch laminators here and our entire selection of pouch laminating film here. If you feel your laminator may be defective, or in need of servicing, feel free to contact our Service Department by calling 1-800-658-8788 x129. Good luck!

Cassida 5520 Currency & Bill Counter Review

April 26th, 2011

Cassida 5520 Currency / Bill CounterPrecision, accuracy and reliability are all features you expect to find in a bill counter. You don’t want to have to deal with jams, breakdowns and other issues. You need a reliable machine. One bill counter we have come to find as reliable and dependable is the Cassida 5520 bill counter (found here). This is my review.

Cassida currently makes several different bill counters, coin counters and counterfeit bill detectors. Cassida, along with other reputable manufacturers like Magner and Semacon, have developed a great reputation with customers and dealers. Many of Cassida’s bill counters include built-in counterfeit detection capabilities.

The Cassida 5520 is available in a UV (ultraviolet) and a UV / MG (ultraviolet & magnetic) version. The UV and MG capabilities are designed to scan bills for counterfeit properties while simultaneously counting them. The process literally takes milliseconds and the process is flawless. It is very impressive to see just how accurate this bill counter is.

This should give you an idea as to just how fast this bill counter operates. It runs at a speed of 1,300 bills per minute, which equals 21.6 bills a second. Considering the average human counts bills at a speed of about 1-3 bills per minute, this is a dramatic improvement. I can also tell you that this bill counter is leaps and bounds more accurate than a human.

The Cassida 5520 has a hopper capacity of 200 new bills, which usually equals about 100 used bills. As soon as the bills are counted, they can be removed and more bills added.

This bill counter features a few different counting methods. One is to count the bills and then reset as soon as another stack is added and the second method is to keep a continuous total of bills counted (until reset). Total numbers are easy to see in red on the built-in digital display. At the moment, the 5520 even comes with a remote display that can be plugged into the bill counter.

The Cassida 5520 also offers the option of batch counting, which means you can tell it to count 20 bills (your choice) and then stop. Once the bills are removed it will count another 20 bills. This is ideal for bundling bills in specific quantities (great for banks).

One downside is that this bill counter will not sort the bills. Few (less than 5%) machines are capable of sorting bills. If you need a bill counter that can also sort bills, you will need what’s known as a bill discriminator.

Not only does the 5520 count bills, but it can also be used to count checks, coupons and tickets. It can also be used to count foreign currencies. The only caveat is that the material being counted has to fit within 2″ x 4″ to 4″ x 7-1/3″ sizes.

Overall I have to say that the Cassida 5520 is a solid machine. It is portable, accurate and the build quality is great. It even includes a build in handle for added portability.

You can find the Cassida 5520 bill counter here and our entire selection of bill counters here.

GBC VeloBind System 3 Pro Video Demo

April 26th, 2011

GBC VeloBind System 3 Pro Binding MachineVeloBind by GBC is a solid method of binding a book. Something as simple as an 11-prong strip can provide one of the most durable and solid book binding formats around. VeloBind is durable, can bind a whole lot of paper and is tamper proof. Best of all, VeloBind is extremely professional, being frequently used for binding reports, presentations and more.

I have found, over the last 10 years, that VeloBind machines are extremely popular for use with very thin presentations or extremely thick binding of records. You will often see lawyers’ offices and construction companies using VeloBind machines. The VeloBind System 3 Pro can bind a massive 3” of paper at a time. I can’t think of any other “element” style binding machines with that thick a binding capacity.

The build quality of the VeloBind System 3 is excellent. We have a model on our showroom floor that we used for years without any issues. In fact, I did a video demonstration of that machine several years ago. You will probably notice that the machine featured in the demo uses the older “cream” color scheme with the modern version featuring black elements. The machine itself is still the same.

GBC VeloBind System 3 Pro Video Demo

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I hope that video helps you out. It is a little long, but it really gets right down to the intricate details that make the System 3 such a popular machine. You can find the GBC VeloBind System 3 Pro here and our entire selection of GBC VeloBind machines here.

What Size Vacuum Sealer Bag Should You Use?

April 26th, 2011

Chamber Vacuum Food SealersIf you’re vacuum sealing meat, cheese, fruits, vegetables and other products, you’re probably going to want to use the right size bag. If the bag is too small, you’re out of luck, and if it’s too big, your loosing money by purchasing oversize bags. Thanks to our friends over at Minipack, they have provided us with a guide that should help you determine the perfect size vacuum sealer bags.

