Archive for June, 2010

Tamerica C-Lam 3306 Pouch Laminator Review

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Tamerica C-Lam 3306 Pouch LaminatorAre you looking for a heavy-duty pouch laminator capable of commercial volume laminating? Finding a good pouch laminator that will hold up under rigourous daily use is tough. Have you considered the Tamerica C-Lam 3306 pouch laminator (found here)? If not, here are a few reasons why you may want to use it.

The Tamerica C-Lam 3306 pouch laminator is a heavy-duty laminator that features a total of six rollers. In case you didn’t know, the more rollers the better. Four of the rollers are heated and two are cold. The heated rollers help evenly distribute heat, while the cold rollers help remove heat and smooth things out. The end result is a great looking finish.

Built in sensors help adjust the temperature of the rollers, making sure the heat doesn’t get too hot or too cold. This helps cut down on the need to run things through the laminator twice and prevents costly damage from badly laminated material. This also eliminates cloudiness and bubbles in the film.

If you need a fast laminator, the C-Lam 3306 is one of the fastest in its class. With many laminators, you sacrifice quality when you speed up the process. This is not the case with the C-Lam.

In order to save energy, the Tamerica C-Lam has an auto shut-off feature. This means if you leave the laminator unattended for more than 30 minutes, it will automatically shut off. This isn’t only good for safety, but also saves you on electricity.

The control interface is very easy to use. It is completely digital and allows you to set it up for use with a variety of different lamination films. The Tamerica C-Lam can be used with 3, 5, 7 and 10 mil thick films without a problem. It can also be used with glossy and matte film. The temperature on the C-Lam can also be adjusted to accommodate different types of film.

One of my favorite features of the Tamerica C-Lam is the ability to get to the rollers. The outer shell is easy to remove. This allows access to the six rollers. The top three rollers are on a hinge an can be lifted to gain easy access to the inside of the laminator. This is great for removing jams and for cleaning purposes.

If you need a tough reliable pouch laminator, you may want to consider using the Tamerica C-Lam 3306 laminating machine found here. The C-Lam is also available in an eight-roller system called the C-Lam 3308 found here. You can find our entire selection of pouch laminating machines here.

Akiles EcoBind-C Comb Binding Machine Review

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Akiles EcoBind-C Comb Binding MachineSo you need a comb binding machine, but don’t have a lot of money on hand. If your budget falls within the $100-$200 range, you may want to consider the Akiles EcoBind-C budget comb binding machine. This plastic comb binder brings a lot to the table and won’t break the bank. Here are a few reasons why you may want to consider the Akiles EcoBind-C (found here) for your comb binding needs.

To start with, Akiles is well known as being one of the most reputable and highest-quality binding machine manufacturers out there. There is a good reason for this. The build quality simply clobbers the competition.

Most binding machine manufactures make their budget binding machines out of aluminum, plastic and inexpensive metals to try and bring down the cost. Akiles binding machines are made out of heavy-duty metal construction.

The Akiles EcoBind-C is a fairly new comb binding machine that has only been out a few months. It’s designed to target low to medium-volume binding projects. It includes a 21 hole punching die that is compatible with 19-ring comb and is capable of punching up to 20 sheets of paper at a time.

As is the case with any binding machine, I recommend scaling back the maximum amount of sheets you punch at a time by 10 to 15%. This will help cut back on strain on the binding machine and should help prolong the life.

Here are two features you simply will not find in another comb binding machine in this price range:

Selectable Punching Dies – The EcoBind-C has selectable punching dies. This allows you to completely disengage punching pins, giving you control on exactly what punches. This is especially nice when cutting custom paper sizes and helps cut down on half-punched holes often found on the edges of paper.

Adjustable Margin Depth – An adjustable margin depth allows you to choose how far into the paper the holes will be punched. This is ideal when binding books of different thicknesses.

The Akiles EcoBind-C is designed to bind books up to two-inches thick, which is a lot of paper for a machine in this price range. The handle is in a “U” shape, which makes it ideal for all the southpaws out there. The Akiles EcoBind-C is also very compact, making it easy to move and allowing it to easily sit on a desk or table.

I usually try to point out a few cons when I review machines, but I am having a hard time with this one. How about this. It would be nice if the punch was electric, but that will never happen in this price range.

