Archive for September, 2010

MBM 407A Automatic Paper Folding Machine Review

Friday, September 17th, 2010

MBM 407A Paper Folding MachineAre you looking for a reliable paper folding machine that won’t require a lot of time to set up and use? One machine that you may want to look at is the MBM 407A paper folding machine (found here). This high-end paper folder is great for daily, frequent use. This is my review.

MBM is a leading manufacturer of high-end office equipment. This includes stack cutters, guillotine trimmers, paper folding machines and more. German in origin, MBM is known for making some of the best office equipment available today. The MBM 407A follows right in line with the rest of MBM’s equipment.

The 407A is an automatic paper folding machine. This means that the folding plates (total of 2) self-adjust, depending on the fold you are trying to create. Do you need to create a letter fold? Simply tell the machine and it will set itself up for a letter fold. It’s that easy. The entire process takes just seconds.

While I don’t personally mind manually setting up folding plates, many people find this annoying and time consuming. The MBM 407A comes pre-programmed with 6 common folds. This includes a letter fold, accordion fold, single fold, gate fold and more. An auxiliary paper guide allows for easy cross folding and French folding. It even has the ability to store up to 27 custom folds.

The MBM 407A can be used with paper of various sizes. The minimum paper size is 3 1/2″ x 5″ and the maximum size is 11″ x 17″. It has the ability to be used with standard copy paper and can also be used with paper as thin as 12# thick up to 80 #card stock.

The paper tray can hold up to 450 sheets of standard 20# paper. It includes a conveyor-style exit tray that is designed to keep paper aligned and in order. This is ideal for folding invoices, bills and other material that has to be in numerical or alphabetical order.

The 407A runs at a speed fast enough to keep up with most jobs. The motor itself runs at a speed of 11,520 sheets per hour. This folder can be used throughout the day and should be able to handle most medium to high-volume folding jobs.

In conclusion I have to say that if you are a fan of the MBM 307M (of which I am), you are going to love the 407A. MBM makes a solid folding machine and the 407A is no exception.

You can find the MBM 407A paper folding machine here. You can find our entire selection of MBM paper folding machine here. Feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any paper folding questions.

Staplex MA-500 Accuslitter Letter Opener Review

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Staplex MA-500 Accuslitter Electric Letter OpenerDo you work in a mailroom or a business that has to open hundreds to thousands of letters a day? If so, you are in serious need of a high-quality letter opener. We have several to choose from. One model you may want to consider is the Staplex MA-500 Accuslitter letter opener (order today!). This is my review.

Staplex is well known for making staplers (as if the name didn’t give it away). I’m not talking about a cheap Swingline. I’m talking about heavy-duty electric staplers. Staplex also makes a couple of industrial letter openers. This includes the Staplex MA-500 Accuslitter.

The MA-500 isn’t a small letter opener you use to open a few dozen letters here and there. It is a commercial-quality machine designed to open 250 envelopes a minute up to 3/16″ thick. The electric-powered motor itself runs at a speed of 15,000 letters a minute. While not the fastest machine out there, it will easily keep up with most mailrooms.

This letter opener is designed to slit open envelopes rather than cut them open. This is done in an effort to not only keep things clean, but also to help protect the contents of the envelope. It’s a rather efficient system. The slit is placed in such a way that mail won’t accidentally fall out.

Because there is less cutting involved, the MA-500 Accuslitter is actually pretty quiet. While mailrooms aren’t the quietest places in the office, at lest the MA-500 won’t be contributing to the noise level.

At only 20 pounds, the Staplex MA-500 can be used on just about any workbench, table or desk. This also makes it very portable. There are really only two parts to the MA-500. You have the motorized portion of the machine and the receiving tray where the open mail is held. Many letter openers don’t come with a receiving tray.

Here are a few additional features you’ll find in the Staplex MA-500 Accuslitter:

  • AccuLloy blade
  • Impact resistant housing
  • 8 foot (2.4 m) grounded power supply cord
  • Thermal overload protection
  • Built-in resettable circuit breaker

The build quality on the MA-500 is great, which is the case with Staplex staplers as well. I would personally recommend this machine for use in most medium-volume mailrooms.

You can find the Staplex MA-500 Accuslitter electric letter opener here. You can find our entire selection of letter opening machines here. Do you still have questions? Feel free to call one of our experts at 1-800-658-8788.

8-Up, 10-Up and 12-Up Business Card Cutters

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Business Card Cutters from ABC OfficeAre you looking for a business card cutter, but aren’t sure which pattern you should use? You’re not alone. Many people get confused about this and aren’t exactly sure which pattern is best for them. I have used business card cutters for years now and have a few tips that may help you out.