You’re going to need a few tools to help determine the right size vacuum sealer bag. First off, you’ll need the product you’re packing in front of you. Second, you will need a measuring tape or ruler. Third, you will need either a calculator or a sheet of paper to write on.

This guide will help you determine the right size bags for standard-size materials and for round materials (chubs). This guide is in millimeters and in inches.

Vacuum Sealer Bag Sizes

Vacuum Bag Measurement Guide

Hopefully this helps you track down the right size vacuum sealer bags. At ABC office we offer vacuum sealer bags for external clamp vacuum sealers and for chamber vacuum sealers. You can find our external clamp vacuum sealer bags here and our chamber vacuum sealer bags here. You can find our vacuum sealers here.

Good luck and happy vacuum sealing! Feel free to call one of our vacuum sealing experts at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions.

Dahle 20422 Level 4 Office Paper Shredder Review

April 26th, 2011

Dahle 20422 Level 4 Cross Cut Office Paper ShredderThe modern-day office is filled with paper, confidential information and sensitive records. To prevent identity theft, records should be shredded prior to disposal. It makes good sense and can really save your business’s bacon. No business wants a data breach. One great way to combat identity theft and fraud is to use a paper shredder. One great model for small office use is the Dahle 20422 office paper shredder. This is my review.

Dahle, a leading manufacturer of paper cutters, is also well known for their line of paper shredders. They currently manufacture several dozen different models, making Dahle one of the leading manufacturers of high-end office paper shredders. Their shredders are known for being reliable and are especially popular with the US government.

The Dahle 20422 is a Level 4 cross cut paper shredder. Shredder security levels range from Level 1 to Level 6. The higher the security level, the more secure the cut becomes. Once a sheet of paper is fed through the 9 ½” wide opening, it ends up in 1/12″ x 7/16″ size particles. This is an excellent security cut and is perfect for shredding most sensitive information.

This particular shredder is ideal for small office use by 2-3 different people. Ultimately the Dahle 20422 is best suited for shredding on average 100 to 400 sheets of paper per day. This is more than adequate for most small business applications. It can be used to shred tax information, client proposals, patient records and much more.

When I’m looking around for an office shredder, I not only want a good design and cut, but I also want a paper shredder that is relatively quiet as not to cause too much of a distraction. I consider anything in the 60-decibel range to be decent. The Dahle 20422 sounds in at 56 decibels, which is excellent.

The control panel on the 20422 is very straightforward. It consists of a switch that can be toggled from off, to on and to reverse. When in the “on” position, this shredder will automatically detect paper and turn on and off accordingly. In the event of a paper jam, the reverse motor can be activated to back everything out and clear the jam.

This paper shredder features a cabinet door that allows access to shredded material. An included 10-gallon shred box holds all the shredded paper, which can be removed and emptied when full. To help keep things cleaner, an optional Dahle shredder bag may be used.

The shredder blades on the Dahle 20422 are solid, made from hardened steel. They are designed to not only shred paper, but also to accept paper clips, staples and credit cards.

The build quality on the Dahle 20422 is exceptional. It is designed for continuous use throughout the day. There is no need to worry about the motor overheating or waiting for it to cool down.

I would personally recommend this shred to any co-worker or friend that needs a solid paper shredder for medium-volume use in a small business environment. It has a great track record with our customers and has an excellent reputation.

You can find the Dahle 20422 office paper shredder here and our entire line of Dahle paper shredders here. You can find our entire line of paper shredders here.

Should You Use an External or Chamber Vacuum Sealer?

April 25th, 2011

Vacuum Food Sealing MachinesVacuum sealers are excellent machines for packaging, selling and preserving food. They can also be used to package retail merchandise, clothing, auto parts and much more. There are two primary types of vacuum food sealers. The first type is known as an external sealer (sometimes called a clamp or pouch vacuum sealers) and the other is known as a chamber vacuum sealer. So which style should you use?

External and chamber vacuum sealers both get the job done, albeit in slightly different ways. This is a brief breakdown on how the different systems work:

External Pouch / Clamp Vacuum Food SealerExternal “Clamp / Pouch” Vacuum Sealers - These types of vacuum sealers tout the title “external” because the entire vacuum sealing process is conducted outside the machine. Products are placed in a bag, which is then placed into the external sealer. The sealer is then clamped down onto the bag, after which it begins to remove the air. Once air has been removed, the bag is sealed.

