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You are being redirected to ABC Office. Why? has joined their sister company ABC Office to provide our customers with a greater product selection, while offering the same great prices and service you have come to love and expect!If you have questions or concerns during this transition please give us a call at 1-800-658-8788, or email us at

Archive for March, 2011

What Makes A Good Paper Shredder?

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Paper ShreddersIf you’re shopping around for a paper shredder, especially for an office paper shredder, you may be wondering what you features you need. What truly makes a good paper shredder? Having used, sold and dealt with paper shredders for over 10+ years, I have some pretty good tips that should help put you on the right track.

The first thing you need to determine is why and where are you using the shredder? For obvious reasons, you probably don’t want to use an office shredder at home or vice versa. It is critical that you get a shredder that meets your needs. There is no “universal” one size fits all paper shredder.

Capacity – The shredding capacity and size of the waste container are good factors in determining how robust the shredder is. The more sheets a shredder can handle, typically, the more robust the shredder will be.

Bin Volume
– Be sure that the waste bin can accommodate the amount of sheets you are shredding. A shredder that can handle 20-40 sheets at a time, yet only holds 10 gallons of paper, will result in a miserable experience as you will be continually emptying the bag.

Security Level
– The security level is another critical factor when shopping for a shredder. To date, there are 6 different shredder security levels. The higher the number, the tinier the particles and more secure the shredder will be. A level 6 is great for shredding top secret documents, a Level 3 is great for most office shredding and a Level 1 is good for making hamster bedding.

Cut Style– Paper shredders come in strip cut and cross cut variations. Strip cut shredders usually max out at a security Level 2, although there are some Level 3 strip cut shredders. Cross cut shredders range from a Level 3 to a Level 6.

Cross cut shredders are sometimes called particle cut, diamond cut and confetti cut shredders. They are all one in the same. I personally recommend using a cross cut shredder over a strip cut shredder. While the sheet capacity may be smaller with a cross cut, the security benefits make up for the difference.

– What are the gears in your shredder made from? Believe it or not, many shredders (names will be excluded) use nylon gears rather than metal gears. While this may be adequate for home use, I have found that nylon gears will almost always break or strip within a year or two with consistent office use.

Staples & Paper Clips – Many cheaper shredders will throw a fit when fed the occasional staple or paper clip. If you work in an office where a box of “to shred” paper may contain staples or paper clips, be sure you get a shredder that can handle it. Most, but not all, office shredders can handle staples and paper clips.

Oiling – Paper shredders need to be oiled, especially cross cut shredders. Some of the newer shredders have built-in automatic oilers. If you can afford it, this is definitely the way to go. If a shredder with an auto oiler isn’t in the budget, remember to oil the shredder with every bag change.

Bag Changes – Shredders are available in a variety of designs that are supposed to make bag changing “easier.” I have personally found that shredders that have a built-in cabinet are the best to use in the office. Simply open the cabinet, slide out the bin or bag and empty it. This is far more preferable to the shredders that require you to remove the shredder head to empty the bin.

These are probably the most common features you should be aware of prior to making a purchase. At ABC Office we have years of dealing with shredders. I’m not afraid to admit that we probably have some of the most educated shredder specialists online.

You should take advantage of this knowledge and give us a call at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions. We aren’t pressuring, we won’t try to sell you something you don’t need and we are always more than happy to help.

You can find our entire wide selection of paper shredders here. They are broken into different categories based on where they will be used.

What Mail Tabs & Wafer Seals Does The USPS Permit?

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Automatic Mail TabbersWith recent changes to what the United States Postal Service (USPS) allows when it comes to mail tabbers has left many people confused. Some older machines are no longer compliant and many people are now wondering what kinds of tabs are permitted. I will try to help you understand what is and is not allowed in this article.

The USPS currently requires that folded documents and paper, that is not in an envelope, be tabbed or secured shut. Unsealed documents can quickly cause a jam in specialized / automated USPS equipment. Tabs and wafer seals are the preferred way to keep undeveloped material shut during mailing. Mailed pieces can also be glued or spot glued.