I highly recommend this comb binding machine and consider it to be a steal considering the features and price. You will find the Akiles EcoBind-C budget comb binding machine here. You can find our entire selection of comb binding machines here.

Best Machines For Laminating and Making Restaurant Menus

Monday, June 21st, 2010

We’ve all been to restaurants and have all handled and used the menu. While not always the case, most restaurant menus consist of a single folded 11 x 17 sheet of paper or an 11 x 17 sheet of paper cut in half. Restaurant menus have soda spilled on them, dipping sauce smeared all over them, experience chicken wing accidents and much more. So how do menus endure daily abuse and use? They are laminated.

Laminating film makes a menu easy to clean off, prevents liquid damage and gives menus the rigidity they need to keep from tearing. So what are the best laminators to use for laminating a menu? There are two ways to do this. You will either want to use a pouch laminator or a roll laminating machine.

Restaurant MenusIf you are using a pouch laminator, you will want to use a large 12 x 18 –inch pouch (found here). Place the printing menu inside the pouch and run it through the laminator. Once laminated, the menu can be creased or bound for use. Often times the menu isn’t folded or bound, but left as a single sheet. The slightly larger pouch will allow for a small overlapped border around the menu. If you don’t like this, it can be easily trimmed off.

If you are using a roll laminating machine, you can often laminate two menus simultaneously. This can be easily done if you are using a roll laminating machine that is 25-inches or wider. Once laminated, the menu can be trimmed down using a rotary trimmer. The most common roll film our customers use for menus can be found here.

Roll laminators are typically better for high-volume laminating, but I have found that more restaurants use a pouch laminator for menus.  The thickness of film used will depend on the restaurant’s preference. The higher the mil thickness, the thicker the film will be. A mil is one-thousandth of an inch. I probably wouldn’t go with anything thinner than 5 mils thick.

While not completely necessary, many of our customers also like to use a corner rounder to round the corners on the menus. This makes the menu less dangerous (pointy corners = ouch) and makes the menus look nice.

Here is a list of what you may need for your restaurant menu:

Good luck with your menus! We have a lot of people that do this, so don’t feel too overwhelmed. The end results will look great!

Banner American PL12A Pouch Laminator Review

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Banner American PL12A Pouch LaminatorPouch laminators protect, stabilize and preserve documents by using cheap and inexpensive laminating film. These useful little machines can be used by anyone and are commonly found in schools, homes, copy shops and other businesses. So which pouch laminator should you use? Have you considered the Banner American PL12A? If not, perhaps you should. Here’s why:

The PL12A is a time tested, widely used pouch laminator. In fact, the PL12A is one of the most popular laminators we offer. This compact laminator is 12-inches wide and can be used to laminate menus, photographs, business cards and more. It is designed for continuous use throughout the day and can be considered an commercial / industrial pouch laminator.

The build quality on the PL12A is really nice. The heating element holds up well over time, the rubber rollers don’t prematurely crack or dry out and the external shell does a good job of preventing injury. If for any reason the laminator needs to be disassembled, the outer shell can be easily removed.

The Banner American PL12A uses a four-roller system. These rollers help evenly distribute heat and pressure, which improves the laminating quality. Many laminators only feature two rollers, which often require multiple passes to finish the job.

The PL12A has an adjustable temperature control, which is nice when using laminating film of varying thicknesses. In fact, the PL12A can easily handle laminating film as thick as 10 mils. This laminator is also available with an optional thermometer for precise temperature control.

One of my favorite features is the separate motor and temperature control. Many laminators only have one button that turns the heat and motor on simultaneously. The PL12A has separate buttons. This allows you to keep the laminator conveniently heated without unnecessarily running the motor. This helps prolong the life of the motor.

One thing I would like to see in the PL12A is some sort of digital readout. This would be more for convenience. The design, however, has been time proven to be user friendly.

I have personally used this laminator many times and have to say that I highly recommend it. You can find the Banner American PL12A pouch laminator here. You can find our entire selection of pouch laminators here.

Differences Between NAP I and NAP II Laminating Film

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Roll Laminating FilmYou may have heard the terms NAP I or NAP II laminating film. This is a term typically used for roll lamination machines. So what type of laminating film does your laminator use and does it really matter?

The term NAP was coined by GBC, who manufactures their own line of laminating machines and film. They will often refer to it is NAP-LAM I and NAP-LAM II. These two different types of film are based on the melt point of the glue.

