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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 Is A Folding Machine Conveyor & Output Stacker?

Friday, March 4th, 2011

You may have noticed, while looking around for paper folding machines, that some feature a powered exit conveyor and output stacker. So what is an exit conveyor / output stacker and why would you need one? Having used many folding machines, I have come up with a list of reasons why you may (or may not) need these features.

Powered conveyors are part of a folding machine’s exit tray system. It is essentially the last place folded paper ends up during the folding process. The exit conveyor usually consists of two 1-2″ wide bands that move away from the folding machine. These two powered conveyor bands are designed to move paper in an orderly and organized manner.

Along with the conveyor bands, most powered exit conveyors also utilize a couple of output stacker wheels that help settle paper as it leaves the machine. These stacker wheels are usually manually adjusted, however, some high-end folding machines use automated stacker wheels that automatically adjust, depending on the size of the paper being folded.

Folding Machine Output Stackers & Exit Tray Conveyors

Some paper folding machines use telescoping exit conveyors. This allows you to adjust the conveyor to accommodate different quantities of paper. If you are folding a stack of 500 sheets of paper, you will want the conveyor fully extended.

Paper folding machines that don’t utilize a conveyor / stacking system usually have some sort of a catch tray. This catch tray is designed to simply hold paper as it shoots out of the folding machine. This method still works well, but doesn’t keep paper neat and organized.

Powered exit conveyors and stackers not only keep paper neat and organized, but also keep it in the order in which it was pulled into the folding machine. If you need to keep paper in alphabetical or numerical order, a conveyor system is an absolute necessity.

Folding machines that simply have a catch tray do not keep paper organized. If your folding machine only has a catch tray, you will probably have to jog the paper after you remove it.

Having used folding machines with and without conveyors & stackers, I have to say that I am a big fan of the output conveyor / stacker system. Folding machines with conveyors & stackers, however, are usually more of an up front investment. Most entry-level folding machines have a catch tray. You usually don’t see exit tray conveyor systems until you move into medium to high-volume folding machines.

You can find our entire selection of paper folding machines here. Do you still have questions about folding machine conveyors and output stackers? Feel free to speak with one of our paper folder experts at 1-800-658-8788. Please feel free to also post your questions here as a comment.

What Is A Continuous Duty Paper Shredder?

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Continuous Duty Paper ShreddersWhile shopping around for a high-quality office paper shredder you may have come across the term continuous duty. Do you know what that means? If not, you may want to familiarize yourself with its meaning. I will explain exactly what the term “continuous duty paper shredder” means in this article.

If you have ever used a basic paper shredder, you may have discovered that they can only run for about 30 minutes before they have to be turned off. Many shredders have an automatic switch that turns the shredder off after a certain amount of use. This is because these shredders use motors that overheat with too much use.

While a basic paper shredder, with a cool-down period, is fine for home use, this is a huge inconvenience for office use. Most businesses and offices need a shredder that can be run throughout the day without any downtime.

As a result of frustration, and the development of shredding technology, a new type of shredder has arisen for use in the office. This is the continuous-duty paper shredder. Continuous-duty shredders are designed to be used continuously throughout the day without the need to cool down.

Continuous duty shredders implement the use of thermally protected motors that keep the motors from overheating. This feature is now very common in most modern-day departmental and office paper shredders.

Most shredders will specify in their features if they offer continuous-duty functionality. If you have come across a shredder, and aren’t sure if it can be run continuously, feel free to call one of our shredder experts at 1-800-658-8788. They will be able to let you know in a few seconds if the shredder you are looking at is ideal for continuous use.

You can find our entire selection of paper shredders here.

Formax FD 8500AF AutoFeed Paper Shredder Review

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Formax FD 8500AF AutoFeed Paper ShredderOne of the most monotonous things about shredding paper is sitting near the machine and feeding it sheets upon sheets of paper. The entire process, for a stack of 100 sheets, can take 2-10 minutes, depending on the shredder. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just leave the paper at the shredder and let it do the rest? Such a shredder exists. It is called the Formax FD 8500AF AutoFeed paper shredder (found here). This is my review.

