Archive for July, 2010

Can Bill Counters Count New and Used Money?

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Bill Counter With Protective Dust ShieldBill counters are a great way to count bills, batch count currency and verify money. So can bill counters be used to count both new and used bills? Here is my answer.

All modern-day bill counters can be used to count new and used money. There is only one small catch. Bill counters can only hold so many bills prior to counting. Used bills typically take up more space than new bills. This means your bill counter will not be able to count as many used bills at once as new bills.

The general rule when it comes to used bills is a 2:1 ratio versus new bills. If your bill counter can hold up to 200 new bills, it will typically only be able to hold 100 used bills. The good news is that your bill counter can handle used money.

Used bills, however, can create dust that can affect some people with allergies. For this reason, many bill counters come with a protective guard that covers the exit tray. This helps block out dust. Some high-end bill counters (like the Semacon S-1450) even include a filtration system to filter out dust and other irritants.

All bill counters can be used to count mixed new and used bills. Unfortunately when the bills are mixed, it is difficult to determine exactly how many bills your counter will be able to hold.

Hopefully this answers your questions. If you still have questions, you can call 1-800-658-8788 to speak with one of our money counter specialists.

You can find our entire selection of bill counters here.

Banner American PL100 Pouch Laminator Review

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Banner American PL100 Pouch LaminatorWould you like to use a laminator but don’t have the funds available to purchase one at this time? One laminator you may want to look at is the Banner American QuickFinish PL100 pouch laminator. This laminator is packed with many high-end features, but won’t break the bank. This is my review.

First of all, the QuickFinish PL100 is made by Banner American, which is a good thing. Banner American has been making laminators for well over a decade. This includes both pouch and roll laminators. This should come as peach of mind. You know that not only is the PL100 made by a reputable manufacturer, but it will also be supported for years to come.

Once plugged into the wall, the Banner American PL100 only takes about three minutes to warm up. This is pretty fast for a laminator in this price range. The PL100 is capable of using both 3 and 5 mil laminating pouches.

The laminator is 10-inches wide and can be used to laminate documents up to 9.5-inches wide. This is really nice because it means you can laminate 8 ½ x 11 and legal-size documents without a problem.

While the PL100 isn’t designed for high-volume use, it can be used in the home or at the office for various laminating jobs throughout the day. You can use the PL100 to laminate important documents, business cards, report covers and more. Simply place your document in a pouch, put it in a carrier and run it through the laminator.

While this is an entry-level laminator, I have to say that it does a pretty good job at laminating. Results are clear and clean.

You can find the Banner American QuickFinish PL100 pouch laminator here. You can find our entire selection of pouch laminators here.

Can You Package T-Shirts With A Shrink Wrap Machine?

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

T-Shirt and Clothing Shrink Wrap SealerI had a customer ask me today if you can package t-shirts and polo shirts using a shrink wrap machine. The answer to this question is yes. There are a few things you will need to know ahead of making a shrink wrap machine purchase, but they can be used to easily package all types of fabric. Here are some helpful tips.

To begin with, most people packaging shirts and clothing don’t need the shrink wrap machine to shrink the film, they only need it to cut and seal the clothing in plastic for retail sale and shipping purposes. If this is all you need to do, you really don’t need a complete shrink wrap machine (with heat tunnel or heat gun). All you really need is an L-bar or I-bar sealer.

The most important factor to take into consideration before purchasing a sealer is to ensure that the sealing dimensions will fully encapsulate the clothing. Luckily clothing is very pliable and easy to fold in a way that it will probably work with most machines. If you use a machine to fold the clothing, you will definitely need a sealer that fits the folded clothing’s dimensions in order to save time.

Shrink wrap machines and sealers use two different types of film for packaging purposes. These two types of film are PVC and Polyolefin. PVC film has almost a cellophane feel to it where polyolefin has more of a saran wrap feel to it. The type of film depends on your preference (and budget).

If you find a good deal on a shrink wrap machine that has a heat tunnel built into it, don’t worry. Most shrink wrap machines with tunnels can have the tunnel portion turned off so that it only seals.

With regards to the customer I was speaking with about packaging t-shirts and polo shirts, he was interested in these two machines:

The Minipack Prima is an L-bar sealer only, where the Minipack Galaxy includes a built in heat tunnel. I told the customer that Minipack machines allow the operator to turn off the heat.