Chamber Vacuum Food SealerChamber Vacuum Sealers - These types of sealers can be used with most food and most retail merchandise. Once a product has been placed in a bag, the entire bag is placed in the chamber, ensuring the opening of the bag is placed on the sealing bar. The hood of the sealer is brought down, after which air is removed from the chamber. Once air has been removed, the bag is sealed and atmosphere is brought back to normal.

Now that you have a general understanding as to the different technologies used, why would you want to use one over the other?

External “Clamp / Pouch” Vacuum Sealers - External sealers are generally used for light to medium-volume packaging purposes and are generally less expensive than chamber sealers. These types of vacuum sealer are generally used for home and medium-volume grocery-store use, although the MiniPack Cyclone line of external sealers are used for commercial packaging. These sealers are typically slower than chamber sealers.

Chamber Vacuum Food SealerChamber Vacuum Sealers – Chamber vacuum sealers are generally used for medium to high-volume packaging, although they can be used for light volume if needed. Chamber sealers are very easy to use and are typically faster than external sealers. They can be used to package fruits, vegetables, meats, liquids, powders and non-edible retail products.

Chamber sealers are typically more efficient than external sealers, with the ability to remove 99.9% of the air from a bag. Chamber sealers often offer the option of being used with inert gas / air kits as well (not an option with external sealers). Inert gas kits are great for packaging delicate food like potato chips.

So basically it all boils down to application. External sealers are great for home use and for light to medium use where chamber sealers are great for commercial higher-volume use.

You can find our entire selection of vacuum food sealers here.

Minipack MVS 26X Vacuum Food Sealer Review

April 25th, 2011

Minipack MVS 26X Vacuum Food SealerIf you’re a restaurant, a grocery store or a food packaging plant, you probably have the need of a high-quality vacuum food sealer. While external sealers are nice for many packaging purposes, chamber sealers mean business. One high-quality chamber sealer you should consider using is the Minipack MVS 26X vacuum food sealer (found here). This is my review.

Chamber vacuum sealers, unlike external sealers, conduct the entire packaging process in a controlled chamber environment. Air is not only removed from the bag, but from the entire chamber. This process allows 99.9% of the air to be removed. It is a very efficient process that is ideal for commercial packaging.

The MVS 26X vacuum sealer is an affordable “first step” into chamber vacuum sealing. A few months ago the least expensive system we offered was the MVS 31 X. We have just added several new machines to our lineup and the MVS 26X is one of those machines. The sealable chamber area is 11″ x 16″ x 4″. Be aware that the lid of the MVS 26X is domed, allowing for a few more inches than the specified 4″ height.

Everything about the MVS 26X shows its quality. The stainless steel construction is designed to be used for packaging foods and liquids and the basin of the chamber is seamless.  The seamless basin is easy to clean and is extremely sanitary, eliminating areas for bacteria to get trapped and grow.  There are no sharp edges on this machine and the gauge of the steel is exceptionally thick.

The MVS 26X uses an extremely durable pump, which only takes a few seconds to achieve maximum vacuum pressure. The aluminum sealing bar produces an extremely tight seal that will not degrade or weaken with time. The Italian build and construction on this machine is exceptionally high.

Unlike many comparable chamber sealers that feature complicated analog controls, dials and gauges, the MVS 26X is completely digital. Calibration is completely automated. The control panel is extremely easy to navigate, allowing you to store up to 10 custom jobs.

The control panel allows you to quickly adjust the sealing time, the amount of air to be removed from the chamber and how quickly to return the atmosphere back to normal. A digital display lets you know exactly what’s going on during the entire process. An optional inert gas injection kit is perfect for packaging more delicate food and products.

Using this sealer is easy. Simply place your product in a bag, place the bag in the sealer, pull the hood down and let the machine do the rest. The Minipack MVS 26X is perfect for packaging food, liquids, powders, parts and other retail merchandise.

As previously mentioned, the build quality is excellent. Our Minipack vacuum food sealers are extremely popular right now and have a great track record. The MVS 26X should easily hold up to daily use and will easily last you for years.

You can find the Minipack MVS 26X vacuum food sealer here and our entire selection of vacuum food sealers here.

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