NAP I film has a higher melting point than NAP II and is the most common type of laminating film used today. This is the most popular laminating film that we offer and typically has a glossy finish. This film is used to laminate posters, maps, signs and other paper documents.

NAP II film has a lower melt point and is less common. This type of film is usually a co-polymer based film and is often referred to as premium laminating film. NAP II laminating film is used for laminating temperature sensitive material. This may include wax-based ink, some types of photographs, inkjet printed material and more.

Most laminators are designed for use with NAP I film. Some laminators, with variable temperature controls, can use both NAP I and NAP II film.

You will find our roll laminating film here. Our most common roll laminating film is our glossy roll film found here.

MBM 87M Paper Folding Machine Review

Monday, June 21st, 2010

MBM 87M Paper Folding MachineAre you in need of a budget paper folding machine? There are a lot of inexpensive, cheap and compact paper folding machines out there. So which model should you go with? You may want to take a serious look at the MBM 87M paper folder. Here’s why:

To start with, MBM (Ideal) is one of the best-known manufacturers of office equipment out there. They make the popular Destroyit line of shredders, Triumph line of stack cutters and Kutrimmer line of guillotine trimmers. While this may not mean much to you, all of these lines are considered to be the best in their respective markets. The MBM 87M falls right in line.

Priced in the $400 range, the MBM 87M is extremely affordable. It is considered to be a tabletop paper folder and weighs in at 28 pounds. It is designed for light to medium-volume folding. One huge benefit of this paper folder is that it can handle up to 80# paper, which isn’t common for a paper-folding machine in this price range.

The MBM 87M is manually adjusted paper folder with automatic folding capabilities. This means you will have to manually set the folding plates, but an electric motor will do the folding for you. Don’t be scared off by the manually set up folding plates. They are easy to adjust and include instructions on the fold plates for the most common fold types.

The MBM 87M can be used to create letter folds (C Fold), accordion folds (Z Fold), single folds and double parallel folds. It can also be used to create custom folds. It even has a manual bypass slot that will allow you to manually feed up to three sheets of paper at once for multi-sheet folding.

One thing you will want to take into consideration before considering this paper folder is the paper size. The MBM 87M cannot handle paper larger than 8 ½ x 11-inches.

Overall I would consider the MBM 87M paper-folding machine to be a solid little machine. You won’t be disappointed. You will find the MBM 87 paper-folding machine here. You can find our entire selection of automatic paper folders here.

Formax FD 160 Booklet Maker Review

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Formax FD 160 Booklet MakerSo you need to create a booklet, but don’t know exactly how to do it? Have you considered using a booklet-making machine? Booklet makers are great for creating user manuals, reports, storybooks and much more. They are easy to use and save a lot of time versus outsourcing or using a paper folder and stapler. One booklet maker you may want to consider using is the Formax FD 160 (found here). Here’s why:

The Formax FD 160 booklet maker is considered to be a semi-automatic machine. It is very easy to use and the manual involvement is minimal. The FD 160 includes two staplers with a maximum of four total stapling positions. The stapling heads are mounted on some bars attached to manually activated handle.

Once the handle is brought down, it staples the paper. As the staplers are released, automatic paper folding rollers pull up the paper and fold it down the center. The result is a compact, professional booklet. The Formax FD 160 is designed to fold and staple a total of 12 sheets of paper, which equals out to be a 48-page booklet. You can get four booklet pages (front and back) per sheet of paper. It can be used with paper as large as 11 ¾ by 18 ½-inches in size.

I would rate the FD-160 to be capable of low to medium-volume booklet making. It is a tough little machine, and Formax is known for making high quality products. It is compact enough to sit on most tables and desks. It is light enough that it can be picked up and moved, however, it does weigh 41 pounds, so you may need two people.

The biggest downside to the Formax FD 160 is that it is not designed to be used with glossy or slick paper. This isn’t to say that it can’t work with glossy paper, but due to the slick nature of glossy paper, this cannot be guaranteed. As is the case with most friction-based machines, the rollers can potentially slip on glossy surfaces and cause a jam.