Improperly placed wafer seals and disallowed tabs can potentially jam in USPS equipment, causing some serious headaches. Incorrect positioning can also make it hard for the USPS to read barcodes or addresses. As a result, the USPS now requires that tabs be placed in specific places, and only specific types of tabs are allowed.

Mail Tabbing USPS Requirements

One of the biggest issues that our customers have had in the past is using perforated tabs. The USPS used to allow perforated tabs, but now requires that tabs and wafer seals be non-perforated. Specifically the USPS states that the tabs should measure in at 1 ½” and be non-perforated. This isn’t too much of a problem as non-perforated paper tabs are still very easy for customers and recipients to open.

Another concern I hear from customers is with regards to how many tabs can be used. The USPS allows multiple tabs to be used. Placement of the tabs depends on the type of document being mailed. Examples include double postcards, folded self-mailers and more. The USPS has a very useful guide showing where tabs should be placed. You can find that guide here.

Mail tabbing continues to be an affordable alternative to envelopes and makes mailing folded documents extremely easy and convenient. At ABC Office we offer a wide variety of different mail tabbing machines found here.

Feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 to speak with one of our mail tabbing specialists. They can help answer questions about USPS regulations and mail tabbers.

Minipack MVS 20 Chamber Vacuum Sealer Review

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Minipack MVS 20 Chamber Vacuum Food SealerVacuum food sealers are great machines. They can be used to package poultry, beef, fish, vegetables, fruit and much more. Many people use vacuum sealers to package merchandise for retail sale. One types of the best vacuum sealers available is the chamber vacuum sealer. One affordable model you may want to look at is the Minipack MVS 20 chamber vacuum sealer (found here). This is my review.

The Minipack MVS line of chamber vacuum sealers is hugely popular with our customers and has a great track record. Unlike many chamber sealers out there that almost appear to be assembled in a garage with sheet metal, the MVS sealers feature a high-quality build. They are all Italian made.

The MVS 20 is Minipack’s smallest and most affordable chamber sealer. It has a chamber area of 8.5″ x 12″ x 3.75″. This is large enough to package many food products for retail sale. It can also be used to package non-food products, liquids and powders.

The build quality on the MVS 20 is exceptional. It features a durable motor and pump, a solid chamber hood and a high-quality stainless steel exterior made from heavy-gauge metal. It is designed to be used every day.

Using the MVS 20 is easy. Take your product, place it in a vacuum sealing bag, insert that back into the MVS 20, place the open end of the bag under the sealing bar and close the hood. A latch, located on the front of the machine, must then be placed over the hood, keeping it in place. Once everything is in place, the machine can be turned on. Air is then removed from the chamber, the bag is sealed and air is returned back to the chamber.

The entire process takes very little time and the end results are extremely professional. The seal created by the MVS 20 holds up well with time and will not allow air to return back into the bag. Food sealed by the MVS 20 can be preserved 3-4 times longer than non-vacuum packaged food.

The control panel, located on the front of the MVS 20 is extremely easy to use. It lets you know, by means of a digital display, exactly what is going on during the vacuum sealing process. This same control panel allows you to select the sealing duration and the amount of air to be removed from the chamber.

You will find the MVS 20 in meat packing plants, grocery stores, merchandise factories and much more. For the price, you get a lot of machine. I would personally recommend this vacuum sealer for most entry to mid-volume vacuum packing projects.

You can find the Minipack MVS 20 chamber vacuum sealer here and our entire selection of vacuum food sealers here.

Best Fish Vacuum Sealers (External & Chamber)

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Fish Vacuum Food SealersWhether you are an avid fisherman or are trying to package fish for retail sale, you can benefit from using a vacuum sealer. Vacuum sealers can dramatically extend the shelf life of fish by as much as 3 times or more and helps to prevent and cut down on freezer burn. There are a lot of machines out there, so which fish vacuum sealer should you buy? Here are a few tips that may help you out.