To begin with, the number located in front of the “Up” is the amount of cards the business card cutter can create per sheet. A 10-up business card cutter can create 10 business cards on an 8 ½ x 11-inch sheet of paper. An 8-up is 8 business cards and a 12-up is 12 business cards.

So which pattern is most popular? The 10-up business card pattern is by far the most common pattern used today. This patter is most compatible with printers and more machines are available to cut that pattern. You can find a 10-up business card template in an MS Word format here.  The 8-up business card pattern is probably the least common used today.

Popular 10-Up Business Card Cutters

Business card cutters are great for creating custom business cards and allow you to create cards from the convenience of your own printer. You can find our entire selection of business card cutters here.

Renz Combinette Comb Binding Machine Review

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Renz Combinette Comb Binding MachineAre you looking for a time-tested comb binding machine that has a good reputation and works well? One machine that you may want to take a close look at is the Renz Combinette comb binding machine (found here). I have had several opportunities to use this machine and this is my review.

Renz has been making binding machines for years. In fact, they were around and well established when I started working for ABC Office about 10 years ago. Renz is probably best known for their wire binding machines, but they also make a wide variety of comb binding machines as well.

The Combinette Renz’s least expensive comb binding machine. This shouldn’t fool you into thinking it’s cheap or poorly made. Renze is known for making some of the best comb binding machine around and the Combinette is no exception.

Originally designed for the European market, the Combinette works great with standard 8 ½ x 11-inch sheets of paper. Both the punch and the comb opener are manually operated. The punch itself can punch through up to 25 sheets of paper and it can be used to bind a book as thick as 2-inches.

The machine itself is metal. The case is metal, the levers / gears are metal and of course the punching pins are metal. The Combinette doesn’t feature any selectable dies, but aligning the holes isn’t too difficult. Once set up, the binding process itself runs smoothly.

One thing I personally like about the Combinette, other than the excellent build quality, is the length of the punching handle and comb opener. Because these handles are so long, they are very easy to operate. Punching 25 sheets of paper with this machine is easy. The leverage is perfect.

While the manufacturer says you can use this machine to bind up to 250 books per hour, I personally doubt this is possible unless you are binding only a few sheets of paper at a time. Don’t get me wrong, this is a great machine, but I don’t recommend it for more than medium-volume binding. High-volume binding, with a manual punch, is often too labor intensive.

Overall I really like the Combinette. I have personally used it to bind books and the process is very easy. In fact you can see a Combinette video demo here. While a little more of an investment up front, it is definitely well built and should easily last you for years.

You can find the Combinette comb binding machine here. You can find our entire selection of Renz binding machines here.

Dahle Paper Shredder Bags – Keeping Things Clean

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Dahle Paper Shredder BagsDo you have a Dahle paper shredder and need replacement bags? No problem. We offer a great selection of Dahle paper shedder bags for pretty much every model out there. So why should you use Dahle paper shredder bags?

I know of people out there who try using any old garbage bag as their shredder bag. While this may somewhat work, there are a few problems with this scenario. To begin with, using a bag that isn’t designed for your shredder will often result in too much slack, too little room and unfortunate messes.

Emptying a paper shredder should be a clean, effortless process. The right shredder bag will ensure fewer bag changes, less mess and potential prolonged the shredder’s life.

Why could this prolong the life of the shredder? Less mess means fewer particles clogging up essential mechanical and electrical components.

You can find our Dahle paper shredder bags here. You can find our entire selection of Dahle paper shredders here. For more information on paper shredder bags and which one you should use, feel free to contact us at 1-800-658-8788.

How To Choose An Employee Time Clock

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Employee Time ClocksTime clocks are a critical part of most business operations. Let’s face it, employees don’t work for free and businesses can’t hand out money left and right. There needs to be order to the way a business runs or things would fall apart. A great way to keep track of and manage employee time is by using a time clock. So which type of time clock should you use?

Finding the right time clock is important. You don’t want something so cheap it will fall apart in a few months, yet you probably don’t want a time clock that requires a rocket engineer to set up. Here are a few questions you will want to ask yourself prior to purchasing a time clock.

How big is your business? The size of your business will be critical when determining the appropriate time clock. Many time clocks are designed for small businesses with 10 to 30 employees. If your business has more than a few dozen employees, make sure your time clock can support this. Most time clocks will specify how many employees they are designed to handle.

A general rule of thumb is that a “punch-style” time clock is best for small to medium-size businesses. Digital time clocks are best for small to large-size businesses.

How do you keep track of  payroll? Do you keep track of your employee payroll on paper, using a spreadsheet (like Excel) or do you use payroll management software like Quickbooks?

Digital Time ClockPunch-style time clocks will ultimately require some sort of data entry later down the road. Digital and software-based time clocks will typically accumulate and manage employee time automatically and many digital / software time clocks can export data for use in spreadsheets or payroll management programs.