Formax currently manufactures about a dozen different paper shredders. Models range from strip cut shredders to high-end high security paper shredders. Formax shredders easily make the top 5 shredder brands we currently offer online.

The FD 8500AF is a fairly unique paper shredder. This is because it has what’s known as an AutoFeed function. A slot, located on the top of the machine, can be opened up allowing you to insert up to 175 sheets of 11” x 17” paper (20# thick). This slot then pulls a sheet of the stack and shreds it. The FD 8500AF will continue pulling in paper until it is done shredding the stack.

This saves the operator a lot of time, especially throughout the day. Simply put, the FD 8500AF doesn’t need babysitting to get the job done. When watching it in action, the AutoFeed looks remarkably similar to a printer, folding machine or copier. You can see a video demonstration of the 8500AF here:

Formax FD 8500AF AutoFeed Shredder Video Demonstration

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You don’t have to run the Formax FD 8500 in AutoFeeder mode. It also has a traditional slot on the front of the shredder where you can manually insert paper. The manual slot can shred up to 18 sheets of 20# paper at a time.

The Formax FD 8500AF is a Level 3 cross cut shredder. That means it can be used to shred most sensitive documents. The particle size measures in at 5/32″ x 1 1/5″ in size. The high-quality shredder blades are not only capable of shredding paper, but can also handle staples, paper clips and credit cards.

The FD 8500AF is a centralized office shredder. This means it can be situated within a department for use by several different people throughout the day. It is robust and durable enough to be used continuously without any need for a cool-down period.

The control panel on this shredder is very easy to use and easy to read. It lets you know if the door is open, the bag is full, if it is running in reverse and much more. It even includes a load indicator that lets you know how much stress the shredder is under at any given time.

I really like this shredder. The quality is where it needs to be and it is from one of the most reputable manufacturers we carry. The AutoFeed is a huge time saver. I give this shredder high marks. Just about everything on this shredder is made out of metal. It is an excellent machine.

You can find the Formax FD 8500AF AutoFeed paper shredder here and our entire selection of Formax paper shredders here. You can find our entire selection of paper shredders here.

Dahle Presents ABC Office With Dealer Recognition Award

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Dahle Dealer Recognition AwardABC Office is proud to announce that it has been awarded the Dahle Dealer Recognition Award 2010. This award was presented to ABC Office in honor of outstanding sales, performance, loyalty and dedication to Dahle. ABC Office is excited about this award and expects sales of Dahle brand products to be even better in 2011.

Dahle is considered by many in the industry, including our customers, to be one of the best manufacturers of paper cutters, folding machines and paper shredders. Their products continue to be innovative, reliable and feature some of the latest in performance and safety technology. You can find our entire selection of Dahle office machines & products here.

Dahle products are known for their traditional blue color. Their products are easy to spot in offices around the United States. Many of their machines are German engineered and made. The quality really shows through.

ABC Office has a great working relationship with Dahle. Because ABC Office is an authorized Dahle dealer, we are able to not only offer a huge line of equipment, but also provide servicing, parts and repairs on Dahle machines.

Feel free to call ABC Office at 1-800-658-8788 for more information on Dahle brand products.

Advice: Speeding Up Book Binding Operations

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Book Binding MachinesWhile manually binding your own books doesn’t take a long time, I have had many people ask me how they can speed things up. I would say the average amount of time it takes to bind a book is about 1-5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the book and the machine being used. Here are a few tools you can use to potentially cut that time in half.

The following tips should help you speed up binding operations for comb, wire and coil binding. While each of these binding formats look different, they all implement very similar techniques.

Speeding Up Book Binding Operations

Binding Attachments / Modular Accessories – If you have a fairly basic book binding machine, you can easily upgrade the speed by purchasing separate attachments.