Still have questions about packaging fabric and clothing? Speak with one of our packaging specialists at 1-800-658-8788.

You can find our entire selection of fabric shrink wrap sealers here. You can find all our shrink wrap machines here.

Can Comb Binding Machines Use 19 Ring Spiral-O Wire?

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Wire Binding Machines & SuppliesI had a customer ask me yesterday if a comb binding machine can be used to bind books using double loop wire. The answer to this question is yes and no. Here is the answer I gave the customer.

Comb binding machines use a 19-hole punching pattern to bind books on an 8 ½  x 11-inch sheet of paper. Double loop wire is available in a 19-hole pattern called Spiral-O or wire comb binding. The Spiral-O hole pattern (19-ring) is exactly the same as a comb binding pattern (19-ring).

The biggest problem you will have using a comb binding machine to do wire binding is closing the wire. Comb binding machines do not have built-in wire closers. You can, however, purchase separate wire closers.

This is exactly what you will need to do wire binding on your comb binding machine:

The most common double loop wire binding hole patterns are 2:1 (two holes per inch) and 3:1 (three holes per inch) pitches. Nineteen-ring wire (Spiral-O) is closest in look to 2:1 pitch wire.

Some multi-format binding machines are capable of binding both comb and wire right out of the box. You can find our entire selection of combination binding machines here.

Still confused? Feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 to speak with one of our binding machine specialists. They should be able to help you get exactly what you need for both comb and wire binding.

AIE Impulse Bag and Hand Sealer Review

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

AIE Impulse Bag and Hand SealersSo you need to seal products in a bag and need a reliable impulse hand sealer to get the job done. Which model should you go with? One model that you may want to consider using is the AIE impulse bag and hand sealer (found here). This is my review.

To begin with, AIE has been making hand sealers and shrink wrap machines for years. AIE stands for American International Electric. AIE is especially known for their exceptional build quality and reliability.  AIE tests all their sealers in their West Coast facility and provides a warranty that guarantees dependability and durability.

We carry a wide variety of AIE impulse hand sealers. The biggest difference between models is the sealing length and the sealing width. Models range from four-inches long to 20 plus inches long.

The sealing width ranges from 2 mm to 10 mm. The bag thickness these sealers can handle ranges from 5 mil to 8 mil (on select models). The “C” version of our impulse hand sealers include a sliding cutter. Some of these sealers even include a holding magnet for convenience.

Models include: AIE-100, AIE-200, AIE-200C, AIE-205, AIE-205C, AIE-300, AIE-300C, AIE-305, AIE-305C, AIE-400, AIE-400C, AIE-405, AIE-500.

Our sealers can be used to seal most plastic bags without any issue. AIE hand sealers provide exceptional air and watertight seals on most plastic materials up to about 6 mil. This includes  poly bags, mylar bags and much more. This may be to package food, protect products or for display purposes.

Customer satisfaction with AIE impulse hand sealers is exceptionally high. I very rarely hear about any customer service issues with these machines.

You can find our standard AIE impulse hand sealers here. You can find our AIE impulse hand sealers with cutters here. You can find our entire selection of impulse hand sealers here.

Oval Holes vs Round Holes in Coil Binding Machines

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Round and Oval Coil Binding Hole PatternsCoil binding is one of the most well rounded binding formats that can be used to bind books, reports, manuals, textbooks, albums and much more. Coil binding machines are now available with round holes and oval holes. So which hole pattern is best for you?

Most coil binding machines (aka spiral binding) are made with round-hole punches. This format has been around for some time and is still the preferred binding format used by most manufacturers.

To date, the oval hole pattern is only used by Akiles. The oval hole pattern can be found in the “PLUS” version of Akiles coil binding machines called the CoilMac. The oval hole pattern is supposed to make it easier for pages to turn and easier to insert coils.

Akiles specifically states this regarding their “PLUS” oval hole pattern:

This revolutionary 0.248″ coil pitch is specifically designed to give you 44 evenly-centered holes in an 11″ sheet, which provides the most ideal hole to edge-of-sheet margins and easier coil insertion. Hole pattern is 100% compatible with STANDARD 4:1 pitch coils.

The oval hole pattern uses a 4:1 pitch (0.248″) pattern versus the standard round hole 4:1 Pitch (0.250″) pattern. All 4:1 pitch coils (four holes per inch) can be universally used with round or oval holes without any compatibility issues.

