Archive for July, 2010

What Is A French Fold?

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

French FoldA French Fold is a type of fold done on a paper folding machine. The French Fold is sometimes referred to as a cross fold or a right angle fold. This type of fold is probably one of the most difficult folds done on a paper folding machine, which is why only a select few are capable of doing it.

The French Fold requires a total of two passes. Typically the first fold is typically a letter, accordion or single fold, which is then folded again in half. This type of fold is very popular for invitations, including wedding invitations.

Because so many folds are involved, only some paper folders can do this. Our paper folders will indicate whether or not they can 100% handle a French Fold.

Some manufacturers will not mention a French Fold in their specifications even though they can handle it. If you are curious about whether or not a paper folder can handle a French Fold, we can run a test run on pretty much any paper folder we offer.

These are three models that can handle a French Fold:

  1. DE-322AF Paper Folding MachineDynafold DE-322AF Paper Folder
  2. Dynafold DE-262AF Folding Machine
  3. Martin Yale 959 Paper Folder

Feel free to contact us at 1-800-658-8788 if you need to have us test a French Fold out on a specific model of paper folder. You can find our entire selection of paper folding machines here.

What Is A Glue Binding Machine?

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Thermal Binding MachinesI had someone ask me today if we sold any glue binding machines. The question initially stumped me, but after a few questions I figured out what she was looking for. We actually carry a few different binding machines that could be categorized as glue binding machines. It ends up she was looking for a thermal binding machine.

These are the three different “glue binding machine” categories that we offer here at ABC Office:

Thermal Binding Machines1. Thermal Binding Machines – Thermal binding machines use special covers that have thermally-activated glue in the spine. As the glue warms up, it sticks to the paper. It works in much the same way as a hot glue gun. Once the glue cools, it solidifies and keeps the paper bound.

Padding Presses2. Padding Presses – These machines are used to create notepads. They use a special type of glue to keep the pages together. Padding presses use a wet type of glue that dries with time (usually 10-15 minutes). The glue is very similar in consistency to Elmer’s glue. Once the glue is dried, the pad can be used to take notes. Padding presses are not typically used to bind books.

Perfect Binding Machines3. Perfect Binding Machines – These machines use thermally activated or cold glue (depending on the model) to bind paperback books, note pads and more. Paper is inserted into the perfect binding machine where it is then clamped into place. The paper moves along the machine where glue is rolled onto the spine. The last step of the perfect binding process involves adding a cover to the paper that is crimped to the spine. The end result is a paperback book.

Most people are thinking of thermal binding machines when they refer to glue binding machines. Hopefully this has helped answer some of your questions. You can find our entire selection of book binding machines here.

Still have questions about glue binding machines? Call us at 1-800-658-8788 or post a comment here.

Dahle 858 Premium Stack Paper Cutter Review

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Dahle 858 Premium Stack Paper CutterSoccer isn’t the only thing Germany’s good at. They’re also pretty good at making office equipment. The Dahle 858 Premium stack paper cutter (found here) is a prime example. This stack cutter is designed and built in Germany. I have had a chance to use this cutter and this is my review.

To begin with, the Dahle 858 is pretty easy to assemble, but it will probably require a few people to help out. I believe we assembled ours in less than 30 minutes (including the stand). The best thing to do is to assemble the optional stand (if purchased), put the cutter on the stand and then tighten down the bolts (holding it to the stand). You don’t have to use the stand if you prefer to use it on a workbench or table.

The optional stand keeps the Dahle 858 at an ideal level for cutting paper. The stand also includes a convenient shelf where you can place paper and other material.

One thing that struck me as different with the Dahle 858 is the cutting arm. Unlike most manual stack cutters that have the cutting handle on the side, the Dahle 858 has the handle in the front. This means that you pull the handle down facing the cutter. While different, I don’t mind it. It saves space and allows lefties to use it.