All of these attachments will allow one person to handle paper punching while a separate person can use the modular attachment to finish the job. This can almost double your book binding speed.

Stand-Alone Punch – Stand-along paper punches are designed to punch large volumes of paper. The can be used in conjunction with a modular binding accessory or along side a book binding machine. Many of our stand-alone punches can punch 20+ sheets of paper at a time. Higher punching capacities really speeds up the book binding process. You can find our stand-alone paper punches here.

Electric Upgrade – While manual punch book binding machines are nice, they aren’t recommended for medium to high-volume binding. An electric punch binding machine can be a huge upgrade and is well worth the investment. Electric punch binding machines typically have a higher punching capacity and are much faster.

Akiles Oval Coil Binding HolesCoil Hole Upgrade – If you are coil binding, an oval hole upgrade may be well worth the investment for speed. I’ll explain.

Coil binding, at least for me, can be a little difficult when binding thicker books. This is because the holes are small and navigating the coils through the holes can be a little difficult. I don’t have this problem with thinner books.

About a year ago Akiles unveiled a new line of coil binding machines that utilize an oval hole rather than a round hole. The oval hole design really speeds up coil insertion. Akiles machines that feature the oval holes typically have a “PLUS” after the model name. You can find our Akiles coil binding machines here. You can find our Akiles coil binding machines here.

Separate Machine – This suggestion may seem like obvious advice, but it is often cheaper to buy a second machine than to purchase a separate punch or attachment. This way you can have 2 people simultaneously punching and binding books.

I have found that most of the tips mentioned above will help significantly increase your book binding speed.

We have a great team of highly trained binding specialists here at ABC Office that can help offer binding advice and suggestions. Feel free to speak with one of them by calling 1-800-658-8788.

You can find our entire selection of book binding machines here. Have a great day!

Best Sealing Width For Heat Sealers

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Heat Sealers / Bag SealersHeat sealers are great machines to have on hand. They can be used to package and seal most plastic bags. While heat sealers vary in sealing length, they also vary in sealing width. So which sealing width is best for packaging your products?

As should probably come as no surprise, the thicker the sealing width, the more durable the seal. I have found that as the sealing length goes up, the sealing width increases to compensate for the added pressure from the larger contents of the bag. This isn’t, however, always the case.

If you have found a heat sealer of equal length, but of varying sealing widths, there are a few things you will want to take into consideration.

If you are sealing liquids, powders or other fluidic products, you may want to use a wider sealing width. This is because liquids, powders and other pliable products can quickly produce added pressure in a single area during shipping and transport. More pressure could create a rupture if the sealing width is too small.

If you are packaging solid products, food, parts and other materials, you may be fine with a thinner sealing width. Remember, the smaller the sealing width the less film and bag you will end up using. Sealers with smaller sealing widths also typically cost less money.

If in doubt, a thicker sealing width will certainly not hurt anything and will provide you with added protection.

Common sealing widths include:

  1. 2mm (most common)
  2. 5mm
  3. 10mm
  4. 15mm (typically the largest)

A few additional features you may find in a heat sealer includes a magnetic lockdown (for convenience) and a built-in cutter for slicing off excess plastic.

You can find our entire selection of heat sealers here. Feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any heat sealer related questions.

Formax FD 38X Automatic Paper Folder Review

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Formax FD 38X Automatic Paper Folding MachineDo you need a tough, robust paper folding machine that can handle hundreds to thousands of folds a day? If so, you don’t want to settle for a basic paper folding machine. You are probably going to want something automated. One great machine you should consider using is the Formax FD 38X automatic paper folding machine (found here). I have personally used this folding machine and this is my review.

Formax is best known for their line of envelope stuffing machines, but they also make a great selection of bursters, shredders, paper folding machines and more. I can tell you from experience that Formax have a great track record and a great reputation with our customers.