Do you expect your business to grow? Don’t shortchange yourself by getting a time clock that will be insufficient a few years down the road. Invest in something now that will work for the next 5+ years.

Where will the time clock be stationed? Some time clocks are designed to be used on a table, where others are designed to be mounted on a wall. Some can be used on a table or be mounted to the wall.

If you are using a digital time clock that requires a computer, be sure the time clock is close enough to the computer so that the USB or network cables can reach.

Is employee fraud a concern? Unfortunately some businesses have to deal with dishonest employees. The most common type of time clock fraud is known as buddy punching. This happens when someone punches in and out of work on behalf of a different person. If this is an issue, a biometric time clock will stop this dead in its tracks. Biometric time clocks require that the employee be present to punch in or out of work.

These are just a few of the most common questions you will want to ask yourself. Chances are pretty good that you have even more detailed questions about your specific business needs. If this is the case, feel free to speak with one of our time clock specialists at 1-800-658-8788. You can find our entire selection of employee time clocks here.

Formax FD 1500 AutoSeal Pressure Sealer Review

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Formax FD 1500 AutoSeal Pressure SealerDo you need to fold and seal invoices, bills, w-2s and other information for mailing purposes? It sounds like what you need is a pressure seal. If this is the case, one model you may want to consider using is the Formax FD 1500 AutoSeal pressure sealer (found here). I have used one of these and this is my review.

To begin with, pressure sealers are wonderful machines to have on hand for mailing purposes. They use special cut sheet paper with pressure-activated pockets of glue. You can use this paper in just about any inkjet or laser printer. Once the invoice, bill, direct mail or other piece is printed, simply run it through the pressure sealer. The sealer will then letter-fold the document, sealing it along the edges.

How does this work? The pressure-activated glue, found along the edges of the paper, bursts open when run through the pressure sealer. This creates an “instant” seal for mailing. The edges of the paper are perforated in such a way that the sealed document is simple for the recipient to open up.

This is exactly what the FD 1500 AutoSeal does. The FD 1500 AutoSeal is designed to fold and seal up to 20,000 pieces of mail per month at a speed of about 85 pieces per minute. This isn’t bad. This particular model is considered to be a low volume pressure sealer. This involves using pressure seal paper up to 8 ½” x 14″ long.

While 20,000 pieces may not seem low volume to you, there are higher end pressure sealers capable of folding and sealing hundreds of thousands of documents per month. One of the biggest benefits of the FD 1500 AutoSeal is that it is affordable.

What are some of the most mailers sealed with the Formax FD 15000? Here is a list:

  • Invoices
  • Appointment Notices
  • Payroll/Checks
  • Grade Reports
  • Utility Bills
  • W-2s
  • Direct Mail
  • PIN Mailers
  • Rebates

The Formax FD 1500 AutoSeal uses a three-roller system to pull paper through the machine. Why is this nice? This is because the three rollers evenly pull paper into the machine. This helps keep the registry dead on and prevents jams. The hoper holds up to 150 sheets of paper.

I have personally used this folder sealer. I helped unbox it and set it up. My very first impression as I lifted it out of the box was, “this thing’s heavy!” This is because the machine is pretty much all metal. It weighs in at 90 pounds shipped. This is a plus. The build quality is excellent. I opened the machine up and can tell you it is solid. This is almost always the case with Formax machines.

Do I recommend this? You bet. This is a great option for low-volume folding and sealing operations. This pressure sealer is fun to use and Formax (as a company) is great to work with.

You can find the Formax FD 1500 AutoSeal pressure sealer here. You can find our entire selection of pressure sealers here. These machines may seem a little complex at first glance, so please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions. Have a great day!

Tamerica (Tahsin) SM330 Pouch Laminator Review

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Tamerica / Tahsin SM330 Pouch LaminatorPouch laminators are perfect for laminating cards, photographs, signs and more. If you are in the market for an affordable pouch laminator that can handle material up to 13″ wide, the Tamerica SM330 pouch laminator (found here) may be the machine for you. This is my review.

Tamerica is a well-known manufacturer of both pouch and roll laminators. Designs and models range in size and output volume. Tamerica laminators continue to be a huge hit with our customers. This includes the Tamerica SM330.

The Tamerica SM330, also known as the Tahsin TCC-SM330, is a 13″ wide pouch laminator. At this width, the SM330 can easily handle letter-size documents without a problem. This width also allows you to laminate larger 11″ x 18″ documents such as signs or menus.

Setting this laminator up is pretty simply. It has a power button that turns on the heating element and a separate dial to adjust the heat. There is a tilt switch that allows the motor to be put in a forward or reverse speed. A light lets you know when the laminator has reached desired temperature settings and are ready to go.