The Dahle 858 is capable of cutting up to 700 sheets of paper, which is a lot for a manual stack cutter. It can cut paper up to 18 5/8-inch wide. The actual cutting doesn’t take a lot of effort, although I still think the Triumph cutters are a little easier to use.

The backstop seemed pretty easy to adjust and there are several common paper size guides screen printed on the base of the cutter. Registry seemed to be accurate and the cut appeared to be clean. A laser can be turned on if you need to know exactly where the blade will come down on the paper.

An indicator on the left side of the paper cutter lets you know where you are in the cutting process. One light lets you know when the cover is open, another lets you know when the cut is in process and a third light lets you know when the cut is complete.

The clamping mechanism in this cutter is far different from what I have used in the past. Most stack cutters have a separately operated clamping mechanism. The Dahle 858’s clamp and cutter are both activated by using the same handle. The clamp, although unusual, seemed to keep the paper in place while I cut.

If safety is a concern, you can put your mind to rest. The Dahle 858 has several plexiglass covers that prevent access to the blade while it is in use. Because the guard is clear, it is still easy to see what’s going on during the cutting process.

Overall I consider the Dahle 858 Premium stack cutter to be a good machine. It is ideal for use in art departments, custom frame shops, print shops, copy centers and other businesses that cut paper on a regular basis.

You can find the Dahle 858 Premium stack cutter here. You can find our entire selection of manual stack cutters here.

Best Library Display for Paperback Books

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Revolving Book Display Holder and RackDo you run a library and need a good way to display the paperback books? This may be a public, private, university or public school library. In all these institutions, space is often an issue. So what are your options for displaying paperback books?

While hardbacks are often the books of choice in many libraries, paperback books are often the only option. While paperbacks can be displayed on a wooden book shelf, there are other more effective ways to properly display paperback books while freeing up space for the hardback books. Here are a few options you may want to consider.

Best Library Display for Paperback Books

1. Easel-Style Book DisplayEasel Book Racks – These types of book racks use a tripod design and are extremely easy to set up and deploy. While a leg or stand holds the book rack up, the front of the easel display has a series of book pockets where paperbacks can be placed.  These types of book racks are highly portable and are easy to move from one area to another.

2. Revolving and Rotating Book DisplaysRevolving / Rotating Book Racks – This style of book rack is very common in libraries and makes great use of limited space. The footprint on these book racks is small, yet many are capable of holding 50 plus books at a time. We currently offer a model capable of holding up to 84 books. Because these book holders rotate, it is easy to view and access all literature.

3. Wall-Mounted Book DisplayWall-Mounted Book Racks – This type of book rack, often in a zig-zag format, is mounted to the side of a wall. This style of book rack makes books easy to see and access. Mounting these racks to a wall is very easy. This does take up valuable wall space, however, and is probably one of the lesser used designs in libraries.

Notice a trend with the paperback book racks? Most paperback book displays are made from black wire. This is because wire displays are durable, cheap and make it easy to see the stored contents. Wire book racks are commonplace in libraries and book stores.

You can find our entire selection of paperback book racks here. You can also find our entire selection of magazine and literature racks here.

Akiles Diamond-5 Electric Corner Rounder Review

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Akiles Diamond-5 Electric Corner RounderAre you in need of some serious corner rounder cutting capacity? One of the best ways to corner round large volumes of paper is by using an electric corner rounder. So which model should you use? You may want to consider using the Akiles Diamond-5 corner rounder (found here). This is my review.

Commercial corner rounders have many uses. They may be used for rounding the corners on playing cards, greeting cards, business cards, pictures, IDs, invitations and card stock. The Akiles Diamond-5 corner rounder is fully electric, capable of cutting the corners off of two-inches of material at once (1.97-inches to be exact).

The Akiles Diamond-5 corner rounder is designed for high-volume use and can be used throughout the day. It includes a foot pedal, which is ideal for high-volume corner rounding. The foot pedal frees up the hands, allowing you to position the material as needed.

One really cool think about the Akiles Diamond-5 is that it can be used with PVC, polyester, leather, polypropylene and paper. It is definitely a multi-purpose corner rounder.