The Formax FD 38X encompasses the very meaning of automatic paper folding machine. This machine, from the control interface to the electric folding plates, is completely automatic. The only manual effort involved is selecting a fold from the control panel, placing paper in the machine and removing the folded paper. That’s it!

The FD 38X is a robust machine, capable of accepting paper sizes up to 12″ x 18″ large. The feed tray can hold up to 500 sheets of paper. Once the machine has started folding paper, you can leave it and let it do the rest. It will automatically stop once the paper has been folded.

The Formax FD 38X handles all the most common folds (18 pre-programmed) and even has room in the memory to store up to 35 custom folds. Common folds include the C fold, Z fold and single fold. It can even handle the cross fold (aka French fold), which causes most other folding machines to jam.

Formax FD 38X Folding Machine Video Demo

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As mentioned earlier, the folding plates are powered. When a fold is selected from the LCD menu, the folding plates adjust themselves. This is fast and provides for extremely accurate folds.

The FD 38X control panel is very easy to navigate. The right side of the FD 38X includes a test button, a green “go” button and a red “stop” button.

The exit tray on the Formax FD 38X is completely powered. This means as paper exits the machine, it is quickly carried to the end of the tray in an organized manner. The tray is completely telescoping, allowing it to hold up to 500 sheets of paper. Exit conveyors are extremely nice for keeping folded material in alphanumerical order.

One of the more unique features of the FD 38X is the multi sheet tray. If you look at the top of the FD 38X, you will notice a vertical slot coming out of the machine. You can manually insert up to 4 sheets of stapled or unstapled paper in that slot. The machine will then fold all 2-4 sheets of paper at once.

The build quality on the FD 38X is excellent. It is made out of solid metal components. It weighs in at 74 pounds, which gives you an idea just how robust this machine is.

Overall I have to say that I am very impressed with this paper folding machine. Having used it myself, I have to rate it a solid 5 out of 5 stars. It is fast, reliable and relatively quiet for a folding machine.

You can find the Formax FD 38X automatic paper folding machine here and our entire selection of paper folding machines here.

What Is A Paper Stabber?

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Paper Pad Counter / Paper Stabber (Quick as a Wink)We had a customer call in a few weeks ago asking if we sold paper stabbers. It ends up the customer didn’t want to kill stacks of paper, but rather he needed a specific tool commonly used in the paper printing & padding industry. After a little research, and a few questions, we discovered what he was looking for.

It ends up that we do sell paper stabbers, but we just called them by a different name. A paper stabber is the same thing as a pad counter. It is a tool that can be adjusted to different widths for quickly separating stacks of paper into equally divided smaller stacks. Our pad counter is commonly called the quick as a wink pad counter.

We offer two different paper stabbers (pad counters). The first model we offer is a 2″ pad counter and the second is a 5″ pad counter. Both of these counters are fully adjustable and very affordable. We have been selling these pad counters since I started working here and they have an excellent track record.

You can find both of our pad counters (paper stabbers) here.

What To Look For In An Automatic Check Signer

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Automatic Check & Document SignersCheck signers are huge time savers for businesses. They can sign checks, contracts, certificates and other documents in milliseconds. So what should you look for when shopping for a check signer? There are a few things you will want to know prior to making a purchase. This guide will point out some good questions to ask and a few tips that should help you out.

What To Look For In An Automatic Check Signer

What Type Of Paper Are You Using? Check signers are designed to handle two different types of paper. These are cut sheet paper and continuous forms paper. Cut sheet paper is much like what we use in copy machines and measures in at 8 ½” x 11″.

Continuous forms paper is paper that is connected to the next sheet by a perforation. This type of paper is usually packed in an accordion-like fashion and typically has perforated sides with tiny holes for printer feeding. A cut sheet check signer cannot handle continuous forms paper and vice versa.

How Many Checks Are You Signing Per Day? I had a customer ask me today what type of check signer they needed if they were signing 50 checks a day. I informed them that we had both manual check signers and automatic check signers.