To begin with, you need to determine how much fish you will be packaging per day. If you are only packaging a few to a few dozen, an external sealer is probably all you need. If you are packaging a few dozen to a few hundred a day, you will probably need what’s known as a chamber vacuum sealer.

We have found that Minipack (made in Italy) produces some of the most reliable, effect and durable vacuum sealers. They make a wide range of vacuum sealers. Their sealers can be used to remove 99.9% of the air from a vacuum-sealing bag and they produce a durable seal that holds up well.

Here are some of the models I would personally recommend to our customers:

Best External Fish Vacuum Sealers

  1. Minipack Cyclone 30 Vacuum Sealer – This sealer is extremely reliable, has a good track record and can easily package fish. It has a 13″ maximum sealing width.
  2. Minipack Cyclone 40 Vacuum Sealer – This sealer is great for the packaging and sealing of fish. It has a 17″ maximum sealing width.
  3. Minipack Cyclone 50 Vacuum Sealer – This sealer, much like the smaller Cyclone 30 and Cyclone 40, is perfect for packaging fish, meat, fruits and more. It has a 21″ sealing width.

Best Chamber Fish Vacuum Sealers

  1. Minipack MVS 20 X Chamber Sealer – This sealer is a entry-level chamber sealer, but still features high-quality components and a great build. It isn’t as large as the MVS 31 X, but can still be used to package cut up fish.
  2. Minipack MVS 26 X Chamber Sealer – This vacuum sealer features a nice 11″ x 16″ x 4″ chamber sealing area and is extremely easy to set up and use.
  3. Minipack MVS 31 X Chamber Sealer – This chamber sealer is perfect for packaging fish. It has a 12.5″ x 9.5″ x 3.75″ chamber dimension that can easily handle a lot of fish.
  4. Minipack MVS 35 X Chamber Sealer – This vacuum food sealer has both a great chamber width and height (13″ x 11.75″ x 7.5″). This can be used to package multiple pieces of fish in a bag.
  5. Minipack MVS 45 X Chamber Sealer – This vacuum sealer is perfect for commercial packaging of fish and has a nice chamber area of 18.5″ x 16″ x 4.5″.

Each of these vacuum food sealers can be used to efficiently package fish and have been proven to have a great track record. I would personally recommend these sealers for anyone interested in packaging and preserving fish for either personal or retail use.

You can find our entire selection of vacuum food sealers here.  Feel free to ask our vacuum sealer specialists questions by calling 1-800-658-8788.

MBM Destroyit 3103 Paper Shredder Review

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

MBM Destroyit 3103 Paper ShredderDoes your business, organization or facility need a high-volume paper shredder that can be reliably used throughout the day? With many machines out there, you may be having trouble settling on any one make or model. One paper shredder you may want to take a look at is the MBM Destroyit 3103 paper shredder (found here). This is my review.

MBM Destroyit (by IDEAL) makes some of the worlds most popular shredders. Destroyit shredders are commonly found in government offices and military bases around the worlds. These German engineered and German built shredders have developed a great reputation for being some of the hardiest shredders around.

The Destroyit 3103 paper shredder currently comes in two different formats, strip cut and cross cut. Other than the cutting blade used, everything else on these two variations are practically identical. They both feature large 37 gallon shred bins and continuous duty motors.

The biggest difference between the cross cut and the strip cut versions of the 3103 is the cutting capacity and the security level. The strip cut version of this shredder is a Level 2 and the cross cut version is a Level 3. The higher the security level, the tinier the particle size and the more secure the cut is.

The Level 2 (strip cut) version of this shredder can cut up to 22 sheets of paper at a time and the Level 3 (cross cut) version can cut up to 15 sheets of paper at a time. Both of these cutting capacities are impressive considering the size of the shredder.

The Destroyit 3103 has a large 12″ wide feed opening that is capable of handling letter-size paper, envelopes, computer forms and more. It ca also handle several smaller items been fed through at once. The hardened steel cutting shafts not only shred paper, but they can also handle staples, paper clips, credit cards and CDs.