The dies on the Diamond-5 can be swapped out. This means you can cut a ½-inch radius and later cut a 1/8-inch radius. The Diamond-5 comes with 1/8 and ¼-inch dies. The dies are very easy to change out. Should a die become dull, individual dies may be purchased as replacements.

The Diamond-5 includes a cutting worktable that makes it easy to round the corners on larger material. It also includes an L guide and a radius alignment guide. This is ideal for making sure the cut is right every time.

The Diamond-5 weighs in at 55 pounds, which should give a pretty good idea as to how well this machine is built. As is the case with most Akiles products, the build quality on the Diamond-5 is top notch. It is built from metal parts, designed to last you for years.

I highly recommend the Diamond-5 for commercial corner rounding operations. The build quality is solid and it will be a good investment for long-term use. You can find the Akiles Diamond-5 electric corner rounder here. You can find our entire selection of corner rounders here.

Akiles Pro-Lam 230 Pouch Laminator Review

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Akiles Pro-Lam 230 Pouch LaminatorAre you looking for a pouch laminator that is about nine-inches wide or perhaps big enough to laminate a document up to 8 ½ x 11-inches? There are a lot of models out there. One you may want to consider is the Akiles Pro-Lam 230 pouch laminator (found here). Here is my review.

To start with, the Akiles Pro-Lam series of pouch laminators really don’t get the credit they deserve. They have been around for years, but often get passed up for “prettier” laminators from manufacturers like Fellowes. What it all comes down to is that the Akiles Pro-Lam laminators are solid machines, capable of daily, continuous use.

The Pro-Lam 230 (aka PL-230) weighs in at 20 pounds. That means that 20-pounds of heavy-duty metal have been packed into a smaller nine-inch pouch laminator (9.10-inches to be specific). That just goes to show you how heavy duty it is.  Even the gears in this laminator are made from steel when many comparable laminators use plastic or nylon gears.

The Pro-Lam 230 uses a total of four rollers, which ensures even pressure and heat distribution. The extruding aluminum heat plates also better distribute the heat. The end result is cleaner, clearer laminated material. This also helps cut down on cloudiness, bubbles and ripples in the film.

The Pro-Lam 230 uses electronic circuitry to adjust the operating temperatures. This means the temperature you set the laminator to is the temperature you get. The temperature varies from 230 to 356 degrees Fahrenheit. This laminator is hot enough and tough enough to easily handle 10-mil (4/6) lamination.

Although the manufacturer says you don’t have to use a carrier with the film, I still recommend it. Sometimes when the pouch gets heated up, excess glue will spill out the sides when run through the rollers. A carrier will help catch this glue and cut down on glue messes gumming up the rollers.

Overall I am very impressed with this laminator. Simply put, it is a workhorse. It is designed for commercial use throughout the day. You can find the Akiles Pro-Lam 230 pouch laminator here. You can find our entire selection of pouch laminators here.

Even X-Ray Holders Need To Be HIPAA Compliant

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

XR-1 Wooden Oak X-Ray Holder from Wooden MalletKeeping a patient’s information secure and out of view is more important now than ever. This is due in part to the rampant increase in identity theft and because it is now the law. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) even requires that X-Rays be properly covered and secure as well.

HIPAA has been around since 1996, but several decades ago medical information and data could be left on a desk or pinned to a board without any worry. Not only is medical information an identity theft risk, but it is also a privacy risk. Nobody wants a stranger seeing your medical information.

We offer a great selection of medical chart holders (found here) including chart holders designed specifically for holding X-rays. You can find our HIPAA compliant XR-1 X-ray chart holder here. It is available in different wood stains and can easily be mounted to a wall.

How Secure Are Check Signers?

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Automatic Check and Document SignersSo you need to sign employee payroll checks, invoices, contracts and other documents on a large scale. You may want to consider using an automatic document or check signer. There is one question may have crossed your mind. How secure are check signers?