Overall I would personally consider using this booklet maker for myself. It is a solid piece of equipment. Just be sure that a 12 sheet maximum capacity (48 pages) is OK with what you’re doing. You will find the Formax FD 160 booklet maker here. You can find our entire selection of booklet makers here. If you like the idea of the FD 160, but would like something more automated, consider the Formax FD 180 found here.

How Long Does A Hollow Paper Drill Bit Stay Sharp?

Friday, June 18th, 2010

Sharpening Paper Drill BitsI had a customer ask me today how long a hollow paper drill bit will stay sharp. It was a good question, but the answer is a little difficult. There is no set defined time that a paper drill bit is rated to last. Here are a few things to take into consideration when gauging the lifespan of a paper drill bit.

The thickness of the stack of paper and the thickness of an individual sheet of paper will affect how sharp the drill bit stays. The more paper you drill through, the more friction and heat will be generated, dulling the bit faster. Cardstock will also dull a paper drill bit faster than standard copy paper. The more you use the drill the faster the bit will go dull as well.

So how can you prolong the life of a paper drill bit? Drill ease wax is one way of doing this. A properly waxed paper drill bit will create less friction and will stay sharp longer. You can find our drill ease wax here.

Hollow Paper Drill Bit SharpenerWhat if your hollow paper drill bit is already dull? We sell drill bit sharpeners designed to sharpen hollow drill bits. Most drill bit sharpeners feature a triangle or cone-shaped tip that fits inside the hollow part of the drill bit, which spins and sharpens the bit. You can find our paper drill bit sharpeners here.

Regardless of how long the bit lasts, paper drills are very nice machines to have. You can find our entire selection of paper drills here. You can also find our replacement hollow paper drill bits here.

Wooden Mallet Folding Luggage Racks Now Online

Friday, June 18th, 2010

Wooden Mallet Folding Luggage RacksWooden Mallet may be one of the best-known manufacturers of quality office chairs and office furniture that we offer. We are proud to announce that we have just added several of their new folding luggage racks to our site. This includes the model LR, LR2 and LR3.

One thing I really like about Wooden Mallet is that they don’t cut corners with their furniture. Everything they make is made from solid oak wood, none of that cheap pressed wood stuff. They plan out their furniture for the long haul, where a lot of the comparable stuff out there is designed to be used for a year and then be replaced.

So where would you use a folding luggage rack? You will a lot of them in hotels, but they are also commonly found in restaurants, churches and airports. They are designed to handle most suitcases, bags and luggage. Because they fold, they can easily be stored in a closet for later use.

These are the three Wooden mallet folding luggage racks that we offer:

All three racks are available in your choice of wood stain and fabric color. You can find our entire selection of Wooden Mallet furniture here.

Fellowes Starlet Comb Binding Machine Review

Friday, June 18th, 2010

Fellowes Starlet Comb Binding MachineDo you occasionally need to bind a small report, but don’t know which machine you should use? Have you considered the Fellowes Starlet comb binding machine? This small little machine is the cheapest, smallest and most compact comb binder Fellowes has to offer. So is it any good? Here is my review.

To begin with, the Fellowes Starlet is a compact little machine designed for home use that can easily sit on the end of a desk. It is small. It is designed to bind booklets of up to 90 pages thick with a ½-inch diameter comb. Fellowes had light-volume in mind when they designed this machine. I wouldn’t recommend using it for binding any more than 5-6 books a day.

Why would you use a machine like this? It can be used to create the occasional report, a customized photo album or a cookbook. It is very easy to use and very economical.

When the back support is folded down and the lever is folded into a compact position, the entire machine is no more than a few inches tall. It is compact enough that it can easily be placed in a cupboard or drawer for convenient storage.

The punch on this machine is rated at punching 7 sheets of paper at a time. While this is the case, I wouldn’t recommend punching that many sheets. I would probably scale that back to 5-6 sheets.

Most manufacturers, including Fellowes, post the absolute maximum number of sheets that can be punched at a time. That number, however, is not recommended for continual use.

One thing I really like about the Fellowes Starlet is the vertical load paper punch. Most comb binding machines have a horizontal punch. The vertical punch makes it easier to keep paper lined up and holes properly aligned.

You will find the Fellowes Starlet comb binding machine here. Here are a few good alternatives to the Fellowes Starlet:

Fellowes Starlet Alternatives:

You will find our entire selection of manual comb binding machines here. Do you own the Fellowes Starlet? Let me know what you think about it.

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