The “Easy Switch” design of the 3103 makes operating this shredder extremely easy. Simply rock the large round button forward to turn the shredder on. Press it again to turn the shredder off. Rock the switch back and the motor is thrown into reverse.

Several sensors let you know when the bag is full and when the door is open. After an hour of inactivity, the 3103 will go into energy saving model, which dramatically cuts down on electricity use.

If you aren’t already impressed by the build quality of the 3103, you will probably be impressed by the warranty. The 3103 carries a lifetime warranty on the cutting blades and a one-year warranty on everything else.

Simply put, this shredder is reliable, extremely easy to use and looks great. Placed on casters, this shredder is easy to move around and is ideal for use in a centralized office location. I would personally recommend this shredder for just about any office.

You can find the MBM Destroyit 3103 paper shredder here and our entire line of Destroyit paper shredders here. You can find our huge selection of paper shredders here.

Can A Paper Cutter Be A Perforator?

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Carl Rotary Paper CuttersEvery so often I speak with customers who one way or another end up on or paper perforator index. They often get a little overwhelmed after seeing the high-end industrial paper perforators that we offer. Many of them simply want either a handheld or a basic manual perforator. One place I often tell them to go is our rotary paper cutter index. This is why.

To begin with, many of our rotary paper cutters have the option of using optional cutting attachments. Some of these cutting attachments are perforating wheels. As long as you aren’t expecting high-volume perforating output, many of these paper cutters will get the job done quickly and efficiently.

I have come up with a list of paper cutters that can be used as perforators. Remember, most of these paper cutters only come with a cutting wheel. The perforating wheel usually has to be purchased as an optional accessory.

Paper Cutters That Are Also Perforators

  1. Carl CC-10 Handheld Rotary Trimmer
  2. Carl DC-95 & DC-100 Rotary Trimmers
  3. Carl DC-200 Series Cutters (DC-210, DC-220, DC-238, DC-250)
  4. Carl RT-200 & RT-218 Trimmers
  5. Dahle 360 & 370 Hobby Trimmers
  6. Dahle 507 Personal Paper Trimmer
  7. Tamerica TM-20 Paper Trimmer

These cutters all have a great reputation as long as they are used the way they are intended. Many of these cutters also offer wavy cut, deckle cut and other pattern-cut blades. You can find our entire selection of rotary paper cutters here and paper perforators here.

Replacement Cutting Blades for Dahle, Triumph, Kutrimmer, Neolt & More!

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Replacement Paper Cutter BladesDid you know that you can breath new life into your paper cutter or trimmer by simply replacing the cutting blade? As blades begin to dull, paper cutters begin to cut fewer and fewer sheets. Cuts can begin to become crooked, jagged and ultimately begin to look awful. Luckily, we offer replacement cutting blades.

I have spoken with several customers that were literally on the verge of buying a new paper cutter, when all they needed was a new blade. I have also spoken with several people that have had stack paper cutters that had no idea that they could re-sharpen the blade. Both of these tips will save you a lot of money.

At ABC office we carry paper cutter blades for a variety of paper cutter brands. The easiest way to find a blade that will fit your machine is to find the exact make and model on our site. We try to place replacement blades on paper cutter product pages.

You can find our paper cutters sorted by manufacturer here:

We are also able to get replacement cutter blades for most discontinued models. If you see your brand listed here, but are unable to find your specific model, give us a call at 1-800-658-8788. We can probably get you the replacement cutting blade you are looking for.

If for any reason your cutter is damaged or needs to be replaced, you can find our entire selection of paper cutters here.

Preparing a Disaster Kit for Your Office, School or Home

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Emergency / Disaster 72-Hour Kit (3 Days)With the recent earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster hitting Japan, many people have begun to reflect on what they can do to help prepare themselves for a disaster right here in the United States. It’s perhaps not the most pleasant train of thought, but it is still nevertheless very important. One of the best ways to be prepared is to have a emergency disaster kit (aka 72 hour kit) on hand. This isn’t only important at home, but also in the office.