I can’t say blame those of you who have concerns over check signer security. The ability to sign documents and checks using a legal signature can be a bit of a security concern. It shouldn’t be though. Several measures have been put in place to make check and document signers secure.

One of the most common security measures found in most check signers is a lock and key. This is designed to make it impossible to gain access to the signature plate itself unless you have a key. This can be considered the first level of security.

The second level of security is a pass code. Most higher-end and business check signers (both cut sheet and continuous forms) require that a pass code be entered on a keypad before the check signer can be used. This ensures that only authorized people are using your machine.

Both of these measures should put your concerns to rest. Check signers are great machines to have around and can be used to sign documents and checks of all sizes. You can find our entire selection of document and check signers here.

MBM Kutrimmer 1038 Paper Cutter Review

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

MBM Kutrimmer 1038 Guillotine Paper TrimmerAre you in need of a versatile, multi-purpose paper cutter that can be used to cut photographs, paper, laminated material and more? Guillotine paper trimmers are great multip-purpose cutters and the Kutrimmer 1038 (found here) may be a model you should consider using. I have used this paper cutter and this is my review.

You may remember the good ol’ days of the wooden base guillotine trimmers. They were rickety, often dull and seemed to always cut paper crooked. Gone are those days. The MBM Kutrimmer 1038 uses a similar method for cutting paper, but is improved 10 fold.

The MBM Kutrimmer 1038 by Ideal is made entirely of metal. The base is metal, the arm is metal and the cutting blade is made from a high quality alloy. The build quality is top notch and it is extremely stable. Gone are the days of crooked arm cutters.

The MBM Kutrimmer 1038 is capable of cutting up to 50 sheets of paper. This isn’t difficult to do. Many “dull” cutters require a lot of force to cut the paper. The 1038 requires little effort and the razor-sharp blade easily cuts through the paper.

Don’t be concerned about the razor-sharp blade. The Kutrimmer 1038 features a plexiglass guard that prevents bodily injury. You can see this guard in the photograph.

One of the biggest improvements in the Kutrimmer 1038 versus other cutters is the clamping mechanism. One of the reasons cuts on this machine are so straight and accurate (other than the sharp blade) is that the clamping mechanism keeps the paper still and in place.

The Kutrimmer 1038 also includes an easy-to-use sliding guide that makes it easy to adjust the cutter for measured cutting. The base includes a lined guide for common paper sizes. A catch tray on the side of the cutter keeps cut pieces of trimmed paper in place for easy cleanup.

Mobility with the Kutrimmer 1038 is pretty easy. It weighs in at 29 pounds, which means it’s very easy to move around and can be used on almost any surface.

Overall I consider this to be a pretty nice cutter and highly recommend it. You can find the MBM Kutrimmer 1038 here. You can find our entire selection of guillotine paper trimmers here.

Top Five Best Substrate Cutters

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Fletcher Terry Titan 1000 Substrate CutterWhether you are cutting plastic, corrugated board, vinyl or foamboard, you could probably benefit from the use of a substrate cutter. These useful cutters are designed to cut thick materials. Sizes vary and cutting volume ranges from low to high. So which substrate cutter should you get?

As previously mentioned, substrate cutters are very versatile cutting machines. Many of them can cut material in excess of ½-inch thick! We even carry several high-end substrate cutters that can be used to also cut mirrors, glass, plexiglass and acrylic! So which model should you go with? Here are five highly recommended models as rated by our customers.

Top Five Best Substrate Cutters

  1. Foster Keencut Javelin Substrate Cutter
  2. Foster Excalibur 1000 Substrate Cutter
  3. Fletcher Terry FSC Substrate Cutter
  4. Fletcher Terry Titan Cutter
  5. Foster Keencut SteelTrak Substrate Cutter

As you can see, Foster and Fletcher Terry are the kings of the substrate cutter hill. I consider both manufacturers to be reputable and both make high-quality equipment. You can find our entire selection of substrate cutters here. If you have questions about any of the models listed, give us a call at 1-800-658-8788. Happy cutting!

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