Manual check signers still use an electric stamping plate, but require the checks to be manually fed. The stamp usually works on a sheet-by-sheet basis. I told our customer, who was only stamping 50 checks a day, that a manual check signer would probably be best for their situation.

Automatic check signers can handle literally thousands of checks a day. Automatic check signers have a feed tray where the check sheets can be placed. An automated feeder pulls the checks in and signs them. This type of system is deal if you are signing hundreds to thousands of checks a day.

What Size Of Paper Are You Using? As with any paper handling machine, you will want to be sure the check signer you buy can handle your maximum and minimum paper sizes. Most machines will specify, in their specifications, what types of paper they can handle.

What Kind Of Security Do You Need?
Most check signers require a key to access the signature plate. This is for security reasons. You don’t want anyone having access to a signature that can be used to authorize checks and other important documents. Many automated systems even have a keypad that requires an authorized password prior to working.

How Many Signatures Do You Need?
Most people only need one signature on a document, however, some people need multiple signatures at a time. Most of our check signing machines will accept signature plates with 1-3 signatures. Be sure you specify how many signatures you need prior to ordering a signature plate.

Do You Need To Burst The Checks?
Once a check is signed, does it need to be torn apart? If so, you may need a machine known as a burster. Bursters pull paper in and tear it apart along the perforation. Many bursters even include slitters that can cut off perforated side margins. Depending on the check signer being used, some models can even be directly interfaced with a bursting machine.

We have now covered the most important features to look for in a check signing machine. While this may seem a bit overwhelming, we are more than happy to help you find the right machine at the right price. Feel free to call one of our check & document signing machine experts at 1-800-658-8788. They should be able to answer any product specific questions not answered in this article.

You can find our entire selection of check signers here.

Akiles iLam 240 9″ Pouch Laminator Review

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Akiles iLam 240 Pouch LaminatorAre you tired of your laminated photos, signs and cards being ruined by your laminator? Sounds like it’s time for you to upgrade to something a little more reliable. One great pouch laminator you should consider buying is the Akiles iLam 240 9″ pouch laminator (found here). This is my review.

To start with, Akiles has been making thermal pouch laminators for several years now. They are already well known for the ProLam and UltraLam line of pouch laminators. The new iLam series is available as the 9″ 240 and the 13″ 340.

At first one might think that the iLam is an entry-level machine, perhaps below the Akiles ProLam or UltraLam line. The iLam 240, in all truth, is a pretty robust machine capable of medium to even high-volume pouch laminating. It is packed with features as I will soon explain.

The 9″ width of the iLam 240 allows this laminator to handle most paper sizes, including the ever-popular letter size. While you may need something wider for menus and other signs, the 9″ width is optimal for most people.

I personally like the easy control panel the iLam 240 uses. Setup is as simple as turning a dial on the side of the laminator. The control dial allows the operator to set the laminator thickness and temperature in just seconds. Everything is clearly laid out on the dial. The dial changes colors, letting you know when it is ready to be used.

A reverse button is located on the left side of the machine. This button makes it easy to back out mis-fed items and makes jam clearance easy. If for any reason a jam occurs that the reverse button cannot fix, simply open the laminator and remove it yourself. Two latches allow for easy to access the heated rollers.

Unlike many pouch laminators that simply use a heating element to warm the pouches and film, the iLam 240 has heated rollers. A total of 4 rollers pull material through the laminator, evenly distributing heat as needed. As a result of a heated roller system (2 hot / 2 cold), results are clear, clean and crisp. There is no need to worry about cloudy results.

The Akiles iLam 240 utilizes a heavy-duty motor. This motor allows you to use the laminator on a continuous basis without causing any damage. The build quality on the iLam 240 should allow this laminator to be used for several years.

Overall I consider the iLam 240 to be a perfect laminator for home, business or copy center use. It is tough, robust, easy to use and pretty much portrays everything Akiles quality is known for.

You can find the Akiles iLam 240 9″ pouch laminator here and our entire selection of pouch laminators here.

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