Remember, many of us spend at least 8 hours a day in the office. Eight hours is 1/3 of they day. If a disaster hits, there is a 33% chance you may be at work. For this reason, it is important for offices, businesses, schools, churches and organizations to be equally prepared for a disaster.

Having the critical essentials on hand will make the stress and terror of a disaster much more tolerable. It may even save your life. Here are just a few of the essentials your school, office, church or even home will need:

Water – Water is the most critical element needed for human survival. You can’t survive longer than 3 days without it. In a disaster, especially a tsunami or earthquake, clean water is difficult to come by. Stagnant water quickly becomes infected with waterborne diseases. It is a good idea to have a water filter, bottled water or a pot w/ fire tools (for boiling) on hand. Water purification tablets are also good to have on hand.

It is a good idea to have a few liters of bottled water readily available at all times, preferably in a backpack for portability. If possible, it is good to have at least 2-4 liters of water available per day.

Clothing – It is a good idea to have a warm change of clothing on hand. If you can’t have a change of clothes on hand, it is a good idea to at least have a blanket (preferably wool), a jacket or an emergency blanket. Many people in Japan right now are suffering from bitter cold and snow. A change of underwear and socks are a must. A rain poncho or umbrella is also nice.

Sanitation Emergency KitSanitation – Being dirty and having a lack of bathroom facilities can cause both morale and health issues. Simple things like wet towelettes, alcohol prep pads, soap, tooth brush / paste, deodorant, shampoo, shaving cream / blades and feminine hygiene products can make all the difference in the world. A sanitation porta potty, or a shovel (latrine), can help significantly improve bathroom convenience and conditions.

Food – Water can only go so far. You will also need nutrients and solid food to help keep yourself healthy. This may include trail mix, canned foods (with opener), MREs (military ready to eat), oatmeal, crackers and raisins. It is also a good idea to keep a little candy on hand. It is a good idea to have at least a 3-day (72 hour) supply on hand.

First Aid – The chances of you or someone around you becoming injured in a disaster is pretty high. For this reason, it is a good idea to have a first aid kit on hand. What you include in that kit will depend on a lot of things, but it is always a good idea to at least have the following on hand:

  • Bandage Dressings
  • Band-Aids
  • Butterfly Bandages
  • Gauze Pads
  • Paper Tape Roll
  • Pain Killers
  • Burn Cream
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Vinyl Gloves
  • Antiseptic
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Safety Pins
  • Firs Aid Instructional Sheet

You can view an entire list of what you will want in your 72 hour emergency disaster kit here (PDF).

Other Tools & Items – It is also a good idea to have tools on hand that can help assist you with survival. An example of helpful tools include:

  • Flashlight (with batteries)
  • Camp Cup
  • Whistle
  • Pocket Knife
  • Paper Pad w/ Pencil
  • Garbage Bag
  • Baggies
  • Waterproof Matches
  • Compass

Following these suggestions should help you get on the right track to creating a solid 72 (3-day) emergency disaster kit. I recommend, if at all possible, keeping all these products in a backpack for added portability. You never know when you’ll have to pick up your kit and leave. Be prepared!

At ABC Office we offer a wide variety of emergency disaster kits found here. These kits include porta potty sanitation kits, portable backpack 72-hour kits, office preparedness kits and more.

Paper Shredder Sensors, Alarms & Indicator Lights Explained

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Paper Shredders from ABC OfficeThe concept of a paper shredder is pretty simple. You put paper in and it comes out the other side cut into little pieces. Sounds easy enough, right? While shredders are easy machines to use, modern-day paper shredders are packed full of sensors, indicators and alarms. These are mostly for safety and convenience purposes. Here are just a few of the more common sensors you are bound to find.