Ultimately the machine you decide to go with is up to you. I don’t personally have a preference between either hole pattern.

You can find our entire selection of coil binding machines here. You can find our entire selection of coil binding supplies here.

Akiles CoilMac-ER Plus Coil Binding Machine Review

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Akiles CoilMac-ER Plus Coil Binding MachineCoil binding has quickly jumped up to the top of the popular list and is now one of the most common book binding formats used today. Finding the right coil binder isn’t always an easy task. One machine you may want to consider using is the Akiles CoilMac-ER Plus coil binding machine (found here). This is my review.

To begin with, the CoilMac-ER Plus coil binding machine uses a 4:1 pitch hole pattern. This means that it punches four holes per inch of paper. This is the most common hole pattern used in coil binding machines today. Coil binding can be used to bind cookbooks, manuals, books, textbooks and much more.

The CoilMac-ER Plus uses a manual punch to punch through up to 20 sheets of 20 lbs paper at a time. This is fairly large amount of paper for a manual punch machine. You will notice in the picture that the CoilMac-ER has a fairly long punching handle. This added length provides additional leverage, making it easier to punch paper.

The build quality of the CoilMac-ER is great. The machine is made from metal and should easily last several years without any issues. The CoilMac-ER weighs 38 pounds, which should give you a pretty good idea on how solid it is.

The CoilMac-ER Plus has two benefits over the standard CoilMac-ER.

  1. Oval Punching Pins – The CoilMac-ER uses a punching die that punches oval-shaped holes. Oval-shaped holes are supposed to make pages easier to turn than standard round holes.
  2. Selectable Punching Pins – Selectable (disengaging) punching pins means you can choose exactly which hole punches. This is ideal for binding larger or smaller documents. By disengaging a punching pin, you can eliminate half-punched holes.

The CoilMac-ER also includes a built in electric coil inserter. Electrically spinning coils through punched paper is several times faster than manually inserting coils. The electric inserter is located on the top-left of the machine. The CoilMac-ER Plus uses a food pedal activated inserter for hands-free operation.

Overall I am very impressed with the Akiles CoilMac-ER. It is very easy to use, seems to be very solid and can be used for light to medium-volume book binding. This machine can be used in copy shops, schools, churches and other businesses without any issues.

You can find the CoilMac-ER Plus coil binding machine here. You can find the standard Akiles CoilMac-ER here. You can find our entire selection of manual coil binding machines here.

MBM Kutrimmer 1135 Guillotine Paper Trimmer Review

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

MBM Kutrimmer 1135 Guillotine Paper TrimmerAre you looking for a solid guillotine paper trimmer, but don’t know where to start? One model you may want to consider is the MBM Kutrimmer 1135 guillotine trimmer (found here). I have had a chance to use this cutter and this is my review.

Having a fully stocked showroom definitely has its benefits. We have a great selection of Kutrimmer guillotine trimmers on display and I have had a chance to use several of them. After having used the Kutrimmer 1135, I have to say that my initial impressions are pretty good.

The Kutrimmer 1135 is designed much like the old wood-based Premier cutters but is a much more solid machine. This is because the Kutrimmer 1135 is made from metal. Everything from the base to the cutting arm is made out of metal. Not only that, but the build quality is very nice. Everything just seems to fit together well.

I suppose the build quality shouldn’t be a surprise. MBM’s Kutrimmer line of guillotine trimmers are German designed and German build. This doesn’t mean everything made in Germany is perfect, but those Germans do have a habit of designing things well.

The Kutrimmer 1135 is designed to cut up to 25 sheets of paper at a time. This number is based on standard 20# copy paper. Naturally the thicker the paper, the fewer sheets you will be able to cut.

Unlike guillotine trimmers of old, the Kutrimmer 1135 cuts paper straight every time. This is due in large part to the premium solingen cutting blade and the clamping mechanism that keeps the paper in place. These two features make the Kutrimmer 1135 just about as accurate as a rotary paper cutter.

Guillotine paper trimmers have a reputation of being unsafe to use due to exposed blades. This is no longer a concern. The Kutrimmer 1135 has several safety features built in that prevent fingers from accessing the blade. One of these safety features is a Lexan safety shield. Another safety feature is that the clamping mechanism doesn’t allow anything over the thickness of 25 sheets of paper underneath.

Overall I have to say that the Kutrimmer 1135 is an excellent multi-purpose cutter. It can be used to cut paper, photographs, card stock and more.