I personally love the reverse switch and think all pouch laminators should have a feature like this. Why is that? No matter how experienced you are with a pouch laminator, misfeeds are bound to occur. A reverse switch allows you to back the pouch out and re-position it, which dramatically cuts down on jams.

The motor seems to run pretty quiet, which can be a huge plus if you are using the laminator in an office environment.

The heated rollers really help contribute towards an even and smooth finish. The Tamerica SM330 is capable using laminating film from 3 to 10 mils thick. This means it can handle pretty much any film out there.

Overall I really like the Tamerica SM330. It is compact enough to be used on a desk and affordable enough to be used at home. This laminator is best used for low to medium-volume jobs.

You can find the Tamerica SM330 pouch laminator here. You can find our entire selection of pouch laminators here.

SircleBind CW-150e Comb & Wire Binding Machine Review

Friday, September 10th, 2010

SircleBind CW-150e Comb and Wire Binding MachineAre you in the market for an affordable electric binding machine that can handle both comb and wire? The SircleBind CW-150e comb and wire binding machine (found here) may be the machine you need. We have one of these on our showroom and I have had a chance to use it. This is my review.

To begin with, Sircle is a well-known and reputable manufacturer. They make a wide variety of comb, wire and coil binding machines. They also have a line of laminators.

The Sircle CW-150e is an electric punch binding machine. It is able to punch hole patterns for 19-ring comb and 3:1 pitch wire. The electric punch is able to handle up to 15 sheets of 20# paper at a time. For the price, this isn’t half bad. Both the comb opener and the wire closer are manually operated.

I personally really like the multi-format capabilities of this machine. Comb binding is great for durability and the supplies are inexpensive. Wire looks very professional and is idea for proposals. This versatility is pretty nice.

The machine itself doesn’t weigh too much. It’s about 32 pounds. While still hefty, it is light enough to be used on most table sand desks. I haven’t personally cracked it open to see what’s inside, but it feels durable and the build quality seems to be right in line with the price and capabilities.

Punching on the CW-150 is done vertically, instead of horizontally. I personally like this feature because gravity naturally keeps the paper in line. It also has an adjustable margin depth for comb binding.

You can bind a book of about 100 sheets in about 1-2 minutes. The operating speed ultimately depends on the operator, but the electric motor really makes things move along smoothly. You can use the CW-150e to punch card stock and clear covers as well.

This type of a comb binding machine is great for schools, churches, copy centers and business that require the versatility of a multi-format binding machine.

Overall I enjoyed using this binding machine. It isn’t going to win any awards on looks, but for the price it is a steal for an electric comb and wire binding machine. It is great for low to medium-volume use.

You can find the SircleBind CW-150e comb and wire binding machine here. You can find our entire selection of binding machines here.

Formax FD 150 Cut Sheet Check & Document Signer Review

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Formax FD 150 Cut Sheet Document & Check SignerAre you looking for a fast and accurate way to sign checks and documents on a massive scale? One machine you may want to consider using is the Formax FD 150 cut sheet check and document signer (found here). This is my review.

In case you are not familiar with Formax, they are one of the best-known manufacturers of high-end office equipment in the United States. Their products include folding machines, envelope inserters, bursters, shredders and more. Their products are considered to be some of the best-built and many of them are made in the USA.

The Formax FD 150 check and document signer is an example of an American-made product. This machine is our highest-end document signer. It is primarily used to sign checks, but can also be used to endorse documents, and put logos / seals on cut-sheet documents.

This machine is very easy to set up and use. Four programmable job settings make it easy to set this machine up for frequent jobs. You will find the Formax FD 150 in a wide variety of government facilities, businesses, schools and more. It is especially popular for payroll purposes.

The FD 150 is designed to be used with cut-sheet paper. Cut-sheet paper is the most commonly used type of paper found in offices today. This usually consists of 8 ½ x 11-inch sheets.

When compared to signing documents by hand, the FD 150 is like a supersonic jet. It is hundreds of times faster than manually signing documents. It is available with monochrome, tri-color and ultraviolet ink (for added security).

The machine itself is secured under lock and key to protect the signature plates. It includes both a resettable and non-resettable counters for maximum audit capability.

The Formax FD 150 runs at a speed of up to 300 documents per minute. The feed tray can hold up to 200 sheets of paper. Paper can range in size from 2.75 to 14-inches wide and 3 to 14-inches long.

This document signer weighs in at 40 pounds. That is pretty light considering what the FD 150 does. It is compact enough, and light enough, to be used on most tables, desks and other surfaces.

I consider the Formax FD 150 to be a great machine. It is perfect for medium to high-volume document signing jobs. We have a great relationship with Formax and have our own Service Department. This means we can provide you with parts, service and support.

You can find the Formax FD 150 cut sheet check and document signer here. You can find our entire selection of automatic document signers here. Call us at 1-800-658-8788 to speak with one of our document signing specialists.

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