Common Paper Shredder Sensors, Alarms & Indicator Lights

  • Bag Full Sensor – This helpful sensor, usually represented by a light, lets you know when the shred bag is full and needs to be changed.
  • Door Ajar Sensor – This sensor lets you know when the cabinet door is open. For safety purposes, it needs to be closed. You don’t want the shredder running with the door open as the bottom portion of the shredder head has the blades fully exposed.
  • Jam Light – Some shredders will either make an audible alert or a light will come on when a jam occurs. At this point you will probably have to switch the motor into reverse and re-adjust the quantity of paper you are shredding.
  • Load Indicator – Many modern-day office shredders have a load indicator light or bar that will let you know how much stress the shredder motor is under. This allows the user to know if they are putting too many or too few sheets of paper through the shredder.
  • Oil Reminder – Some paper shredders have an oil change reminder light. This feature isn’t very common, although many modern shredders now have automatic oilers. Just remember that it is a good idea to oil your shredder with every bag change.
  • Power Mode – This light simply lets you know if the shredder is on.
  • Shredding Head Sensor – Many smaller deskside shredders have a switch located under the shredder head that will prevent the shredder from working until it has been fully seated on the frame of the shredder. This is for safety reasons.
  • Standby Mode – Many shredders will go into standby mode if left unused for a certain period of time. Most shredders use a green light (or other color) to show that it is in standby mode.
  • Touch Sensor – Some shredders, especially modern-day Fellowes shredders, have a touch sensor around the mouth of the shredder. This is designed to prevent bodily injury. When a finger is detected around the shredder mouth, the shredder will not run.

These are all of the most common sensors, indicator lights and alarms you will find on a shredder. Many, as you have read, are for convenience, but many are also for your own personal safety. If any of these features look appealing to you, be sure the shredder you buy includes them.

You can find our entire selection of paper shredders here. If you are having trouble finding a shredder with the features you need, feel free to call one of our specialists at 1-800-658-8788. They should be able to help you isolate some great options.

Semacon S-1100 Bill Counter Review

Monday, March 21st, 2011

Semacon S-1100 Bill CounterDo you count, handle or keep tabs of bills on a regular basis? Are human counting errors costing your business money? It sounds like you need to upgrade to a bill counting machine. They are relatively cheap and can potentially save you a lot of time and money. One great model you may want to consider using is the Semacon S-1100 bill counter (found here). This is my review.

While Semacon bill counters aren’t considered to be the cheapest machines on the market, they are considered to be some of the best quality bill counters around. Semacon makes several different bill counters, coin counters and other money handling machines.

The Semacon S-1100 bill counter is available in three different versions. You can get it as the standard S-1100, the S-1115 UV CF (ultraviolet counterfeit detection) or the S-1125 UV-MG CF  (ultraviolet and magnetic counterfeit detection). All three models work the same other than the counterfeit detection capabilities you get with the S-1115 and S-1125.

Using the Semacon S-1100 bill counter is easy and requires very little training. Simply plug in the machine, insert your bills and tell the machine to start counting. Sure there are some additional features that you may want to use as well, but it really is that easy.

The S-1100 is especially known for its ability to handle used and worn bills that often put other bill counters on the fritz. It also has chain note, half note and double not detection capabilities.

Unlike many bill counters that are made from cheap components, the S-1100 is made from high quality material. It even has a one-year warranty to bask that up. The warranty includes coverage on parts, labor and shipping. Semacon is a very nice company to work with.

The hopper on the S-1100, S-1115 and S-1125 can hold up to 100 new or 200 used bills. It can also be used to count foreign currencies, tickets, checks and paper. Just be sure the dimensions of the bill or paper you are counting fits within the minimum and maximum specifications (100 mm x 50 mm to 175 mm x 100 mm).

The Semacon S-1100 looks great, fits in well with existing office equipment and even includes a convenient dust cover when not in use. It is very easy to pick up and move around the office or store.

This particular unit is primarily designed for use in smaller banks and credit unions, but can also be used in retail stores, grocery stores, casinos, clubs and much more.

I personally really like Semacon and their line of products, including the S-1100, S-1115 and S-1125. I have no problem recommending this machine for low to medium-volume use.

You can find the Semacon S-1100 bill counter here and our entire line of bill counters here.

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