You can find the Kutrimmer 1135 guillotine paper trimmer here. You can find our entire selection of guillotine paper trimmers here.

Akiles WireMac-E Wire Binding Machine Review

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Akiles WireMac-E Electric Wire Binding MachineAre you in need of a solid electric wire binding machine for your book binding needs? One model you may want to consider is the Akiles WireMac-E wire binding machine (found here). I have had a chance to use this machine and this is my review.

Here at ABC Office we have a stocked showroom, so I am able to play around with much of the equipment we sell. We have a lot of binding machines from Akiles in stock and I have had a chance to use most of them. I have bound books using the WireMac-E. The first word that comes to mind when describing the WireMac-E is “solid.”

The build quality on the Akiles WireMac-E is exceptional. This is the case with most Akiles machines. The machine is made from cast iron with metal components. It weighs about 70 pounds, which gives you a pretty good idea on the build.

You can get the WireMac-E in either a 2:1 or 3:1 pitch. The pitch determines the hole pattern that is punched. A 2:1 pitch has two holes per inch where a 3:1 has three holes per inch.

Because the holes on a 2:1 are spaced farther apart, it can be used to bind thicker books than a 3:1. The look is a little different between the two. Ultimately the hole pattern you choose will depend entirely on the thickness of the book and the look you want.

Punching paper on the WireMac-E is very easy. It is food pedal operated, which frees up both hands for holding the paper. I really like hands-free operation on a binding machine. Both the 2:1 and 3:1 versions of the WireMac-E are capable of punching up to 20 sheets of paper at a time. Wire is still inserted manually and the wire closing is completed by pulling a lever.

Some people may find the positioning of the wire closing a little awkward, since it is on the left side of the machine, but that shouldn’t be a problem. I am right handed and closing wire with my left hand didn’t seem like a problem. I’m not entirely sure why they laid it out that way.

A dial on the right side of the machine is used to adjust how far the wire closer will close the wire. It seems to be dead on accurate. If you are using ¼-inch wire, you adjust the wire closer to ¼-inch and you’re ready to go. A good wire closer is critical in wire binding. If the wire isn’t closed enough, pages will fall out, and if it is closed to much, it looks odd and pages will bind up.

I’m only covering a few of the features found in this machine. It really is jam packed. My overall impression on the WireMac-E is very high. I consider it to be a high quality machine capable of daily continuous book binding.

You can find the Akiles WireMac-E wire binding machine here. You can find our entire selection of electric punch wire binding machines here.

Tamerica (Tahsin) 210PB Comb Binding Machine Review

Friday, July 16th, 2010

Tahsin 210-PB Comb Binding MachineAre you looking for a good all-round comb binding machine to use at home or in the office? If you need something that can comb bind booklets, reports and presentations, you may want to consider using the Tahsin 210PB comb binding machine (found here). I have used this comb binder and this is my review.

To begin with, the Tahsin 210PB (from Tamerica) is a lot of value for the dollar. I will go into more detail, but many of the features found in the 210PB typically cost a lot more. One nice thing that you may have already noticed is the fact that the 210PB is made out of metal rather than plastic. This is always a good thing.

The punching dies on the 210PB are designed to bind books using a 19-ring hole pattern. While it is primarily designed to bind 8 ½ x 11-inch books, it can be used to bind smaller books as well. It can safely punch up to 12 sheets of paper at a time and can bind books up to two-inches thick.

Selectable punching pins (disengaging dies) make it possible to punch and bind smaller books without those annoying half-punched holes. Simply pull out lever that activates the pin to disengage it. Most entry-level comb binding machines don’t have this feature. The Tahsin 210PB does, which is pretty cool.

The binding punch and the comb opener / closer are activated by using the same handle. This is done for convenience. Pull down on the handle to punch paper and push up on the handle to open combs.

Another nice feature about the punching die is that it features an adjustable margin depth. This means you can select how far into the paper the holes are punched. This is especially nice when binding books of different thicknesses. You typically want to punch farther into the paper the thicker the book is. This helps cut down on pages accidentally ripping out.

In conclusion I have to say that I really like this binding machine. It works really well, feels well built and is really nice for the money. It is easily comparable to the old metal-build Ibico machines and beats just about anything from GBC in the same price range.

You can find the Tahsin 210PB comb binding machine here. You can find our entire selection of manual comb binding machines here.

by Category